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Project: YOLO 2K13 (first time watercooling buildlog)

chrisnyc75
Level 12
Hello ROG Nation 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to check out the build log for my first custom watercooling project (and first official build log), "Project: YOLO 2k13".

Let me start by thanking YOU, my fellow ROGers, whose advice & patient tutelage made this build possible. Shout-out to Arne Saknussemm, kkn, Zka17, Profeus, whitepaw, JackNaylorPE, & of course HiVizMan, for always being ready to share their expertise and knowledge no matter how stupid the question. lol If you want to check out the Q&A thread that got us to this point click here.

tl;dr: here's a preview of the finished product.

32815

To find out how I got here, read on......

A little background (skip to next paragraph if you don't care): I've been building my own PCs for about 13 years. I've done 5 or 6 builds for myself, plus a few more for friends. When I built my first pc, though, I wasn't a gamer at all; in fact, I knew next to nothing about PC hardware, and cared even less. In those days, I only needed my pc for reliable internet access and audio encoding & storage. In those days, my aim was cost savings (Dell was expensive, & I was broke as hell! lol). Then, around 2006 the advent of the MMORPG brought me back to gaming 20+ years after beating Zelda and giving up gaming for more "adult endeavors". 😉 Suddenly obsessed with online gaming, it was then that I realized that I could design a system around my specific needs and have endless fun & adventure at my fingertips 24/7. I was hooked; all hope was lost. 😉 Flash forward to 2008 when I built my first "no budget" build - a system built with the best of everything, cost be damned. I picked up a 1st gen 940 the week Intel brought "i7" to market, learned how to overclock it, and paired it with the brand new "nvidia 3d Vision" 4 years before home 3d went mainstream. That "bleeding edge of technology" system lasted me FIVE solid years without so much as a single crash. Then, quite suddenly, after endless hours of gaming at max capacity, my trusty X58 finally showed its age in June of this year, becoming erratic and unreliable for no easily discernable reason (after weeks of troubleshooting came up empty, it wasn't until my new build was underway that I found out the problem was only a failing secondary [data] hard drive, but whatever - it gave me an excuse to upgrade hehe).

In July 2013 (~6 months ago), I undertook a new build on the X79 platform with a i7 3820. In the months since, the system has been tweaked, upgraded, & reconfigured practically nonstop. After 5 years on a 1st gen Nehalem that topped out around 3.9ghz, I was stunned at how well Sandy Bridge-e overclocked. I quickly turned into some kind of madman hell bent on designing a system to rival the baddest AI mainframe Sci Fi never even dreamed of. lol Most recently I swapped out the 3820 for a shiney new 4930K. Which brings us to my current configuration:

Asus Rampage IV Extreme w/ i7 4930K + H80i
6gb Corsair Dominator GT 2400 (CL9)
2xSLI EVGA GTX 770 SC ACX
Asus VG278H & nVidia 3d Vision
Creative X-Fi Titanium
2x Samsung 840 SSD [non-raid] (OS & games)
1TB Seagate Hybrid (data + games overflow)
EVGA Supernova 1300W
Corsair 600T

My PRE-watercooled system:
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It's a good build, well above average, but I needed better.
(the red LEDs are too much, I know)

29765
(pardon the cable management, it will be *immaculate* in Project: YOLO 2k13)

I agonized over Sandy Bridge-e vs Ivy Bridge-e, but ultimately took a chance on the newer tech since I want this build to last until Skylake (2015) or beyond. I'm mostly happy with my 4930K, with basic cooling it's proven to be a just-slightly-above-average chip, but it was immediately apparent that maxing out the oc on it was going to require more than high end air or a closed-loop cooler could provide. Thus "Project: YOLO 2k13" was born, so-named because despite my better judgment that custom watecooling is unnecessary and too expensive (a H80i cools it just fine at 4.3, why do I *need* 4.7ghz?), I realized that pragmatism was holding me back from climbing into the upper echelons of pc enthusiasts. I've never been one to settle for mediocrity, so - YOLO, right? 😉

So, after several months of research, designing, and waiting for my chosen chassis to come to market, I am finally beginning the final build phase of my project. In addition to my existing system hardware, I am adding:

1 x Phanteks Enthoo Primo
1 x Alphacool NexXxoS Monsta (80mm thick) 360mm Radiator
6 x Noiseblocker NB-eLoop B12-4 120mm x 25mm Ultra Silent Bionic Blade Fan - 2400 RPM
1 x Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 Full Copper 360mm Radiator
6 x Corsair Air Series SP120 PWM Performance Edition High Static Pressure 120mm Fan
1 x XSPC Raystorm LGA 2011 cpu block w/ 2x red LED (3mm)
2 x XSPC Razor GTX 770 - Full Cover GTX 770 block w/ 2x red LED (3mm)
1 x XSPC Razor SLI Flow Bridge (4-Slot)
1 x Arctic MX-4 Thermal Interface Material
1 x Swiftech MCP655 Special Edition 12 VDC Pump With Speed Controller
1 x Masterkleer 1/2" x 3/4" Tubing - UV Dark Red (10ft)
1 x XSPC Photon 170 Tube Reservoir w/ red 5mm LED
1 x IandH Dead-Water Biocide
1 x Mayhems Deep Red Dye
1 x Mayhems Dark Blue Dye
3 x 6-pack ModMyToys Carbon Fiber Enhanced Compression Fittings, 1/2" x 3/4" - Matte Black
4 x Monsoon 45° Rotary Angle Fitting - 3/4" - Matte Black
1 x Monsoon 90° Rotary Angle Fitting - 3/4" - Matte Black
1 x Monsoon Silver Bullet Antimicrobial G1/4 Plug
4 x XSPC 360mm Radiator Gasket
2 x 12" Cold Cathode kit - UV
1 x Logisys 8" corner LED stick - UV
1 x Logisys 16" corner LED stick - UV
1 x Bitspower Male-to-Male 10mm Extension Fitting
1 x Bitspower BP-MVV-BK Mini-Valve
1 x Bitspower Black Shiny Sealing Plug - 1/2"
4 x XSPC G1/4" Male to Female Extension Fitting (10mm) - Black Chrome
2 x Alphacool 45° Swivel Adapter - Matte Black
3 x EK 90° Swivel Adapter - Black
1 x pre-build component flushing loop:
1 x GE GXWH20S filtration system
1 x EcoPlus 185 Submersible Pump, 185 GPH
2 x 1" to 3/4" adapter + 1/2" barb
10 ft clear 1/2" ID pvc tubing
1 x 2 gallon bucket
2 x 1 gallon distilled H2O


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I seriously considered rigid acrylic tubing, as I absolutely LOVE the clean aesthetic of it. But after careful consideration, I decided it was one more complication I didn't need in my first wc project. My top priority for this build has to be safety & careful attention to detail -- the last thing I want is to get wrapped up in aesthetics (re: rigid acrylic tube bending) and miss an important detail that leads to catastrophe. Once I've proven mastery of the basics with this build, I'll move on to rigid acrylic with my next upgrade.

Stay tuned for more..... 🙂
Asus RIVBE • i7 4930K @ 4.7ghz • 8gb Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133 CL8
2xSLI EVGA GTX 770 SC • Creative X-Fi Titanium • 2x 840 SSD + 1TB Seagate Hybrid
EVGA Supernova 1300W• Asus VG278H & nVidia 3d Vision
Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/ custom watercooling:
XSPC Raystorm (cpu & gpu), XSPC Photon 170, Swiftech D5 vario
Alphacool Monsta 360mm +6x NB e-loop, XT45 360mm +6x Corsair SP120

240 Views
18 REPLIES 18

chrisnyc75
Level 12
*Updated with full details through completion. Sorry it took so long, thanks for being patient with my lazy butt. 😉

Any questions, comments, or constructive criticisms are welcome and appreciated. 🙂
Asus RIVBE • i7 4930K @ 4.7ghz • 8gb Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133 CL8
2xSLI EVGA GTX 770 SC • Creative X-Fi Titanium • 2x 840 SSD + 1TB Seagate Hybrid
EVGA Supernova 1300W• Asus VG278H & nVidia 3d Vision
Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/ custom watercooling:
XSPC Raystorm (cpu & gpu), XSPC Photon 170, Swiftech D5 vario
Alphacool Monsta 360mm +6x NB e-loop, XT45 360mm +6x Corsair SP120

Antronman
Level 10
Great looking system, although the blue/red lighting clashes a bit. The Enthoo Primo is by far though, the best case for watercooling I have seen (next to the Caselabs STH10). Great cable management though, and XSPC has some great cooling products. Enjoy the rig.
Say hi to the next generation.

Peace is a lie, there is only Passion

Through passion, I gain strength

Through strength, I gain victory

Through victory, my chains are broken

The Republic of Gamers shall free me

Antronman wrote:
Great looking system, although the blue/red lighting clashes a bit. The Enthoo Primo is by far though, the best case for watercooling I have seen (next to the Caselabs STH10). Great cable management though, and XSPC has some great cooling products. Enjoy the rig.


Thanks 🙂 The colors in the pictures aren't very accurate, that "blue" light is actually a very soft ultraviolet glow. It doesn't clash in real life like it does in the pictures. In person, what stands out is the dark red LED accents and the white fans set off by the uv light, all washed in a soft 'black light' glow. The tubing is a little more orange-ish than I'd like, but I've grown to live with it. Next time I'll do clear rigid acrylic with blood red pastel coolant to avoid the orange effect that "uv red" tubing gives.

The shot below is about as close to accurate as I can capture - the camera likes to turn the reds orange and the whites blue, but this one is closer to the real colors....

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Asus RIVBE • i7 4930K @ 4.7ghz • 8gb Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133 CL8
2xSLI EVGA GTX 770 SC • Creative X-Fi Titanium • 2x 840 SSD + 1TB Seagate Hybrid
EVGA Supernova 1300W• Asus VG278H & nVidia 3d Vision
Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/ custom watercooling:
XSPC Raystorm (cpu & gpu), XSPC Photon 170, Swiftech D5 vario
Alphacool Monsta 360mm +6x NB e-loop, XT45 360mm +6x Corsair SP120

Arne_Saknussemm
Level 40
I love it...that's a great watercooling case...and a real nice build in it! And a great build log... How's performance? You run any benchmarks yet? 🙂

Arne Saknussemm wrote:
I love it...that's a great watercooling case...and a real nice build in it! And a great build log... How's performance? You run any benchmarks yet? 🙂


Performance is amazing. There are 16 fans in there, but I have them all connected to PWM controllers with a custom curve profile, so it's practically silent during normal everyday use (fans around 600rpm), whisper quiet during gaming (~1000rpm), and just slightly louder than an industrial vacuum at max load (~2400rpm). 😉

My core idles around 27c, gpu's idle around 29c.

In gaming, my core hovers around 35-40c depending on the game, gpu's never top 45c. I can push them to 55c with Furmark, but nothing short of that makes them break a sweat.

Benchmarking at 4.6ghz (1.31v), load maxed with Prime95 or IBT my 4930K tops out around 60c.

At 4.7ghz (1.42v), it tops out around 70c. In this scenario, though, fan speed doesnt seem to have much effect. I'm thinking this means either they're already pushing as much air as they can get, or my flow rate is a little on the high side. I've been meaning to dial my pump back to level 1 and see how that affects max load temps in benchmarking. I suspect my loop may actually be so efficient I'd benefit from letting the flow move a little slower.

Mostly what I'm pleased with is how efficiently it stays cool during gaming, even in the most demanding games on ultra settings. Crysis 3 runs cool as a cucumber at max settings without my fans having to ramp past 800rpm. It's actually quieter during gaming than my roommates iMac when he's web browsing. lol

Gonna try to get some benchmarks documented tomorrow. I did a RealBench run a few weeks ago that woulda put me at #7 on the leaderboard, but couldn't get the results to upload, then just never got around to doing it again after I figured out how. TBD.....

Thanks Arne, you were a HUGE help throughout this project, I'm pleased that you like how it turned out. 🙂
Asus RIVBE • i7 4930K @ 4.7ghz • 8gb Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133 CL8
2xSLI EVGA GTX 770 SC • Creative X-Fi Titanium • 2x 840 SSD + 1TB Seagate Hybrid
EVGA Supernova 1300W• Asus VG278H & nVidia 3d Vision
Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/ custom watercooling:
XSPC Raystorm (cpu & gpu), XSPC Photon 170, Swiftech D5 vario
Alphacool Monsta 360mm +6x NB e-loop, XT45 360mm +6x Corsair SP120

Arne_Saknussemm
Level 40
Oooo, now I like it more...excellent temps! 4.7 on IB-E is like 5.0 on SB-E so should be giving great performance. RB final release is coming shortly...save some benching time for that 😉

The help? you're welcome...typing is easy... you had to build it and it's a cracker...enjoy it! Look forward to the results!

deblow
Level 9
That looks great in the dark, very nice colors used in the build :cool:

Antronman
Level 10
Don't you love the XSPC products? EK is great too, but XSPC just has this organic/Sci-Fi look.
Say hi to the next generation.

Peace is a lie, there is only Passion

Through passion, I gain strength

Through strength, I gain victory

Through victory, my chains are broken

The Republic of Gamers shall free me

chrisnyc75
Level 12
Yeah, I'm pretty happy with the XSPC blocks. I like that the glowing acetal peeks out at the edges - it allows for a nice highlighted glow without being full-on LED tacky. Even with all the lights in the room off, my system just emits a soft glow. It's not so "in your face". And they perform incredibly well considering the price of XSPC blocks (cpu, at least) are among the lowest on the market.
Asus RIVBE • i7 4930K @ 4.7ghz • 8gb Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133 CL8
2xSLI EVGA GTX 770 SC • Creative X-Fi Titanium • 2x 840 SSD + 1TB Seagate Hybrid
EVGA Supernova 1300W• Asus VG278H & nVidia 3d Vision
Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/ custom watercooling:
XSPC Raystorm (cpu & gpu), XSPC Photon 170, Swiftech D5 vario
Alphacool Monsta 360mm +6x NB e-loop, XT45 360mm +6x Corsair SP120