This build is a little old, but still my main rig. This rig originally came into life on an ASROCK Z77 Extreme4 board, with 32gigs of Corsair 1600 ram and duel GTX570's. When my son was born, my wife thought it would be a good idea to have a project that I could work on with my infant son by my side. She suggested I start working on a "watercooled" system I'd been talking about for a while. Little did she know that this project would wind up being a much bigger project and is still a focus for my son and I today.
The system itself is pretty straight forward. I went with twin Tri-X 290's over the 290x's due to a higher overclock capability at a much lower cost (and I did get a great pair of cards), downgraded memory size to 16gigs but upped the speed to DDR3-2400. After many, many hours of working with the ASROCK board I decided that it wasn't capable of achieving the overclocking numbers I wanted to hit (5.0ghz+) and moved to the ASUS Sabertooth Z77 board. I'm glad I did, and I was lucky to get the board brand new from someone who bought the wrong socket version.
With all the parts now in the case, I went about designing my water cool system. This wasn't my first, second, or third build with water cooling but I decided to do something a bit different. I have always loved Swift Tech CPU blocks so I stayed with them and decided to go with a local favorite, Koolance, on the GPU water blocks (while adding a couple of custom back plates by HEATKILLER). In the past I've always used standard tubing, but I really loved the look of acrylic tubing in some of the higher end rigs I'd been looking at and decided to give it a try. It's not as easy as it looks. If you've never worked with heat, acrylic, or working with very hot objects this is a HUGE challenge. I went through 5 4ft long acrylic pieces to get what you all see in the pictures. I also decided on going with a duel rad setup as I was cooling two video cards that are hot at normal clocks, and a pretty beefy i7. I also knew I was going to need the leg room to cool both 290's overclocked AND the i7 overclocked. To power the whole thing I went with a Koolance 450s Pump and a 12v/24v switch pump controller.
With a lot of cable management, and piping management I completed the setup and went on to achieve a 24h stable 5ghz oc on the 3770k and a decent 15% - 18% all around OC on the video cards running the pump 24v @ 5gal/min. Through all this I realized I made a few minor mistakes (using to small a 2x120mm rad and keeping both rads in line instead of distributing: CPU, rad, GPU's, RAD, resevoir, CPU), and came to the decision I really want to redo the acrylic tubing.
Over time I added a few cosmetic tweaks to the Corsair 600t case. I use the two 200mm fans that came with the case in a push/pull set up with the Phobya 200mm Rad, and I cut out the top of the case to "bury" the 3x120 rad. And to finish it all up I put in a couple red cathodes and did a custom Imperial Logo on the Case Acrylic.
I loved this build and doubt I will ever get rid or fully dismantle it, and my wife was so enamored with the build she went on to build her own computer (first time builder!).
EDIT: I would like to add that my wife has been nothing but supportive for all my computer builds. She finds it a fascinating hobby and one she is happy to be apart of. This specific build was urged on by my wife as a way to keep a part of my old self as I began the journey as a new father (a life changing experience). It served as both stress relief and a way to incorporate my interests at home with my baby boy and it grew from there. What my wife didn't expect (and hence the title) was the amount of time my son and I (well mainly me with my son on my lap, or on my back, or sleeping among scattered computer parts) would invest over the following year and a half. Anyone who is a new mother/father understands the need to have something to focus on, even if it's only for a few minutes a day, to help with the transition into parent hood. My wife fully understood this and understood who I am and because of this my system was built I have some amazing wonderful memories of the first year of my sons life and many more to come. My wife and family are totally bitchen!