Description

Watercooled Lightroom / Blackmagic Davinci / gaming rig, built from March 2018 to November 2018 (started as aircooled but it quickly became apparent that I wouldn't be able to achieve the noise levels and performance I wanted without liquid cooling)

I wanted this build to be quiet at all loads. Only the 2x140mm fans run most of the time (280mm rad is in the front of the case) - at idle they sit at around 600rpm. 360mm rad is in the top of the case, running push pull. All these fans are temp controlled based on coolant temp, and stay off until coolant reaches 36C. Even under full "power virus" loads on both CPU and GPU (Prime 95 / Furmark) coolant temps never go above 40.

Dedicated fan over the CPU power delivery, has a fan curve running off temp probes attached to the VRM heatsinks. Spins up to around 1200rpm under extreme loads, but normally won't exceed 800rpm. Yep it looks a bit funky but it's held in securely with a cable tie and stops the VRM cooking itself.

My 8700k is a half decent overclocker, reaches 5G on all cores at about 1.32V. Draws about 140W under these conditions. Had to use a -3 AVX offset as otherwise it just gets too hot under AVX loads.

Haven't touched the 1080Ti speeds - it already GPU boosts pretty well, at idle temps are maybe 5C over ambient, even under heavy load I rarely see much above 45C (hooray for direct die cooling).

D5 pump is a vario set to ~2800rpm. Near silent at these speeds when sat on isolating sponge. Loop is set up to minimise tubing, coil springs used to prevent kinking. Automotive style hose clamps and barbs used to ensure leak tight. Clear AquaComputer Double Protect coolant which remains crystal clear a year later - aim is for maximum long term reliability. Hence no PVC tubing, rather the Tygon Norprene. Highly recommend this stuff if you don't need it to "look nice" but you want it to last.

Part Reviews

Motherboard

So far this has been a really solid board. All the features you'd want, nothing really giddy (I've switched off the onboard RGB LEDs). Overclocks well. Decent UEFI. Hopefully it will have a long lifespan.

Case

I got this case on sale for £55, but even at "normal" price it's a cracker, if you want to focus on watercooling (not lots of 3.5" storage, or RGB lights). Dust filters where you need them. Easy to work on.

If I'm being picky, the captive thumbscrews are quite hard to engage when putting the side panels back on, and if I were in and out of the system frequently it would annoy me more. But for a system that you build and then use (rather than tinker with) it comes highly recommended from me.

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Comments

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

Function is way ahead of form here & that's refreshing. The RGB Kool-Aid plumbing bubble can't last forever, being a literal expression of decadence. This looks like you could do a Utilitarian Cooling System Guide, which I would be checking out.