Today I bring a new update to my old main rig 'Shiny Charizard'. This time I have moved most of my old components into a new case and decided to go on a journey into custom water cooling. It was definately a rough ride (Due to my own fault/amateur abilities in this field) however the end result is well worth the countless hours of sweat, blood and frustration.
The parts that I have reused from my old rig is the GPU, Power Supply, A few fans and my trusty bitfenix white LED strip.
As one of my close buddies required a newer PC to replace his old Asus Laptop, I decided to donate most of my old parts (Xeon, Motherboard, RAM) so that he could get a PC capable of running his Architectural applications and Games.
Hence the shift to the newer Skylake platform for me. I decided since I was going to spend almost a fortune on the water cooling components themselves, I might as well go for the best Skylake has to offered. Hence the decision to get the I7-6700K and Asus Maximus 8 Hero Motherboard. Don't get me wrong, these components are rock solid but they do have some issues I will address later on.
The Custom Bits and Pieces
Whenever I build PC's, I always want to add that little bit of uniqueness to it whether small or big. Therefore for this build, I decided to finally custom make my own "Charizard Themed Backplate" for the GPU, Paint certain parts of the Case to fit my theme of Black/Silver and Vinyl wrap the motherboard too. (Custom PSU Shroud to cover the cables will come soon)
The backplate involved measuring and hand cutting a piece of acrylic with a saw (I have no heavy machinery) and bonding it together with the EVGA backplate preattached to the GPU. The acrylic backplate is spray painted metallic silver before using vinyl to paint the accents flat black.
The motherboard involved cutting out two triangular pieces of silver chrome vinyl and covering up the red accents on the heatsinks.
The PCIE slots, thumbscrews and feets of the case was also spray painted metallic silver followed by the addition of a small silver dragon badge to the front of the case.
NOTE: MOST OF THE HASSLE HERE WERE CAUSED BY MY OWN LACK OF DISCIPLINE AND PATIENCE.
Since there is no actual reservoir or pump mounting spots in the In Win 805 Case, I measured and hand cut a seperate acrylic piece that used the E-ATX motherboard standoff holes along with 2 other cable tie down holes to screw the piece in. This allowed me to mount the Reservoir clamps and the Reservoir itself into the case and boy is it sturdy =).
Luckily enough, the measurements were just correct to allow the GPU to fit in with literally less then 1mm to spare before touching the bottom cap of the reservoir.
The rest of the components were quite straightforward to assemble. However problems did arise when it came to tubing runs and filling the loop.
Firstly, I did not take the time to test all the components outside of the case for any faults beforehand. Secondly the tubing was extremely tight and wouldn't fit onto the barbs without immense force. However eventually the first prototype loop was done and filled with a syringe. 5-10 minutes into leak testing inside the case, tiny drops of water began to form behind the reservoir near one of the reservoir fittings.
Little did I know the reason behind this leak was due to the reservoir having little chunks of plastic preventing the O-ring from sealing with the acrylic tube and the need to screw it in a bit tighter.
This leak required me to disassemble the entire loop, causing coolant to literally leak everywhere (was not used to operating the drain valve installed on the pump top). This put me off fixing it for a couple of weeks due to work/family commitments during the xmas holidaysetc.
However as New years came, I discovered the fault of the leak to be from the reservoir, addressed the issue and leak tested the components outside for 2 days before reassembling a new loop design which you see in the pics.
However, most of these hassles were caused solely by my own doings and lack of patience.
The motherboard give off distinct coil whine noises that oscillate in tone depending on the speed of the 2 Vardar fans. I do not know what causes this noise, however I have learnt to deal with it after discovering my GPU coil whines with a high pitch noise. FIGURED OUT IT WAS THE LOW PWM SIGNAL ON THE VARDAR CAUSING THE NOISE AND NOT THE MOTHERBOARD
The little stuff
I like the XSPC Temperature sensor, it fits nicely and I can usually just glance over at it to see my fluid temps =). Removed HDD Cage below to mount in 2x120mm fan for extra airflow.
Overall this shift to Skylake and Custom Water cooling has really made me appreciate the time and effort that people put into making their PC's. Everyone has a unique taste and I will be looking forward to what others have to offer too in the future. Here is just a taste of mine.
Thanks all for reading if you got this far =)=)=)=)=)