Intro: It's been around 6 years since I have had the desire to build a new PC. The itch has always been there with window shopping, saved lists, etc. but other priorities would always take precedent with my larger family. Married, 5 kids... you can imagine how nuts it might be. So building a new machine kept being pushed down the honey do or to do list at the home. New PC or new patio? That crap. :)
Coming from an Intel 4690k with an EVGA GTX 1070 Black card. Original was the Strix 970 but upgraded about a year ago when prices were low post mining era. The previous rig was built in a Fractal Node 804 mITX case that will now be used as my Plex/Nas server and for the rest of the fam. It still can game and has a 240hz Alienware Gsync monitor which I am impressed with still. Here's to raising the future generation of gamers!! :D
I am an avid gamer to this day even at 35 and still compete at some of the highest levels in CS:GO and wanted a new PC where it would A: be challenging and B: future proof C: still look good D: make use of my 240hz monitor without sacrificing too much color fidelity of typical TN panels.
I thought about going the Ncase M1 route or even a Sliger (trust me I have done a TON of research on cases) and a lot of my friends highly suggested it, but since this was my first foray into a custom loop, it made more sense to me to have a more open chassis with some room for error if needed. Plus, saving a few $100 or so gave me more room for upgrades like the PowerColor Liquid Devil 5700xt.
Why: I am totally open to feedback and ultimately people will still be saying.. WHY this part, or WHY that one? Answer? Who knows, because I struggled going back and forth between b450, x470 and x570 boards FOREVER. Ultimately stuck with the ROG x570i Gaming - future proof and PCIE 4.0 is crazy fast and the liquid devil card supported 4.0 for future updates, etc. The Ryzen 3600 is overclocked to 4.2ghz and outperforming the 3600x (Thanks Gamer Nexus) which saves me some cash.
Why the most expensive 5700XT out there? The Liquid Devil is GORGEOUS. It's cherry picked and binned for insane clock speeds and the custom EK block on it is easily worth the added cost. I went back and forth between this and a Zotac 2070 super mini, but had a hard time finding a block/backplate for it that I know would fit. Besides the 2070 is $499 and adding a block brings the price to over $650 so I felt having a binned card + pre-installed quality waterblock and backplate was worth the added costs for it. It outperformed the 2070 super in most tests that I have ran.
The other why around the Thermaltake C240 kit - came with a TON of components and fittings and at $280 vs. what I specced out from bitspower, etc. could have costs in the $400+ range so I took a gamble. Challenges did come though... more on that in the next section.
Challenges: Didn't do enough research on tube I/D O/D sizes and realize now, IT SUCKS having 1/2 thick tubing trying to make bends in an albeit large itx case but with little room to make it happen. UGH. Also - because of the size of the h210i - the Corsair SF750 24 pin and CPU pin cables are TOO SHORT! I had to get some random atx extension cable for the CPU and modify it because it wouldn't fit with some plastic on top, glad it worked and appreciate my dremmel. :)
As you can see from the pictures - I ran tubing in front of the white divider bar instead of behind it. There just isn't much give in the bends so I had to cut out a square in the bar and bend the tubing around it to connect to my CPU block. Extender fittings were a must on the CPU block just to get around the RAM, but might not be needed if tubing is more flexible.
The included ddc pump from the Thermaltake kit is just too big and has the In/Out ports in an awkward place, so there goes more money to a pump that would work! Luckily EKWB had a sale on this EK-XRes 100 ddc PWM pump for $80. I didn't think it was working at first because of how quiet it is, but love this little guy! The brackets you can buy are also a must or a side mount might do the trick with different tubing.
Closing thoughts: This definitely was a challenge just knowing which fittings to buy, which angles, etc. Everything fits, no leaks, solid temps of the GPU in the low 30's and the CPU in the high 30's sometimes low to mid 40's but I guess that's a Ryzen thing... I am going to add 2 things soon: 1. A 120MM Rad in the back exhaust and a 5inch IPS panel in the front where the SSD tray is. Other than that, It's heavy, it's fast and I love how it turned out.