Description

This is my personal gaming computer. Packed with great hardware and a custom water loop, in a small foot print case. I've been wanting to build a new personal machine for a really long time. And now I'm at the point where I can finally do it. I have a huge passion for building computers, and I hope you appreciate the time and effort that went into this build. I'll highlight a few things here with more details in the part descriptions.

The SSDs are setup in a Raid 0 for a total of 500GB. The HDDs are setup in Raid 1 partitioned into 2 500GB partitions. One for extra storage, and one for a direct back up of the raid 0 config.

The custom loop has a drain valve as well as a fill port. This makes it very easy to work with the loop. A lot of time and planning goes into making a custom loop. Working with tight tolerances can make things a bit tricky. Its very important to check every dimension of a piece of hardware. I had to order a new 120mm radiator for the rear because the first one was too wide! Forgot to take in to consideration the side panel clearances.

Another fun tip, when working with small builds. Try to assemble what you can outside of the case. I pre-installed most of my motherboard components, minus the GPU. In some cases, when you have to deal with cumbersome CPU brackets, its best to do it outside of the case where you can control the surface more easily and have more room to tighten things down. Keep in mind this may not always be the best solution if you are working around a large cooler. As for my front radiator, I pre-installed the pump mount, pump bracket, pump, res, fittings, and the first tube from the outlet of the pump to the inlet of the radiator. Then I slid it all in at one and secured the Rad from the front of the case. Made my life much much easier!

The i7 4790k has been OC to 4.8GHz with an idle temp of 32C with fans on lowest setting. 25C on highest setting. And it has a load temp of 41C on high fan settings.

GPU: 980 is OC to 1500MHz and runs at 28C on idle, 40C on load.

All the cables in this case have been sleeved and cut to length for the best possible cable management.

There has been a lot of discussion in the comments about water cooling, so feel free to read through them. If you have another question, feel free to ask, I'd love to help in anyway I can. The least I can do to give back to this awesome community.

Part Reviews

CPU

This thing is a power house. I was easily able to OC this thing to 4.8GHz stable. I managed to make it to 5GHz but it was causing issues with the GTX 980, not sure why but I didn't mind backing down the clock a little bit. For the price range this is a fantastic CPU, unless you just have money coming out of your ears or you just have to have the new x99 chipset, grab this guy. Especially if you live near a MicroCenter. I picked this up for $279.

Motherboard

I went with this board for two reasons.

1) It was build with super high rated capacitors and heat tolerant components that will increase its life time 100 fold. (ASUS is known for their reliability, I have an ASUS ROG from 2006 that is still kicking ***)

2) Its aesthetics. Man this thing looks clean with its thermal armor. I really wish that ASUS would come out with thermal armor upgrades for all of their boards.

Things to note: this would not have been my first choice board. I'm not a big fan of the camo theme, but luckily most of that gets covered up in my build anyways. I like the maximums series but red did not work for this build. Also this board is a little more difficult to OC the RAM, it was very easy to do with the asus z97 pro + wifi (the board I bought at first) Also the AI suite was a little better with the z97 pro as well. But overall the board functions fantastically. You can't go wrong and its a very good price.

Memory

These are great sticks. They overclock super easy with XMP profiles. You can easily push them up to the 2400 range. And for much less than the other high profile memory like corsair dominator. (not a knock on those, I probably would of went with them had I not already bought the CBEs)

Storage

Samsung makes great SSDs. I havn't been running them that long, but so far they handle raid 0 like a pro. No crashes yet (knock on wood).

I don't have much to compare them against so anything I really have to say is probably biased. I'm building a few other machines with Intel and crucial SSDs. So hopefully I'll learn more and update this review.

Storage

Low power, fast, reliable. Pretty much the MO of western digital. Cant go wrong for storage and backup use. Just don't pack them in to tight unless you have sufficient cooling. No HDD likes heat. If you are putting more than two of these close together, I'd recommend the WD Reds (designed for NAS environments)

Video Card

I love this card. Before I had the custom loop, this thing was sexy and quiet. The zero DB feature is great for anyone looking to make a quiet build. And the fan profiles ramp up so they arnt always 100%. This 980 does the job for almost every game you throw at it, with high settings. As long as you arnt shooting for 4K, you can run everything on max settings. I was getting 70FPS for GTAV maxed. Res was at 1920 x 1200. Oh yeah, throw in the reliability of Asus and one of the best price ranges for cards in this class. Its a no brainer.

Case

I love and hate this case. I love it for its simplicity, aesthetics, and seemingly solid construction. However, with a case in this price range not every thing is going to be perfect. Keep in mind this is definitely on the smaller end of mid tower cases.

Pros: Cost, design, construction, basement, cable management (read more below for pros)

The PSU shroud/basement is great. (This needs to be a feature on so many more cases) If you are doing custom length cables, you really need to plan ahead and plug as you go (this is going off using a fully modular psu) It can be really tight to try and get your fingers in there to plug the cables in. The PSU is attached to a removable back plate which is very nice feature when building, allows you some extra room to plug in the cables)

It comes with a 3.5" drive cage in the basement. It can hold two in the cage and one mounted directly below it attached by screwing from the bottom of the case. (no rubber or vibration dampening, :( ... I know its only a $70 case) With a little work you can remove the cage all together, if you don't need 3.5" drives. This would give you all the room you could need for the PSU problems mentioned above. Also note, that there is a place to mount two SSDs on top of the PSU cover. Who doesn't want to show those off??

I'm amazed how how easy it was to manage the cables in the case. For being as small as it is and with very little clearance on the back side, its great. They solved this issue by using this cable management bar that protrudes into the case. This allows you to pass cables back and forth seamlessly. Thinner at the bottom and wider at the top to allow for those bulky 24 pin connectors. Really is a great design.

Cons: Finish, window, door clearance, no 5.25" bays (this isnt a con for me but you should know it doesnt have any.

Ok again this is a $70 dollar case so I can't really complain that much. The finish on this case is super easy to scratch. I mean a fart and a dust particle could scratch it. However, there is a simple solution to fix this. Get some high grade car wax and put multiple coats on, at least 3. Takes a little time but it makes it super easy to wipe off finger prints with the high gloss finish (exterior). The entire is a nice flat black, very sleek.

The window is also easy to scratch, same solution as the exterior finish. Put some wax on it first thing. And you'll be good to go.

This is probably my biggest problem with the case. And only because of how I configured it. Like I said its a small case, but after I put in the rear 120mm Radiator, I couldn't put the panel back on because of the window hardware on the back side of the panel. I'm talking 1 to 2mm of clearance is all I would of needed. I ended up take a dremel and sanding down the acrylic to get the clearance I needed.

Other thoughts: Case comes with a magnetic front air filter, nice quality. The bottom psu fan filter is lacking for sure. Again back to that $70. Its just a cheap plastic filter that fits into some grooves. However, it serves its purpose.

It has nice tall feet to allow the PSU to breath, even on carpet (good thinking NZXT).

Top exhaust grill will allow for either a 120 or 140mm fan. Rear case, supports only 120mm. Front will support both 120 and 140mm (2 slots).

I would really like to see NZXT expand on this case for a future product. I would like to see a more expensive case so that it could include the following: 1) Rubber mounting system for the 3.5" bays in the basement. 2) A rail to slide the 3.5" bays in and out. (make it easier for those who do not need it) 3) Higher quality, less scratch resistant finish 4) Better bottom psu filter (framed) 5) at least 2mm of width added so that the panel window wont contact a rear mounted radiator.

Power Supply

This is a great power supply. 80-plus gold certified. This thing is pretty quiet, even under load. No complaints, good price, good quality. Solid buying decision.

Case Fan

These things are quiet! Definitely recommend the low DB versions. Unless you don't care about sound. Even with their low DB, (lower RPM) they provide plenty of performance and cooling. And the different colored rings are great for any theme build.

Comments

  • 49 months ago
  • 3 points

I wasn't aware milk made a good coolant! +1 :D

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Haha, the coolant is Mayhems Pastel - Ice White. The color is achieved by using nano particles rather than dye. So there won't be any buildup in the blocks.

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Well at that point it is essentially just cheese right?!

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I want whatever you're taking, it must be pretty damn great :P

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  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks good. Glad you are using the short tubing runs for max efficency (Or however you spell it)

TCO

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! This is my first custom loop, so I wanted to have some flexibility by using soft tubing. I originally wanted to do hardline tubing, so I used the fittings to try and get the cleanest lines possible. But after using the soft tubing, I fell in love with the curves it creates. With everything else being so 90 degree and strait, the curves are a natural complement to the build.

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

custom full water cooled system inside that small case and looks so clean!. WOW

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Damn. This build is off the chain m8. Normally don't talk like this. Clean and aesthetically pleasing with the black and white colour scheme. Not a Suprise to see Jipster here again. He's like a freaking comment wizard who magically appears in the comments on every featured build. Aside from that +1 from me XD.

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

When I win the powerball, may I buy this computer from you?

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha! I'd be happy to build one for you! And note that you don't have to go super high end on all of the components. You can still achieve this build with less hardware and water cooling parts. Start with one rad, cpu block, and pump. Work up to GPU and second rad. Cut the memory in half. 32GB is overkill. Unless you just really really love google chrome! Start with one SSD and one HDD. Go with a 970 instead of a 980. You could get this build down quite a bit in price. I was going for max performance for the best dollar. I've seen people spend twice as much for almost the same performance.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

It is nice knowing there is people out there who will build stuff for others. I think Ill experiment on my own though. For my next build, is there a good site on "watercooling for noobs" the more advanced water cooling beyond your AIO's?

  • 49 months ago
  • 3 points

There really isn't a great one place source for water cooling. The hardest part is planning the loop and figuring out the right fittings that you need to achieve a clean design. For me this was trial and error which resulted in me ordering a few extra fittings (extra 90 and 45 degrees, extensions, etc) Not everything works out on paper, and once you start putting it together, you'll understand!

A couple of things for you to get started. This online retailer is the best one I've found yet for PC parts, especially water cooling. http://www.performance-pcs.com/ Their shipping and processing is very fast. And they have really good customer service. They have literally everything you could need. I would also look at https://shop.ekwb.com/. EK makes great waterblocks.

Also utilize YouTube. Watch some water cooling build logs so you can learn things not to do and common mistakes with water cooling.

A couple things to keep in mind:

1) Have at least one fan of radiator space per component. This is the absolute minimum. If you can add another spot, like in my build, the better. For GPU CPU combos I would recommend at least 3 spots.

2) Thickness of radiator is not as important as having longer radiators to fit more fans. Thicker rads only improve the delta(the inflow and outflow temperature difference) a little bit. If you have room for them great, if not don't worry about it.

3) Position of components in the loop does not matter. The reason being is that the fluid is traveling at a speed in which the temperature exchange between collecting heat and expelling it through the rads is very negligible. The only position that matters is that the reservoir is before the pump and that it can gravity feed into the pump. The last thing you want is for your pump to go dry. Never ever ever run the pump without fluid in the system. The pump uses the fluid to lubricate its internal parts. I would definitely recommend watching a video on youtube on filling the loop.

4) Push / Pull configs (fans on both sides of the radiator) are not always necessary. Pay close attention to the type or radiator you are buying. Radiator range in fin count (the copper ridges). Lower FPI(fins per inch) don't need large volume of air to be effective as there is plenty of room for the air to pass through the radiator. High FPI, such as 20FPI, either need push/pull or high rpm "Static Pressure" fans. Do not use "High Air-flow" fans on radiators or hard drive cages. Static pressure is designed for tight enclosures.

5) You'll probably come across several people online telling you that doing top and front intake is bad as you'll be pushing warm air into the case. And with the exhaust, they will say heat rises which is true. However, a dust free environment is much more beneficial than a small difference in thermal dynamics. As long has your top rear exhaust is an high airflow fan, it will work very well for expelling heat build up in the case. So I definitely recommend that you have more intake than exhaust fans. Hot air will also be pushed OUT and of the small cracks in the case.

6) Always flush your water cooling components with distilled water before you install them. A lot of radiators will ship with small metal particles inside the loop. Pour some water in them, shake it like a salt shaker, pour out the water, rinse and repeat.

7) Avoid dye based coolants. Distilled water with some sort of kill coil or anti corrosive additive is the best way to go. Or if you want to spend a few extra bucks, I recommend the Mayhem fluids. They are safe for your components.

8) Always error on the side of caution when dealing with fluid in your system. Stuff paper towels under your fittings as you fill the loop. Constantly checking for leaks. If it doesn't leak within the first 20 minutes. Chances are high that it wont leak. TAKE YOUR TIME. Control fill the res, I suggest using a cooking syringe, better control.

Anyways sorry for the long post but that should help you get started. Feel free to email me if you have more questions during your process. I'd be happen to lend my expertise. bmccarthy at mellowmedia dot net

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

This is helpful. Thank you.

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Amazing build! One of the best looking I've seen! +1

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

dam! this build is sexy! i think we might be looking at the next feautered build!

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

What are those awesome cables?!

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

They are sleeved in paracord using a heat shrinkless method. Basically you melt the paracord around the atx pin eliminating the need for heat shrink. Then I feed those cables through a 3D printed cable comb.

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

My god that is sexy.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! You are like the third person to comment that has done a build with the NZXT s340. How weird is that?

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

S340MasterRace?

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha goes to show how good of a case it is.

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

A custom loop in an S340. Now there's something you don't see every day. +1

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha indeed! I'm pretty sure they designed the case for an AIO cooler.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Well they do advertise support for their flagship Kraken X61 in the front of the case and both stock fans come configured for exhaust, so things would seem to point in that direction.

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Very, very nice! Good job!!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

+1

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Amazing build and so lovely! Yet that OCool blue logo kinda stands out... Back to the main point, it's a beautiful build and has a lovely black and white scheme! +1

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Couldn't agree with you more. I actually ended up refinishing the entire radiator to match the front rad. I've added the final pictures to the end. (last 9 images)

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, you have done a fantastic job. It shows on your build, greatly. And I love more photos! :D

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Threw in some build log photos!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Eeee! Why thank you so much! I love that kind of stuff~ So excited!

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Posted some new high res, natural light photos for your viewing pleasure!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

dayum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Hope you can put some PETG in there one day

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build, however I'd question your decision to go with a 980 for $480 while you could have spent a little more to get a 980 ti which is the best bang for your buck.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

The 980 ti wasn't available at the time I bought the 980. Otherwise I most definitely would of spent the few extra bucks :(

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but why is pic # 17 upside down?

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Idk its not like that on my computer. I'll try adjusting the photo in photoshop and re-upload it.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

fixed!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Yooo, this build is fresh! +1 I plan on doing the same thing with my build with two SSDs in raid 0. Could you help me understand how that process works with installing the OS.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

You bet. It all depends on your controller. If you have a mobo that has a built in raid controller like the z97 chipset, it is super easy.

All you have to do is go into the bios and enable the controller, (sometimes its enabled on default) then when you reboot the computer, instead of loading the bios, you load the controller. For asus boards its Cntrl + I (eye). This will bring up a screen that will allow you to pick the drives you want to setup, which raid config you want, and the striping size (I recommend 64Kb stripe) Once you create the Raid drive, it will look to the system (any os installer) as a single drive. And you would install the OS like you would on any other drive.

I would recommend getting a backup drive of some sort to backup your Raid 0 (scary raid), as if one of your drives fails, you will have lost everything, with no chance of recovering. That's why in my build I have a raid 1 backup.

If your mobo doesnt have a raid controller, you can buy a raid controller. Once installed you should be able to boot to the controller much in the way you would do with an on board controller.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you so much for this detailed response! Let's say I've got 2X 256GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD's in raid 0 = 512GB in raid 0. If I get a lower end drive like a seagate 1TB HDD and put that in raid 1 for the backup. It would still work perfectly fine?

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

It sure would. Doesn't really matter what your backup drive is. It'll be independent of your "performance" raid. Also know you'll need 2 1tb hard drive to do a raid 1. RAID 1 is a mirrored configuration. Meaning what you save will be saved to both drives.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

So two 256GB SSDs in raid 0. Then if I put two 256GB HDDs in Raid 1 it will work properly?

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Let me see if I can explain this better, because what you just described is actually a different configuration all together. A few points then I'll break down each type.

Each RAID config regardless of size or number of drives is treated as its own entity. A single drive.

In my setup, I'm using two RAID entities. Completely separate from each other. I use windows to perform backups, which include the system image(the os config essentially), to the second RAID 1 config of 2 x 1TB WD blues. I do this in the event of a failure in my RAID 0 config. A failure in RAID 0 is a total loss of data. But because windows creates backups every week or every day, however you want to set it up, I can replace the bad drive, rebuild the RAID 0 and restore windows from the system image that is backed up on my RAID 1 drives.

So this is one way of doing it. What you described above would be RAID 10. I went the route I did because its much cheaper. Is it fully redundant and protected data? No. But I store any sensitive info on the RAID 1 config, so it doesnt matter if I loose the RAID 0.

RAID 0: Best Performance, No Protection, Data is stripped across drives, Minimum of 2 drives required (must be even number of drives), disk space is combined

RAID 1: Slowest Performance, Best Protection, No stripping of data, data is mirrored, minimum of 2 drives required

RAID 5: Good Performance, Good Protection (Note: not best), data is stripped, minimum of 3 drives required, 1 drive of space is lost, this RAID can have a drive fail without loss of data, once bad drive is replaced, the raid will rebuild itself. (This is how most hot swap configs work)

RAID 10: Combination of RAID 0 and RAID 1, basically its two RAID 0 drives that are mirrored. Minimum of 4 drives required, must be same size. When reading, this config is the same performance as RAID 0. Writing takes a small hit on performance as it has to write data to all drives.

So to recap, you can do a RAID 10 with 4 identical drives, but that is expensive and you lose a ton of space. I suggest you do what I did: create a RAID 0 with the 2 X samsung 256GB SSDs, then create a RAID 1 with 2 larger capacity HDDs. This will give you space to backup the RAID 0 contents and give you extra storage for videos, music, photos, large games etc. And note, you will be installing the OS on the RAID 0 config.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Picture 21 is gorgeous. I'm trying to water cool my "Simply, Oblivion" build but I need to do my homework first. Do you have any annotations that you created in order to plan out the flow of your loop? If so, can you please share them with me so that I may properly plan out my loop?

Thanks!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

If you already have your case it will be a lot easier to figure out. Like I said above, mapping the loop is probably the hardest part.

To start, I tried drawing out as close to scale as possible on paper. Then I went into illustrator and made "blocks" if you will, to scale of the system and the various components. This helped me to visualize the space that each of the pieces would take up, from a 2D perspective. This got me close to what I thought I was going to achieve. (it was surprisingly difficult to find exact dimensions on some of this stuff) However, once you start installing, you'll more than likely come across a few situations where you wish you had a different type fitting than what you planned for.

The result of this was me buying a few extra 90 and 45 degree fittings to achieve the final look I was going for. This is ever so more difficult when you are working in a tight/small case. The bigger the case the easier it is. With more room, you have the space necessary to allow the bends to be natural to avoid kinks. In most cases, you can get away with using a strait fitting.

But if you want to have short loops you'll need to try and plan the curves. On your close to scale drawing. Try to measure out where you think the inlet and outlet ports of the various components will be. Then grab a piece of wire or tube and overlay it on your drawing to figure out the least stressful curve possible. So you can imagine, "Ok if I use a 90 degree fitting here, and a 45 degree fitting here, it'll create a smooth curve.

In any case, chances are you are not going to get it perfect your first try. I ended up having to buy another round of fittings after my initial order. No biggy, I didn't have to, but I wanted to achieve the look I was going for.

But like I said if you have your case and components first, its way easier to visualize these steps. Using the same wire/tube method on the drawing to sort of map out your runs. Taking into consideration clearances with the case, and where the fittings will come in and out of the radiator.

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

This is again, very very helpful information. Thank you for taking the time to type up a highly detailed and encouraging response. I'm sure that this is not the last time you will hear from me. ;)

Anyone know if 980 ti waterblocks are out for G1 Gaming?

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I was fortunate enough to get to meet the CEO from EK at Quakecon this past July. I know that the Titan X waterblock fits any card that follows the reference design. But I just shot them an email to see what their time tables are on releasing the ti models, including the matching back plates with the stamped 980 ti.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh heck yes! Hookups!! Please please please keep me informed!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey! I just heard back from EK. They've been busy touring in the US. Here's the scoop.

Both the Gigabyte G1 and MSI Gaming 6G water blocks will be able to buy this coming Monday (9/14/15)! They will also be selling nickel and classic black anodized backplates.

More none reference design blocks to follow.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Yay for the black and white build!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful build man. One thing though, I think you would have been better off rolling with 8GB ram for now and using that money you could have gotten a 980 ti rather than a 980.

Just my opinion, doesnt take away from the build whatsoever. +1

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Trust me, if the ti's were available the time I made my purchase I would have. And even now, water blocks for the 980 ti are slowly hitting the market place. Really the only good ones out there are really just Titan X blocks and they only work on reference designed cards. Once the water blocks become available I'll probably upgrade to the 980 ti and try and sell my 980 strix with the waterblock. So we'll see how that goes!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I need to change my pants after this...

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Super neat +1

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

So i have a quick question. What is the button on the top do? I honestly cant figure it out, but im assuiming its for either LEDs or something with the liquid cooling. either way, +1 for me. This is something i plan on doing with my build eventually. its going to be fun with the loop. gotta get all my stuff in blue and white though ;).

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

If you are referring to the EK "button" looking thing. Its actually the fill port for the loop. That is a cap that screws off to allow me to fill the loop without having to open up the case.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

ah ok, did not think of that. thanks for the info :P

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Great Build! You should get something like the ikea signum to mange all your cables under your desk :D

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, I actually had those all nice and neat, but I recently went to Quakecon and had to undo it all. Been a little lazy I suppose to put it all back.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Hiya! I just sent the private message to you :)

Thanks

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, that's an awesome build. Very nice attention to details, and that's what I'm hoping to learn in the future. I'd like to ask a couple of things, if you'd like to spend a bit of time to explain.

1) I understand your cables are custom sleeved, how exactly do I learn to do that? 2) Say I'd like to watercool, but I'm on a tight budget so I don't have a watercool-friendly case so I'd need to get creative. What would happen if the reservoir wouldn't be the highest point in the loop, when filling it? I can't wrap my mind around how can you fill the entire loop in that case. 3) Did you actually drill a hole on top of the case to fill the loop or was it already there? Do you think it would be possible to drill a hole in a very precise spot, for instance if I wanted to use a 5.25 inch bay reservoir and line the top filling hole with a hole I'd make on the case?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Sure I'd be happy to!

1) There are so many videos on youtube that help explain how to do this. The most important tools you need are a good stripper and crimper. I highly recommend the following tools:

The cutters are not a must, but it helps a lot to have a very clean cut on the paracord sleeving. And the pin extractors will make your life easier. As far as learning, PCPP has a great video on this already, one of the better ones I've seen yet.

Custom Cable Sleeving - Part 1 - Extensions

Note this video is for making extensions. This will most likely be the route you take as you do not have a fully modular power supply. However, you can sleeve your existing PSU cables all the way to the power supply. You'll have to use heat shrink on the end towards the PSU, as the sleeve material will be too thick to pass through the PSU plate. But it will still look bad ***. All you would need is sleeving material. Use the pin extractors listed above to remove the pins one by one and sleeve them as you go so you don't have to worry about getting the pins mixed up.

2) The reservoir doesn't need to be the highest element in the loop, It just needs to be above the pump. The pump will be able to circulate the liquid anywhere else, but that pump can never run dry, which is why you need to have the Res above it. Looking at your case there is plenty of room to put a pump/res combo unit under your GPU. Something like this: EK-XRES 100

3)Yes, I drilled the hole in the top of the case. I wanted to be able to top off the loop without having to open up the case. Note that I did not have to do this, you could just as easily have a fitting and length of hose that you attach to fill the loop. Yes it would be possible to drill a precise hole. However, most bay reservoirs easily slide out to access the fill port.

Let me know if you'd like more information on planning your loop. I'd be happy to walk you through what you would need.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the answers! I think I should've been a bit more precise on #2 though, about what I don't understand. Think about this: let's say I put a pump-res combo under the gpu as you said, maybe next to the psu where the fan mounting is. When I start to fill the loop, there will be a point at which the liquid will get to the highest point in the loop. After that, it will just flush down until it gets in the reservoir again, am I right? If you fill the reservoir a bit more and you don't close it, liquid pressure will push it off the top of the reservoir, if the pump is shut off, right? If that's so, I don't get how can you fill the remaining part of the loop, besides keeping the pump running and adding liquid until it seems full, and then sealing the reservoir, which seems not really a "solid" method to me.

Oh, and about #3, if I plan to slide a bay reservoir out to fill the loop I'd need to plan a bit of extra tubing attached to it, right?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

2) Oh I see what you are saying. Once you cycle the liquid in the Res till it is almost empty, it will not fill backup. The pump's impeller will prevent the fluid from filling up the reservoir again. So all you'll have to do is keep cycling the pump on/off until the pump can run continuously without running out of fluid. Depending on the size of the Res, it could take a little longer to fill the loop.

3) yeah just a little bit. Most pay res fill ports are right near the front. And most soft tube loops have a little slack in them. In the tube runs that go to and from the bay res, couldn't hurt to give it an extra inch. (thats what she said) :p. Personally I'm not a big fan of bay reservoirs, but if you don't have the space for another type then it'll be fine.

As far as procedure of filling the loop, I highly recommend watching some youtube videos on how to properly do it without risking damage to your system. I use an extra power supply to power the pump during filling, so that it's the only thing running. So if you have a spill, you can clean it up without it shorting out your components. I'll see if I can do a full formal write up in the PCPP forums about Do's and Don'ts and basic procedures.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful build.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Going through your photos, I'm impressed at your build. You obviously put time and effort into getting things just right.

I'm especially taken by your cable management. I recently did a build with the same case and thought I did all right with wrangling the cables, but your setup stands apart :) Now I want to re-do mine!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the kind compliment. I put a lot of time into the cable management. I had the benefit of having custom length cables which makes it much easier to cleanly route the cables. If you have some time and a few bucks to spend on a couple cable sleeving tools, it's definitely worth it!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, looks amazing. You packed that smaller end case with parts beautifully, I have similar hardware and the same case... just not a custom loop which I would LOVE to do. +1

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Your build looks pretty damn clean as well. If you ever want to get into a custom loop let me know, I'd be happy to help you figure it all out.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Really nice build, too bad i can't stand the orange peel.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Orange peel?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

yeah, the paint on the s340 is kind of bad, it's not smooth and it looks like orange peel. Nervertheless, great build!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I see what you're saying. Yeah, I wasn't expecting much on the finish for only spending $60 on the case! The finish is very prone to scratches. I rectified this by applying high end car wax to the glossy finish. Not much I could do with the matte finish.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

You should spray paint the armor white, contrast would increase the aesthetics. Unless you're going for the subtle look. But yeah like if you're worried about painting voiding the warranty you can always just grab another armor and put it on and send it back lol. Might as well take advantage.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey Love the build, quick question, what single rad is that?

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm surprised you did this in the S340! I'm currently using one and I considered watercooling in the future when I upgrade my parts, but I just thought "eh that cable management shroud thing in the back will probably get in the way so I might as well get a different case for it."

Your build looks lovely! he black and white theme is crisp and clean looking, the soft tubing (which I usually cant get into) is very nice and contrasts well with the sharp angles of the fittings, and the sleeved cables come together to complete the build.

This build is great and definitely deserves a +1 and featured!

Edit: Daamn that thermal armor lookin sexy too!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man! The S340 is definitely a tight fit to say the least. But I made it work, even with the cable management bar which is easily removable if need be.

I'm about to upgrade to the Enthoo Evolv ATX with hardline. It's gonna be a stunner!

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

I love this build it looks so nice indeed with the asus sabertooth's armor. The clean look and it's very unique from other builds with even custom watercooling. If I had the money, I would probably make almost this exact build.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Why thank you kind sir! I'm about to upgrade to the Phanteks Evolv, it'll be a little sad to say goodbye to this one haha!

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Amazing build. Tagging for reference for all the custom loop comments. Thanks for sharing.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you think that water cooling in the s340 is worth it? I have the same case and I was just wondering.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, I mean its obviously definitely doable. And my temperatures were well within tolerable limits. It does take a little more time searching and researching components that fit. But as long as you stick with a 240x120x25mm front rad you should be fine. If you want a rear rad, then you just need to go with the skinniest possible rad in the width so that you do run into clearance issues with the door.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok thank you!

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

What size tubing and fittings are you using?

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

12mm compression and 12mm tubing from bitspower.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

I think I am ready to turn my AIO NZXT S340 build into a custom water cooling rig.

There are lots to be learn from your build.

And did I mention, what an awesome magnificent piece of a machine, 'grats!

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you kind sir! And good luck!

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

What parts are you using for your watercooling? I'm looking at buying a custom rig with custom cooling just for the CPU. Are you using pastel white? Or white tubing with clear liquid?

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

It's an alphacool 25mm thick radiator, EK D5 pump/res, EK blocks, bitspower 12mm compression fittings.

I'm using white tubing and pastel coolant.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

I saw your review of the S340 and I'm wondering what car wax you used, and can you recommend me a matte spray/coating that can prevent scratches on the case? Thank you in advance.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I think it was turtle wax or something from meguiars

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Trust me, as much time as I put into the cable management, its a shame you hardly even notice it! Haha but I guess that means it was done right.

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  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

The front is a 240x120x25mm BlackIce and the rear is a 120x120x25mm alphacool (refinished).

Temps:

CPU idle (with fans in low rpm) 32C, (high rpm) 25C CPU Load 41C

GPU load: 1500MHz and runs at 28C on idle, 40C on load

When the system is on full load the temperatures pretty much sync up between the gpu and cpu.

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I just realized I could post my finished builds on this site. So I'm new to the procedures here, but what exactly happens with a "Featured Build" ?

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Basically one is seen on PCPP's home page, displayed as the Featured Build. If you have clear, excellent (impressive) photos, they will most likely place it as a Feature Build for the day or many days. Up to the staff but it would be great to see yours on it. You would deserve it! :)

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! That would be pretty cool to see, if its deserving.

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, one of the staff members has explained it before by responding to one my past comments. I'm certain you would have done well on explaining it too! :D

I just got a little ahead of myself with this comment since I recall with smoothbit's build who was featured himself. manirelli explained as to how and possibly why.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Just posted some new high res photos to really show off the build.

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd be happy to answer any questions. I understand how daunting it is to try and get into it at first. Glad I'm able to share some insight.

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Take a look at the new images I added. (last 9)

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

That's a good idea, I have another computer on my work bench (good light). Once I'm done I'll take some high res photos. And I'll reorganize the photos in a build log type fashion.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I've uploaded some high res natural light photos. Have fun! Let me know what you think.

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  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, can't win them all. Plenty of really good system builders out there.