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Yin Yang, Custom White and Black Cosmos SE Build (First Case Mod Project)

by cardcompchamp



Date Published

May 26, 2014

Date Built

May 15, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

4.4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

41.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

44.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.15 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.2 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

39.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

72.0° C


Hey everyone! I had to jump through considerable hoops to finish this build and it was more than just time management. There is a considerable backstory to this build that I thought I would share briefly.

The Backstory This build, and some of my parts originated from my original build 5 months ago outlined here: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/cardcompchamp/builds/

I chose to build in the Inwin 904 because it looked sooo good, but I literally was banging my head against the wall trying to fit everything inside the case. You can forget about cooling performance with that case too. Somehow I managed to finish the build and everything worked, until I decided to add another 780ti. I had a brand new Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution PSU rated at 850 Watts, and 900 max, so I knew it would be close but that the worst-case scenario would be a blue screen. When I put in the other card, smoke started to come from my motherboard; not a good sign. I turned the system off immediately, but the mobo was already fried. I RMA’d that board and bought another one in the meantime, not aware that my PSU was the culprit. Fried the second motherboard too. Luckily, I just returned the day old board to Amazon and got a replacement. At this point, I decided something was up with my power supply. So I decided to get a new PSU and start with a fresh system.

I bought the Cooler Master Cosmos SE and an EVGA SuperNova 1300Watt PSU so I could comfortably handle SLI and a watercooling loop with that case. I rebuilt the entire system and my system wouldn’t post. I found out the Silverstone PSU fried my CPU as well, and after completing my final build (the one I am posting about) I learned that it fried my HDD and my Optical Drive. So at the time, I had to RMA my CPU, and then I decided I would take on an ambitious project while I waited

The Pre Build My plans for the build while I waited was to paint the entire case, and make it really nice looking, as well as add a watercooling loop. I’ve never painted before, and I spent A LOT of time researching watercooling and painting.

What had to go with the case: -the all black made it look cheap and below its potential -the obnoxious blue led’s in random places

What I ended up doing: -paint the entire case pearl white -paint the motherboard armor -hand-stitch perforated faux leather onto the handles (my favorite part of the build) -build a CPU watercooling loop -replace all power leds with purple/UV leds -make a PSU cover with acrylic -fill in non painted areas with carbon fiber vinyl

The Hardware Cooler Master Cosmos SE Asus Maximus VI Formula Intel i7 4770K (2x) EVGA GTX 780ti Superclocked 256GB Samsung EVO SSD 2TB WD HDD (Dead) Asus Combo DVD/Blu-Ray Reader/Writer Drive (Dead) 16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro 1866Mhz Memory XSPC Dual Bay 750 Resevoir/Pump Combo XSPC Raystorm CPU Block XSPC EX240 Radiator (3x) Cooler Master Jetflo 120mm EVGA SuperNova 1300Watt Gold PSU EVGA Sleeved Cable Kit – White XSPC White Tubing

The Other Hardware (4x) Rustoleum Painter’s Touch White Primer (1x) Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Grey Primer (4x) Rustoleum All-in-one Pearl Mist (1x) Rustoleum All-in-one Carbon Mist (3x) Rustoleum Clear Coat DeWalt 1000W Heat Gun Black Carbon Fiber Vinyl Silver Carbon Fiber Vinyl Black Perforated Vinyl White Heavy-Duty Thread A TON of Sandpaper Dremel 20% Vinyl Tint

I have now overclocked to 4.4 Ghz, but I feel like I've received one of the less overclockable CPUs, as even at 4.4Ghz, I'm pushing 1.3 volts to run stable, which is abnormally high and makes me hesitant to OC further. Finally getting the SLI working is awesome; running Unigine Heaven Benchmark at Extreme in 1920x1080p yields 130fps!

Comments Sorted by:

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 4 points 55 months ago

Fun project, definitely not a good price/performance ratio. ^' Are you using just that single 23" monitor?

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 2 points 55 months ago

Thanks, and yeah, I've dumped a lot more than I originally had planned into my last two builds. Part of it had to be bad luck though. I had 3 of those monitors, but I sold two of them and I'm waiting to save up this summer (I'm in college) to get 2 1440p monitors with a nice vesa mount and hopefully OC them to 120hz to get the most from my GPUs

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 8 points 55 months ago

Damn, when I was in college it was miracle if I had enough money to eat every day. ^'

PacificNic 4 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

How do you like the monitors? FYI the ASUS MoBo water block is MADE OUT OF ALUMINUM!! You could very well get some corrosion because of the aluminum so either pull it out of the loop or get some anti-corroseive. Don't wanna see this baby get ruined :)

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Monitors are awesome, they look fantastic, and the colors are probably better than the IPS panel in my Retina MBPro. I also had a dell IPS and the colors weren't as good as this Asus. Speakers are great for built in monitor too (not that I use them lol) The only negative thing is there is no Vesa mount, which is why I'm thinking of getting new ones. Btw this monitor overclocks to ~75hz which looks a little smoother. I am aware of the aluminum, which is why I am using only distiller water, and a kill coil to keep the loop simple. But I'm pretty sure it's plated and has undergone testing, so there is no aluninum that actually comes in contact with the loop. Thanks for the heads up though!

PacificNic 4 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

I still wouldn't have risked it... It sucks that there aren't VESA mounts. That's kind of a turn off.

Daisyahoy 4 Builds 2 points 55 months ago

say now, thats very nice.

Itroitnyah 1 Build 2 points 55 months ago

I've heard that the Cosmos cases are pretty heavy. Can you lift it with the cooling system and components installed?

Also, your temps for the CPU may be entered wrong. It's a bit strange to say that you idle at 41C and only go up by 3C when you're under load. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most good water coolers easily keep an i7 or i5 at a 1.0Ghz overclock at 30-35C?

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 2 points 55 months ago

The normal Cosmos are really heavy, but this is a mid tower sized case, and the handle bars help with moving it, I'd say it's ~35lbs, which is lighter than the last case I used. The XSPC kit I got was more entry level since I'm restrained on budget, but at stock clocks, my temps were low 30s and never above 40C. Also, my rad placement wasn't the best for cooling, but it was good for space management; I could only get a push config, and the fans are slightly choked by the top mesh

larsG35 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

in the description it says it's probably a really unstable chip. The temps are fine, but the voltages are abnormally high to get it to 4.4 GHz

Itroitnyah 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

Alright, I must have missed that part of the description, then. It still confuses me that he only goes up 3C under load though, I would suspect that he'd be somewhere at 55-60C under load.

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

For some reason, the temps don't get much higher under load. It might be because I'm only running the CPU and VRM in this loop

Jhact007 1 Build 2 points 55 months ago

I'm pretty sure you could make special effects with this build! ;) Amazing in every way.

xolot1 1 Build 2 points 55 months ago

Bravo! Plus one!

ReDnAx1991 7 Builds 2 points 55 months ago

Awesome build +1, love the colour scheme. So sad to read that your PSU fried all those components.

cooperred 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Damn that paint job is sexy. +1

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago


Akut 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

How can anyone hate on this! Epic build man, with equally epic parts. Nice and clean, and the white paintjob looks great! UV lighting with white cables and parts, looks awesome!

+1. If only I could give more...

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

I appreciate the compliments! It makes me feel good about all the time I put into this haha

srs922 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

Amazing! My favorite motherboard of all time! I have the same issue with my 4770k as well. I got one of those low quality ones and was only able to achieve 4.4 at that or about those volts. But now I down clocked it even further as I have been having trouble with my power supply and was hoping that it would help. Awesome build though!+1

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Thanks! Yeah I think it's by far the best looking motherboard out there, and it's a bit pricey, but it's worth it if you have a windowed case, or are looking for gaming performance. I was slightly disappointed about the CPU because my pre RMA unit ran at 4.5 on 1.27 volts, but honestly this CPU is powerful enough to handle almost all of today's tasks; anything more should warrant getting a Xeon. How many watts is your PSU? Just out of curiosity

srs922 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

My PSU is 650W. You can check out my build if you want. I doubt I'm pulling too many watts. I probably just have a bad PSU. Even though I have had no problems with it up until now. Had it since January. Why did you have to RMA?

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Hmm...I doubt it's the PSU, corsair tends to be reliable. I've read that unstable CPUs require more and more voltage as time goes on, so that may be the issue? Are you getting random restarts and blue screens on 4.4? And have you checked your PSU on a multimeter?

srs922 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

I don't get blue screens but I do get random restarts just out of the blue whether it be playing a game, or surfing the web. It tells me "Power Supply Surges detected during the previous power on. ASUS Anti-Surge was triggered to protect system from unstable power supply unit!" It happened quite often at 4.4 but still continued (although now rare) at 4.2. I have thought about getting a Multimeter.

Painwithin 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

i would consider replacing the PSU before it gets worse.

Regardless of the brand the PSU could still be failing.. it happens, but if its doing that dont risk it, it can or will destroy your system.

j9t11 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Very nice build! I relly like that custom cooling

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Thanks man!!

dcmabry 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

that's a sexy looking case bruh

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago


larsG35 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

I've always been a fan of white (or yellow) themed builds. You pulled it off really well! The leather is a super nice touch.

Are you planning on eventually adding water blocks to the 780 Tis?

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Thanks, yeah I thought it added a really nice touch to the handles and case in general. I was planning originally to add a second loop for the GPUs, I bought an extra radiator and fans, but have since ran out of funds. I thought to have both cards in the loop, I would need a D5 pump so one of them does not boil, and that costs upwards of $160. Then you add in both waterblocks, tubing, and fittings and you have a small fortune lol... I have decided to use that money to get a 1440p screen instead

bazerka 5 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Beast computer by hardware specs, but I am super anal about color and design haha. Too many clashing colors for my taste. You should go with a black/red/white scheme!

adampski 1 Build 2 points 55 months ago

You know the only difference between what you've recommended and what is actually present on this build is one thing... And that's the blue LEDs? Case = black & white, mobo has elements of red and as mentioned, the LED. Dude, you are soooo anal.

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

The GPUs have green leds too haha

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

For some reason, the pictures don't show the colors right. But I was originally going for a black/white/red build. Only the leds are UV, but they show up very blue in the pictures, and the fans have white leds

MichaeL925280 1 point 55 months ago

The paint makes it pop so crazy. Super nice build. +1 from me. Love the setup

adampski 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

How the hell did you get the retailer to accept it for RMA?!

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

The Mobo, or CPU? Haha I think as long as there are no bent pins in the socket, and the chip isn't de-lidded, it's covered under warranty

TheBored 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

wow that is at least 900$ fried from an ominous psu

istealunderwear 9 Builds 1 point 55 months ago


cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Yeah, I'm never buying Silverstone again, even though I probably got a lemon

TheBored 1 Build 2 points 55 months ago

Guess the psu held a job in KFC

SumanIV 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

The grey plastic makes the motherboard look very very ******. -.-

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

I'm sorry, but I used grey primer by accident instead of white, and it has a pearl topcoat so the finished product is actually metallic silver

Jwood013 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

Looks great. +1

Pencil465b 1 point 55 months ago

Sick build man! I was looking at that ESPC EX240 Watercooling kit for my build I hope to build end of summer, and I was wondoring about how good it is and how hard is it to install. I saw some videos on youtube about it and it looked pritty easy to install and got really good temps for 150 bucks. Cheers!

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 2 points 55 months ago

Thanks! It's a great kit, easy to install and pretty good temps (better than all in one closed loop solutions). I would get compression fittings though as hose clamps look ugly (if you get the AX radiator, it comes with compression fittings). Also make sure you have enough room in your case to route the tubing. Really tight curves restricts the waterflow. Good luck!

Apex1 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

Awesome job! Can you estimate how much time it took you to do all the customization to the case?

cardcompchamp submitter 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Painting/prep takes really long, sanding the side panels about 4 hours each, sanding plastic parts about 1 hour total. Then I coated with primer twice with a day between. And waited another day for a top coat (2 coats) and waited 2 days for the clear coat. I had to split up painting the parts so that took me like 2 weeks. Acrylic was really quick to bend and cut. Stitching the handles took 6-8 hours total.

LEDs took 2hours (longer than it should) because I didn't have wire crimps and had to reuse the pin connector

If you have the resources, I would get it powder coated, especially if they can do metallic paint

Apex1 1 Build 2 points 55 months ago

Looks like it was worth the time. Great job!

Sh4dow_Ph4ntom 1 Build 1 point 54 months ago

awesome build dude +1

darksouls92 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Sweet build! +1 for the pink scissor :)

GradyTheG33k 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

What Compression Fittings did you use?