Description

Edit: Changed the name AGAIN. Thanks for the tips everyone. It was "the beast" (which is how I thought about it while building it), then it was "blue steel", which was already another 5820k build (I didn't realize), so I thought "big blue beast" = B3 would satisfy everyone.

This is the second machine I built for myself, my first attempt at water cooling. I am right now making the transition from console to PC gamer, but thus far have not been a big PC gamer. To date, I do a lot of editing, rendering, and encoding (amateur photographer), and thus really prize cores and RAM over GPU. Coming from my 2500k (@4.5Ghz), I really wanted more cores & RAM, a GPU to prepare me for gaming, and the look of a hard tubing custom loop.

Bending the acrylic tubes was a lot more art than I realized, though I did research this machine A TON (starting in June 2015, with the build finishing January). Everything went together okay, but I experienced a combination motherboard/CPU failure 3 weeks after I got it running, but Asrock did me right on the board (RMA'd), and Micro Center was AWESOME and straight up swapped the CPU for another (even though it was way beyond 15 days...).

All in all, really appreciate the end result. Encodes are 4-5x times as fast as my old machine. No pausing while editing photos in Lightroom/Photoshop. And writes to disk are FAST.

Quick note - if you're wondering where my storage is, I have 2 NAS at home with a combined 14 TBs (9TB usable after RAID) - so all photos, videos, backups and documents live on those.

Additional edit: the pricing on the parts is inaccurate - they reflect part pricing when I finished the build, not when I started. Most of the stuff I got for cheaper than listed - some only $20 bucks or so (CPU, motherboard), some a lot cheaper (fans, GPU).

Part Reviews

CPU

This thing is a monster. If you need CPU power, and you either are running headless or have a discrete GPU anyway, this is your processor if you're an enthusiast like me (not building true enterprise grade servers, but still want enough cores that you can do some intense CPU work, or hack around with VMs).

Motherboard

Took away 1 star because I experienced a combination CPU/motherboard failure 3 weeks after I got my machine running. That said, Asrock was speedy with their RMA and replacement - just wish they told me what was wrong with my old board, and whether the CPU killed the board, or the board killed my CPU. I love the m2 on this, and its been great to overclock (got almost another 33% out of my chip). Altogether, really happy with it, from functionality to aesthetics to support and even packaging.

Case

I love this case. It started when I put my existing main workstation in the main piece, and a mini ITX network appliance build in the smaller piece. When I upgraded, I moved both computers out of it, turned the smaller piece into a rad box with two 360mm rads in push, and had plenty of room for a big vertically mounted glass tube reservoir to the right of the mobo tray. Very modular - for instance you can take out all the hard drive trays in the main case, and basically everything in the small case (5.25" drive, hard drive trays, etc).

Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

That is just stunning. Beautiful to look at.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! It definitely took some time, but the journey was part of the fun. Really feels good for others in this community to say it came out well.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Stunning build! I'm actually looking to watercool my system too. I was wondering what kind of temps do you get on that and how quiet is your system?

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

The last pic is a speedfan screenshot, so you can see the temps. I kicked off an encode in the middle, so you can see the CPU shoot from idle to 100% usage. In short, 15-20 idle (depending on core) and 45-50 at load. The pump is whisper quiet, but the fans for the radiators make a kinda dull roar. This being my first water cool build, I now understand why most people hook up all the rad fans to a fan controller! I bought two of the cougars originally, and even running all the time at full power as case fans, they were inaudible. But when you put them up against a buncha fins, you hear it.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

yeah what im planning on doing is having a low fpi 60mm rad with corsair silent sp120's on it. The lower the fpi, (fins per inch), means you can put quieter fans, but you lose some cooling. However, having 5 fans will eliminate cooling because ill be using a 360 and a 240 to cool my 6700k and my r9 390. What i'm aiming for is a silent and cool build. But I don't know if it'll look as sweet as yours though :D. Again, you have a great build man hope it lasts a long time!!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Huh, thanks for that info. I remember taking into account FPI when I did my cooling calculations, but I honestly didn't realize it would matter that much for sound. That said, its not a "roar" - my computer is not taking off or anything. But its also not quite - just kinda a drone. I'll probably get a fan controller at some point so I can make it silent when I am just browsing pcpartpicker. And really appreciate the kind words!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem man! Have fun with the build!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

original

great build, but try to come up with a unique name, it'll get more views (from my experience)

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the feedback on both the build and the name - I'll see what I can come up, but I'm not the most creative of people... "Blue Steel" keeps popping into my head - I blame the Zoolander 2 adds.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I already have a Build named "Blue Steel" lol

  • 48 months ago
  • 0 points

No priblem

Blue Steel sounds SICK!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Then it shall be "BLUE STEEL" - thanks!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

YES!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Very original name

/s

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

At least the name justifies the build.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you like the name?

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Super Nice Build! Looks great with a fine selection of parts to match. Great to see that you used the 950 pro, they're lightning fast! Overall great build, props for the cable management and color coordination. +1

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for copying the name of my Build...

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Ugh - sorry. It's another 5820k too! I swear I didn't see yours and take the name - just arrived at the same thing. Nice build though!!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I understand, if you can change it to something else that would be nice...

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Sure - soon as I think of a replacement...

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Done - she is now "B3" (Big Blue Beast). Sorry about that.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, cool build though +1

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Pretty build. Very clean. Love the custom cooler in blue.+1

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  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Appreciate the tip. Honestly, got my 5820k for $299, and that is the most I think I will every pay for a processor - $550k takes some doing. Glad its the same chipset (and thus same RAM), so I guess its an easy upgrade, but is it really worth almost doubling down to go Broadwell E?

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