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My first Custom Loop / Case Mod

by HuguesP



Date Published

Feb. 23, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3.7 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.62 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

10 GHz


Here is my first Custom loop.

About the build: For my first custom watercooled system, I am overall satisfied with the result. next time I bleed the system, i will change the weird loop tube, i just feel it dosent fit the build. (It was my first bent, so I decided to keep it.). the 3D printed Fan hub, psu shroud, i/o shroud are ok, but they do not offer the look of those pro modders working with acrylic and paint.

Here is what I learned:

  • mItx: May seems at first a budget builder choice because you may think small = less component = less $$. Wrong! Small = Less offer from sellers = more $$$. if you are on a budget go ATX.

  • AliExpress!!: While AliExpress seems to have good price at first, the shipping and customs fees make those prices less appealing at the end. Plus the time you will wait for the parts is amazingly long.

  • Fittings: Plan your stuff very carefully or you will miss some. if you think you can do without single and double rotary, without pass thru, without extender, without 3-way, without purge valve, without end cap, then think twice, you will need those on the run. If you are ordering via Aliexpress, then you will cry waiting for the fittings.

  • Custom cables: this is the most time consuming and it doesn't provide a lot of reward. Plus you need a lot of tools to do custom cables. If you still decide to do your own cable, Buy connectors, crimp pin and wires.

use 4mm sleeve for 16-18ga wire, use white wire for colored sleeve use black or dark grey for your 6mm/10mm sleeve ( fans / sata) Do the math, and plan for mistakes, you need more than you think. Do your pinout, and check twice. buy a cable/psu tester Do not mind about Capacitor prepare yourself to have burned fingertip.

Hard tubes: I ended up bending the tubes "freely" the tools to bend the tubes are a waste of money in my opinion, they do not allow multiple close bent. As you know, if this is your first time you will miss 2 out of 3 bends.

What about the components i used:

Barrow: I am really satisfied with the barrow product except for the fact that the 16mm straight fittings don't fit the pump head without a 3mm extension.

Alpha-cool GPX-N-1080 M14: it works, but it it not the sexiest block. the placement of the ports make it hard to work with.

Cooler Master Master fan Pro 140 RGB pressure fan. the RGB effect of the fan is really bad, fortunately for me it dosent really affect my build. The noise!!, the noise is terrible at High RPM. if you have those, be sure to set them bellow 800 RPM.

EVGA 550w B3: After I settled the Fan below 800 RPM, it becomes the part that does the most noise.Similar to those High Tension tower.

Gigabyte Z370N wifi. I have issues with the RGBW header. the blue led is always on. the RGB fusion software ( and mostly all others Gigabyte softwares) is a pain to use. Beside RGBW header and softwares, it works great.

Cable mod 5050 widebeam RGBW led strip. Leds are to far appart and since they are not addressable, the all have the same color and the same time. The problem with the motherboard does not allow me to give an honest review.

Fractal Design Nano S; for 59$ you can not expect more! However,the acrylic window scratches just by looking at it.

I am very satisfied with all the other component, specially the Primochill Vue Crimson red!

Take home message / What i will do next time.

  • Go ATX format it gives access to a lot more offer in hardware, then better deal
  • Buy premium parts from well known retailler. less frustration with shipping time.
  • Better plan my build, trying to complete something and realise that you miss a 5$ fitting...
  • Did I say buy premium parts?
  • I will do my custom cable starting from scratch.
  • I will use 3rd party Fan splitter and RGB Controller with addressable led strip
  • I will use at least 500g m.2 SSD for operating software
  • I will use black or really dark sleeve for (6mm-10mm) sata/fan/io cables

Comments Sorted by:

Otterman366 13 Builds 5 points 13 months ago

thats damn good for a first loop and cheap parts. Also, you start selling front panels like that, it looks fantastic. I'd buy one.

HuguesP submitter 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago

For the front panel i used a 5" hole saw, 3d printed Fan hub that i did at home, and then glued some black mesh from inside the panel i found on amazon https://www.amazon.ca/BQLZR-Cooler-Filter-Dustproof-Computer/dp/B01303JRQG/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1519414693&sr=1-1&keywords=140+black+mesh%3C

you can do that yourself! https://www.3dhubs.com/ is your best bet

Otterman366 13 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

I have a 3D printer and I may try this

The0Burger0King 2 Builds 4 points 13 months ago

That's a nice looking loop and an awesome front panel mod! Great work!

TacoNinja 3 Builds 3 points 12 months ago

Acrylic PSU shrouds are very easy, don't be afraid to go for it! I'm in high school and made one with a decal and it looks alright. First time doing it and I have some rough edges, but it's very easy (as long as you have a heat gun or blow torch)

Click7even 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago

Excellent build ! Beautiful ! +1

Entiddie 2 points 13 months ago

Love the misty effect..

ndm 2 points 13 months ago

Nice build. Don't get rid of the loop tube...add more!

Hobie12345 1 point 12 months ago

I completely agree! Don't get rid of the loop. Everybody does right angled bends. This is unique and looks great

customgtp 24 Builds 2 points 13 months ago

That is amazing! That bend is sick! Love this build! +1

Camranatic101 2 Builds 2 points 13 months ago

This should be featured

maverickvii 2 Builds 2 points 13 months ago

Really nice build, love the coolant and bends.

Minomir 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago

Wow!! Spectacular choice of colour and wonderful bends!

Stingrider907 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

That is quite the build. I personally think that you should keep the loopy tube, it adds some nice character, and its a good story.

BurtMacklinFBI 2 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

Wow, I really love this build. I've wanted a small setup for awhile now and this is making me crave it even more. Also congratulations on being featured. I know what you mean about the acrylic scratching easy, I finally sucked it up and got a custom tempered glass panel from Dulles, a bit pricey, but well worth it in my opinion. In the photos your acrylic still looks great though.

tony475130 2 points 12 months ago

I've had pretty good experience with aliepress. The turn around time from when I order parts and get them to my door is never less than 2-3 weeks. I live in the U.S. though so Im not sure how it is for other countries. I ordered most of my WC parts from here too but my total came to less than $200 for everything. Nice looking build non-the-less!

Velocitron2000 2 points 12 months ago

Nice, the front looks like a speaker, looks awesome dude!

Blacksm1le 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

Great job +1

Urishima 2 points 12 months ago

I think the little 'loop' looks fine.

tailstiger2468 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

The bend to the CPU is so cringe, why you bent it like that i don't know but i would fix that personally. Great build otherwise though for a first custom water cooled build.

04vkrivor 2 points 12 months ago

the fan mod at the front looks really nice! you know those ducts that are on cars that have this bell shape to it? you could use that to make the mod "stick out" (pun intended) a bit more

HuguesP submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

my try that in the future just glueing things over

04vkrivor 2 points 12 months ago

here's a link to what im talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiAdjVWXOys

its a youtube video and you can see on the engine there are these 4 bell shaped intakes.

westwandaguys 2 points 12 months ago


Otterman366 13 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

congrats on the feature!

Gooberdad 10 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

Ahh those beautiful curves. Great job.

Thumbs up and congrats on the featured spot

tech_geek100 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

if the cloud effect in the Reservoir, pump, whatever it is, if it's a mistake, it looks REALLY COOL! EPIC BUILD! +1

johnny8557 2 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

thats the newer VUE fluid,its supposed to look like that,its good stuff!

tech_geek100 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago


HuguesP submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

this is the effect of the primochill vue

johnny8557 2 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

this looks sick,bro!!!awesome job on your first hardline run,i think it looks awesome and would leave it the way it is,took me like 6 tubes b4 a got certain runs to look good,thats a harder run there to the cpu and if ya nailed that on 1st run thats awesome,man!you got my 1+

LonghornAlamo2040 2 points 12 months ago

You gotta feel damn proud of your work. That is an excellent job you did!

_Dreamist 2 points 12 months ago

Press F to pay respects to that power supply.


nickname1400 1 point 12 months ago

What coolant is used?

johnny8557 2 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

thats the newer VUE fluid,way better than most pastel type fluids!good stuff

johnny8557 2 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

that one he has is the crimson vue fluid,they got a good bit of them tho

HuguesP submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Primochill vue Crimson red

HuguesP submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Thank you all for the great words and comments, this is pumping me up for the next build

Ebuckner 1 point 9 months ago

What liquid did you use. I love how it looks

HuguesP submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Crimson red, primochill Vue

Zambacan 1 point 4 months ago

Great build. I would also like to water cool this same GPU and Like you I am not blown away by the look of the waterblock. There is a Barrow block designed for the Ti mini. I wonder if that would fit the 1080 card?

HuguesP submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

cant answer this, would need to contact barrow

Krunk443 1 point 2 months ago

Hey man, i was wondering how the 140mm fans sounded and the temps of the system with them. Thank you

HuguesP submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Not impress at all, they need to run below 900 rpm to be quiet, but they draw a lot of air so they cool

Jushi 1 point 2 months ago

Just incredible. +2

HuguesP submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

thanks buddy

Kosta_Kop 1 point 14 days ago

Wow, looks awesome, what do you think of the ram, I am thinking of purchasing it for my first build. And also the i7, one of my friends has it and he says it is great for games

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