Description

I've been waiting for a small-socket/consumer line 8-core for several years, so with the release of the 9900k it was finally time to splurge.

This is a dual-boot Hackintosh (which ruled out Ryzen) for gaming (windows) and software development (both Mac and windows). Each OS has it's own NVME SSD (windows on the WD, macOS on the Samsung) with the 1TB a shared storage drive. Because I planned from the start to run macOS, I was forced to go with Z370 (the intel CNVi wifi on z390 will likely never be supported in Mac) and the only z370 mITX board I could find with dual m.2 slots and a mono block available was the Strix.

I've loved the H200 since I first saw the 'i' version, but I also knew the NZXT cam software was likely to never be supported on Mac, while corsair already has an early release of iCUE for Mac, along with an open source tool to program the commander curves on mac.

I also took this opportunity to finally dip into the world of custom watercooling, which turned out to be way more work (and more expensive!) than I anticipated, though ultimately, I'm glad I did; I love the final aesthetic! While the H200 is fairly watercooling friendly, I did have to drill two holes in the cable management bar (for bulkhead fittings) to fit the full-size ATX psu and the bump down below.

Figuring out the drain valve was a chore; I tried 3 or 4 different valves and locations until resigning myself to just using more fittings to be able to articulate the drain out of the way of the side panel.

I've been through four iterations of the loop already, largely because I was just never happy with my bending, plus I cracked a tube when I swapped to the corsair fans, and most recent, when I switched to the 'RGB' res and added the barrow flow meter I swapped back to CPU + GPU in parallel, (largely because of this gorgeous H200i build on reddit) and replaced some of the worst bends with more fittings instead.

With such a small loop the cooling is decent, but not amazing; for daily use I'm running 5.0 all-core, with -2 AVX offset, LLC @ 4, adaptive vcore @ 1.285v (peak voltage hits ~1.3 with the LLC, so a fairly typical 9900k silicon lottery loser.) The 1080ti is also basically just 'average' with boost bouncing between 1980 and 2075 core clock, and the memory running at +500 for 12ghz effective.

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Crazy clean build and honestly should have a be featured. Can't imagine how hard it is to build a custom loop. +1

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much!

It was a ton of work, jumped in over my head doing acrylic for my first loop, but learned so much.

Hopefully I can get some better pictures once I swap the fans and tweak the lighting to be more subtle so it doesn't blow out the exposure on my phone's camera.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Really digging the frosted tubing! +1

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!

I originally planned on just doing soft tubing (this was my first custom loop ever) but once I saw the alphacool satin acrylic I knew I had to do hard line.

I just wish I could get a frosted reservoir tube to match... I may have to buy a replacement clear tube from ek and try sanding it myself.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Might want to try sandblasting it

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

I was thinking the exact same thing. With some fine grit sandpaper, you should be able to get the same or similar finish.

Or maybe there is a clear tape that you could wrap it with?

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks (to both you and Julian) for the suggestion & encouragement, I found an article on bit-tech about DIY frosted/satin tubing, so I just ordered a couple spare EK X3 110 tubes to try and use that technique on!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Woah, this is amazing! Extreme props to you for such an amazing liquid cooling loop in such a tiny space.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, it was a ton of work, but I've wanted to do a custom loop for years, so I'm glad I was able to finally!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

This looks excellent. I don't think I have ever seen that matte finish tubing.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey nice build! Did you have to update the bios?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, and yes, I did have to update the bios, but I had a cheap 8th-gen Celeron I was playing around with that worked for that.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Oh okay thanks. This is truly amazing build.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Best looking 9900K mini iTX build I've seen. Those frosted tubing really give the system a different clean look (two thumbs up). Did you have any issues using the Asus Z370-I on the 9900K?

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much :)

I did have to do a bios update for the 9900k support, but I had an 8th-gen Celeron that I borrowed for tinkering around with that worked for the update.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice. Do all of your Hackintosh features work flawlessly?

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

With the caveat that I'm currently forced to stay with High Sierra because of the Nvidia card, yes, everything works great!

One of the reasons I went with the z370 instead of a newer z390 board was the ability to replace the wifi card with a genuine apple card, so wifi and bluetooth (including BT/Magic keyboard in bios, etc.) work great.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Damn that's a bummer you stuck with High Sierra but at least all the features work. Would you have done anything different?

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, yeah, I'm still a bit annoyed by the lack of Nvidia web drivers for Mojave, but oh well. Anything I'd do differently... not much really, given the price of SSD's now maybe I'd go 2x 970 Pro just for the warranty/peace of mind. And I wish I could have used HWLabs/black ice radiators, but it's just way too tight a fit with any of their main lines.

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome build! do you happen to recall the lengths you chose for your CableMod kit? I'll be building an H200 soon and can't find anyone who has done the custom cable kit and has the lengths. Your help would be appreciated!

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, and sure, though keep in mind you may need longer or shorter cables depending on PSU and motherboard, and where you plan on mounting various drives, controllers, etc.

My kit though was:

  • 24-pin: 500mm
  • 8-pin/EPS: 650mm
  • PCIE 8/6: 350mm
  • Dual SATA: 300mm, 250mm (that one connects the corsair link and rgb hub)
  • Single SATA: 250mm (that one is for the SSD in the front mount)
  • Molex: 150mm (shortest possible I think, for the pump connection)
  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks a bunch!

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

hi awsome build def deserving of a feature, I have a question for you, do you think you could water cool another h200 build for me becuase I would really love that and if you are based in the U.S.A shipping is no problem.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the comment, it was a ton of work (and of course I've still been tweaking things) but worth it!

I am in the USA (LA Metro area in California) but I really don't have the free time to do another build like this at the moment. Happy to answer any questions you may have though!

Thanks again :)