New WC'ed JK-1 Build Log

So I finally built my new computer 2 weeks ago, so I think it's time I went ahead and posted my build log here.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930k @ 4.0 GHz (Pending further OCing) w/ Apogee HD Waterblock
MoBo: Asus Rampage IV Extreme x79
RAM: 32 GB Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600
VGA: PNY GeForce GTX 670 w/ Heatkiller GPU-X3 670 Waterblock
PSU: Seasonic X-1050 1050W
ODD1: Asus BD Burner
ODD2: Asus DVD Burner
SSD1: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB
HDD1: Western Digital Velociraptor 1TB
HDD2: Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB
HDD3: Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB
HDD4: Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5TB
HDD5: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB
Case: Aerocool Strike-X ST
Cooling System: Swiftech H20-320 Edge HD + Heatkiller GPU-X3 670
Monitor1: Asus 27" 2560x1440
Monitor2: Asus 24" 1920x1080
Monitor3: Samsung 22" 1920x1080
Keyboard: Corsair Vengeance K90 Mechanical Keyboard
Mouse: Corsair Vengeance M90


It begins.

Fillport grommet for the MCR-320, which was a pain to drill out because of the perforated top. You can see some damage from the drill skipping around before I figured out a better method to drill, which was to use the hole drill on a 2x4, and then clamp the 2x4 to the case which kept the drill straight.

Radiator and push fans installed. This was also a pain, and effectively needs 2-3 sets of hands to hold the screws, fans, place the radiator, and secure everything

Motherboard in place, which is dwarfed by the case, despite being an E-ATX.

Processor... Sad how this little chip of silicon can be the single smallest and most expensive piece of hardware inside the computer. (I say 'inside', because my main monitor was even more T_T)

Waterblock installed. I'm suitably satisfied with the ease of mounting, which will be nice later. Currently using AS5, but I think I want to try out Indigo Xtreme, and then you have maintenance of course.

GTX 670 with the cooler removed. Stock cooler is surprisingly flimsy once it's taken apart.

...and now it has its new, much shinier, cooler. Being a straight copper block, this thing has quite a bit of heft.

Starting to route tubing. This was by far the most annoying part of this build. I think I'll invest in a tubing cutter next time for one, but the bigger problem here was the processor to the video card, because the bend is just not good. Next time I pull this apart, I probably need an angle adapter on the video card, which now I understand why I see so often in other peoples builds

All of the tubing in place, the T should definitely make my life much easier for future maintenance. Also, in reference to my last comment, you can actually see how bad the flex on the the video card because of that piece of tubing being so tight >.<

You can see it slightly more pronouced above, but here's a closeup of the videocard being flexed down by the tube from the processor. Again, really need an angle adapter here.

In the meantime, some not very pretty, but also not very noticable, jimmy rigging to support the card from the bottom so it's not exposed to too much undue stress. I used a piece that came with my friend's Antec 900 for supporting longer cards which he didn't need along with some random plastic from my bone pile of computer parts.

Finally leak testing. Despite Swiftech's advice of just tilting the case, the pump was mostly running dry when we tried running it horizontally. Putting it on it's face fixed this almost immediately, and as there's 2 fill ports, bleeding was pretty easy. (You'll also notice it's morning, I worked all through the night, and finally took a nap after this got started and there was nothing clearly catastrophic)

Leak testing continued (with my friend in the background). After running it vertically to properly prime the pump, it was perfectly happy to go back to being horizontal. To correct my above comment, I actually went to sleep after 'this' picture, because my friend and I had to take the air compressor to my old computer and his computer which was full of construction dust apparently.

All of my hard drives in their brackets :D. Yes, I have a lot of storage, and there's actually another 1.5TB missing because I have to RMA the drive since it has bad sectors, which is not ok, lol.

Put the top back on, and there's also 2 fans on the bottom of the radiator for space testing, since I went with a push/pull as was recommended to me to also create airflow over the VRM's, which worked quite nicely. There was a complication here however. I want to use the fan controller for my rad fans, but the molex for power to the fan controller is too tall and hits the fan. The PCB is separated from the case by a typical brass standoff, so what I ended up doing was using some rubber tape to insulate the PCB and mounted it directly to the case, which gave me just barely enough clearance as long as everything was plugged in before the pull fans went in place.

And here it is with typical front panel stuff + 3 fan controller knobs and a 2.5/3.5" SATA backplane, which has already been incredibly useful.

Here's the front panel. Somewhat garrish to some people, but I don't mind it, and I picked the case for size and function more than appearance, though I personally like the design well enough.

And everything is all together, cable management and all :D
I had 2 disappointments here. Given the PSU orientation, the 8 pin CPU connector is at the farthest corner from the back, so the 8 pin CPU connector could not be used while routing all of my cabling behind the board. Instead, I had to use the 4+4 pin, and the single 4pin connector went un-populated. The other, there's no way at all to route the PCI-E power cables for the video card, so they're just there.

Side panel back on. All of the grommets could be used to support either 9x120mm fans or 4x140mm fans, but I just went with a single 200mm exhaust

And everything is up and running now :D
It's hard to see all of the shiny lights with the side panel on, which is ok, since I sleep with this on all night. I took this picture while I had it to adjust the PCI-E Power cables which were catching on my exhaust fan, which was very confusing at first, because I could run the fan with the side panel off, but not while on the case.

And finally, here is my war station in its full glory. The only thing that's missing in this pic be all of my wall hangings, and +1 new trophy.

A water-cooled ultra high end build has been something I've wanted to do for many many years now, ever since I got into computer building when I was in 7th grade, some 8 years ago. This year my tax return came through double what I expected to get back (tuition payments apparently), so I decided it was time to up and build this now, instead of waiting for Ivy Bridge-E and more savings, which is what I would have done otherwise.

On the build itself. I tossed the Swiftech HydrX coolant (has some really odd particulate in it, which I'm pretty sure I don't want in my loop o.O) in favor of Distilled Water and some PT-Nuke. I also threw in a killcoil (right before the T, though it's practically invisible). At the same T (which is actually a +), I also slipped in a temperature sensor for the coolant. I also think I want to change the hose clamps for actual worm clamps, because the plastic ones, while dirt cheap, just aren't that great imo.
I think I may also pick up a single Cold Cathode at some point, as the tubing is UV reactive, but as it stands, it's not terrible visible behind the side panel, which makes it kinda difficult to show off :p

For how many fans I'm running, most of them are pretty quiet, save the stock Swiftech ones, which I think I want to replace at some point. Nonetheless, when I go to sleep, I can turn the fan controller down all the way and I'm able to sleep in the same room.

USB3.0 cables... the blue is waay out of place with everything else being red and black.

Cable management is great with this case and a modular power supply. Nonetheless, I've kinda filled the behind of the case with cabling already, and I ended up using all accessory plugs on the PSU because of all of my hard drives. (Why not put 4 connectors per cable instead of 3?), and the 1 molex i'm using for everything else. I'm unfortunately going to needs to add some daisy chains if I want to add more stuff.
Also, 1 notable con is that the hard drives are 'not' on any sort of backplane, which means I'll need to pull of both side panels anytime I want to pull those out, which I unfortunately do a lot, so I can take bulk data with me without having to take my whole computer.

Corsair K95 :( Why did this get announced so soon after I bought my K90? I'm probably going to sell my K90 for a K95 just to have mechanical macro keys, and I think it fits a bit better, but still...

Kudos to Rubix and the Watercooling sticky, as it was very helpful through the planning stages of the watercooleing part of all of this

Anyways, that's all I have at the moment. Comment away and ask me anything as you wish.
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  1. Good looking build anubus45, Cables aren't perfect yet but they are done well. How are your temps?
  2. Yup, its pretty alright, Ways to go on the Cm and you've already figured out routing issues, sit back and enjoy until your drive gets replaced then challenge yourself to hiding those wires :)
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