Haha thanks mate, I really appreciate it.
I'm actually still using this PC as we speak. I've rebuilt it twice since this post. The first time due to a very slow reservoir leak and maintenance which I had put off since first building it, and the second a much more serious leak from when I accidentally left it rendering a uni project without turning the fans/pump back onto auto so the coolant overheated.
So I changed the coolant out from white pastel to transparent purple to make maintenance a bit easier, and added a temperature probe and extra drain valves. I also made a few new cables, but other than that it's pretty much the same as it is here.
In an ideal world where I had the money, I probably wouldn't rebuild this PC again. But if I did want to, and could afford to do anything I wanted, I would probably do a couple of things:
And that's about it I suppose. Sorry for the long response haha. Let me know if you need a hand planning out your build in the future. I'd be more than happy to help.
Thanks man :)
This looks fantastic. Congratulations.
I love the minimalism of this build. What makes it look great, which most people don't appreciate or understand, is the amount of darkness you have, with merely a few rgb highlights. Case lighting almost always ruins a build. This is how it's done properly.
The Shift or Shift X will be my next purchase. The whole Evolv range is truly beautiful.
Also, nice work with the photography.
No worries :)
The cooling loop is designed to be more than capable of accommodating some degree of overclocking. I have overclocked the CPU, but not the GPU. There is enough cooling capacity to overclock the GPU as well, however i'd prefer to keep my pc more quiet, rather than gain additional performance in my GPU which I don't utilise to its full potential nearly as often as I do the CPU.
This particular loop did cost quite a lot, since it's very overkill in terms of costing a lot more than it needed to for the sake of aesthetics. For instance, there is no reason to use two reservoirs like I have, and nowhere near as many fittings. The price list is included above, so you should be able to work out roughly how much I spent.
This version of the case is the Galaxy Silver one, the lightest colour. It doesn't appear so in the photography since it's all done in low-key lighting conditions.
It's absolutely possible. While you won't get the same horizontal runs to the same extent because you are so limited in space, there's no reason why you can't get something rather similar.
Nothing wrong with a challenge!
I would personally go for the EK Vardar's for sure. Unfortunately, just using a company's components doesn't mean they're going to be interested in putting their money into your build, haha. I wish it was that easy. If you've got something unique and incredible going for you, and a bit of a following going, give it a go. But without a return-on-investment, there's nothing to gain for Phanteks. I managed to get a share on Phanteks' FB and Instagram, and a follow from them, but that was about it :(
The Vardar fans are very quiet. I run them at about 20% on idle, and I can JUST hear them. Like all fans, they are of course audible at higher RPMs, but comparatively, very good. 1450RPM is a good sweet spot for a 60mm thick XE360 too.
No particular reason. Just perhaps found it easier to add them in there rather than in the 'case fan' section of PCPP.
Thanks mate. The psu shroud and motherboard tray are covered up by matte black acrylic that was measured then laser cut. The original shroud and tray are still there.
Beautiful work on this.
Nothing better than spending a few hundred hours planning and drafting a scratch build and seeing it come together in the end. I know from experience and current prototype projects they're incredibly tedious, but highly rewarding. Putting aesthetics at the forefront of builds has always been something that I've appreciated most in people's work. I can tell you have a great eye for design. All the little details in this build really show that.
Keep it up!
They are nice fittings. Only thing I would say is to keep in mind that using two (or one if you use the setup I did on the component end of the run) 90 degree fittings on each of the horizontal runs from either the CPU or GPU to the motherboard tray will add a fair amount of mass to the tube run. This may cause your tubing to sag downwards since the run is fairly long. I had minor sag in this build on the tube runs with just a since 90 degree bend. but it was barely noticeable.
Go for it! There are a couple people that I know of who have already. Let me know if you've got any questions.
Thanks mate, I really appreciate the kind words :)
Cost and time go hand in hand. I'd assume that most people looking to construct a custom loop do care (to a degree) about how their system will look. The more money you put in (which starts high), the more time you'd want to be putting into researching not only the components, but the layout and design. If you ever wanted a really nice looking PC, cost is going to be high, and time is going to be equally as high if not higher. There's no point forking out thousands of dollars on a loop if you're not willing to put in the time.
That must be why it appealed to me so much; it's the desk setup I still haven't got around to making. That's great to hear though. Nothing better than hearing that you inspired something great. The wood desktop is very similar to what I had in mind, except I normally use very thick plywood for my tabletops. The monochrome PC coupled with the wood.. ugh. Can't beat it if you ask me. Nothing goes past a clean monochrome build. It just screams premium. I eventually ran into issues since my studio monitors are Yamaha HS8's which are obviously very large and heavy, so mounting them up on the IKEA risers was looking like a bit of an impossibility and they were never going to line up very well with my ultrawide. So it's great to see what I had envisioned come to life.
How did the heatkiller reservoir go for you? I've got another two client builds coming up in the evolv haha and i'd like to give the heatkiller ddc 200 a go. Looks like a really high quality reservoir.
Absolutely outstanding work Jason. I was following your stuff around on Instagram so it's great to see you on here. You have a great eye for design clearly. The desk setup is flawless, and you did an outstanding job in the Evolv ATX. It's a great case to work in. Keep up the good work!
No worries mate haha.
Take your time. Make up a build here on pcpartpicker and just go through everything you think you need. Slowly you'll add stuff as you're inspired by others. Go through a couple of the pc build promoters on Instagram to get inspired and then you can plan where everythings going to go. If you want to do it really well, you should take some time to develop your own taste in what you truly like in a pc, because I guarantee it'll change when you see some on the incredible stuff some of the builders and modders do out there.
If you're looking to make a complex loop that passespecially through a fair bit like mine, you will be spending a fair bit for the loop. But there are unnecessary costs here such as the $160 reservoir mounts that you wouldn't have to spend. My recommendation to most is to buy mostly Barrow products from aliexpress (I use FormulaMod). They are very cheap compared to alternatives, and the quality is absolutely outstanding. FormulaMod did I believe next day DHL shipping for me for $20 or something like that. Had it the next day in sydney from China at 9am haha.
I have already picture up that gives a bit of an insight into the fittings down the bottom. There are a good 25 fittings out of sight, and yea they take up a real lot of space. Between the pump, all the fittings, some tube and the cables down there, there is absolutely no room for a HDD. Instead I purchased a 2.5" HDD and have it in one of the the 2.5" mounts. If I didn't have the diffused lighting in the top, I could have made a HDD mount in the roof of the case, but that would disturb the lighting. So yeah, mine in its current state is totally unable to hold a full size HDD.
Best advice I can give again is to take your time to familiarise yourself with everything you need to know, get obsessed if you can, and develop what you appreciate most. Then really plan everything out as bet you can. Even buy the case first so you can take measurements. Even draw the case up in CAD (that takes quite some time though haha).
Anyway, let me know if you have any other questions :) sorry about the essay responses.
Thanks mate, always good to hear from a fellow aussie. Not enough of us around.
I do build my loops with the intention of being a little confusing. I don't like obvious component-to-component loops very much unless they're really done well. I like tubing to enter through the case in a mechanical sort of way.
The last picture on this post should have a diagram of the loop, but it may not help you visualise it so I'll describe it. If that fails, maybe scroll up since I've described it a couple times and may have done it better previously. In terms of the four tubes running two and from the cpu and gpu, they're areally connected in series. Out of the 4, the two middle tubes are directly connected to each other behind the tray using two pass throughs, two non-rotary 90 degree adapters, two push fittings and a tiny piece of tube. The bottom tube connects to the pump out, and the upper tube runs all the way down to the radiator in. The radiator out then runs to the closest horizontal tube connecting to the front reservoir. The two center tubes on the reservoirs are similarly connected in series out of sight (two reservoirs are just aesthetics), and the back most tube connects to the pump in. That's it :)
I did have to cut the motherboard tray where the 4 pass throughs are, but since the cable pass throughs for the hdd racks are there by default, there wasn't a whole lot to cut. I used a jigsaw for that. I also had to drill a couple holes for the reservoir mounts, but that was it. The majority of the acrylic fabrication was done using a laser cutter.
It's also notable that where the top most tube pops out the back of the case after the pass through, I have a fill port attached to a X splitter for draining (letting air in) and filling. Most filling was done through the back of the reservoirs though. There's also a drain valve where that tube eventually meets the radiator in.
Hope that helped!
Hmmm seems familiar.. :)
Nice work mate!
Sorry, I'm not entirely sure what you mean? There are two reservoirs in total. They are configured in series so that 1st reservoir feeds directly into the second. They are only for aesthetics to give the illusion of a dual loop when there is only one loop and one pump.
With great exhaustion and pain haha. Thanks!
Hey mate. This was my first custom loop, yes. The parts were sourced from all over the world at many different locations. If you live in the US, the majority of the components can be purchased from somewhere like Performancepcs, with the exception of some like the fittings which are from China. Let me know if you have any other questions.
I'm a bit pushed for time at the moment, but I did reply to some responses in detail above. Give them a read and let me know if you have any questions. There is also a diagram in the photos which describes the loop.
Beautiful! If you're into that kind of thing, you should get some vicoustic acoustic treatment for your walls and some quality hifi home theater speakers.
Thanks mate! Appreciate it :)
Just thought i'd point out that the cable posted above uses SATA power connectors, not the EPS connector I assume you're after.
Haha. Most of my funding came from freelance graphic design work I do (not currently due to it being my final year) and a little from selling a few things on eBay. I will have lost a bit of money doing the build since I by no means require a powerful computer at this time except for using 3D software, however it has opened up opportunities for me with a few client and charity builds coming up later this year.
I'm thinking of studying down in NZ next year possibly depending on what UNIs are made available to me for my course. It's a truly beautiful country, both the north and south island. I ride 'endurocross' cross-country motocross here in Australia, but the scene down there is so much better with their landscape. It's somewhere I would love to spend a few years of my time.
Yep, Aussie indeed. I would have no idea sorry haha. Im just a final-year high school studenr, and im not aiming for anything in the IT services. I go there for holidays all the time, beautiful country. Due to the obvious difference in population, size and location of NZ, I wouldn't think it's anywhere near as desirable of a place to work as the US.
Thanks for the kind words! :)
As for the fans, there is a hole for each fan the exact size of the blade. So technically, some of the light goes through un-diffused, but it's not noticeable unless looking straight up into the top of the case from a low angle. It does let through a bit of the red, green and blue light from the individual RGB diodes. They exhaust up theough the chassis out through the top, front and rear. They transfer a fair amount of heat onto the top aluminium frame while cooling the LEDs a bit since they get very hot. The only reason this was done is to 1. Add more airflow obviously and 2. to cover up the top part of the motherboard and anything above it. That way there is none of the inner chassis visible. I have them running at minimum rpm to ensure positive pressure.
LEDs is something I see people get wrong way too often, so it's so great to see someone who's asking the right questions. Lighting in a good build should be subtle and subdued, and you most certainly should never be able to see the source of light. The colour should almost always be white, or as I often use (which my camera accentuates and i'm too lazy to correct) a slightly colour-tinted white (eg very light move). My build in the Enthoo Evolv can be found HERE which utilises 3mm thick translucent opal acrylic, giving the case a 3mm white 'strip' of light where the radiator tray once was. The photos don't quite do the acrylic justice, making it look a little overexposed and accentuating areas which are less/more lit. I have two generic chinese LED strips mounted onto the inside of the aluminium chassis, soldered together running the length of the case. They are connected to an LED RGB Controller that is powered by a custom Molex to DC Barrel cable and controlled via a remote. The opal acrylic is laser cut for precision. PM me if you would like the Adobe Illustrator file since it's a perfect fit, although it wasn't too difficult to model. Like you said, the opal acrylic diffuses the light from the two LED strips and distributes it evenly and subtly across the top half of the case, fading off towards the bottom. This leave substantial amounts of darkness in the bottom of the case, which is essential for aesthetics. If you flood the case with light as many do, it won't look very good. I also have a second lighting zone that isn't pictured in any of my photos, which sits behind the Bitspower GPU support bracket and is capable of lighting up the bottom half of the case. Obviously these two lighting zones can be controlled independently of one-another to achieve a 'two-tone' effect, but I don't normally have it turned on. The only issue with using cheaper LED strips (which I use always), is that the individual red, green and blue diodes often emit their own light which is occasionally visible from certain angles, so you can see little dots of red, green and blue. You do need to keep in mind that the LEDs need a few centimeters to adequately diffuse, so that you cannot see the light emitting from the LEDs through the acrylic. Another experienced modder that does a similar thing on a much higher level is Twister Mod on instagram. He CNC mills his own light boxes/midplates with coolant channels inbuilt. They utilise mostly white acrylic so that the acrylic appears to be self-illuminating, while adequately illuminating the build. It is a far more expensive alternative, but it does look very good when done right.
Let me know if you need any advice or a hand in anything at all. Always here to help. :)
Ah of course, there are only 90 degree bends so it was possible. I'm from Sydney and I did manage to find metal tubing, it's just very difficult. There was an online hardware store in melbourne that sold the tube in 12.7mm variant, but I knew it would most likely crack the plating if I were to bend it. Trust me, I've spent many many hours scouring every corner of the internet for hidden supplies that the Australian market looking for supplies capable of use for modding that go unseen. The issue is most hardware stores don't have online stores so it's near-impossible to search for products.
I actually have a friend who is freelancing custom cables in melbourne who has got me to CNC some aluminium combs for him, so you may see some in the near future. ;) There are also a fair few companies opening up or expanding in Australia that will be providing us with better access to modding and specialist building supplies that would otherwise need to be purchased from PPC's or FrozenCPU etc. Lots of Barrow stuff coming in. I used all their gear (68 fittings) for my previous build (on my pcpartpicker profile), and the quality is exceptional.
Excellent work on the build mate.
You simply can't beat monochrome with nickel/chrome plated tubing. Did you get your copper tube electroplated? I was considering doing this on my last build, but I was quoted a minimum of $250 for all my tubes, so the bare copper is unused.
Only thing I would've done differently would be to use dark grey sleeve on 16 awg wire for your cables with silver aluminium combs. That's going down to the real details though.
Yes there are 3 holes the size of the blades. The fans are on a CPU_OPT header so that their total air output from the case is lower than the input of the intake fans for positive pressure. The acrylic piece is laser cut.
Hey mate. I just uploaded a diagram as the last picture which shows what's connected to what. I answered a few similar questions above that may clarify things. Everything is connected below using lots of fittings and some tube. The reservoirs are connected in series as the diagram suggests. There is also another picture that shows the basement in its earlier stages which is the best I can do, since it's completely packed with cables now and basically not visible.
EDIT: Add to that an ATX pin remover.
Yes, you will need a 24 pin ATX , a single 8 Pin PCI-E and a single 8 Pin EPS.
I can help you with just about everything you need to know except for the pinout of your power supply, as that is unique to each power supply. Just use the stock cables as reference.
Here is my advice:
- Go with full length cables, made to length. Extensions aren't the best looking solution, especially with a glass panel on the back. If you're going to make cables, at least go that small extra length to make things look good.
- I personally am not a big fan of coloured cables. 99% of the time they do not match the rest of the colours in the build, and things tend to look very messy. I always stick to black/grey cables. It looks far cleaner and if the cables are tamed nicely, a whole lot better than colours. It's something to reconsider. Look at JR23 Design's builds to get an idea of what i'm saying. Also Metallicacidcustoms' recent build featured grey cables with silver aluminium combs which looked amazing.
- Don't buy cablemods cables. They use very high wire gauge for all their cables which makes them look thin and in no way tidy. I would certainly steer away from them. If you feel like building your own cables will take too much time or money, I would go with someone like Icemods or even better, PEXON.
- Use MDPC small sleeve for your EPS/PCIE/ATX cables.
- If I were you, i'd also go the extra length to sleeve all the existing cables (ie fans, front panel, SATA data etc). If you decide to do this:
- Use MDPC front panel sleeve for any front panel cables you may want to sleeve.
- Use MDPC SATA sleeve for SATA cables.
- Use corresponding MDPC heatshrink for all of the above (they have small shrink and SATA shrink)
- As for pins, wire and connectors, I buy from Singularity Computers in Australia since that's where I live, but i'm sure you can buy similar products elsewhere such as MAINframe etc. I would at least recommend looking at Singularity Computers' wiring bundles that they sell. That will give you a good idea of what you will need for your cables. Always buy more than you think you'll need. When I made my first cables, I had to go back and buy more pins and wire at least twice. It's great to have extra so that if you need to give molex power to something, or make a splitter, you have the freedom to do so rather than having to buy a splitter.
I think that covers everything in that department. Let me know if you have any questions. Now..
- Side cutters (just a cheap pair off ebay is fine)
- Wire strippers (also can get away with a cheap pair, but knipex do a good stripper. A self-adjusting one is very handy, as it keeps things very consistent which you want)
- Crimpers (a pair of generic SN-28B's are fine. I use one branded as IWISS, purchased off Amazon. Works well.)
- Lighter (used to melt heatshrink or sleeve. Your use of this will depend on the technique you use. I use heatshrinkless on my main ATX/EPS/PCIE cables, which means placing heatshrink over the crimped pin and sleeve, melting the sleeve and then cutting the heatshrink off)
- Soldering iron and solder (this is optional, but there are a few circumstances where it does come in handy)
- Small long-nose pliers
- A helping hands tool or similar
Let me know if you have any other questions. I think that covers everything except the process, which you can watch on YouTube.
I currently own a pair of Sennheiser HD 600's (which I wouldn't trade for anything other than some seriously expensive high-end headphones). If you have the budget for these, i'd highly recommend it.
If you'd like to stick to those three, my recommendation is to head to a local headphone shop that allows you to test and A/B them. You'd be surprised how many audiophile shops you can find locally (obviously depending on where you live). Headphones are a personal preference, although truth be told, unless you're a serious audiophile who's listened to hundreds of pairs of headphones and have a keen ear, you'll almost certainly be happy with whatever you choose.
I would personally narrow it down to either the AT's or the HD 598's. I love open-back headphones, as they give a much wider soundstage to music and slightly better situational awareness in games. They make music sound a little less like it's 'coming from the inside of your head' and more like it's coming from a pair of speakers/studio monitors situated in front of you. They'd be my pick, although the M50X's are also a very good value pair of headphones for their pricetag if you're after a little more isolation. You'll also not be able to use the 598's in public places as not only will everyone be able to hear your music, but you won't be able to hear much.
Looks great! Normally I don't like LEDs all over the place, but you've gone so overboard that it works.
As for custom loop watercooling, the only concern you could/may have is the pricetag. Things can get a little expensive. I wouldn't worry too much about leaks. If your loop doesn't leak to start with (you can pressure test it and leak test it by blowing into your drain/fill valve before filling, and/or fill it with water respectively to test the loop), it's highly unlikely it will leak.
I wouldn't let hardline sway you. If you don't mind the look of soft, go for that because it is a little easier. The main factor that comes into play with hardline is the research involved. You will need to get familiar with a lot more terminology and processes. However, with a few YouTube videos and reading of forum posts, you should be good to go. Chances are if you become obsessive over it as you get enthusiastic for what your final product will look like, you'll want to spend time getting familiar with what you need.
Hahaha! thanks mate
Yeah if you place them nicely, they can make a room look really nice. If I had serious money though, the best looking acoustic treatment is from Vicoustic. My god. One day...
Acoustic foam such as this is only good for getting rid of the high end frequencies that reverberate in a room. For anything other than reducing the little shimmer you get when you clap your hands or type on your cherry MX blues, this sort of foam is mostly useless. But, for most people, that is fine. I would recommend buying the stuff from Aliexpress. Most of the branded stuff is greatly overpriced, and performs no differently. Also, do not buy foam bass traps, they do absolutely nothing. The only products that should be used for bass-trapping or serious room acoustic treatment is fiberglass or synthetic polyesters especially made for acoustic treatment.
I don't think a 1050ti or 1060 is justified with a $1500 custom loop. An extra few hundred dollars is nothing relative to the rest of the build. Everything is at 3840x1440, so almost 4K. So getting decent FPS in demanding games is still going to be an issue. I did a lot of competitive gaming for years, and I just want to take a break from it. I use the term 'casual' to define how much time I spend gaming, not the performance I expect from the games. Thanks for the compliment mate, really appreciate it.
The curly maple wrist-rest is from https://battlestation.io/, however I personally wouldn't recommend it at all. It's just a maple skirting board that's been VERY poorly cut using a handsaw. I'd recommend just going out to a local hardware store and buying some skirting board and getting them to cut it to size.
There are plenty of alternatives out there for around the $50 range. Just depends on the type of wood you want and the width of your keyboard. Try looking on Massdrop.
Thanks. The wrist-rest is from https://battlestation.io/, however I personally wouldn't recommend it at all. It's just a maple skirting board that's been very poorly cut with no treatment of any kind. I'd recommend just going out to a local hardware store and buying some skirting board and cutting it to size.
An alternative would be to mount a radiator to the top using the default radiator tray, and place an LED strip behind the radiator out of sight. Or you could make a custom little lip that comes off the top of the case inside the main compartment with an LED strip stuck on the inside. That way you can't see the light source.
It's a great case so you've made the right choice. I completely agree with you on the lighting. There's nothing worse than seeing the LED strip in a build. You should only be able to see the light emitted by the LEDs and it should not be overpowering, and it should not be multi-coloured.. white or a tinted white is best. At least, that's my opinion. The light in my photos is a bit brighter than it is in reality.
The way I achieved mine was to laser cut a translucent, opal acrylic plate in replacement of the original metal radiator tray. This allowed me to screw three SP120 fans on the top, but have the area around the fans diffuse light from the LED strips above. I did this by sticking two custom LED strips made from generic Chinese LED strips off eBay to the top aluminium frame on the inside which are attached to an LED controller and controlled by a remote. The controller is powered by a molex to DC barrel connector I made. The opal acrylic gives a nice effect whereby you cannot see the LEDs, instead all you see is a solid, almost 'glowing' piece of acrylic that emits light evenly across the entire case, while leaving enough shadow in some places. The photos above do show this, but they overexpose it a little and don't make it look as good as it actually looks.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks mate. Yeah the desk is 28mm thick plywood. It's currently 1800x800mm but I'm going to be building a new one in a month or so at 2100x900mm to accommodate for the Yamaha HS8's.
Doesn't sound too bad! A custom loop isn't that hard, just requires a bit of dedication to do the research. Getting your head around the parts is probably the most difficult part. The actual build is fairly easy. Give it a go! Thanks for the kind words :)
Thanks! The stand I bought off eBay. It's a generic design. You could even get it off Aliexpress if you wanted it cheaper. My one is the 'light' wood varient