Update - 07.12.2017
- De-lidded 7700K, noticed a drop in temps by ~15c and an overall drop in system temperature.
- Replaced CPU waterblock with EKs z270i Strix monoblock. Better fitment over previous block. Previous block was digging into memory modules and interfered with the back of the motherboard.
- New custom sleeving color combination. Saw the color scheme on mainframe customs instragram photo. The cable combs are made of metal so are several times stronger then the previous ones I used. I can make tighter bends with the cables while still looking clean.
- Replaced UV white pastel liquid with Mayhem's Aurua 2 Red to go with the new color scheme. Used Mayhem's red dye to give it a more deeper red color.
- Installed the Silverstone RGB hub which is compatible with ASUS Aura Sync. I can now control more than 1 RGB device. Replaced generic brand RGB strip with ones included in Silverstone hub. Previous strips would lose a color channel after a few days of use.
- Cleaned up the cabling in the back.. still messy but the best I can do in such a small form factor.
- Changed fan configuration from pull to push. Previous setup developed a problem where after the fan hit a certain RPM the fan blades would hit the radiator. Making a very unpleasant sound.
I was inspired to do this build after seeing the Digital Storm Bolt 3. A system with a small footprint that had a lot of potential and looked good at the same time. I got the itch to do another build and it was about time to upgrade. I've put together custom water loops before, but have never used nickel plated brass tubes before. So I thought I would take a stab at it. I thought the easiest route would be to use the same parts as the Bolt 3. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a place that sold the Swiftech H220-X. So I picked up the Swiftech H220-X2, later to find out it would not work at all. While test fitting the AIO cooler I found out the ITX motherboard wouldn't fit with or without the RAM installed. I figured since I had some old water cooling parts I would go the full custom route. The goal was to not go overboard with the hard tubing which can make the system look cluttered so I decided to route some of the lines using soft tubing. The biggest challenge I had was fitting the EK-Supremacy EVO block. If you were to look at the back of the MB, the backplate plate interfered with the MB components to the left of the CPU socket. I had to stretch the padding included with the waterblock to cover those components and took extra care not to over tighten the backplate. On the front side the mounting plate's top and bottom right corners were digging into the installed memory modules, causing them to push up against each other. Another issue I came across was cutting up a small amount of the rubber gasket in some of the fittings. To avoid this I had to take my time with chamfering the edges of the tubes. Since we are dealing with brass the process takes a bit longer than PETG tubing. Working with the brass tubing was difficult, there were times when I didn't know if I had inserted the tube far enough into the fitting. I just had to trust my measurements were good. It was a bit nerve racking when filling the loop, a concern I had was having a leak over the PSU. After 24 hours of leak testing the system was good to go. With the custom water loop the system overall is very quiet. The loudest component in my system is the water pump. My GPU temps dropped from 80 degrees celcius to low 50s at full load. The cards max boost was able to hit 1900MHz instead of 1800MHz on air. On the CPU side it went from mid 90s to low 80s at full load. I was expecting a larger drop in temps for the CPU but it may be attributed to the possiblity of the CPU water block not mounted as secure as I thought and/or the XMP profile raising the BCLK from 100 to 103, memory voltage from stock 1.35v to 1.4v. Future plans will be to swap out the CPU waterblock with the EK monoblock which will be released sometime in May. Looking at the install instructions the mounting mechanism won't interfere with the back of the motherboard and will hopefully provide enough clearance for the memory. I also need to get matching fittings. I ran out of the Bitspower silver shining fittings partway through the build. Hope you guys like the build and thanks for taking a look.