Description

So... where to start... I've had my Alienware M17x (2009) laptop for 6 years and it does most tasks, but when it comes to newer games it really struggles to produce the FPS. I decided it wasn't worth upgrading the laptop anymore (had gotten the QX9300, new optical drive and 8GB RAM) to have an SSD since eventually I would come to a point where the motherboard would be the limiting factor.

Then came the idea of building a desktop, the last time I had built one was about when I was 8, with a Pentium II if I remember correctly(!), so this was a big step up. Initially I was going to just slap in a Swiftech H240-X which, with some research should be the best AIO watercooling unit for the CPU, but then I thought "go hard or go home right?" and opted for a custom watercooling loop.

The build was delayed by a day or so due to delivery and stock problems with certain companies, so the build time (before installing programs etc.) was around 2-3 days. A more experienced person could probably have got it done a little faster but then again there is a first for everything. With regards to where I sourced my parts (the prices listed are pretty much exact give or take delivery for some), it was a combination between Amazon, More Computers, eBay, OverclockersUK and Scan Computers. Windows 10 Pro was a Windows 7 Pro refurbished key, then upgrade and then clean install. The CPU and 1TB SSD were bought in Hong Kong for what I would consider a decent price whilst I was over there. What took long was to find the right parts for the watercooling - but gladly they all fit and I didn't need any exchanges!

I already had the keyboard (edit: recently purchased the Corsair) and mouse before the build, my Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro 250Ohm headphones broke so I got the ATH-M70xs after some research (Now have Sennheiser HD650). Also I originally ordered the ASUS VG248QE 144Hz monitor to be my second screen, but I wasn't happy with colours and viewing angle of the TN panel. Not to mention having a different screen size, pixel number and also pixel density made it feel awkward as well as having the mouse be stuck on the area of the screen, between e.g. pixel 1081 and 1440 if I'm trying to move across from one monitor to another. The BenQ (much cheaper) monitor is arriving tomorrow but it is only 60Hz, however I won't be gaming on it so it shouldn't matter too much. I will definitely notice the difference in windows (the saying is right: Once you go 120/144Hz there is no going back!) and hopefully the bezel size, I believe slightly wider than the MG279Q, won't bug me too much...

Sadly, there were issues with the BenQ monitor. E.g. if I had a video in full screen running on it, it would make things that were running on the MG279Q feel like 60Hz, especially those in windowed/borderless mode such as CS:GO. It also felt sluggish when both monitors were running together, not just because it is 60Hz, but because there seemed to be a little bit of incompatibility with running both on different refresh rates, even though theoretically it shouldn't make a difference - maybe it's a Windows setting, perhaps aero. Anyways, I took the plunge and bought another MG279Q so the parts list has been updated, and so far it's worked perfectly fine, if you ignore having to get a replacement for dead pixels... something that shouldn't be required to do for a £450 "QC Passed" monitor.

The build began with installing the water blocks on the Titan Xs which was fairly straightforward despite one seemingly stripped screw; the thermal pads were pre-cut for the memory modules with the EK Blocks and I just had to cut the ones for the VRMs. With the EK Supremacy EVO CPU block I changed the jet plate and the insert to match the "optimal configuration" as shown in their manual for LGA-2011-V3 before installing it onto the motherboard. What I did notice was that the mounting thumb screws never seemed to be tight enough after the CPU is locked into place with the thumb nuts (unscrewing the thumb nuts seems to also unscrew the thumb screws underneath). I'll go ahead and highlight some problems / adjustments below:

  • To mount the pump and reservoir, I had to drill two 4mm holes in the case (this was the only drilling needed throughout the whole build).

  • The tubing was fairly tight, so I needed to use a hair dryer and some needle nose pliers to help fit the tubing onto the fittings.

  • Because the PSU was slightly bigger than the average PSU, I had to mount the 240mm radiatior at the front instead of at the bottom of the case as I had initially planned which meant removing a bunch of the modular hard drive cages which would have supported 6 more drives. Just as well, they would have needed to move to install the pump/res. This made the 240mm radiator work in a push/pull config with 2 x 120mm Noctua fans pulling and the 200mm NZXT case (default) fan pushing.

  • The EATX motherboard is supported by the Phantom 530 BUT it isn't ideal, the holes for cable management are cut off half way because the motherboard is so large, so routing the cables is a little tight. There was very little space near the PSU area so it took a long time to wire the cables well to ensure minimal overlap / bend. However this meant that everything seemed to fit quite well and there wasn't a huge gap in the case - a reason for not buying a super large full tower case.

  • I could only mount the top 360mm radiator with the tubes coming near the drives as they would not fit the other way round, so the first drive slot had to be blank. Even still, the cables are ever so slightly bent/kinked near the top.

  • The 3 x 120mm fans on the top radiator are pushing air into the case through the radiator, perhaps these can be adjusted to pull, so that there is more than one exhaust fan (currently 120mm NZXT case rear fan).

  • There was no "speaker" that came with the motherboard or the case for the header pins.

First bootup: Error 53 - Reseated all RAM slots - error fixed. There was another error which I think was because the Sata cable was only partially connected, probably because it was nudged loose putting the case back panel on. Finally into the BIOS: Enabling XMP Profile for 3000MHz memory OC -> will not post. A few resets will make it post but then the same problem will happen later. Reset CMOS on the back of the case proved very useful later on. Did a lot of forum searching, had to change System Agent Voltage from ~0.85 to 1.0V. Here are the settings I currently have in the BIOS (to achieve the overclocks I've listed), after many BSODs and non-successful posting due to not having enough voltage etc. (UPDATED as of 13/05/2016)

  • Enable M2 in PCIe config
  • CPU Ratio 44x
  • Cache Min Auto
  • Cache Max Auto
  • Vcore Auto
  • Vcache Auto
  • Vinput Auto *Vsa Auto
  • DRAM Voltages Auto

  • GFX Card 110% power (MSI Afterburner)

  • Core +200MHz
  • Memory +500MHz
  • (No overvolting used)

CPU only gets to ~75C under benchmarking, normal use/gaming usually maxes out at <60C.

Meaningful/less game benchmarks :D

  • Assassin's Creed Unity: 4x AA / 2560x1440 / 144Hz / Ultra High: 40 - 90 FPS
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: 2560x1440 High: 400 - 1,100 FPS
  • League of Legends: 2560x1440 Very High: 300 - 950 FPS (capped on 144 because of skipping issues)

Note: Yes I did notice that the parallel blank had the screws in the wrong way on the pic with just both graphics cards hehe :D

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Comments

  • 54 months ago
  • 4 points

but then I thought "go hard or go home right?" and opted for a custom watercooling loop.

but no rigid tubing. :(

  • 54 months ago
  • 3 points

I c wut u did thr :(

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

lol but nice build though. I really enjoyed it.

  • 54 months ago
  • 3 points

You built a computer at 8!? +1 for that! I'm 13 and I have only been DREAMING of a build like this! another +1 if I could! :P Amazing! I like the loop! White/red FTW!

In b4 Geekazoid :P

  • 54 months ago
  • 3 points

You're 13 and you have an account here :) That's one step of the way haha, I literally just made mine earlier ^ A lot of the red in the mobo/ram don't show up that much the build could have gone with pastel white and white lighting but I kinda like it how it is now. Would have been nice if the graphics cards faced the other way so you could see the red coolant going through the plexi blocks :( That was the main reason I went with a coloured coolant 'cause even though it would be more hassle later, I'm not planning on changing the colour and just using distilled + silver killcoil etc would mean the res / plexi blocks would be colourless :(

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, it would probably be hard to get the coolant side to be facing out. From what I've seen, you'd need to have either a heavily modded ATX case or an mITX or mATX case with a PCI-e extension. It's nice though! Will you be planning on going hard tubing?

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Don't think so :D

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Your not alone, I also started building when I was 7 or 8 years old.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm almost 20 and still never built a pc lmfaooo FeelsPoorMan

  • 54 months ago
  • 3 points

I'm sorry, this is an awesome build, but can we all as a unit refrain from calling our rigs "the beast"? I swear, I've seen at least four on the first page alone today that had that title. Sorry, rant over.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha idk.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

this build is prolly the original beast :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Unless you have 4-way SLI of the flagship new GPU as well as the newest and best CPU (at the time of this writing: i7-6950x and GTX 1080's), it's not really "beast" imo. Gotta constantly upgrade all the time to keep that title too.

  • 54 months ago
  • 2 points

I guess this rig is okay if you like gaming or something:) jk Hey, let me borrow it for just a minute?

  • 54 months ago
  • 4 points

Hmmm... interesting proposal...

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Great Build M8 I rate 8/8

Edit: Not enough squid after 4 months 7/8

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

needs a better title for an awesome build. +1

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Ideas welcome, but it really is called The-Beast under system settings xD

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Edit-nvrmind, looks fantastic, love the cooling loop.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

My pc is named "Beast" under the system settings too :D

Amazing build BTW

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

wow just wow that is an amazing build

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Your bawlz are definitely to the walls with this one :P

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

But can it run minesweeper on low settings?

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

It can't =[ because I don't have Minesweeper xD Not installed by default on Win 10 :))

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Thats alright minesweeper is probably to much for a £656 cpu and 980 ti lol

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

You couldn't run minesweeper at 240p with this.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the Bends on the Tubing..

Thanks for Sharing !!

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

+1

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

:O

This is amazing!

+100

Btw, how is that keyboard?

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

It's still working haha. I don't like the slight wobble on the keys though, but it was a lot cheaper than the Logitech G710+ when I was looking for them a few years back.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

is the 5960x really necessary for this build man ?? you could of saved a lot of money by going with a 5820k or 4790k

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

1) 4790k doesn't even support DDR4, it's quad core only and more for budget level performance, rather than enthusiast. Not to mention it's getting rather outdated especially with the likes of the new Skylakes.

2) 5820k is a 28-lane CPU, I'm not going to skimp and get a lesser CPU on a build where the CPU is not even 15% of the total cost. If anything it would have been between the 5930k and the 5960x, but the same applies. I'm not planning on upgrading anytime soon I'd rather spend a bit more to have a better build for the years.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

what kind of coolant are u using

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

It's in the parts list: 1L Mayhems Pastel Red Coolant (just under 1L used)

£5.48 15ml Mayhems Deep Red Dye (didn't really change colour much)

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

this is prolly why I won't use liquid cooled gotta buy coolant and **** want it to be pretty much hassle free unlike a car.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Well you don't have to buy specific coolant, distilled water would do just fine. But yeah with liquid cooling you will have to do some maintenance... I would imagine once a year will suffice.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Well done but you have to do some cable and hose management. My 4 Titan X's and 5960x are 20c cooler than yours with a MMUUUUCCCHHH higher overclock and overvolt. PM Me and I'll shoot you tips.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

The back isn't perfectly tidy, but I honestly can't see how much more you could improve the cables showing at the front, besides using the 4+4/4+2 split connectors for each graphics card.

For the hoses to be able to fit, the top radiator could only mount with the hoses near the drive bays, and the front radiator could only mount that way too. There should be plenty of space near the radiators, the only potential change I can think of is to change the top three fans to exhaust air out of the case, but I'm not sure this would help.

If anything, I just hope that the application of thermal paste on the CPU isn't causing the problem.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build man. But I'd clean up the look a bit. For the amount of $ you spent on it I'd think it should look much better. +1

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

One question. Why that case. Not custom watercooling optimized.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Not too sure tbh, just looked cool out of the ones I saw :)

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Ik im a little late but how is the ath m70x for gaming and how good is it in surround sound? gotta hear those footsteps yo

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

It's pretty good I think, comfortable for long periods of time.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi there. I have nevr built a pc before but am looking to copy you or something very similar. Making the jump finally from console gaming to pc. I want a titanx 4k build and i keep looking at this one. Do you think a first timer could pull this off?

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, there are very clear instructions that come with the mobo.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

But can it run Minecraft, tho?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

If I had that game maybe.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build man, i'm scared myself of watercooling that something might burst and destroy my components. Anyways really sexy build man and also replace that SLI bridge pweeze.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

With?

  • 54 months ago
  • 0 points

Love the name! HATE THE VIDEO CARDS....I hope this isn't for gaming...if so you wasted your moenaaaay! 2 980TI's in 2-way SLI offer the same performance!

  • 54 months ago
  • 2 points

Assassin's Creed: Unity running at 2560x1440, not even 4K, is using 7.3GB VRAM already exceeds the 980Tis' capacity of 6GB. Plus the price at which I got my Titans I'd take them over those any day. I don't intend on changing the parts anytime soon, so the Titans imo are more futureproof :)

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

I understand. But how did you find that deal?

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Both were purchased on eBay, one as new, one as having been tested only once.

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  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Hmmm I read a 3rd TX wouldn't really improve performance by much and also it might not be as stable(?). Each chip is different sadly, but GL!

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