I've always wanted to build a custom water cooled PC but always thought it was either too hard or it is something I could never be able to do. So after about 2 years since my first gaming PC build, I decided to do take things next level just for fun. I achieved something that I once thought was impossible. Yes I did and I'm so proud of myself (not to brag).
I use this PC for gaming, work, and pretty much for all everyday use. I do not overclock at least right now but that's a thought for future. I don't know much about overclocking but I do have a option to learn and apply to my system now.
1. be quiet dark base pro 900 (i have original - rev. 1.0) case specification says it supports both 420mm radiator top and front of the case but it is not exactly true for watercooling builds. I bought two 420mm from EKWB; one is 30mm thick and other is 45mm. Because of the case design I had to mount the 45mm rad on top of the case and 30mm on the front, it cannot be switched other way around. Why is this a problem? Because I had to place the top radiator so that the water ports were on the top left side of the case which made it difficult to fit a big fitting like from bitspower (ended up using two dual 90 degree rotary). The water port I used as outlet from the radiator to the CPU block was touching the motherboard shroud and was very tight against the area where the rear fan would go; for this reason I couldn't use the rear fan.
2. I should have bought the Reservoir and Pump combo instead of buying them separately. The build would have been simpler if I had used res-pump combo. My original loop order was (on-paper at the time of planning):
Reservoir to Pump to GPU block to top 45mm Radiator to CPU block to 30mm front Radiator to Reservoir
But instead I had to do (problem #1 also played a role for the following):
Reservoir to Pump to 30mm front Radiator to GPU block to 45mm top Radiator to CPU block to Reservoir
I decided to buy them separately because I wanted to fill all the empty space in a full-tower case which I did end up doing but in the end I thought I should have bought them as a one unit. I guess this isn't the problem and is more like a personal choice but if I had to think this all over again I wouldn't buy them separately.
3. Little bit (I meant literally tiny bit) of case modification was required in-order for me to mount 3 EK-Vardar fans on the front (outside of front radiator but behind the front dust filter) as an intake. Because the be quiet dark base pro 900 is designed to work with be quiet silent wings fans, I had to cut a little bit of hard plastic from the front cover so that the cover wouldn't touch/interfere with the top most front fan. Otherwise you'd have to use one of the silent wing 3 fans that came with the case. The modification was very simple. I used a saw to cut the hard plastic and it took me like 2 minutes to cut both sides of the front cover. I also used a 400 brit sand paper to smooth out the plastic edges after the cut.
4. Mounting the Vertical GPU Bracket that I purchased from CableMod. Good news is that the vertical gpu mount FITS but it has its drawback (well for my setup at least). I had to remove the PSU cage that was used to mount the PSU with 4 screws and was used to remove/install the PSU with ease. When I had the PSU cage installed the vertical GPU bracket wouldn't fit. I could have fixed this issue by shifting the entire motherboard tray upward by one screw hole but I was too deep into bending tubes and with the loop planning to let it go. This wouldn't have work for my setup because; you see, I was using 45mm think radiator and the radiator Vardar fans which took up to much space at the top and it wouldn't have allowed me to move the MB tray upwards.
5. Cable Management is a mess on dark base pro 900 and I couldn't fix it but I think I did a great job so that the back panel doesn't make a bulge from too many cables from one place. I used zip ties and Velcro straps that came with the case.
I have two more things to add to this build i.e Custom white colored PCI-E slot thumbscrew preferably from cablemod which I think will add a nice little white accent to that graphics card corner and a custom made PSU shroud painted black to hide the PSU wires and drain port.
Overall, I'm extremely happy with the outcome of the build. I think it's neat for the first time building a watercooling PC. Please I'm open to suggestions on improvements, comments, concerns, and/or questions.
Thank you! :)