Description

SO, this machine is three years in the making. The last few pictures are what I started with three years ago, and how it has changed (though that is likely obvious enough). Also, as a note, I do have a NZXT HUE+ LED controller, but the first one I received did not work (cries, cries), so I am waiting for a new one to arrive via RMA. That is why the controller does not appear in any of the pictures (except the one showing all of the boxes), and I will upload new ones with the LEDs attached and on as soon as they arrive!

The upgrades from the original: 16GB of memory --> 32GB r9 290x (x1) --> r9 290x (x2) Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 --> Corsair Carbide Air 540 Stock PSU Cables --> Custom Sleeved Cables (done myself, though similar ones can be bought from a number of online retailers) Corsair AF120s (x5) --> EK Vardar F2s (x5) + Corsair AF140 LED (white) ASUS OC Tool / Monitor --> N/A and the biggest change of all... Air Cooling --> Liquid Cooling

Reasons for water cooling? 1.) Temperatures, of course! My CPU ran fine (around 60C @ 100% load), but it was very load doing so), and my SINGLE 290x was way too hot, so I knew that adding a second one was out of the question until I had better cooling! 2.) Silence! As said, CPU temps were fine, but the noise was unbearable. Even at idle, it was loud, and DO NOT even get me started on the 290x. 50+ dB under load for a single card? forget about it, I had a jet engine under my desk!

Parts Rationale: the title is fairly self explanatory I think. 1.) i7-4930K: I needed a great performing 6 core back in January of 2013, and this was a far better value than the Extreme Edition. CPUs is this price range have not gotten so much better to warranty an upgrade (and the added cost of a new mobo for LGA-2011-3 and DDR4 memory would have buried me) 2.) 32GB memory: I chose this simply for editing purposes, and just because memory was so cheap at the time of purchase (Also, I know that Windows 7 Home Premium only allows me to use 16GB of memory, but I will upgrading to Windows 10 shortly, as I use Windows 7 simply because that is what I started off with when I built the original computer.) 3.) 290x (x2): I wanted these cards for gaming performance, and great overall compute performance vs the GTX 970 (that, and I already had 1 290x, plus the 3.5GB deal with the 970) 4.) 850 EVO 250GB SSD: fast boot drive, top notch performer for the money. 5.) Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDD: mass storage, acceptable performance for non essential programs. 6.) 1000G2: I needed at least 1000w of power, ad this power supply (from my own and reviewer's testing) can safely draw up to 1200w if needed. 7.) Watercooling Parts: Okay, I know they should not be all lumped into one, but the reasons are the same. They look great and perform as well as they look. Simple as that.

Build Log: I am not really sure what to put here. I suppose this is where I put any troubles I had, as a warning to those trying to build any medium-large liquid cooled rig. The build was pretty straight forward, even with it being my first time building a liquid cooled computer and also my first time handling rigid tubing, but some problems I encountered were:

1.) Bending or heating up the tubing too quickly! By bending it too quickly, I ruined quite a few bends (bending prematurely causes the tubing to start to kink which, while not harming performance, does definitely look bad.). The other bane of my bending existence was letting the tubing get too hot before I bent it, which caused everything from micro cracks to bubbles forming in the tubing, both of which severely damage the integrity of the tubing.

2.)I want to start with a statement: this was 100% my fault that I did not notice this mistake earlier, and it caused me to have to redo a lot of tubing. I did not pay attention to which end of my pump was the out pump and which was in, so I ended up running the tubing for output into in, and vice versa. This (obviously) caused big problems with my loop (aka it would not complete a full loop), and so it had to be done again. Again, that was just first time builder me not paying attention, but even so.. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR OUTPUTS

So, what were the results? Temps and noise down? Of course, the noise for my system is a very small fraction of what it was now, and temperatures are certainly lower than they were before, but how drastic of a change are we talking? (these numbers were taken with very sensitive dB meters, with a constant ambient noise of 25 dB. values are not deltas, or changes in, noise, but the total noise that includes the 25 dB ambient)

BEFORE BUILDING THE LOOP 1a.) Idle System Noise (in dB): 35.44 dB 1b.) 100% Load System Noise (in dB): 67.28 dB 2a.) Idle Temperatures CPU- 35C GPU 1- 37C 2b.) 100% Load Temperatures CPU- 60C GPU 1- 95C

AFTER BUILDING THE LOOP 3a.) Idle System Noise (in dB): 26.35 <--- The fans do not come on at idle. the only moving parts at this point are the pump and PSU fan 3b.) 100% Load System Noise (in dB): 29.01 dB <-- fans max out around 55%, all 6 fans active. 4a.) Idle Temperatures (high idle temps caused by the fans not turning on until the GPUs reach 50C) CPU- 38C GPU 1- 44C GPU 2- 43C 4b.) 100% Load Temperatures (again, higher than usual temps are caused by the fans never going above 55%. the goal here is SILENCE, not the lowest temperature ever) CPU- 55C GPU 1- 71C GPU 2- 68C

Phun Phact: The name of this project (EXI-MTP) derives from the fact that I finished this build while simultaneously writing my existentialism mid-term paper. Plus, it sounds neat. So, there you have it.

So, overall I would say it turned out well. 3DMark11 scores put the performance above 4k spec (99th percentile), and it is very quiet, even under a 100% load. I think it looks great on top of this, and that this machine, 3 years in the making, is finally complete.

Thanks for checking out my build, if you have any comments please post them below! I am happy to answer any questions!

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Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 3 points

That is a beautiful set up, I love the red/black.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

so much text, i just stared at the photo's its a nice clean build.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol sorry about that, I just wanted to wrote down what was going through my head as I went through the build, why I chose my parts, etc.

EDIT: Thanks :P lol

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Is that aurora in the reservoir I see? awesome cooling loop, i love haedline tubing.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

it absolutely is, good eye :P also, thanks! I put a lot of time and effort into thus build and I''m glad that other people also like it!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

How do you like the Aurora? I might use it in a build of my own soon.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I would recommend, personally, but if you are looking to have the lowest temps possible I would switch to something else. It isn't the most thermally efficient coolant you can use, it is really meant for looks (though the difference is only a couple C, and so for me its worth it because I think it is gorgeous.) . It is kind of just up to your preference: functionality first or looks first.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Okay, I might go either gold aurora or black pastel.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I have read about pastel coolants staining the tubing and blocks, making changing colors a pain. I haven't had any such issue with the Aurora, but it's something to keep in mind,

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build overall. +1.

I've read your goal is less noise not lower temps but lower load temps won't hurt all the same by choosing a non-demo liquid (not designed for everyday use and poor thermal Efficiency) If possible make the front intake push pull..promoting positive pressure (less dust particles being sucked in through open vents) and better cooling capacity.

at approx 700-800rpm those temps are worrying but that's just me.

I know they should not be all lumped into one.

why's that? Nothing wrong with that.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I would have done push/pull in the front, but the bottom and top fans wouldn't have been able to be properly mounted (the space available is about 2mm short of being able to fit the fans) otherwise I would have absolutely done that (although thinking about it, it isn't a very thick radiator, and so that may not help performance that much)

The temps are acceptable to me, as I have a very high room temperature (around 28C). Plus, the temps are still much lower than even well-cooled aftermarket 290xs, while being far quieter. I can also bump up the fan speed with the GRID controller if I even really feel like I need the extra performance (the EK Vardar's are about as quiet @60% load as they are on 20%, so I may do that).

Anyways, thanks for your thoughts!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow. Just....wow. Magnificent.

+1

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, mate!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Hat's off to you sir.

+1

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  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Them 290's are still kickin butt.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I wasn't sure the pair would be up to the task, but I was very gladly surprised to see how great the results were!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Holy crap.. your cable management is so clean I had a hard time finding all of your Audio and front panel connectors...

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I spent a solid 4 hours or so managing the cables, wiring and rewiring to make sure it all looked right to me. Thanks for the compliment!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Beautiful build! I really like the red, white and black colour scheme going on, looks really sharp C:

I do have one thing to say, and that is the coolant you are using... the aurora mayhems coolant doesn't have the best life span, as it is used for show systems. I have only read and heard things about the coolant.

Other than that, awesome build! +1 ;p

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I have a few liters of Mayhem's red pastel coolant.. I just couldn't resist getting some sweet shots of the Aurora , though. Thanks!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Believe me, I know! the Aurora coolant is amazing! I was gonna use it in a build I am planning soon, but after reading about the loop-life I backed out :c

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

You can pick up a premixed liter for around $20. Totally worth a run through your system for pictures, if you can swing the extra $20. (1L is enough to completely fill my loop twice, and I have a pretty big loop, for reference)

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, if I go the WC route, then I will probably buy some for pics. I was also planning a white, red and black system for a while haha, but it is gonna be a mini-itx rig.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Good color combination.. lol XD

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Hope you know that Aurora will clog up your system.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build. Only thing it's missing is a sound card :P

Edit: You might also consider using some led strips, if you like to have more lightning. They hide beneath corners nicely on air 540. You can take a look at how they perform from my build.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, my parts list includes a HUE+, and I would have been using it to take pics but it wasn't working and had to be sen back. When it gets refunded and returned then I'll install and upload pics with it running.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Also, sound card on the RIVE BE is as good as any high end sound card I've ever used (double blind testing, etc.), and I already have a DAC/amp for my higher end headphones

Thanks though :p

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Great looking rig. we have the same mobo lol. I plan on upgrading to water next month after my 2 evga 1080 ti's ftw3's arrive. going with ekwb for the blocks. we have the same cpu as well and runs smoothly oc to 4.5Mhz. again great looking setup

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  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Fancy fancy!

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  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

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  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

This build made even the Air 540 seem tight sometimes, but I'm glad it turned out the way it did. Thanks for the upvote!

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