Description

I wanted to play Star Citizen, and my 6-year-old gaming computer was not up to the task. This is my build to take me to the stars….

CASE: Step 1) Remove the top, front and both side panels. Step 2) Remove all the hard drive trays and set them aside. We will need one tray to modify into a tray to hold the Alphacool Light Tower reservoir. Step 3) Get out your electric drill and with a drill bit a little larger than the rivet hole, start drilling out the rivets that hold the hard drive tray back frame in place. What we are doing here is just drilling the rivet head until it separates from the rivet body. We are not drilling into the hole the rivet is in. When the rivet head separates, you can then pull the rivet out of the hole. (Really, don’t be afraid to get out your electric drill, Dremel Tool, and hack saw to modify your computer case. It is great fun.) Step 4) With all rivets removed, remove the hard drive tray back frame. Now we have room for the Alphacool UT60 radiator and the push/pull fans.

I love this NZXT H440 case. It is a no nonsense no frills case that really gets the job done. Nice clean lines, great looks easy to work with and modify. The only weakness is the air intakes in the front and top panel. (NZXT fixed this issue with their Noctis 450 case).

MoBo: ASUS Z97 Sabertooth Mark 1. I really like the whole line of ASUS Sabertooth motherboards. They are tough, no frills, great cooling, and very clean looks. And they work (5 year warranty).

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K, LGA 1150. Already over-clocked from the factory to 4 GHZ. Has Turbo Boost so it auto-overclocks even more as needed.

THERMAL COMPOUND: Thermal Grizzly Hydronaut High Performance Thermal Grease. It scores quite high in the comparison ratings, so I am giving it a try. Very easy to apply and work with.

MEMORY: 32 GB (4x8 GB) of Corsair Vengeance Pro Series, DDR3, 1866 MHZ, 9-10-9-27 timing.

STORAGE: 2x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB M.2. I have these mounted on a Bplus M2PS card, which takes power off the PCIe bus but puts no data on the PCIe bus. The data still has to go through SATA cables to the regular SATA III ports on the motherboard, just like a regular 2.5-inch SSD. I just love the M.2 form factor for SSD’s for a PC. It is simple, compact and you can tuck your SSD’s out of sight. I do have a 40mm Noctua fan blowing on the SSD’s to keep them cool. On a 2.5 inch SSD, the metal case acts as a heat sink and radiator to keep them cool. I had these two 850 EVO’s in RAID-0 for several days, but I found that RAID-0 is not sailor-proof. I managed to break RAID-0 by unplugging my keyboard during a system reboot. (my BAD!). Now I have them set up in standard C: drive and D: drive. Still plenty fast on the SATA III ports. NOTE: The Bplus M2PS board is for M.2 SSD’s that are keyed SATA key B+M, such as the Samsung 850 EVO. If your M.2 SSD is PCIe key M, it will not work with this board. The Samsung 951, and the new Samsung 950 Pro are PCIe key M. They are designed to put data directly to the PCIe bus, and will not fit on the Bplus M2PS board.

POWER SUPPLY: Corsair AX760. I have had real good luck with Corsair power supplies in the past. The power supply fan only comes on when needed. The fan is oriented on the bottom where it takes suction through the bottom case air filter.

WATER COOLING: This is my first attempt at water-cooling a computer. The CPU and GPU are plumbed in parallel; the two radiators and pump are in series. In my setup the EK-Supremacy EVO All Copper Waterblock gets the lions share of the flow. The ASUS Poseidon GPU has what looks like a ¼-inch O.D. U-tube in it, which works very well.(GPU fans come up to speed at 45 deg.C). I love the industrial/steam punk look of copper tubing so that is my first choice in this computer. I used 3/8-inch (.500-inch OD) type M copper pipe (Grainger.com model # MH03010). Other copper fittings are all standard 3/8-inch copper fittings from our local home building and supply stores.

PUMP: Swiftech MCP655 G/14 Threaded Special Edition with speed controller. The inlet and the outlet of the pump are insulated from the hard pipe with a short length of plastic tubing. This prevents pump vibration from becoming pump noise in the hard copper pipe. I had to cut a hole in the case above the pump so it would fit, but hey, that is what Dremel Tools are for.

RADIATORS: Alphacool UT60 360mm in the front with Noctua NF-F12 PWM fans in push/pull. Alphacool ST30 280mm in the top with Noctua NF-A14 PWM fans in pull only (this is a very tight fit with this motherboard).

RESERVOIR: Alphacool Light Tower with a green LED light in the bottom shining up through the tower. It was difficult trying to figure out where to put the reservoir. I ended up modding one of the drive trays into a platform to mount the reservoir, hanging the front of the tray frame from the upper case frame with 1/8 inch copper tubing. Next build I am going to try using one of the radiators as the reservoir.

FITTINGS: A mix of Bitspower, Alphacool, Enzotech and Monsoon. Most of the Bitspower True Brass fittings were ordered directly from Bitspower in Taiwan (a good international shopping experience). I did order two Bitspower True Brass fittings from FrozenCPU.com (FrozenCPU.com is up and running although a bit of a dysfunctional company).

I love the design of the Monsoon Free center Hardline fittings. The Orange color is actually Copper Orange and matches the copper pipe quite nicely. People do not like this style fitting because the common mode of failure is the plastic cap that gets glued on the end of the tubing. The caps eventually crack and leak. (The company has recently changed the compound in the plastic for a more durable cap.) The caps don’t fit the end of copper pipe very well, so I eliminated them altogether. I replaced each cap with 2ea Swagelok ½-inch Brass Back Ferrule (Swagelok part no. B-814-1) and one standard size: QR-111 Quad Ring. This setup works perfect for a durable leak tight fitting. The brass back ferrules are glued to the end of the copper pipe with Loctite Marine Epoxy (Loctite item no. 1405604). I chose the Loctite Marine Epoxy for it’s excellent adhesion to copper, brass and other metals, it’s resistance to water, and it withstands a high temperature of 302 deg.F (105 deg.C). It is a two-part epoxy, after mixed it has a working time of greater than 30 minutes, and I found it cures hard in about 4 hours. All copper fittings in this system are glued together with the Loctite Marine Epoxy. Nothing is soldered. Very easy construction.

All 0-rings, quad-rings, rubber seals, and plastic threads got a light coat of Parker O-Ring Lubricant. This stuff works great for lubricating and ensuring a watertight seal.

I am running straight distilled water in the system with a Monsoon Silver Bullet Antimicrobial plug in one of the unused radiator ports.

Enjoy.

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Comments

  • 51 months ago
  • 15 points

Congratulations on the feature!

Oh my goodness that must have taken a lot of hard work.

Please throw computer to my address

Pretty please?

Excellent job bending the copper.

Really awesome build, +1

  • 51 months ago
  • 6 points

i see what you did there

  • 51 months ago
  • 5 points

Sickening how this build wasn't donated to a charitable cause (me). He should really think about it instead of bragging and donate it (to me).

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha Copper ^ Noice m8!

Just just one thing.....I saw lube...and uh....so.....

  • 51 months ago
  • 3 points

Best looking pc I've seen. It's almost steampunk. Beautifully done.

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

I SMELL A FEATURE

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I WAS RIGHT

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice use of copper tubing. You don't see a theme like this often. May the force be with you.

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Do i see metal mixes in your loop? The fittings don't look like copper...

  • 51 months ago
  • 3 points

I did my best to avoid nickle in the build. Fittings, plugs etc. are mostly Brass and Copper. (very close on the galvanic scale). Radiators are copper core. Hope to minimize galvanic corrosion. (one photo shows green fittings by the graphics care, that is from the flash on my camera, the fittings that show green are Bitspower True Brass.)

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I see. So you actually selected your items by their relation on the galvanic scale. I gotta hand it to you man, that's is some insanely serious builder skills right there! bowsdown

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey dude i really like your build....I wanted to ask you How are your temps and Does this system have a pump or is this a pumpless copper system???

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Highest temp on the graphics card I have seen so far is 54 deg.C, Highest temp on the CPU is 49 deg.C. I think the pump is in there somewhere.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Woah... Love the copper!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

This is awesome. I'm jealous!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Almost $190 worth of Noctua in there... whoa.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

My thoughts...

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

But i think the Copper actually looks good with those Noctua Browns.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't seen too many copper builds for liquid cooling. That's interesting.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build and finally something that matches those fans +1

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Truly a piece of art! A high performance art to top it off! Congrats! +1

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

well that is something you don't see every day, nice work there. i'd be thankful if you could add your cpu and gpu temps to the description because i plan to go for the same radiators for my future h440 loop and am curious

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Highest temp on the graphics card I have seen so far is 54 deg.C, Highest temp on the CPU is 49 deg.C.

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  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow great ^ ^ Nice parts

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

dude.... those pipes.... nice choice on this piping man, that thing is beautiful. Its very clean but with a small hint of steam punk to it with all that copper.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build!! +1 for using Noctua (I love them!!) Amazing COMbination!

You didn't include the baby noctua on bottom panel in your part's list. I almost miss it!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

OOPS, forgot to add the 40mm Noctua fan that is cooling the M.2 SSD's to the list.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Very cool.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Amazing looking and performing build you have there!! First time I've seen Noctua fans fit into a color scheme lol!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow this is pretty awesome. Copper tubes were on my want list, but I felt they'd be too hard the first time I built mine.

Really great. Nice bends, nice case, nice theme/colors. I've struggled with how to upgrade my computer's hard drive space while maintaining my theme, but when I eventually move to PCI or M.2 when I feel like dropping a big amount more.

Great job with the H440!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build man. I really like the copper tubes. Just out of curiosity why did you decide to put the CPU and GPU water blocks in parallel? They will probably have different flow restriction which is not a problem in series but in this case you might get different flow rates in the blocks. The temperature in the block with higher restriction might be a little bit higher on average.

Very good work though! +1

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

The Asus Poseidon graphics card has what looks like a 1/4-inch O.D. 'U' tube inside it. If I ran it in series with the CPU waterblock, all the system flow would have to be forced through the little 1/4-inch tube, restricting total system flow. Also, I am not a big fan of pre-heating the water I want to cool the next componet with. With the components plumed up in parallel, both the CPU and GPU get the same coolest water temperature coming out of the radiators.

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

If I ran it in series with the CPU waterblock, all the system flow would have to be forced through the little 1/4-inch tube, restricting total system flow.

Yes it looks like the Poseidon has little bit higher flow restriction compared to the Supremacy Evo and this helps the CPU in your configuration. I you are running high head pressure pump which can overcome the vertical distance between the GPU and CPU block minus the flow through the GPU. However if you had put them in series yes you will get higher pressure, but the flow rate will increase. The higher the flow rate the more quickly heat is convected from your blocks to the liquid. Think about it as a flexible garden hose with constant water supply. If there is no restriction the water flows out at constant rate. However if you cover the opening with your finger the liquid will apply higher pressure to the walls of the hose (causing it to expand slightly) and to your finger, what is more the flow rate of the water coming out increases.

Also, I am not a big fan of pre-heating the water I want to cool the next component with.

This is common misconception. There is no hot side/cold side in a liquid cooling setup, again due to the flow. You need to have very low flow rate (almost static) in order to get any significant temperature difference from component to component. In a typical setup you will not see more than 2-3 degrees difference of the liquid between any two components. However, the temperature of the liquid is different from the readings of the various sensors placed on your CPU/GPU dice. In fact the components in any liquid cooled setup are thermally coupled by the fluid no matter the configuration. If you have unequal load for example high GPU/low CPU in gaming, or high CPU/low GPU like encoding the component under load heats up the liquid and the overall temperature of the loop increases.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Congrats on getting featured!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

i am LOVING the copper tubing. that is a very clever design.

a question about parallel.. does it work like electricity? where the (idk what you'd call it for water cooling lol) voltage is all the same and the current changes? or is something else going on here?

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

The pressure would be the same across the water blocks but the flow could be different.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

that's what i was thinking

Voltage= pressure

current = flow.

that actually makes sense because Current is the flow of electrons and voltage is the force or pressure behind it

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

No.... no words... should have sent... a poet

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

i love this build. i love seeing something different, that not a lot of people have done. this is just beautiful, terrific job mate

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks a lot. Really. Now I want to go out and water cool my PC with copper tubing...

Because.

This.

Is.

So.

COOL!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Not kidding, this is amazing! Never seen something this unique.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I think I'm the only one that enjoys seeing boxes piled on top of each other lol.

Excellent job. +1

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Dude! I built my PC for Star Citizen too!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

For some reason when I saw the copper loop, it looked very rustic, I don't know why. Anyways, awesome build!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow. Just... wow.

Well done, sir.

Love to see you get some copper model paint and do the RAM sticks over the existing red... maybe a patina look, if you will.

And yeah, this might be the very first build I've seen where the Noctua fans look like they belong and were made to be there. lol! I didn't cringe when I saw them! :)

Enjoy Star Citizen like a boss. :)

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I was so confused when I saw how you plumbed the CPU and GPU at first. I never even would have thought to put those two in parallel-- Hell of a job, boss.

And nice bends. *******, especially that one between rads. +1

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Wielding a tubing bender is not difficult, but too much force will ruin the copper.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I bought an old Ridgid 1/2 inch tubing bender off eBay. I had to be very slow and methodical bending the tubing to prevent breaking the bend. And yes, I broke a bunch of bends.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

i went to a trade highschool for HVAC (which i dont use go figure) and i learned how to do plumbing welding as well as air conditioner servicing. Bends have to be super precise especially with non-refrigeration grade copper.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Outstanding loop. Using copper which is quite unique, and also incidentally has great thermal conductivity... if this Computer ever gets about 55C. id be surprised.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

For the 6x 12inch fans in your front how did you go about getting that block to put them all on?

Thats one hell of a trick for these h440 cases!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

They fit with room left over.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

love the steam punk look of this build. great touches

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Great job, man! +100000 for finding a colour scheme that actually works with Noctua fans! Looks amazing!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

That is one beautiful piece of tech my brotha. +++++++1

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Can someone explain me why people still use DDR3 memory while they are more expensive and DDR4 is out?

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Compatible Parts. The Z97 motherboards use DDR3, and will not work with DDR4. When planning a computer build always go to the motherboard web site and download the Qualified Vendor List (QVL). This is a list of parts that are guaranteed to work with that motherboard. Pay close attention to the memory section and you will not run into any issues with your build.

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  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

What are your speeds for read/write for the M.2 drive on the 6gb/s? I am thinking about buying one and my MOBO supports M.2 6gb/s and i'm just curious if it's worth it at the speeds! Thank you!

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Its always nice to see Noctua fans actually fitting into a colour scheme :)

Looks great +1

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Man that just looks like work. Very nice though. Do you like that card? I have bee debating using it.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

How do you like those headphones?

  • 51 months ago
  • -1 points

A word from the wise. Home users do not need any version of Windows that is Pro. You are wasting your money. I work in an IT department and Pro is only for PC's that are in a networked domain and business licensing reasons deemed by Microsoft. For most PC's on this site the Home version of the OS is exactly what you need. Just because it says Pro in the name doesn't mean you have to have it for your "pro" PC.

  • 51 months ago
  • 3 points

Home is capped at 16GB still last i checked.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

That's interesting, I never knew of that limitation. In our business environment we're using 8GB, we've never thought about 32GB.

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  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

The reason I chose Windows 7 Pro over Windows 7 Home edition, is the the Home edition only recognizes and uses up to 16GB memory. The Windows 7 Pro will recognize and use all 32MB of memory that I have. If you have Windows 7 Home and you have more than 16GB memory, You wasted money on memory sticks because the computer is only using 16GB of your memory.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Lmao 32 mb of memory

  • 50 months ago
  • 0 points

ALL the MB's for max performance haha.

  • 51 months ago
  • -1 points

I Don't like it, but you get my +1. Copper isn't my thing, I think it looks fugly, but this is a good build, to each his own. Glad it works for you.

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  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

I could polish and coat it, but I want it to age naturally to get an industrial look to the build.

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  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thats what i was wondering too. Either sweated or perhaps soldered and sanded til smooth?

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

No sweats. All copper fittings are glued together with the Marine Epoxy.

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  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

The tubing really didn't take all that long. (several days) Just be slow and methodical, take your time, do one piece of tube at a time. I looked at each piece of tube as an individual project. Just keep at it until you get it right.

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