THANK YOU - for the featured build spot! What an honor!
This was my first attempt at a custom water loop. I had used an AIO in my previous build but I had always been in awe at seeing any PC with a hard tube loop. The design of the loop was never put on paper as recommended but visually I wanted something that wasn't so direct and straight. My bends are definitely more amateur then some of PC modding community, but overall I was quite pleased and encourage others to not be so afraid or timid as I was.
The case is an amazing piece to look at but certainly more difficult to build in then I was use too. The reservoir is literally a few mm next to the graphics card and cooler. This wouldn't have been a problem if I had opted for a thinner rad, but I really liked the look of the extra thickness. This was the only feasible place to mount the reservoir and so I piloted and threaded the holes and added extra thick half inch spacers to the bracket of the XSPC pump/reservoir to push it out towards the front of the case. The bracket was also painted white.
More of the customizing of the case included painting the top and front dust covers a purple to go with the clear / purple / white theme (With the help of my lovely wife to protect the mesh, this was the most tedious part). Also did a tear down of the GPU all for the sake of painting the backplate. While I was in there, I replaced the thermal strips with Fujipoly thermal pads and Noctua's thermal paste. Incredibly expensive, but I am pleased with the outcome. Next was purple stripes on the GPU backplate. I used finger nail strips from what a nail salon would use and then a clear coat for good adhesive measure.
I also wasn't crazy for the amount of holes in the case, so I covered the bottom of the case and where your typical rear exhaust fan would be installed. In order to get the 2 top exhaust fans to fit I ordered up another 360 fan tray (same as the front) to replace the top 240 tray on the top that was included with the case. This allowed the two 120mm fans to be located closer to the rear of the case and allow the space needed for the fittings for the top of loop. Other painting included the PCI brackets as well as the sli caps on the graphics card which were a bright orange and then the wireless adapter card which was a bright red. MAINframe Customs is who did the amazing cables, I can't take credit for the awesome full length sleeves, that goes to him. Highly recommend.
The pictures were all taken with my iPhone so the final picture really doesn’t do the final build justice. It’s hard to explain how good the glass looks and the colors are only white and purple and pop while it’s on.
This was an excellent learning experience for sure! Everything is overclocked and runs very cool and incredibly quiet. Thanks for looking!