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DevilishBooster

Project: Deep Freeze

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey guys and gals, DevilishBooster here with my first build log. I recently started my first big modding/build projects so some of this stuff is new to me, and documenting the steps and process that I take is part of that so hopefully I don’t miss anything too big. I’ll try to hit all the details without rambling on. (DISCLAIMER: There are a number of images in this post and I did not use spoilers because they refuse to work correctly for me with the new forum. Suck it up, Buttercup... ;))

Deep Freeze Banner.jpg

I’d like to introduce you to Project Deep Freeze. This build actually started just a few weeks ago and has been progressing at an incredible rate (mostly because my brain refuses to focus on anything else). This one is on track to actually be my first “big” (for me) case mod project to be completed. Also, I am very excited to announce that this build is sponsored by CableMod!!

cablemod_logo.jpg

 

The Backstory:

About a month ago I decided to go to my first LAN party ever at PDXLAN in the beginning of Nov because a group of people I have been getting to know invited me to join them. I knew right away that I was going to need a computer that I could take with me in my carry-on (I don’t trust the airport baggage handlers – read: “throwers”) and I don’t feel like/don’t have $3000+ to drop at one time on a gaming laptop. By building a small PC I can spread out the cost over the next 4-6 months. A YouTuber I follow, Kyle (Awesomesauce Network - I'm sure many of you already know who he is) recently built his “Go Anywhere, Do Anything” PC in the Fractal Design Node 202, and I thought that would be a good build to copy, but I wanted to spice it up a bit.

20160513_195438.jpg

 

Reasoning:

I knew from the start that I wanted a pretty powerful PC because I also stream to Twitch, so I couldn’t just throw in some crappy APU. I have an i7 5820k that I picked up for my VR project build because it was on sale, so I decided to just use that as the basis. Luckily, ASRock has a Socket 2011-3 X-99 mITX mobo. It has light blue heatsinks and DIMM slots, so I knew that we would be going with a blue theme. My co-worker and I paired that with the fact it’s going to be in a Fractal Design case, and thus Project Deep Freeze was conceived. The overall theme colors are black (case, mobo PCB, fans, etc) and a light “ice” blue.

34oyjyx.jpg

 

The Parts

Processor: Intel i7 5820k

Motherboard: ASRock X99E-ITX/ac

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3000 16GB

Storage: Samsung 950 Pro m.2 512GB PCIe SSD

Graphics: Sapphire Radeon R9 Nano

Power: Corsair SF600 SFX 80-Plus Gold Fully Modular

Case: Fractal Design Node 202 (Modded)

Cooling: Full system custom water cooling loop

 

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I am going for a complete system water cooling loop! I know it sounds like insanity with the Node 202 case, but I have spent countless hours researching, contemplating, and comparing parts to find everything that would work/fit. At this point, I am 95% certain that it WILL work. It was obvious from the start that figuring out a custom water cooling loop that will work in the Node 202 would be a massive hurdle. Leading up to my research I had heard that ASRock used a “non-standard” heatsink mounting configuration on the socket, but after actually looking at the board I realized that it was just the narrow ILM 2011-3 socket, so crisis averted!

 

CPU Waterblock:

While looking at waterblocks I discovered that Bitspower actually makes a mono-block for the mobo I am using. Imagine my excitement! Well, of course there is a hiccup. The mono-block is 49mm tall, and the Node 202 only supports CPU coolers up to 56mm, so I knew there was no way that the fittings would fit under the case window I am going to mod in place of the slotted vents over the mobo tray area. Amazingly though, with the way the mono-block is assembled, I should be able to use regular fittings in place of the half push-fittings that are used to assemble the mono-block, bypassing that whole huge chunk of acrylic, and avoiding the need to leave a hole in the side panel for the fittings to poke through, and saving the side panel window plan! The benefit to this is that the VRM will now be water cooled so it takes away any concern of making sure there is adequate airflow in that half of the case.

BP-WBFRIGGAASRIX99FCBNPAC-CL--1024X768-3.jpg

http://www.performance-pcs.com/bitspower-asrix99-nickel-plated-water-block-clear.html

 

Memory:

To match the theme, I was bouncing between a number of different RAM sets, but I finally settled on the Corsair Vengeance LPX.

1.jpg

 

GPU Waterblock:

This was an easy choice. I really like EKWB’s clear blocks, so it was a no brainer, and I’m pretty sure there is enough room to also use the backplate if desired. That will be decided at a later point when I finalize the fan exhaust mods for the “top” side panel.

ekfc-r9-fury-nano_np_front1_800.jpg

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-fc-r9-nano-nickel

 

Pump/Reservoir:

This one was a bit tougher to figure out. I have VERY limited room to work with so I knew the two together needed to be super compact. Luckily, I found a pump/res combo from EKWB that should fit with a little bit of modding to the case that also should not reduce the structural integrity too much. I’m just waiting for confirmation on the actual dimensions with the res tube installed.

res-pump.jpgfile_123.jpg

http://www.performance-pcs.com/ek-xres-dcp-2-2-incl-pump.html

 

Radiator(s):

Given that the Node 202 has mounting for 2 fans in the GPU compartment I figured right from the start that I would be going with a slim 240mm rad.

ek-coolstream-se_240_800.jpg

I knew that the PGU waterblock would reduce the Nano down to a single slot card, so with the fittings I picked out I could tell that I would have clearance (just barely). However, after mocking up the rad dimensions in 2D with cardboard I realized that it would not work without cutting the USB 3 port cables off the front I/O board.

20160515_181854.jpg

There just wasn’t enough room. After staring at it for a while I realized that there was no reason it HAD to be a 240mm rad, so I quickly mocked up the dimensions of EKWB’s slim 120mm rad, turned it so the ports would be at top, and Voila! Everything should fit just barely. (That’s kinda becoming a recurring theme with this project…) This also gives the bonus of making is easier to bleed when filling the loop because the fittings will be at the top.

20160515_182142.jpg20160515_182122.jpgek-coolstream-se_120_800.jpg

 

For radiator airflow the initial plan was to go with 2x Prolimatech PRO-USV12-BK 120mm Ultra Sleek Vortex case fans.

prolimatech-ultra-sleek-vortex-12-pwm-fan-120x120x15mm-brand-new-f497a4f73e554ea476e9cb546173268f.jpg

They are 15mm thick and seem to have pretty good reviews for both AF/SP and noise level compared to their competition. After thinking about it for a several days,and because I have a blue Thermaltake Riing fan available, I’m thinking of putting that on the right side rad to get better cooling, and it will add to the theme with the LED lighting. I’m leaving the “bottom” side panel as is and planning on leaving the filter in place, but to provide a clear exhaust path for the hot air I am going to mod at least one fan hole into the “top” side panel and cover it with a Fractal Snowflake billet aluminium fan grill from MNPCTech.

fractal_design_4_120mm_fan_grill_design_mnpctech.jpg

http://mnpctech.com/pc-computer-cooling-fans-grills-custom/pc-computer-gaming-machined-cooling-billet-fan-grills/fractal-designsnowflake.html

 

To help the fan grills blend in with the rest of the build, I’m planning on masking off the beveled edges of the snowflake design and then painting the main facing surfaces black. That way there will be a nice contrast of silver/black. I am debating on a second exhaust on the left to help with passive exhaust, but because the graphics card is in that location I am not sure that it will add much benefit and it might look a little odd having a fan hole above a graphics card. There is also going to be an open PCIe slot that the slim fan can use as additional exhaust. I also think that having the Thermaltake Riing on the right side and not making a hard seal with the exhaust sidepanel will help create a "wind tunnel" effect that should "suck" some of the air from the left rad over and push it out.

 

Fittings/Tubing:

Hardline was obviously out of the question, and I knew the standard 3/8” ID tubing would be really difficult to fit in, so I settled on 6mm (1/4”) ID and 10mm (3/8”) OD tubing and swivel fittings from Koolance. They’re not compression fittings (at this time), but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to use barb fittings when watercooling in a case this small. I am considering Koolance 6mm ID compression fittings, but I have to double check some clearances before I make my final decision. I even have worked a drain valve into the loop, so that should help a lot when changing the water.

nzl-l06b_p1-700x700.jpgfit-l06x10_p1-700x700.jpg

http://koolance.com/tubing-clear-uv-reactive-pvc-6mm-x-10mm-1-4in-x-3-8in

http://koolance.com/nozzle-single-swivel-angled-barb-for-id-06mm-1-4in

http://koolance.com/nozzle-single-swivel-lock-barb-for-id-06mm-1-4in

http://koolance.com/vlv-xutx4b-drain-valve-brass

 

Speaking of water – To match the theme and build name, and to stand out in the clear blocks/tubing/reservoir, at this time I’m going to be using regular distilled water with some Mayhem’s Non-Stain Blue dye to achieve an “ice blue” coolant. I’m thinking the second tone from the left, maybe the third…

2016-05-15_2109.png

I also might use the Primochill Base High Purity Deionized Water just because, but I haven’t decided yet.

 

This is about as far as I’ve gotten so far, aside from tearing apart the case the instant it arrived at my house. I’m going to be ordering several parts in the next week or two, so hopefully I’ll be able to make physical progress soon. I’ve been reffing a lot of soccer to earn extra cash to pay for most of the build. I’m sure I’m forgetting something, so I will add an additional post if I think of anything. I have some pictures from the initial case dis-assembly/planning for the case mods that I'll put in a follow up post in a little bit.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read!


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-- Project Deep Freeze Build Log --

Quote me so that I always know when you reply, feel free to snip if the quote is long. May your FPS be high and your temperatures low.

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this looks incredible

good luck!


Snorlax: i7 5820k @4.5ghz, Asus X99 Pro, 32gb Corsair Vengeance LPX 2666, Cryorig R1 Ultimate, Samsung 850 evo 500gb, Asus GTX 1080 ROG Strix, Corsair RM850x, NZXT H440, Hue+

Smallsnor: Huawei Matebook X

 

Canon AE-1 w/ 50mm f/1.8 lens

Pentax KM w/ 55mm f/1.8 SMC lens

Zenit-E w/ 58mm f/2 Helios lens

Panasonic G7 with 14-42mm f/3.5 lens

Polaroid Spectra System

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, CobbleWalker said:

I have no friggen clue how you're going to pull this off, but when you do, I wan't to see it.

I'm not gonna lie, I constantly have that little voice in my head that keeps telling me that it's impossible, but I have been meticulously crunching the numbers for parts clearances and I'm becoming more and more confident. But I am also not above admitting when I may be wrong, so we'll see what happens.


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dang, this looks incredible :D


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CPU: i7-4790K Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Motherboard: MSI Z97 U3+ RAM: 4x4 GB DDR3 1600MHz GPU: MSI GTX 1070 Ti 8G Case: Corsair 230T Windowed Orange SSD: Crucial BX100 250 Gb PSU: Cooler Master G450M HDD: WD 1 TB Generic

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1 minute ago, DevilishBooster said:

I'm not gonna lie, I constantly have that little voice in my head that keeps telling me that is impossible, but I have been meticulously crunching the numbers for parts clearances and I'm becoming more and more confident. But I am also not above admitting when I may be wrong, so we'll see what happens.

I'm just worried about that 240+fans. GG if you can pull that off, you actually deserve it. The good news is that it will use next to no tubing.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, CobbleWalker said:

I'm just worried about that 240+fans. GG if you can pull that off, you actually deserve it. The good news is that it will use next to no tubing.

Looking at how I want to lay it out I am anticipating around 2ft of tubing actually in the case, maybe less.


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-- Project Deep Freeze Build Log --

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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 minutes ago, CobbleWalker said:

I have no friggen clue how you're going to pull this off, but when you do, I wan't to see it.

BTW, you were so quick on the first comment that I wasn't able to reserve the second post spot for the follow up photos I have. Got ninja'd on my own damn thread! :ph34r: GG! :D


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7 minutes ago, DevilishBooster said:

BTW, you were so quick on the first comment that I wasn't able to reserve the second post spot for the follow up photos I have. Got ninja'd on my own damn thread! :ph34r: GG! :D

LOL. No escape from the lurking "Recent Topics" trolls.

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good luck with this one! I look forward to check it out.

 

I'm probably going to work on a modded itx build later but I'll probably go for a ncase m1 to make it similar to this

 

  IMG_0923.JPG


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Here are some pictures from the work I was doing of the weekend.

Fresh out of the box.

20160513_195452_HDR.jpg

Oh, if only you knew what I'm about to do to you.... 

20160513_195852_HDR.jpg

Yeah, I'd say I'm pretty limited on room....

20160513_195942_HDR.jpg

Here she is all gutted out. There really isn't much frame here...

20160513_201530_HDR.jpg

A slight blemish in the manufacturing, but I won't hold it against them since I'm going to be cutting up the panel anyway. (#SorryNotSorry @JoshFractal...) ;) 

20160514_223956_HDR.jpg

With the front I/O board back in it quickly starts to cut down the space available to work with, even considering how small it is.

20160515_173120.jpg

Here is a rough idea of what will be happening for the left (or "top") side panel. Right now the fan opening on the right is for sure. The one on the left I'm thinking wont happen, but I don't think I'm going to make a final decision until I have all the parts and I get the first two openings cut so I can see what I'm dealing with.

(Sorry for the potato pictures. I forgot I had put my phone's camera on manual settings and the exposure was all wrong.)

20160515_183603edited.jpg

The right (or bottom) side panel I'm planning on leaving stock. It has the magnetic fan filters, and it will be nice to have the stock surface available in case I wind up switching out the system and using the care horizontally for an actual HTPC.

20160515_183632.jpg

Aside from the clearance issue with the front I/O board, there was always going to be a clearance issue with the power cord extension. Fortunately, replacing the single 240mm rad with dual 120mm rads solved that issue as well. Huzzah for proper planning preventing piss poor performance!!! (I have some thoughts on this, so I'll address it in an update down the road.)

20160515_184004.jpg

 

 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Ah! I remember what it was I was forgetting! :P

Switching to the dual 120mm rads presents its own issues. With the 240mm rad I was allowing for an additional 30mm of space to work with for the pump and reservoir. It was something that might have involved cutting out part of the cross brace section, but it was still open space.

20160515_181854edited.jpg

As seen in this second picture, that space is all but completely lost with the dual 120mm rads. 

20160516_174443_HDR.jpg

This means that I would be left with an area approximately 65x160x70mm (HxWxD) to work with (that would be with cutting out most if not all of that half of the cross brace).

20160516_175210_HDR.jpg20160516_175320_HDR.jpg20160516_175345_HDR.jpg

I am still hunting around for a pump/res match up or combo set that would work given these two different potential areas to work with, and there are more options out there then I expected, it's just a matter of finding the perfect pair. if anyone knows of a really small pump that only uses a 4-pin PWM connector, let me know. Molex is out of the question. Something else I am still debating about when it comes to the 1x240mm or 2x120mm rads is whether or not I really need those front panel USB ports. The motherboard has a total of 8 USB ports on the rear I/O, so even minus the front 2 it's not like I would be lacking for USB ports. If I decide to go with the 240mm rad, all I would have to do is cut off the cables from the ports to free up that space, and that would also mean that I wouldn't have to worry about routing the two flat USB 3 header cables to the motherboard, which would free up room for the tubing. It could potentially work either way. If I can order a spare front I/O board from Fractal, then I'm probably going to go with the 240mm rad option, but (again) I'll have to wait to make that final decision.

 


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This is going to be an amazing build.

I really trust you can do this, cause this build will be amazing.

We need more cool mini itx builds like this!

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Posted · Original PosterOP
25 minutes ago, starwarsguy99 said:

This is going to be an amazing build.

I really trust you can do this, cause this build will be amazing.

We need more cool mini itx builds like this!

Thanks man!

I'm really not joking when I say that my brain has been working on nothing but this for two weeks now. This last weekend I was reffing a soccer tournament and while I'm running around reffing the games I was trying different configurations of the cooling system in my head. It made it a little difficult to focus. I'm glad I dont have an insane load at work right now because I'm all but useless atm. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, shadowbyte said:

this looks incredible

good luck!

Thanks man!

Idk how I missed your comment earlier. Doi! 9_9


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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, mikat said:

dang, this looks incredible :D

Thanks! I have been very excited since the initial idea. As my co-workers said, "You can always tell when he's thinking about his build because he has that frickin' shit-eating grin on his face". Lol


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25 minutes ago, DevilishBooster said:

This last weekend I was reffing a soccer tournament and while I'm running around reffing the games I was trying different configurations of the cooling system in my head. It made it a little difficult to focus. 

Were the games that boring?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
12 minutes ago, starwarsguy99 said:

Were the games that boring?

No, I'm just that obsessed with getting this project to work and be completed on time.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey guys, got a quick update. I was looking through reservoir/pump combos again and I realized that EK's new XRES will work perfectly.

xres-revo-d5_pwm-110-_incl-pump_pwm_800_2.jpg

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-xres-100-revo-d5-pwm-incl-pump

It'll be an improvement because it has a D5 pump, it can be mounted horizontally, the res tube is actually made of good quality borosilicate glass, it looks much much much cleaner/nicer than the one I originally picked, and I shouldn't have to mod the cross brace section of the case because it should fit perfectly in the space right below the PSU. There is a trade-off in that it does require a molex connection (I know I said no molex earlier) but I also realized that I can just make my own custom, super short, single molex connection cable since the pump is right under the PSU, and that way I avoid some nasty cable clutter.

 

This also makes the issue of deciding on the radiator configuration a little more interesting. Since I won't have to worry about having the 30mm of space under the PSU that the 240mm would give me, I could just decide to go with the dual 120mm rads. On the other hand, If I want simplicity in the loop I could just say "screw it", cut off the USB 3.0 header cables, buy a long power cable to run out through the pass-thru hole, and go with the single 240mm rad. I contacted Fractal Design's tech support (per @JoshFractal's recommendation) about the possibility of ordering a replacement/spare I/O board, so we'll see what they say, but I'm inclined to lean towards the dual 120s in order to preserve the case's functionality.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 5/18/2016 at 7:42 PM, DevilishBooster said:

Hey guys, got a quick update. I was looking through reservoir/pump combos again and I realized that EK's new XRES will work perfectly.

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-xres-100-revo-d5-pwm-incl-pump

It'll be an improvement because it has a D5 pump, it can be mounted horizontally, the res tube is actually made of good quality borosilicate glass, it looks much much much cleaner/nicer than the one I originally picked, and I shouldn't have to mod the cross brace section of the case because it should fit perfectly in the space right below the PSU. There is a trade-off in that it does require a molex connection (I know I said no molex earlier) but I also realized that I can just make my own custom, super short, single molex connection cable since the pump is right under the PSU, and that way I avoid some nasty cable clutter.

Alright guys, I guess I jumped the gun on getting excited about this res/pump combo because the specs I initially got on the dimensions were not completely correct. I found an actual schematic drawing of pump and with the mounting bracket it's just plain too big to fit in the case, so it's looking like I'm back to the original option which means I'm still leaning towards the 240mm rad solution.

^3A13F6BF2AC72447F95C4B5567C088710EC657BF4812144C0D^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr.jpg


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Posted · Original PosterOP

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

My disappointment with the EK XRES 100 D5 Revo PWM not being able to fit in the case due to the overall width of the base/clamp was short lived! It was rather fortuitous when yesterday, 19 May, EKWB introduced the EK XRES 100 SPC-60 MX PWM, and it should fit perfectly! (read: just barely. Hmmm.... where have we seen those words before? :D) A huge bonus is that this new one uses only one PWM fan header, so no molex connector!! Whoot-whoot!!!

XRES-100-SPC-MX-PWM_front_1600-2-1500x1000.jpg2016-05-22_1706.png

I emailed EKWB right away confirming the actual, overall dimensions and heard back this morning, so I think its official! I'm debating the nitty-gritty details of how I want to handle the fittings in and out, but I already have a pretty good idea of how its all going to work. Another update is that I was able to get in contact with Fractal Design's Tech Support and they are sending me a spare front I/O board to have in case I end up sacrificing the front USB ports. I was sitting there staring at it last night and I think I might have found a way to have the 240mm rad and keep the front USB ports working, but I won't know for sure until I actually get the rad and can try some test fits, but at this time I I've decided to go with the single 240mm either way. That means I also have to address the issue of the PSU pass-through power cable, but that is more of a minor issue so I'm not that worried. I should be ordering some of the parts this next week, so progress is definitely happening. :)


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Something else I should mention is that the combo unit uses the same reservoir tubes and caps as the RES X3 series, so I can just order one of the replacement caps to use instead and have the return line feeding into the "side" of the reservoir, which will then allow me to use the IN port on the reservoir base as a fill/bleed port instead. This really is the best combo unit I could have hoped to find, and I am SUPER excited!

36245_01.jpg


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey guys, here is the latest update.

The first little update is that I have possibly come up with a solution to the power cable pass-through issue. I think that, if I can find longer screws with matching threads, I can cut out from acrylic a spacer for the female end of the power cable that will move it out enough that I should have the clearance with the 240mm rad. This also kind of ties into the second part of this update, regarding LED lighting. If I make the spacer out of clear acrylic, I could see about giving it a little bit of LED lighting so that it stands out on the rear, but that was just a “Heh, that would be kind of cool…” thought at the time. I’ll decide on that later.

 

As for the LED lighting update-

I knew that I wanted to have lighting in the case since I am putting in a window over the motherboard area, but the main struggle I was having is which would look better: blue or white lighting. The main theme color is blue, so I could see that color LED working, but at the same time having blue LEDs could put too much blue in the system. White LEDs could be great for general illumination and, with the blue RAM and the blue tinted liquid the white lighting might do more to accent the blue already in the build without being overpowering. In looking at LED I started considering RGB LEDs because that would let me play around with colors and find exactly what I like best without having to buy kits, but I knew the RGB control box could cause issues with clearances, whether or not it would fit. I really like CableMod’s products, so I contacted their support and with the info they provided, I actually think that the IR receiver/control box might actually fit in the area between the radiator and case cross brace, and under the PCIe riser card/bracket/GPU.

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It may require very small modifications/cutouts to the case, but we’re talking about a couple mm at most. The best part is that it is about the same thickness as the radiator, so that still leaves plenty of room to route the tubing from/to the res/pump unit. I really can’t wait until I can order all the parts and start piecing this all together!

 

(Side Note: In trying to figure out getting together the money for the build – since I don’t have any sponsors – I remembered that I have several aquariums and a LOT of gear/supplies to go with them that has been sitting in the attic for years, and I don’t think I’ll be using them any time soon, so I’m going to see about selling them to get some extra cash.)


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Quote me so that I always know when you reply, feel free to snip if the quote is long. May your FPS be high and your temperatures low.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Just ordered the Bitspower monoblock, PSU, and RAM! Whoot-whoot!! I should receiving a check from a soccer tournament I reffed a week ago sometime this week, so that should cover the cost of the mobo. :)


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-- Project Deep Freeze Build Log --

Quote me so that I always know when you reply, feel free to snip if the quote is long. May your FPS be high and your temperatures low.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Good news, everyone!!

(I bet you read that in his voice... xD)

I received the spare front panel I/O board from Fractal today, and it looks like they made a revision at some point for the USB 3 header cables, changing them to a right angle port. So that means I can use this replacement board for the mod because it will let me shave off the little bit of the board that is in the way without having to worry about damaging the headers. Very excite! Much hype!

The PSU and RAM should be here tomorrow, so I can start figuring out the cable routing, and then I should be ordering the mobo in a week or so.

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-- Project Deep Freeze Build Log --

Quote me so that I always know when you reply, feel free to snip if the quote is long. May your FPS be high and your temperatures low.

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