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Old January 28, 2016, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 17
Default Archon

This is the second condensed build log that I am posting to introduce myself to these forums.

The first was a high bang for the buck 3770k build based upon an upgraded H220 all in one, with a modded case. This one ups the ante somewhat in terms of watercooling parts used and level of finish, while still taking advantage of a few used parts to help with the budget.

Since I prefer red team for personal reasons, this will be a highly overclocked FX system. And of course, there are case mods! The theme of this build inspired by the old Archon video game, the light versus the dark.


Asus ROG Crosshair V Formula-Z
AMD FX-8350
Corsair RM1000 Gold
Fractal Design XL R2
2x Sapphire R9 290X (reference hynix, thanks vrdublu for one)
4x4GB DDR3 Samsung Magic Ram
Samsung 850 EVO 250GB
2X WD Caviar Blue 1TB
Asus DVD


XSPC bayres with D5 strong
2x Swiftech MCW82 + ramsinks and custom VRM heatsinks
XSPC Raystorm CPU block
Swiftech MCR320-XP
Swiftech MCR220-QP
Swiftech MCR140-QP (thanks vrdublu)
XSPC Black Chrome compression fittings and 45's
Misc extenders, Y's, 4 port manifold, water temp sensor
White 1/2 ID Primoflex Advanded LRT
4X Fractal Design 140mm, 2X Corsair AF140, 5X Corsair SP120 performance edition
G.Skill ram cooler with Fractal Design fans
Lamptron FC Touch (thanks Prolab)


NZXT White LED kit
8 LEDs for GPUs, CPU block, fan mod

The mobo, PSU, both 290X's, both HDD's, DVD, bayres, D5 Strong, Raystorm, XSPC fittings, and the fan controller came from kijiji/forums.
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Old January 28, 2016, 06:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 17

The water cooling loop uses a pair of universal GPU blocks in parallel to cool the 290X's, supplemented by ramsinks and custom made VRM heatsinks with two Fractal Design 140mm fans blowing across them. I had to get creative for the mounts, since these are dated and weren't intended to cool an R9 290. The bottom 2x120 rad is filtered and uses two SP120's in pull to draw air in. The 140mm rad has a pair of AF140's in push/pull for exhaust, and the 3x120 rad uses three SP120's in push for exhaust. The loop is filled through the bayres, and there is a drain and water temp sensor at the bottom rad. Two more Fractal Design 140mm fans bring in fresh air in the lower front, and a pair of Fractal Design fans are used in the G.Skill RAM cooler.

Mods of interest include:

3x120mm upper rad. I used a piece of laminate flooring as a template, drilling holes in it through one of the existing fan openings. I then shifted it and flipped it to the top, and drilled through it into the case to add approximately 170 holes for the third fan.

2x120mm lower rad. I reused my template here to add ~150 holes for a second fan, then painted the bottom.

Side window. I used a kit consisting of a large side window, trim piece, and hardware. I cut out the side, then painted it. For good measure, I painted the opposite side (since every other side had been painted).

The small ramsinks that I had weren't enough to cool the GPU VRM's, so I fabricated a couple of aluminum heatsinks. I used 1/4 x 1 inch aluminum rod and ripped down the center of it with a table saw and aluminum cutting blade, then cross cut it and tidied it up. I had to root through my collection of old mounting hardware to be able to mount these and the MCW52's.

Drive bay modification. Since I was using all of the real estate on the bottom of the case for the rad, I ended up suspending one of the modular drive bays from the 5.25 bay area.

Fan mod. Since I needed fresh air on the GPUs for the VRMs and ram, I managed to bend the drive bay enough that it aligned perfectly with a 140mm fan, which I mounted facing the GPUs. Since I wanted plenty of fresh air, I fashioned some brackets to mount a second 140mm fan at right angles to the first.

Artwork. Once I saw the fan mod, I knew I had to create something on the blank canvas that was the white fan blades. I printed a black and white photo of the fan, and used it to plan my design. I then used masking tape and a knife, and spray painted a depiction of a phoenix and a dragon chasing one another around the fan, with a sort of yin/yang design as part of their bodies on the hub. I also printed the box art from the old Archon game on photo paper and mounted it on the side of the 5.25 bay.

The CPU is overclocked to 5Ghz stable, although I am considering adding a vent/fan on the back side of the mobo to help dissipate socket heat. One GPU will 1200/1625 with +125, have to test the other one with it in crossfire.

It's funny, I have another build where I spent more on water cooling parts and new versus used stuff, but I think I prefer this one.
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Old January 28, 2016, 06:43 AM
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Posts: 17

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Old January 28, 2016, 06:47 AM
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Old January 31, 2016, 02:44 PM
Father Fuzzy's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: B.C.
Posts: 502

My System Specs


sweet rig Grindercan

interesting parallel loop you have and the fan mod

lighting really sets it off nicely
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Old February 12, 2016, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 17

Thanks FF! Since I was only cooling the GPUs and not the VRms/RAM, parallel was still plenty of flow, and increased overall flow to the rest of the loop.

Just pulled the mobo and CPU out of this guy and sold them off. I had two C5F-Z/FX-83XX builds and it's time to try something different!
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