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Old June 13, 2017, 04:43 PM
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Default New build: Blue Max!

Okay, now to kick off the build log for my second major project “Blue Max”. After mulling about for several weeks about what to name it, the combination of the (planned) blue colour theme, “max” from the ROG Maximus board, and a flashback from the past “Blue Max” was a game I loved on the C64 (I think I started playing it around 1983?)


My last rig “Red Rampage” was my first w/c build, which went through two phases (soft tubing and then an update to hard tubing), and as it was my first playground in w/c I wanted to see exactly how much stuff I could cram in. I probably went a little overboard (okay a lot) but it was fun and I did like how it turned out and I also learned a lot. It is definitely a beast (the Corsair 900D case is huge!!), but it has served me well, survived two trips in a car across Canada, but I have had the itch for awhile now to build again so rather then refresh the old I am going to start with something new.


A few things I really wanted to focus on with this build:


- An even cleaner looking build (from a tubing perspective), and a little bit smaller and more manageable


- All horizontal runs (saw this on another build and it looked pretty sweet)
*This further manifested itself after I got the case and thought about horizontal runs on the front, and vertical runs would be on the backside (the 570 case has a glass backing as well) where there are mounts for two more hard drives
*Update – as it turns out this is probably not going to work due space restrictions on where I installed the reservoir

-
I am also probably going to go with glass tubes – I went for a glass res, and was intrigued about using glass tubing (more on that to come)

And some key bits of hardware / random stuff that I have had my eye on for awhile:

- The Corsair 570x Crystal case – I just love the look of it! Definitely some challenges / design flaws with it (the biggest being the space, or lack thereof, at the top between the RAM and where a fan/radiator would normally be installed)
*
I will not be using the RGB fans that come with the case – they (currently) don’t sync with the ASUS AURA and I also was on the fence about them being white, vs the black Silent Wings (which are supposed to be a little more quiet, but won’t pick up lighting effects very well – guess it’s a fair trade-off?)

-
ASUS ROG Maximus Extreme M/B – I like this board with the custom build EK CPU waterblock, as well as a few other things that were built in to support w/c, although I wish it a) had a m/b shroud b) didn’t cover up the m/b block as much as it did (I like seeing more of the acrylic and the coolant runs underneath – some of the new blocks from EK for other ROG boards are more open, but they don’t have the temperature sensor of flow meters built in)

-
ASUS RGB lighting effect – While I did not plan to go crazy with lighting effects, I was quite intrigued around this. What I really wanted to do was keep the coolant blue, and use the RGB on a blue to red temperature scale. As in, when the rig was running cool, the lighting effect would be blue (to highlight the blue coolant) and if/as it got hotter it would shift to red. Unfortunately, the current version of the AURA software (for the temp. scale) only goes green – red. Hopefully in the future ASUS will give users more control over this.

This new rig also takes inspiration from Project Rhino from pOPe (found his log on reddit) as well as a few other builds, notably Snef’s Dark Aura build. It was also inspired by the fact that I couldn’t run PUBG on max settings!


So, I started collecting pieces over the last two months, starting with the case and some of the w/c hardware (res, rad, fans) to start planning out how the loop might work. I was also not working at the time so didn’t think it was prudent to shell out for the MB/GPU (which now that I landed a new contract I pulled the trigger on them and am have integrated them into the system and are planning out the loop).


Only one other known unknown right now – now that I have the MB installed, and can see exactly how much space is available above the RAM, it might (15% chance?) be possible to put another slim 2x120 rad in the top. As mentioned above, many reviews of the case scolded Corsair for not putting enough space here – they have the cutouts and grills for fans up top, the rad add on should’ve also been considered. I do have a 3x120 slim rad in the front which will probably be enough, but if I could just tuck in one more at the top for good luck – stay tuned!


I am not going to add a parts list at this time (as it is still a WIP) – but here is a quick summary:
- Case / PSU – Corsair 570X RGB, 860
- MB / GPU – ASUS – Rampage IX Extreme, GE-Force 1080TI
- Memory – TBD – GSkill (if I am correct) supports ASUS RGB, Corsair (original choice) doesn’t at this time?, also seeing if I can find low profile RAM that would allow me to put another radiator at the top
- Res/Pump – EK, glass combo (saw this on another build and it looks really nice!
- Fittings – Bitspower, EK (mostly just for the pass throughs)
- Reservoir – (pretty much the slimmest ones I can find!!)
- Fans – Silent Wing 3s
- Cabling and runs – parts from CableMod and Darkside


Okay, that’s enough for an intro, now time to start posting some pictures…
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Old June 13, 2017, 04:46 PM
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Okay first thing - based on the desire to put vertical runs on the other side of the case, there was not a lot of space to work with so I went ahead and bought a variety of brands of right angle connectors to check out the fit, and get an overall idea on how they looked. As I hoped, the Bitspower fit (and I liked the look) so I went ahead with those fittings.

(brief pause while I try to remember how to insert images!)
(#@[email protected]$# can't remember how to insert images...bear with me)
(#@[email protected]# can someone remind me how to do this - a couple of days ago I just copied an image from my clipboard and it posted...Tried the add image and inserted imgur link, just showed as small white box #fail)
(Sad that I am trying to build a computer and I couldn't figure out how to post images :p)

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Last edited by bjcsoln; June 13, 2017 at 05:20 PM.
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Old June 13, 2017, 05:09 PM
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I've always done it by uploading images from the post interface. It is under Additional Options at the bottom, Manage Attachments. Little clunky but it works. Did you try that?
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Old June 13, 2017, 05:19 PM
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Thanks Lysrin, that worked!
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Old June 13, 2017, 05:24 PM
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Okay here is the first look at the case (already stripped down) my work shop (basically the other side of my den) and some of the parts that I started collecting. I also made a cardboard m/b and GPU that I was going to use as part of the planning. I kind've wished I had a better shot of the chassis before I stripped it down, but it's on Corsair's site so I suppose not a big deal)

I also bought some coolant to play around with UV (and later on bought some RGB strips to play with as well, but that's for way in the future)
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Old June 13, 2017, 05:29 PM
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Okay first look with a low-profile radiator, and the final location for the res/pump combo (note that I need to buy another bracket for the res so it stays horizontal, just braced with some foam for right now).

I went with a low profile res (about 30mm thick) in case I needed to have two rows of vertical tubing in the back - it would get pretty cramped. As it turns out this probably won't be an issue so once the whole thing is up and running and I check the temperatures, I can re-asses my radiator requirements (including trying to shoehorn one up top).
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Old June 13, 2017, 05:32 PM
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Okay, with the cardboard m/b in for reference, I started running some horizontal runs from the reservoir to some planned through-hole fittings. Green tape was added in order to make it easier to see my markings
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Old June 13, 2017, 05:36 PM
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Okay now that I put these runs in, the overall idea started taking shape. The next image sort've shows the plan - output of the res goes to the input of the GPU (via a vertical link on the back), output of GPU goes to input of CPU, CPU out and somehow to the fitting for the radiator. Side note, it's not shown very clearly but there is a T junction at the top that I was going to poke through the top of the case to use for filling. I will try and elaborate on that further...
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Old June 13, 2017, 05:40 PM
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Okay now the scary parts - drilling the first holes for the pass-through fittings. My holesaw was a little larger then it needed to be, but that being said it gave me a little extra wiggle room to accommodate for sloppy measuring...Overall, it was messy but it looks like it worked.
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Old June 13, 2017, 05:43 PM
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Okay - this is the backside / bottom of the case. Instead of a simple vertical run I put in the T which will have a valve and compression fitting that I can add a soft tube on to drain the loop when needed.
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