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Case Mod - Complete APEX (Case Mod) by Envious Mods (COMPLETED) Final Photos

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by EnviousMods, 8 Feb 2017.

  1. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    The APEX build came about as a build for CES 2017. Be Quiet, Gigabyte, Aorus,Alphacool, HyperX and CableMod worked with me to do a build in the Dark Base 900 Pro. They wanted a build that showed off some of the best hardware available (and some that's not available yet.) APEX originally was going to be a simple build that had a couple custom water-cooling features. The timeline for this build was tight but, I knew I could pull off so much more than just a few water-cooling features. After all, It wouldn't be an Envious Mods build if I didn't push the envelope.

    The name APEX came about because it features a lot of parts that are at the Apex of their industry. This build was unveiled at CES in Gigabytes Ballroom.

    Hardware:
    CPU: Intel Kaby Lake i7 7700k
    Motherboard: Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5
    GPUs: SLI Gigabyte GTX 1070 G1 X 2
    Memory: HyperX Predator RGB DDR4 (16Gb)
    PSU: Dark Power Pro 11 (1,000 watt)
    Cables: Modular custom sleeved CableMod cables (white, black, silver and orange)
    Fans: Silent Wings 3 high speed 4 X 140mm & 4 X 120mm


    Water-cooling:
    • CPU Block: Eisblock XPX
    • GPU Blocks: NexXxoS GPX GTX1070
    • Pump:Alphacool VPP755
    • Radiators: Alphacool 360mm x-flow & 420mm
    • Reservoir: 250mm tube reservoir Eisbecher
    • GPX SLI connector
    • 13mm Satin Hardtube
    • Phoybia ZuperZero crystal blue coolant

    Fittings: (Alphacool)
    • HT Hardtube 13mm fittings
    • 2-way ball valve
    • Various lengths of G1/4 extensions
    • 90 degree rotary fittings
    • 45 degree rotary fittings
    • 45 X 2 rotary fittings

    Extra Gear:
    • Phoybia 6 way PWM fan controller
    • Be Quiet PWM fan and LED controller
    • Addressable LEDS and wireless controller
    • Phoybia RGB strip
    • Alphacool reservoir RGB LEDs Aurora
    • Phoybia X 4 Fan PWM extensions (300 & 600mm)


    Sponsors:

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    Last edited: 26 Feb 2017
  2. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    And so it Begins:

    Due to the tight timeline I quickly put together a basic concept drawing to show what I would do with some of the side panels. I also took some time to write down ideas for mods I wanted to accomplish. After those were together it was time to start ordering materials. With materials enroute I started making some of the templates that will be used to cut the acrylic panels. As many of you know I like to mix old and new techniques together. I still use hard stock paper, ruler and a pencil to make a lot of my templates. It allows me to be very flexible and adjust the design on the fly.

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    The Dark Base & Dark Power Arrive:

    Be Quiet had sent the Dark Base 900 Pro (Orange Edition) and the Dark Power Pro 11 1,000 watt PSU right away. It arrived very quickly and I started to check the case over to make sure my ideas would work out. Since I had a bit of time before the rest of the hardware and materials show up I decided I would start with modding the Dark Power Pro 11 PSU.

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  3. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    PSU Modding: Taking it Apart

    I've used Be Quiet’s power supplies before but this was the 1st time I'd be able to take one of them apart. I was amazed at how easily it came apart. Once it was opened up I was rather amazed at the craftsmanship found inside. At that moment I knew I had made the right decision. My plan was to cut the side out of this PSU and mount 2-way acrylic. 2-way acrylic works like security glass you see in the movies or in Casino's. Under normal lighting it looks like glass. When it's back lit it becomes transparent.

    Originally I decided to wire the white LED strip to the fans circuit. The strip is extremely small and draws a minimal current. The main reason I opted for this was so that the PSU would be backlit when its fan turned on. It served as both an indicator and feature all in one. After CES I realized that the PSU rarely gets warm enough to turn on the fan during show settings. So I rewired the LEDS to turn on or off via a switch inside.

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    Be Quiet Side Panel Vinyl:

    The left side panel on the Dark Base 900 Pro has an embossed fan panel that has the Be Quiet logo on it. Originally there was no plans at all for this side but, I decided to custom cut some vinyl that would fit exactly inside the logo. This was trickier than I originally anticipated due to the fact that it had to be an exact fit. It took a couple of tries but, came out looking slick.

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  4. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    Aquatuning/Alphacool/Phoybia Parts Arrive:

    The box has arrived from Aquatuning containing all of the watercooling parts needed for the APEX build. There is a lot of different parts being used and I laid them all out so that you can get an ideas of what was included. The 1st post if the build log details the parts used.

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    Gigabyte & Aorus Parts Arrive:

    Gigabyte sent two GTX 1070 G1 GPUs and a Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5 1151 motherboard. A Intel i7 7700k Kaby Lake CPU was also added in order to properly introduce the APEX build at CES 2017.

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    HyperX Parts Arrive:

    HyperX sent 4 sticks of their Predator DDR4 for the APEX build. While it was at CES I was fortunate enough to have HyperX swap in the RGB Prototype of this ram. It's still early and there isn't many of these sticks around. A SSD was also sent to store the OS and other programs on.

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    CableMod Custom Sleeved Cables Arrive:

    CableMod let me customize a set of cables in a pattern of my choice. I went with orange, black, white and silver. Those will be the main colors used throughout the build with blue accenting a few pieces.

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    Mnpctech Billet Aluminum Cable Combs Arrive:

    I managed to get a set of billet aluminum cable combs from Mnpctech and I'm glad that I did. They fit in the build perfectly and give it an original look. I'm a big fan of these cable combs and I've now used them on two build. They arrived quickly and gave the those extra details that are very important to the overall design.

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  5. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    Mocking up The Hardware:

    Before I decided to move further I decided to mock up the acrylic I had cut with the hardware. I also mounted the two Gigabyte GTX 1070 G1 GPUs. Everything fit great and only a minor adjustments needed to be made in order to make space for the top of the PSU shroud.

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    Overkill Ring Install:

    I've had this black anodized Mnpctech Overkill Ring for quite some time now and I felt that the APEX build was a great opportunity to show it off. It fits the design style perfectly. I decided to do a minor mod by changing the inner edge of the ring to orange while leaving the rest black. It does a great job of giving it a look that's original to this build.

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    Mounting The Smart LED Controller:

    I purchased individually addressable LEDS and a controller for them. There are 3 separate channels for the lighting (not including the motherboard's built in controller.) The main wireless controller was mounted on the back side of the HD rack shroud. This location made it accessible and allowed me to make any modifications needed.

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    Alphacool NexXxoS Waterblocks Installed on Gigabyte GTX 1070 GPUs:

    This is my 1st time using the Alphacool NexXxoS Waterblocks and I really like them. They are a front and back full coverage block that takes a little while to install. I just took my time with them to make sure I had everything just right. The install guide does a great job of showing where to put the heatsink tape. I was very happy with how they came out and the only issue I had was the now inverted decal on the block. APEX has an inverted layout and I knew I'd run into this so it wasn't a surprise. I decided to make my own custom decal that looked great. I'm very happy with the end result.

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  6. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    Adding Some Style To The 420mm Alphacool Radiator:

    I decided to add a custom touch to the side of the 420mm radiator. It was kind of tricky to get just right but it was well worth it in the end. It came out great and I'm very happy with the end result. I started by making a design in my cut program and then cut it out of some Vvivid vinyl. Once I had it all placed I went back and added white vinyl into the insert that has the OCOOL logo in it.

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    Be Quiet Silent Wings 3 Fan Mods:

    Even though people won't really see behind the front door; I wanted to make some custom decals for the fans. The top and bottom fans have the APEX logo and the middle fan sports the EM (Envious Mods) badge.

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    Acrylic Work & Installing The Components/Hardware:

    Now it's time to finish sanding, filing and polishing all the acrylic. As many of you know I still do it all by hand. Now that it's done I can start installing all the freshly water-cooled hardware and run all the wiring. All the hardware and components went in rather smoothly. Once everything was in place I also started running some of the hardline tubing. I tried out about 3 or 4 different loops before deciding on a final one that is my favorite. I wanted to run the hardline tubing in a way that hasn't been done. The angles and bends that I used really have the build some character.

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  7. CroyAlore

    CroyAlore Member

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    I'm liking the color combination of the CableMod sleeves, is that paracord or nylon? And the combs are a nice touch.
     
  8. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    Thank you very much. The cables are more if a paranoid type material. I'll be updating with more pics soon.
     
  9. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    Finishing Up & Testing the Loop:

    Time to put some coolant in the loop and test out all the components. Typically I do a 24 hr run with the pump on high to put the loop through it's paces. This helps to assure that everything is in tip top shape before it goes off to shows. I also decided to add a pressure release valve as an extra precaution. When all the lights are on and the coolants in you can really see the color combination shine in this build. It was a but of a chance doing blue coolant and accents but it definitely paid off. I've ever seen it done and it looks absolutely stunning.

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  10. CroyAlore

    CroyAlore Member

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    Oh wow I love the color effect, it almost looks frosted.
     
  11. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    Final Photos & APEX Goes to PAX East:

    APEX was a lot of fun to build and I enjoyed getting to try out new ideas. It was one of those builds where it all just came together and I think that shows in the final product. I've done a few more additions and mods to the design after these photos were taken. APEX is one it way to PAX East now to be displayed at Alphacool and ModMyMods booth #10044. You can check it out there as well as the new mods. I will update with the new pictures after it gets back from PAX East.

    Big thanks to Gigabyte, Be Quiet, Alphacool/Aquatuning, Aorus, HyperX and CableMod for getting me involved in this project. I'm looking forward to working with you on many more projects and builds.

    Final Photos: APEX

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    Photos From The Unveiling of APEX at CES 2017:

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  12. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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  13. Hukkel

    Hukkel James' minion

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    Very nice endresult. I hope it did well at CES.
     
  14. davido_labido

    davido_labido Your Alphacool Contact.

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  15. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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