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Modding BAWLS

Discussion in 'Modding' started by NavyChief, 23 Jun 2016.

  1. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Well, it is time again for another build and the CaseLabs Magnum STH10 case looks like a nice challenge. I have seen so many rave reviews of their products and am looking forward to seeing what I can do with one of these cases.

    The theme I decided to go with is based on my favorite energy drink product - BAWLS Guarana. The color scheme will be focused on the BAWLS Original packaging of Cobalt Blue and chrome.

    Now let's get started with the components...

    Main Components:
    Case: CaseLabs Magnum STH10
    CPU: Intel i7 5930K Haswell-E
    Motherboard: ASUS Rampage V Extreme
    Memory: 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 2666Mhz (8x4GB)
    Memory Kit: Corsair Dominator Platinum Light Bar Upgrade Kit (x4)
    GPU: 2 x EVGA GeForce GTX 980 in SLI
    SSD: 400GB Intel 750 PCI-E
    SSD: 256GB Samsung XP941 M.2
    SSD: 2 x 480GB Corsair Neutron XT SATA 3
    HDD: 2 x 2TB Seagate Barracuda
    PSU: Corsair AX1200i Modular

    Watercooling Components:
    CPU / Motherboard Block: EK-FB ASUS R5E Monoblock - Acetal + Nickel
    GPU Block: 2 x EK-FC980 GTX - Acetal + Nickel
    GPU Backplate: 2 x EK-FC980 GTX Backplate - Nickel
    Pump: 2 x EK-D5 Vario
    Radiator (120mm): 2 x EK-CoolStream PE 480 (Quad)
    Radiator (140mm): Black Ice SR1 560
    Reservoirs: 2 x Bitspower Dual / Single D5 Top Upgrade Kit 250
    Fittings (Upper/Lower): Bitspower Shiny Silver
    Tubing (Upper/Lower): EK-Tube ZMT
    Fittings (Middle): Primochill Revolver / Bitspower Shiny Silver
    Tubing (Middle): Copper 1/2" OD

    Miscellaneous Components:
    RGB Controller: Darkside RGB Controller with remote
    Fan Controller: ASUS Front Base
    120mm Fans: 13 x Thermaltake Riing 120mm Blue LED
    140mm Fans: 7 x Thermaltake Riing 140mm Blue LED
    Sleeving: Darkside HD - Dark Blue UV and Jet Black

    I will keep this build log updated as the assembly commences and it starts to take shape.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 23 Jun 2016
  2. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    Moved to modding until there are pics of work in progress.
     
  3. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    I have heard so many rave reviews of CaseLabs products that I thought it would be interesting to try one of their products. I normally use off-the-shelf cases (i.e. Antec, Corsair) but this was my first experience with a custom-ordered case. The staff of CaseLabs were gracious enough to sponsor me for this build with a Magnum STH10 case. The ordering process was easy and straight-forward. The hardest part was deciding on the exact composition of the case since they have so many custom options to choose from! CaseLabs is all about customer service and their reputation in this regard is beyond reproach. They handled all my questions easily and quickly.

    I went with the reverse ATX option since the case will be on the left of my desk and I wanted the window to face towards me (right facing window).

    Once all the components were selected, it was time for the colors. The interior was left as black. I went with a primer gray color for all the exterior panels since they are going to be custom painted. I love how they offer this choice since it saves a lot of time with prepping the panels for the paint.

    The shipping was prompt and on-time. I received the case in a large box and was amazed at how light it was when compared with similar cases of this size. The Corsair 900D was easily 10 pounds heavier than this larger case.

    Here is a shot of the shipping box (24"W x 35"L x 12"H). It was undamaged and in very good condition.

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    All of the components were wrapped in heavy-duty plastic bags for protection and labeled accordingly. To say that there were a lot of items is an understatement! The sheer quantity of items was daunting when laid out.

    This is only a small stack of some of these items. You can easily read what each bag contains and the quantity included.

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    Here is a shot of everything laid out on the floor. CaseLabs was even gracious enough to include one of their t-shirts for me.

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    The assembly instructions were straight-forward and easily followed. Everything went together flawlessly and in no time the unit was assembled and sitting on my workbench.

    Here are some shots of the assembled case.

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    The space available on the interior is absolutely amazing. I love how the upper and lower chambers are sealed off to prevent any unwanted airflow from entering the main area. As you can see, the front of the case is on the left and the motherboard will be mounted in the reverse ATX configuration.

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    All of the exterior case panels are now in the process of being painted.

    They will be Candy Cobalt Blue with some chrome accents. The BAWLS logo will be white and centered on the solid door panel.

    Since this build is focused on the energy drink BAWLS, I thought it better to ask permission to use their brand logo on the case so as not to infringe on any copyrights.

    I contacted the company via their website and promptly received a reply stating that they have no problem with this concept and look forward to seeing what I come up with. They are one of the sponsors of QuakeCon and I know that their representatives will be in attendance. Getting this permission ensures that everything remains legal.

    They even sent me some swag to encourage me! Please pass on my sincere 'Thanks' to your CEO for this gracious package!!

    Here is a shot of what I received.

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    I look forward to showing them this case at QuakeCon and hope that it meets with their approval.
     
  4. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Here is a shot of most of the internal hardware components for this build. It was hard to get them all on the table and displayed adequately.

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    Here are all the fans that will be utilized (seven 140mm and thirteen 120mm).

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  5. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    The STH10 has a removable motherboard tray that enables everything to be mounted while outside the case. This alleviates the need to mount the components in the often tight confines of the case. Here is a shot of the motherboard tray.

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    CaseLabs includes some custom feet that can be mounted on the tray so that it can become a Tech Station. The feet raise it off the table and keeps it level. The feet will replace the four corners screws as seen in this photo.

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    Here is a shot of the feet mounted in their respective positions.

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    Once flipped right side up, the tray is level and ready for the components.

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    Next up is the memory.

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    I have 32GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum (8 x 4GB) rated at 2666 MHz. I also have the matching Dominator Platinum light bar upgrade kits so that the top of the memory modules will be lit up blue to match the case theme.

    Here are the eight sticks of memory lined up and ready.

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    The light bar kits include new metal memory covers with slits for the clear acrylic inserts. Each kit includes 2 clear and 2 blue inserts so that you can use whichever one you desire. It also includes all the hardware to mount them correctly.

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    The quality of these memory modules is superior to anything I have used previously. The black and chrome color scheme will match my interior colors perfectly.

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    It didn't take long to complete the process with no problems at all. All eight modules are now equipped with blue inserts for the light to shine through.

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    As for the cable sleeving, I am looking at going with the below color scheme.

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    I already have the DarkSide HD sleeving material in Dark Blue UV and Jet Black. I will be utilizing the heatshrinkless methodology developed by Lutro0.
     
  6. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    The Asus Rampage V Extreme (R5E) is one beautiful motherboard! Can't wait to swap out the default air blocks and put in the water block.

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    The rear panel provides connections for almost anything you could want: 10 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, anti-surge LAN port, wifi, bluetooth and audio. The metal heat sink over these connections are a nice feature.

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    Lastly, the CPU socket is a LGA 2011-v3.

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    The processor selected for this build is an Intel i7-5930K.

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    This is one large processor!

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    Instead of 3 separate water blocks for the motherboard / CPU, I decided to try out the new EK-FB ASUS R5E Monoblock. This will alleviate several of the smaller tubing sections from around the CPU area.

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    The overall length of this block is right at 9". The package includes everything necessary for installation.

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    Here is a shot of the overall block.

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    The original heat sinks were removed quickly and easily.

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    This shows the CPU inserted and ready for the block.

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    The original rear sink requires removal and replacement with the alternate rear cover for the motherboard.

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    The SB has been cleaned and prepped.

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    A shot of my desk area during this tedious process.

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    Now for the new block to be prepped for installation.

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    Installation was fast and error-free.

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    Close-up of this beautiful block.

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    I did not like the factory red stripe located on the heat sink over the I/O area. Here and in the photo above, you can see that it has been changed to a chrome stripe.

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  7. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Now for the second set of water blocks.... the video cards.

    I have two EVGA GeForce GTX 980 cards, two EK-FC980 GTX blocks (Nickel Acetal), and two EK-FC980 GTX Backplates (Nickel).

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    It is almost a crime to strip these beautiful cards of their factory coolers. These are some of the nicest coolers I have seen in a while.

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    Here are the first set of parts laid out and ready for surgery.

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    These cards look so bare without that cooler! The blocks removed easily and with no problems.

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    A close-up of the cleaned GPU.

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    Here is a shot of the mounted EK full-board water block. I really only prefer the full-board variants as it hides all the card components from view.

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    Close-up of the EK branding on this block.

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    I wanted the internal components to have a lot of black and chrome, so I got the EK nickel back plates. These things are beautiful and really shine up nicely.

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    Close-up of the EK branding on the backplate.

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    Both video cards are completed and ready!

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    Here are both cards with their shiny new nickel backplates.

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  8. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Tonight I installed the Samsung XP941 256GB M.2 card onto the motherboard.

    The Rampage V Extreme can accommodate 3 different lengths of M.2 cards (60mm, 80mm and 110mm). You can see the connector on the right hand side (labeled 473KA) and the 3 screws connections towards the left hand side.

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    The Samsung XP941 is 80mm in length and easily connects in.

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    For this build I decided to utilize the Corsair AX1200i Modular PSU. My last three builds have used the AX1200 and had no problems to date. I thought this new build deserves the newer version.

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    This is one really beautiful power supply unit.

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    For mounting this into the CaseLabs STH-10 case, I decided to use one of their Magnum PSU mounts (MAC-590). This accessory is not required, but merely helps to reduce the strain on the mounting screws. It also included some cushioned mounting tape to help reduce any vibrations.

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    Here is a shot of the power supply installed in the lower compartment.

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  9. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Now to get these reservoirs assembled and test fit so that I can start looking at options for routing the tubing.

    Here you can see the various components for both reservoirs. The parts are mostly Bitspower, with two EK-D5 Vario pumps.

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    This is the 250 reservoir, fresh out of the packaging.

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    Here is one of the bases and a three-port end cap.

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    One of the EK-D5 Vario pumps.

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    I really like the Bitspower stand that comes with the mod tops since it allows for secure installation on a vertical surface.

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    To help with removing air during the bleeding and draining phases, I decided to try out the Bitspower Air Exhaust fitting for installation on the top of the reservoirs.

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    Here are both air exhaust fittings and the Aqua Pipe I fittings.

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    The initial test fitting of the components went smoothly. These are two really big reservoirs!

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    Both reservoirs are fully assembled and awaiting installation. I painted the D5 mod tops since I didn't like the flat black colors.

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    Now for the tedious part of measuring three times and verifying the placement of all components before any drilling. Some of the marks shown represent some screw posts on the rear of the panel. Don't want to get too close or damage those.

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    All mounting holes are drilled and ready for the components.

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    Here is a shot of both reservoirs mounted in their respective positions. Still have to sleeve the pumps wires though.

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  10. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    I went with two of the Corsair Neutron Series XT 480GB SSD for gaming files.

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    The reviews that I have read show them to be dependable and fast!

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    They mounted smoothly into the CaseLabs SSD cage, with room for two more SSD in the future (if necessary).

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    I also mounted the two Seagate 2TB Barracuda HDD into the CaseLabs HDD cage. These will be used for backups and miscellaneous storage.

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    I love how CaseLabs have these storage drive cages mounted on the rear of the motherboard tray and out of sight!
     
  11. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Here are the three radiators that will be used in this build...

    2 x EK-CoolStream PE 480 (4 x 120mm)
    1 x Black Ice SR1 560 (4 x 140mm)

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    The two 4x120mm radiators will be mounted in the top compartment for the GPU loop and the 4x140mm radiator will be mounted in the lower compartment for the CPU loop.

    The EK radiators are beautiful components that are large enough to keep the graphic cards cool, yet slim enough to leave me plenty of room for tubing and wiring.

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    This shot shows all of the fans mounted on their respective CaseLabs radiator mounts. The lower two are the 480 radiators and the middle is the 560 radiator. The top two items are fan mounts for the front of the case.

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    The 560 radiator is mounted in the lower compartment and ready.

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    All radiators have been mounted. This process was extremely easy due to the modular construction of the CaseLabs mounts. Everything is assembled outside of the case and attached easily with just four screws.

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    Here is a close-up of the large front fan assembly. There are four 120mm fans mounted.

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  12. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Now to complete that motherboard...

    All 32GB of the Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 2666Mhz (8x4GB) memory, with the light bar upgrade kits, have been mounted onto the motherboard.

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    Overall shot of the entire motherboard tray with everything mounted.

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    Here is the back of the tray with all those connections!

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    Close-up of what connectors are offered on the R5E backplate.

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  13. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    With most of the components in place, now to figure out a routing scheme.

    Here is my first draft....

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    The blue loop is for the video cards and the yellow loop is for the CPU.

    The upper two 460mm radiators are for the video loop and the lower 560mm radiator is for the CPU.
     
  14. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Here is the first batch of Bitspower and Primochill connectors.

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    Twenty-four Primochill Rigid Revolver compression fittings sure do look good when lined up!

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    Here is a close-up of these beautiful silver fittings.

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  15. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    With each build I try to do something new. The first build used vinyl tubing and the second utilized acrylic tubing. For this build I thought I would try the next step ... copper tubing.

    Did a lot of research and it does not sound too difficult.

    The 1/2" copper tubing sold in the U.S. does not bend easily, so I went with copper coils that are readily sold in most home improvement stores.

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    The tubing comes in 3/8" ID and 1/2" OD. This is the exact size requirement for the Primochill Revolver fittings. I decided to start with the 10' roll since I know that there will be mistakes due to the learning curve of working with copper. The copper material is pliable and has a nice clean look straight out of the box.

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    Since the tubing is coiled, I had to find a way to straighten it to my needs. I found a tool that is made in the UK by a company called Kwix UK. Their tube straightening tool is easy to use and does the job perfectly!

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    I ordered the 1/2" OD tool. It uses 4 sets of rollers (16 in all) that straighten and align the tubing as it is passed over the length.

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    In this shot you can see some of the tubing that has been straightened. The tools shown are the Kwix UK tool and a Rigid 36132 1/2" OD tube bender.

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    This is a shot of the first section fitted in place. This is probably the longest section and the most obvious.

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  16. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Copper tubing is complete.

    Finished bending and cutting all the sections required for the GPU and CPU loops.

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  17. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Got around to completing the cable sleeving. I used DarkSide Jet Black and Dark Blue UV HD sleeving material. I utilized the heatshrinkless methodology since the clean look is perfect for my build.

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  18. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    Alright, I will post just a few photos of the upper tubing.

    This is the upper radiator area with two 480 radiators. Plenty of room to work with and everything is fully functional.

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    Towards the front of the case is where the two reservoirs are located. In this shot you can see the two fill ports and the tubing feeding into each reservoir.

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  19. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    I just received my new Intel 750 series PCI-E 400GB SSD!

    This will add some real speed to the booting of the computer and loading of programs.

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  20. NavyChief

    NavyChief Minimodder

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    I originally was going to use an EVGA SLI bridge as shown below...

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    This was nice in that the silver and black matched the interior case theme.

    That all changed when I saw the new EVGA SLI V2 bridge..

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    This new bridge is even more sexy than the original. Now to see what can be done with it.
     

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