Well hello there. So first things first, here's the short story - see further down for the long version with lots of babble. Man sees case, man likes case, man plays with case, man gets ideas, man tries to cram as much as possible into case, water cools it and sprays it. I've been working on this one for a while with several concepts but as I'm nearly the final design and now have all the bits I need I figured I'd make a project log. Here's the hardware: Case: Raijintek Metis CPU: Intel Core i7-5960X (watercooled) Motherboard: ASRock X99E-ITX/ac (watercooled) Memory: Corsair 32GB Vengeance 3,200MHz SSD: 1TB Samsung 960 Pro (watercooled) GPU: MSI GTX 1070 6GB Armor (watercooled) PSU: Corsair 600W SFX with Customised CableMod cable set [Watercooling: Bitspower full cover ASRock X99E-ITX/ac waterblock, EK MSI GTX 1070 6GB Armor full cover waterblock, Black Ice SR2 Xtreme+ 140mm rad, Custom-made M.2 waterblock, undecided on fittings, tubing and pump, undoubtedly some form of Mayhems coolant Current Status: Long version: If you know me from my various haunts, you’ll probably know that I build dozens of PCs a year, both mods and standard builds for various people and feature articles, so having the time to build one for me is a rarity. It’s even rarer that I get one finished too! However, this time, I’ve been working on something for around a year and as the finish line is in sight, I thought I may as well document it, not least of all to say thanks to everyone that's helped along the way. Small form factor fans will likely find something interesting to see as well. First I have to thank the ever lovely Justin – aka MetallicAcid, for the inspiration for this project. His Raijintek Metis case mod - Elegance http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2015/12/24/bit-tech-mod-of-the-year-2015/15 was beautiful but more importantly, I loved how modding friendly this tiny case is. My main rigs are always water-cooled, though, but I love cramming cooling gear into teeny tiny cases, so the challenge was on. Initially I looked at using an external water cooling system, and had this as my main rig for a while, using a second Metis to play around with – I did a guide on how to do this in Custom PC magazine too. Thankfully I hit upon an idea early on to move the motherboard tray to the centre of the case. As I’d be water-cooling the CPU, I didn’t need masses of clearance for a heatsink, and this opened up a big space behind the motherboard tray for a radiator, with enough space for air flow, a decent size rad and fan. The concept worked and I used it for a front cover feature build for Custom PC magazine earlier this year, where I managed to cram an XSPC Ion pump/res, Core i7 5960X, ASRock X99 ITX board and a GTX 980 Ti – all watercooled, into the Metis. Watercooling UK was kind enough to send over a HW LABS Black Ice SR2 Xtreme+ 140mm rad to use – the biggest 140mm rad I could find short of an Alphacool Monsta. In theory, this probably has the cooling capacity of at least two 140mm 30mm thick rads, which you could easily use to cool an overclocked CPU and GPU. I didn’t get spectacular temperatures but they were decent nonetheless – way better (and quieter) than using a heatsink and air-cooled graphics card. Hopefully with the new GPU, things should be even better. So, the core hardware was sorted, except for an upgrade on the GPU front plus some issues over storage and the PSU. The latter was quickly fixed courtesy of Corsair, which provided one of its new 600W SFX PSUs, to which I added a set of customised, shortened cables, courtesy of CableMod’s awesome cable configurator – thanks to CableMod and Corsair for sending over these parts! The storage was trickier – I wouldn’t have space for a 2.5in SSD, but that was no issue as the ASRock X99 ITX board has a fully-fledged NVMe M.2 port. However, I needed at least 1TB of storage, and the only drives around with more than 500GB were only 500MB/sec SATA 6Gbps models. Meh. Thankfully Samsung announced its range of 96X-series M.2 SSDs, and OcUK managed to get some exclusive stock of the OEM models – namely the SM961 and PM961. I went for the latter and speeds are incredible. Anyway, with the initial concept out the way, enough babble, here's the build, which is around 50% complete so far so plenty more to do. I'd like to say thanks to the following people for their support as well. Justin – aka MetallicAcid - for his advice on the Metis and windows etc and for the original inspiration for the build. ASRock for showing interest in the project and slinging this fantastic motherboard my way Corsair for sponsoring the memory and PSU CableMod for working with me on the PSU cables and its excellent configurator Raijintek for its continued interest in the project and sending over some Metis cases' to work with and chop up. XSPC for sending over the Ion pump/res for the initial concept Watercooling UK for supplying the Black Ice SR2 Xtreme+ 140mm rad for the initial concept Alphacool for supplying the fittings and tubing for the initial concept http://www.globalartsupplies.co.uk for sponsoring the Montana spray paints Mnpctech for supplying the case feet and rad grille. I’ll start with the initial concept. Basically I bunged all the gear into the case and worked out that with a bit of jiggling it would fit. That’s only a 120mm rad in there – 180mm was to big, at least with a full size GPU, but XSPCs Ion pump/res looked like a good choice. The Metis is simple to dismantle – no rivets! Yay! Thing of beauty. I currently own two boards – this one and the Maximus VII Impact for my current main rig. The two best mini-ITX boards so far imho. And when Bitspower released its dedicated waterblock for the ASRock, that settled it – X99 it is. The block was simple to install, a single plate cooling the VRMs and PCH plus a standard CPU waterblock. On top of this sits a pass-through section, I did think about not using this as I could have shifted over the motherboard tray a bit more, but it looks too damn awesome. To shift the motherboard tray I just lined up the block with a fitting then marked out the new position of the tray. Of course I’d have to shift the rear panel and PCI slots as well but no pain no gain… The motherboard tray needed trimming too to make way for the bits in the front of the case. Tada! Its screwed to the base and will be fixed to the rear panel too. The GPU mount is a bit crude – I just lopped out a section and remounted it in the new position, adding a splash of filler and respraying though. The initial build used a GTX 960, but eventually used a GTX 980 Ti. More soon!