So after the high of last week’s delivery, I started fitting in hardware as I’d envisioned before shipping and discovered that due to the way the X-flow radiators are designed that while the 360 X-flow radiator was installed I didn’t quite have the clearance I need to mount another radiator onto the back mounting position without putting it outside of the case. Fortunately I’d thought about this in the planning stages, and Alphacool graciously agreed to send another 240mm X-flow radiator in case I ran into issues. Mounting this gives me acres of clearance, but doesn’t quite have the same aesthetic.
I’d still like to use the 360 I think, but have left the 240 on currently to see if anything pops while I brainstorm. I do keep eyeing the back mesh and my Dremel…
The other option here is to forgo the back radiator, and use the 360 and 240 radiators either still as separate loops or as one loop. This would be easier, but who said this should be easy? I set out to build a showcase, dual-loop PC; as I haven’t seen anyone put a dual-loop into this case and it looked like a fun challenge.
Also while staring at the case, I’ve decided to build some custom acrylic backplates for both sides of the motherboard tray. Will be a much cleaner look, especially once I route various parts of cabling behind it.
So while I've been given a puzzle on the radiator side, I've found a solution for one other issue: Airflow. Now we all love the sleek looks of the Phanteks Evolv, but one thing that's generally agreed is that those sleek lines come with a lower airflow from the front panel. Step in Mnpctech with his Evolv Vented Bezel. This is a full replacement for the front panel, using the existing mounting hardware from that panel. I've seen forum posters saying that their temperatures dropped 5 degrees after adding this mod, can't wait to test that out myself.
It's a straight-forward, swap hardware across and mount on the case.
I've left the acrylic cover on so I don't gather scratches as I work, so here's what it looks like from Mnpctech's own website
That’s all the updates I have this week, to give me some more time to think about the radiator issue I’m going to start on cabling this week, and probably some paint of components.
Lemme reverse it..
Waterblocks (and roadblocks)..
Those custom Alphacool blocks that ModMyMods did for me.
So.. I learned something this week. Plans go awry, things break, and even the best-planned builds get sidetracked.
I had originally planned to get some tubing routes done this week, but the universe had other ideas.
First was noticing a small chip of glass in the bottom of the case. Hmm, not a good sign at any time, especially with a Tempered Glass case. Getting a RMA was easy (thanks Phanteks), but then having to ship it to Cali to get a replacement wasn’t ($65). Luckily was within Amazon’s return, so back it goes to them.
Now.. I don’t have a case. Okay.. I decide to take apart my fans to repaint the housings.. as the rain starts. Took out my sleeving supplies to start on cabling, and realised that I’d only bought male ATX pins and I need female ones. Did do my first cable crimp though, which went smoothly and gave me needed confidence for when I do get the correct pins.
Test cable sleeving on MNPCTECH Aluminum Billet Combs
I love how the cable looks on those billet combs from Mnpctech, they’re gonna look great with all the other titanium/aluminum items in this build.
So, bit of a mixed bag this week.. Haven’t really made any progress, but I’ve learned a few valuable lessons on the way. Check all your deliveries within a day of getting them, make sure you have the necessary parts (even if you’re sure you do), and always keep smiling — life’s too short to be grumpy and setbacks always happen.
The Best Laid Plans..
Or “Strike while it’s hot”
Masterplan is in effect!
So this week I’d like to talk about the importance of planning, documentation, and forethought.
Having to RMA my case last week was a blow, one that I both hadn’t bargained for or had enough contingency plans in place so the build didn’t lose momentum. I did have some backup plans, but a combination of weather and me ordering the wrong item meant those plans were also a washout.
That said, the first thing I decided to do once I got the replacement case back was to start on full-scale drawings of the inside so I could work off of those if necessary. This also gave me time to get a better understanding of the case itself, and some time to meditate on the next steps.
The upshot of this is that over the next week I will be doing a lot of assembly work. I have 10 Alphacool Susurro fans that I need to strip down to paint while the weather is cooperating, RAM heatspreaders to remove so I can put the waterblocks on, along with waterblocks for CPU and GPU. I’m also planning to start on cable sleeving, and will be taking plenty of photos to put together some how-to’s after I’m done.
Have also had some time to play with a few other accessories for the build, including these custom machined Ryzen fan grills from MNPCTECH, which look amazing on the Alphacool radiators.
You noticed the tape, right? Can’t put anything past you.. To fit the 3rd radiator at the back, I have to cut the top pci-e mount, which is okay as I’m not using it for hardware. Also need to do some cuts above the radiator so I can mount the fans above it.
Going to be a busy time, hopefully can start mounting the watercooling loops next week.
Only a small update for this week, jigsaw and a couple of things I needed to cut the thicker acrylic I have have arrived. Was going to mock up the gpu loop with flex, but decided to strip the paint off of the block so that's also on hold. So far I've been finishing one job, and creating 4 more. I think I'm getting close to the tipping point where I won't be adding as many jobs to the list, or they'll be end-time finishing jobs instead of hurdles.
Have almost finished all the PSU cabling now, just the 24-pin to do now. The PCIE ones turned out beautifully and am really happy with the coherent design.
until next time, Mod On!
Well that took a lot longer than I’d anticipated. Still have a couple of strands to put into the main 24-pin cable but happy with the results so far. Still have to sleeve various other things, but I’m going to let my fingers heal up before tackling those. Seeing these finished in a pile has given me renewed vigor to tackle the rest of the build.
Alphacool NexXxos Fury X Waterblock
Next stage is some mods to the waterblock for the Fury X that I’m using in this build, and to put the gpu loop together with flex tubing to test my desired config.
Until next week, Mod On!
I was hoping to show some progress on the watercooling side this week, but the powdercoat on the Alphacool NexXxos block is super tough - Aircraft Stripper barely took it off on a couple of corners.
I did finish my ATX cables though, so here's some glamour shots in-situ
All with MNPCTECH Billet Combs