Description

12/1/2019 Update:

  1. Replaced the 3900X with a 3950X.
  2. Replaced the EKWB PE CoolStream 360 radiator with an XEm going from 38mm wide to 60mm wide. Did I need the extra capacity? I have no idea.
  3. Replaced the 32GB Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro with 64GB 3600 CL16 Trident-Z Neo.
  4. Installed an Asus XG-C100C PCIe x4 10 Gbit/s Network Adapter... probably should have done this the first go around, but I forgot.
  5. Installed an EK-Meltemi 120ER because... it seemed more interesting than leaving an empty space in the basement.
  6. Replaced the top bend for absolutely no reason.
  7. Installed a shorter reservoir tube since the thicker radiator necessitated moving the D5 up 1 fan position.
  8. Replaced the 2nd bend with a 45 degree swivel fitting because the res ports sit at a more complicated angle now. The 45 degree fitting was flexible enough to address this new angle easily where a bend would have been too wide.
  9. Probably some other minor things that escape my memory.

This whole thing started out thanks to PowerColor. They found some pics of my Zen Clarity + build that had their Red Devil 5700XT and really liked it. They offered to send me a Liquid Devil to do a build with and I was admittedly VERY apprehensive. Custom loops were always something I wanted to do, but I kind of psyched myself out about it. Between worries of leaks and knowing I’d want to jump straight to hard line; I admit I was going to turn them down. There’s one thing that made me do it though. Jayztwocents always makes water cooling builds look like SO MUCH FUN. I sat down and binged a bunch of his videos and said, “you know what, you’re being your own worst enemy… get over it!” I let PowerColor know I was down for it and did a lot of homework. Huge shout out to EK Water Blocks for also making this possible. They sent over most of what I needed to get the build done. Between their configurator and advice from a very experienced friend, I picked out all I needed and set to work.

Things I loved about the build:

  1. Custom loop! Let’s get the obvious out the way. This is my first custom loop and for that I will never forget it. If I had to sum it up in 1 sentence it would be “Why did I do this to myself and when can I do it again?!”
  2. Working in a Fractal case. I’ve always admired the Fractal Design Define series but felt like I needed to do a custom loop to justify it. When I first got this thing, I stuck my Etude ITX build in there and it was hilarious. That said, I am VERY happy with the choice I made in this case. Opinions are mixed on the S2 Vision, but this was a showcase build and I think it fits the bill perfectly.
  3. Creativity. This by far was the best part about all this. In the end I made a lot of safe choices since this was my first custom loop, but the constant stimulation of planning, changing, and implementing was a thrill. A lot happens when you’re going with the flow. The tube that sits beneath the GPU power cables was originally just going to run along the floor of the case, but I rested a length of tube underneath the cables while I was measuring, and it looked great! This also ended up saving me a bend or fitting that no one would have seen had I gone with the original plan.
  4. The amount of things I learned and misconceptions/fears assuaged. In the back of my mind, I ALWAYS have concerns of reliability. Even with AIOs. This was not helped by the many deaths my Enermax AIOs suffered when Threadripper came out. My anxiety levels were through the roof when the 3rd one failed. I know this is down to coolant mistakes Enermax made, but the feat is very real. That said, the D5 has a great track record. As far as leaks go, that is a legitimate concern, BUT working with fittings and seeing just how well the O-rings seal gives me a good deal of peace of mind. It gave me a change to simulate a leak under control and if it does happen, the way I have everything laid out means there is a good chance minimal damage will be done. At some point I must place a bit of faith in the decades of experience and R&D these companies have. As niche as water cooling is, it’s also quite common now. Lots of refining has gone on with design and reliability has gone up in a big way.

Challenges & Mistakes:

  1. Loop Layout. It all seemed so obvious when I was envisioning it in my head. Then I did a test fit and EVERYTHING changed. I write this as a challenge because it was, but this was honestly the most fun part. Even now I have ideas of how I would immediately change it. There is so much freedom in doing a custom look. You can put thing where you want and how you want (within reason). I can see why so many people are hooked. You can show as much or as little of yourself in the build as you want.
  2. Working with PETG. I didn’t have any bad bends, but I did cut a run too short TWICE. I also scratched that same tube pretty badly with one of the fittings. Didn’t realize that was a thing. Glad it ended up being on a piece of scrap though. There’s lots of little things like this to look out for. Cutting and sanding was also a bit of a chore. This can mostly be traced down to tool choice. I had a PETG cutter, but you couldn’t really use it on super small cuts, so the hacksaw and sandpaper ended up being the way I went when making small adjustments. So much of a learning experience. I had watched a ton of videos beforehand, but nothing prepares you like doing it yourself. Again, I have this as a challenge, but it was a BLAST! I played it pretty safe with single 90 degree bends, but I’ll get more adventurous next time.
  3. Component choice. This was one area where I figured I would make mistakes due to my lack of experience. I had fitting anxiety after I had gotten my stuff from EK and ordered a bunch of 90s. That turned out to be a good move because I used every last 90 I thought would be extra. Stuff just plain does not line up in real life like it does in your imagination lol. The reservoir I picked also ended up looking quite silly in the S2 Vision. It was the 100 and boy did it look inadequate. I think it’s in one of the progress pics. Luckily a 204mm tube was available and that ended up looking great.
  4. Drain port. I knew I should have put one in. I bought the parts to put one in. I planned to put one in. Then I filled the loop after jumping the gun. Looked over everything with a smile after the leak test passed annnnnnnnnnnd yup. Totally forgot the drain port. I could kick myself. I plan to rectify this when I install the 3950X.

Small details:

The monoblock does have RGB, but I disabled it because I prefer it didn’t take too much attention. It looks nice just chilling back there. When lit, the LEDs aren’t very well diffused, and it doesn’t look very appealing.

The 2nd strip that comes with the monoblock so that you have both the RGB 12V and aRGB option was used in the shroud area underneath the D5 to give it some under glow. Seemed fitting consider the GPU.

The front 3 fans are pressure mounted using dense foam on either side of the fans. The S2 Vision has some changes in the front that make a 420 impossible yet comes with 140mm fans. This was the best way I could thing of the overcome that and keep the fans. Bonus of vibration dampening.

Planned changes and considerations:

  1. Definitely Adding a drain port.
  2. Likely swapping in an XE radiator since I don’t really want to add a second rad.
  3. Going to try a creative bend to get around that quad 90 setup going to the monoblock. Vertical mounting the card meant those two areas don’t line up perfectly, but I feel like there’s a better way to attack it.
  4. Slapping a 3950X in there for sure.
  5. Frosted tubing. I saw some while browsing custom loops and it just looks amazing.

Conclusion:

Just like anything truly worth it in life, water cooling is truly complicated. In the age of efficiency, it’s isn’t all that necessary, but where necessity has fallen, art has risen from the ashes. I never thought it would be this fun (and Jayztwocents did make it look fun!). I never thought it would be so stimulating. The first thing I did after finishing the build was go back and watch some custom loop videos I had seen before. Even with the brief experience I have, re-watching was so eye opening. So many more idea I want to try in the future and so many things I could have only understood, laughed at, or shared anguish with after having done it. I also have a new appreciation for anyone that’s done it. Watching Paul’s Hardware’s Arctic Panther builds (the last two iterations) where he went from newb to quite masterful was so great. Anyway… if you were ever on the fence about it, please just trust me and go for it.

“When you die and your whole life flashes before your eyes, how much of it do you want to NOT have custom loops?”

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Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 7 points

Utterly magnificent! A very sleek take on the red/black color scheme, and I love it. You seem to have struck a good balance of red to black/grey, so it doesn't look overdone. Job well done! +1

  • 3 months ago
  • 3 points

Thank you! That's one of the reasons I didn't go w/ an RGB res. I didn't want everything to be so in your face red.

  • 3 months ago
  • 3 points

WOW. I love everything about this. You always put up some great builds, this is no exception. Future feature?

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you so much!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

called it c: congrats. (I know i'm a little late)

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Indeed you did! Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 3 points

What a great build! Love the pictures that show the progression and they look so clean and well staged! The build itself looks incredible and I love the color scheme and components. Quality job!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much! High praise from someone as talented as yourself.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Dude! Right back at you. Just went through all your builds. Keep it up, got some great ideas from you!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice! Feature?

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

feature this please

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

This is a literal thing of beauty!!! Looks very similar to what I have planned once the 3950X & Liquid Devil release! Man I can't wait .....

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Yeah, this thing is getting a 3950X the second it drops. Hoping I get lucky at my local Microcenter. They always seem to be among the first to get stock of things.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

LOL yeah ... I'm driving 4.5 hrs to the closest MC to grab one!!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Oh yes very sexy build.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice job, great build.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you! Your liquid steel build is absolutely nuts! Aspire to get there one day!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

👌

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Fantastic job! Love it. :)

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Can't wait to see your newest creation completed and up here.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Phenomenal. Nothing else to say.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Verrryyy nice. You forgot something, the Danbo pics :)

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Oh yeah, I did.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Intel and Nvidia are crying in their soup, good job man haha, beautiful build :)

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

You should maybe add a rgb strip and make it white, so it pops a little more.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

It's there. I just didn't realize there was one built into the case til yesterday AFTER all the photos were done lol.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I love this build, I can’t believe powercolor reached out to you

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Where can I grab a 5700xt liquid devil? I've been eyeballing one for my new rig

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't think they're hitting shelves til the 25th.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks absolutely gorgeous. I love that the theme of the CPU mono block and GPU water block aesthetics match so well. Speaking of, where did you obtain such a wonderful backplate design? (asking for a friend of course) +1

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol thanks! The card has a waterblock from the factory, so I don't think they sell the backplate or block separately.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I am sorry, but I don't like this buid at all.... I simply love it!!! I'm a simple man.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Hah! You had me going there for a moment. Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Reminds me a lot of Star Wars, like in Jedi Knight or KotOR when you're aboard the destroyers. Looks fantastic!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I can definitely see it the way you described.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

that's cool that PowerColor reached out to you. You definitely do the Liquid Devil justice. I was just reading about that card not ago.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Yes. It was quite an honor to get to do my first ever custom loop with such a beast of a card. Might be addicted to custom loops now lol.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

This is such an incredibly wonderful build. It has a dark and sinister appeal to it that draws me in. I love it!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Love all of your super clean builds! It's like custom modded super clean engine bays.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Description was amazing and the pictures where even better. 1+

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Wonderful build! I've looked at your completed builds list. you are a pc building veteran! +1

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey man-- love the build! What camera are you using to take these pictures?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I'm using the Canon EOS R.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Masterful work! It's gorgeous

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

this build is a hottie. I wish I could hard loop my PC, but 1660 ti's have no watercooling capabilites.

And I want to make sure a lot of my life includes watercooling. because its cool.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Yes, definitely make sure some of your life is custom looped!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I'll probably never get tired of black/red themes. And the build itself is quite appealing too.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

"Behold the beast i unleash upon this world" Damn. You nailed it.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Flawless

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow! lol there is a warning, u updated bios?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah. I did that while it has a 2700X in it. The board and RAM are re-used.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

First off dope build man but why did you go with the 5700xt its a awesome card but why did you not go with anything higher end?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I covered that pretty well in the first paragraph of the build description. Give that a quick read.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh I see, do you do builds frequently?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Recently, yes. In fact, I'm redoing this one with a 3950X, larger rad, and different res config.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool, are you going to update us with overclocking performance?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Aesthetically, this hits the wow spot. How you are able to put it through it's paces.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Honestly unless you need the extra 4 cores the 750 price tag for the 3950X isn't worth it as it actually doesn't preform that much better then the 3900X in gaming all the benchmarks I've seen only shown a 5 to 10% increase in performance. Not saying you shouldn't or can't I'm saying unless you really don't need the additional 4 cores just save your money

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I've already got it. And yes, the workloads I use will benefit from the extra cores. I don't do much gaming.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

How was this not featured lol +1

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! It was featured last week!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Without the UPS i might build this and send it to my friend :\

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

This is your first? I don't believe it.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Indeed it is! I skipped the soft tubing route since it's a showcase build.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

i would have children with this pc if i could

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

What an awesome build! you're inspiring me to build my first custom water loop! maybe even something similar to yours! one quick question if you don't mind! how to do drain the loop for maintenance?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

From the GPU since it's the lowest point in the loop. I just put it on its side and then attach a drain and then put it back upright.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Why the 5700XT?

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

It's in the first paragraph of the description after the update.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

have you overclocked the parts yet? if so what are the numbers?

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Awesome attention to detail... looks fantastic..

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

I have a question, do you have any issues with ram temps or PCH temps causing system instability? I run a similar set up as you where I have 360 rad in the front blowing hot air into my case hooked up to my cpu and gpu (5700). I notice after playing AC Odyssey for about an 1.5 hours, it crashes which I suspect is due to heat. As you know, all the heat from the loop gets thrown back into the system and I wonder if things that rely on passive cooling, pch and ram get too hot with this setup.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

No, I can't say I've had any issues like that.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

What speed do your rad fans run at full load?

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

1500 RPMs

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Interesting, that is probably my issue as my fans only get to about 1100 rpms. Should make my fan curves more aggressive. Thanks.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

What a cool build, red and black builds typically look really good, but this is the best one I've seen yet. I noticed a keyboard in one your shots what is it, it looks awesome.

  • 29 days ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! It's a DZ60 in a KBD 5 Degree case w/ MAXKEY Foundation keycaps.

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I'll look into it.

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Keep it polite or don't comment on the site. If you don't agree with the part selection, that's fine. But there's no need to be snarky about it or bring in personal attacks.

If you'd prefer to offer alternate part choices, I'd recommend spending time in our part list opinions wanted forum instead.

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  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Lol, yes! Gotta keep the backseat builders who don't read the build notes in line.

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