Description

Edit 1 - If anyone is interested in how the GPU performs while water cooled, this is the Strix 1080 A8G model running 100% of the time at 2088 mhz, without me having to touch any sliders in software. This must be due to the built in boost algorithm allowing it to reach that clock speed without any thermal throttling (instantaneous max 56 C).


This build was mostly a learning experience, but also a migration of parts from an earlier build that were in my Enthoo Evolv mini-ITX case. This time around, after I had already owned the s340 case for a little while, I decided I wanted to try my hand at constructing my first fully custom water loop.

Trying to find space inside this case for a custom loop of more than one component was difficult, mainly because it only has one location for radiators larger than a single fan in length. Regardless, the idea was to have a 240 out in front followed by a 120 against the back. Trying to install soft tubing for the very short runs from the 120 to the CPU ended up being very difficult combined with my lack of experience.

After days of planning, purchasing, cutting and building, I thought I was finally done putting it all together, so I started stress testing the CPU. As soon as the temperature in the loop rose, coolant started to slowly push its way out of every possible crevice on the CPU block. At that point, I was demotivated, and didn't really have much time left to complete the project I started. The culprit for the faulty CPU block was probably my janky installation skills, because at one point I found myself using way too much awkwardly applied force to seal tubing onto the fittings, fittings onto block, etc. Oh well, valuable lesson learned for the future.

With no patience left, I just ended up taking the Kraken x42 I already owned and rigged it to fit at the top of the s340 so I could start using my PC again. The top is not designed for both a fan and a radiator, so I had to use a 120mm fan on the 140mm rad and mount the fan off center to gain clearance around the fan headers and the kraken pump housing. Remember, when mounting points are not there, 3M adhesive is your friend.

As for custom cooling, I reverted my work back to a state that worked flawlessly the first time, the GPU in a loop by itself. These are all EKWB parts, and I think the final result is pleasing both visually and with its performance. Temps rarely top 50 C on the 1080 (and 55 C on the 6600k) with constant-slow-speed fans. My two goals for the loop were eliminating noise from stock GPU air coolers and dropping temps at the same time, both of which were achieved. The price for the loop reflected on the parts list includes the CPU loop components as well, because maybe one day I will revisit this project and actually complete it. For now, I think it looks pretty good, all things considered.

And yes, I'm aware there is no drain in my loop, that is also something I learned the hard way (having to drain it multiple times to study the leaks), and I'm also aware I left the sticker on the Kraken rad.

Comments

  • 32 months ago
  • 3 points

im aroused.

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  • 32 months ago
  • 0 points

Im hard XD

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  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for A-bay sticker

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

ooh not gonna lie I'm liking the way your Kraken X42 looks fitted on top, even though the case isn't meant for a top RAD, it's aesthetically pleasing.

+1!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

:O

+1

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Damn, that's a nice job on the GPU cooling loop. Never seen a 1/2 custom loop build that looks this good. +1 :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

wooooooow! 1+! this is one of the first custom gpu loop only builds ive seen on this platform! 1+! damn it looks great!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks very clean! Love the GPU loop separate from the CPU!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! I know you said you originally had a cpu block and it didn't work out, are you planning on installing the cpu block back into the loop? Also, there is a 'T fitting' that you can add to your radiator (since it's the lowest point in your loop) that you can connect the radiator, the run from the gpu to the radiator and a drain port.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I hope to work on the build again sometime in the future and either make one full loop or add a second res to the left with different color coolant for the cpu (maybe white). Drain valves are on the list for next time too

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

pretty. well done.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Builds like this tempt me to buy a decent camera to take a photo of my rig.

+1 for the build, +10 for the photos' quality

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

this NEEDS to be featured! +1

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice job for a customn loop

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Red and white.

You have very good taste. +1.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Honestly this build is beautiful. The detail to attention on the cables, the AIO rad placement, and the dual loops. so hecking beautiful m8. +1

feature this

feature this

Feature This

FEATURE THIS

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

You know, i'm suprised, but i REALLY love the way the ITX board in an ATX case looks -- it looks very clean. Honestly, I think this build is beautiful the way it is. Of course, having the red flow to the CPU would look awesome as well, but i'd be pretty satisfied if I were you with this one. That thing is just beautiful!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I like it too. It was more appropriate in the mITX case, but kind of keeps it looking minimalist in this one, which I think was the #1 goal of NZXT with this case anyway.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Definitely work on getting a support solution to deal with GPU sag.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

These full cover water blocks and backplates add a ton of weight, but yeah there is quite a bit of sag going on

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Pretty good, extremely clean build! Just a few things I would change.

First off, I would put that single RAD powering the AIO on the back fan slot of the case so it can work as an exhaust. If you can't do this for whatever reason, or if it's just too awkward of a tubing run, I would still put an exhaust fan of some sort in that slot.

I would also find something to fill that large, awkward empty spot underneath the graphics card. Personally, I would have removed the SSD mounting mechanisms on the roof of the PSU basement, gotten a larger reservoir, and mounted it sideways at the bottom of the case or on the wall below the GPU. Since you've already got your reservoir and probably aren't willing to change it, I think it would be cool to see some kind of mounting mechanism that would display both your SSDs on the back wall of the case below the GPU or something like that. It can be hard to make a mini-ITX build in an ATX case not look empty, but with a custom loop and some innovation, it's possible.

+1 for sticking with custom loop even through all the troubles!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

The case overall has positive air pressure from +2 in, -1 out, so dust stays out, but I do have another corsair maglev fan to add in the back to even things out a bit. The top left drive cage may eventually be exchanged with a second res with different color coolant for the cpu, which would fill things in nicely. I may switch to hard tubes at that point too.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I love this,+1

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks so good.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 looks sooo nice.

Man Ive always wondered if this would work, having an AIO for the CPU and custom looping the GPU

How are the temps on the gpu if you dont mind me asking.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

In CPU bound gaming (high fps like Overwatch) the GPU plateaus around 45 C under load. In GPU bound gaming (like BF1 with supersampling) I see it plateau around 55-56 C.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

those are great temps man.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

wait, you can put a 120mm fan on both sides of the x42?

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Where did you get those cables for the PSU? I need those. lol

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  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

lol

oh

i agree witchu mah boi

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  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

The Kraken came from a different build he said. He had trouble installing the run to the CPU. It came out of necessity and I think it came out amazing.