So I actually bought all the main components last year, but I had been using it with an AIO cooler in the Phanteks Evolv TG case in silver... which was fine, but I really wanted another black and white build.
Ever since Corsair had released the 570X in white, I had it in my mind that I would take the opportunity to change case and do my first custom water loop. I was even considering getting the Asus x299 Prime deluxe and i9 7900k to match, but Skylake X will be dead soon, just like Kabylake... so I decided to stick with the 7700K for now and paint my Asus Formula IX white instead.
What do I use this for?
I mainly use this rig for music production and 4K gaming. I haven't bothered overclocking the CPU yet... really no need at this time. I've OC'd the GPU though and it's a steady 60FPS while gaming in 4K
At first I planned to go with all EKWB parts, but having done lots of research and seeing many others' builds, I didn't want to restrict myself, so I sourced most parts from different places.
My plan was to cool the motherboard too, but once I got all the rads and fans in the case, uh oh, there wasn't enough clearance for the fittings... so I had to redo a couple of bits and reconfigure my loop.
I used the 14mm Barrow bending kit, which was ok for the price. The silicone insert went into the ID a little too easily, but it got the job done and on odd occasion, I worked the heat gun to reshape any hiccups. The PETG cutters, however, were very bad. The blade went blunt after a few cuts and started destroying the ends of my tubes. I ended up buying a much higher quality cutter from Amazon, which did the trick nicely.
The pump reservoir combo - Having followed their channel for some time now, I knew I needed the Singularity Protium res/pump combo. The slight problem is that you can't buy SC components in the UK... Performance PCs in the US was the best choice for me. Arrived in the UK within 3 days, perfectly packaged.
Fittings and tubing - It was go hard or go home for me. The downside being the ridiculous cost associated with it! 12mm tubing looks too skinny and I had read 16mm was quite hard to work with, especially for tight bends... so the I went with 14/10mm PETG as a nice in between. EKWB don't do this size, so the next best thing was either Bitspower, XSPC or Barrow
I chose Barrow for 3 reasons... -1 I had seen many say the quality are extremely comparable with Bitspower quality. -2 They don't have that cheesy dragon logo. -3 Cost. Paying up to £16 for one compression fitting is just outrageous (ahem, Bitspower deluxe white...).
I did, however, go with a Bitspower mini valve for the drain port and Singularity Computers stop fittings.
Radiators - Not really spoiled for choice due to the size of the 570X and the length of my GPU - I had to go slim and EK SE 360 and 240 were the obvious choice
Fans - I'm a Corsair fanboy, I admit. The LL120s are not cheap... and I'm not into the whole unicorn rainbow vomit lighting, but It's nice to know I can mix it up when I'm feeling in a vibrant mood. Oh yeah, they cool really well and are very quiet too.
Waterblocks - EK were the only choice I even entertained. I know Phanteks and Thermaltake have started up their own lines now, but I stuck with the tried and trusted.