Category Archives: enthusiast

Cosmetics before move

In the coming months, I will be moving. When that occurs, I will be giving another shot at UV Orange Coolant. It appears that pretty much everyone has gotten out of the market of making it anymore, so I’m rolling the dice on a brand that I don’t know as well.

Until then, here’s the latest couple of updates.

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So…I found a radiator cover that is black carbon and orange…perfect!
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Okay….don’t look close at the screws i have to get new screws for mounting…
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My friend Red Max from Hardware Asylum sent me an elusive item, in a very odd shaped box
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Yes! The “out of inventory” everywhere side window!
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It seems the reps at Coolermaster found one for us, so we are this much closer to completion!
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Lights off
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trying to show off, but the UV just shines blue under this light
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yet turning the flash on…
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causes quite a glare
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Since the cameras out and the internal lights are on
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I may as well get some main rig pics!
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Red also sent me some vinyl!
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Installed and ready to go!

UV Dye, Yay! Oh wait no….

So I received my order for the Primochill UV Orange Dye today. Strangely….just like the UV Orange Coolant, the UV on the packaging was marked out with black marker. I still added the dye, it at least improved the color, but is definately not UV reactive….e-mail sent to http://www.performance-pcs.com . yay fun. I have also sent my 3rd e-mail and tried to call about the broken cathode that I received, but still not response from http://www.adorama.com .

On the plus side, my 3 new fans came in. I’m setting them up to specifically be quiet. They are the same as the 3 intake fans that I have set up for the radiator in color. 2 are 120mm and 1 is 140mm. They work great at least.

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2 – 120mm Thermaltake Riing fans for the front intake.
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1 – 140mm Thermaltake Riing fan for the exhaust. Also you can see how faint the coolant is.
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After dye has been added. I didn’t use the whole bottle, so there’s more orange to go if I want. I kind of want to get some yellow to match up with the rest of the color scheme. At least the color did improve.
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Its not that it looks bad, it just doesn’t glow as I’m really aiming for. 
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With the side window on.
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Hardware Asylum for supplying the case.
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Exhaust fan lit up
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Intake fans lit up

New keyboard, spray paint and consideration

Soooo, there’s a few delays, I’m still waiting for the UV Orange Dye. It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to get the side window for the 915, upper portion of the case. Coolermaster seems to have abandoned the case altogether and doesn’t even have replacement parts. I’m tempted to mod it myself, but with it being my first attempt at a side panel mod, I’d at least like to have a back up. I had a 3rd cathode coming in, but it came in broken, sooo waiting on the customer support of Adorama.

While waiting I found a deal on a G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 RGB (brown switches for around $100 after some running around), so I picked it up. I’ve been running a Steelseries 6GV2 (black switches) for several years, but the “C” key seems to over poll and I’ve had issues with that keyboard since purchase. I’ve also owned a Steelseries Apex (rubber domes and it was soooo wide), a Corsair RBG Red (never worked as I wished it to and returned to Best Buy), and a Corsair with brown switches (LEDs started dying within a day and they couldn’t replace the board with the exact same one, so I got a refund from Corsair). Anyways, I also wanted orange LEDs, but despite paying $50 more for a Ducky Shine 4, I would have to go RGB. For RBGs I was considering this G.Skill, the silent switch Corsair Strafe (currently only available at Best buy for ~$160) or a Ducky Shine 5 with Natural White Cherry MX switches (first RGB on switch for Cherry), running around $160 on eBay. I didn’t go with this just because it was cheaper, but I liked the extra buttons, the design and its basically comparable the rest of the keyboards (okay, supposedly Corsair’s software has improved over my previous experience and supposedly better than the G.Skill’s software, but to be honest, I just set this keyboard up and it did exactly what I wanted with no issues). The better benefit of the Ducky Shine 5 is that there is not “key bleed” (light shining outside of the keys, the Natural Whites only shine through the key itself, so that it highlights just the character).

Another fun thing was pH testing ORANGE water….no matter what I did the results were orange…so with a suggestion from my friend [XMEN]Gambit, I went with a digital pH meter.

Now for pictures and a couple of videos:

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A clean picture. I guess I didn’t get the radiator completely drained, so the fluid was diluted, though it wasn’t UV reactive anyways and the dye will fix this.
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Goodbye white boxes! I painted them with headlight tinter and now there will be no white boxes hanging out in my case.
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And black electrical tape on the LEDs, Blue lights be gone!

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pH test kit

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Buffer for water to test the calibration of the meter.

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Key caps…great…red…okaaaaay. Included key puller in the top and the box clips to the back of the keyboard.
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The desk all of this belongs with. Unfortunately I have to reroute my cabling again, but its mostly done already and I just need to fix the basket that holds the extra cables.

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I wish the under-desk LEDs would do orange…closest is either red or off-white

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Stock, individual key lighting. I almost like the “key bleed”, as it fills in the space. Still pondering…
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Orange…thank you blurry camera!

Lights and power

While wrapping up installation, I’ve discovered that I the fluid I received is not UV reactive. I’m working on getting some die, but since that will take awhile I’ve started cleaning up the install and installing lights. I have another 2 15″ UV bulbs incoming and I’ll be working on getting couple of more case fans to replace the stock fans.

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Orange fluid is in, time to set up some lights!
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Love the look of the reservoir

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View in the dark

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The blue box must go...

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Light controller
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It does sound detect, off and on, then the dial is for intensity
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I realized that the converter for the lights will just reach the edge of the motherboard tray, if I run its controller cable behind the tray. Then I velcroed it to the case panel

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Cleaning up the wires
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I also tidied up the top portion of the case as I intend to window and light it as well

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Holding water

Today marks the second filling of water (maybe third) and the water system test. Now to leave it running for a day or so.

I say second filling because I had a leak at the drain valve, fixed with some plumbers tape, the fixing of which lead to a leak in the fitting on the bottom of the reservoir. So I guess I found the weak spot, as this fitting is real close to a turn and was much more difficult to reseat than it was to initially connect.

Tomorrow I’ll drain the distilled water and fill with the colored water. Then connect a couple of lights.

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Sorry for the delay, but I have been busy working on the build!

At this point I have installed all of the hardline.

I’ve water tested. I have discovered one leak from the threads of the drain valve to the reservoir. Somehow I don’t have any plumber’s tape handy, but that will be fixed as soon as the stores are open again! Then there will be pictures of the second water fill (clear) while I test under pressure, then another drain, fill with colored water, ph test, add biocide and then add lighting.

I’m going to add a windowed side to the upper/itx portion of the case and light that portion as well, unfortunately this only appears to be available directly from Coolermaster and their site is closed until 01/03. I’d like to add fans to the top of this portion of the case, but there are no fan holes, just mesh….so I’ll probably have to get creative or hope that the heat sufficiently dissipates via the mesh.

DSCN0200The boneyard

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boxed cpu block/water pump
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unboxed

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Second video card installed

 

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Added the fittings to the video cards

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DSCN0198The line from the reservoir to the 2nd video card, installed! (surprisingly easy)DSCN0199This is where the drain valve will go1DSCN0207drain valve installedDSCN0187line from 2nd gpu to reservoir completDSCN0197line from 2nd GPU to reservoir installed! This has to get easier from here…oh wait no *criesDSCN0195line from gpu to reservoir installed

DSCN0201This little bugger from the 2nd gpu to the first was insanely hard to get right! Finally got it, but wow…

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The LGA

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CPU, installed!

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3rd line for this entry (third in the build)…wow this one was tough…though the previous and the proceeding were tougher!
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Okay, so I initially wanted to exit the first video card, take a 180 degree turn, followed by 3 90 degree turns to connect to CPU… The first one I build was almost perfect, but while adjusting it I fouled one of the ends, so I tried a couple more times and realized that it would actually fit the design to go simpler!

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My fingers are killing me! I thought that this “s” curve would be easy. Exit CPU, 90 degree curve, 180mm, 90 degree curve…but this little angle they put on the cpu ports was annoying and added to the difficulty as a whole. I even had the piece made perfectly, but I went to fast and it must’ve been to fragile as it broke apart while trying to attach.

 

 

Adventures in Line Bending

Today I began the hardline bending portion of the build. I decided to get a bit more precise in designing the lines. This resulted in me picking up some white board and peg board. This allows me to draw out my plan and mount the 90 degree mandrel to a fixed position.

Since this was my first attempt at bending the pipe, I decided to take a practice run with a 24″ piece. The first step is penciling the points of bending and at what point the line lines up with the edges of the mandrel.

This requires the use of silicone string, mandrel and a heat gun. It turns out that the power at my apartment cannot handle me cooking and running the heat gun at the same time, as running the heat gun for a few minutes resulted in all of the power to my apartment switching off. After running out for a replacement dinner and finding the outside breaker, I was able to resume the bending.

Somehow I’ve lost my shot of the final adjusted install. It will have to be in the next update!

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My new work space
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My first attempt at bending…okay, I knew this would take a couple of tries
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In addition to warping the end, there’s some pinching in the bend itself.
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Okay…so I’ve learned that I need to place my bends much further from the edges. So it’s bend first, then cut to size!
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Another angle
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Much better bend.
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Second attempts bend is much smoother!
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Third practice bend looks much better!
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smooth curve
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36″ tube with 3 bends…oh goodie, the bend on the right is the wrong direction. It needs to extend out at a 90 degree angle, but horizontally, then the 90 degree turn down.
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I also go to learn how to completely change the angle of a bend without collapsing the line. Wooo!
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This is where the end of the loop runs to the radiator. This is where the muliports come in handy. allowing me to pick a port that takes out at least one bend.
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The line is set!
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This is where the end of the loop leads from the reservoir.

Mini Update – The Parts Are In!

Today I picked up the parts and tools necessary to complete this project. Unfortunately I have some responsibilities to handle this weekend, so this will just be an overview of what I have received. It is kind of redundant when compared to the previous post, except there’s pictures!

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Asus Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum
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Intel i7-5930k
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3x120mm Thermaltake Ring Orange LED Fans
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10 pack Rigid Revolver Compression Fittings Straight Knurled – Anodized Black
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FrozenQ 400mm Black Helix Reservior
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Mayhem Biltz Pro Cleaning System, Silver Coil and Biocide Extreme
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PrimoChill Base High Purity Deionized Water UV Active Orange Coolant
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12 Pack PrimoChill 24″ Rigid Acrylic Tubing
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4 pack PrimoChill 36″ Rigid PETG Tubing
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Hardware Labs Black Ice SR2 Multiport Black Carbon Radiotor
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Monsoon Hardline All Pro Deluxe Bender Kit w/ Heatgun

Beginning the Expansion

With my initial build, I’ve always intended to expand my Closed Loop system to an Open Loop.

Closed Loop being an All in one CPU water cooler.

Open Loop being a customized water cooling system with the ability to expand, drain and clean the system.

Because of this I had picked up a Cooler Master Glacer 240L. Mostly because it had the exact pump/CPU block that I was already shopping for, but for less money and included a 240mm radiator. This tided  me over until I managed the funds to expand.

The base system (view previous build log for more detail) is as follows:

Coolermaster HAF Stacker, custom painted by Redmax of http://www.hardwareasylum.com (Orange and black)

Gigabyte X99-SOC-Champion Motherboard

i7-5930K Intel Processor

4x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws4 Black 3000mhz DDR4 Memory

Asus Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum Video Card

240GB Mushkin Eco2 SSD (Primary SSD for OS and programs)

3TB Toshiba HDD (Music and Media storage0

2x 480GB Sandisk Ultra 2 SSDs (Game storage)

The items that I haven’t previously been able to add didn’t just include expansion on the watercooling, but also a second GTX 980. This has now been ordered as well.

So far the system has been okay, especially performance-wise, but I have been having either processor or motherboard issues. I have just received my third chip and it will be newly installed with this upgrade. It may be a motherboard related issue, as I noticed a discoloration on a section of LGA (Landing Grid Array, where the processor sits) pins. I have decided I will use a toothbrush and fast evaporating cleaning liquid to softly brush these pins to restore them to match the rest of the array.

I have decided to go with hard line or rigid piping to carry the water cooling fluid. I intend to use an Ultraviolet active Orange fluid.

Based on my much more experience friend, Redmax, I have decided to place my Water cooling purchase through http://www.performance-pcs.com. I also selected them because they aren’t too far from me, saving me the costs of shipping for a couple of hours of driving.

For now, I have ordered all of the necessary parts. Below is the listing of the parts that will be used and some insight as to why I made my choices.

FrozenQ LF Reaction 400mm Reservoir – Black Helix

 Initially I was considering the FrozenQ Limited Edition Reactor Reservoir, but the black was out of stock. I then looked at the Helix line, I was impressed with the effect. The coolant flows up through the helix and spills from the top, providing a bubbling/fountain effect. In addition it includes a cathode (ultraviolet) light, to bring out the color in the coolant.

Hardware Labs Black Ice SR2 Multiport Black Carbon Radiator – 360mm

 In this case, I was considering the Black Ice SR1, mostly because it is on sale and partly because I have faith in the brand. As I researched it, I realized that the SR2 had supremely better performance and this version has several ports. The extra ports enable the ability to bleed, fill and drain the system from the radiator. 

Monsoon Hardline All Pro Deluxe Bender Kit 3/8 x 1/2 (13mm)

with Heatgun

With the Bender Kit, I realized that i didn’t own a lot of the items necessary to shape the tubing. With this kit, I get all of the necessary tools and a handy case in which to carry them.

PrimoChill 1/2in Rigid PETG Tubing – 36in – Clear (4 Pack)

 While researching hard line, I discovered that using PrimoChill Fittings will eliminate a lot of the adjustments that will need to be made to the tubing in order to help it fit in the fitting without damaging the tubing or the seal of the fittings. With this in mind I went with PrimoChill for all of the tubing and fittings. In addition, I went with a lot of tubing, to give myself the opportunity to screw up and possibly have some left over for other people’s systems in future projects.

PrimoChill 1/2in Rigid Acrylic Tubing – 24in – Clear (12 Pack)

 

Rigid Revolver Compression Fitting 3/8″ x 1/2″ Straight Knurled 10 Pack – Anodized Black

 I was initially looking at “regular” Rigid Compression fittings. As I looked closer I realized that these “Revolvers” look much sweeter. I then checked a few reviews and discovered that they are even friendlier for the Tubing itself and easier for install. Sold!

Mayhems Biocide Extreme

 A Biocide is necessary to keep algae and other living things from spawning in the water cooling system. This kit covered all of the bases and includes Ph testing, which makes it even easier.

Mayhems Silver Coil 99.999 Pure Fine Silver

 This is probably overkill, but silver is a natural aglaecide/antibiotic. By inserting these coils in the tubing it will help further protect the system from any kind of living thing moving in and prohibiting cooling or clouding the looks of the coolant. 

Mayhems Blitz Pro Cleaning System

 Did I say overkill? Well, I have to make sure the CPU waterblock is clean and at some point I will have to change out the coolant, so maybe this is just thinking ahead.

PrimoChill Base High Purity Deionized Water – 32oz – Brite Orange

 This is premixed, UV active coolant. I picked up 2L to cover the system and be sure I have enough.

Thermaltake Ring 12 High Static Pressure LED Radiator Fan – Orange

 I  picked up 3 fans. Sure I already have fans, but not Orange LED fans. According to the reviews, this particular radiator is great in a push only configuration, so I’m not going to go with a 6 fan push/pull set up.

The parts will be ready for pick up on Monday, so I’ll probably run to Palm Bay on Tuesday and get this stuff together. Then the fun begins! With pictures!

Getting It Together

All of the major parts are in. Time to get them together!

IMO, the motherboard is the single most important part in a computer. It determines what other components you can use. It also determines the speeds those components can run at and connects everything together. The motherboard I’ve chosen, is the X99 SOC Champion. This board is aimed towards overclockers and matched my orange and black scheme.

Here’s the motherboard in place:

The CPU is important in that it determines the direction you are going with your build. On some chipsets, you can go with a dual-core Pentium if you are just looking at browsing the web or you could go with an i3, a dual core with Hyperthreading so that it logically performs as a quad-core. If you aim at truly high resolution gaming, an i5 might be your goal as it truly is a quad-core. If you are considering more workstation or 3d design related activities, you will aim for an i7, which on most chipsets (like the Z79) is a quad-core with HyperThreading, so that it acts like it has 8 cores. I went with x99, this leaves me with the options of the i7-5820k, i7-5930k or i7-5960k. The 5820 and 5930 are 6 cores with HyperThreading, while the 5960 has 8 cores with HyperThreading. As previously mentioned, I went with the 5930.

Here’s the CPU seated on the motherboard.

Here’s a shot with the memory seated.

Next is the installation of the CPU cooler.

Oooh Shiny…

While installing the pump, everything seemed fine, until I connected the fan header. One of the leads popped off of the pump. In a way that I couldn’t repair it directly…Though I did try:

After disassembling a couple of fans, I found a header that replaced the broken one. I spliced it into the wiring. Though this lead to an adventure with Cooler Master, because they couldn’t find the serial number in their system. That ended up taking some time to resolve, but they did fix it.

Similar to the processor, the Video card is determined by your planned usage. In some processors the video is actually on board. This is a great option for someone who is just browsing. From there the range can go crazy, up to multiple cards being combined into acting as one.

As I do game heavily, I decided to go with one of the higher end cards, the NVidia GTX 980. The specific card I went with cost a bit more than the other 980s, as it has the option to use water or air. I intend to go to water later, so this was the most ideal choice. It is also an awesome card in that the chips are tested by Asus and they pick the best ones to use on this specific card.

This won’t be the only card to reside in this computer, as competitions come up that specify different GPU/Chipset combinations.

Card in place:

One of my favorite things to do is run wiring. I love to make them disappear as best as possible. This case really made it easy as it has plenty of space behind the motherboard plate. It also helps that the case had the option to mount the SSD behind the motherboard, making wires even easier to hide.

The view from behind:

And we have lights! Plenty more coming soon!