Up around the bend

Yesterday was the big tube bending day. After a very long day (and evening) of trying to get it all to fit, I eventually ended up having wasted a whole lot of tubing. Fortunately something good came out of it. Two pieces of tube DID get finished and mounted, a bending jig was MacGyver’ed and I learned a lot about bending tubes. The downside is that I’ve now run out of tubes completely so I had to order some more directly from EKWB.

Hopefully, with my new knowledge of tube bending and a new supply of PETG tubes, I’ll be able to get the last of the tubing fitted to the system over the next few days and be ready for leak testing. That’s when the scary part begins 😉

Bending jig. Made from bits of old planks, a chopping board and the cap from a roll-on deodorant. Yeah, I know... It's a bit primitive ;)
Bending jig. Made from bits of old planks, a chopping board and the cap from a roll-on deodorant. Yeah, I know… It’s a bit primitive 😉
The bending jig from a different angle.
That bent tube was probably another failure.
Right. The two tubes from the top radiator are in place at last. Hopefully there won't be any leaks.
Right. The two tubes from the top radiator are in place at last. Hopefully there won’t be any leaks.
Up around the bend

River deep, mountain wi-iiiii-iiide

Right. In preparation for getting the new system done, I decided I wanted to try out Eyefinity. I tried out using mismatched monitors, but this ended up having too many issue invovled, biggest of which was the difference in pixel size.

After a lot of deliberation, I decided to look up some shops that sell second hand computers and office equipment, and ended up finding a pair of older relatives of the monitor I already have. The ones in question are semi-pro grade 24″ Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP, sporting 1920 by 1200 resolution and an S-PVA panel. These should be a pretty good match for my current Dell UltraSharp U2410 with the same resolution except an IPS panel. After sorting some cable issues out (currently running this monitor setup on my old computer) I finally had working 5760×1200 Eyefinity.

And the results? Well, let’s just say, Windows has never looked so wide 😛

A trio of Dell monitors providing a very wide outlook on things.
A trio of Dell monitors providing a very wide outlook on things.
Assetto Corsa looks really nice in super-wide Eyefinity.
Assetto Corsa looks really nice in super-wide Eyefinity.
Elite: Dangerous in glorious 5760x1200.
Elite: Dangerous in glorious 5760×1200.
River deep, mountain wi-iiiii-iiide

The final countdown

Right… Installing the pump ended up being more complicated than I had anticipated. I realize now that I should probably have gone with a pump/reservoir combo unit, but hey, it’s mounted into the case now. It was a several hour long process of trial and error, and the fact that I went a bit overkill with the front radiator, 280mm, rather than going with an easier to fit 240mm, probably only added to the problems. I’ve been forced to rethink my drain system though, as the placement of pump and reservoir prevents me from hooking the drain up to the bottom of the reservoir.

Anyway, now that it’s installed, I’ve also mounted all the other major components. The only real job remaining now, is to do all the tubing. That’s going to be a slow process I think, but I’d rather do it slow and steady than to end up making too many mistakes and having to buy more tubes. Doing all the cables and cable management of course also remains, but that will be the last thing, and with a bit of luck, I’ll get my custom sleeved power cables before having to do that. If not, I’ll use the standard ones temporarily.

Oh, and I need to not forget to sleeve the cables for the pump.

And install the new power and hdd-activity LEDs.

And leak testing of course…

Right, perhaps there’s a bit more left to do after all 😉

This ended up being the only sensible way of mounting my pump, at least without doing major mods to the case.
This ended up being the only sensible way of mounting my pump, at least without doing major mods to the case.
Here are all the major components installed. Starting to look kind of like a PC now.
Here are all the major components installed. Starting to look kind of like a PC now.
The final countdown

Live wire!

Today, I want to talk about cables.
In particular I want to talk about the modular power cables that came with my Corsair RM1000i power supply.
When doing a build like this, attention to detail can mean the difference between just looking okay and really looking great.
One of the things that adds a lot to this, in my opinion, is having not only tidy cable management, but also nice looking cables.
Due to me not doing my research on cables well enough, I’ve ended up having to return a complete set of Corsair individually sleeved
white cables to the store. They will simply not work with my power supply. Well, that’s no the end of the world, right? Of course
the power supply came with okay cables by default, right?
Well, not right. The RMi series, as it turns out, have special cables fitted with smoothing capacitors, which is what give them such
phenomenal ripple supression. But that’s just a bonus, right?
Naw, still not right. In theory it would be fine, but when Corsair chooses to put those capacitors very near the end of the cable,
or perhaps I should say “motherboard end” of the cables, and cover them with very thick inflexible shrink wrap, then it becomes a problem.
With a case like mine, where you are intended to hide all the cables behind the motherboard tray, that very inflexible end of that
thick 24-pin power cable, ends up being a bit of a nightmare. I’m not even certain I’ll be able to fit the back panel on without
putting a lot of pressure on the 24-pin cable.
I don’t really want to risk taking the cable apart either, as that would leave me without a spare.
“But,” I said to myself, “this shouldn’t be much of a problem. Corsair is an enthusiasts company, they must get queries about this sort
of thing all the time?”
I opened a ticket asking if it would be possible to purchase a spare set of cables, that way I’d have one set to mod, and one set to
do my testing with, and if the modding failed, well, then I could run the standard set for the time being.
But Corsair, although quick at replying, was at a loss. “Extra set of cables? Have you lost the ones you had? Is it under warranty?”
Trying to explain that I wasn’t after being given a new set via the warranty, but actually “purchasing a redundant set”, seemed pretty
futile.
Well, Cablemod.com to the rescue!
As it turns out, Cablemod does a set of white individually sleeved cables, specifically for the RMi series, and it is cheaper than
Corsairs sleeved cables (the ones that don’t fit this PSU anyway).
So, as a happy end to this story, I’ll be getting my Cablemod set of sleeved cables, and can avoid using the terrible stock cables.
I’d almost given up on this after a few days of work (been making wiring diagrams and considering making cables myself), but in the end,
it looks as though I’ll get my system looking clean after all.

This shows how sharp of a bend is needed to actually make this cable fit in a relatively standard modern case. Looks messy :/
This shows how sharp of a bend is needed to actually make this cable fit in a relatively standard modern case.
Looks messy :/
Wow, that big piece of shrink wrap poking out behind the motherboard tray. Not cool. This is bound to cause problems.
Wow, that big piece of shrink wrap poking out behind the motherboard tray. Not cool. This is bound to cause problems.
Live wire!

Trial Fitting

Today I received my motherboard, power supply and white sleeved cables for the power supply. This meant I had the opportunity to try out how things will fit into the case. Seeing as I’ve been slightly unsure about how to mount the reservoir, this is something I’ve been eager to do, because it will make it so much easier to visualize the final layout.

Trial Fitting

It’s starting to look kind of like a PC in there. The CPU waterblock isn’t actually mounted on there, just hanging from the mounting bracket. I won’t get my CPU until tomorrow at the earliest. Starting to feel the impatience creep up on me, but the trial fitting today helps 😉

Trial Fitting

Loop-the-loop

One of the hardest parts of this build so far, has been to figure out the tubing for the system. It’s been nagging at me, because I just didn’t feel like I could come up with the perfect way of doing it, and it all seemed to involve one tube that would be just a bit too long for comfort. But today, after watching some more youtube videos on watercooling for inspiration, I finally had an epiphany. The new layout involves a slightly different flow order than I’d first planned, but I think it will be much easier to get looking nice, as well as giving me more room to work with for mounting the reservoir.

The flow order I’ve settled for will go as follows: Reservoir -> Pump -> GPU -> Top Radiator -> CPU -> Front Radiator -> Reservoir.

I’ll also be putting a drain port going from the bottom of the reservoir to make the job of changing the coolant a lot less painful. I still have to find a clever way of mounting the reservoir that will look nice, but I have some ideas about that. I can’t wait to get the rest of my parts so I can start looking into doing some of the tube bending.

Loop-the-loop