This time I had planned the whole build beforehand… well at least I thought so. Gh0st, formerly known as Shockwave 4.0 should have found his home in a Corsair 570X case, but when Thermaltake released the View 71 TG I quickly scrapped that idea. Unlike the 570X the case can fit two 360mm radiators simultaneously, has an included vertical GPU mount and has more subtle air-filter meshes on the front and top. Both cases feature four surfaces (front, top, left and right) made of tempered glass and have modular mounting possibilities for drives. Those features nicely complement the hardline tubing I had planned for this rig, but until I have 1400€ to spare for those parts I will have to live with the AIO water-cooling solution from Fractal Design. The custom water-cooling will not only include my CPU and GPU, but also VRM and RAM as well. All components will be ordered from EK Waterblocks, one of the giants in the industry. Since the case has so much real estate for components, I will go with dual 360mm radiators (front and top). I haven’t measured how thick they can be, but I think I’ll be able to fit a 60mm in the front.
But since those are currently plans for the future, let’s talk about what Gh0st currently has installed: I’ve switched all 7 case fans to Corsair ML120 Pro PWM controlled fans. They feature the magnetic levitation technology known from those futuristic trains and thus eliminate the noise from the bearing. I even voided the warranty of my power supply and replaced the included (very noisy) fan with one of the ML120 as well. While I was at it I also changed the cable routing inside and placed the temperature diode to a more useful spot. Before it was just sitting right next to the fan and always reported “cool” temperatures, which resulted in very low fan speeds while the PSU sweated at above 50°C. Corsair also added a plastic sheet for some unknown reason which covered half of the fans air path. Nothing a pair of scissors and a heat gun couldn’t fix. As a final modification I spliced the FAN cable to include a possibility to control the fan externally. I connected it to my Commander Mini and the PSU fan is now controlled automatically both by the internal (not very responsive) fan controller but can be controlled with the software if necessary.
Since the ASUS X99-Deluxe has white metal parts on the coolers all over the mainboard I’ve disassembled it and spray painted all those surfaces with matte black. It looks way better and cleaner this way, even though you won’t be able to see much of it with the vertically mounted GPU. I re-used most parts from the Shockwave 3.0 build, but had to modify some parts like the UV LED strips. Since I had them mounted in the window I replaced the cables with very short ones and now had to redo those again. This time however I used shrink wrap and black fiber mesh to hide the solder points and I will use it as well for every other cable in the case in the future as well. Additionally I’ve combined the three fans from the front radiator and the three top fans into one control unit each with two PWN splitters, so that the fans always spin at the same speed. It really bothered me with the old rig that one of the fans sometimes howled because the Commander Mini had a seizure or something.
Cable management is a bit of a mess so far, but that will be fixed when I’ve done all the sleeving for the power supply and SATA cables. Even though it will probably be month until I’ve time to do it, it doesn’t make much sense to do the job multiple times. For a final touch I’ve included a 3D-printed Ghost from Destiny into the case, which is also the reason for the naming change. The blue LED in its center is connected to the HDD activity pinout and it flashes every time I access data, which gives some life to the rig.
Since the built was complete a few things had changed. I’ve switched out the RAM for some Corsair Vengeance RGB, but those were not compatible with my old Mainboard (well, the RGB wasn’t… the RAM worked fine). So I’ve replaced it with an MSI X99 Godlike Gaming and also swapped the CPU for a newer i7 6850K. And yes, I’ve also disassembled the Mainboard and spray painted all parts black instead of red that was there from the factory.
Since my G933 Headset from Logitech had some problems in our very WiFi saturated flat (I have 60 access points in range from my desk), I decided to try out the new Corair Virtuoso Wireless SE and so far it does a fantastic job – seems the “Slipstream” connection works better. I’ve also switched out my old Acer XB270 for a LG 34GK950F, which is a is 34″ 21:9 Ultrawide display which also supports 144Hz and HDR. I had to buy a new desk mount though, because the display was simply too big and heavy for the old one.
Here are some images from the building process and some of the finished system as well: