My build now looks like this:
I decided to give watercooling a try (thanks to @deejeta @ignx and @acetothermus for helping me out initially), not without any issues though. I managed to semi-destroy a GPU waterblock, scratched the PCB on my GPU (I obviously paniced, thanks to deejeta again, @greenwithao and @Pesho here) and took 2 entire days to do the whole thing. My hands were bleeding and my back hurts like hell at this point, but this is the result. Temperatures have dropped a LOT. We're talking about a 30+°C difference under full load on the top R9 290. CPU temps are surprisingly similar, but I suppose that I'd have more thermal headroom at this point if I decided to OC further. The system is now a tiny bit noisier in idle due to the pump, but a lot more quiet under load. Oh, and it looks pretty darn awesome if I may say so myself.
Overall, I'm pretty damn proud of this build right now, watercooling is scary and an absolute nightmare if you're an idiot like me, but man does it make for an interesting experience. Now that I have most of the equipment I plan on watercooling all the future iterations of this build.
Since my original machine (first built in the middle of 2013) there
have been quite a few changes, so I thought I'd do a build/change log on
it now. Meet Loreley:
The very first version, Loreley 1.0 if you will. It was a major
upgrade for me since I was coming from my old core 2 CPU and a GT 9600.
Upgrading to a modern (and overclocked) i5, a gtx 770 and double the ram
was quite significant, 1080p gaming on modern games was finally
possible. The case was one of those "because I can"-things, but more on
that later. I kinda lost the original pictures, but just imagine the
sexy ACX cooler from EVGA here.
Then I got a 1440p monitor (mainly for work) and the 770, while still
very capable, wasn't quite enough anymore. That and my urge to finally
switch to an AMD GPU sealed the deal: I got myself a fancy R9 290. I
actually managed to sell my 770 for a very reasonable price, so this
upgrade came in very cheap (280€ for the R9 290 while I sold my 770 for
Fast forward several months, we're close to the 900-series launch and
the prices for the R9 200 series drop quite significantly, crossfire
suddenly seems like a very tempting idea. I switched to a beefier PSU
and got myself the second R9 290 for 200 bucks while praying that
crossfire actually works properly and that I can deal with the
additional heat (the answers to these questions would be hell yeah and
yes). Also, terrible cable management because reasons.
In the meantime I switched the SSD for a larger model and donated my old SSD to my laptop.
And very recently this thing happened, a new case and a bunch of
proper fans were bought. I couldn't stand the CM HAF case with its LED
fans, loud aesthetics and acoustics and its overall design that made
dust a real problem. So I switched to this baby, the nanoxia deep
silence 6. Filtered intakes everywhere, clean aesthetics, sound
dampening and enough space for all the expandability I could ever want
(in all aspects, it can fit every mobo or radiator config or amount of
harddrives that I could ever need). Equipped with 7 EK Vardar fans and 3
of the stock fans in the top (which don't spin at all in idle and are
only there if the need for additional cooling comes up) it is extremely
quiet and actually cooler under load than my old case. It's truly
gigantic (keep in mind that this is a full sized ATX mobo in the
following pictures) and has been a real pleasure so far.
More pics and a special little treat: my "reverse sleeper" build that features a high-end, full tower case filled with a junk system. Obviously inspired by the sleeper builds that often feature a plain looking, old office-PC case willed with high-end hardware, this is the exact opposite of that.