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Nostromo: 5960X, 3x 980 Ti SLI, Painted Motherboard [FINAL PICS!!]

ratzofftoya

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
22
Location
San Francisco, CA
Hi all!

I posted this log elsewhere but I think it’s getting to the point where it could be helpful to others, so I’ll put it up here, too! Huge fan of Hardware Canucks. I’ll also of course monitor to see whether anyone has questions and do my best to answer promptly. And your comments are quite welcome. This is likely the most extravagant computer I'll ever build. I'll be painting the motherboard, installing an illuminated midplate, and generally making "no compromises," as Nils might say. It's what I've been dreaming of ever since I started reading sites and YouTube channels like this one.

I have some cool ideas of where to take this thing, and can't wait to share them with you all. I'll also be following along with videos, which I'll post here. Hopefully y'all will find them helpful, even though the vast majority of you are much more skilled than I. Accordingly, I'd love any tips or cautionary tales you can share.

But, first things first! The parts:

Components
CPU: Intel i7 5960X
Motherboard: ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme
GPU: 3x EVGA SuperClocked GTX 980Ti
RAM: 64 GB G.skill Ripjaws 3000 Mhz
OS Drive: Samsung 950 Pro 256 GB m.2 SSD
Application Drive: Intel 750 400GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Data Drive: Intel 730 1TB SSD
PSU: Corsair AX 1500i

Watercooling
CPU/RAM Loop:
ASUS Rampage V Monoblock
EK Monarch RAM Blocks with Clear Acrylic Tops
Aquacomputer Aqualis 800 Reservoir, Aquacomputer D5 Pump and Pump Top
HWLabs Black Ice GTX 560 Radiator w/ Noiseblocker BlackSilent Pro PL-2 PWM fans
Mayhems Pastel Ice White

GPU Loop Loop:
3x EK-FC Nickel (Original CSQ) GPU Waterblocks & Backplates
EK-FC Triple Serial SLI Block
Aquacomputer Aqualis 800 Reservoir, Aquacomputer D5 Pump and Pump Top
CPU 2x EK XE 480 Radiators w/ EK Vardar PWM fans
Mayhems Pastel Mint Greent

Other Parts
Aquacomputer Aquaero 6XT
Aquacomputer Farbwerk
PrimoFlex Advanced LRT Onyx Black Tubing
PrimoChill 1/2in Rigid PETG Tubing
Tons of fittings, mostly Bitspower

Let's get started!

Video Logs:
Part 1: Case Assembly

Part 2: Motherboard Painting and Waterblock Installation Tutorial

Table of Contents:
Part 1: Building the Case
Part 2: Painting the Board
Part 3: Installing the Blocks
 
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ratzofftoya

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
22
Location
San Francisco, CA
First off, let's build this case!

So many parts. Could not be happier with the build quality. Not a single screw was missing, and everything is super sturdy.

o3iJAG5h.jpg


NjuWlh3h.jpg


The indispensable manual:

S0UDqHGh.jpg


The skeleton:

nCme8nPh.jpg


Rh6nhBCh.jpg


I love the brackets for the radiators and fans--makes them super easy to install in the case.

FXREFyjh.jpg


Must climb the summit of Aquacomputer mountain:

grDhuMGh.jpg


The pumps find a home:

F2FJvDmh.jpg


Sizing up the pump and res combo to make the holes in the midplate:

NVG4yDih.jpg


And here's the test-fit in order to get the custom cable lengths and other necessary measurements:

PXfyQJLh.jpg
 

ratzofftoya

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
22
Location
San Francisco, CA
What does one do when there's no such thing as an Asus Rampage V Black Edition? Make your own, of course!


Before...

LPm5aDth.jpg


Tools of the trade. X-acto, tons of tape, acrylic paint, and brushes.

XWyxMPoh.jpg


I also used a cheapo DDR4 stick of ram (as though there is such a thing!) and an old PCIe card to block each slot as I painted it. There are other techniques out there of course. Spraypaint, Plasti-Dip, etc. But I felt like this would give me the nicest finish, precision, and a bit of texture to boot. The results:

92jbJsjh.jpg


FCylOKhh.jpg


Not too shabby. You can still see a bit of red inside the slots, but none once they're plugged, and I'd rather have that then the chance of the contacts getting messed up.
 

ratzofftoya

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
22
Location
San Francisco, CA
n this update, I'll cover the waterblock placement.

First, a few shots of the motherboard block (EK's Full Cover Monoblock). I really like it, and it wasn't too hard to put on.

Y4qezHvh.jpg


k8MfJTUh.jpg


zSeXBrMh.jpg


Next, I put on the EK full cover blocks for the GTX 980 Tis:

wYOD2V3h.jpg


D1o3lqjh.jpg


2kOgr4nh.jpg


Finally, I did the RAM blocks. Step one was removing the Ripjaws heatspreader with a heat gun and some old fashioned prying. Be careful! A friend (ahem) once ripped off one of the chips in this process.

YE9U69Wh.jpg


eiu09Ijh.jpg


Unfortunately, the adhesive leaves some weird residue on the chips:

mrQQ8Knh.jpg


Normally, I use isopropyl alcohol or the specialized TIM remover for this task, but the TIM remover wasn't working well on the adhesive, and I was all out of alcohol. Nail polish remover, while not recommended, will do the trick:

NQ1zcN1h.jpg


Now for the thermal pads:

DuZCNTDh.jpg


And, then putting on the Monarch heatspreaders. Note that when you're putting the ram sticks into the heatspreaders, make sure they're in roughly the same position. DIMMs on the board don't move, obviously, so you want the Monarch screw holes to all line up when the RAM is in so that you can properly attach the waterblock on top.

ayonDVth.jpg


Now to see it all on the mobo:

EE8oa8Jh.jpg


3sP1oWRh.jpg


XEUePl7h.jpg


Au revoir!
 

CTA

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
2,281
Location
langley (vancouver) bc canada
nice dream computer rigs you have...

anyhow... way you handle is hurting my feeling... but i guess you dont care about it because you can afford...
and your tim apply is wrong method... ;[
red slot is not painted properly....



ps. never never dont use q-tip! so you will leave them with dust and your finger oil...
 

ratzofftoya

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
22
Location
San Francisco, CA
nice dream computer rigs you have...

anyhow... way you handle is hurting my feeling... but i guess you dont care about it because you can afford...
and your tim apply is wrong method... ;[
red slot is not painted properly....



ps. never never dont use q-tip! so you will leave them with dust and your finger oil...

I really appreciate your comments! I'm still learning. Can you tell me more about how to do this correctly? How can I paint the slot better? And what should I use a qtip for?
 

CTA

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
2,281
Location
langley (vancouver) bc canada
handling electronic... they are sensitive and expensive stuff...
- use soft material or anti-static material under any pcb (mobo, ram, etc) to avoid minor stock, damage or whatever happens...
- never touch anything but end of pcb (dont touch surface of ram, cpu, or other)
- avoid to touch gold connector if possible... end of pcb is always better idea...
> any dust, oil and other will leave any mark on connector/surface... edge of pcb is better idea to handle any electronic...


- never use loosely cotton like q-tip but expensive cotton pad..
- use soft cloth like softer towel paper, and other
- tim apply could be found at
Guide - How TIM Works & How To Apply It Correctly | bit-tech.net
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Thermal-Paste-Application-Techniques-170/

> remember its depending on cpu, ram, etc... material tim, and heatsink block... with my ic diamond i usually use a big dot (its really thick paste as i test)

> i personally use soft towel paper with 99% isoproply alcohol to remove rough old paste then use cotton pad with 99% isoproply alcohol until i see no mark of anything...


i am not painter for electronic stuff... sorry cant give any good idea... but i can see your red slot clearly... brush type is only for wall only imho... i do like spray everything...

i clearly remember someone paint whole motherboard but i cant find the link for you...

edit: here is example pro modder...
Rampage 5 Painted!_____Revitalize______ Bringing the 900d to new Standards - Page 2
[Build Log] CASELABS SMA8 Gunmetal/White Two Tone(2011-V3 Socket) The Division (COMPLETE) - Page 59
 
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clshades

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Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
4,273
Location
Big White Ski Resort
I personally am not a fan of the dot method. Being an old schooler I typically spread it around a little in a square about 1/4" (ish) from the edge of the cpu edges. I set the heat sink and then remove it right away to check that it's covered nicely and remove any excess if there is any.
Lots of people like the artic silver or any other silver type paste. Personally I just use the white stuff because it's non conductive and the temp difference is quite minor especially with water cooling. Using a q-tip to clean up a little excess isn't really a problem IMO.

CTA I get what your saying about antistatic mats. This normally isn't much of an issue for people building in home because they normally aren't wearing shoes. If you wear shoes or slippers then defiantly! I normally just wear socks in my basement so static never builds up.
 

clshades

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
4,273
Location
Big White Ski Resort
Just to comment on the 2nd video. (Very well done BTW) when you did the TIM on the ram it seems a little excessive. Have you tried removing the water block to see how much of a mess it is? I think the way you cleaned the ram was fine. I've done it the same way hundreds of times and if a tiny bit of cotton comes off its easy to remove it. I think there's a bit to much paste on the south bridge which brings me back to using the white stuff. (Industry standard for electricians)

The board looks awesome I'm looking forward to your next installment.
 

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