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Custom Loop Watercooling + Rebuilding my NCASE M1 v3.0 Build


Average Stuffer
Original poster
Feb 13, 2017
I recently rebuilt my NCASE M1 build. Figured I'd share, since I want to be more involved in this community!

A little history--

Imgur-ing the "Old Build":
I bought my NCASE M1 a while ago. I had fallen in love with this thing, as did almost everyone did in the SFF community. I went with Silver, since I think it's the better looking of the two color choices. Now I don't think I need to go into what the M1 is all about--that's covered by everyone... but I had come across a few too many YouTube videos of crazy people doing open loops in them. This is the result of that adventure--a dual radiator cooled, mostly Barrow, i7-7700K with GTX 1080 FE dream.

"Old Build" Parts List:

  • i7-7700K
  • ASUS Maximus VIII Impact
  • EK Monoblock for Maximus VIII Impact
  • EK SE240 Slim
  • HWL GTX92
  • EVGA GTX 1080 FE
  • EK 10-Series Block
  • EK 1080 Backplate
  • 32G Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200
  • Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM
  • Noctua NF-A12x15 PWM
  • Stainless Steel Pan Head Hex Screws (M4, M3, etc.)
  • Barrow 14mm Fittings
  • Barrow DDC Pump/Res Combo
  • Corsair SF450
  • ModDIY Sleeved Cables in Black
  • A bajillion 4" zip ties from Home Depot
  • Barrow RGB Strips (WS2812B)
  • Barrow RGB Controller
  • Barrow Flow Meter
  • Barrow Water Thermistor
  • Purple Mayhems Pastel
The best part of this build was the motherboard--I initially had an i7-6700K that I replaced with the i7-7700K. Z170 just needed an update! There's also an ASUS Fan Extension that was packaged with this motherboard, that allowed for PWM to multiple fans (CPU, CHA1, EXT1, EXT2, and EXT3) while also providing thermistor 2-pin connections paired to EXT1, EXT2, and EXT3.

System was running "okay" until I tried overclocking, where I commonly got CPU temps to surge to 98C, since the loop couldn't keep up with the heat load!

The window was cut by NFC Systems, with the window "glass" being made of cast-cell acrylic. His meticulous attention to detail with this windows project was second to none.


"Rebuild" Parts List:

  • Primochill Primoflex (Crystal Clear)
  • Koolance Barb Fittings
  • Koolance 702 Coolant (Colorless)
  • Koolance splitter and drain valve
  • Magicool Pump/Reservoir Combo
  • Noctua NF-B9-redux-1600 PWM
  • 92mm Fan Grille
  • Black Oxide Pan Head Cross-Slot (Philips) Screws

So I decided to liberate the GTX 1080 to a new ITX build, which I'll share when the time comes. For this build, I'd preserve the i7-7700K and Mobo combo--but change out the graphics card, memory, and cooling system. Since this is going to be repurposed to "the wife's desktop," I then chose to try out Koolance Barb Fittings and Koolance Coolant. I watch a little bit too much of NFC Systems YouTube videos, and the beauty of these connectors caught my eye.

Waterblocks were opened and scrubbed out, mostly due to my paranoia and OCD. There was no pastel gunk in any of this stuff, and I'd been running the build for two years at this point. The new loop would be CPU-only, which I think is still fun, with an externalized fan.

I'd base-mounted the Barrow radiator to the front internal panel of the NCASE M1. I'd never been a fan of this, since I felt like there was no pump insulation. For the new Magicool radiator, I'd be mounting using some fan brackets that I purchased on Amazon (Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073ZCNQ73/?tag=theminutiae-20 ) with some nylon spacers (Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076HM9WM2/?tag=theminutiae-20 ) and the M4 screws to the power supply bracket on top. The combination of the pump's L-Bracket, my uxcell L-brackets, and the spacers fit PERFECTLY. (Pictures for this can be seen on the Imgur album for the Rebuild). The one complaint I do have is that the Magicool res/pump feels really cheap and shitty--it's made of weak plastic as compared to the Barrow res/pump. So far, with overclocking to 5GHz on the 7700K surges temps into the 71C range, but surprisingly the 92mm radiator can actually keep up. I think this is due to the removal of the GPU from the loop's heat load, as well as the increased performance redux 92mm fan option (mounted externally). The rest of the part installations are kind of self-explanatory (GTX 1070, the different RAM). Now this thing is at a "completed, awaiting delivery" state!