First of all, big thanks to this forum, long time lurker, first time poster here. I'm forever impressed by the engenuity, creativity and generosity of some people on the forums here! I've learnt a lot which helped me with my first couple of SFF builds as well as my first SFF soft tubing build last year!
TLDR: for concept
Current Setup: NCaseM1 v5 w/ Noctua U9S + 2 Noctua A12x25s Under De-shrouded Phoenix GTX 1080. This works very well, but in the pursuit of a slightly quieter and prettier build I want to try my hand at hard-line acrylic build with a couple of case mods. I have previously done a SFF soft tubing build but never touched PETG or Acrylic.
While it is possible to power my hardware (9700k & GTX 1080) with one 240mm radiator, I would prefer to have slightly more thermal headroom so I can overclock and run the fans slower for noise reduction. Alternatively, I have seen Ncase builds that include two 240mm radiators with one on the side bracket but IMO these are a bit tight and look ugly/hard to maintain. I have also seen ingenious builds on the net which use a large top-hat solution, but my fear is that in my build it will look a bit un-balanced if there’s only a hat on top. My solution is to add two timber ‘hats’ (30 or 40mm) in lengths which add ~3 or 4L to the build respectively – which brings the total volume to 17.5L for the 40mm hats. By putting two noctua fans on the underside of the case, it allows more clearance between the bottom rad and GPU which might help with some of the choking that bottom rad builds experience.
- HWLabs GTS240 rad + 2 x Noctua A12x25s (owned)
- XSPC TX240 rad 2 x Noctua A12x15s
- EK-XRES REVO 100 D5 with EK mounting brackets (owned)
- 9700k (owned) + Bykski CPU block
- MSI Mech OC 5700XT (owned) + Bykski GPU block (owned)
- 32GB Trident Z Ram
- Bykski Flow Indicator (owned)
- EK Ball Valve + 4 way splitter on rotary (owned) as drain port
- Various Barrow and Bykski fittings
- 8 x Bykski Acrylic tubing 500mm for when I stuff up the bends.
- EK clear coolant
- Little bit of RGB which I may turn off/leave on white/blue
- Custom short un-sleeved cables from DreamBigRay
- 2 x Hats for the top and bottom of build – made of timber (I have laminated bamboo on hand but might buy some solid timber)
- Tempered Glass Side Panel, as per Optimum Tech’s mod (but with more of the build showing)
- Small metal brackets for the top fan/rad setup as well as for attaching the EK res mounting brackets to the front of case without drilling.
- **with 30mm hats** - Lower the mobo 20mm (one PCI slot) - involves dremeling back panel so that IO can fit into space of first PCI slot as well as installing 4 new Mobo stand offs. Lower the PSU bracket 25mm, involves drilling 3-4 hole in the frame. I'd also need to swap the rad positions, which alters the proposed hard-line runs marginally.
- Is it too ambitious to attempt my first hard-lined build in Acrylic? I have heard it has higher clarity than PETG and while harder to work with, looks better when finished.
- Are any of these bends impossible or too difficult to do? I have purchased a Barrow bending kit (https://www.performance-pcs.com/wat...-14mm-hard-tube-cut-bend-tool-kit-yrt-14.html), along with this, a heat gun, a fine hack saw and some sand paper I should be set right?
- I was leaning toward the ’40mm Hat mod’ as it doesn’t require me to drill/dremel the case at all. The ‘30mm hat mod’ requires me to move the Mobo down one PCI slot (~20mm) and cut a small hole for the Mobo IO, as well as drill 3 or 4 holes so I can lower the PSU bracket 25mm. This means it might be hard to re-sell/ use the Ncase in another build. Take a look at the last two pictures and tell me whether you think the 30mm mod looks significantly better and whether it would be worth it.
- Is 8 x 500mm enough acrylic tubing to allow for stuff ups for first time hard tube user?
- PETG or Acrylic?
- Any other questions or suggestions?