Dream Machine 2012 - The Future Is Now (Part 3)

9/22/2012 2:59:52 PM

Description: Custom liquid-cooling loop

Well worth the hassle

As soon as we realized we’d be running a 150W Xeon processor and two GTX 690s, we know we had to water cool. The TJ11 is a great air-cooling case, but the GTX 690’s reference shroud blows air in both directions, which screws with the airflow.

The TJ11’s bottom compartment can hold up to a 560mm radiator, so we grabbed a 560mm Black Ice rad and four 14cm NoiseBlocker fans to go with it. We added another 120mm radiator above the CPU.  We kept the TJ11’s two sock 18cm Air Penetrator fans to cool the RAM and the rest of the motherboard components.

We got our compression fittings from Bitspower, which also makes the reservoir, pump top, and chrome pump mod that transform our bog-standard Swiftech D5 pump into a thing of beauty. Mayhems Pastel Berry Blue concentrate prevents corrosion and algae growth while match­ing our case’s blue accents.

The total cost for our water-cooling loop, including fittings, tubing, rads, fans, res, pump, and accessories, was $926, nearly $900 of which was spent at and the remainder at You can see the full parts list here. We’d also like to extend special thanks to Daniel Can­non of Singularity Computers in Cairns Australia, whose long, incredibly de­tailed TJ11 water-cooling build logs on his YouTube channel ( were enormously helpful in constructing our water-cooling loop.

Parts list

EK Supremacy CPU Liquid Cooling Block - Nickel


Black Ice SR1 Low Airflow Optimized 560mm Radiator


Black Ice GT Stealth 120mm Radiator


4x Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PK-2 140mm


4x 140mm fan grill - Black


Phanteks 120mm PH-F120S WT


Danger Den Dreamflex Tubing – 3M


6x Bitspower Compression Fitting BP-CPF-CC5


2x Bitspower Black Ultimate Rotary Compression Fitting BP-MBRCPF-CC5


4x Bitspower Dual Rotary 45-Degree Compression Fitting BP-45R2CPF-CC5


Swiftech MCP655-B Pump


Bitspower Pump Mod Top V2 - Acrylic


Bitspower Pump Mod Kit - Chrome


Bitspower Single D5 Top Upgrade Kit 150 – Black (BP-D5T0PUK150BKBKCL)


1 Gallon Distilled Water


250ml Mayhems Pastel Blue Berry Concentrate


Ex EK Uni Holder 50/70 Liquid Cooling Mount Adapter


XSPC 140mm Radstand




Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Albino

Description: Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Albino

It fits any mitt

There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all glove, and you'd think the same truth applies to mice. But Cyborg's R.A.T. 7 Al­bino manages to meet the grip signature of any hand with its unparalleled cus­tomization options. Length adjustability, interchangeable palm rests, and pinkie grips are just a few of the ways you can tailor the mouse to your hand's needs.

Corsair Vengeance K90

Description: Corsair Vengeance K90

Your fingers will feel the difference

To be frank, we didn't think any keyboard could ever get us to leave our coveted SteelSeries 7G, but after a week of pound­ing away on the Corsair Vengeance K90's Cherry MX keys, we were swayed. That's not even mentioning the brushed-aluminum deck, subtle LED backlighting, and programmable function keys. Yes, it would be nice if every key on the board were me­chanical, but we’re not complaining.

Corsair AX1200I

Description: Corsair AX1200I

Know how much power your PSU is using

You know what makes us nerds? It's not that we can actually use a 1,200-watt power supply, it's that we want to know what's happening inside that PSU while we're using it. That's what Corsair's new AX1200i gives us. Just connect the AX1200i to an available USB header, load the monitor app, and you can not only monitor the power supply but actually tweak its voltages from within the OS. Let's not forget the seven-year warranty, reasonable price tag, and white cabling option.

2X Dell U3011

Description: Dell U3011

Because we need the pixels

We like to play games, hence the presence of quad SLI, but we also edit photos and videos and generally like an abundance of screen real estate. This year, we're tak­ing it easy with our monitor choice and going with ‘just’ two 30-inch panels – as opposed to last year's three. That hardly means we're slumming it, however. In fact, Dell's U3011, with its 2560x1600, wide-angle IPS technology, and 1.07-bil­lion-color support is so superb that its $1,400 price seems like a downright steal. Such a steal, in fact, we got two.

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