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Given that virtually all of the case modding skills I have attained so far have come from this forum, I thought it would be appropriate to post my current build log. I am always looking for suggestions on ways to better the build and improve my modding/rig-building capability, so please don't hesitate to critique.

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ROG 900D Tricolor Build: Completed

 

Welcome to my ROG 900D Tricolor Build.  My goal in this build was not only to draw upon the inspiring work of other modders and enthusiasts, but to try to be uniquely original and innovative.  It is for this reason that I chose three colors for my ROG themed build (as opposed to the all-to-common red/black combo).  This goal is also what motivated me to try some mods/customizations that I have yet to see in other builds.  I hope that you like the end product as much as I enjoyed getting there, and I appreciate feedback in whatever form.

 

Final Pics:

 

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One through the side panel window with LED’s:

 

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System Specs:

 

Chassis: Corsair 900D

 

Motherboard: ASUS RIVE BE

 

CPU: i7 4930k (currently clocked @ 44x)

 

RAM: 4x 8GB 2400 MHz G-Skill Ripjaws Z

 

GPU: EVGA GTX 780ti Superclocked Edition

 

PSU: Corsair ax1200i w/ custom sleeved modular cables by Ensourced.

 

SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 512GB

 

HDD: WD Black 1TB

 

OS: Windows 8.1 Pro x64

 

Display: 2x ASUS VG248QE Monitors - Calibrated w/ Datacolor Spyder Pro

 

Keyboard: Razer Deathstalker Ultimate - LCD Screen used for system stats via custom scripted applet (i.e. temps, clocks, voltages, etc...)

 

Mouse: Roccat Kone XTD

 

 

Cooling:

 

CPU Block: EK Supremacy: Clean CSQ (Clear Plexi)

 

GPU Block: EK Full Cover Block for GTX 780ti (Plexi & Nickel/Original CSQ) w/ Backplate

 

SB & Mofset Blocks: EK RIVE-BE Full Board Waterblocks (Plexi & Nickel/ Original CSQ)

 

Reservoirs: EK Multioption x3 250 w/ Multiport Top and Red Harbinger Cover; Monsoon Series 2 Bay Res w/ Swiftech D5 Drive integrated

 

2nd Pump: Swiftech MCP35x

 

Radiators: 2x Alphacool Nexxos UT60 480mm

 

Fittings: Mostly Primochill Rigid Ghost Compressions Fittings, Koolance QDCs; 2 Koolance Fitting Accessories (45 Degree adapter & 90 Degree Low Profile Adapter); EK standoff fittings

 

Tubing & Coolant: Primochill Rigid Acrylic (Clear) & Primochill Rigid PETG (Clear) Mayhem’s Pastel Blood Red

 

Fans: 8x Corsair SP120s; 4x Noctua NF-F12s; 2x Corsair AF140s; 2x Corsair AF120s

 

Fan Controller: Aquacomputer Aquaero 6 Pro w/ Passive Heatsink

-Accessories - 2x Temp Probes; 1x Aquacomputer Inline Flow Meter; 1x AQC Inline Temperature Sensor; 1x 2-pin PWM connector

 

LED’s: 3x 12” Darkside Dimmable White LED strips; 2x Logysis White LED Corner Sticks

 

Modding & Customization:

 

Note:

 

The red in the build is Duplicolor Red Metal Specks, and the gray is Duplicolor Cast Coat Iron Engine Enamel.

 

900D Front Plate Mod: This case modification is based upon Bill Owen’s tutorial at MNCP Tech.  I did make a slight change, in that I did not want to lose the Corsair logo at the bottom of the plate. I left an extra 2” on the bottom and an extra 1” on the top, and then I covered the Corsair logo with automotive masking tape and carefully cutout the general outline of the logo with a utility knife.  The ROG logo is a sticker.  As a final revision, I painted the steel mesh gray. Here is a shot of my plate:

 

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Here is a link to Bill Owen’s tutorial for those who are interested: http://themodzoo.com/forum/index.php?/topic/633-diy-case-mod-guide-corsair-900d-front-grill/

 

If you have never watched any of Bill’s guide’s, and are interested in case modification, you should have a look… I learned most of the techniques I implemented from he and the rest of themodzoo.com.

 

5.25” Bay Recess Panels: While I love many things about the 900D, I find the decision to make the sides of the 5.25” drive bays recessed (upon removing the covers) to be a horrible one.  -          One can see that when the slot covers are removed for installation of bay devices, the chassis is blemished by the front I/O cover and front plate not sitting flush with the 5.25” area, as well as by the bizarre rectangles/squares that are exposed (this part of the bezel is plastic and does not match the rest of the front in color).

 

After failing to cut the plastic of the slot covers in order to reattach the outsides only, I decided the best way to go would be to use 3mm plexi plates that I cut to size, painted and attached.  I think it came out well (better than the default at least):

 

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Now, I don’t claim to be a master modder (or anything close to it), and there are probably much more efficient ways of doing this, but I thought I’d just do a quick guide on how I made these plates:

 

1)      I cut a piece of clear 3mm plexi with a jewelers saw (although a dremel or hacksaw will work), making sure to cut it slightly larger than the measured dimensions.

2)      I then used a metal hand file to sand the piece down to size.

3)      I then used some white plastic primer as a base coat… however, if I could do it all over again I would’ve used adhesion promoter or SEM self-etching primer as opposed to plastic primer.  I find that it lays flat and doesn’t chip.  Here is a shot of one after being primed:

 

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4)      I used Rustoleum Semi-Flat Black Enamel for a top/color coat.  Because they will not match the brushed aluminum effect of the I/0 cover or 5.25” slot covers, I removed and painted these as well.

5)      In order to attach the pieces such that they will sit at the correct depth, another 3mm’s of thickness is needed.  I originally just stacked another piece of plexi to make up the difference, but I found another way that I prefer:  using 3M double sided mounting tape (the white foam type), stack two pieces when sticking the plates on… the tape is about 1.3” thick, so by doubling it up it your plates will sit at the right depth.

 

Note: Since writing this part of the guide, I switched to only two bay devices.  I therefore cut these plates into four total: one on each side of a single 5.25” bay device and one on each side of a dual 5.25” bay reservoir.

 

 

Painted Top Grill: This was painted in the same way that I paint all metal pieces: scuff, clean, prime with SEM self-etching primer, wait an hour and then apply topcoat.  Be careful when detaching the metal grill from the plastic framing of the top panel.  The metal grill is attached with tabs that are prone to breaking off when Bent too many times.  I painted the metal grill gray:

 

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Painted Bottom Side Doors:  In the interest of consistency, I decided to paint the hinged side panels at the bottom of the chassis the same color.  Pretty simple again: detach the hinged panels, mask off the area you don’t want to paint, scuff with red scotchbrite pads, prime with SEM self-etching primer, and then paint.  I also removed and painted the plastic latches red in order to keep with the theme:

 

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Painted Faceplates of Monsoon Bay Res and Aquaero 6 Pro Faceplate: For these it was just a matter of removing the aforementioned pieces, then painting according to my usual method of scuffing, SEM priming and topcoating.  I painted them gray and reattached:

 

OOP4FLP.jpg

 

Painted ROG Logo on Right Side Panel:  I decided (out of boredom one night, really) to paint a red ROG logo on the right side panel.  I first made an ROG logo stencil, masked off the side panel with Sticky Mickey’s Automotive Detailing masking tape, placed the stencil over the tape, and then used an exacto knife with very light pressure to cut out the logo.  I then proceeded to paint in my usual manner: scuff, prime and paint.  It came out pretty well, so I kept it:

 

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The Ludicrously Long Fillport: There is no way to add a top mounted, external fill port on the 900D.  I find this to be frustrating, so this was an attempt at getting around it.  In all honesty, I would have to say that this is the most disappointing of all the mods I made on the build.  I did not consider that when using Mayhem’s Pastel coolant, the nano-particles fall out of suspension if the coolant is not mobilized.  Therefore, my fill line (which is not a part of the loop due to it not having any coolant flow) contains coolant that is slightly opaque, and the bottom of the tube is lined with silt…  oh well, Hardly noticeable:

 

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Coldzero Plates: If you own a 900D and have not checked out coldzero.eu, then I highly recommend that you do.  The plates will transform your build, and the gentleman who runs it provides reasonable prices, incredible shipping, and outstanding customer service.  For example, I asked for a custom part in the order notes of an order I made, and he was so generous that he cut out the plexi for free and did so in record time.  Anyway, I have installed the following plates:

1)      900D Back Panel

2)      900D Motherboard Tray: with EATX MB cutout, cable routing cuts, and reservoir mounting holes predrilled.

3)      900D Long Midplate (Plexi) w/ Corsair Logo: All of the logos are plexi cutouts, and so I painted mine to match my build:

 

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4)      HDD Cage Backplate w/ ROG Logo (Custom Part):

 

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One thing to note about painting the plexi logos is that you mustn’t apply too much paint (if any) to the sides of the cutouts, as they will not fit back in if you do.  I used adhesion promoter primer, painted and then thinned out all of the paint along the sides of the pieces in order to ensure that they would fit… it was still tight, and the pieces on the midplate still sit out just the slightest bit; however, I actually kind of like the effect, so I’m going to keep it.

 

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5)       5.25” Left Plate Clear (no cutouts for mounting an SSD): That’s not a cutout logo on the 5.25” plate.  It is a sticker, but it blends seamlessly I think:

 

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Drilling Passthrough Holes into Midplate for Tube Routing: If you are reading this thread, you are probably familiar with watercooling…  at least to a degree.  I have a 480mm Rad at the bottom of my 900D, so in order for my loop to reach it I had to drill holes for passthrough fittings.  This is somewhat of a nerve-racking endeavor, as plexiglass can crack easily – especially when it is only 3mm thick. 

 

My method of drilling was to use a dremel to drill a pilot hole, and I then used a step-bit up to 7/8”.  I finish reaming out the remainder with a sanding bit on the dremel.  Use masking tape to prevent scratching the plate, put a wooden block under the plate (so that the step-bit has something to drill into), go slow without too much pressure, watch out for melting due to heat, and use clamps to hold the plate in place.

 

Installed Handle at Front of Chassis:Why only one?” you might be asking.  The handle I installed is intended simply so that I have something to grab when I pull the PC out from under my desk and turn the case for maintenance, etc… The handle I installed is not strong enough to bear the weight of a fully watercooled 900D (and neither am I for that matter ;):

 

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Custom Painted Fittings: I have searched around quite a bit and have not seen a single build in which custom painted fittings were used.  This I find surprising, given the limited range of color options available.  I imagine that the issue is fear of getting paint or other harmful chemicals into the loop.  After switching to rigid tubing, the following is no longer applicable to this build; however, I thought I would leave it in the log for those who are interested in painting their flex tubing compression fittings.  To paint the compression collars for Primochill’s rigid ghost compression fittings, simply scuff, prime and paint.  No part of the collar comes into contact with liquid, so the measures to prevent overspray from contaminating the loop are not necessary.

 

 

I came up with a technique that seems to have allowed for safe painting that touches only the outsides of the fitting and never comes into contact with coolant.  For my build, I decided to make all of my fittings grey (that’s the Duplicolor Cast Coat Iron Engine Enamel) since my coolant is red.  Here are the steps:

-          I used the OEM top of my EK Tube Res as a base since I have no need for it now that I use the multioption top.  Each fitting, plug and adapter was done one at a time, with the same o-ring being used each time in order to ensure no chemicals got onto the o-rings that would be implemented into the system.

-          The fittings were prepped first with 3M Scotchbrite Maroon scouring pads, then given an isopropyl alcohol rinse.  If I noticed that any of the anodization of the fittings began to chip, I went all out and stripped them of their anodized finished completely.  This I achieved using a mixture of sodium hydroxide and boiling water, a technique that I learned from a forum member at themodzoo.com.

-          Once I prepped the fitting and screwed it into the aforementioned reservoir top with the paint-designated o-ring, I connected some used tubing to the compression side of the fitting (if it was not a plug obviously), and then capped the exposed side of the tube.

-          Once the fitting s were prepped, sealed and ready to be painted, I applied SEM self-etching black primer to each, followed an hour later by the Duplicolor Cast Coat Iron Engine Enamel.  The results were excellent in my own opinion:

 

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Painted EK Clear Acrylic Waterblocks/Bridges: Like painted fittings, I am surprised that I could not find any builds with this modification… in fact, I couldn’t even find a thread where the idea was mentioned.  Here is the issue I sought to remedy:

 

I really like how the clear acrylic versions of EK waterblocks and accessories allow the coolant color to show through; however, most of the block is not filled with coolant, so you end up with a little bit of color and a whole lot of satin-clear acrylic, which I find to be an eyesore.  My thinking was that there is no reason for the entirety of the block to be clear acrylic… only the part through which coolant passes.  The rest should fit the build theme.  I went about painting the pieces like this:

           

1)      I used a little blue dye and some distilled water to locate the channels within the block that would be visible, and then I plugged the blocks.

2)      With the coolant still in, I used thin vinyl pin-striping masking tape (capable of round turns) in order to outline the channel.

3)      Once I achieved the correct shape with the flexible masking tape, I filled in the remainder of the acrylic with tape.

4)      I then masked the metal block underneath the acrylic to protect it from any overspray (I guess I should say underspray).

5)      I then painted the pieces with the same SEM self-etching primer that I always use, and, once it dried, I pulled the tape off and put one light coat of clear enamel as a protectant.  Here are the results:

 

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I also painted the thumbnuts of the supremacy:

 

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Now a few shots of these blocks filled with coolant in the system:

 

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Custom Painted Tubing! : Of all of the mods that I implemented in this build, this is the one that I was most excited about doing, but also the one that I was most frightened of messing up.  I have yet to see custom painted rigid tubing, so this is something that I definitely was interested in trying out.  One of my major concerns was that the chemicals of the paint might compromise the integrity of the acrylic, leading to a crack due to pressure within the loop.  To ensure that my tubing would not crack under pressure, I closed off the loop with a quick disconnect while leak testing, then started the pumps (I know… could’ve damaged the pumps).  No issues, so I figured I was good to go and haven’t had any issues thus far.

 

I went with a spiral paint design, which I accomplished using 3M Vinyl 471 automotive detailing masking tape, which is excellent for this sort of application.  It differs from normal masking tape in that it is stretchy, allowing for curves.  It is also highly tolerant of removal and reapplication, which was essential given the number of times I failed to apply the tape evenly.  Anyway, the process was as follows:  apply the tape according to the design you want, use adhesion promoter to prime the tubing and then apply Rustoleum Sem-Flat Black Enamel Spray paint as a topcoat.  Here are some shots of the tubing at each of these phases:

 

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Although I know that the tubing can be clearly seen in previous shots, I cannot resist some close-ups of the painted tubing installed and filled with coolant:

 

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Custom Painted Ram Heat-Spreaders: I painted my G-Skill Ripjaws Z heatspreaders gray as well.  This was not too difficult, although care should be used when removing them… and it will void the warranty!!!  I think that they came out nicely, but given that they are in so many pictures above I won’t post any more shots.

 

Painted EK Badges:  The silver EK badges that are included on all of their products are actually removable stickers.  I didn’t realize this at first, but it was a wonderful discovery for those of us who do not want any shiny silver in our build.  I removed them and painted them gray.

 

Cable Lacing: A big thanks to Alpenwasser for his wonderful tutorial on how to do this.  A link to said tutorial is here:  http://themodzoo.com/forum/index.php?/topic/990-cable-lacing-tutorial-aka-cable-stitching-cable-sewing/

 

And here are some shots of the lacing:

 

 

 

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Sleeved Internal Cables (including USB 3.0):  I went ahead and sleeved the internal USB2.0 and HD Audio Cables:

 

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I also sleeved the front I/O cables:

 

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Sleeving the USB3.0 cable would’ve been impossible were it not for moddiy.com, where I ordered a USB 3.0 extension that was easily sleeved; however, in my infinite ineptitude I forgot to order black paracord, so this sleeving is only red and gray:

 

JYDxWkQ.jpg

 

ROG Window Decal: The last thing I’ll document is the window decal, which I think I purchased from KustomPCs or something like that.  It is an etched effect color, and it looks really nice when the system is powered on:

 

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PC case Mod Items from Mnpctech

 

                                                                                      pc_sticker_case_mod_window_applique_mnpc    

 

                                                                                      mesh5_09fg-5q.32.jpg

 

I think that is about all I have the energy to write at this point.  There is so much more that I could document, and I must have another 200 photos that I could post.  In addition to being tired, I fear that this log might not be read by many and that I am writing in vain… I hope not.  If you all have any questions about the build or some feature that interests you please don’t hesitate to ask.  I hope that this log is read, and I hope even more that the build is liked.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Carson

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Is anyone else unable to see the photos in this log? I'm able to see them in chrome when I am logged in and when I'm not, so I'm pretty sure that I posted them correctly.

Thanks,

Carson

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I also wanted to quickly show my cable lacing.  The method I used was the one posted in the modding guide section of the forum:

 

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I think that I laced them a little too tight, causing them to be stubborn or become unaligned around bends.  Much better aesthetically than a cable comb in my opinioin.

 

-Carson

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nice work on the cable lacing.  I agree that I think it looks way better than a cable comb.  It's a lot less bulky.

 

On a side note, you may want to consider resizing your images to be smaller, maybe something like 1024x768 or something.  The size you have now makes your log load really slowly, and that's on a 50Mbps connection no less

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nice work on the cable lacing.  I agree that I think it looks way better than a cable comb.  It's a lot less bulky.

 

On a side note, you may want to consider resizing your images to be smaller, maybe something like 1024x768 or something.  The size you have now makes your log load really slowly, and that's on a 50Mbps connection no less

 

Thanks for the feedback.  I have a hard time uploading photos to these forums for some reason, but I think that I have it down now.  Is there a way to reduce the image sizes without having to repost new links to each image?  If not, I'll get to it tonight.

 

Thanks again,

 

Carson

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Yay, cable lacing! :DReally digging the water block painting as well.

Thanks, I think that EK should consider making their acrylic blocks with only the coolant channel translucent ... or at least make a version like this ... as the blocks do look better like that in my opinion. I intend to paint my gpu block in similar fashion next time I do maintenance on the build.

Cable lacing looks great doesn't it:). It's actually easy when you get -- time consuming, but easy. I saw recently that someone used thin fishing line to lace their cables, and it looked really good. Something to consider for those who don't want the look of twine lacing.

- Carson

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Thanks, I think that EK should consider making their acrylic blocks with only the coolant channel translucent ... or at least make a version like this ... as the blocks do look better like that in my opinion. I intend to paint my gpu block in similar fashion next time I do maintenance on the build.

I recently saw a build where somebody did more or less the

same, but with vinyl instead of paint. Looking forward to

your GPU blocks then.

 

Cable lacing looks great doesn't it:).

Indeed, I really love the look of it.

 

It's actually easy when you get -- time consuming, but easy.

That was actually one of the objectives I had when developing my

technique (the one from this thread, which I think is the one you

used? Correct me if I'm wrong of course ;)).

It needed to have an aesthetically pleasing result, but be reasonably

simple. The techniques I had come across previously were rather

complicated, so I set out to develop my own. I ended up mixing a

few different approaches from various sources I could find.

 

I saw recently that someone used thin fishing line to lace their cables, and it looked really good. Something to consider for those who don't want the look of twine lacing.

- Carson

Not sure if it was me, but I do have a build where I used Nylon

thread (HELIOS, see signature if you're interested), and indeed

I do really like the result that gets (makes things look a bit

sleeker IMO), so it could have been. :D

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Hey alpenwasser?

I didn't realize it at first, but it WAS your guide that I used to learn to lace cables... thanks so much. It might well have been your Helios build that I saw the nylon thread lacing. Thanks so much for all the great info.

-Carson

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Hey alpenwasser?

I didn't realize it at first, but it WAS your guide that I used to learn to lace cables... thanks so much. It might well have been your Helios build that I saw the nylon thread lacing. Thanks so much for all the great info.

-Carson

Thanks for the kind words, and good to see you've found

it useful. :)

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LOVE the new finish you gave your Fittings..... (Bitspower, please take note!)

Thanks Bill! I was very pleased to have found that color as well, because the first grey that used looked boring... like a flat grey primer. I also find that Dupli-Color's rattle can engine enamel applies evenly due to an effective spray tip. I can't say the same for their metal speck paint... of three cans, two have been defective.

Thanks again for the kind words, as well as for the excellent modding guides,

- Carson

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Love the color of the fittings. Also the tri color as there are way to many standard Red and Black due to ROG scheme... Lol i had a few dudd cans of late from Holts Dupli Color though there engine ( heat enamel ) has been solid.

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Guys, I updated this thread with a new log and pics from my completed build, featuring a change to rigid acrylic tubing and new mods and customizations.

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Love the color of the fittings. Also the tri color as there are way to many standard Red and Black due to ROG scheme... Lol i had a few dudd cans of late from Holts Dupli Color though there engine ( heat enamel ) has been solid.

 

Thanks so much for the kind words.  Sorry it took so long to acknowledge them... I haven't checked the thread in a while.  It is updated now, so check it out  ;)

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nice job.  i really like the fittings.  the asus sticker looks really nice also. where did you get it?

 

Thanks for the compliment.  Sorry it  has taken so long to get back to you.  I got the sticker from moddiy.com or KustomPC's I think... I cannot remember.  I'll get back to you with a conclusive answer.  Check out the updated build log on the first page, though... I think you'll like it.

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Great custom painting and cable sleeving.  A lot of great attention to detail and I really like the tri-colour look.  Great idea about the tubing and it gives it a nice unique look.

 

Cheers

 

Fen 

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