ニシキゴイ / 錦鯉 (Nishikigoi)

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paiyan
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Best Build

ニシキゴイ / 錦鯉 (Nishikigoi)

When I’d shared the Ry(Zen) build with the PCMR Reddit community over a year ago now, one of the comment posts suggested having a koi pond at the bottom of the build. I’m proud to share this build which cheekily incorporates that idea while also combining a couple of other firsts for me as a builder! Heavily focusing once more on the use of wood in PC building, this build is also my first ever water cooled (non-AIO) build as well as my first time working with resin art. Both have been a fantastic learning / development experience for me personally, and I hope to utilise both more in future builds!

This build again relies heavily on a Lian Li case; the PC-O11D Mini. The views and potential layouts that one can achieve here!! This is an amazing case with superb modularity and just the right amount of room to work in. The accessories and options that come included are top-notch as well and you’d be hard pressed to ask for more! Very impressed all around, I couldn’t recommend this case enough to anyone shopping around for a new showpiece for their next build.

The idea for housing the Corsair XD5 pump in a wooden lantern came out of nowhere to be honest and actually turned into one of my favourite gimmicks of the build. I’ve always envied other builds with amazing water-cooling setups and have always struggled to incorporate one into a build. This has crossed that bridge for me perfectly and allows me to retain that organic feel to the overall look. The EK Lignum CPU block and fittings do the same for the build here – the walnut finish needs to be seen in person to be properly appreciated!

The build also incorporates Australia timbers once more; the external veneer used on the case panels is Queensland Walnut (which carries some great curling / grain) and pairs up beautifully with the Tasmanian Oak used throughout the rest of the build. The lantern and the matching base uses the Tasmanian Oak in various sizes / cuts and is finished off with traditional Japanese “Washi” paper to reproduce the natural glow that you’d get from a lantern while relying on the Corsair XD5 pump as a light source. I’ve always been a sucker for Noctua fans and having used the Industrial line in the previous build, I was dead set on making the standard line and the questionable (for most builders!) colour scheme shine in this build.

The koi pond at the bottom is another gimmick of the build and acts as a bit of a fake reservoir for the liquid cooling setup. Resin art is truly a skill in its own right and hats off to those that make amazing tables using this stuff! The koi stickers I managed to score off Ebay and are actually pretty reasonable quality-wise. I also finished the Asus 3070 Dual OC card with a timber piece on the side – this helped heaps in matching it in with the build while also concealing the out-of-place lighting that comes with the card (which you can’t change sadly). The Japanese maple leaves that line the top of the GPU and the wooden lantern were 3D printed using a wood PLA filament which I finished with a walnut stain. Autumn has always been my favourite season for visiting Japan and this build is a glimmer of hope that travel can return to normal once more!

There was a bit of an empty gap between the koi pond and the ITX motherboard which I managed to fill perfectly using a 7.9” HDMI LCD screen from Amazon. These little screens are a gamechanger for builds! USB powered, dead easy to setup, and cheap for what they are! The Rainmeter skin helps with keeping track of how things are travelling in the temperature / performance department – I’ve kept the layout simple and minimalistic for now.

Taking the jump and diving into water cooling has definitely been the game changer for me as a builder. While initially starting with mandrels, I found that free-hand bends worked best for what I was trying to achieve. Tip: the edges of a table work great for getting 90deg bends right! Of all the builds, this one probably had me at my most anxious, particularly when it came to leak testing and powering on for the first time once assembly was completed. Have to admit, there was a big fist pump at the end when everything fired up at the first go!

For those that are interested in the battle-station setup, the desk is a 2200mm x 600mm x 26mm solid Merbau timber panel which I’ve hand-finished in three coats of polyurethane each side. This was my take on the Ikea Alex combo, which funny enough has a bit of a matching Noctua colour scheme going on. The cable management trays underneath are a god-send and make it easy to get all the cabling organised. KEF Q150 speakers in a walnut finish really complement the set up and are absolutely amazing in the audio department! Speakers are driven by a vintage Japanese amplifier which I managed to score on Marketplace, recapped and serviced for cheap! A Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo turntable, in walnut finish as well, completes the overall setup and is also my first foray into vinyl + audiophile sound.

This build has definitely proven itself to be the most challenging and rewarding build to date! It’s taken awhile, but very satisfied with the end results. Will be using this one as my 1440p gaming and audiophile man-cave setup. Very, very proud of the build and am sure that it’ll be a faithful servant for many years yet to come.
Color(s): Brown
RGB Lighting? Yes
Theme: Case Mod
Cooling: Custom Liquid Cooling
Size: Mini-ITX
Type: General Build

Contests

This build participated in 1 contest.

Hardware

CPU
$ 119.00
AMD - Ryzen 5 (5600X)
Socket: AM4
Cores: 6
Motherboard
ASUS - ROG Strix Gaming (B550-I)
Chipset: B550
CPU Socket: AM4
Size: Mini-ITX
Memory
$ 85.22
G.Skill - Ripjaws V (3600MHz) (Black)
Type: DDR4
Capacity: 16 GB
Graphics
ASUS - GeForce OC Dual
Chip Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip: RTX 3070
Interface: PCIe x16
Storage
$ 95.99
Samsung - 970 EVO Plus
Form Factor: M.2
Interface: M.2 (M)
Capacity: 1 TB
Storage
$ 37.99
Silicon Power - A60
Form Factor: M.2
Interface: M.2 (M)
Capacity: 512 GB
PSU
$ 285.00
Corsair - SF750
Wattage: 750
Form Factor: SFX
Efficiency: 80+ Platinum
Case
Lian Li - 011 Dynamic Mini
Type: Mini-Tower
Side Panel: Tempered Glass
RGB: Yes
Case Fan
$ 47.90
Noctua - NF-A14 PWM (2x)
Size: 140 mm
Case Fan
$ 43.90
Noctua - NF-S12A PWM (Brown) (2x)
Size: 120 mm
Cooling
$ 249.00
Corsair - Hydro X XD5 (RGB)
Type: Pump/Reservoir Combo
Cooling
$ 55.21
Corsair - Hydro X XR5
Type: Radiator
Size (WxHxD): 120 mm
938
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