Identity Crisis

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Identity Crisis

This build in the Thermaltake Core P5 took me a month and a half to complete.

I'm quite artistic and after some research and upon seeing the Thermaltake Core P5 I realised a lot could be done to customise it.

From the get go I wanted to construct a computer that would pass as an artpiece without screaming "Gamer" and that would not stick out like a sore thumb in a luminous modern living room.

I love water, bright colours and industrial looking modern apartments. I decided that would be the theme for my build. A friend had recently completed a very clean build and he introduced me to the wonders of distribution boards. Sure I'd seen them before but I had never considered them for my systems. I found Bykski made a distribution board for the Core P5 and I decided to go ahead and include one in my build. The idea of a central and slim reservoir appealed to me a lot. I also set my mind on the colour of the liquid I would use - Azure blue (EK).

From there, the build design happened rapidly but a fair amount of work was required:

The Core P5's anthracite grey colour wouldn't pair well with the light blue or the general aesthetic I was going for and I decided to spray paint the inner wall of the case matte white. I elected to go for an AMD build and picked a simple mobo that I could more easily disguise if needed.
As it turns out Bykski can't build a distribution board that lines up with the holes in the P5 so I had to drill my own holes to fit it between the mobo and the radiator.
I realised I wouldn't be happy with the plain anthracite colour of the back of the case and decided to disguise it with some art. Somehow I decided rapidly that I'd try myself to resin art which I always liked as the colours are very vibrant and the blend of wood and acrylic is striking.
The GPU would have to be vertically mounted to occupy the space better, display the blue liquid more and hide the lower part of the mobo. The vertical GPU bracket for this case is obscenely wide and I cut it down to maintain a slim profile. I ensured I kept an extra slot there if I want a SLI build down the track or as a mount to hide the bottom of the GPU where the extender connects with the bracket.
Open cases need excellent cable management to look clean. I already had blue/black cables from my previous build that I would use. I built a wooden bracket to hide the cables and rubber grommets/passthroughs and disguised them with resin to go with what I had in mind for the back cover.
I settled on red, dark blue, light blue, white and black for the art on the back cover. The EKWB 480mm is an impressive piece of kit but I painted it cherry apple red to balance the colours on the front of the case. I was considering EK's Lignum range (wallnut) of blocks for a while until I saw the eye watering price tag and I settled on the all Nickel velocity block for the CPU. I cleaned the 1080Ti block I used in my previous build and recycled it in this build.
Melbourne is a dusty place and dust management is a big deal here. Pushing air from the front into the case wouldn't work for me for a variety of reasons. Fans on the front wouldn't pair well with the design of the case and I'd be pushing unfiltered air into the radiator. I decided to install 4 x Noctua fans inside the case, pulling air through the rear dust filter and pushing it through the rad out the front of the case. I had to build a bracket to mount the fans onto since there are standoffs in the case that prevent clean contact between the fans and the radiators.
From there I designed the back wooden panel as it stands today. It would allow easy maintenance of the dust filter. What a pain it was cutting that shape and sanding it with only a drill, jigsaw and cheap sander. But I got there in the end. I then inserted 4 x metal passthroughs where it would slide onto the PC. I epoxied the back twice and once it was dry, did the artwork on the exposed side as it is now.
For the tubing I decided to go for a blend of acrylic and copper tubing to immitate an industrial design - 3 of each. I was hesitant as to whether to use black or nickel fittings. After testing with my left over black fittings I decided nickel was the way to go. I had to order 12mm fittings for the acrylic and 13mm ones from the UK for the 1/2" copper tubing. I went for the straightest loops possible and simple bends to immitate tubing you would see in an industrial apartment.
To disguise the cables, pump and screw holes on the radiator, I made wooden brackets that I then epoxied and painted to match the design. I later made and added the wooden GPU bracket as suggested by a friend. I had to make 2cm spacers to separate the case and the brackets, allowing cables to pass through.
I painted the GPU and PSU brackets red to match with the red radiator. I considered making a wooden cover for the PSU but decided it matched well with the Mobo. I made an IO cover to hide that part of the Mobo.
On the matter of lighting, I've had white LED fans, RGB ones, RGB/UV strips and all the looks are unique. The Bysky block has a RGB LED strip running through it and I decided some additional lighting was needed. I purchased RGB LED strips from EK that I hid in white resin inside brushed aluminium brackets. This would allow the light to shine through when the PC is on while concealing the strip when the PC is off. I'm very happy with the result. There is a strip under the plexi GPU block and a strip in front of the wooden cover, allowing for the cool lighting effects shown in the picture. There is another strip facing down behind the wooden bracket on top of the Mobo.

I think that does it! Hope you like it as much as I do! A labour of love!

Let me know if you are looking at building in this case and have any questions.

Color(s): Black Blue Copper Red White
RGB Lighting? Yes
Theme: Art
Cooling: Custom Liquid Cooling
Size: ATX
Type: General Build


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