Return of the Lich King

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Return of the Lich King

My first custom loop!

This build was hatched from some ideas and spare parts I had lying around. The concept was to build a core system using the best AMD offered around the 2010 time frame. There are some exceptions such as the SSD, the case, the OS, and the AIGO fans.

I did have to purchase the 1100T and an additional HD 6970. I kicked around doing a 3-way or 4-way Crossfire setup but I tossed that out after looking over benchmarks and reviews that were lackluster. Plus, even though for fun and learning I can only spend so much. I wanted to go for a 3-way SLI setup with GTX 580s but the 3GB versions are still going for $75+!

Eventually a cosmetic theme of World of Warcraft - Wrath of the Lich King was chosen. Since my skills and equipment are limited I have to settle for this. I have plans to add a half-portrait of Arthas to the front of the case (assuming I continue to use this case), stenciled GPU backplates, properly sleeved PSU cables, motherboard cover, etc.

I really enjoyed trying PETG tubing for my first water-cooling attempt. Most comments recommend going for soft tube builds the first time. However, I'm good at ignoring sound advice and bucking trends for no good reason. Case in point I still use a FX system.

I was confident I wouldn't ruin too much tubing and actually my first bend is the "backwards 7" from the radiator into the pump inlet (which was a bad idea BTW). I did make some mistakes obviously but I learned from them. The bend from the CPU outlet to the front radiator took me 3 tries and I'm still not happy with it. I was stumped on the piece between the 6970s for the longest time. I tried and tried to make a straight shot but the cards are not matching (one is a Sapphire Dual-X late model and the other is an OEM AMD). The run was too short and the bends were just enough that I couldn't get the fittings to bite. It finally dawned on me that straight runs are boring and more tubing would make it easier. I tried a couple of different iterations but settled on the switchback connector.

Oh and non of the water-cooling stuff is name brand. It's all eBay or Alliexpress. I wanted to dip my toes in cheaply and since this isn't a serious build I wasn't overly concerned about "issues". Actually I've been pleasantly surprised. Granted the fans aren't as quiet as Noctua nor the pump as powerful as a D5 but so far it's adequate.

Overclocking Notes:
FSB @ 213 MHz, multiplier @ 19x, VCore max @ 1.505V, which increased the frequency from 3300 to 4047 MHz. That's roughly a 22% gain in clock speed on the CPU. I would really have to tweak the voltages and frequencies to get any more out of it. As it is I am nearly at the limit of my cooling solution since I the maximum temperature from AMD is 62°C.

Note: All of the overclocks and benchmarks are on a stable system.

  • Prime 95 for 30 minutes: @3300 MHz: 39°C @4047 MHz: 64°C
  • Cinebench - stock: 563cb @3300 MHz (35°C)
  • Cinebench - overclocked: 582cb @4047 MHz (56°C)
  • Furmark: 3386, 57 fps @ 54°C
  • 3DMark Fire Strike: 5390 (6117 GPU, 6976 Physics, 2415 Combined)

Pictures taken with a Pixel 1 or Nikon D7500 by a poor photographer.
Color(s): Blue White
RGB Lighting? No
Theme: Video Game
Cooling: Custom Liquid Cooling
Size: ATX
Type: General Build


This build participated in 1 contest.


$ 124.94
AMD - Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition
Socket: AM3
Cores: 6
MSI - 790FX-GD70
Size: ATX
$ 44.99
G.Skill - Ripjaws X (1600MHz) (Blue)
Type: DDR3
Capacity: 16 GB
Sapphire - Dual-X Radeon HD 6970
Chip Manufacturer: AMD
Chip: HD 6970
Sapphire - Dual-X Radeon HD 6970
Chip Manufacturer: AMD
Chip: HD 6970
$ 157.88
Intel - 330
Form Factor: 2.5 Inch
Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
Capacity: 180 GB
Antec - Antec Signature
Wattage: 850
Form Factor: ATX
Efficiency: 80+
$ 70.66
Fractal Design - Focus G, White
Type: Mid-Tower
Side Panel: Window
Case Fan
$ 26.99
Bykski - CPU Blocks
Type: Custom Loop
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