Description

This is my first custom water-cooling setup! I have only seen one other person cram a custom loop into this case which gave me the motivation I needed. It's definitely a tight fit being a Micro ATX case.

I chose the i7-8086k because it's a binned 8700k and I love overclocking. I had it sent off to Silicon Lottery for their delidding & binning services. It's capable of 5.3GHz @ 1.435V. I have it running 5.2GHz @ 1.39V daily. It still gets a bit warm with the custom loop and the liquid metal, so I may end up getting the new 9th gen CPUs once they come out and have been tested.

I really wanted to build a small form factor case for this build so I went with the Asus ROG Strix ITX board because it's a Z series with plenty of potential to overclock. I like the board layout as well. The RGBs on the back of the board give it a nice touch.

Corsair's new Crystal 280X was the case I had been scoping out for a while. I love the small footprint and dual chamber design. It's really been a great case overall. Whether you go with Air, CLC, or Custom Loop it has plenty of space to accommodate (relative to other Micro ATX or ITX cases). Although, it was trial and error on the specific layouts of radiators and fans to make it all fit.

For the RAM, I had to get the Corsair Dominator Platinum sticks because of their super elegant design and matching silver heat-sinks. They are also great to overclock with and have given me more than I expected in terms of performance and it's ability to overclock.

Samsung still has some of the best performing chips for the money so I went with their 970 EVO M.2 for the OS & Apps and 2 860 EVOs for everything else. I've been using Samsung SSDs on my previous few builds and they never cease to deliver fast read/write speeds with no issues.

I've always used EVGAs power supplies. They just work...

I chose the new RTX 2080 card because it has the latest and greatest technology. I'm excited for what the future holds with Real-time Ray Tracing capabilities. This card was in stock at the local Best Buy and so I went for it. It was literally the last one in stock! I came from a 980Ti Hybrid, so this is quite the upgrade. The overclocking ability of this card is spectacular. I have the memory clock +1200MHz and core clock +140MHz! And that's a FE card on water, I can't imagine what the board partner cards will be able to do with more power!

The Dell 27" gaming monitor (1440p @ 144Hz) is amazing and with this setup runs beautifully thanks to G-Sync. Definitely worth the price.

The Corsair mouse and keyboard are very well designed and easily used. Coming from Razer Green switches, the Cherry Red takes some getting used to.

The Asus monitor, UPS, and Turtle Beach Headset I've had for a little while now, but included in the part list as it's part of this setup now.

Now for the custom loop... I had originally decided against doing a custom loop for fear that it wouldn't fit. I purchased a Corsair H115i CLC which did it's job. Shortly after completing the build and doing some hardcore testing I noticed the VRMs were throttling the core ratio. I would touch the heat-sinks and they were extremely hot. I was not happy with this so I decided the mono-block from EKWB would be the best solution. After a few days of contemplation and measuring out the case, I ordered the parts. At this point I had my 2080 so I also ordered the water-block from EKWB as well. With all the components I needed to cool, I decided that two 280mm radiators would suffice especially when paired with four Furious Vardar fans. I was pretty nervous because the setup I ordered came down to millimeters in spacing and because I ordered hard tubing (which I have never done before). In the end it all worked out! It took about a week to get everything setup to how it is today (and I still have a few more things to add).

Enjoy!

Comments

  • 10 months ago
  • 4 points

Nicest 280X build I've seen yet. Good work!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I noticed not too many people use this case, but idk why. It's great to work with!

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

It's still relatively new, adoption should increase once's there's a reason for new builds. I just bought one for a build once the 9900K comes out.

  • 10 months ago
  • 3 points

The 280x with a custom loop looks absolutely amazing

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Beautiful piece of machinery you’ve got there. Regarding temperatures though, 1.39V is a good bit of voltage plus the sizable overclock. While having never built using a custom loop, I would assume it’s the limitations of using a smaller case/reservoir thus wise limiting overall liquid displacement. That’s a shoddy opinion at best, but it’s all to say don’t be let down by it at all. This is a beast my friend.

+1

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Added some pictures for reference on temps. It's not too bad considering all that is being cooled.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey, what's your address? Asking for a friend.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

why would your friend want his address, seems kinda weird to me

  • 10 months ago
  • 4 points

Wooosh

  • 10 months ago
  • 3 points

Lol oh boy.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Savage mini build! Loop looks great, I assume your Rez/pump are in the backside panel of your case as I don’t see it in the case anywhere in your loop.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, I will need to get a picture of the backside! Thanks!

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Amazing!

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

amazing build! you need to benchmark this (firestrike would be nice)

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I have already. Let me dig up the results!

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool that you already got the waterblock for the RTX. I didn't think they were available yet... better get moving on buying my cooling parts I guess!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I ordered it that Friday after the 2080 released. Glad to have gotten it so soon! They've had them on pre-order for a while before launch I presume.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm thinking of picking up a 1tb ssd. I only have a 120gb, and I also need another hdd for gaming. (I have 2, and a 120gb ssd) I'm running out of space and might just re install windows to this ssd. I'm not sure.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

The Samsung EVOs are great. I always run an M.2 for the OS and put everything else on the other SSDs to allow for better performance when it comes to multitasking. I would definitely recommend them!

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

You killed it with this build man. Great work with that loop btw.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! It's definitely far from perfect. The guys on YouTube make it looks so easy! But I'm very happy with it.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

I smell a feature. +1

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks awesome. I just picked up the 280x last week. I've had my z370-i and 8700k for around 7 months. The last package im waiting which will be here tomorrow is from EK. Im expanding my aluminum kit with 3 240mm rads. this is going to be tricky.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Best of luck! It was rough just getting 2 rads in there!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

280mm must have been even more of a PITA. Im guessing thats why you have the top one with the ports towards the front of the case, to clear the mobo?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, it's crammed in there. Had to grind down parts of the front fans to fit.

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

Around the compression fittings?

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

How is the spacing between the mobo and the radiators near the bottom pinouts? BTW I've just bought a very similar setup--waiting on delivery--with a m-ATX board instead of a mimi-ITX.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, the fittings are touching the fans. You have to remove the fans to get the fittings off (since they screw on/off).

I've got an inch or more between the bottom fans on the radiator to the mobo, it's an ITX mobo. This is a MicroATX case, you couldn't run a MicroATX mobo with the bottom radiator and fans. You could run this with a single 280 rad, but it may get a little warmer (or run fans faster/louder).

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Most beautiful 280X build yet! I've been looking for something as insane as this :D

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! It's the second one I know with a custom loop. Definitely cramped, but I love the look!

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

Did you use no reservoir

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

The reservoir is in the second chamber of the case (the back side).

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

Ok thanks

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

Insanely nice build +1. Maybe down the line you could add a piece of gloss black acrylic to make the back wall clean and use bulkhead fittings to pass the lines through the wall. That's my two cents but either way nice build and this just gets me more excited till I move my current into a 280X :)

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

Also is there a way to disable the RGB on the monoblock since I want to move from my supremacy evo into one but I feel it might kill my zero rgb look.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, you can remove the LED strip easily. The black aluminum piece screws off where you can remove the strip (it's stickied on).

I've seen a great build where they did the false wall for the cleaner look! I wish I had the tools and time to do it, it's definitely a big improvement visually. I've already got my sights on my next build, so I don't think I'll be doing it on this one.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome build!

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

I love the way you put the pump in the second chamber

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, that was the easiest place to put it to be honest lol

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

How did you mount it, or you just left it there? I'm doing a custom loop in the same case because I loved yours and bought the same parts. However I don't know how to mount the pump.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

I drilled a hole in the bottom of the case for one screw that holds the pump in place, but you don't need it as the tubes should keep it in place as long as you handle it with care.

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