Decided to put together my first custom loop as cheaply as possible while also getting quality components. Used parts were sourced from /r/hardwareswap and Micro Center. I first assembled this over 6 months ago, but recently rebuilt it with some new pieces, so I figured I'd show it off.
CPU - i5-6600K - carried over from my last build, which was in a much more comfortable ATX form factor. Got this thing a month after Skylake launched, and it runs at 4.6 Ghz fully stable. Not the best chip, but I don't mind.
Motherboard - ASUS Z170i - Yet another ASUS motherboard for me. The red accents don't match up at all with my general theme, but I didn't want to mod it and potentially void my warranty.
GPU - EVGA 980 Ti - Purchased this used with EKWB full cover block and backplate pre-installed, was a very good deal for the bundle. Replaced the GTX 980 that I had in the system before, a swap I primarily did because I felt that the 980 didn't put out enough heat to make a custom loop worth it.
PSU - EVGA Supernova 650 G2 - This unit is actually oversize for the case (as the compatibility notes will tell you). It still fits, however, but the extra length causes it to partially block the main cable routing hole between the back and the front, which makes cable management much more difficult. I ended up removing the rubber grommet in order to make room.
Pump - EK-XTOP D5 PWM - Bought this open box at Micro Center and got a decent deal for a brand new unit. It replaces the Swiftech Drive II & Topsflo TDC dual pump setup that I had before, and is much quieter to boot.
Reservoir - EK-RES X3 110 - This is one of the few reservoirs I could find that would actually fit in such a confined space and were affordable and easy to get. Got the white one and it looks great.
CPU Block - EK-Supremacy EVO White Edition - Purchased this used but it didn't come with all the mounting hardware :( Luckily I pulled a couple of washers off of my pump to use here. Mine was really gunked up from the last seller, remember to take apart the block and clean it out before you use it (if you buy used)!
Radiators - XSPC EX120 & EK PE 240 - Fitting two 240 rads in this case would be extremely tight, but doable. With my oversized PSU, I decided to just go with 240 + 120 instead. If I had an SFX PSU and maybe a smaller pump, double 240 might have been an option.
Lighting - Cablemod RGB magnetic LED strip kit - I wanted RGB lighting in the case, but there clearly wasn't any space for a HUE+ controller in the back with two drives installed already. This cablemod kit was a great way to solve the problem. The lighting controller is tiny, and the remote offers a good amount of modes. Would have been nice if I had an ASUS AURA header on my motherboard though, which would give me in-OS control.
Building a small form factor PC is already frustrating, but a small form factor custom loop? Much worse.
Most of the tubing runs were fairly simple, but the tubing between the reservoir and the pump along with the drain port took a couple of days to figure out how to lay out without causing the tube to kink. I spent hours just wishing I had one more 90-degree angled rotary fitting to make the connection, but it would've taken too long to arrive. So of course, right after I finished up the build, I reached into my parts drawer and pulled out --- an extra 90-degree angled fitting! Perfect.
One very nice thing about this case is that Fractal Design has done a great job with the custom water cooling support - all of the water cooling parts were mounted without having to drill holes manually. That said, the included pump/drive mount bracket on the floor of the case only has two holes that line up with the pump. I was thinking about trying to mount it using the included reservoir mounting brackets, but they didn't fit on the bottom rails.
So finally, after almost a week's worth of time building and rebuilding the loop completely, testing various configurations, getting water everywhere, I put this thing together. Enjoy!