First post, by x0zm_

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::UPDATE 28/4::

Guess this is becoming a dual Tually system now. 😲


Thank you everyone for your support, kind words and advice over the last 1 year and 6 days. Please feel free to check out the gallery of pics >>here<<


::To Do List/Current Progress::

  • Gather Hardware Components
  • Test Hardware
  • Setup Software
  • Measure, design and fabricate acrylic internals
  • Install hardware and create custom cabling
  • Misc case modding
  • Plan watercooling loop
  • Install watercooling Loop
  • Leak Test
  • Tidying Up
  • Build Finished!

::Update 9/9/17::

For anyone looking at this thread for the first time, hi! 😀

The parts lists and ideas in the original post below are pretty old and the build has evolved since then due to a series of both fortunate and unfortunate events. Here is the 100% final parts list, and reasons for picking those parts over my original ideas.

Case: Corsair 570X RGB Tempered Glass Case (got it at a great price during an eBay sale, phanteks case quality didn't impress me in person)
CPU: Pin-Modded Tualatin Pentium III 1.4GHz (was cheaper than any other Socket 370 chip with a heatspreader (req'd for block)
Motherboard: AOpen AX34-U (Black PCB - cost me a couple of dollars locally. Recapped.)
RAM: 2 x Micron 256MB SDRAM PC133 CL2 (original planned RAM, works. That's about it.)
AGP Graphics Card: Canopus Spectra 8800 (GeForce2 Ultra, non reference design - original plan)
PCI Graphics Card: 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 PCI (Original plan)
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Platinum (CT4760 - original plan)
SATA Controller: Promise SATA150 TX4 (AGP card overlapped the IDE ports on this new motherboard and even my smallest IDE cables wouldn't fit, so had to get an external controller and settled on full SATA since I'd needed one anyway)
HDD: Seagate 80GB 7200RPM (SATA - see above)
SSD: Either a Samsung 850 EVO. (original plan)
PSU: Corsair CX850M (original plan)

CPU Block: Koolance PLT-UN50F Cold Plate, 50mm x 50mm mounted with a modded Socket370/A Retention Clip (original plan)
RAM Block: Barrow RAMWBT-PA RAM Water Block (got it as part of a hardware swap and decided to through it in here)
Radiator: XSPC EX360 (good price, fits at the front of new case)
Pump: Laing DDC-1T Plus 18W (got it for an absolute steal on eBay brand new)
Pump Top: Barrow Acrylic DDC Pump Top (worked well with unplanned pump)
Reservoir: Barrow 250mm Tube Reservoir (above)
Pump, Pump Top and Res are all one unit.
Coolant: EK Ekoolant EVO UV Lime Green (fits the theme)
Fittings: Various Chrome Barrow Fittings (matches CPU block)
Tubing: EK HD 10/12mm Acrylic Tubing (original plan)
Fan Controller: Bitspower X-Station Power Female I UV (after RGB fans died and caught fire... that's a fun post to read about.)

Colours: Still absolutely sticking to my original plan for the black/UV Green/UV Blue Highlights theme.
Lighting: 2x 30cm Bitspower UV CCFLs. Multiple Nanoxia Rigid LED UV bars as required.
Fans: Noctua NF-F12 x 5.
UV Acrylic Mods: We've got custom made UV reactive GPU/Audio card backplates, custom internal UV case panels!
Custom Case Panels: Long time in the making, and a fairly unique case mod by any standard. Custom acrylic panels with direct printed ink onto them with custom art - not stock clipart or anything!
Cabling: Custom sleeved 20 pin ATX cable. Custom sleeved molex cables.

Optical Drive - No ODD slot in new case.
NB Cooling - Not worth it.
Sleeved IDE cables - See SATA note - won't work on new board.

3dfx V5 water blocks - I know what block I want, but it's expensive to ship internationally. If I end up doing it in the future, I've reserved space for a second pump/res at the back of the case.

If I do it, it'll be on a separate loop.

::Original Post::
As I posted in another thread, I'm currently undertaking quite a unique build. I thought I'd give it its own thread so I can share my progress, thoughts and pictures -- and hopefully what I learn along the way. My build logs tend to be quite text heavy, so feel free to skip all of it and just look at pretty pictures as they come. 😵

This first post is a bit of a prologue to the build log to describe the whats, hows and whys of this build.

I have a garage full of lovely yellowing beige boxes with nice grey IDE cables, rainbow PSU cables and delta fans that make it feel like I'm back in a server room if I turn more than one on. I love them all and use them regularly. Each serves its own purpose. One is for DOS gaming. One is for Win9x gaming. One is for Glide games. One is exclusively built for ScreamTracker. Some are just OEM models that serve as nothing more than relics and reminders of an age gone by.

Going back to 2014 or thereabouts, I vividly remember having a laugh with a mate of mine while we were out having dinner on the weekend, discussing some new PC cases we saw on YouTube from a trade show. "Wouldn't it be awesome to build an old computer in a new case?" We discussed it for a couple of minutes and the conversation naturally changed course. Regardless, the idea was stuck in my mind.

It went through many phases over time, often just ideas that floated into my head while doing something completely different and unrelated. I always ended up shrugging it off as nothing more than bordem at work, but over the months the idea evolved and I eventually started taking notes, making sketches.

I'm still not sure what triggered it, but I recently put my foot down and decided that I wanted to do something different. I want to make a build that is truly unique and my own.

The plan is to build a full retro PC system, decked out with some of the best hardware (excluding SMP since it'll run W98Se) from the year 2000 or so. The overall computer is inspired by the case mods of old, while embracing and incorporating the modern luxuries of high-end computer building and modding.

Putting off my biennial main PC upgrade to have some spare cash to put towards this project, I really want to make it the best it can be. I try to attend LAN parties and similar events when I can, but no matter which cool new games come out, I always ending up playing the exact same games I play on retro PCs. As I've never had a dedicated LAN box, this will be the PC I begin to take to them from now on.

When I started properly planning this build, I knew there were going to be some big challenges to overcome:

  • Finding a case that is suitably modern and visually pleasing, with water cooling support and a nice side panel - while also keeping a mid-tower footprint, an optical bay and hard drive compartments not visible through the window. It would preferably also have a PSU shroud.
  • Sourcing water cooling components that work with 15+ year old hardware. Not only that, but they had to work with each other without mixing metals or having to use too many different adapters due to thread and tube sizing differences.
  • Keeping a modern look with old, colour mismatched hardware.
  • Be able to pass as a fairly modern PC at a glance, but clearly be an old computer when actually looking at the components.
  • Keep the spirit and aesthetics of late 90s and early 00s modding within the design choices.
  • All water cooling or mods done should be completely non-destructive and one hundred percent reversible to the old hardware, allowing them to be taken out and put back into their original state with no issues. No thermal epoxies on graphics cards, for example.
  • Make sure all the hardware and cabling fits and looks great.

So we'll first start with the retro hardware. The parts in green are set in stone, the parts in red are subject to change.

CPU: Intel Pentium III 1.0GHz/256k/133MHz (SL52R) - May swap to SL5QJ model with the heatspreader for easier CPU block usage.
Motherboard: ASUS CUSL2 - Will likely be using this, but will swap to an ASUS CUSL2-C Black Pearl or AOpen AX34 Pro II for the black PCB if I come across one at a price I'm willing to pay. I would also consider a Supermicro 370SSR onboard SCSI and LAN.
RAM: 2 x Micron 256MB SDRAM PC133 CL2 - I'm not super fussed on the memory side. Might use some more exotic VCM SDRAM if I end up getting the AX34 Pro II.
AGP Graphics Card: Canopus Spectra 8800 (GeForce2 Ultra, non reference design)
PCI Graphics Card: 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 PCI
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Platinum (CT4760) - Would be happy to swap if I come across something better. I do have a Guillemot Maxi Studio ISIS, but the drivers for that are pretty awful.
HDD: 2 x Maxtor DiamondMax 40GB 7200rpm drives - I have quite a few Maxtor DiamondMax drives, but may swap for a Deathstar 75GXP 75GB. Not sure I want to take the risk. Probably won't.
ODD: Undecided - Part of me wants to use an oldschool high end 16x DVD drive, but I also want a black drive to match the case. Might go with a faceplace or vinyl cover, or might just use a 2004-2005 era black IDE drive.

Next up is the modern hardware.

Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Tempered Glass Edition - It is one of the few cases I could find at a reasonable price point that incorporated nearly all the features I wanted. Black case with side panel, optical bay, water cooling support, 3.5" drives hidden out of sight, PSU shroud, not a full tower case. There will have to be some modding done to get it to look the way I want though.
SSD: Samsung 850 Pro 128GB - I have a spare one and wouldn't mind sacrificing it to the lack-of-TRIM-support Gods with a SATA to IDE adapter after aligning partition w/ blocks. No clue if it'll even work. Will find out.

  • Corsair CX850M[/url] - I have this spare already. 25A 5v / 25A 3.3V @ 130W, with a single rail design. Might change if it not powerful enough. I've never put two top tier video cards in an old PC before.

    CPU Water Block: Koolance PLT-UN50F - I was originally going to use a Swiftech MCW372, but for a little bit more I could get this block. Being only 12mm tall, I'm certain I can mount it using a salvaged Pentium 3 retention clip from a spare cooler. It has the benefit of being a new block with new manufacturing techniques, so less likely to leak and uses the fairly standard G1/4 BSP threading. It was built for industrial applications so it doesn't come cheap, but no standard modern CPU block will fit.
    Northbridge Water Block: Undecided - Don't want to pick one until I've 100% confirmed my motherboard.
    RAM Water Block: 2 x Alphacool D-RAM Module + Alphacool D-RAM Cooler X2 Universal - a nice, simple RAM watercooling set that also shows the liquid.
    3dfx Water Blocks: 2 x EK-VGA Supremacy - possibly the best water block that'll fit on the V5 5500 without any modification or custom fabrication. A bit pricey though so I may shop around some more, but I want to avoid the cheap Chinese/eBay blocks as the last thing I need is leaks.

    Now let's talk a little bit about the mods and the overall look.

    It's quite important to me that this build looks modern, while staying true to its late 90s and early 00s roots. To me, that means modern design with oldschool style.

    Taking a look back at the early days of case modding and LAN parties, there are a few things that really stuck with me. UV CCFL tubes and UV reactive components -- blue and green mainly. UV acrylic panels everywhere. UV/LED fans. Rounded IDE cables. Single sleeved paracord cables. Acrylic/Aluminium fan grills. Case stickers. Soft tubing watercooling that looks like spaghetti. 5.25" fan controllers.

    Compared to modern design, there are some parallels and some stark differences. UV has gone out of favour to be replaced with RGB. RBG everything. Everything is colour coordinated to the minutest detail. Single sleeved cables have been replaced with individually sleeved paracord or PET wires. Fan grills have been replaced with dust filters. 5.25" bays have all but disappeared. Minimalist is more in favour - people want a clean, tidy case where cable and tube management is king.

    I believe in many of these cases, the two eras can be married together to create something that's both old and new.
    • Colours: The modern trend of colour themed builds can be applied to the UV trend of the 90s/early 00s. The build will consist of a black case, with a green UV cabling/water cooling liquid, with some blue UV highlights.
    • Cabling: I will use the modern single wire sleeving trend, using the aforementioned colours. The ATX power cable will have black and UV green sleeving, the Molex cables will be green UV sleeving. I will also sleeve the IDE cables (already done some early testing) to match the ATX cable.
    • UV Acrylic: Acrylic is still used in case mods to this day, but often not UV. I plan on using green UV acrylic subtlety. The whole back of the case surrounding the motherboard will be a cut-to-size UV green acrylic sheet with holes cut for cable runs. With vinyl stickers placed around the edge of the holes with a few millimeters of margin, the sheet will be painted black before peeling off the vinyl. This will leave a UV green glow around each of the cable holes that should look nice!
    • Lighting: There will be NO RGB lights in this case. I will decide between either Darkside Modding UV LEDs (heard great things and love their sleeving), or a Monsoon UV CCFL kit. Leaning towards CCFL for the oldschool factor, but with this kit being modern and up-to-date, the inverter shouldn't burst into flames...
    • Backplates: I will likely fabricate a backplate for each of the expansion cards in the system out of acrylic.
    • Fans: I am undecided on fans. I don't want to go full oldschool UV fans since they tend to be loud and likely won't work well with radiators. I may use a modern high static pressure non-LED fan with the shroud painted.
    • Other Water Cooling Components: I plan to use a 280mm radiator at the top, with an undecided reservoir/pump combo mounted to the right of the motherboard tray. I am hoping to get one that has some form of UV reactive component. Will probably use Barrow fittings, since they tend to be of comparible quality to Bitspower (top water cooling brand), but cost a lot less. Some people think they are made by the same people.
    I've got all of the retro hardware in my possession already. I will be doing some final sanity checks this weekend on the new parts to make sure I didn't overlook anything before ordering, and then once it has all arrived I hope to get building each weekend and possibly some weekdays after work.

    At the end of the day, if I can make a system that performs like a beast, but is interesting enough for me to be able to have a conversation about it at LAN parties and talk to some people about retro hardware who might not know about the hobby and the fun/challenges associated with it, I'll be happy. Though it will (hopefully) look new and shiny, it's still absolutely retro at its core, and that's what matters most to me.

    I should be getting my proper camera back from its RMA shortly, so once I have that and the new parts I'll start posting pictures and the build log.

    Always happy to hear any suggestions, comments or criticism on part choices, design or just calling me an idiot for doing this. 🤣
Last edited by x0zm_ on 2018-04-28, 11:34. Edited 12 times in total.

Reply 1 of 170, by x0zm_

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Yeah, decided to go against the RAM water cooling when I started sizing up radiator clearance. I'll just find some nice looking passive heatsinks instead. I think I can pick up some NOS era-accurate ones fairly easily.

As for the CPU, I'll use it if I really have to but I'd prefer not to. I do have some of the arctic silver adhesive from use on other projects. I'll see how well it holds when full of water with end caps attached. As I said I don't want to use anything I can't reverse, but the CPU is probably one of the easiest things to come across while being cheap and plentiful.

Also made some good progress on picking parts.

Though I was going to go with a 280mm radiator, there's an amazing deal on an XSPC EX240 Crossflow rad - only $45 AUD brand new. For comparison, the next cheapest 240mm rad is $85 from the same store, and the cheapest 280 is $109.

Speaking of amazing deals, super sexy 160mm FrozenQ cylinder reservoirs for only $29 AUD each from one of the largest PC stores in the country. I wasn't originally going to go with FrozenQ, but for a quality brand that offers something unique AND the fact at this price, they are price competitive with the no-brand eBay Chinese ones... can't really say no.

I have no idea why they are that cheap. They possibly just want to get rid of them. They cost $89.99 USD to buy direct from FrozenQ. Since these use UV CCFLs, it has pretty much solidified my choice to go with CCFL lighting too since I'll need the inverter now regardless.

Picture below to show what they are.


So considering my total spend for the radiator + res has gone from a planned $200 AUD down to $75 if I get one res or $105 if I get two res - I'm very happy with that. Not having the RAM blocks as well is saving me another $80 AUD or so as well. I'll find another way to re-invest the money into something nice in this system.

I *may* just go overkill (as if It wasn't already) and do a dual loop system for around the same planned total cost after factoring in pumps. One UV green, one UV blue. Decisions, decisions...

Reply 2 of 170, by PhilsComputerLab

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Looks like a fun project 😀

I dig the mix of old and new. I'm actually working on something involving a tempered glass case as well, though nothing as fancy as yours. Looking forward to seeing the progress and finished build.

YouTube, Facebook, Website

Reply 3 of 170, by x0zm_

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Jade Falcon wrote:

Might want to look into these for the ram

Yeah, I'm going to use that or very similar. Just depends what I can find locally, trying to import as little as possible since those shipping rates to Australia from anywhere (excluding China) are a total killer. I've tried the RAM heatsinks from China before and they were just plain awful. Clips didn't work. Didn't match up, slightly bent. That said, since I have to order cathodes from the US anwyay, I'll see what they have available.

Decided to skip the NB water block and go with an oldschool copper heatsink and a fan. Gotta pay that homage. Also been doing some loop planning. Currently looking at a dual loop, two colour system. Here's a rough image of it. Doesn't show the bends, but gives a rough idea.


Using those underpriced FrozenQ res as my base, I'll be doing UV blue coolant in the green res, and UV green coolant in the blue res.

It's a shame that the V5500 water blocks in/out are the orientation they are, because that makes the crossflow radiator impractical. But that's life. I'll be looking into finding, or making a support brace due to the weight of the blocks. It's probably like holding up two boulders for the poor card given its stock heatsinks 🙁

I couldn't find any information on the in/out on the Koolance block, so I shot them an email asking which is which for loop planning. The other good news is that I did some measuring and weighing, and my retention clip will almost certainly fit on the CPU as is. I pulled it from a cooler that was 11mm tall from base to where the clip was, the block is 12mm tall. The cooler was also heavier than the block by almost twice as much. I will test it on a spare dying board and dead CPU first though. Not going to risk breaking anything. If not, thermal epoxy it is.

Also looking to see where I can save some more money on it. I'm going to be shopping around for something cheaper than EK rads, and possibly pumps. Not many companies have nice looking pumps. Can get the non-Crossflow XSPC rads $10 cheaper each from where I'm buying my Reservoirs but I don't know how shipping will affect the total overall cost.

I'll still be looking for somewhere to put my drain ports.

Speaking to my housemate, he reckons I should still use the oldschool rounded UV IDE cables which I may do. They could work very nicely and fit in with the overall design, given the tubing being a similar diameter.

Considering spending a bit more on some glass tubing, but only if some items I have on eBay sell in time. Otherwise it's leftover 10/12mm PETG from main PC for me.

With all that said, my current shopping list is as follows:

Radiators: EK CoolStream SE 240 Slim Dual Radiator x 2 (will likely change to another brand)
Pumps: EK Plexi XTOP with SPC-60 x 2 (will change to another brand if it looks good, performs good enough and is cheaper)
GPU Block: EK-VGA Supremacy Universal GPU Block x 2 (the only thing that'll fit, so stuck paying for it)
CPU Block: Koolance PLT-UN50F
CCFL Lighting: Performance Pcs Luxury Cold Cathode Kit V3 - UV (need to import this sadly, but don't want cheap Chinese things who's inverters will combust)
Compression Fittings: Barrow Rigid 12mm OD Hard Tube Pipe Compression Fitting x 30 (tentative qty)
T Fittings: Barrow T-Block Ball 3 Way Tee x 2

So it's been a productive weekend so far for me. Hope to get purchasing this week and building in the coming weekend!

Reply 4 of 170, by TELVM

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x0zm_ wrote:

... SSD: Samsung 850 Pro 128GB - I have a spare one and wouldn't mind sacrificing it to the lack-of-TRIM-support Gods with a SATA to IDE adapter after aligning partition w/ blocks. No clue if it'll even work. Will find out ...

Ha ha epic! Instead of a SATA-IDE adapter you could use some PCI RAID card to provide a SATA connector to plug the SSD into, this would 'boost your SSD speeds noticeably' 😀 .


x0zm_ wrote:

... PSU: Corsair CX850M - I have this spare already. 25A 5v / 25A 3.3V @ 130W, with a single rail design. Might change if it not powerful enough. I've never put two top tier video cards in an old PC before ...

I think that PSU will provide ample of power for the application 🤣 . And being DC-DC regulated it will have no problems handling an old style +5V heavy/+12V light system like this.

Let the air flow!

Reply 5 of 170, by x0zm_

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Bunch of bad news today.

So I checked out the Enthoo Pro M I was planning to purchase in person today during my lunch break at work, and I wasn't really impressed by it. I think I'll reconsider it and look for another case - possibly the In Win 303.

There's no optical drive, but all the games I'll be playing on it won't require it anyway. If I really need one to install a game, I'll make an ISO or use an external drive.

The case looks quite nice for a showcase computer in my opinion. The build quality was solid and the tinted glass on it was nice. The unique radiator placement was also pretty nice.

But there was also a second problem. A friend of mine had some of the exact GPU blocks I was planning on using for the 3dfx card. We put them on my broken one tonight as a test, and it wasn't good. The card was bending *a lot*. I don't feel confident running it on a working card long term, so I may skip watercooling that and instead leave it stock (or Vantec cooler), and just watercool the CPU purely for aesthetics at this point. I doubt that I could've OC'd the 5500 safely much anyway beyond 183MHz.

Also, the blue FrozenQ res I wanted was only available to Western Australia, so I'd have to settle with red unless I can convince the store otherwise. Meh.

I'll likely still OC the CPU, I'd be stupid not to. But if TELVM's idea works and it feels nicer having a faster SSD compared to the FPS improvements from the OC, I might stick with stock, buy a modded Tualatin from that guy in Korea and run the SATA PCI card. It'd cost me about the same to purchase the modded tualatin 1.4GHz and a 1.0GHz coppermine w/ the heatspreader anyway. Always nice to have some choices here.

With all those changes, the loop and setup would probably look something like this:


That setup cut about $400 off the price of the previous setup. I might go for a longer pump/res combo and have it horizontal along the bottom. Will have to look at pricing for that.

On the bright side - I may just use that money from GPU blocks to buy that overpriced CUSL2 Black Pearl on eBay, or trawl Yahoo Auctions for an AOpen board since they have a seeming abundance of them there. Or I may just put it into savings. We'll see what I can find 😀

Reply 6 of 170, by x0zm_

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AGP card isn't compatible with any water blocks I found. Has some strange hole spacing. Not too much of an issue, if I find a solution to cooling either card in the future I can just add it in. Tubing is cheap. I do have a spare Quadro2 Pro which I may try it on though. Seems to be built fairly well and it's only one block for that.

I'll skip on the modded CPU in that case. I have my eye on another Aopen AX34-U. I posted one in the eBay thread before, but this one doesn't have bad caps and it is listed at a reasonable price. Black PCB, native Tualatin support, better ATX power placement, ISA slot and AGP 4x slot. We'll see how that goes.

Heard back from Koolance today - inlet/outlet for CPU doesn't matter so that's good. Can get the blue res that I wanted, so that's also good. Sold some eBay stuff, so that's good as well. That means I'm going to go for a D5 pump instead. D5 + 360 Rad will provide plenty of headroom for any GPU expansion whether it is current cards if a solution is found, or different cards in the future.

Found a place locally to buy some RAM heatspeaders and NB coolers, so I'll get those. Just need to measure the hole spacing for the NB first. My options are the previously mentioned Vantec ones, the Scythe Kama Wing CU or some Thermaltake one I don't remember. I'll probably just end up with whatever looks the best for the price.

So with my shopping list all but complete for the time being, I just have to decide on some fans and then I'm set to purchase hopefully tonight or tomorrow. Since there's a total of seven fan slots (3x rad, 3x bottom intake, 1x rear exhaust), I'll be sticking with low RPM fans since I have no PWM control - which is a shame since I was going to stick with some of the Noctua Industrial fans I had spare here, but at 2000RPM I'd rather not.

Might have to look at getting one of those 5.25" fan controllers with PWM, remove the PCB from the casing and just stick it in the back of the case somewhere. hmm...

Reply 7 of 170, by x0zm_

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Jade Falcon wrote:

Alpha cool as a block with some universal mounts that may fit.

I assume the Alphacool HF 14 Smart Motion? That would work, I didn't see that one before in my searches. 40mm to 78mm mounting distance, two mounting holes instead of four, 163 grams. I shot off an email to the usual stores around here to see if any of them can get it from their suppliers/distributors.

Reply 8 of 170, by x0zm_

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Alright, so it's going to take awhile to get the GPU blocks in. I've decided I'm going to go ahead and order everything and build it to ensure it works as planned, and then just add the GPU blocks when they arrive.

I'm pretty happy with how the shopping list turned out. A few of the items are on special, B-stock, or used items to save money. Radiator is B-stock with some scratching on the side you won't see, FrozenQ reservoirs are 71% off because they are old clearance stock, the case is ex-demo, the IDE cables were a couple of dollars each on clearance.

Finalised Hardware shopping list (minus fans):

  • Alphacool HF 14 Smart Motion Universal Nickel Edition x 3 (GPU blocks)
  • Barrow 12mm OD Rigid Tube Compression 90° Elbow Female to Female (Silver) x 12
  • Barrow 12mm OD Rigid Tube Compression 90° Elbow Female to G1/4" Male Fitting (Silver) x 6
  • Barrow Rigid 12mm OD Hard Tube Pipe Compression Fitting (Silver) x 8
  • Barrow G1/4 Liquid Water Cooling System Mini Ball Valve (Silver) x 1
  • Bitspower CCFL Inverter Kit x 1 (for FrozenQ res CCFLs)
  • EK HD Tube 10/12mm 500mm (2 pieces) x 3
  • EK Ekoolant EVO Lime Green Premix 1000mL Coolant x 2 (would've preferred mayhems, but too expensive to import)
  • FrozenQ LF Reaction UV Blue Helix 160mm Tube Reservoir x 2
  • In Win 303 Black Case x 1
  • Koolance PLT-UN50F x 1 (CPU block)
  • Phobya 4Pin Molex to 9x 3Pin Fan Splitter PCB x 1
  • PPCS Luxury Cold Cathode Kit V3 - UV (Purple) x 1
  • Round IDE Cable UV Green x 3 (in case I can't get my sleeving to work the way I want)
  • XSPC EX360 Triple Fan 360mm Radiator x 1
  • XSPC Photon D5 270 Tube Reservoir (Includes Single D5 12V Pump) x 1

Finalised modding/decoration shopping list:

  • Acrylic Cast Fluorescent Colour Sheet - Flourescent Green 610mm x 610mm x 1 (for case backing)
  • Acrylic Cast Fluorescent Colour Sheet - Flourescent Green A3 297mm x 420mm x 1 (for card backplates)
  • Darkside 2mm (5/64") High Density Cable Sleeving - Green UV x 10Ft/3m
  • Darkside 2mm (5/64") High Density Cable Sleeving - Graphite x 10Ft/3m
  • Darkside 4mm (5/32") High Density Cable Sleeving - Green UV x 5Ft/1.5m
  • Darkside 4mm (5/32") High Density Cable Sleeving - Graphite x 5Ft/1.5m
  • Female Molex Housing UV Green x 2
  • Female 20 pin ATX Housing UV Green x 1

I'm going to do some experimenting with cable combs before I buy some. The plan is to use 24 pin ATX and cut then file it down to 20 pin. For molex, I plan to use 8 pin ATX and run the two molex cables together from each video card.

I won't decide on an IDE to SATA adapter or PCI SATA card until I find out if I'll be getting the AOpen motherboard that supports Tualatin or not. I'll be buying fans last, as I want to find the quietest ones I can. Not too worried about those since I'll be buying them in physical store so I don't have to worry about shipping times.

I might have to get another acrylic scorer if I can't find mine but they're only a few dollars at the hardware or art store. The biggest issue I'm going to have is cutting holes in the acrylic backplate for the case since I don't have access to a table saw at my new house. Might have to ask neighbours to borrow a jigsaw.

I didn't want to dip into my collection, so I bought an original PIII case sticker, an Asus case sticker and an old Nvidia case sticker. A fellow Australian on eBay said he could make me an AOpen and 3dfx one as well, which I might get. I'll be placing them on the top of the case.

Also have my eyes on an HP P1230 (Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2070SB rebadge) CRT to accompany this beast. Only $10, but it's a two hour drive...

Reply 9 of 170, by x0zm_

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Made some progress over the weekend:

Picked up the AOpen AX34-U motherboard for $5 locally. I haven't tested it yet but seems to be in good condition. Even though the capacitors are in seemingly good shape, I'm going to recap it anyway since I don't trust these Lelon brand caps currently on it. They'll be replaced with Panasonic FM caps which I've just ordered from Digikey. I don't know if it'll perform better than the CUSL2 (Intel 815E vs VIA Apollo Pro 133T) with a Coppermine-T CPU, but if it's within reasonable performance I will likely use it just for the visual appeal of the black PCB. It does support native Tualatin though so chances are it'll be on top regardless.

I also got my hands on the HP P1230 monitor, which will be the monitor of choice for this PC - at least at home. I'm not carrying this 30kg monster around everywhere.

I swapped the In Win 303 case for a Corsair Crystal 570X case. By the time I factored in fan pricing and some other things (20% off + free shipping on eBay), it worked out cheaper and it's a much higher quality case, with the added bonus of a built-in fan controller.

Reply 10 of 170, by x0zm_

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Haven't posted an update in awhile - power's been out from storms, and still is. Posting this from my phone. 😢


There's actually multiple trees down and almost all the power lines on the street are down. They are estimating they will be repaired by tomorrow.

Anyway, onto updates.

I was delivered TWO Corsair 570X cases by accident. How they managed to mess that up, I don't know. When I called the company, they said to keep the second since it'd cost more than it's worth to pick it up by courier on the weekend. So that's a nice present. I will likely give it to a friend if they want it, or just resell it.

Since the power has been out, I haven't been able to do much of anything that was productive. I've measured up cabling runs that I'll need and how much acrylic I'll have to get my hands on for tray backing and card backplates.

One thing I've been struggling with is deciding on these backplate designs. Every other time it has either been a single card or SLI/Crossfire setup with the same card, so the design remains the same. In this system the GF2 is 205mm long, V5 is 245mm long and the soundcard is 135mm long. At the moment I'm considering a UV green acrylic sheet that is painted black, with an exception for an approx. 5mm border around the edges, and some sort of design along the top edge.

Ah well, should be more productive when I can actually do something. 🤣

Reply 11 of 170, by ATi_Loyalist

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I love the idea behind this project! Will be following

Modern Rig: ASRock Z97 ITX | I5-4690K | GTX 970 | EK Watercooling | Lian Li PC-O6S
Middle Aged Rig: Asus P5Q | Core 2 Duo E8400 | Radeon HD4890
Retro Rig: Asus P4C800 | P4 3.4 Northwood | Radeon X850 Pro
Ancient Rig: Pentium 166 W | S3 Trio

Reply 12 of 170, by x0zm_

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ATi_Loyalist wrote:

I love the idea behind this project! Will be following


We've got some photos today, finally!


This arrived in the mail today. I bought it on eBay brand new for about $40 AUD including postage. I think it's the first time in my life I've seen a non third party branded Laing pump.

MHHEK02l.jpg ex0IkhXl.jpg

Opening it up it is exactly as expected. Both PWM and Molex available. Going to have to sleeve those cables though!



Recapped the AOpen AX34-U motherboard on the weekend with those Panasonic FM caps. It turned out pretty well, even if some of the hole spacing was off - but I had to buy them in batches of five and didn't want to buy five of one cap with a different pitch for one cap.


An overview of the parts I have so far (minus SSD which is still sitting in another computer in the garage).


Obligatory build log hardware glamour shot.

Tomorrow I'll be receiving my CPU water block, UV molex/ATX connectors and rounded IDE cables from the US via UPS. It's just passed through Customs earlier this morning, so I'll update with pics of that once I get it.

Reply 13 of 170, by x0zm_

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New stuff in the mail today!

CPU Waterblock. Was a pain to find something that'd work, so I'm glad that's out of the way.


And when the new 1.4GHz Tualatin arrives, this is what it'll look like!


Also have the UV molex and 20 pin ATX connectors for inside the case


And now the postage waiting game continues 😀

Reply 14 of 170, by ATi_Loyalist

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Dude that's awesome!! Watercooled PIII. Not something you see every day! Even around here!

Modern Rig: ASRock Z97 ITX | I5-4690K | GTX 970 | EK Watercooling | Lian Li PC-O6S
Middle Aged Rig: Asus P5Q | Core 2 Duo E8400 | Radeon HD4890
Retro Rig: Asus P4C800 | P4 3.4 Northwood | Radeon X850 Pro
Ancient Rig: Pentium 166 W | S3 Trio

Reply 15 of 170, by x0zm_

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Jade Falcon wrote:

Between the fittings and tubing will there even be room for the mounting clip for the CPU block?

Yeah. Koolance provides a diagram and I double checked. The Barrow fittings for 12mm tubing are 20mm in diameter, which would leave me exactly 1cm between the fittings for the clip - which would fit any clip I have on hand. All good on that front 😀

Reply 16 of 170, by x0zm_

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Getting close to being able to build - albeit much later than I was initially expecting. Some more items arrived today! Sadly I can't start putting it together until the Tualatin CPU arrives, which is coming from that guy in Korea that sells the modded ones. Was cheaper to buy a modded one than any of the unmodded ones locally by about half the cost. 😢

I did change my cathode kit from the PPCs one I was originally planning on since they were out of inverters, so I went for a simple Bitspower kit.



Mmm. Oldschool. Going to have to sleeve those cables though.


XSPC EX360 radiator arrived too. Will be going at the front of the case.


So did my acrylic tubing. Bought more than I needed so I can do some experimenting and leaves room for error.


2L of the EK Ekoolant EVO UV Green coolant. Again, more than I needed but better safe than sorry.


A lot of these UV green IDE cables. I also got some UV blue ones. They cost me less than one dollar each, so I will use some for experimenting with different placements, cutting off the slave, etc.

My Barrow reservoir passed customs and was handed to my local mail distribution facility so I should have that shortly with some luck, but who knows with Australia Post.

As soon as that CPU gets here and I can measure tubing runs and order fittings, the following weekend should be great 😀

I've already tested all the hardware to verify it works outside the case, but with an 866MHz Coppermine so the results aren't optimal - but that wasn't the point. I'll re-run the tests with the new CPU and if that works, it's time to make this beast. 😎

The other things I'm doing such as the SSD, backplates and sleeved extensions will come last since they are the least important for functionality. Once I'm confident the system works as intended without leaks on the cooling side and stable on the hardware side, then I'll start adding the nice extras.

Oh how much easier this would have been in the University days when I had all the free time in the world (but no money to spend) 😉

Reply 18 of 170, by x0zm_

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Richo wrote:

Where did you get this sleeved uv cables or are those home made?

Haven't made my own in a loooong time. A local family owned PC store in the city had them on sale for next to nothing each on clearance. I know in the USA that Performance PCs still sell them in lots of lengths/colours but shipping is very expensive. There's a seller or two for them in the UK on eBay too. Pretty easy to find searching UV round IDE in Google/eBay/other sites.

I wouldn't have bothered if I had to pay shipping though.

Reply 19 of 170, by x0zm_

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Reservoir came the other day, and built it last night. Took apart the DDC pump and put it inside. Had to dig around the garage for my Torx pieces which took a lot longer than I was expecting. Don't think I used them since I moved here.



Just waiting on that darn CPU now 😵