Parts have started streaming in, and of course as soon as I get a piece I gingerly open the box and inspect each component.
Today I got the motherboard, and so I decided to install the M.2 NVMe drive! It’s my first time installing one so it took me a while to figure out that the motherboard had heat-sinks screwed on over each of the M.2 drive slots. Well, this only got worse when I realized that my M.2 drive wasn’t a bare PCB - it has an RGB heat sink already on it, so it’s not compatible with the included heat-sinks on the motherboard.
To make things worse, there was no M2 3mm screw included for fastening the drive without the included heatsink… eventually I realize I could rip the weird M2 screw from the heat sink free of it’s slot and use that, but boy it certainly isn’t perfect. It gets the job done though. I’ll know for next time if I’m upgrading storage to get a bare M.2 drive that’ll be compatible.
Okay I know, I should boot up the system to ensure my CPU wasn’t DOA before going here, but I was just too damn excited. I wanted to install this water block SO DAMN BAD, so I did, yolo. If the system doesn’t post, then I get to have the joys of debugging it.
Anyhew, so here’s the process of installing the CPU Waterblock
1. Remove existing CPU backplate and plastic mount points
Install new backplate and stand-offs
Seat that dank new CPU in all it’s 12 cores of glory
Clean w/ 99% iso & apply thermal paste
Spend 10 minutes figuring out the correct orientation for input/output tubes versus the distro plate without having the case yet
Seat the block and tighten it down
Alright so, the radiator arrived! But upon opening the damn thing, I realized it was missing plugs and bolts that the manual said it should include. Without those plugs, I’ll have water gushing all over the place and without screws… I guess I have to duct tape the thing to my case? Yeah… not cool.
I reached out to Amazon, they said I could either return for full refund or keep it and take a discount. I, not wanting to wait for another one to ship here, took the discount and decided to use that to cover the components I’d need.
Well, while doing this, I also realized I had completely overlooked a fill/drain setup! A highly recommended step when prepping a custom loop is flushing the radiator, it has all sorts of welds and solders in very tight space so you need to flush any potential gunk out of there. Every EE loves the smell of leaded solder, but that shits not so nice for your rig.
Now, I ordered 3x EK Vardar f3-120’s for my rads. So obviously as soon as my rad got here I wanted to bolt those puppies onto it! Well, the included screws with the fans were incompatible with my radiator. The threads on the radiator holes were insanely small diameter. I honestly have no idea what the threading is… the specification for the rad says it includes
G1/4 * 5 bolts. IDK what that means, but I think what I’ll end up doing is just buying nuts/bolts from home depot and drilling out the insanely tiny threaded holes on the rad. I’ll have to do some more research on that note.
In the mean time, I know I need the following, which I promptly ordered:
- At least 3x G1/4 Plugs
- At least two G1/4 pressure Fittings for soft tubing
- Two pieces of soft tubing
- A funnel
- A fill-bottle for the dist plate
So, I ordered all that.
$ cd content && tree