IKONiK (1st To Mod The New Be Quiet Dark Base 900 Pro)

Discussion in 'Die-hard Overclocking & Case Modifications' started by EnviousMods, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. EnviousMods

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    CAD Design Updates:


    I thought it would be helpful to update the original concept design done before starting the IKONiK build. Even though there is not any major changes; it helps you all get an idea of where I'm headed with the build. I've been wanting to do some hardline runs that are very organized and mirrored from top to bottom. The side panels that had been originally planned to go on the outside of the tempered glass panels are now going to be mounted on the inside. In order to do this it decided to go with black and white acrylic and make them into two separate pieces. This looks a lot better and will be more friendly when being shipped to shows.

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    Side Accent Vinyl & Acrylic Install:

    I designed my own accent vinyl for the side of the IKONiK build. I cut them in silver Vvivid vinyl and applied them to the acrylic. I use Vvivid vinyl because it lasts for over 13 yrs and is very high quality. The silver is a perfect match to the silver band that runs along the edge of the Dark Base 900 Pro. Initially it took a bit of thought on how I was going to mount the lower acrylic panel due to the PSU shroud. I came up with a slot that can't be seen and holds the panel in place. It also locked into part of the case in the lower left corner. The top panel was very easy to install using bolts through the factory holes. The best part about mounting the acrylic panels like this is the fact that I can quickly and easily install the tempered glass side panels.

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    New Sponsors: ModMyMods & Alphacool

    I am happy to announce that ModMyMods and Alphacool will be sponsoring all of the water cooling parts needed for the IKONiK build. I've been saving some really neat ideas for this portion of the build and now those ideas will start to become reality. I will update the main page with all of the water cooling parts being used for the build very soon. I know the water cooling portion of the build is something that a lot of you have been waiting patiently for. I will make sure to detail as much as possible along with answering any questions you may have about it.


    Cable Tunnel:

    I've played around with a lot of different ideas for organizing the wiring behind the motherboard tray but none of them have worked as well as this one. The cable tunnel is something I've done before but on a much smaller scale. I wanted something that looked really clean, was easy to install and allowed for quick access to all the wiring. This hits all those points perfectly. I decided to use sheet metal and I'm glad that I did. I could have used acrylic but, I would have had to sacrifice atleast a few millimeters of space. Most of you know how important a few millimeters can be when your talking about wiring space behind the motherboard tray. Now that I have a way to clean up this side of the case I can move forward with ideas to display it instead of covering it all up.

    Recently Be Quiet started offering up the tempered glass side panel as an accessory purchase. This means you can buy the gear needed to give your Dark Base 900 Pro dual tempered glass panels or you can get the tempered glass side panel on a non profit version. I love it when companies offer accessories like this because it gives options to the end user. I haven't decided if I wether I'll use another tempered glass panel or stick with the concept I originally designed. The nice part is that I could switch between the two panels in a matter of minutes if I wanted too.

    Building & Installing The Cable Tunnel:

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    SSD Mount Cover Update:

    As many of you know; if I'm not completely satisfied with something I will change it as many times as it takes to get it just right. The SSD cover that goes behind the motherboard tray fell into that group. It didn't fit the design as much as I would like it to so I spent more time developing a better design. I'm extremely happy with the new design. I still have to do the finish work to the metal and paint the Envious Mods logo.

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  3. EnviousMods

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    OCZ RD400 M.2 SSD Mods:

    After giving it a lot of thought I decided to do some mods and mount the M.2 SSD on the motherboard. This puts the OCZ RD400 SSD in a perfect location. I also ordered a Alphacool heatsink for the SSD. ModMyMods sells them and it was the 1st time that I've seen them. I can't wait till they arrive and I can check then out 1st hand. I started by making a silver backing and re-creating OCZs R they use to signify the RD400s. A OCZ logo was also made out of black chrome an added. It came out great and I can't wait to adapt the design to the Alphacool heatsinks.

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    Vinyl Pattern (Finally Finished):

    I've been working on designing a pattern on and off for the last couple months. I've tried just about every idea and variations of patterns I could think of. I was never quite satisfied with it so I continued to try and figure something out. The final design is very intricate and requires almost an hour to weed a 6 inch (150mm) X 4" section of it. I was able to get part of it installed on the top acrylic piece mounted on the PSU shroud. It looks even better than I could have imagined and I am extremely happy with the results. I have a bit more to do with it but I have to weed another set of it. I'll update soon.

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    Finish Work Continues On The Cable Tunnel:

    I wanted to add some pieces to help clean up the top edge of the metal panels that I built for the back side of the motherboard tray. I had some edge strips that fit the build perfectly and only tool a small amount of modifications to get it to fit correctly. The bolts for the panel are towards the top which interferes with the strip so I filed out the exact amount of space needed to fit the bolt heads. Once they were done it came out really well. Next up for these panels is all the finish work I'll do to the metal itself. It will remove any marks or imperfections.

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    Left Side Mods:

    I didn't want to add to much to this side of the case because I want to keep the outside looking sleek and modern. I designed some acrylic pieces that work with the dual vent mounted on the panel. The design uses long straight lines that keep the modern feel intact. I have to order more 1/8" acrylic so that I can cut the templates I made. The templates were made using cars stock. I translated the design onto the card stock so I could estimate how much acrylic is needed and how well everything will fit. The main piece that still need to be finished is the base plate. This will be the piece that will hold all of the slats together. I tool a couple pics of the current progress on this panel as it will take a while to finish.

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    Headset Stand:

    I've been wanting to build a headset stand for a long time now. I decided that doing one for the IKONiK build would be a great opportunity. Due to my fascination with them I have a lot of different sketches of possible designs. I found one that would fit in with the IKONiK build after a few changes were made. The main panels are made from acrylic and I will make my own custom spacers to connect the two main pieced of acrylic together.

    Starting out I used hardstock to make a template to scale which allows me to check the scale and angles of everything. Now that both pieces are filed to be an exact copy of each other I can start designing the aesthetic additions. I will be using white acrylic and a sheet of black ABS plastic for most of the add on pieces I will make. I'll update the build log once those pieces are together.

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    Update: Pattern Accents

    As previously mentioned, it takes a lot of time to prep even a small amount of the pattern that will be used for a few accents around the build. The pattern is cut in black chrome and will be primarily mounted on black panels. I went this way because I didn't want the pattern to be extremely noticeable. It will only be placed on a few spots. The top of the case has a wireless charging station that is built into the panel on the Dark Base Pro. This works great for me and I added a little bit of the new pattern to this panel.

    I also added some to the front door. Other than this I want to leave the front sleek and clean. The IKONiK EDITiON badge is mounted on the lower portion of the door which rounds out the look I'm going for. The outside of the case will be really clean and subtle in order to pull off the overall design. I couldn't wait to see what this build will looked like sitting next to the APEX build I did for CES. Here's they are.

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    Update: OCZ Vector 180 (480gb) SSD Mods

    I've changed this around quite a bit and I couldn't be happier with the results. I decided to mod a stock looking label on the side of the SSD to match the overall color scheme. I love working with these OCZ SSDS as they are super reliable and come with a classic look. It's one of those things you just know it's built well by holding it. This is the 2nd build I've used them in and they never disappoint. I managed to get it all mocked up and on the back side of the motherboard tray to see what it looks like.

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    Update: Left Side Panel Mockup

    I decided to completely mock up the left side panel with its grill. It's now painted and has its edges almost done. I decided to make all the edges of the acrylic grey to match the build and it also brings together all of the pieces. It also helps to define each slat. The modern design is promoted via the long straight slats the curve back into the side panel. I decided to somewhat stagger where each piece goes back into the panel which gives it that extra added touch I was looking for. I redesigned the shape of these slats a few times but, this came out exactly as I had always imagined it. I am happy I was able to do something neat with this side of the case. A lot of times its forgot about as its not usually even seen. This makes IKONiK interesting from every perspective.

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    Update: Rear Cable Tunnel Metal Finish

    I've decided to start the finish work now that I've completed all the work involved in the cable tunnel and lower cover. I want to carry over the finish work from the front. All of the raw metal has a brushed finish. Brushing metals can be a lot trickier than it seems. It doesn't require any special tools but, to do it well takes technique and practice.

    There are also several different methods that can be used to accomplish a brushed finish. I like to start with a 200 or so grit sandpaper to do the 1st few sets of lines. I feel that the 1st few passes are very important and you want to keep the sandpaper perfectly aligned with the direction your brushing. If you wiggle or deviate in anyway it will show. I start before the piece of metal and drag the sandpaper all the way off the end. This gives an even finish across the entire piece. Once you've evenly brushed this side I started over with approximately 600 grit, 1000 grit and usually finish with 1,200 wet/dry sandpaper. In earlier pictures you can see how beat up the original piece of metal was. All of those scratches came out during the finishing processing. Below is a before and after showing the current progress and where it started.

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    PSU Label Remake: Dark Power Pro 11 1,200 watt


    Since everything is inverted the metal label on the side of the Dark Power Pro 11 1,200 watt PSU is upside down. This drives me nuts so I used custom chrome to make a new decal that perfectly matches the original. I will need to remove the PSU and side plate in order to mount the new one. In the meantime I managed to make the cut files and cut it out on my vinyl cutter. It came out as a dead match on the stock one that comes on the PSU.

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    Cutout For Cable Passthrough:

    The ATX PSU cable needed a cutout and I wasn't able to get to my machine shop so I did with a drill and hand files. Usually I like to use my air cutter but this has the same end result. I had to make sure that it let the cables in flat so it would look very clean from the back. Finishing this will allow me to put on the left side panel also which will be a good milestone for the build. Once I get the side panel on there will only be a few small details left until the watercooling. The 24-pin will have a slight bend to it once I have it connected to the psu. This will give it a more stylized look.

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    Pro Modder Tip:

    Using an angle gauge for bending specific angles. This method works great for those who prefer freestyle bending or don't have a bending tool. There's a little groove through the middle that work perfectly to align the tubing. It also works great for really complex bends or angles that have to be spot on. It uses a wing nut to loosen the tension and pre-set to the proper angle your looking for.

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    Alphacool Special Edition White Radiator Mod Design:

    I will be doing a few mods to the 420mm UT60 White Alphacool radiator. On the side I will add some custom acrylic and vinyl work that will match the rest of the build. I will also add a custom OCOOL badge. On the inside of the radiator the plan is to build a custom shroud that will give it an original look. More than likely I will make the shroud a two layers design using a combination of white and black acrylic. Below I've posted a picture of what the radiator mods will look like. The colors will be a bit different but the design will stay the same.

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  9. EnviousMods

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    Update: Alphacool Water-cooling Enroute

    I just got word that the watercooling from Alphacool is enroute to my shop and will be here in the next few days. I am very excited as I will be able to push forward with the rest of the IKONiK build. I am going to be trying out a few new things along with some new designs in order to implement the water cooling. Once the new water-cooling arrives I will snag some pictures and get right to work. I can tell you that IKONiK will be getting dual pumps and an oh so beautiful special edition white radiator that will be customized. I can't wait to get moving on it and a lot of really neat updates will be here very soon.

    Here's a sneak peek at some of the watercooling goodness heading this way.

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  10. EnviousMods

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    "Now this build is really going to get good. The Watercooling Arrives!"

    Watercooling Arrives From ModMyMods & Alphacool:

    I am extremely excited about the arrival of the watercooling and other parts that recently arrived. As mentioned I will be using a custom dual pump setup. I was lucky to get one of the 1st few sets of the new VPP755 V2 (version 2) Alphacool pumps. I've used the V1s and I liked them a lot. More than likely I will paint the pump housing to match the IKONiK build. Another piece I had really wanted to see is the beastly UT60 Special Edition White 420mm radiator. This super thick rad will also get some custom work. I intentionally ordered a few different versions of fittings compared to what I used on the APEX build. This allowed me to try out a variety of parts made by Alphacool and sold by ModMyMods.

    Here's a few pictures of the water cooling and other gear using my new photography setup. I will also be using the new photogtaphy setup to take final photos of the IKONiK build. I will be starting right away on modding some of this gear so the updates will more often. Without further delay; Here's some highlights from the watercooling parts sent by ModMyMods for the IKONiK build.

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  11. EnviousMods

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    Dual Alphacool VPP755 Pump Mount:

    I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to mount the pumps until I knew their arrangements. Now that I've determined how they will sit I started on making my dual pump mount. There are a few things to consider when making a mount for a pump and even more when making one for two. Vibration is going to happen one way or another. That's one of the reasons I decided to go with an acrylic mount. Aluminum could have also been used in conjunction with rubber dampers. I will use rubber grommets between the mount and the frame.

    The mount will have two 90 degree bends on each side so that it wraps up the sides of the pumps. This gives me more mounting locations as well as gives it an added aesthetic appeal. I used a white/milky cast acrylic because I've been very curious on how it will look. If it's not the look I'm going for it can always paint it white. I used my quick and dirty mini bend table I made for when I'm at my small temporary shop. This allows me to make bends in smaller acrylics and metal without having to drive a mile away to the machine shop. It works really well and only tool about 10 minutes to make. The spacing and bends came out perfectly. All I have left to do is drill a few more holes to give it some added rigidity.

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    Removing a Lower Fan Grill:


    When I build in this case I always remove one of the lower fan grills. Doing so gives me a lot of room to run wiring as well as put extra bits of wiring. This helps organize the PSU area and gives it a much cleaner look. You can either cut it out or use a pair of dikes. I used a pair of dikes and then a metal file to smooth the edges. Now that it's out I will add an edge cover and clean all the metal out of the bottom of the case before putting the PSU back in.

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    Update: Lower Fan Grill

    Now that the grill is removed and all the edges are filed smooth; it is time to put the edging on. This helps protect the cables from rubbing against the metal. It works perfectly and can be found online for really cheap. I bought 5 meters of it for about $5 on ebay. Now I can put the 24pin cable under the PSU along with a couple other cables. This leaves more space under the shroud and allows for an organized cable setup.

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    EVGA GTX980ti Replaced With a EVGA GTX1070 SC:

    As many of you know originally we had planned to use an EVGA GTX980TI for the build. Recently we discovered that Alphacool didn't make a waterblock for it. EVGA was kind enough to replace it with a stunning GTX1070 SC. I had seen what these look like online and pictures don't do it justice. It is very well built. I decided to put some of my new photography gear to work so that I could attempt to show you the true beauty of this card.

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  13. EnviousMods

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    Update: PSU Label Flip

    The one downside of inverting your PC is the labels are all typically inverted as well. Having a little OCD only makes it worse. I really like the look of the label on the Be Quiet Dark Power 11 Pro PSU because it's well made. I could probably remove the metal label using heat but I figured why not take this opportunity to make one of my own based off of the original design I already liked. I have some silver chrome thick vinyl that matches the originally perfectly. I had to make my own design and cut file that I showed on an earlier post. Now that I have everything out of the case I measured and cut a new panel out of very thin acrylic to use as a backing for my new decal. The first mockup of the new decal and it is very close to its final position. It just needs a couple more adjustments. I'll update with pics of it mounted soon.

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    Sneak Peek of The Alphacool Polished Tubing:

    I still have a couple more things to do before I can start cutting the tubing and making the passthroughs but, I couldn't help but mock a bit of the tubing up to see what it will look like. I am even more excited now as I can tell it will look amazing. I carefully designed the layout of the hardline to match the bends so that it would carry on the modern designs cues. I also threw in the new EVGA GTX 1070 SC so I could see about where the tubing will go. Soon I'll have the new block for the GPU and I will be ready to start piping all the water cooling.

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    Adding an Extruded Aluminum Housing For The LEDs:

    I found this alumnus led strip housing online about 3 months ago. It took me a long time to find. It's what they use for glass jewelry displays at stores. The main piece us aluminum and this type comes with a milky white cover that helps to diffuse the lights. I added one strip on the roof above the motherboard and the other one is going vertically along the side. I really enjoy the look of these and they come in several different styles.

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    Fitting Radiator & Mockups:

    Now that the radiator is in and all mocked up I wanted to run most of the tubing on the front side. Even though I won't be using the frosted hardline; it gives me the exact measurements needed in order to perfectly cut the polished chrome tubing. This also gives me a chance to decide exactly where I want to put the passthroughs and flow meter.

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    Vinyl Work For The Alphacool UT60 420mm Radiator:

    I had previously done the design for the vinyl work on the radiator. I decided it was time to get it cut and mounted on the beautiful special white edition 420mm radiator. Originally I was going to do the OCOOL logo in the same silver as the rest of the decal. I decided to cut it out of mirrored chrome instead and I'm glad I did. It gives it a better contrast and gives it a much more polished look.

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    OCOOL Aurora Ring Logo Change:

    The Aurora ring LEDS come with a blue OCOOL logo on them and I wanted the color to match the rest of the build. I decided to make some new logo decals that are the exact same size as the original but, are in the different color. I decided to go with mirrored chrome and they came out great. Taking the OCOOL logo and putting into my design/cut program allowed me to scale it to the correct size. Once I had the proper size it was a matter of cutting and placing the logo so that it matched the stock ones.

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    EVGA Logo Flip:

    The logo on the EVGA Z170 Classified K motherboard was also inverted due to the orientation of the motherboard. I've been playing around with several ideas and this is the latest one. I cut some extremely thin acrylic and covered it in black chrome vinyl. I then cut the EVGA Logo out of the mirrored chrome vinyl and remounted everything. Once I pull everything out again I may repaint the EVGA logo.

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    Custom Painting Eisblock XPX CPU Block:

    I had a spare cover for the Alphacool Eisblock XPX CPU block so I decided to try painting it white. This block is extremely simple to dismantle and prep for paint. There's 4 bolts on the bottom of the block. Once these 4 bolts are removed the 1st plate comes out. The other two plates are held in by pressure and I used a flat head to easily remove the rest of the inner pieces. After that it's just a matter of lightly sanding the bracket and top cover. I primed and then painted it white. After mocking up the block I determined that it seemed like a little too much white for the build. Swapping out the brackets for some black ones really did the trick. I may paint the caps that cover the springs as it will help breakup the white.

    From Stock to Painted:

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    New Alphacool Block & LED Strips Arrive From ModMyMods:

    I finally managed to get my hands on some of the Alphacool LED strips that are not yet available on the market. These strips are well built and 100% diffused which is a big thing in my book. It allows for an even glow instead of a beam coming from the strips. Most of the time I have to add Extruded Aluminum mounts with diffused covers to get the glow I'm looking for. I will be testing these out a bit and using them in the build.

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    I also got the new Alphacool block for the EVGA GTX 1070 SC GPU that recently replaced the GTX 980ti Classified GPU I had originally planned to use. This was swapped out in order to use the components I wanted in the watercooling. It was a much appreciated upgrade and the new EVGA GTX 1070 SC performs like a champ. It offers up more power and used less plugs from the PSU.


    Putting an Alphacool NexXxoS Waterblock on AN EVGA GTX1070SC GPU:

    Once you've done a few of these swaps it becomes very easy to do. It can also be intimidating to those who don't have much experience with them. I start by using a good antistatic work surface such as a Alphacool modding matt. Any antistatic surface will work good. I also use nutrile gloves as they keep oils off of the components and help with any static discharge issues that may arise.

    Usually you will need to start on the side that is opposite from the cooler. If you can remove the little fan/led cables before start it will make it easier. If they are not very accessible, you can remove them once the cooler is loosened. Usually the larger bolts hold the cooler on and there will be 4 of them in a square pattern which are surrounding the GPU chip. I remove the largest ones first which usually removes the backplate. After that's removed I move onto removing the last of the bolts to get the cooler free.

    Once I have the backplate and cooler removed I usually clean off the old or stock thermal paste. Grizzly thermal paste comes with the new cooler and it can be applied once the old paste is removed. To apply my new thermal paste I use an old credit card or store card which allows me to spread a very thin layer of paste across the entire surface. You want it to be thin so that it just covers the entire surface. Once you have thermal pads on both sides it's only a matter of bolting everything back together.

    Installing The GPU Block:

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    NexXxoS Block Mounted on The EVGA GTX 1070 SC GPU:

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  18. EnviousMods

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    Trying Out Different Locations For The Flow Meter:

    I've had the general route for the hardline planned for quite sometime now but I wasn't sure where I wanted to mount the flow meter. I liked the idea of putting it near the GPU but after I had everything mocked up I decided to looked to busy. Especially considering the GPU support bracket that will be mounted. I keep thinking back to the original modern concept for the IKONiK build. The main desig cues consists of specific angles combined with layered horizontal and vertical lines. Moving the flow meter to the radiator down tube gives it an unobstructed and clean view. After playing around with it I think this is the best route to take. Below you can find a couple pics of what it looks like both ways. Also you have to consider the fact that this tubing will be swapped for polished chrome hardline.

    The 1st layout:
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    The 2nd layout (best option)
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    GPU Support Bracket:

    I've tried and built several GPU support brackets for the IKONiK build and no matter what I do it doesn't work correctly due to the motherboard being inverted. A buddy of mine came up with and idea to support the GPU from above instead of below it. He also had the ability to machine it which is required to get the kind of precision needed for this particular setup. I just recieved a few pictures of it and it looks absolutely stunning. He also managed to cut the IKONiK design in the side as well as the EM logo. The design was taken a step further by hand polishing the aluminum portion of the bracket so that it matched the IKONIKs theme. Once it arrives (soon) I will take more pics and mount it. Once it's mounted I will be able to cut the passthroughs in the stainless steel shroud. After that the polished chrome hardline tubing goes in and I will do the final paint work on the IKONiK build.

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  19. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Master Guru

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    GPU:
    GSkill Trident Z DDR4 16G
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    Changes To The GPU Support Bracket:

    After mocking up the GPU support bracket I realized that I needed to make a few minor changes to make it look right on this particular build. I loved the IKONiK logo on the side but it got blocked by the watercooling tube coming off the GPU block. It looked weird when you couldn't read what it said so I decided to make a new acrylic front by hand. I used the original acrylic to draw a template in smoked black acrylic. I decided to use smoked black as it gave it a really neat look. It took a decent amount of time to cut, file, sand and drill the mount holes so it would easily bolt on to the original aluminum plate. Everything went together really well and it looks great. I made sure to take some pics of the progress.

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    Polished Chrome Hardline Tubing Goes In:

    I've started swapping out the Alphacool Satin Hardtubes for the polished chrome ones. If you remeber earlier I used the Satin Hardtubes to figure out where all my cuts would go. Doing it this way helped insure that I didn't waste any of the polished chrome tubing. I used a rotatable pipe cutter and used painter's tape to help protect the chrome from being scratched. So far I have the tubes on the flow meter to the radiator cut and mounted. I've also cut most of the bent tubing that will go to the passthroughs. I still have to finish tapering the edges so I can mock it all up.

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  20. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Master Guru

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    GPU:
    GSkill Trident Z DDR4 16G
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    Custom ModMyMods Plate:

    Since more and more of my builds are going to shows I thought it would be neat to make a cover that goes over the PSU mount on the back side (left) of the case. It will give it a more finished look and also display my love for ModMyMods gear. They're one of those rare companies that's made up by fellow enthusiasts. They really go the extra mile to help customers and this is a way I can show my appreciation. Originally the back side of the IKONiK build was going to be covered and that panel would never be removed. Now I've started to make it a feature of the build by adding the hand built cable tunnel and brushed shrouds. The passthroughs from the watercooling will also be visible from this side so it will be pretty sweet once finished.

    I put together a quick video that I posted of the process and below you can see some of the steps taken to build this piece. I've been working on this off and on for the last couple weeks or so. Due to the fact that I made it by hand it took a ton of time to cut, file, sand and polish it. It came out exactly as I imagined and that makes me very happy. I took two seperate mods and melded them together into this piece. I'm also planning on making a couple more different styled ones for the build as well.

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