Project... Something?

Usually when I start a project, either building a PC or building something from scratch, I usually give it a project name. I usually take a character from an anime or game for the project and that name will stick to the system or item once it's built. Though this time I'm really not sure what name to give it.

The new project is a new MicroATX PC. It's an upgrade to my aging Intel 4670K. On a few games and several applications, I've caused the cores to max out and have had some odd hardware problems over the last several months possibly attributing to something going wrong with my motherboard. I've also noticed my USB3 is shocking me (literal electricity) every now and then. I've had it electrify my desk enough times I I use my key to discharge it.

The system will need a new motherboard, ram (because the previous ram is DDR3 and the current is DDR4), and CPU. I'll be migrating my video card, which is a Geforce RTX 2080, my SSDs, and any peripherals. I've already gone ahead and bought the Thermaltake Level 20 VT from NewEgg several weeks ago. This is a MicroATX case that features tempered glass. I've not messed with tempered glass, just clear plastic side panel windows. I've also picked up a fully modular power supply, a Corsair RM750, during a Cyber Monday sale.

For the CPU, I'm jumping back onto the AMD wagon and am waiting on the upcoming Ryzen 3 lineup to be officially announced. I originally jumped off AMD as the technology dead ended after the Phenom II line and didn't get anywhere with the FX or the APU lineup but it seems AMD finally got things straightened out with the Ryzen and Ryzen 2 CPUs. I generally prefer AMD since it is cheaper overall for both CPU and motherboard combined. The average Intel motherboard can easily run you $150 and up starting out for even some of the most basic ones and that's before you take into account the cost of the processor. That being said, Ryzen 3 probably won't see a release till sometimes after CES 2019.

The other thing I'm looking at, and this is by far the scariest idea... is to water cool this system. I'm not talking All-In-One (AIO) coolers that are made by Corsair, but actual true watercooling, a la Jayz2Cents or BitWit. I've not settled on the setup yet and I'm still bouncing the idea, only because this is where I burn most of my budget on. An average true water cooling setup can cost easily upwards of $400+ dollars for all the parts and tools needed to do the job. Somethings I can borrow such as a heat gun, but the tools to make the correct angle bends and such, are still required unless you have a really good idea at dimensional measurements.

The advantage of this vs an AIO setup vs a true water cooling setup is mostly in the noise level. You can generally run the fans quieter with a true water cooling setup if the system is properly configured. It also gives you more headroom to play in with regards to overclocking hardware. Another advantage is that I can add the GPU to the water cooling loop and get it cooling as well or just concentrate on the GPU alone. The RTX has a nasty design on the Founders edition where it dumps hot air from cooling the card directly onto the motherboard and nearby components. Previous versions blew air out the back of the card.

The catch is this case was designed around an MicroATX so space is a premium in there so I need to be sure I get the right size radiator or figure out how to stuff 2 240mm radiators in this case. I've seen it done, it just might not be pretty.  I've also never done this before so I'm jumping off the deep end.

Several years back I did buy a reservoir and some base components to play with the idea of water cooling a CPU, but I never did get around to building it. This was back when the motor you used, were literally fish tank motors and the average way of securing tubing was zip ties. This was also in the era just after AMD finally built a CPU did wouldn't explode or catch fire like the Athlon XP. I've seen that actually happen to a friends PC a year or two before I built my very first one, not the best confidence booster to see happen, lol.

In any case, a name... The case is a dark grey/black. Also hanging on the wall just behind my PC is a mini wall scroll of Noire from Neptunia. Maybe Project Noire? Or maybe her little sister, Uni, so Project Uni? Alternatively I could go with Neptune's little sister, Nepgear... I might go with that. The case is smaller then your typical system so fits the profile of the little sister and I do want to use purple somewhere in the water cooling system, either via dyes or fittings. I guess for now, Project Nepgear for now. Below are the specs so far for the system.

Project Nepgear System Configuration
Case: Thermaltake Level 20 VT
Motherboard: Unknown
CPU: Ryzen 7 3700x (tentative)
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition
RAM: G.Skill Trident RGB 16GB (tenative)
PSU: Corsair RM750
Storage: Existing SSDs