Building a custom water cooled PC in your spare time can take a considerable amount of time.
As I mentioned in the plan for my PC water cooling beginner’s guide, stage 1 of my guide would involve testing out the components on a test bench to ensure everything is working.
The main reason for testing in this manner is that the window to return defective parts is smaller then the amount of time I will be spending building this custom PC.
It is better to make sure everything is running before moving on to the more complex stages of the build.
In this portion of my guide I will go over installing the power supply, motherboard, processor, main cooling, and RAM on the test bench.
Test Bench and PSU
The DimasTech Bench/Test Table Easy V3.0 is a great test bench and has everything you need for testing a PC setup.
A few things to note about the bench though are that it does not have SSD mounts, the instructions are dismal/nonexistent, and mounting some radiators requires a bit of ingenuity. That being said, I still like the bench and would recommend it.
After unpacking the test bench and installing the switches, mobo mounts, and PCI mounts the bench is ready to go. The bottom tray slides out nicely and makes mounting the PSU much easier. I used the supplied thumb screws to mount my Corsair AX1200i (CP-9020008-NA) on the back of the tray. Since the power supply is modular there are no cables to mess around with at this point of the build.
Motherboard and Processor
Once the PSU is mounted on the test bench you can slide the tray back in.
If you have hard drives to mount that could be done first but since they do not fit SSDs I did not.
Eventually, I removed the HDD mounts as they were just in the way. The next thing you need to do is make sure the motherboard mounts are screwed into the correct spots on top of the bench. The test bench can be used with several sizes of mobo so use the mounts that work for yours.
Once the mounts are in place, carefully screw the mobo to the bench with the provided thumb screws. For the ASUS X99-Deluxe (X99-DELUXE) I had to skip a few of the screws in back since the shroud does not have holes large enough for thumb screws.
Installing the Intel Core i7-5930K Haswell-E (BX80648I75930K) in the motherboard is simply a matter of following the instructions on the motherboard.
Be careful not to grip the CPU on the sides and make sure the triangle mark is aligned properly. I chose to clean the CPU with a coffee filter and some 99% isopropyl alcohol once it was mounted.
CPU Cooling and RAM
After I mounted the mobo and processor I decided to install the main cooling.
For this stage of my custom water cooled PC I had selected the Corsair H105 (CW-9060016-WW).
After installing the fans on the radiator I had to figure out a way to mount the radiator to the test bench. While the test bench has radiator mounting, the tubing on the all-in-one is not long enough to use it. For this reason I simply zip tied the radiator to the top of the bench using some of the cable holes.
The water block comes with thermal paste already applied so installation is simply a matter of installing the standoffs and screwing the waterblock/pump in place. I should mention that the back plate is not required on this mobo/processor combo.
The next thing I installed was the Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB kit (CMK32GX4M4A2666C16) RAM. For this particular kit there are 4 sticks of RAM. ASUS recommends installing 4 sticks of RAM in the A1, B1, C1, and D1 slots. These are the light grey DIMM slots on the X99 Deluxe. They should easily snap in place.
PC Water Cooling Next Steps
In my next post for stage 1, I will be going over installing the video cards, installing the hard drives, cabling the rig, and first boot.
Full 2015 PC Water Cooling Beginner’s Guide Series
PC Water Cooling Beginner’s Guide – Stage 1 | Part 1 (This post)