Am I allowed to link youtube here? I just finished editing & uploading (all) the build videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2EznvuQVELsA9bAYGULsXUO8Csqcjr92
This is really just the machine I've wanted since I got a taste of VFX with a brief, introductory experience in 3dmax well over 10 years ago. I've always wanted to create realistic environments and AMD finally made it available to the working man on a budget, albeit budgeting for a badass machine. I'm planning to start wherever I can on elemental animation (water, smoke/air/particles, everything else) and hopefully manage some realistic architecture as well. In VR? Maybe. I hope so.
This build was my second solo build from the ground up. It was far and away the most expensive and far and away most difficult. I had never touched any WC components. No one I know has ever used them. I spent 2-3 weeks researching water cooling heavily and then ordering, delivery, & building took a total of 3 weeks from there. It's been a big project/effort/ride. And it appears to have been completely successful :]
The main hiccups in the build were not knowing the forward length of the GPU tray of the Core P3 case ahead of time and not knowing the mounting positions that were available on that GPU tray, which I had hoped I could use. I used a hack saw and a drill to fix that inside of an hour once I realized the (only?) solution. But it was a bit of a headache in any case. I painted over the parts that got hit with tools and it's as good as new, in my opinion. The other hangups were dissecting and rebuilding the Vardar fans after painting. That was brutal. I may have just paid for white fans had I known the effort and tedium involved in that. I think maybe they were sold out at the time of ordering. I know I looked at them. Last, mounting the artwork on the front plexi glass was successful, but another pair of hands would have been advisable. I am really, really enjoying looking at it, regardless :]
I started 100% focusing on "function over form" but spent a lot of time talking w/ experienced water cooling folks who, from an outsider's perspective, were really focused on the presentation (form). I ended up switching from clear tubing to white when considering the simple use of simple B&W paint could make a visual impact with my primitive approach to water cooling aesthetics. All the artwork itself was printed for a total of $36 and I figured that was a small price to pay (+$12 for everything related to paint) to potentially elevate the machine visually in a really big way. I think I hit pretty much exactly where I wanted to land on it - so I'm just super, super happy about it.
I OC'd to 4.0ghz as soon as I was comfortable directing my attention away from the running water loop. It hit on the first try across all cores @ 1.25v. XMP profile in BIOS hit 3200 on the ram immediately. I don't really know what I'm doing with benchmarking but I'll add some pictures if I can. Somehow, it appears to have gotten better 3d scores than an i9 7980xe or whatever that big one is (with 128GB RAM & a 1080Ti). It is screaming through every game I have at 1080p on ultra (I'm just a lowly 1080p scrub). I might pick up another, better monitor around whatever sales are coming up this fall, but I am not very motivated to do that right now -- probably just VR stuff if I make good progress quickly.
There is still a lot of stuff bouncing around my head that should be said but is in all the build videos I put up. Once I got about ~4h into it and knowing I was getting into properly uncharted territory with the Core P3 case, I thought I had a bit of an obligation to share my experience with everybody. Hopefully yall can see the videos here or somewhere else. Still learning the "completed build" stuff here.
Ask any questions you have and I'll do my best to answer them. Cheers!