Liquid Cooled Mini-ITX AMD Ryzen Build – pt. 2

Previously on MN218…

If you haven’t read it yet, here is part 1 showing the work that went into modding the case.

I know it’s been “literally forever” since I wrote part 1, but I had to wait for the parts I wanted to complete the build. They finally arrived, so lets dive right in.

Mid-July

An AM4 mini-ITX board with the features I wanted finally arrived on the market. So I jumped on that along with memory, a PSU and SSD.

Mini-ITX boards still boggle my mind by how tiny they are. But it sure does look sexy with the CPU waterblock and RAM installed.

The case is finally getting filled, and then it sat like this until more info was released on AMD Vega.

Vega Launches

I know Vega has a lot of mixed reviews, but I decided that it was the GPU to complete my build. It just wouldn’t be right throwing a green team GPU in a build that is all about red. I was actually able to order a Vega 64 on launch day even if it did mean I had to buy another Ryzen CPU and motherboard to get it.

Time for the must nerve racking thing I have ever done and voiding the warranty on the most expensive graphics card I’ve ever bought in the process.At this point I’m really hoping I didn’t break it.

Everything was finally in the case and it was time to fill the loop. I soon learned that my fill port air locks if the case isn’t tilted forward. Talk about panic when suddenly liquid is covering the top of your case and you are trying to keep it from running through the top radiator and into the case! I got it filled though, and there were no leaks.

First boot time, I press the button and… Everything works! I go into the UEFI, update to the latest BIOS, configure the system and get Windows 10 installed. It was a breeze, or so I thought. After two days of testing I start tinkering and end up needing to clear the CMOS. No big deal, I’ve done it before on other systems many times. I clear it, hit the power button, the fans spin up and nothing. No POST; My display doesn’t even turn on.

I start troubleshooting. Luckily there is enough slack in the GPU water lines that I can remove the card to get to the motherboard, which wouldn’t have been possible without draining the loop had I been able to route them like I originally planned to. Anyways, I finally get the machine to POST. I determined that the board doesn’t like to POST with both memory modules installed after clearing the CMOS. After I boot once I can install the second without issue. Everything has been great since then. I even managed to get my RAM to a faster speed than I expected. I fully thought 2933 would be the cap like all the reviews indicated for dual rank modules, but I seem to be stable at 3066. I tried to reach 3200, but I fail MemTest86 at that point.

I haven’t started overclocking the CPU yet, and that might change my max memory speed but we’ll save that for another day.

Before I show off the completed pictures, here is the final parts list.

  • BitFenix Prodigy Case
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800x CPU
  • ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming-ITX/ac Motherboard
  • 32GB G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4-3200
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
  • BPX 480GB NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Corsair TX-M 850 Watt PSU
  • All EKWB Water-blocks, Fittings and Radiators
  • Blood, Sweat and Tears

 

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