My First Build

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Where it all started! Looking back at this build it’s pretty terrible but the hardware was pretty good for it’s time and I enjoyed it immensely. This was the first build I had ever water-cooled, ever modded, ever used spray paint with and ever sleeved cables. It might not be the prettiest, but it started my love of modding. It cost me a fortune to do and with me just moving house and having very little money, it meant that this was literally the only thing I could do. I had to give up any other activities to be able to do this build and I’m so glad I did.

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After living on my wage only whilst my girlfriend was going through university, she finally qualified and got a job as a fantastic nurse. This meant that I had a little extra cash to spend on something for myself. I went to a LAN and a friend of mine had a water cooled computer. I had seen these years ago, but this was far better. I wanted one and right there and then I decided I would make mine better. I didn’t have a clue what to buy though and I was very out of touch with the hardware.

Luckily for me, I used to work with a fine gentleman who had since gotten a job with OcUk, I gave him a shout on Facebook and we decided a pub would be a great place to meet. He suggested many things, told me what parts were good and went through a list of components with me.

After this discussion with Rich, I went away and saw the Z77X-UP7 motherboard due to be released along with the Z77 chips. I waited for ages for this to be released and I was the first person to get one from OcUK. I loved the board, I particularly liked the orange. Along with the board, I picked the following spec list:

Bitfenix Shinobi XL – White.


I7 3770k

8gb Crucial Ballistix RAM

Full XSPC loop

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I hastily chucked the build together, I didn’t really have a clue as to what I was doing, but it worked! I had a good few days playing on borderlands then decided I would look into making look a bit better. I hated the cables, I hated the radiator location and I just generally thought it could be a lot better. I started small, by figuring out how to change the RAM colours using the software as that was bugging me for ages!

Next I looked into seeing if I could change the colour of the cables. I looked into painting them, hiding them and even changing them, that’s when I saw a build with sleeving and knew it was the way I was going to do it. With a bit of research I found MDPC-X and started to order sleeving, tools and equipment.

I really enjoyed the sleeving, it’s sad, but it kind of therapeutic. I would sit for hours trying to learn it and figuring out the best way to do things. I hadn’t even seen heat shrinkless sleeving at this time!!

I sleeved everything, I took the PSU a part, cut wires, soldered, shortened cables, lengthened cables, removed USB ports and most commonly burnt my fingers.

There were still plenty of things I didn’t like about my build though, so I went in search of yet more ways to improve.

To Be Continued…