No list of world famous villains would be complete without the Riddler, a long time foe of Gotham City and persistent thorn in Batman's side. Like many of the supervillains in the DC Comics universe, the Riddler is a colorful character with a unique personality. He's also the central theme of this month's featured rig.
Aptly called "The Riddler," this mod comes courtesy of Jacky Mallet-Higley, otherwise known as "_TechPuppet_" on various online forums. With the help of her husband Shange Higley ("ericlee30"), Jacky set out to build a liquid cooled PC that would stand out from from the crowd.
The devil here is in the details. Jacky didn't just slap a bunch of decals on a case and call it a day, she strategically picked out parts that matched her vision and modded others to fit with the rig's artistic showmanship.
Jacky's been building PCs for about seven years now. Eventually along the way she was bitten by the modding bug, so for her latest build, she decided to spruce it up by combining two colors that don't often go with each other, green and purple.
"I toyed with ideas that involved the two colors, and eventually came across the Riddler and decided to go with him. I liked the idea of the Riddler because I myself like puzzles and riddles," Jacky told us. "He is also known for being extremely skilled with engineering and technology, both of which I am interested in. He is also Batman's most intelligent adversary and I feel he doesn't get enough credit like the joker does. So, I created a build to show others how I viewed him."
Jacky learned a few tricks during the mod process, which she started on May 8, 2014 and completed almost a full year later in April. It wasn't an easy build, as we'll get to in the gallery, "but in the end it was worth it," Jacky said.
NZXT's H440 mid-tower case in green and black was a natural choice for Jacky's build. With the other elements in place, the black panels give off a villainous vibe, and the green accents play right into the overall theme of her mod.
Using nearly every inch of available real estate, Jacky had a local shop (Naylor Finishes) airbrush the Riddler next to the case window on the left side panel.
The entire artwork on the front and right side panels was also airbrushed. It's an eerie depiction of Arkham City, also known as Gotham North, a dangerous place for Batman thanks to the hundreds of traps set by the Riddler.
Jacky bought a Silhouette Cameo for the project and added decals for detail throughout the build. For example, each fan sports Batman's logo wrapped in the Riddler's iconic question mark. These kinds of little touches are found throughout the system.
An MSI Z77 MPower motherboard serves as the foundation for the hardware, which includes an Intel Core i7-3770K processor, 16GB of Corsair Green LP Vengeance DDR3-1600 RAM, XFX DD 7950 Black Edition graphics card, 256GB Samsung 850 Pro SSD, 750GB WD Black HDD, and a Seasonic X Series 750W PSU.
Though Riddler likes to make life chaotic for Batman, the inside of this rig is well organized. Jacky also took the time to sleeve all the cables with green and purple PET sleeving.
Here you can see the EK-Supremacy Clean CSQ EVO Nickel CPU water block. The rest of the water cooling setup consists of:
- EK-7950 - Acetal+EN (Nickel) Waterblock
- EK- X3 250 Liquid Cooling Reservoir
- EK-DDC 3.2 PWN X-Top CSQ Pump - Acetal
- Primochill 1/2-inch PETG tubing
- 1 EK CoolStream PE 360 Radiator
- 1 EK CoolStream PE 120 Radiator
- Redharbinger EK 250 Reservoir Cover
- Mayhems coolants and dyes - Pastel Green coolant and UV green dye
- Fittings - assortment of Bitspower matte black extensions, 90s, and plugs, as well as Primochill's purple revolver compression fittings.
For the PETG tubing, Jacky used a heat gun and taught herself how to bend.
"I did different bends, bending them all free hand. I wanted more complex, crazy angles to mimic the Riddler's persona," Jacky explained.
Another look at the inside of the build and the detailed craftsmanship.
"For me detail is important and can transform a build," Jacky explained to us. "For the reservoir, I placed it in the front horizontally between the GPU and PSU shroud. I drilled holes in the PSU shroud to mount the reservoir on the EK reservoir brackets so it would sit comfortably underneath my GPU."
Jacky also went the extra mile and found purple anodized screws from Probolts to add more color, though there wasn't enough inventory to complete the build. Luckily she had a friend that offered to anodize any additional screws that were needed.
A closer look at the CPU water block and bent PETG tubing with colored coolant and green UV dye pumping through.