Dream Machine 2012: The Future Is Now

Custom Liquid‑Cooling Loop

Well worth the hassle

As soon as we realized we’d be running a 150W Xeon processor and two GTX 690s, we knew we had to water cool. The TJ11 is a great air-cooling case, but the GTX 690’s reference shroud blows air in both directions, which screws with the airflow.

The TJ11’s bottom compartment can hold up to a 560mm radiator, so we grabbed a 560mm Black Ice rad and four 14cm NoiseBlocker fans to go with it. We added another 120mm radiator above the CPU. We kept the TJ11’s two stock 18cm Air Penetrator fans to cool the RAM and the rest of the motherboard components.

We got our compression fittings from Bitspower , which also makes the reservoir, pump top, and chrome pump mod that transform our bog-standard Swiftech D5 pump into a thing of beauty. Mayhems Pastel Berry Blue concentrate prevents corrosion and algae growth while matching our case’s blue accents.

The total cost for our water-cooling loop, including fittings, tubing, rads, fans, res, pump, and accessories, was $926, nearly $900 of which was spent at FrozenCPU.com and the remainder at Performance-PCs.com . You can see the full parts list here. We’d also like to extend special thanks to Daniel Cannon of Singularity Computers in Cairns Australia, whose long, incredibly detailed TJ11 water-cooling build logs on his YouTube channel were enormously helpful in constructing our water-cooling loop.

Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Albino

It fits any mitt

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all glove, and you’d think the same truth applies to mice. But Cyborg’s R.A.T. 7 Albino manages to meet the grip signature of any hand with its unparalleled customization options. Length adjustability, interchangeable palm rests, and pinkie grips are just a few of the ways you can tailor the mouse to your hand’s needs.

Corsair Vengeance K90

Your fingers will feel the difference

To be frank, we didn’t think any keyboard could ever get us to leave our coveted SteelSeries 7G, but after a week of pounding away on the Corsair Vengeance K90’s Cherry MX keys, we were swayed. That’s not even mentioning the brushed-aluminum deck, subtle LED backlighting, and programmable function keys. Yes, it would be nice if every key on the board were mechanical, but we’re not complaining.

Corsair AX1200i

Know how much power your PSU is using

You know what makes us nerds? It’s not that we can actually use a 1,200‑ watt power supply, it’s that we want to know what’s happening inside that PSU while we’re using it. That’s what Corsair’s new AX1200i gives us. Just connect the AX1200i to an available USB header, load the monitor app, and you can not only monitor the power supply but actually tweak its voltages from within the OS. Let’s not forget the seven-year warranty, reasonable price tag, and white cabling option.

Jimmy Thang
Jimmy Thang has been Maximum PC's Online Managing Editor since 2012, and has been covering PC hardware and games for nearly a decade. His particular interests currently include VR and SFF computers.