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HAF Pipe 480 (Spectrum Edition)

This build is a collaboration between Richard Prins from Designs By Richard (myself) and Yorick Smilda (AKA ProAce), for the last 8 months we worked on an LED controller that could do something not possible with other controllers, control addressable LED strips and CoolForce LED fittings together to create a new kind of light show.

After a couple tests and revisions we have a final one made for a project, initially it would have been a build with another manufacturer but due to unavailability we decided to not wait any longer and do a casemod with the controller, we are planning to do more casemods with this controller and we are dubbing the line-up “Project Spectrum” after the initial Project name and builds in the line-up will be known for the “(Spectrum Edition)”

Yorick and myself have been have been planning this for about a month, to get this build started Yorick came over to my house for a couple days to work on the project, help out with the LED work, do some extra coding and much more, together we got pretty far and this first post will show some of the things we did on the build.



  • CPU: Intel 5820K
  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage V Extreme (X99)
  • RAM: Klevv DDR4 Cras White LED 4x4GB (16GB)
  • GPU's: ASUS GTX 780 DCII (x2)
  • PSU: Cooler Master V1200
  • SSD's: Klevv Urbane U610 480GB (x1) and Samsung 850 Series EVO 500GB (x2 Raid 0)
  • HDD: Western Digital Velociraptor 1TB
  • Case: Cooler Master HAF X (modded to fit a 480mm radiator and a full lenth PSU cover)


  • EKWB CSQ Acrylic CPU Block (Polished)
  • EKWB CSQ GTX 780 Block (x2 Polished)
  • EKWB D5 Pump Block and D5 pump
  • Nanoxia CoolForce (16mm) Fittings including LED fittings.
  • Nanoxia CoolForce 16mm tubing
  • Nanoxia CoolForce White Pastel
  • Bitspower Valve fitting
  • Hardware Labs Black Ice SR1 480mm
  • Aquatube Reservoir


  • Corsair SP 120mm (x4)
  • BitFenix 230mm Pro fan
  • Swiftech PWN 8 channel fan hub
  • Nanoxia CoolForce White individually sleeved cables
  • Custom PSU shroud
  • Several meters of addressable LED strip.
  • Custom designed and programmed LED controller

For this new build I took to the attic to pull my old Cooler Master HAF X case out of storage after I had done 2 builds with this case before and I had been using other cases for my workstation, this case has been modified to hold a 480mm radiator in the top which I am using again.


Big thanks to the sponsors for this project.

Klevv sent us their CRAS RAM for a project that ended up being canceled and told me to use it in the next build we would do so here it is, sweet white LED glory to fit in with the RGB lighting (better than red lights of course)


Nanoxia CoolForce has been my trusty supplier for water cooling tubing and fittings, these are the LED fittings we will be using :D


I'll be using the V1200 which Cooler Master sponsored for a different project, due to the delay that project is going through I told them I would use it in this build.


In the 2015 update build I did with it I had a PSU cover made with mounting points for the pump, HDD and an SSD, on the side it shows my old logo and the casemod name, before it had red acrylic and red LED lighting behind it so we tore it out and replaced it with clear acrylic which has been rough sanded on one side in a single direction (brushed), we then added aluminium tape which gives it a unique look, almost as if it's brushed aluminium, when the lighting is off and when it is on it reflects any light to make sure everything lights up nice and bright.




*We made sure there was no possibility for the tape to come in contact with wiring or any other chance of shorting out the LED work.

A quick test using the rainbow mode to make sure the LED’s all function as they should and it looks amazing, we'll definitly use this mode in the final build.


20170102_195435.mp420170102_195435.mp4 (50MB video, video is also on my Facebook page)

The last time I used this case I noticed the front fan kept hitting the metal it was mounted on so a quick trim solved that.


In the build we will be lighting up several blocks including the GPU blocks, these are two ASUS GTX 780 DCII GPU’s with EKWB CSQ blocks which I sanded and polished to a clear finish together and black backplates, I still had these in my collection and they would fit right in the build.

This is what they looked like in my 2015 update build.


And this is what they looked like with a little test for this build after we added the LED strips and hooked up the controller.


We made a gif! (great to see that format is supported on this forum)


GPU Project Spectrum (HAF Pipe 480).mp4 (30MB file download, video is also on my Facebook page)

We hooked up all the LED strips including the ones in the case and after those 3 days it was time for Yorick to head home after all the work we had done, sadly when I put power on the controller later that day something went wrong and the LED strips (all but the PSU cover strips) got fried, we think it might have been a surge through the controller so Yorick worked on a re-design but until then we can not show the whole system lit up.

There we are after 3 days of hard work in the attic where I work on systems, the table is a mess but it's worth it, we got a lot done but still a lot to do.


The day after Yorick went home I started on to get back to work on the layout for the water cooling loop, a lot of puzzling was done to see what the cleanest look would be.

First test to see if parallel would be the best way to do this loop (spoiler: I went with serial even though this looked pretty nice)




Mounting the CPU block and this time I decided not to go with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut like the last two times but to once again use Liquid Metal and go with Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut, we are a couple weeks further and temps are looking mighty fine, thanks to Thermal Grizzly for their support :)




Some piping done after I decided on the layout for the tubing.



After some serious bending of which the photo's seem to have disappeared (dying camera) this was the result, I've filled up the system for testing and since I wanted to use the PC until the final controller and the new LED work is done.




The GPU blocks are not the only water blocks to receive the treatment, I designed this small bracket for the EK CPU block to add some LED's to it, we are going to a place where RGB overkill does not exist!

The left is a Cooler mod we are doing for Cooler Master, the right is the EK CPU block bracket, all parts are designed by me and 3D printed by Yorick.



I might have missed something, it's late but I will add/change anything if I notice it.

The next update shouldn't take long, we received the PCB for the final version of the controller and only have to wait for a few items to be shipped before I can take it apart again and we can install everything as planned.

PS: My apologies for the terrible photo's (some at least), my DSLR was dying at the time and sadly some photo's are missing, I now have a brand new one so the update photo's will all be made with that.

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We got the PCB's in for the controllers, Yorick has done a quick test and it seems everything is working fine.

  • I'll be designing a quick case for it.
  • Yorick will solder the parts on it and we'll do a test with everything very soon.
  • There are a few custom panels that are ready to be laser cut, there are also a few that still need to be drawn up by me.
  • The LED strips for the CPU bracket can be soldered and tested outside the case, the final test with the block will be after we drain the system.

Nanoxia CoolForce has to send us the package with some key parts for this build and then everything should be ready.

Most of this should be done within the next 2 weeks :) 


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  • 3 weeks later...

Well sadly disaster struck and my system sprung a leak earlier this week, I didn't really plan for that but at least I could test out the CPU block bracket and I found out it is slightly too large in some places so we'll get that fixed with a new version.



After a bit of a cleanup and having the parts all dry it was time to put it back together, in the meanwhile I received the package from Nanoxia CoolForce with some white cable extensions that will fit right in with the white coolant and RGB lighting so I added them.



All the tubing back in place, I checked for any damage to tubes but they seem totally unharmed.



I added the bottom tube here as a support since the one above it was the on that sprung the huge leak, this will make sure it doesn't pop out again like that.




I added more toilet paper after this photo to take care of any possible leaks before I start.



This CoolForce White Opaque coolant looks amazing with the other parts.




The res looks damn great (right after filling, still bubbly as it can be).



The support seems to do its job just fine.



This time I decided to keep the drives that don't have a mount outside my case with some Nanoxia cables, the 2TB is meant to be hot-swappable anyway.



That's it for now, Yorick is working on the controller, I am busy with the LED fitting rings and the panel designs, I've had a busy few weeks so I hope to put some time in this build now :)



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  • 5 weeks later...

Alright the day is almost there, I received the package from Yorick with everything I need for the final build, today I will be testing the LED fitting rings one more time after extending the wires before tearing the build down tomorrow and building it back up with everything in place, fingers crossed it goes well and all because this weekend it will be used by me at a large Dutch LAN party :D 



I also got some new business cards to fit the scheme ;)


There will be more builds with this lighting system because not just one, not two, even not three but four systems will be using this lighting controller that we made and photo's will be posted as soon as possible.


The connection for the LED rings on the controller is a simple screw in bare wire solution so I started with removing all the connectors and then cutting off the terminals, some of these will be extended to make sure the wires reach the controller and those will be sleeved with white paracord to let the LED work color them.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright, we are getting there, last weekend I was at a LAN party so for that I rushed to work on the build.


First thing after the last update was sanding the clear acrylic panel for the sponsor light panel, nothing special there, just sanding it in a single direction to give the light something to reflect from behind the logos.

I asked Yorick to send me the "negative" cut outs so I can use them as guides for gluing the smaller parts.

After a tedious hour of gluing this was the result.



Next up was fitting the front I/O cover that I designed and Yorick printed, it has some flaws but looks damn slick on the black case.

The ridges are there because the cover was designed to be flush with the panel, the panel has an angled inlay and printing a flat but angled area gives results like this.



Okay, we seem to have everything we need together....time to take this thing apart again and put it back together with some LED work.


Since the last leak I had was at the drain port I took no chances and added some towels.



Let's skip to the interesting part, all the mess and unscrewing, removing, cleaning is too boring.


Alright, first thing I really need to know is if this new CPU block bracket actually fits, small chance that temperature warping could make it not fit...but it fits!



This is how the LED's where added to the bracket.




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And on to the next!


The strips for the GPU blocks are in place!



Please stay in place!



LED's for the sponsor light panel in place, one is visible and the other is covered on the left side by the metal strip from the case.

I meant to get a small acrylic cover strip to put in front of the left one but in all chaos I simply forgot about it.



And something we did before has to be redone with new LED's, the PSU cover has to be stripped a bit.

Adding the LED's and putting back the aluminium/plastic tape to reflect the light a bit.

*Note: This is where something went wrong, one of the LED strips broke loose and the other broke at the cable connection which causes the PSU cover to be a bit less bright, luckily the result seems just fine and matches the other light panel :)



Next step was to take the LED fitting rings and extend the cables to required lengths, this was actually a very tedious and time-consuming part that put me on the verge of panic, it was the night before I had to go to the LAN and this started to take way too long.

Normally these LED rings are quite easy to hook up, simply put them on a fan header, sadly for the custom controller to control these they had to be stripped and extended, a bit more work.




I decided to keep the LED rings out of the build, I have not yet decided if I want to keep it like this, hook them all up to a permanent 12V source with a simple on and off switch or continue the work and add them to the LED controller, it might be impossible to get done without breaking anything.


Fast forward a bit where I add all the tubing and fill the system up again, there was a quick clean and polish for each tube and fitting since these liquids like to leave color traces everywhere.


First time powering the LED strips on the CPU bracket ever and the second time we have the LED's in the case mod, it looks amazing on white (just a test).



I might add one more LED strip with a custom bracket to the build, the reservoir seems a bit boring like this, the pump block will not receive lighting due to the orientation, it wouldn't fit the other items.


Next update will contain photo's from the CPU block and photo's from the event ;)

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First things first, this is what the CPU block looks like on steroids! I mean LED's.



Alright, now this post will contain several randomly picked photo's from the LAN event.

The rainbow loop is stretched out more than the earlier version, we are still trying to find the perfect balance.



I also found out how hard it is to take good photo's in very, very dark rooms.

There is a lot more from the event but I won't upload that many photo's, I will be taking photo's in the studio next week to upload those, then we are gonna do some final details and it should be ready :) 

It won the third price in the "Casemod" contest at the event, I entered the system quite late and sadly the entry date was also taken into consideration.


What do you think of the result so far, the people at the LAN event were not used to this kind of computer systems and most of them really liked it :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright time for the final post (at least before the deadline)


Here are some photo's from the photoshoot I did in the studio.





And since CM has changed the video upload limit, here is a Youtube link to a short video I made with the rainbow effect in action.


I will edit more photo's very soon and post when there is something to add ;)

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