All the parts have finally arrived, including one or two things I forgot about. I had to order a few extra connectors as the 1/2" ID tubing was slightly less easy to route as I expected (coming from 3/8" ID tubing currently). Also worth mentioning that neither Aqua Computer's D5 pumps or XSPC's twin D5 dual bay reservoir include O-rings for the pumps (they are usually included with pump tops though by the looks of things) so they had to be ordered separately but are easy enough to find.

A small amount of initial assembly is required. Firstly, mounting the fans to the radiator:

Fans mounted on radiator

Then the pumps to the reservoir:

Pumps fitted to reservoir

Finally the Aquaero block:

Aquaero 5 water block fitted

Fitting the Aquaero block is a little more complicated. You have to remove the circuit board, take the screws out holding the heat sink in place, add new thermal pads and then attach the block with the different screws provided. As the block is quite small it's also a bit of a pain to attach the compression fittings, I used a 10mm extender on the left and a 45 degree angled fitting on the right to give clearance from the block.

I've got a fried ASUS P9X79 board that I've not got round to getting an RMA for yet which is a handy way to mount the CPU block in the right place. This case is so big that the full ATX board looks tiny:

Motherboard in 800D

This is a full height radiator plus fans and there is still room above the board to see the cable management, a huge improvement over my current case.

Finally it's time to put everything in and add the tubing. At this point after I've fiddled around getting everything in and my hands start to get sore from tightening up the compression fittings, removing bits and adding them again to make things easier, I get a bit slack with the pictures and just want to get things finished!

Here are a few during and after photos:

EK block in place with first tube added

Aquaero block with tubing

Complete tubing

Fill with distilled water and away we go!

Pumps running

At the time of writing I've had the system running for about 48 hours, I only ordered 1 litre of coolant and it took 1.5 litres to fill it with distilled water. I'm waiting on a new order of Mayhems Aurora fluid which will arrive on Tuesday!

Update: Important note about the Mayhems Aurora

Now, don't get me wrong the Mayhems fluid is fantastic - I use it in my current loop. However, I would strongly advise against leaving the Aurora fluid in your system for any period of time for a couple of reasons:

  • The particles that produce the awesome effect initially soon separate from the fluid (in a matter of weeks) and the fluid just looks like normal coloured fluid.
  • When the particles separate they seem stick to the components in your loop and you will start to see residue build up on anything visible.

There are warnings all over the Mayhems site also to this extent.