Sample System Build

To show off the true potential of the Core X9, we present to you a build done using the case and some much needed upgrades we had waiting for the new case. Our Core X9 system was constructed using the following components:

From the front and profile views, you can see I went with a more traditional build style , featuring the left side full panel window and the dual 5.25" devices integrated into the front panel. The ASUS OC Panel was mounted in the top slot, providing CPU and fan speed monitoring with the LG Blu-Ray drive sitting beneath it. The front view of those two components should begin to help understand the monstrous dimensions of this case.

The full sized window in the left panel gives a nice view into the case, back-lit by red LED strips running along both sides of the top panel. Those were integrated for the review, but will be switched out with configurable RGB LEDs sometime before QuakeCon. From the left side, you can begin to see how much stuff is in the case, yet how empty it looks. While the wiring is not the best, you can see the potential for a clean looking build even with the amount of hardware I integrated into it. The XSPC radiator was front mounted with its return line fed from the outlet of the GTX 970 EK blocks. You can also see the inlet on the far side of the case feeding the CPU block. The PSU was mounted in the bottom left of the case to make room for radiator mounting on the other side of the case.

The right side panel acts as an air pass through, giving hints of the case interior components. The optional side panel with top window would give a better view of the components inside if desired. As you can see, no fans nor radiators were side mounted in the build. Also take note of the front panel position. It was moved to the right side so as to not distract from the window or the system build view. The rear of the case is clean with the stock ASUS rear panel shield and teh included 120mm fan just above it. There is more than sufficient room provided for use of a large fan, if desired. You can also see how easy it is to move the system PSU from one side to the other in the rear view.

System Build Dissection – Right side Components

Removing the side panels gives a more comprehensive view of the inner component layout. The thicker XSPC radiator was bottom mounted using two of the provided mount brackets. The Swiftech radiator was mounted to the right side top bracket. The motherboard takes up little room in the upper back chamber with plenty of room laying in between it and the upper radiator. An eight-way fan controller and the Swiftech MCP35X pump sit on the case bottom in from of the XSPC radiator.

The Swiftech radiator is mounted to the right side top bracket with its three intake fans sandwiched between the bracket and the radiator surface. The fans were mounted to take air into the case to help create a positive pressure environment for dust and debris control purposes. The radiator ports are positioned towards the front of the case so that the Swiftech radiator could directly feed into the bottom XSPC radiator via a straight rigid tubing run. A bleed / drain line with a quick-connect fitting runs into the radiator inlet to aid in filling and draining the loop. The inlet port is fed via a tubing run from the XSPC D5 pump housed in the Photon reservoir. The radiator itself does not impede on the upper mounted OC Panel device in the 5.25" bay, further illustrating the sheer depth of the case.

The motherboard CPU block is fed by the straight run from the front-mounted Magicool radiator. All wiring is run from the bottom of the board through the provided grommeted pass-through holes in the front of the motherboard tray. The space provided by the size and positioning of the motherboard tray allows for very clean cable and tubing runs, aiding in the overall aesthetic of a build using the Core x9 case.

The XSPC radiator is mounted bottom right of the case with its three intake fans sandwiched between the bottom mounting bracket and the radiator surface. Similar to the top radiator, the fans were mounted to take air into the case to help create a positive pressure environment for dust and debris control purposes. The radiator ports are positioned towards the front of the case so that the XSPC radiator could be directly fed from the top-mounted Swiftech radiator via a straight rigid tubing run. A bleed / drain line with a quick-connect fitting runs off of the the radiator outlet to aid in filling and draining the loop, as well as to assist in priming the secondary pump. The outlet port feeds the secondary Swiftech MCP35X pump via traditional 1/2" inner diameter tubing. Flex tubing was used for this run because it will remain hidden at the bottom right of the case and for easier integration with the secondary pump feed. In addition to the bottom mounted radiator, you can see the two system disks mounted to the bottom side of the motherboard – a 3TB spinning disk and a 250MB SSD. There is more than sufficient space to accommodate the drives and the radiator, again illustrating just how must space was built into all section of the Core X9.

The secondary Swiftech MCP35X pump and eight-way fan controller are mounted to the front right of the case just in front of the XSPC radiator. The pump is fed from the XSPC radiator and feeds into the Magicool front-mounted radiator. The Magicool radiator is mounted directly behind the case's 200mm intake fan to the back side of the case metal front plate with a 140mm fan blowing into the case. The radiator is positioned height-wise so that its outlet can make a level S-type run to the CPU block. Two of the three outlets from the XSPC Photon reservoir are used. The outside outlet feeds the top-mounted Swiftech radiator. The middle outlet features an additional drain port with an integrated quick-connect fitting for easy maintenance.

System Build Dissection – Left side Components

From the left side, you can see more of the visible portions of the build, including the graphics cards, the XSPC Photon 170 reservoir, the PSU, the top mounted Swiftech radiator, and the rigid tubing runs. The left side view gives an even better illustration of the physical amount of space available above the motherboard, even with the top mounted radiator and its associated fans.

The motherboard PCIe cards are mounted sequentially with the two EVGA GTX 970 cards cooled with full cover EK blocks and connected in parallel via rigid tubing runs. The outlet of the SLI card run has an integrated bleed and fill port for easy maintenance and directly feeds into the XSPC Photon reservoir via a straight tube run. All wiring runs from underneath the tray, either through the front pass-through holes or along the back side of the tray in between the side support and the left side panel. While the cable routing is not the cleanest, it gives a good display of the presentation possibilities the the Core X9 can offer.

The left side view of the top-mounted Swiftech radiator reinforces is position relative to the case front panel and the 5.25" devices bays. While all three device bays remain accessible and fully usable in this configuration, the bottom bay was removed to make room for the front-mounted Magicool radiator.

The Magicool radiator mounted to the front of the case is sandwiched between a 200mm fan seated behind the plastic front bezel and a 140mm fan mounted to the back of the radiator, both pushing air into the case. This works to create a positive pressure environment in tandem with the other radiator fans. The radiator is fed directly from the secondary pump via flex tubing and feeds the CPU block via S-bent rigid tubing. Notice that the top of the radiator sits directly in front of the lower 5.25" panel, necessitating removal of the lower device bay to fit the radiator.

The XSPC Photon reservoir is mounted directly to the front of the case, floating with the help of aluminum radiator brackets. It's mount height gives clearance below it and allows for a straight run from the EK waterblocks cooling the dual GTX 970 GPUs via the top inlet port. The top inlet also has a capped fill / bleed port for easy maintenance. The reservoir fits easily besides the middle mounted radiator and 5.25" device bays, again illustrating the massive dimensions of the Core X9 chassis. Bottom mounting the hard drives to the motherboard tray freed up significant room on the left side of the case, removing the need for use of a bottom-mounted drive bay. This freed up room for better cable management and bundling.

System Build Dissection – Top Components

The top view of the case with the panels removed< gives a better view of the top radiator mounting as well as the layout and available space on the left side of the case. The "bird's eye view" illustrates how much underutilized space is available in between the XSPC radiator and the PSU cabling. Additionally, you get a good view of how big the motherboard tray is with plenty of space along the sides and front of the tray. The radiator is direct mounted to the fan bracket with the fans sandwiched in between. You can also see that the case could easily accommodate a 480 radiator with no issues from this vantage point. You also get a glimpse of the GPU block tubing setup as well as a good view of the connection between the GPU block outlet and the reservoir return port.

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