There’s a fine art to making a clean-looking PC build, and expert PC builder George Antonopoulos has excelled himself with the straight, clean lines in this gorgeous water-cooled PC. Appropriately, George calls this rig Napoleon, because it’s small and powerful.
Custom PC has been celebrating the best PC builds since 2003, and our Facebook group has over 390,000 members. We’ve seen many custom gaming PCs, from case mods to scratch builds. Here we chat to George about how he made this mini water-cooled living room gaming PC.
Napoleon started out when George needed to build a PC for a living room PC gaming setup. ‘We had to find a case with specific dimensions,’ he tells us, and the ‘Talius Cronos was the only case on the market that fitted.’
That in itself presented some challenges, as the Cronos is small, and this rig is absolutely packed with high-end hardware. The CPU is none other than Intel’s latest and greatest Core i9-13900K, based on the Intel Raptor Lake architecture, with 24 cores and a 5.8GHz maximum turbo boost frequency. Not only that, but the GPU is an Asus TUF card based on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090.
‘It was challenging building such a powerful machine in such a small case,’ explains George. ‘We had to pick the best performing water-cooling parts, plus we had to mod the case’s airflow a little bit.’
You can see the latter in the photo above. ‘We replaced the side tempered glass with a custom plexiglass glass mesh panel,’ explains George, ‘in order to let the top rad breathe with fresh air, rather than struggling with the hot air in the case.’
The water-cooling hardware is clearly working hard on all those hot-running components, and it also looks fantastic, with hardline tubing filled with red coolant, and a massive EK-Quantum Kinetic TBE 300 pump/reservoir combo dominating the front behind the window.
Meanwhile, a pair of 360mm radiators in the top and bottom of the case provide the cooling capacity needed to keep this top-end CPU and GPU in check in a small case.
Adding to the clean lines from the water-cooling system are the sleeved cables. They’re CableMod RT-Series Pro ModMesh cables, and they suit the build perfectly, with a matching spread of white and red colors, and neat cable combs keeping them cleanly separated.
Napoleon is now sitting pretty in its living room PC gaming setup, where it must be making for an awesome TV gaming experience with so much power on offer.
Napoleon water-cooled living room PC specs
- CPU: Intel Core i9-13900KS
- Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus Z790 Apex
- Memory: 16GB G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB 6400MHz
- Graphics card: Asus TUF GeForce RTX 4090
- Storage: 2TB Samsung 990 Pro
- PSU: 1,200W be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12
- Case: Talius Cronos
- Cooling: EK-Quantum Kinetic TBE 300 D5 PWM D-RGB Plexi pump/res combo, EK-Quantum Vector² Strix/TUF RTX 4090 D-RGB Nickel+Plexi GPU waterblock, EK-Quantum Velocity² D-RGB Nickel+Plexi CPU waterblock, 6 x EK-Vardar Evo 120ER BB White fans, 2 x Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis GTS White 360mm radiator
We love what George has done with Napoleon, with its gorgeous water-cooling system and super-clean lines – this system looks remarkably uncluttered considering how much is going on inside this small case. Replacing a glass side panel with an acrylic one is a great way to let your system breathe while still being able to see the insides, and the custom panel here looks superb. If you’re new to the world of water-cooling and want to have go yourself, then make sure you also read our full guide on how to water-cool your PC.
What do you think of this super-clean mini powerhouse? Join the conversation to discuss this PC build with our 390,000+ strong member Custom PC Facebook group, where you can also submit your own PC build or gaming setup for consideration. If you want to see more outstanding custom PCs and gaming setups, check out our massive guide to the best PC builds.