Antec Torque Build Guide & Review: Open Frame Opulence

In this build guide, we’ll be jumping right in to building a complex hardline custom water cooling loop in the open frame Antec Torque computer case for a new dual ultrawide monitor battlestation. Most of the parts will be carried over from our In Win 303C build however we will be switching to a dual radiator push-pull configuration with some extremely nice Noctua fans and adding RGB RAM. Our component selection centers around the Intel Core i9-9900K and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. Here we go!

Setting Up Our Water Cooling Loop

Before we begin bending tubes, here is our parts list:

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K
  • Motherboard: ASUS Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi)
  • Memory: 32GB G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM
  • Graphics Card: ASUS RTX 2080 Ti Dual OC
  • Storage: Western Digital WD Black SN750 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Storage: Western Digital WD Blue 2TB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM1000x 1000W Gold
  • Fans: 6x Noctua NF-F12 PWM chromax.black.swap
  • Fans: 6x Corsair LL120 RGB 120mm
  • Thermal Compound: Thermal Grizzly – Kryonaut 11.1 g Thermal Paste
  • RGB Lighting Strips: Corsair RGB LED Lighting PRO Expansion Kit
  • Custom Sleeved Cables: CableMod PRO ModMesh C-Series RMi & RMx Cable Kit (White/Black)
  • Fan Hub: SilverStone 8-Port PWM Fan Hub
  • Case: Antec Torque

We began by setting our ASUS Maximus XI Hero Z390 motherboard in place, complete with the i9-9900K, 32GB of G.Skill RGB RAM and Western Digital M.2 storage drives. We also added our EK RGB CPU waterblock and our ASUS RTX 2080 Ti Dual OC with its EK RGB waterblock. Next, we installed our stout Corsair RM1000x PSU and began routing the CableMod PRO ModMesh custom sleeved power supply cables.

antec torque black red

Radiator Installation

Our original plan was to use two Bitspower Leviathan XF 360 radiators in a push pull configuration, however there is not enough room at the top of the case for an XF 360 and two sets of fans. Thankfully there is enough room in the front for an XF 360, our top radiator solution was a Bitspower Leviathan SF 360 radiator in a push pull configuration.

antec torque pc

The fans we used were a combination of Noctua NF-F12 PWM chromax.black.swap and Corsair LL120 RGB 120mm.

noctua nf f12 pwm chromax black swap
A Noctua NF-F12 PWM chromax.black.swap 120mm fan.

The RGB fans were used on the bottom of SF 360 and in front of the Leviathan XF 360, where they were most visible. One thing to note, our early pictures here display EK radiators which were installed for testing purposes before we received our final radiators from Bitspower.

corsair ll 120 water cooling

For EK radiator users, we learned during our testing that you can fit an EK PE series radiator up top with push pull fans. The PE series are 38mm thick which is 6.4mm thicker than our Bitspower SF 360. Also, for reference, the Bitspower Leviathan XF 360 radiator we used in the front is 53.6mm thick but the 60mm thick EK XE 360 will also fit in the front with a push pull fan setup.

noctua nf f12 pwm chromax black swap radiator fans

Now that we are talking water cooling components, here is our complete water cooling parts list:

  • Bitspower Leviathan XF 360 4xG1/4″ 360mm Radiator
  • Bitspower Leviathan SF 360 4xG1/4″ 360mm Radiator
  • Bitspower G1/4″ Matte Black Enhance Multi-Link For OD 16MM
  • Bitspower Matte Black Enhance 90-Degree Dual Multi-Link Adapter For OD 16MM
  • Bitspower Matte Black G1/4″ Male to Female Extender 90° Rotary Fitting
  • Bitspower None Chamfer PETG 16mm OD Tube Length 1000mm
  • EK-Supremacy EVO RGB – Nickel
  • EK-Vector RTX 2080 Ti RGB – Nickel + Plexi
  • EK-Vector RTX Backplate – Black
  • EKWB EK-XRES 140 Revo D5 PWM High-Performance Water Cooling Pump w/205mL Reservoir
  • EK-AF X-Splitter 4F G1/4 – Black Nickel
  • EK-AF Ball Valve (10mm) G1/4 – Black Nickel
  • EK-CryoFuel Solid Cloud White (Premix 1000mL)
  • Thermaltake Pacific TF1 Temperature and Flow Indicator

Our next order of business was mounting our EK-XRES 140 Revo D5 PWM pump/res combo unit. The best place to mount the pump/res in our dual push pull radiator configuration was inside the case on the bottom fan of the front radiator. As has been the case in several of our builds including in the In Win 909, the pump/res just managed to fit in between the radiator fan and our graphics card.

antec torque tempered glass gaming case

We routed the D5 pump’s cables through the back of the case. As you can see, it’s starting to get extremely messy back here. The six Corsair LL 120 RGB fans required the use two hubs connected to each other. We also used two 8-port Silverstone PWM fan hubs to connect the twelve fans from both radiators.

antec torque cable management

Hard Tubing & Fitting Installation

Our first tube ran from the RTX 2080 Ti to the bottom radiator. It required four tubing bends and we used a Bitspower 90-degree fitting for the fifth and final bend to the radiator. We could have omitted the use of the 90-degree by adding an additional bend but it’s in an area that is not seen much and were tired of attempting and failing on this bend!

antec torque atx

In this build we are using the Bitspower G1/4″ Matte Black Enhance Multi-Link for OD 16MM fittings. They are the most well-made hard tubing water cooling fittings on the market and we were thoroughly impressed with their quality. They have a nice weight, the screw threads are perfectly aligned, the O-rings were all consistent and we had no leaks whatsoever.

On the second port of the bottom radiator, we added our four-port X-Splitter from EKWB, with a drain valve attached to the one port and another port left open.

bitspower hard tubing fittings

We made a small tube and ran it from the open port on our splitter on the bottom radiator to the pump/res combo unit.

asus rog maximus xi hero water cooling
Here you can see the G.Skill TridentZ RGB RAM. Easily one of the best looking and performing RGB RAM kits available.

Skipping ahead a few bends, we added another tube coming out of the pump/res combo unit, into a 90-degree fitting and then into our Thermaltake Pacific TF1 digital temperature/flow meter. A tube runs out of the flow sensor, into another 90-degree fitting and finally into the CPU. At this point, our loop is nearly complete!

bitspower hard tube silicone bending

Next, we ran a tube from the CPU to the top radiator. A 90-degree fitting connects the two tubes. The final tube runs from the second port on the top radiator to the RTX 2080 Ti’s waterblock.

antec torque case review

Build Gallery

See the battlestation gallery below for final pictures with coolant flowing through the loop.

Performance

In this build, we overclocked our Intel Core i9-9900K to 5GHz and our RTX 2080 Ti to 2,100MHz on the core clock and +700MHz on the memory. When running all twelve fans at max speeds, the system is fairly loud, but we only do that when gaming and speakers/headphones tend to drown out fan noise anyway.

Idle Temperatures:

  • CPU (i9-9900K @ 5GHz) – 32° C
  • GPU (RTX 2080 Ti @ stock) – 28° C
  • Coolant – 24° C

Load Temperatures (fans set to max):

  • CPU (i9-9900K @ 5GHz) – 48° C while gaming & 70° C when running Cinabench
  • GPU (RTX 2080 Ti @ 2100MHz on Core & +700MHz on Memory) – 38° C while gaming
  • Coolant – 28° C

Final Build & Battlestation Gallery

Conclusion

With the Antec Torque, we attempted our most ambitious custom water-cooling loop yet. It is always fun to work in a new case and especially one as roomy and capable as the Torque. We were able to shoehorn two sizeable radiators, both in push-pull configurations with twelve fans total in this system! This resulted in frigid cold temperatures on our overclocked 9900K and RTX 2080 Ti.

Overall, the Antex Torque is a good case though as with all open-frame chassis designs, it suffers from terrible cable management and does attract lots of dust. The metal used on the case is thick enough but not quite as nice as the quality on some other open frame chassis’ such as those made by In Win. We didn’t run in to any clearance issues aside from the fact that our Bitspower Leviathan XF 360 radiator would not fit up top with a push-pull fan setup.

Purchase on Amazon

Core components:

Water Cooling components:

Battlestation Peripherals:

Summary
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Antec Torque
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