Customization: Cables and Lighting
Continuing with the customization theme, one of the big features of the X99 Phoenix motherboard is the RGB lighting on the board and the one RGB header that you can link case lighting with. To take advantage of this CableMod offered to send over their lighting strips. I made a mistake when putting in the CableMod order and only ended up with one so I did have to pick up the second one on Newegg, but I went with 30cm long strips and because the CaseLabs Bullet case is made of aluminum I had to get the foam sticky tape versions over the easier to use magnetic model. The double sided sticky tape that CableMod uses is unique in being the older foam style rather than the thin tape kind, but this is by design. I know I have had lighting fall down over time, the foam tape sticks better and should prevent that.
When we got the CaseLabs case we also added the two lighting rails to the order and this is where they finally come in handy. The rails are the perfect length to hold the 30cm length strips so I knew where my lighting would go, I just had to get it all wired up. The motherboard comes with an adapter cable so I hooked that up and then from there I needed extension cables to run from the motherboard up to the first RGB strip and then across the case to the other strip. I ended up ordering THESE 30cm cables because they were the length I needed and they were the only option out there in black. They worked perfectly from one side to the other. I did have to take a male to male LED adapter from an older lighting kit in the office, but that was all hooked up. The longer cable then ran down and into the bottom of the case right next to the RGB connection on the motherboard and back up and out again to hide the extra length there.
So I set the lighting to orange to fit the build, I’m not a big fan of the rotating color modes most of the time. Gigabytes software let me pick the exact color I wanted and this was helpful because I had to add more red to get the lighting to perfectly match what I was looking for. In the end, the lighting lit up the entire top of the case really well. I flipped the top cover of the case around to have the vent above the two video cards and the top vent ends up having a really cool glow coming from it.
With the lighting on and the top cover on the view in both side windows is good as well. The orange glow is enough to tint the video cards orange a little. This actually reminds of one of my original plans for the Crush build that I may still do. I knew there wouldn’t be room for water cooling the two cards and that I would be sticking with the air cooling on them but I wanted to paint the founder's edition coolers orange to match the case. As of writing this though I haven’t done it. I was originally going to use plasti dip but the paint I ordered that matched was the wrong type when it came in and they no longer sold the specific color I wanted. So I’m still looking at options there.
For the final touch, I wanted to customize the wiring on the build as well. I went with CableMod on our D-Frame Mini build and loved them so I reached back out to them here and they were happy to help. You could go with cable extensions to get the same look considering the power supply is hidden up under everything but I did go with custom length cables. To do this I actually installed the original cables for the build and then measured the length I really needed using a string to avoid having big bunches of cables in the bottom section. The hope was this extra room might open up water cooling options when it was all together but this didn’t really happen.
I had a bunch of photos of the cables when they came in but I can’t find them at all now. So let's jump right into the installed photos. I spent a lot of time routing the video card cables up into a loop for each card even though they aren’t really visible much when you get the top panel back on.
The CPU power ends up being the most visible of all of the cables, this is a little ironic because normally this is a cable that is hidden behind your motherboard and tucked up at the top of the case but our Bullet BH7 has windows on both sides and this cable is right in the window. It looks great too. I went with an orange and black layout using CableMods ModMesh sleeving. This is a plastic based sleeving where most people use a fabric paracord sleeving. This makes the colors pop a little more and gives a little more protection but it is harder to work with. To keep everything lined up I also used clear plastic cable combs, they hold everything but I didn’t want them to be super visible.
The last cable in the case was the 24 pin motherboard power. This is the hardest of all of the cables to work with both because of the location in the middle of the case and also because of the number of cables. I worked on it for a while to get things lined up but it didn’t come out as good as I would like. I plan on revisiting this one in the future to get it cleaned up. There seemed to be a twist up under the case in the bottom of this cable, preventing it from looping up and down like I had wanted.
CableMod also sent over one of their newly introduced sleeved power cables with the same bright orange ModMesh sleeving on it and I must say the cable looks amazing. They now also have Ethernet cables as well. I might have to order an Ethernet and power cable to match my LAN rig so it will be easy to spot which cable is mine at events! The sleeving is tight on the cable and you can’t see through it at all. The sleeving then slips up under the connections on both ends so there is no need for heat shrink tubing or anything like that.
Stay tuned for more coverage, now that the build is all together it is time to see how it performs.