YIDIY: Peter "L3P" Brand's L3Pipe

GeForce Garage, Interview, YIDIY

We first encountered Peter "L3p" Brands with his inspired Cross Desk almost a year ago. Since then he's been alluding to his "caseless casemod" with increasing frequency, constantly teasing pictures on his Facebook feed.

With his latest creation consisting of almost nothing but hardtubing, the 'fittingly' named L3Pipe is finally done. We caught up with Peter to check out his masterpiece, to pick his brain, and mostly to just drool over the rig.

What first got you into modding?

I’ve been an online gamer since 1996. Back then your hardware made more of a difference than now. The faster your PC was the more responsive you were. And with that, lots of heat!

So I actually started with trying to create more airflow in those silly small beige cases by drilling holes and sawing pieces out of it. It took me 10 years to take the jump and start liquidcooling my PCs. I always thought water and components should’t go together, but that’s where my passion for modding started.

We're very familar with the Cross Desk. Give us the background on it.

Back in 2011, I had just regular wooden desk; It was always a mess and full of scratches. I was also so tired of lifting my heavy 25kg build off the floor onto a table to replace hardware or to work on the loop. So after getting some inspiration from other desks I decided to build ‘L3p D3sk’.

Now all I had to do was lift the glass panel and work on my desk. Also, the radiator was under my house, so there was no noise and it ran very cool. It was quite a success that two years later, I was helping design the 'Cross Desk' with Scott Bruins for Red Harbinger. I was the first to build and test in the Cross D3sk prototype.

What inspired you to create L3Pipe?

After three versions of the desks and several other builds, it was time for something completely different. I’ve been playing with hardline loops since 2010 and this was an idea in the back of my mind for quite some time now- "Create a casemod .. without a case, just a loop and a minimal amount of frame."


Component Product
Frame Parvum Custom lasercut Aluminum/plexi frame
Graphics Cards 2x GeForce GTX 980 with NVIDIA 2-Way SLI Bridge
CPU Intel i7 5930K
Motherboard Asus X99 Deluxe
Memory Corsair Dominator Platinum 64GB (8x8) DDR4 2400Mhz with
Light Bar Upgrade Kits
Storage 2x Corsair Force Series LX 512GB
Power Corsair HXi Series HX1000i
Cables Corsair White sleeved Cable Kit
Cooling Fans: 8x Corsair SP120 LED White
Fittings, Reservoirs, Pumptops & Flowsensors: Bitspower
Blocks, Backplates, Radiators, Pumps & Coolant: EKWB
Piping: Nanoxia CoolForce PETG Hard Tube
Peripherals Keyboard: Corsair Vengeance K70 RGB
Mouse: Corsair Vengeance M65 RGB
Monitor: LG 34UM95-P

Tell us more about the rig?

For this build, I didn’t even use that much material. Just a few sandwiched 3mm panels of aluminum and acrylic to create a frame to hold everything, and 1.5 meters of nickel-plated 6mm pipe to support the radiators and GTX980’s. And fittings.... lots of them.

Turning all these fittings into...

L3Pipe- 194 fittings and 53 pipes in total!

Everyone assumes it’s very loud with all those fans and pumps, but it’s really silent as all four pumps are PWM-controlled through the mainboard at the lowest setting. Same goes for the eight fans- they are all running on the Corsair Commander Mini by PWM signal on lowest setting. I’m actually trying to find out if I can run passively because in idle the system is only pulling 165W (Stressed 600W).

How long did it take you?

It took me 9 months in total. I have a busy daytime job and family obligations but I put in time everyday, whatever I could spare- whether it was for just 5 minutes or the full day.

Why do you still do it? What keeps you passionate about modding?

Why do I DIY? I’m the kind of person that always needs something to do. Can’t sit still for a minute. So I finally found a way to spend my time on something I like to do with passion.

Here's the secret: I only do one casemod a year. I don’t want to get stressed doing this. It's a hobby, I just want to enjoy it.

For the complete build log for this amazing build, and more, visit L3P's site.

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