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This Intel Core i9-13900K water-cooled gaming PC is small but mighty

This small PC build features a custom vented acrylic side panel, and is kitted out with an Intel Core i9-13900KS CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU.

A water cooled gaming PC with red tubing in a white PC case

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 gaming PC. Appropriately, George calls this rig Napoleon, because it’s small and powerful.

Thanks to our rapidly growing PC building Facebook page, we’ve seen many custom gaming PCs, from mods based on existing case designs to scratch PC builds. You can even submit yours for consideration right here. 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.”

A closer look at the red tubing in this white and red watercooled PC

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 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.”

A modded acrylic window on a watercooled PC to allow for better airflow

You can see the latter in the photo above. “We replaced the side tempered glass with a custom plexiglass glass mesh panel 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 hard-line tubing filled with red coolant, and a massive EK-Quantum Kinetic TBE 300 pump/reservoir combo dominating the front behind the window.

The reservoir of a red and white gaming PC

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.

A living room gaming setup with a white water cooled PC on the right of the TV

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 water cooling and want to have a go yourself, read our guide on how to water cool your PC.

This post originally appeared on Custom PC, which has covered amazing setups for over 20 years and is now part of PCGamesN. Join our nearly 500k-member Facebook group to discuss this build. And if you consider yourself an expert PC modder, submit your own custom PC build to us today for a chance to be featured on PCGamesN in the future. If you want a pre-built option, check out today’s best gaming PCs for your money.