Perfect Portal PC, the cake is a lie


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Portal Build

Welcome back, this time there’s a definite theme going on,  its portal. Pretty obvious though- if you didn’t know that you probably won’t be interested in this. its built by /u/heytjm, and its done so very well.

Now, I’m not going to be including all of the work that has gone into this, as I would be writing for days and you, in turn, would be scrolling for days, there’s a lot of work gone into it, I will, however, be highlighting cool behind the scenes stuff along the way, such as this blueprint for the original design.

But first, what do you mainly use this thing for?

I’m mainly into Mass Effect Andromeda and some rocket league on the side right now. I really like Andromeda and I’m surprised it got a bad wrap from everyone on the internet.

below you can see how heytjm planned for it all to go, and a preview into his water-cooling setup.

Portal Blueprint

Below is a great show of heytjms water-cooling setup, the finished product with the side removed. These coolant tanks are beautiful, but this ain’t momma’s first rodeo;

This from a guy who’s built over a dozen PCs over the past 15 years.

Portal Theme Watercooled Build

Tricky to tell, but the case was originally a Thermaltake View 27, which he was unhappy to find out they have since started making in white, due to the amount of time spent modifying and painting the case!

Behind the scenes here, are the soft tubing junctions, as you can see there is no room to spare and I really commend his efforts here in what he has achieved.

Portal Theme Watercooled Build


Here is the PC finished on the desk, with plans for whats next;

I plan to replace my monitors and speakers soon.

Definitely agree, though it’s going to be difficult to bring everything to the standard of your PC here, I hope you have deep pockets! 🙂

I asked what his favourite piece of equipment was, and the answer comes as no surprise.

Favorite piece of equipment is definitely the PC, followed closely by my new audio setup

And it would seem there are plans underway for a screen overhaul!

I’m really waiting for HDR monitors to come out that support Gsync. I’ve heard awesome things about the picture quality of HDR and matching that with a high performance panel for gaming sounds awesome… it’s just that no one makes one yet.

Portal Theme Watercooled Build

Another one here of the PC sat on the desk, complete with Portal wallpapers.

Portal Theme Watercooled Build

Above is the backlit logo in the dark, a really cool feature, and shows the attention to the detail put into the build. Is anyone else really getting an urge to jump on Portal at this point or is it just me?

The lettering is a decal that I printed. The Aperture logo was a big pain in the @$$. I painted it with a custom mask so I could get the back lighting to work.

^ Better you than me.

Portal Theme Watercooled Build

Above here you can see the water block on the GPU, which is an EVGA 1070, should be plenty enough for Portal, I mean what else are you going to play on this really?

Thanks!! It was a lot of work to paint everything and I messed up the Aperture logo and had to sand back to plastic once. I used Mayhems Pastel premix coolant because of the opaque look, which I thought was cool.

Super cool.

So, whats next?

My next two upgrades are the monitors and a new keyboard. I already have a Corsair K95 mechanical keyboard, but I plan to make my own keyboard with a 75% layout and mechanical switches. That’s probably my next big project as I’ve never built my own keyboard before.

Ah yes, the tricky world of mechanical keyboard which we all & our wallets, know too well.

Water Cooled Portal Perfection

Portal Theme Watercooled Build

Portal Theme Watercooled Build

Just look at the reservoirs and beautiful bends. How long do you think this has taken?

I really wish I would have kept track of the hours. I’m guessing north of 100 hours for the construction. Probably another 100 in research. Both would be significantly reduced if I had any experience watercooling, I put way too much time into it. I’m sure my wife is happy it’s done 🙂

I don’t know why someone would have a problem with this build! 😉

Portal Theme Watercooled Build

Definitely, go and check out these sped up GIF’s of the tanks being filled here; GPU / CPU. I’ve never done a water cooled build, they have always intimidated me a little bit, but the fill-up process looks very appealing!

Hiding under the CPU cooler there is a 7700k, on an ASUS Z270 board, a killer combo indeed, even utilising a 960 EVO SSD, which will no doubt make for some killer read/write.

Can you imagine painting a motherboard? No me neither.

Couldn’t agree more. It was a pain to paint!

Portal Theme Watercooled Build

There we have it, quite a short one here, my apologies, but the focus was more on the actual PC system itself, I invite heytjm to get in touch when he’s done his planned overhaul on the rest of his gear!

Thanks for building this beautiful rig and thanks for allowing me to feature it. Remember, if you want to read the whole log you can do so here.


I have since heard from heytjm, and he has completed some of his wanted upgrades, focusing on the sound system, and as you can see below it is looking much better than before!

I just upgraded my audio setup to a pair of wall mounted JBL LSR 305 studio monitors with the matching 310S subwoofer. All are connected to a Lexicon Alpha DAC via XLR cables.

So, how does it sound, much better than before I imagine?

Sound is miles above anything I’ve had before and is my first experience with professional audio. Pic of the speakers is here (I also got a new desk lamp that matches my PC.

Looks great! & sure it sounds great too. Thanks again!

And thanks again all for reading!

This was a triumph, im making a note here. Huge Success.