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July 30, 2012

PDXLAN 20: “Epidemic” Custom PC by Jon Hansz

When I was at the recent PDXLAN event, I saw hundreds of cool custom PCs. Many of these PCs represent countless hours of investigation, planning, shopping, assembling, and fabrication. One of the stand-out PCs at this event was called “Epidemic” built by Jon Hansz of Gresham, Oregon. Here, you can see Jon with the Epidemic PC and a copy the May 2012 issue of CPU Magazine which featured a full-length article covering Epidemic (notice it’s also on the cover as well).


Jon is an electrician by trade and enjoys fishing, camping, PC gaming, fabrication, and case modding in his spare time. Regarding PC gaming, Jon has been at it for a while, 20+ years. When Jon set out to build Epidemic his vision was clear: build the ultimate gaming PC that would showcase his craftsmanship in the wiring and attention to detail throughout.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the design and execution highlights of this custom PC. To start with, you’ll notice that it’s huge. The CASELABS Magnum TH10 case measures 25” high, 26” deep, and 15” wide! This creates some monster proportions:


When I first saw the Epidemic PC in person, I said “WOW”. After a minute or so of taking it all in, several questions and observations came to my mind. That’s a lot of fans- how many are there? How long did that PC take to build? Look at all that liquid cooling…

In total, there are 29 fans on this PC. Jon spent a lot of time researching fans, and was particular about the noise level and the colors. After an extended search, Jon settled on the Phobya Nano-2G fans which have some interesting capabilities and specs. These fans are quiet, running at 10-25 dB, and they also support PWM control for variable speed operation.


Control of these fans is handled by a Sunbeam Rheosmart 6-channel unit which can drive 30 watts of power per channel. This fan controller is quite flexible in that it supports both automatic mode (motherboard PWM signal as input) and manual mode via the rheostats on the front of the panel. Even with 29 fans running I didn’t hear them when standing next to the PC (granted, this was not a quiet environment). With 4 LEDs illuminating each fan and a total of 29 fans (for 116 LEDs total), the fans give this PC a very dynamic look. One of the subtle details I noticed on this PC is the fact that the LEDs indicating fan operation on the fan controller are red, just like the rest of the illumination on this PC.


These fans are great at moving air, but this system also uses water cooling to move heat from the CPU and GPU. With ½” Danger Den DreamFlex tubing, Black Ice SR1 radiators, a D5 pump, and a Koolance CPU-370 waterblock, this cooling system is setup for serious heat transfer. Perhaps the most eye-catching part of the cooling setup is the FrozenQ Fusion dual bay reservoir as seen here:


This reservoir gives Epidemic an attention getting “sci-fi” look that’s just perfect for this PC.

I was also amazed by the wiring in this PC. Jon took a painstaking approach to wire up this pc, including rewiring all of the major cable runs in the PC and adding custom sleeving. To give you an idea of the work involved, the sleeving work alone took Jon about 60 hours (and he’s a professional electrician!). In addition to running custom wiring and sleeving, Jon also sewed the wire bundles together so that the alternating red/black pattern would “flow” properly. Very cool!


There’s definitely a lot of attention to detail in this PC, something that I can appreciate as a fellow PC builder. As you may have guessed, Jon spends most of his time on this PC running games. Some of Jon’s favorite titles are Battlefield 3, Call of Duty, Diablo 3, and Borderlands.

Jon is already looking forward to his next build. It will be difficult to exceed what he did with Epidemic, but I’m looking forward to seeing his next creation whatever it is!


Main Components:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 2700K (link)
  • Motherboard: EVGA Z68 (link)
  • GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified Ultra Hydro Copper (link)
  • RAM: 16 GB Mushkin enhanced redline (link)
  • Case: CASELABS Magnum TH10 (link)
  • Power Supply: Corsair ax1200, fully modular (link)
  • SSD: (2) Corsair 120 GB Force GT, Raid 0 (link)
  • HDD: Samsung 2TB


  • Fan Controller: Sunbeam Rheosmart 6-channel (link)
  • Fans: (29) Phobya Nano-2G 12 PWM Silent
  • Radiators: (1) Black Ice SR-1 480, (1) Black Ice SR-1 360 (link)
  • Pump: D5, ½” fittings (link)
  • Water Block: Koolance CPU-370 (link)
  • Tubing: Danger Den DreamFlex (link)
  • Reservoir: FrozenQ Fusion dual bay reservoir (link)

You can follow me on twitter here: @GavinGear