New water cooling build - would love some advice!

Hi guys,

I'm currently gearing up to buy a new rig and I have decided this time to go for a full custom loop. I have made a custom loop once before but that was some 9 years ago and things have changed dramatically since then in the cooling scene, component heat output and also my outlook on doing things right once!

With that said, I have put together a short list of gear that I have pieced together from reading the water cooling sticky and also various web and print articles. I was wondering if some of the knowledgeable members of the community would be able to vet this list for me and perhaps answer some questions I have relating to the build.

Without further a due - the list!

CPU block: Swiftech Apoge HD
GPU block : EVGA Hydrocopper Titan
Top radiator: MCR-X20 Drive Rev3 (Res and MCP35X Pump built in)
Bottom radiator: Swiftech "eXtreme Performance" Dual 120mm Radiator
Res: Swiftech Maelstrom 5 1/4" Dual Bay w/ Single MCP35X Pump
Pumps: MCP35X Pump x2 (1 in res and 1 in radiator)
Fans: Noctua NF-P14 FLX 140mm (in push/pull config on bottom radiator and push push on top radiator)
Fittings and tubing: 1/2 ID - 3/4 OD tubing and compression fittings
Misc: Koolance drain valve and Bitspower flow sensor

I have a couple of questions for those in the know:

Will there be any issues with two res' in the loop? One will be mounted at the top of the case and the other will be slightly lower in the drive bays which got me thinking that I might get a surging effect or indeed lose the efficiency/effect of the drive mounted res completely? If this is the case would I be better off to mount the MCR-X20 Drive Rev3 on the bottom of the case?

You can also see that I have two pumps in the system (one on the top radiator and one in the drive res), I have opted for two pumps just solely based on redundancy factor but I don't know if it is too much pump for the system? My worry is that I will provide too much head or flow and cause cavitation in the lines?

Also just to put it up here as some might wonder; I have gone with almost entirely Swiftech gear because it's what I used in my first loop and I hear good things about them across the board where ever I look (well except for price in some places).

Thanks in advance for any info and advice,
Kuro86.
8 answers Last reply
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  1. wow you ask a lot but, ok
    two rads are fine and two pumps are fine to.
    only one video card?
    I would want to get some 120mm fans for the 120mm rad.
    tight loop man, i am working on a couple right now and jist finished one.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/284615-29-build
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274855-29-experimental-radiator-build
  2. toolmaker_03 said:
    wow you ask a lot but, ok
    two rads are fine and two pumps are fine to.
    only one video card?
    I would want to get some 120mm fans for the 120mm rad.
    tight loop man, i am working on a couple right now and jist finished one.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/284615-29-build
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274855-29-experimental-radiator-build


    The Hydrocopper titans are going to be pretty expensive so I don't know if the wife will like me shelling out that much.... but who knows!

    The fans that I have listed are 140mm fans that can be mounted in 120mm positions. I thought I would try them as they can provide more cfm at a much lower RPM along with a lower acoustic footprint.

    Any idea on the position of the res'?
  3. You shouldn't have any issues with two reservoirs in the loop, though I suspect that the reservoir in the MCR-X20 would be so small I wouldn't even consider it a reservoir. Chances are the tubing of this loop will contain more water than that reservoir.

    The two pumps might have some adverse effects though. While a higher flow rate does lead to better cooling, it hits a point of vastly diminishing returns after about 1GPM. So adding in a pump to achieve that higher flow rate is somewhat pointless and the heat output of the pump itself can counter what gains you do get and go further too negatively affect cooling performance.
    All that being said, I can understand the redundancy angle your going for and I don't think what I described above will really make that much of a difference. Also it means if you expand the loop to include more restrictive blocks (GPU, RAM and mobo VRM blocks mainly) and you wont have to worry about pump performance.

    Need to know what case your using before we can suggest places to put the pump/res.

    Didn't EK release their own Titan blocks? Might be cheaper than the HydroCoppers.
  4. manofchalk said:
    You shouldn't have any issues with two reservoirs in the loop, though I suspect that the reservoir in the MCR-X20 would be so small I wouldn't even consider it a reservoir. Chances are the tubing of this loop will contain more water than that reservoir.

    The two pumps might have some adverse effects though. While a higher flow rate does lead to better cooling, it hits a point of vastly diminishing returns after about 1GPM. So adding in a pump to achieve that higher flow rate is somewhat pointless and the heat output of the pump itself can counter what gains you do get and go further too negatively affect cooling performance.
    All that being said, I can understand the redundancy angle your going for and I don't think what I described above will really make that much of a difference. Also it means if you expand the loop to include more restrictive blocks (GPU, RAM and mobo VRM blocks mainly) and you wont have to worry about pump performance.

    Need to know what case your using before we can suggest places to put the pump/res.

    Didn't EK release their own Titan blocks? Might be cheaper than the HydroCoppers.



    I thought that the flow might affect the on the thermal efficiency of the blocks. Would it be possible to negate the issue by throttling the pumps back?

    The case I have ready for the parts is a Coolermaster Strom Stryker.

    I had a look at the EK blocks and I chose not to go down that route because the blocks are hard to source here in Aus and I'm also not really fond of pulling of reference coolers on $1300 cards! (Bad experience in the 6800 sli days) Along side that there really isn't any price difference.
  5. Aussie build, yes!

    Possibly, but as I said I don't think it will have much of an effect on performance. The extra heat dump from the unnecessary pump will be well and truly dealt with since you'v got 360+240mm of rad space currently. Plus the MCP35X's are DDC pumps, which arent cooled by the flow of water through them like D5 pumps.
    Though that raises another issue, youl have to make sure they stay cool in some way, the PCB on DDC pumps are known for getting fairly hot.

    If it doesn't get in the way of the Titan or any other cards, you could probably just plonk the pump/res on top of the PSU with some double sided velcro tape. Or on that (what looks like) 2.5" drive bay.

    Wow, how much does it cost to import a Titan Hydrocopper? Far as I know none of those cards are even available down here in Aus, and I do know to import components costs a fair bit. Around $1500 after all is said and done I'm guessing?
    You might be better off going dual 7970's, you definitely seem to have the rad space to deal with the heat output and it would be a much cheaper way of getting similar performance.
  6. manofchalk said:
    Aussie build, yes!

    Possibly, but as I said I don't think it will have much of an effect on performance. The extra heat dump from the unnecessary pump will be well and truly dealt with since you'v got 360+240mm of rad space currently. Plus the MCP35X's are DDC pumps, which arent cooled by the flow of water through them like D5 pumps.
    Though that raises another issue, youl have to make sure they stay cool in some way, the PCB on DDC pumps are known for getting fairly hot.

    If it doesn't get in the way of the Titan or any other cards, you could probably just plonk the pump/res on top of the PSU with some double sided velcro tape. Or on that (what looks like) 2.5" drive bay.

    Wow, how much does it cost to import a Titan Hydrocopper? Far as I know none of those cards are even available down here in Aus, and I do know to import components costs a fair bit. Around $1500 after all is said and done I'm guessing?
    You might be better off going dual 7970's, you definitely seem to have the rad space to deal with the heat output and it would be a much cheaper way of getting similar performance.


    I will have to look at a cooling solution for the pumps, never thought of it to be quite honest. Also I have 2 240mm rads, no 360mm - I could look at a 360mm for the bottom. I'll measure up tonight.

    Hmm, I would like to keep the res on he front if possible, otherwise I will buy a cheap res without all the fruit on it like the one I listed.

    The Hydrocopper isn't released yet but I have budgeted $1500 per card. I'm pretty much sold on Nvidia at the moment as I have been with amd/ati for about 7 years and the trouble I have had with the cards/drivers have really put me off.
  7. i always try to put my res right before the pump in my loops.
  8. Oops, didnt notice that the pump/res was a bay unit. Nor did I realise that the MCR-X20 was a dual rad.
    Should be fine to mount it in the 5.25" bays.
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