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Questions about 3-way SLI Water Cooling (NOT CPU)

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April 24, 2013 8:06:08 AM

I've been doing a lot of research and I think I have a good idea of what to get for what I need but I'm still unsure of a few things. Here is what I am planning:

I've got 3 GTX 285's (it works for what I need) setup in 3-way SLI but it's overheating due to their close proximity to each other. Additionally, I would like to overclock the GPU's as much as possible without them overheating.

So what I'm looking for is a good loop that has the right pressure and maximum cooling for 3 graphics cards. I don't need to water cool my CPUs! That's the problem I've been running into; everyone is building loops powerful enough to cool 3-way SLI AND CPU's but not solely the 3-way SLI. I'm also looking for the most reliable parts. Money is not a problem here but I would like to get the most bang for my buck.

I have enough space for just about any radiator, a little less space for reservoir and enough power for any pump... I think I could run a pool pump with the power supply I've got on this thing. Just looking for the best of the best here since I game AND work on this PC. Need it to run for a long time.

Parts I was thinking about:

1. Radiator: Aqua Computer AirPlex Revolution Radiator (465x146x63mm)
Edit: In progress - searching for rad with most cooling power. I would like it to fit into my PC (465 long and 80mm thick can fit, It's a big case). TDP = 3x GTX 285 at 204w each = 612w. I am just looking for the setup that will give me the most OC potential.

2. Fans: Scythe "ULTRA KAZE" 3,000 rpm 120x38mm or Delta FFB1212EHE-F00 4,000 rpm 120mm fans (x2 or 3 depending on the rad)

3. Pump: Edit: Swiftech MCP655 or DDC 3.25 with XSPC top

4. Reservoir: EK RES 250 or Swiftech MCRES (maybe I'll get something a little more sexy since reservoirs don't seem to have big differences between brands - suggestions?)

5. Tubing: Tygon 1/2" tubing. Anything better? I might need something a little more flexible but not sure yet.

6. Fittings: compression fittings but should I go with a quick-disconnect system for the fittings on the graphics cards? Push on/clamps for the pump.

7. Coolant: I've heard that Fluid XP+ Ultra stays non-conductive for longer periods of time than others but there are so many to choose from that I don't know which is best. Looking for long-lasting non-conductivity, non-corrosive and anti-algae.

What I already have:

3 GTX 285's in 3-way SLI with HeatKiller blocks. Image link: http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c5/hondacity25/hondaa...

I hope someone can give me some pointers on proper equipment for what I am trying to do and I hope this thread helps somebody else out there that is trying to accomplish the same thing. Also a nice update for 2013, as many other threads are anywhere from 2009-2011. If I somehow missed a thread about this, please show it to me!! I just wasn't able to find one with the specifics that was up to date.

EDIT: FINAL SETUP/CONCLUSION (note that this is a bit of overkill but I wanted to be able to upgrade graphics cards in the near future and overclock all of them):

2x Aqua Computer AirPlex Revolution Radiators (2x$90=$180) here
1x Radiator mounting bracket (PC back extendable from Koolance) ($45) here
6x Koolance 4,000 RPM, 183.5 CFM (FAN-12038HBK-184) (push configuration) ($165 total - found on amazon, bought all) here
1x Swiftech MCP655 Variable Speed pump (1/4 threaded by frozencpu.com) ($120) here
1x MCRES Micro Rev2 Reservoir ($26) here
2x Koolance clamps for tubing on pump (1/2" OD) (2x$1=$2) here
8x compression fittings for 2 radiators, 1 reservoir and pump (1/2 ID 3/4 OD) (6x$9.50=$76) here
2x Koolance QDC (Extreme Flow) Female (5/8" ID)(VL4N-F16-19B) (2x$15=$30) here
2x Koolance QDC (Extreme Flow) No-Spill, Male (5/8" ID)(VL4N-M16-19B) (2x$14=$28) here
1x PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT Tubing 1/2"ID x 3/4" OD - 10ft ($25) here
3x PrimoChill Anti-Kink Coils (3x$4=$12) here
1x Distilled water ($few bucks) HEB
1x Killcoil ($7) Here
1x Sunbeam PL-RS-6 Rheosmart 6 Fan, 5.25" Bay 30W Fan Controller ($40) here

Total: $756
a b K Overclocking
April 24, 2013 9:40:15 AM

well it does look like you are into this so yes QDC's are a good idea so are compression fittings and soft 3-way rotary 90's are a must for making a system easy to pipe with tubing. I have a single loop system for my video cards and a separate loop for the CPU. I would like to know the specific design of the video card blocks that you have meaning is there a pin matrix within the blocks making them restrictive if they are a parallel setup for the blocks would be preferable.

here is my build log for you to look at if you have specific questions pleases ask.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274855-29-experimenta...

it seems to work very well for me.

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April 24, 2013 10:07:33 AM

toolmaker_03 said:
well it does look like you are into this so yes QDC's are a good idea so are compression fittings and soft 3-way rotary 90's are a must for making a system easy to pipe with tubing. I have a single loop system for my video cards and a separate loop for the CPU. I would like to know the specific design of the video card blocks that you have meaning is there a pin matrix within the blocks making them restrictive if they are a parallel setup for the blocks would be preferable.

here is my build log for you to look at if you have specific questions pleases ask.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274855-29-experimenta...

it seems to work very well for me.



Yeah I figured the QDC's would be a good idea, just wanted some reassurance. Compression fittings, eh. I read a bit about those too and heard it just takes a little bit of extra maintenance (not much, just extra tightening after a few times of warming up), but if those are much better than the push on (in which I would use the clamps) then I will go for it (after a bit more research).

The Heatkiller GTX 285 blocks do not have a pin matrix... at least I'm 99.99% sure but I plan on taking them apart to make sure everything is as it should be anyway (as I purchased these used).

Any thoughts on the pump, radiator or reservoir? As I said, just looking for the best of the best; the most reliable parts. The other thing I was just slightly concerned about was the pressure in the loop. From what I have read, what I have will work but if anyone thinks otherwise, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Looks like you've got a nice setup there, I'll be reading through it today.
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a c 81 K Overclocking
April 24, 2013 10:17:24 AM

Someone else can step in and give advice on this as well, since I'm not an expert on this, but I'm not sure if a 360 rad will be enough for 3 GPUs.
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a b K Overclocking
April 24, 2013 10:18:53 AM

your pump is the same type that I use, and the rad chosen is a thin rad so it would be rather restrictive. If possible have a look at the thick rads available as a single rad solution for your setup. The 80mm thick Monstra rads work very well but than again any thick rad(60mm to 80mm+) works well. It would be cheaper to have one rad than paralleling two thin rads together. I did that because I already had the rads, and I had convinced myself that it could work, it was only a matter of configuring the hardware together properly.
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April 24, 2013 11:21:47 AM

ihog said:
Someone else can step in and give advice on this as well, since I'm not an expert on this, but I'm not sure if a 360 rad will be enough for 3 GPUs.


That's what I needed to hear/was afraid of. Thank you for the reply.
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April 24, 2013 11:41:50 AM

toolmaker_03 said:
your pump is the same type that I use, and the rad chosen is a thin rad so it would be rather restrictive. If possible have a look at the thick rads available as a single rad solution for your setup. The 80mm thick Monstra rads work very well but than again any thick rad(60mm to 80mm+) works well. It would be cheaper to have one rad than paralleling two thin rads together. I did that because I already had the rads, and I had convinced myself that it could work, it was only a matter of configuring the hardware together properly.


I was wondering about that. I'll do some more searching for reviews on 80mm rads but it was difficult to find one that was up to date (found one from like 2003).

PS. I believe the triple bridge on the 3-way SLI setup will allow it to run in parallel but I wasn't 100% positive. Know anything about this?
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a b K Overclocking
April 24, 2013 12:18:28 PM

Well for that matter EK made 3 different types of bridges 1 that was only serial, 1 that was only parallel, and there newer model with can be configured to be either parallel or serial. I am not that familiar with the Heatkiller bridge, but as they are a better company, I would hope that there bridge can be configured both ways as well.
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April 24, 2013 12:32:03 PM

toolmaker_03 said:
Well for that matter EK made 3 different types of bridges 1 that was only serial, 1 that was only parallel, and there newer model with can be configured to be either parallel or serial. I am not that familiar with the Heatkiller bridge, but as they are a better company, I would hope that there bridge can be configured both ways as well.


Ah, just found out the bridge is parallel.
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April 24, 2013 2:07:54 PM

I had left out a very important aspect: the fans. I was looking at Delta FFB1212EHE-F00 4,000 rpm 120mm fans (x2 or 3 depending on the rad). I don't mind it sounding like an F-16 taking off, I just wanted to get it as cool as possible.
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a b K Overclocking
April 24, 2013 2:20:36 PM

I have been there with the good fan thing I had deltas and yes it will be loud it might not be a bad idea to get a 30W+ per channel fan controller to turn them down when you are not playing games. Today though I like it to be as silent as possible I have to sleep in the same room with this beast so it has to be quite.

good to here that it is parallel bridge just shows that the makers of the block are very aware of how there product should be configured for the best results. So if it is a must, to have thin rads for this setup I have completed another build with two thin rads paralleled together it is not the best setup for the rads as far as cooling them goes, but it is functional.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/284615-29-build

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April 24, 2013 2:42:05 PM

toolmaker_03 said:
I have been there with the good fan thing I had deltas and yes it will be loud it might not be a bad idea to get a 30W+ per channel fan controller to turn them down when you are not playing games. Today though I like it to be as silent as possible I have to sleep in the same room with this beast so it has to be quite.

good to here that it is parallel bridge just shows that the makers of the block are very aware of how there product should be configured for the best results. So if it is a must, to have thin rads for this setup I have completed another build with two thin rads paralleled together it is not the best setup for the rads as far as cooling them goes, but it is functional.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/284615-29-build



I already have a fan controller at 25w/channel but was thinking that I would need another for this for that reason. Good advice.

That build... looks pretty tight! I'm a fan of the whole industrial look, that's kind of what I'm going for in mine. But thin is not a must. 80mm will easily fit into this case with what I currently have in it and I am not opposed to having the rad located outside of the case. Really, choosing the right rad is now my biggest issue.
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a c 176 K Overclocking
April 24, 2013 5:29:35 PM

Radiator:
612W is a fair bit to dissipate with one radiator, even the thicker 60mm+ rads would require some some very fast fans to cool it.
http://martinsliquidlab.org/2012/04/12/alphacool-nexxxo...
http://martinsliquidlab.org/2012/04/19/ek-coolstream-ra...
A Push/Pull setup may help with that, but would still need to be spinning fairly fast.
I suggest you get multiple radiators.

Pump:
With three cards in parallel (very low restriction), you could probably get away with a single pump. Of the two go with either, both are basically the same thing with a different sticker on it.

Reservoir:
Did you say sexy?
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10279/ex-res-166/Froz...
They come in different colours as well.

Tubing is Tubing, get what you want.

Fittings:
Compressions work exactly the same as Barb fittings + Clamps, they just look better for a few dollars more.
Quick Disconnects, dont really see the point in this setup.

Coolant:
Distilled water, available in your local supermarket. Throw in a Kill-Coil or a biocide, that will stop stuff growing in the loop. As long as your metal choices have been reasonable (no Aluminium, stuck to Copper, Brass, Nickel) there shouldn't be any great risk of corrosion.
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April 25, 2013 10:37:43 AM

manofchalk said:
Radiator:
612W is a fair bit to dissipate with one radiator, even the thicker 60mm+ rads would require some some very fast fans to cool it.
http://martinsliquidlab.org/2012/04/12/alphacool-nexxxo...
http://martinsliquidlab.org/2012/04/19/ek-coolstream-ra...
A Push/Pull setup may help with that, but would still need to be spinning fairly fast.
I suggest you get multiple radiators.

Pump:
With three cards in parallel (very low restriction), you could probably get away with a single pump. Of the two go with either, both are basically the same thing with a different sticker on it.

Reservoir:
Did you say sexy?
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10279/ex-res-166/Froz...
They come in different colours as well.

Tubing is Tubing, get what you want.

Fittings:
Compressions work exactly the same as Barb fittings + Clamps, they just look better for a few dollars more.
Quick Disconnects, dont really see the point in this setup.

Coolant:
Distilled water, available in your local supermarket. Throw in a Kill-Coil or a biocide, that will stop stuff growing in the loop. As long as your metal choices have been reasonable (no Aluminium, stuck to Copper, Brass, Nickel) there shouldn't be any great risk of corrosion.


I was planning on using an 80mm thick radiator with 3 of the 4,000 rpm fans. Think that would suffice? Might be a good idea to go with 2 anyway. I could have one on the top (interior) and one on the back (exterior). The other thing I was thinking about is one very large radiator on the exterior of the side.

Haha, yeah I had been looking into the FrozenQ reservoirs but had heard that they have more leakage problems than others. Who knows though.

I chose quick disconnects for the graphics card bridge because I plan on upgrading them in the near future and this would prevent me from having to empty the entire loop.

Edit: As much as I didn't want to, I will go with distilled water and a killcoil. I just thought that by now, they would have a coolant that worked a little better and didn't leave any kind of residue/buildup. If anyone knows of anything better than distilled water and a killcoil, let me know!

Thanks for the nice reply! Taking all into consideration.
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April 25, 2013 3:22:55 PM

So I've done a little more research and I believe that with the Swiftech MCP655, Aqua Computer AirPlex Revolution Radiator (465x146x63mm) and the Delta FFB1212EHE-F00 4,000 rpm 120mm fans (x3) it should have anywhere between 800-1,000W dissipated. That will be more than enough for keeping it cool but overclocking... still have to figure that part out. Which setup would give me the most overclocking potential, hmm.
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a b K Overclocking
April 25, 2013 4:20:57 PM

well if that is what your after why did you not say so in the first place, here use this as a radiator and you will get that high clock your after.



with this you will not need a radiator at all, but you will need a large reservoir.
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April 25, 2013 5:17:12 PM

toolmaker_03 said:
well if that is what your after why did you not say so in the first place, here use this as a radiator and you will get that high clock your after.



with this you will not need a radiator at all, but you will need a large reservoir.


An aquarium cooler, NICE!! HAHAHA! Has anyone really tried this with their computer cooling system? I would love to see that. I would be concerned about power consumption though.
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a b K Overclocking
April 25, 2013 6:31:01 PM

Yes there are many videos on you tube as well I plan to use this on my son's build to see for my self how well it works but it has the ability to remove all the heat generated in a computer water loop system.
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April 25, 2013 7:41:13 PM

toolmaker_03 said:
Yes there are many videos on you tube as well I plan to use this on my son's build to see for my self how well it works but it has the ability to remove all the heat generated in a computer water loop system.


........ I'm seriously looking into this.
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a b K Overclocking
April 25, 2013 7:50:22 PM

There not cheep, I found a place that sells them for $899 US, that I would trust and delivery is free. I am still saving up for it maybe two or three more months until I will purchase one I am looking at the 1/3HP at first to see if it is large enough and if not I will simply return it for a larger model so you can see how I want to have enough saved up to get the right one for the size of the rig that I am building if it cost me $2000 than so be it. I am hoping that the smaller units will be enough to cool the system though.
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April 25, 2013 8:16:24 PM

toolmaker_03 said:
There not cheep, I found a place that sells them for $899 US, that I would trust and delivery is free. I am still saving up for it maybe two or three more months until I will purchase one I am looking at the 1/3HP at first to see if it is large enough and if not I will simply return it for a larger model so you can see how I want to have enough saved up to get the right one for the size of the rig that I am building if it cost me $2000 than so be it. I am hoping that the smaller units will be enough to cool the system though.


The smaller unit (1/3 hp) would probably do the job for 3-way SLI and even the CPUs. At least it looks that way at a first glance. This thing runs COLD and has a surprising flow rate. I really am thinking about it and found it for around $750 (not too bad). I may not need that much cooling power yet but as I said, I plan on upgrading the graphics cards in the near future. Maybe 3 or 4-way SLI eith GTX 690's OC'ed.
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a b K Overclocking
April 25, 2013 8:23:25 PM

the flow rate is based on some of the extreme pumps that can be attached to this thing. I was planning on using two 655 pumps and a 3 gallon reservoir to help stabilize the water temps. insulating the piping and reservoir will help with that as well. there is a guy here that has done a lot of work with cooled water systems here is his link it should help as well there is a lot of good info in there.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/282844-29-peltier-wat...
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April 26, 2013 1:16:28 PM

toolmaker_03 said:
the flow rate is based on some of the extreme pumps that can be attached to this thing. I was planning on using two 655 pumps and a 3 gallon reservoir to help stabilize the water temps. insulating the piping and reservoir will help with that as well. there is a guy here that has done a lot of work with cooled water systems here is his link it should help as well there is a lot of good info in there.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/282844-29-peltier-wat...


That does look like a brilliant idea for OC'ing but after much more research, I think I am going to go with the PC loop comprised of:

2x Aqua Computer AirPlex Revolution Radiators (2x$90=$180)
1x Radiator mounting bracket (PC back extendable from Koolance) ($45)
6x Delta FFB1212EHE-F00 4,000 rpm 120mm fans (push configuration) (6x$30=$180)
1x Swiftech MCP655 Variable Speed pump (1/4 threaded by frozencpu.com) ($120)
1x MCRES Micro Rev2 Reservoir ($26)
2x Koolance clamps for tubing on pump (1/2" OD) (2x$1=$2)
8x compression fittings for 2 radiators, 1 reservoir and pump (1/2 ID 3/4 OD) (6x$9.50=$76)
2x VL3N-MG Koolance QDC male end (1/4" thread size for 3-way SLI water bridge) (2x$13=$26)
2x VL3N-F10B Koolance QDC female end (for 3/8" ID tubing) (2x$14=$28)
1x PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT Tubing 7/16"ID x 5/8" OD ($25)
3x PrimoChill Anti-Kink Coils (3x$4=$12)
Distilled water ($few bucks)
1x Killcoil ($7)
1x Sunbeam RHK-EX-BA Rheobus-Extreme Fan Controller ($26)

Total: $753

All look good? Any thoughts?
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a b K Overclocking
April 26, 2013 1:38:30 PM

yes it does

I think that it will work well for you with lots of room to grow I have been doing this for a while now.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
April 26, 2013 3:05:47 PM

Can you provide links to your shopping list? Seems rather overkill to me, but I'm not going to tell you what to spend your own money on. I would certainly suggest different fans rather than Delta's (which are incredibly expensive...$180 on 6x fans alone??)

You can often look around and find deals on Scythe Ultra Kaze's (2000 or 3000 rpm) and they are beastly fans. I use 6 of them and paid like $8 a fan on sale at Performance PCs. You can also find them elsewhere if you look...might check Amazon.com.

I'm not a fan of QDC's that much...maybe 1-2 would be OK, but you really aren't going to be disconnecting your loop that often. Buying a little extra tubing is the simplest way; just cut your tubing, drain and replace a piece when you need to refill. QDC's also introduce 3 places for potential leaks per QDC: both tubing/fitting ends, and the connector itself. There have also been some report that QDCs can drop your flow rate and add unwanted restriction, depending on QDC brand. I'm pretty sure that Martin or Skinnee has tested some of these...some do, some don't.

Just in case you haven't done the math: 3x GTX 580's (stock speeds): 244w TDP (each) x3 = 732w. Even being generous at 85% TDP max you are looking at approx. 622w. Overclocking is going to raise your TDP per card. You are easily looking at 2x 360 rads for your needs, but they don't have to be AC brand.

You can also save yourself $45 on a radiator mounting bracket by being creative and using longer screws, washers and nuts for standoffs, or using a gutted fan (as a spacer) and longer screws. Just don't puncture your radiator tubes by using screws that are too long for the job.
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April 27, 2013 9:24:48 AM

rubix_1011 said:
Can you provide links to your shopping list? Seems rather overkill to me, but I'm not going to tell you what to spend your own money on. I would certainly suggest different fans rather than Delta's (which are incredibly expensive...$180 on 6x fans alone??)

You can often look around and find deals on Scythe Ultra Kaze's (2000 or 3000 rpm) and they are beastly fans. I use 6 of them and paid like $8 a fan on sale at Performance PCs. You can also find them elsewhere if you look...might check Amazon.com.

I'm not a fan of QDC's that much...maybe 1-2 would be OK, but you really aren't going to be disconnecting your loop that often. Buying a little extra tubing is the simplest way; just cut your tubing, drain and replace a piece when you need to refill. QDC's also introduce 3 places for potential leaks per QDC: both tubing/fitting ends, and the connector itself. There have also been some report that QDCs can drop your flow rate and add unwanted restriction, depending on QDC brand. I'm pretty sure that Martin or Skinnee has tested some of these...some do, some don't.

Just in case you haven't done the math: 3x GTX 580's (stock speeds): 244w TDP (each) x3 = 732w. Even being generous at 85% TDP max you are looking at approx. 622w. Overclocking is going to raise your TDP per card. You are easily looking at 2x 360 rads for your needs, but they don't have to be AC brand.

You can also save yourself $45 on a radiator mounting bracket by being creative and using longer screws, washers and nuts for standoffs, or using a gutted fan (as a spacer) and longer screws. Just don't puncture your radiator tubes by using screws that are too long for the job.


I thought the fans were quite expensive as well. The high RPM and air flow is what attracted me to them but 3,000 rpm seems like it would work fine depending on how much air flow runs through. I'll definitely be looking into a few other options for multiple aspects of this system. I liked the radiators because they seemed to have the highest watt dissipation and as I was saying, I do plan on overclocking and I do plan on upgrading the graphics cards.

I did read the review on skinnee about QDC's and he said that they were not nearly as bad as he had thought. The Koolance VL4 QDCs had the highest flow rate. That is why I landed on those. Cutting the tube does seem like a good solution as well, just maybe a little more difficult to control/keep clean. You've tried this before? If so, how did it go?

Right now I'm working with pre-OC'ed GTX 285's at 204w TDP (each) x3 = 612w. As I had mentioned before, those rads appeared to have the highest watt dissipation (according to Skinnee - not necessarily a real-world test though).

I'm taking that gutted fan idea into consideration! That seems like ti would work pretty well, great idea.

Thanks for your reply, I had actually based some of my decisions off of some of your posts (and I read the one about what you need to know about water cooling). Great information.

Here is the list WITH links to the pages:

2x Aqua Computer AirPlex Revolution Radiators (2x$90=$180) here
1x Radiator mounting bracket (PC back extendable from Koolance) ($45) here
6x Koolance 4,000 RPM, 183.5 CFM (FAN-12038HBK-184) (push configuration) ($165 total - found on amazon, bought all) here
1x Swiftech MCP655 Variable Speed pump (1/4 threaded by frozencpu.com) ($120) here
1x MCRES Micro Rev2 Reservoir ($26) here
2x Koolance clamps for tubing on pump (1/2" OD) (2x$1=$2) here
8x compression fittings for 2 radiators, 1 reservoir and pump (1/2 ID 3/4 OD) (6x$9.50=$76) here
2x Koolance QDC (Extreme Flow) Female (5/8" ID)(VL4N-F16-19B) (2x$15=$30) here
2x Koolance QDC (Extreme Flow) No-Spill, Male (5/8" ID)(VL4N-M16-19B) (2x$14=$28) here
1x PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT Tubing 1/2"ID x 3/4" OD - 10ft ($25) here
3x PrimoChill Anti-Kink Coils (3x$4=$12) here
1x Distilled water ($few bucks) HEB
1x Killcoil ($7) Here
1x Sunbeam PL-RS-6 Rheosmart 6 Fan, 5.25" Bay 30W Fan Controller ($40) here

Total: $756

As I said, I'll be looking into some cheaper fans so that I can get this to a more reasonable amount.

EDIT: I had some of the wrong dimensions of tubing and fittings in the above list (copy pasted but forgot to update information and links)! All will be 1/2" ID and 3/4 OD except for the barb fittings (QDC's), which will be for 5/8" ID tubing.

EDIT 2: Updated links and information.
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April 27, 2013 9:31:39 AM

toolmaker_03 said:
yes it does

I think that it will work well for you with lots of room to grow I have been doing this for a while now.


Thanks for the reply and all of your help! I'll probably be replacing the fans with some cheaper ones (maybe 3,000 rpm, gotta look into it) but I'll post some pictures as soon as it's put together.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
May 3, 2013 12:22:50 PM

You can easily cut costs by doing away with the $45 rad mount bracket and the QDCs. I've always either cut or disconnected tubing when I wanted to drain my loop. Easy and much cheaper than having a bunch of expensive, dedicated fittings just for this purpose. You could also visit your local hardware store and find a plastic 'T' fitting in the plumbing aisle for $1 and simply run an extra bit of tubing that would be used to unplug and drain if you really wanted something like this. You can also opt out of the anti-kink coils as Primochill flexes pretty well (I use it myself). If you were trying to make very tight radius bends...maybe, but you can do other things as well.
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a b K Overclocking
May 3, 2013 1:22:37 PM

I was under the impression that using coils on the outside or inside of the tubing will help prevent the tubing from not only kinking but also form being sucked together by the vacuum in the system. As the tubing gets older and becomes weaker this is more likely to happen. Of course if you are changing your tubing every couple of years, than I know that QDC's make that more convenient to do so, because you have the ability to remove the hardware from the case before draining it. This limits the possibility of getting liquid all over everything else but that is only my opinion.
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May 3, 2013 2:32:48 PM

rubix_1011 said:
You can easily cut costs by doing away with the $45 rad mount bracket and the QDCs. I've always either cut or disconnected tubing when I wanted to drain my loop. Easy and much cheaper than having a bunch of expensive, dedicated fittings just for this purpose. You could also visit your local hardware store and find a plastic 'T' fitting in the plumbing aisle for $1 and simply run an extra bit of tubing that would be used to unplug and drain if you really wanted something like this. You can also opt out of the anti-kink coils as Primochill flexes pretty well (I use it myself). If you were trying to make very tight radius bends...maybe, but you can do other things as well.


^All very good advice. Fortunately I have a little extra spending money for this so I'm going for a little bit of aesthetics (such as the anti-kink coils) and ease-of use (VL4N QDC's). I have an idea for which I will actually need that mounting bracket so I ended up getting it. I may return it if it turns out that I can't really use it how I wanted to. We'll see.
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May 3, 2013 2:36:32 PM

toolmaker_03 said:
I was under the impression that using coils on the outside or inside of the tubing will help prevent the tubing from not only kinking but also form being sucked together by the vacuum in the system. As the tubing gets older and becomes weaker this is more likely to happen. Of course if you are changing your tubing every couple of years, than I know that QDC's make that more convenient to do so, because you have the ability to remove the hardware from the case before draining it. This limits the possibility of getting liquid all over everything else but that is only my opinion.


I was purchasing the anti-kink coils for that as well as their aesthetics. That little fact about the QDC's will (unfortunately) only partially help with that in my case, as I am only using 2 QDC sets that will be just outside of the 3-way SLI card bridge. I still might have a little bit of trouble draining the system and replacing the tubing. It will definitely help with upgrading the cards though, which is beginning to look like it will happen sooner than I had previously predicted.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
May 7, 2013 5:09:17 PM

Also, aren't the point of QDCs to separate the loop without losing fluids? It wouldn't necessarily be the best option for using to quickly drain a loop unless they have the ability to be manually opened when disconnected...? I understand the initial design and draw to use them but over the long term I really think you might discontinue using them. In my personal opinion and experience, it's simply easier to just cut or pull tubing from a fitting since it's highly likely you'll be replacing some anyway. I would put this up there with people wanting to use 2 reservoirs...it never really turns out as good as you think it's going to.
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May 7, 2013 6:02:12 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Also, aren't the point of QDCs to separate the loop without losing fluids? It wouldn't necessarily be the best option for using to quickly drain a loop unless they have the ability to be manually opened when disconnected...? I understand the initial design and draw to use them but over the long term I really think you might discontinue using them. In my personal opinion and experience, it's simply easier to just cut or pull tubing from a fitting since it's highly likely you'll be replacing some anyway. I would put this up there with people wanting to use 2 reservoirs...it never really turns out as good as you think it's going to.


Hmm, duly noted. I was thinking of using them in this way: detach the graphics cards via QDC's, remove tubing from compression fittings on 3-way SLI bridge to drain water, connect to new 3-way SLI bridge, disconnect QDC's, fill with distilled water, re-connect QDC's and then plug it back into the loop. I'm sure this won't work out as easily as I see it but I might give it a try not that they are already connected. If it doesn't work out too well, I will ditch the QDC's later on and go with the tube-cutting method.

Thanks for the good advice.
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June 21, 2013 1:01:40 PM

Just an update:

Have been extremely busy so it's not quite finished (aesthetics-wise) but everything is up and running! It's keeping all 3 overclocked cards very cool (30 - 35 degrees C) with the fans at about 50% (nice and quiet). Half the time I only have the fans on on one radiator and it seems to keep it cool just fine but reaches 38 degrees C at some points. Tried it on lots of games (BF3, Cry3, etc) on max settings and everything runs smoothly (have not checked actual FPS yet). What I really care about though is my software(s) for work, which are all running great. As I mentioned before, I am still upgrading and today I bought my first GTX Titan (works better than the 690 for what I need). Plan on getting them one at a time due to their extremely high price. Also note: Yes, I know about all of the other cards and companies and cheaper prices but cuda cores (specifically) is what I need for my software.

Hope to get specs and pictures up soon.

Thanks again for all the help, guys!

UPDATE: The GTX Titan Hydro is over 3 times more powerful than 3 GTX 285's in SLI (you can find this by simply looking at the specs of each but it is quite an amazing card). 1 rad at half fan power keeps it around 22 degrees C (room temperature) and 26 degrees C on a pretty heavy load. The 2 rads should come in handy when I'm running 3 or 4 of these cards.
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