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Various question concerning watercooling

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May 23, 2013 2:24:51 PM

I am planning to build a new PC based on a new Hashwell CPU and a GTX Titan.
If I am going to do this properly, I'm thinking "must have watercoolig on both CPU and Graphics", since my previous PC was such an homage to cooling inefficiency.
So I did some research on the topic of watercooling and I think I've got the basics, but I don't have a lot of room for error, so I wanted to get some things straight:

How does the pump mount to the case?

How do the different reservoirs mount to the case/to the pump or whatever it is they mount to? Do the reservoir brackets just line up with pre driled holes like the motherboard?
(this is excluding the option of a drive mounted res/pump combo, wich I haven't yet rulled out)

What is the purpose of a pump head?

Which is a good brand of material to go with?

Which is a good case to choose? (I feel like the Corsair 900D is a bit of an overkill)

What is the importance of the waterblock backplate?

Is coloured coolant that big of a threat? Or is it just water with regular couloring that's bad?

What is the best way lo illuminate the computer interior?

How important is it to have a hardware fan controller? Which are the best options?

How much drilling (case modifying) is involved in a setup like this?


I appreciate in advance for any attempts to answer any of my questions.

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May 23, 2013 2:52:05 PM

Dextron said:

How does the pump mount to the case?

Most pumps are configured with mounting points that can be screwed down and they usually come with an adhesive pad that can be used by itself for mounting on a solid surface (

Dextron said:

How do the different reservoirs mount to the case/to the pump or whatever it is they mount to? Do the reservoir brackets just line up with pre driled holes like the motherboard?
(this is excluding the option of a drive mounted res/pump combo, wich I haven't yet rulled out)

This depends a lot on what style of reservoir you get, ones that are drive mounted are designed to mount in a DVD Drive and line up with the screw hold there. Some are designed to be directly connected to the top of the pump.

Dextron said:

What is the purpose of a pump head?

So a pump head is the part of the pump that directs the flow of the water into and out of the pump. Custom pump heads can be used to maximize flow rates or even attach a reservoir directly to a pump.

Dextron said:

Which is a good brand of material to go with?

Plenty of good brands out there, I suggest finding stuff that matches with a style you like and then reading peoples reviews of them.

Dextron said:

Which is a good case to choose? (I feel like the Corsair 900D is a bit of an overkill)

This depends on how you want to setup your water cooling. For my next computer I'm going to use a 900D so that I can put all of the radiators inside of the case. You can get radiators in smaller cases as well, but it will be a tight fit in most mid tower cases and even in some full tower cases.

Dextron said:

What is the importance of the waterblock backplate?

I assume you are talking about a GPU Block backplate like this? If so then they are mostly for looks, but do provide a little bit of cooling.

Dextron said:

Is coloured coolant that big of a threat? Or is it just water with regular couloring that's bad?

So one of the biggest things people get wrong with water cooling is thinking you have to use some special coolant, you dont. All you need is Distilled Water that you can buy at walmart. From there you can buy a color additive from a place like performance-pcs.com to add color to it, though I would suggest just getting colored tubing instead of adding anything to the water.

Side note here you do need to add an antimicrobial to the water, a coil of pure silver is my preference as it will last pretty much forever.

Dextron said:

What is the best way lo illuminate the computer interior?

LED's

Dextron said:

How important is it to have a hardware fan controller? Which are the best options?

You will pretty much need a fan controller if you have more than 3 fans as most motherboards dont support more than 3. Tons of options out there to choose from and again it comes down to look most of the time.

Dextron said:

How much drilling (case modifying) is involved in a setup like this?

That depends on the case and what you want to do. In my first water cooling setup I had to drill holes in the case to attach a mounting bracket to mount the radiator to, other than that I didn't have to drill anything else. I did however modify the case a decent amount to get everything to fit how I wanted (this is where the 900D is really nice, they designed it with water cooling in mind and have provided mounting points and configuration options).

There are plenty of really great forums out there that have tons of information on water cooling, you can find most with a simple google search. I suggest reading as much information as you can before you jump in, as not having enough information can cost you money, time and a lot of frustration.
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