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Water cooling loop order, GPU or CPU first?

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June 18, 2013 11:38:14 AM

I have looked at the WC sticky 2.0, but it never mentioned if I should cool the CPU or GPU first. I plan on building a new PC and thought about trying out WC.

My build:
-Maximus VI Formula [For the cross-chill heatsink as it supports WC]
-I7-4770K
-16 GB Vengeance Pro ram 1866 Mhz
-Asus GTX 780 OC, GTX Titan or ROG Poseidon [For the Air/WC hybrid cooling option]
-EKWB 480mm Coolstream XT or XTX [not sure which is better]
-Corsair SP120 Quiet edition fans
-EK-Supremacy - Acetal + Nickel
-Solid tubing
-Corsair 800D/900D

My questions:
-What should the order be? currently, its
res---->pump---->rad---->CPU---->cross-chill VRM heatsink---->GPU
-Which rad is better? between the two, as my country only has EKWB
-What type of GPU water block is best? full cover or GPU only?
-What res and pump do I need for a single GPU and CPU loop?
-To do a loop with solid tubes, what thickness must they be? As most guides use standard tubing.
-On EKWB CPU blocks, whats the difference between the acetal, nickel and copper blocks?
-Should I add the chipset or ram to the loop?
-Are there decent alternatives to distilled water? Most of it in my city is actually de-ionised even the batch from the school's labs.

I may have more questions as I come to understand more about WC, and before you refer me back to the WC sticky, I HAVE READ IT BUT THERE ARE STILL QUESTIONS WHICH I PREFER A DIRECT ANSWER FOR. Caps just to emphasize my point.

To those who respond, thanks for any assistance rendered. Thanks for the help.
a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 18, 2013 1:05:59 PM

It really does not matter. that water go's though so fast that nothing really changes.

In my option first item should be what you want to stay the coolest to me that would be the gpu. gpu blocks also tend to be less restrictive then cpu blocks. but this may vary depending on the water block's used.
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a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 18, 2013 1:16:42 PM

-What type of GPU water block is best? full cover or GPU only?
Full cover!
-What res and pump do I need for a single GPU and CPU loop?
Don’t matter but more water = longer for it to heat up.
-To do a loop with solid tubes, what thickness must they be?
As most guides use standard tubing. Soild tubes are like Bits Power Crystal Link there like crazy expensive.
-On EKWB CPU blocks, whats the difference between the acetal, nickel and copper blocks?
Acetel is that black material most water blocks use for the top. The sticky covers whats types of metal to use. Copper.
-Should I add the chipset or ram to the loop?
Only if you want to be fancy or want to super overclock.
-Are there decent alternatives to distilled water? Most of it in my city is actually de-ionised even the batch from the school's labs.
de-ionised can causes metal fatigue and brake down but only on some types of metals, I would and only use distilled water if at all possible.
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June 18, 2013 1:42:29 PM

I read that certain brands of mineral water can be used in replacement for distilled water? And why copper? nickel appears to be the most expensive, so is there a reason for that?

Finally, for the solid tubing, I cant just use acrylic tubes? If so I have plenty lying around. For the pump and res, there is no fixed pressure or volume needed to maintain the loop?
Thanks btw

Edit: Just read that the difference is that its a nickel plated copper coldplate on the block, to prevent oxidation it seems. It mentioned that it would have problems with nuke and killcoils?
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June 18, 2013 2:01:53 PM

Oh and by any chance could you suggest a EKWB res and pump for me if its not to much trouble? I'm having difficulty finding reviews to determine their differences.
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a c 103 K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 18, 2013 2:38:18 PM

So far, every question you have asked, including EKWB reviews, is located in that sticky. (Skinee and Martinlabs links are in there. So what do you have questions on outside of what is in there and already written?
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a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 18, 2013 5:48:32 PM

I read that certain brands of mineral water can be used in replacement for distilled water?
ABSOLUTELY NOT EVER.

And why copper? Nickel appears to be the most expensive, so is there a reason for that?

Too long to explain. Just type it in google you saw why and Ek is famous for nickel failure.

Finally, for the solid tubing, I can’t just use acrylic tubes?

Acrylic brakes down with a few additives I don’t recall one at the moment. So unable to help there.

If so I have plenty lying around. For the pump and res, there is no fixed pressure or volume needed to maintain the loop?

Not really the difference from the smallest tubing to the largest tubing is like .01 degree.
Some people may disagree. There is also aesthetics to think about.

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a c 103 K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 18, 2013 6:03:24 PM

Bottled water is mineral water - that is addressed. Do not use. States use distilled or manufacturer coolant (which notes possible issues.

Cu has better thermal properties than Ni - also addressed. Nickle plating is asthetic and outer surface protection. EK issue is also addressed as an issue caused by a previous method of plating no longer used.

Tubing doesn't matter as long as fittings work with it, and ID not recommended below 3/8 - also addressed. Principles of silcone tubing apply to acrylic even if not mentioned. Tubes is tubes. Glycol, as in antifreeze breaksdown acrylic. Also addressed

Yes, your specific questions may not have been answered in direct form. But all the parts are there in relevance to them. I was just trying to determine if rhere was something outside of that
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June 18, 2013 7:41:32 PM

Ok, thanks for the help guys, I'll probably try to order some distilled water online. If I used distilled water and a killcoil only the acrylic tubes would still break down?


What are the tubes this guy is using any ideas? He only mentioned that they were 10/12mm solid tubes.
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a c 103 K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 18, 2013 8:20:09 PM

Nope be perfect. Id check local supermarkets. Most grocery stores carry distilled. Heck even walmart carries it in gallons or cases
Those are Crystal Links. Brand name carried by performance pcs and frozen and others
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June 18, 2013 8:29:56 PM

Maybe this picture will e you a better idea, as I can't find crystal links longer than 85mm online.
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a c 103 K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 18, 2013 9:08:30 PM

My fave acrylic company carries them in custom sizes tapplastics.com. guarantee that they can be of help
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June 18, 2013 10:58:17 PM

thequn said acrylic is not suitable for WC loop?
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a c 103 K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 19, 2013 1:03:23 AM

No - said it breaks down with certain additives, which I identified as glycol based such as antifreeze. Use distilled water - no problems to be had.

Premptive answer to a question you likely will pose - only Bitspower Crystal Link fittings are suitable for use with acrylic tubes without mod hassle. So your tubes must have ID 12mm to fit. Monsoon was working on some but I don't know if they released them yet
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June 19, 2013 1:18:31 AM

In other words, I can just cut my own acrylic tubing? Can they be connected with compression fittings to the waterblocks?
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a c 176 K Overclocking
a c 114 à CPUs
June 19, 2013 1:39:28 AM

Dont use Mineral water in a water-loop, the whole point of using Distilled is to get rid of those minerals. Also the Distilled water you can buy at any supermarket is fine, usually in the cleaning isle. Theres no need for "Premium" distilled water, once it hits your loop its all the same anyway.
Copper has the highest thermal conductivity of the typical water-cooling metals.

Solid tubing can be done, and acrylic is a common choice for this. The packaged option is Bitspower Crystal Link's however for something like th pictures show then chances are you will need to be making your own.
Acrylic does break down and crack when it makes contact with Ethanol (alcohol), so running something like Ethelyne Glycol (anti-freeze) isn't a good idea. This also applies to most reservoirs and blocks which use Acrylic covers.

Im not entirely sure how Acrylic tubes are mounted, I imagine some kind of threaded compression would do but you will want to look into it.
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June 19, 2013 4:01:56 AM

I looked into it, but I can't seem to find a detailed explanation of the fittings only the sizing, being 10/12mm
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a c 103 K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 19, 2013 2:35:26 PM

As I mentioned the most common is Bitspower Crystal Links. They "bite" into the tube which is why they also work for copper tubing. Compression or barb fittings can be used, but require heating tube ends and forming over fitting. Only options - up until 5 days ago!

(Drum roll please!) Enter Primochill Rigid Tubing and Fittings! Multi color options, 3/8ID 1/2OD sold in 4pk 24" or single 36". Fittings specifically designed for acrylic tube use with true compression o ring seats. Goto frozencpu.com, tubing, rigid tubes, check em out - and watch vids. I smell a redesign coming for my mountain mod!
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a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 19, 2013 2:58:18 PM

Vary Beautiful loop +10
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June 19, 2013 8:07:48 PM

@buzz247 thanks, looks like thats gonna be my pipework and I assume the fittings fit G 1/4 threads?. Just gonna have to wait a month for shipping -.-

thanks to everyone too!
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a c 103 K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 19, 2013 8:22:32 PM

Yes G1/4
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June 19, 2013 10:48:57 PM

Just a question, what do you call those 90 degree fittings in the picture?
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a c 176 K Overclocking
a c 114 à CPUs
June 19, 2013 10:54:19 PM

They would literally be called 90° fittings.
They could be rotary, meaning you can adjust the direction they face without unscrewing it.
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a c 103 K Overclocking
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June 20, 2013 12:45:52 AM

Ya they are just simply 90 rotary - BUT if you go that route they are Crystal Link - not compatible with the Priochill Rigid I posted. They are too small. Either be prepared to bend Primochill or go Crystal Link 10/12mm. You cant have both - one or the other
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a c 176 K Overclocking
a c 114 à CPUs
June 20, 2013 12:50:08 AM

You can just rotary 90° G1/4 adapters, which you then screw your fitting of choice into.
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a c 103 K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 20, 2013 12:58:43 AM

I didn't know they had 90 male to male! I stand corrected lol
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June 20, 2013 5:04:41 AM

I've been talking to a engineer I know, he said that 90 degree fittings would have a detrimental effect on the fluid's speed and pressure, is it noticeable? will performance decrease greatly?
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a c 176 K Overclocking
a c 114 à CPUs
June 20, 2013 5:29:04 AM

Short answer, yes it makes a difference.
But the difference is so small, that you would need 30 right angle adapters before it makes any noticeable difference, and even that's fairly insignificant.

Long answer.
http://martinsliquidlab.org/2011/01/30/fittings-and-elb...
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June 20, 2013 5:33:02 AM

The article mentions, 40% more flow restriction but temperature difference is minor? How, the way I see it, it should be closer to 40% higher temps? I don't quite under stand what he is getting at?
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June 20, 2013 5:38:36 AM

And does that mean that as long as I have less then 30 elbow fittings, there would be no temperature difference?
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a c 176 K Overclocking
a c 114 à CPUs
June 20, 2013 5:44:29 AM

40% more flow restriction on a CPU block (which is designed to be high flow, so already a low restriction) compared to a straight tube, not 40% less flow.
Also consider that his test bench is just a pump, that CPU block and a pressure gauge, its not too representative of an actual loop. In an actual loop, I think you wouldn't even be able to measure the difference.
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June 20, 2013 8:02:18 AM

@manofchalk My friend was suggesting that I should just stick to standard tubing not solid tubing. Right now, I'm slightly worried that having too many elbow fittings in a row would stack up to reduce the effectiveness of my loop as there will be alot of them in it.....any opinions on which I should use?
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a c 103 K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 20, 2013 9:14:53 AM

Solid tubing can be bent any shape, angle, soft or sharp you realize right? So whole loop can be done with zero right angles. Even so, if you have more than 12 in a basic loop (which has negligible impact), probably should be looking at component placement anyway. Bottom line - opinions are just that. If you aren't comfortable with solid tubing don't do it! Go with what you are comfortable with and will keep you happy down the road.
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June 20, 2013 10:02:44 AM

Problem is I like the clean look of solid tubing, but I'm not comfortable with bending the acrylic [had some trouble with heating strips and acrylic in the past]. So I prefer to use 90 degree fittings to align the tubes to the parts, hence the high of elbow joints.....trying to find out how many is too many.....on a side note, I may just go for the standard tubing if this proves too inefficient......
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a b K Overclocking
a b à CPUs
June 20, 2013 2:59:57 PM


Martin said:
If you are building a piece of art which many people do….by all means add the fittings as needed for the cleanest possible look. Sure some extra fittings will add restriction, but it’s very minor. As the chart shows, it would take almost 30 each 90 degree elbows to add up to 1 degree in CPU temp rise. Half a dozen to get to aesthetic perfection is perfectly fine from an art priority perspective.

So don't worry about it.
I get that your friend in an engineer but in science most experiments end up contradictory to the established theory we because of unknown factors- in this case there only so hot your water will ever get. Because do to the radiator cooling it off your using as such the water temp never really changes.
In my system pump setting 1 and pump setting 5 on a D5 pump is maybe like 5 degrees in temps
Hell even when I had the pump clogged and it still was adding rumbling to the line keeping my temps low.
I would also like to note I am using a sub ambient system so my temps are normally 10-20 degrees below room temp.
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June 20, 2013 8:13:55 PM

Ok, thanks for the advice guys, I'll make my decision when the board finally comes to retail where I am, so I'll look into getting the parts first.

Thread closed
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