I'm getting a Thermaltake Kandalf LCS, and I'm wondering two things regarding the water cooling system that comes with it: should I use the tubing that comes with it or buy other tubing, and should I get a T line to better drain my system or will I be fine with the reservoir?
should I use the tubing that comes with it or buy other tubing
You can use Thermaltake's tubing with few problems. It would look cooler if you have any UV lights inside the case. If you have any issues with tight bends causing your tubing to kink, go down to your local office supply store that sells plastic coil spiral binding accessories and see if they have any at 3/8" size and use this to reinforce the outside of the tubing for tight bends. If you can't find any locally, send me a PM since I have a lot of this stuff on hand usually.
should I get a T line to better drain my system
As the system already has a reservoir incorporated on the pump, a T-line would be a bit superfluous, since a T-line's primary purpose is to allow you to easily bleed and top off your cooling loop without having the additional burden of the extra fluid that a reservoir will add to the loop. Design your system so you can quickly detach the tubing from a convenient barb and use the pump to quickly drain your loop. If you use the right fluid, you can also avoid having to change your fluid for any biotic growth that might cloud the fluid.
Yeah, I'm just going to go ahead and buy Fluid XP+ Extreme and take no risks with the coolant, but I just wasn't quite sure if the rubing was already good quality or if I would be better served long-term by buying other tubing (like tygon, as recommended in the sticky on this forum).
Tygon (specifically Tygon 3603) is great stuff, since it is a bit stiffer and seems to hold its shape better around tight bends without kinking (something that can also be overcome if you follow my other advice, and you don't have to spend $4-5 a foot). It also does a good job of resisting cloudiness, something that happens to cheaper PVC tubing as it absorbs water from the cooling fluid (yes, PVC experiences a certain amount of fluid loss due to osmotic pressure). Masterclear tubing also is good about this.
But the tubing that comes with the Thermaltake is pretty decent and will be good for your first build. If you should see that the tubing starts to cloud, you can strip down your cooling loop and replace the tubing with Tygon.
I personally say dump the kandalf for either a better case, or get the stock version with a better watercooler, thermaltake makes mediocre watercooling products, swiftech's dual fan radiator demolished thermaltake's 745 three fan radiator system, or you could build a custom loop and get even more performance.
Tacos, I value your opinion, and I agree wholeheartedly on the Thermaltake product. The pump is underpowered (130 GPH), the radiator uses 1/4" copper tubing after the barbs (hence, the reason why a Swiftech 2X120mm radiator was able to outperform), but the benefit of the Kandalf is that it is a great place to start if one is making their first watercooled build. You can replace the pump later as you get more comfortable with the concept. With a bit of modding, you can even replace the radiator with a 3x120mm Black Ice Extreme III and this system becomes rather dreamy for OC builds.
Thermaltake, Koolance, Kingwin, Zalman and Corsair are the kit builds that most people use to make their first leap into watercooling. My first watercooled build was using Thermaltake, myself. Would I ever buy another Thermaltake product for myself again? Probably not, since I have moved on to better, more professional brands. But it was a good kit to cut my teeth on, rather than having to learn the hard way with custom kits that included parts from Danger Den, AlphaCool, Swiftech, DTek, AquaXtreme, etc., which I am using now in my own custom cooling loops for myself and my family and friends.
Destruct0r, you keep on keeping on. Granted, you will eventually outgrow the Kandalf in a build or two, but it is a good place to start. Lian Li is the Cadillac of computer cases, though there are some builds that are designed even better (look at the Apple Mac Pro series...that's some serious case design, and I envy the design team that put that together). You can go cheaper than Lian Li, but you will be hard pressed to find better.
Take a look at what houndsteeth wrote, that has a lot to do with that choice, plus, looks aren't everything (though the black lian li cases do looks very cool once you do a bit of modding, and since it's a full tower, you'll plenty of room (it's actually bigger than the kandalf, which is just a modified armor, which is the same size [roughly] as the p180b, but my p180b is dwarfed by the v2000, trust me, slap in some cathodes and you're good to go), it has a lot to do with the design of the case and how well it can cool
The only reason why I'm telling you this is because I made that same mistake when I built my first computer by getting a case with tons of cathodes and what not-big mistake, ended up buying a p180b later on once I had saved up a bunch of money again (needed a new psu too for the p180), and so this is from personal experience I say not to go that route
Only thing I would nitpick about with your thought houndsteeth is the black ice radiator, those fail miserably compered to the thermochill p120 series, the 120.2 (two fan) beats the 360 gtx which requires very noisey fans to perform well while the p120 series radiators are designed to get optimium performance with SILENT fans. And the 120.3 is flat out more than anyone would need unless they plan to seriously load up the loop with tecs and what not (which after doing some painsting research, have also learned they are pure hype and are crap once you really understand how they work)
If you want, I can give you a few pointers on your custom builds, I spend a lot of time at extreme systems and have learned a thing or two about watercooling there :wink: