Watercooling Kit Advice

I will need an advice choosing a water block to cool my rig (see signature)
PSU calculator, estimates heat dissipation from my setup above 150W (CPU only)

I would like a CPU cooler only for now.
I was looking at Swiftech H20-220 Apex™ Ultra kit, as I'm a noob in WC, I would feel more comfortable with a kit, that I later can change some parts if needed.

Will that kit lower my temperatures on load, lets say at something below 50° at these voltages?
Any better kit / choice?
Is it better to get separate parts and have more performant radiators/pumps/reservoires... at a lower/same price?

Many thanks
35 answers Last reply
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  1. im pretty new to WCing myself but what i have been told many many times is that custom WC rigs are by far the best solution, and yes you should drop your temps to around 50 C under load, maybe even lower, with WC

    that is a good kit though and if that is all you want for this moment go for it but the kit itself might not be that great for adding other parts to later down the road because of the pump power or the radiator size, but i could be wrong
  2. That looks like a pretty good kit. Congratulations for not buying and asking questions later. If you are only planning on cooling that CPU, then i would say the kit would probley be suffice. My only change would be to change the CPU waterblock from an Apogee to at least an Apogee GT, preferably a GTX or Fuzion.

    As for your hopes of reaching below 50 temps, it is entirely likely that you will get below 50C, but not likely for below 50F. Im sorry if you already knew that, but some people dont.
  3. The Apex Ultra kit comes with some excellent parts that would do very well for you. What you will find, as you stay with WCooling, is that, ultimately, Do-It-Yourself is the way to go. That being said, though, starting out with the Apex-Ultra kits is not a bad start at all. The dual 120 rad, while not the best, is certainly adequate.

    Perhaps, to help the rad even further along, you could use four 120mm fans, two to each side, in a "push-pull" configuration. It is the method I use and it does make a difference of a few degrees. The Apogee GT is an excellent CPU Waterblock. The rest of the parts are fine. The pump - the MCP655 - is plenty strong enough for you to add parts later as it has a maximum head of 10 ft - that's quite good for a lengthy cooling loop. I use the MCP655 and it powers a loop that goes through a CPU waterblock, GPU waterblock and two external dual 120mm rads in a CM Stacker case.
  4. Quote:
    The Apex Ultra kit comes with some excellent parts that would do very well for you. What you will find, as you stay with WCooling, is that, ultimately, Do-It-Yourself is the way to go. That being said, though, starting out with the Apex-Ultra kits is not a bad start at all. The dual 120 rad, while not the best, is certainly adequate.

    Many thanks all of you for the replys
    The H20 Apex Ultra comes already with the Apogee GT (instead of GTX, I read that it only gives some 1 degree extra cooling)

    What radiator would you advice me? The MCR320 QP 3X120mm, a 3 radiator is a good one, or better go with a BlackIce GT Extreme 2 or 3 radiators?

    Many thanks again
  5. For future reference concerning WCooling components here's a link to a site that keeps a list of "best of" for each part (pump, rad, waterblock, etc.) that should prove very helpful to you.


    It is dated 2005 but don't let that scare you away - they continually update the list monthly. It may be a listed based upon opinion but it is still very useful as a guideline.
  6. Unless you are buying a kit where they change out parts your kit does not include an Apogee GT, but rather the original Apogee, which has been discontinued and replaced by the GT. GT=better cooler.

    I would probley go with the Thermochill rads if you can find a place to put them. Here is a better guide as to the best WC components.


    It includes just about everything i can think of except for the Storm G5, which is pretty unfindable anyway.
  7. Quote:
    Unless you are buying a kit where they change out parts your kit does not include an Apogee GT, but rather the original Apogee, which has been discontinued and replaced by the GT. GT=better cooler.


    From Swiftech page, the kit comes with the GT!!

    Many thanks for the tuts, I will read through them
  8. Quote:
    From Swiftech page, the kit comes with the GT!!

    Many thanks for the tuts, I will read through them

    Make sure you check from where you are ordering from...I looked at PPC and FrozenCPU and they both said the kit includes the original Apogee, you can see here


    and here

  9. i am thinking about purchasing the thermaltake big water 745 as a starter kit. I like the fact that it has 2 radiators but i am wondering about the pump. Will it have enough power to go through the cpu and a north bridge cooler as well. Later I will be adding a gpu water block and would like to continue using it for that as well.

    After those three blocks are purchased i will probably begin upgrading the rest of the components. Or do you think i should do that first. see sig for rig.

    my budget for right now is $200 including the NB water block. If you have any other suggestions for a better kit, they would be appreciated.
  10. Do NOT go with the thermaltake PLEASE. Thermaltake pumps are the worst! To answer your question, it would likely not have enough power to push through a dual rad, CPU, GPU and NB. Even if it could the rads couldnt handle that much heat. Sooo many things wrong with the rads. More 180 turns than a roller coaster, not to mention that the fins are packed so tight together that the fans cant effectively push enough air penetrate them. You would be much better off building your own.

    Here is the only kit i could find, its a pretty good one too, includes NB, CPU, and GPU, however you might want to upgrade the CPU block and the Rad. $350, sorry.

  11. Thank you for your opinion. If you believe that Thermal take is that bad, I may just stick with air cooling for now. I was going to buy the Thermalright ultra 120 with a scythe s-flex fan and and I hadn't decided on a NB cooler yet. I was just thinking that for not a whole lot more I could have a basic water cooling system. In this review, they actually added a graphics card to the loop as well and had no temp difference


    That is why i was thinking of going with it.
    Thanks for the advice.
  12. Quote:
    I was just thinking that for not a whole lot more I could have a basic water cooling system.

    A few years ago I was thinking the same thing and someone told me not to. The statement really is true sometimes "you get what you pay for". If you read the link you gave you will see I think it was about a 3 degree decrease in temps at idle from the stock cooler and 10 degrees at load. At stock speeds with the stock cooler my CPU was about 45idle 65load. My Ultra 120 Extreme keeps my overclocked CPU at 30idle and about 50load. High-end air is better than low-end water.
  13. After doing much research concerning your request here (and, assuming that you do not have any lengthy experience with wcooling) I tried to find a kit with good parts and keep it to around (or below) $200.

    Swiftech H2O-120 GT Premium Liquid Cooling Kit ($180)

    Apogee GT universal CPU waterblock
    MCR-120 QP 120mm Radiator with Fan and MCB 120 Radbox Mounting Kit
    MCRES-Micro Reservoir
    Includes MCP-350 12 volt DC pump with RPM sensor
    8 feet of 3/8" ID Vinyl Tubing
    2 Oz bottle HydrX™ extreme duty coolant
    Coolsleeves 40" length
    Complete instructions

    There are a few reasons that I came to suggest this particular kit. Among them, of course, is that the kit includes a premium CPU waterblock. Strictly focusing on the CPU as a target to cool, the pump will certainly do just fine. I've used this pump early on when I had just gotten into wcooling. Here in the US (as opposed to the thought in Europe), americans favor 1/2 ID products in their wcooling loops (Europeans seem to favor 3/8 or 1/4 ID). As it stands, this kit uses 3/8 ID. I suspect that, as you stay in wcooling you'll probably find yourself moving over to 1/2ID as well but for all practical purposes at this stage in your wcooling career (and, again, I am assuming you are just getting into it or have been in it for just a short amount of time) this particular kit will introduce you to a more "do-it-yourself" flavor. Also, 3/8 ID is a good diameter to work with - less restrictive than 1/4 ID and more flexible than 1/2 ID.

    Also, a nice aspect of this kit is that it is not proprietery so you can upgrade components and not worry if they can function with the rest of the loop.

    Now remember, I just suggested this kit with but three things in mind:

    (1) I tried to keep the cost low
    (2) I wanted to suggest something that give you an idea how to work with parts from different manufacturers
    (3) I wanted to restrict my suggestion to what you requested

    I hope this helps....
  14. Yes, many thanks to all of you for the answers
    I'm th eold school: aircooling
    As C2D came, it looks more interesting to overclock with higher voltages as the application performance gain is really worth it

    I will try my self and choose a kit to start with, then later try to assemble mine

    Give you feedback once done, maybe in few weeks
  15. thank you for the information. I appreciate you taking the time to research the issue. I will replace/upgrade parts later as funds allow. However I did notice that the kit you suggested has a slower pump and only a single radiator as compared to the big water 745. Am I correct in assuming that the CPU block is of much higher quality than the thermaltake? I know that design and turbulence in the block is the key to heat dissipation. If I went with the Swiftech kit, would that be a better choice than a thermalright ultra 120 and active nb cooler? Or would it be better to start with simple watercooling and add parts as necessary. Obviously, the build-your-own water kit is the best choice but for a limited budget, what would you recommend.
  16. The pump (MCP350) itself is adequate at best I would have to say but the kit that was suggested was based on strictly cooling the CPU. However, if additional components were to be added (which, of course, would task the pumps already limited capabilities). The CPU waterblock, itself, is excellent and would produce much better results than the thermaltake's equivalent.

    The simple solution would be to upgrade the pump at a later time to the MCP355 which is about the most powerful 12v pump made and is on par with the MCP655. Getting the MCP355 later would allow a person to maintain the 3/8ID of the colling loop as the MCP355 was designed for 3/8ID cooling loops.
  17. Hi,
    As some member sent me PM with valuable informations on the Coolit Freezone (a TEC cooler), I would like to post this image from swiftec forum.
    Peltier systems are of a great interest, for up to 150/170W. After that, they do worse than a WC kit.

    However, they are claimed to aim a higher overclock at lower voltages. In practice, as seen on the forums, people using TEC, often use some insane 1.6/1.7 vcores to reach their overclock goal. It also sounds that in practice, the C2D will need quiet the same vcore to overclock despite the cooling kit, or at the best only about one notch difference
  18. Well,
    I followed your advices and ordered the Swiftech H2O-220 Ultra Apex (Apogee GT, MCP-655, MCR-220). Looks like it is with 1/2 ID tubing.

    I migrated to a Q6600 which is only capable of 3GHz @1.288v stable on my Zalmann CNPS-9700. I exceed 75°C for any speed above and it hangs after a while. I can memtest stable at 3.6 GHz 1.35 vcore.

    I hope to reach 3.6 GHz on my B3 sample with this kit
    I will feed back here on my expierience once I get the kit in a couple of days
    Thank you again
  19. Hi,
    My watercooling expedition finally is over. I could reach 3.5 GHz (9x389) @1.51v idle, 1.53v load (P5B deluxe vcore modded, and yep, vcore increases on load)
    The system is rock stable. I can suerely reach 3.6 GHz, but it needs more vcore.

    I had to add a PA120.3 radiator to get acceptable temperatures at these speeds on a hot ambiant temperature test (28°C)

    The problem is that my NB voltage needs to be set at 1.55v to be stable (I tested all other possibilities, with a q6600 it seems the NB is much voltage demanding: http://www.hardware.fr/articles/674-8/intel-p35-express-fsb1333-ddr3.html

    Now, after a while, my system temperature monitored by Speedfan gets over 52°C and after about 2h, my vcore drops progressively, and the system hangs at vcore below 1.50v. Increasing the vcore won't help, as the vcore will drop in any case after 2h run of a prime95 large FFT session. In small FFT sessions, system temperature is lower than 50 and the vcore is stable, so the system too

    I suspected my mosfets getting hot through the NB chipset and the heatpipe

    I added a rear fan, no way. I will try a side panel fan blowing fresh outside air on the motherboard and test...

    Any advice on cooling my NB or Mosfets without using a watercooling block (costs are too much)?
    Thank you again
  20. This is where air movement is critical (especially around the CPU area) because the influence that a HSF would normally have around the CPU enviroment is now nonexistent. SO, you need to make certain that some kind of path can be traced through the NB and mosfet area for the airflow. It isn't enough to have a ton of fans blowing air into and out of your case. Try and make your cabling and wiring more efficient (I mean cleaner actually). Hide wiring of cables behind the motherboard or in an unused 5.25 drivebay area. Use tiedowns, clips, etc. whereever you can.
  21. sorry, error post
  22. Many thanks for the advice. I will try to clear out the cabling and also I will add that side panel fan. The airflow looks nice, but in fact the cabling is important.

    If things aren't good, do you have any expierience with the Thermalright HR-05 stuff? looks promising. Also I heard that on a Q6600 at these speeds and the NB at 1.55v, I should need active cooling on the NB. What do you think?

    Many thanks again for your prompt and helpfull answers phreejak
  23. The HR05 series are very good NB passive coolers - with one condition - it is imperative that you have very good airflow through that area - which is why I stress the importance of clearing the area of cabling and wiring as much as possible.

    If, by active cooling, you mean a HSF combo then it wouldn't hurt but the HR heatsinks would do just fine if you have excellent airflow.

    In my present setup, I am using a TEC waterblock for my CPU. That removed any airflow influence a HSF combo would have in the area surrounding my SPU (i.e. mosfets, ND, ram, etc). So, in my CM stacker, I cut a blowhole in the top for a 120mm fan and I added a sidepanel with two 120mm fans blowholes. Now, I have a 120mm fan in the front (at the bottom) pulling air in as well as the two 120mm fans on the sidepanel. My exhaust fans are upper back in the rear and at the top. I am using the stock NB and mosfet coolers that came with my IP35 Pro because I have good airflow (I did clear and hide most of my cabling and wiring to promote this).

    So, you see, while some form of active HSF combo wouldn't hurt, it isn't an absolute that you MUST have it, even if you o'clock heavily, if you have good airflow.
  24. Ok,
    I followed your advice.
    I put the rear fan where the Radbox is mounted using longer screws, I put a side panel FAN too
    Now, I have:
    - front intake: 1x 120mm at 800 rpm on upper front (mcres bay)
    1x 120mm at 1500 rpm bottom front (3 hard drives bay)
    - side panel intake: 1x 120mm speedfan controlled
    - rear exhaust: 1x 120 mm speedfan controlled

    I removed the NB fan included in ASUS package (tested with the fan plugged/unplugged: no change), and it is furthermore in the rear exhaust fan pathway

    Now, I have cooled my mb sensor at least. From 53-54°C to 46°C and below on 4xPrime95 Large FFT sessions.

    So, yes, good airflow is the key when you watercool, unless you watercool the NB and Mosfets too...

    The only drawback is noise when at full load heat. But in every use (even when F@H) my MB temperature isn't as high as with prime95 large FFTs

    Using Y cablings, I put 5 fans on 2 of the mb sensors so I can regulate them with speedfan: System is very quiet under normal use and even in most of my applications (Divx/Encore...)

    I could maybe enhance my air flow adding a second side panel fan and a top fan. Or even a fan on the other side panel, behind motherboard... maybe I can decrease fan speeds on heavy load that way

    My HD are now 36-38° maximum too

    Later, I could add a HR-05 IFX mounted with a 80mm fan so I can really let my fan speeds on low 5v even on heavy load

    I'll put my system photos later, sure
    Many many thanks for all your support
  25. Edit:
    All these testings are summer simulations. I closed the room and ambiant temp is about 28° (with a Q6600 no need to heat in winter). If I open the window/door, problems are solved of course. But I hate the idea to spend again hours in summer to solve heat issues. Wanted a stable system, with no headache later. A Q6600 at 3.5 GHz will outperform the fastest stock Peryn, so... it should last a while
  26. If you add any more fans and had a choice I'd opt for a top fan......
  27. Well,
    I tried many options, all failed, even opening the window overnight, room at 20°C, motherboard sensor at 44°C, and the vcore drops in about 2-3 hours of Prime95 stressing

    I feel like I'm running the mb on its limits and the mosfests/NB will soon die that way

    I found this kit: NSB-3 and SW-2 Watercool Heatkiller WB for the mosfets, NB and SB

    Are these blocks LPDC or HPDC?
    I need for my circuit LPDC parts, so could you help me choosing a LPDC WB for mosfets and NB fitting a P5B deluxe?
    The MIPS I think are expensive and also HPDC

    And also, will the P5B deluxe fit two HR-09 radiators on the mosfets or only one?

    Many thanks for all your help again
  28. I've never seen those particular brands before - other than on European sites....

    Where did you find them?
  29. They look nice:

    The watercool Heatkiller parts

    Aircooling parts:


    The thermalright parts are well known.

    I think you meant the watercool heatkiller parts

    They look barely new, all cupper, and include
    HEATKILLER NSB-3 for NB and SB
    HEATKILLER SW-2 for mosfets

    They are advertised for ASUS boards include P5K and P5B series

    4 pieces for around 100 euro which is rather fair for the number of parts

    But on the site nothing related to their performance graphs
  30. Ok,
    As promised, here's my mod (see my signature for the full specs)

    Many many thanks to all people who helped me and especially phreejak
    I finally opted for a HR-05 IFX and 2x HR-09U type 2 (and yes, the P5B dlx could fit two of these mosfet coolers). I also removed the SB HS and replaced the thermal compound with some MX-1. I mounted the HR-05 IFX with a 80mm fan undervolted to 5v

    My NB and mosfet heatsinks are finally cool to the touch where the ASUS heatsinks were impossible to touch because of the burning heat before. But, my problem (vdroop after 2h of priming) is not solved. I also did a big job on th ecabling. Still not as nice looking as some mods, but there's no more cabling between the 3 HD and in front of the MB. The front, rear and lateral fans have now no obstacles. All the cabling is tightened on the side edge of the mb and at its level.

    I'll post a new topic for that issue

    Here are the photos

    Side panel modded with a 120mm FAN blowing on the mb

    The MCR-220 in the rear with the PA120.3 mounted on the modded lateral panel. Because of screws incompatibility, I had to put the center fan on the PA120.3 in a blow configuration between the radiator and the panel



    The mcres in place
    It was impossible to mount it as Swiftech claims in the manual because of the thik grommets


    The mb mounted with HR-05 IFX and the 2 HR-09U type 2.
    Note that the upside HR-09U is some displaced because of mb components interferring with it in length. However, the 8 mosfets are in tight contact


    And a full view with some work on the cabling. I was too impatient to make an effort on the SATA cables and the cables in the bottom rear part of the case. In any case, they are not on any air path


    Well, many thanks again for all your help, and hope these images would help others
  31. gomerpile said:

    What shoud I change in my setup for a Koolance product in your opinion?
  32. Well I would'nt change a thing but if you need a vga block coolance has some good ones
  33. gomerpile said:
    Well I would'nt change a thing but if you need a vga block coolance has some good ones

    I see, but I won't have to WC my X800 for now. And buying a 8800 isn't for now, too expensive and I don't play
    Thank you anyway
  34. Just a feedback for my vcore delayed vdroop issue: It was a cooling issue, but really no way to cool the P5B dlx mosfets for a quad on high vcores without some modding:
    - changing the heatsinks and adding 60/80 mm fans in front of them
    - watercool them
    - change mb for a P5K premium

    Putting a 120mm fan on the mosfets solved my issue. Thank you again phreejak for your great support, and all others who helped me
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