Water Cooling - What do you think?

I'm new to water cooling, but would love to give it a shot. I found all of the components that (I think) I need, but am realizing that maybe a kit is better.

Below are my current options which essentially comprise of various parts from different companies, and a Zalman kit.
Which do you think is the best route? Oh and please don't limit yourself to these two options; I'd like to hear your full opinions.


This is the planned build:

OS: Vista Ultimate X64

Case: Cosmos S (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119150 )

Monitor Resolution: 1900x1200

Graphics Card: Radeon HD 4870 X2

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.8ghz

Mother Board: DFI LANPARTY DK ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813136047 )

Drives: 2x Samsung CD/DVD Drives: ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151171 )

PSU: Corsair HX 1000

Ram: CORSAIR XMS2 DHX 8GB 2x(2 x 2GB) - ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145194 )

Cooling Solution: Water Cooled (Since this is my first water cooled build, I am not sure if I am missing anything below.) Thanks!
Swiftech MCP355 12v DC Pump
Petra'sTech DDCT-01 Delrin Top
Fuzion v2 Cpu water block
Swiftech MCR-320 (3x120) Radiator
EK-RES150 Rev.2 Multi-Option Reservoir
Danger Den Water Cooling System Fill & Bleed Port
Bitspower premium barbs 1/2" ( http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=23328 ) I need 6 of them, right?
2x 7/16" Tygon Tubing

Storage: 2 74 Gig Raptor Drives Raid 0 (I own one already, and found a second one online for a fair price.)

Raid Controller Card: Onboard!

Arctic Ice
... Sound Card perhaps?

Last Updated: October 7, 2008
31 answers Last reply
More about water cooling think
  1. Looks like by wattage calculations the Reserator will NOT cool a CPU/GPU loop like you want. Neither will a 120x2 rad. You need TWO 120x2 rads or a 120x4 rad. Or a top notch 120x3 rad ($130+).... maybe depending on your overclocks, fans, ambient temps etc.

    Res is good, pump is good. Can't say anything about that block, never seen it or seen any real reviews. Fuzion V2 or the Apogee GTZ are the kings of the hill right now.

    Time to start reading.


    Google your planned case and the word watercool
  2. Thanks I updated the cpu block; do you have any suggestions for a quality rad? I'm not sure is a 120x4 would fit in that case.
  3. Conumdrum thanks a lot for the advice, it's much appreciated!
  4. Conumdrum, I think he just had a reservior listed, not the Reserator...so at least we know he is on the right path.

    I will agree, a 4x120 rad isn't going to fit inside any case, unless you have a full server tower. Dual 2x120's or even dual 3x120's would be great. With having that much cooling gear, you are going to need to start thinking external mounts or maybe you just have a giant case? :)
  5. He's been updating his original thread since I first replied, it was a Zalman Reserator. Linkies and reading do wonders, it sure helped me when I first started.
  6. Thanks rubix_1011! Conumdrum is right, I've been updating the document as I continue my research. Those links were really helpful; thank you.

    Water cooling doesn't seem so intimidating though, but I'm still a little shaky.
    This forum has been great, and you guys are a huge help.

  7. that XSPC Passive 150mm Reservoir is aluminum. Looks great, but you want to avoid mixing cooper and aluminun in the same loop. Could lead to galvanic corrosion. You'd be taking a big chance with your loop - and it's not going to disspate much heat, anyway.

    Water cooling really isn't that tough. If you have built your own system, you have the basic knowledge for WC'ing, IMO. Just do the research and ask questions. DON'T skip the leak test.
  8. The Swifty GTZ is the way to go for the Quads, I have the GT and really need to go to the GTZ for my Q9450 at 3.5.

    I have 2 120 rads in my P-180 case, and a third on top feeding in. Fan choice plays a large part in cooling efficiency too. I had the Antec Tri cools on them, but had to bump up to more air after I traded my SLI'd 8800 GTXs in for a pair of GTX- 260's. The Silenx ixtremas move about 25% more air at the same decibles.

    I added a bay res for more volume as well. More thermal mass to resist the heat load.

    And do not forget the fill port. Mine is T'd in at the lowest point, makes draining easier, and I lay it on its side to fill and burp.

    Make sure you disconnect the power to the cpu when you fill it and turn it on, do not want to fry it before it gets enough water flow to cool.

    Of course use distilled water and some additive to control bacteria etc.

    AND, maybe think about some quick connects so you can take it apart easily. That Cosmos is one large case!
  9. The GTZ is equal to the V2. And yes, the GT is an older block that isn't in favor anymore, not able to handle the higher heat loads. So no reason to go GTZ over the V2. But your choice.

    Bay resses are a pain, some really have issues with leaking. And the increase in water mass means nothing unless you want to run a 55 gallon barrel or so. Temps in a loop stabilize in 30 minutes and are 1-2C across the full loop, including the water into and out on the rad.

    These are two very very popular (for good reason) reses. Having the res right there next to the side cover is very easy to work with. Bay res has the fill port buried in a bay, not that easy to get to. I have seen some really nice bay resses, but really more for the modder who needs more than the standard WC loop, they are farther up the food chain, and you'll be there someday too.


    Quick connects that are not self sealing are worthless. Every connect/fitting/foot of hose reduces flow. If installed well you won't have to touch the hoses for 6 months, then a full teardown is a good idea. Quick connects that self seal WILL reduce your flow, the jury is out if it's too much, and you'll need 4 pieces for one component at ohh $13+ each.

    Here is a reference place done by one of the WC gods out there. Read and DL his spreadsheet and punch the numbers in yourself.

  10. Whoa thanks guys, I feel like your building this with me.

    Some of the stuff you said kind of went over my head, but I'm slowly catching up. After doing a little more reading I'll post back.

    Thanks again!
  11. Yea GTZ is just about the same as the V2. It gives slightly better performance but is slightly more restrictive (not like the Supreme though :kaola:)

    Food for thought go with this rad:
    Swiftech MCR-320 (3x120)

    Its around $50 but its a killer rad for the price. I mean yea others like Thermochill or Feser will be better but they are 3x the price. The swiftech is cheap but great.

    For the pump u can try the MCP 335 (DDC 3.2) w/ a aftermarket top. They give more flow then the 655 but have slightly more heat dump and a little louder (but a little cheaper)
    Also Sidewinder Computers atm has the best prices.
    For Fittings, go with compression or get 1/2 Bitspower premium barbs w/ 7/16" tubing (preferably Tygon)

    Edit****: I just looked at ur physical build. For one DROP THAT PSU. Many reviews shot that Coolmax psus are bad, and many have blown up on Jonnyguru.com. U can also save some money and get the Q9550. It has .5 less multiplier but is half the price. Also that chipset has built in Raid. U dont need a raid card
  12. I've been trying to read up on Quick-Connect, but I haven't found much. Where could I find them, and would I need to buy more than one type?

    From what I gathered on a couple of forums, they allow you to remove components without the water liquid leaking out. However each component has a total of 2 paths for the water (in and out) so why would you need 4 per component?

    Since I only plan to cool the CPU (and maybe the graphics card down the line), would I need a total of 4?

  13. Thanks Silverion7 7. I read some reviews about the pump and reservoir that you suggested, and it seems like your selection is a much better choice.

    Also, I've went ahead and replaced the PSU with a Tuniq.

    About the raid card, I saw some benchmarks which suggested that the card improved performance significantly. I'll do a little more reading, but would like to hear what you think.
  14. Please, remove them from your plan. They are neat, restrictive, expensive, and just one more place it can leak.

    Compare this flow rate chart to some of the components on martins web site. You'll see how restrictive they are.


    And the MCR 320 rad is very nice, so is the MCR 220. If I wasn't so anal about buying super quiet stuff I would of got them instead of Fesser and Thermochill.

    PSU.... more reading....LOL
  15. haha thanks Conumdrum. My head is starting to hurt from all the reading; I've learned more in the past three days about system building than I have in months.

    About the psu, I updated it for the current build, but I'm going to read those reviews you suggested...first thing tomorrow morning :-)

    Hey guys thanks again, I can't express enough how cool all of you have been for helping me out.

    EDIT: Oh one more thing. I removed the raid controller. The extra addition would be great, but I don't think that I'll be able to afford it...the cent per performance would have to be much better for me to be willing to commit that much more. You guys agree?
  16. I do, the current Mobo Riad setups are pretyty good.
  17. What fittings are u using on this build. Again i suggest the large 1/2" Bitspower ones and 7/16 tubing. It give a very tight fit and its basically leak proof.

    I recently got into this H2O cooling craze. I said, "I want to water cool" and rly push my cpu. So i did a lot of research. It was the Swiftech GTZ, Swiftech 320, EK 250 res., MCP 335 and EK Delrin top (only one at Sidewinder), and then some 1/2" Bits and 7/16 Tygon tubing. Thats when i said "WHOA". I knew price would be a lot, but i was at $350. And for a 15 year old w/ no job atm, THATS A LOT. so sadly ill have to go with a Black (i kno its more) TRUE. Lap it and put on some Deltas :D

    PSU: Just get the Corsair HX 1000. Its great and its plenty of power
  18. Yeah, I have built up from the Swiftech dual 80mm fan kit I started with on my old P4...I have all that stuff sitting in boxes now. I think some of it could still be used to a decent extent, like the Swiftech 'chunk o' copper' CPU block and the MCP350 pump (yes, the 350...not the good 355.) I think with a decent rad, you could slap it on a basic setup and do alright as long as you didn't push it. Of course, the real reason I watercool is because you can do so many cool things...and make it look completely different than someone else.
  19. OOO u kno what color that MCP 350s rotor is?!?! Willing to pass it on to a willing 15 year old who wants to learn :D that was the most expensive thing in my loop....
  20. Thanks Silverion7 7, I've updated the fittings and power supply with your recommendation.

    Right now I am just doing a little more reading and will post back shortly. Thanks again all!
  21. Quote:
    OOO u kno what color that MCP 350s rotor is?!?! Willing to pass it on to a willing 15 year old who wants to learn that was the most expensive thing in my loop....

    LOL...no I don't. To be honest, it's somewhere in my attic in a box with my old 80mm rads. 80mm rads...You can hardly find them anymore. They are so cute and little... :)
  22. darn cause i kno that the some MCP 350s with blue rotors/impellers can easily be modded to a 355. Which is neat i just need $350 and im all water
  23. $10 + shipping...its yours.
  24. hmmm thats promising.

    So u dont kno the rotor/impeller color (like if u were adding an aftermarket top)? If its Blue ill be on that buy in 2 seconds
  25. I can go take a look at it this evening when I get home...it hasn't been touched in well over 3 years. It hasn't done anything but maybe collect some dust, but even then, its been in a box in my attic. It was a great little pump, but did suffer from those issues where the impeller sometimes hung up at system power-on.
  26. Eh thats okay, i read that thats a common problem...u mean it stalls for like a few seconds before it starts. I think its fine, my cpu shouldnt overheat that quickly :P

    But yea if the impellers blue, my friend can mod it to the 18W variant, all i need is an aftermarket top...
  27. Alright. I have a similar setup with a q9550 and a 4870 X2. Do you think a Swiftech H20-220 Apex Ultima will cool this? Im in a mid tower case so the 120x2 rad would be mounted outside the case via Radbox. If not, I have a spare 120x1 rad laying around, but i cant mount in anywhere. I was looking at the EK waterblock for this. Any suggestions?
  28. You'll need at a minimum a 120x3 rad area to keep it cool. If the 120x1 rad is of poor quality, you'll have issues if your a big overclocker. The 220 rad will keep up with the CPU if your got cool air (not case air) on the rad and aren't looking for monster overclocks, and I mean massive VID etc on the chip.

    Can't say much about the EK block, have you looked at the GTZ? It's by far the newest and most popular and performing block.
  29. At least a minimum of 1.5x120mm rad surface area per 'hot' component, meaning CPU or GPU. If you plan to OC either of them, you might start considering 2x120mm rad surface area. This is kind of a ball park average depending on rad used and fans.
  30. Well, Im going to use an EK block for the gpu's and the gtz for the cpu. I guess im pretty much screwed because my mid tower cant hold one 120.2 let alone 2 of them. :cry:

    This is the system i was looking at ---> http://www.swiftnets.com/products/H20-220-APEX-ULTIMA.asp

    This system ( http://www.swiftnets.com/products/H20-220-APEX-ULTIMA-PLUS.asp )cools a cpu, nb, and gpu on a 120.2 rad and seems to do it nicely from what i hear.

    Is 2 120.2's the only way to with my setup? Because if it is, Im either gonna have to abandon my idea or buy a new case(Which is hard to do when your'e 15 years old)
  31. Lots of peeps place the rad out the back of the case using standoffs or a radbox from swiftech as shown in the pic. That setup when tested wasn't using a HOT CPU or the GPU you have, it's a nice kit but not up to your newer hardware.

    The kit came out over 2.5 years ago, top totch GPU's like yours and the CPU put out a lot more heat than what was tested with it back then.

    And you will need TWO MCW 60 blocks to cool that card (2 GPU processors) and about $30 for the air heatsinks you'll need to replace the ones that you expose if you use the MCW 60's.

    Most just buy a full cover block for the GPU at about umm.... $140 or so.

    Here is some (billions) of build pics n threads, start at the end, not the beginning of the thread, it starts in 2005.

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