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First Custom Water Cooled Kit / First Time Water Cooler

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July 31, 2010 4:00:05 AM

Hey all, although I do not post a lot, I frequently come here looking for advice. Because of the great reviews and answers on these forums, I built my first PC from the ground up and have never been happier. This is the exact reason I am coming back for my first time building a water cool kit. This time, the reviews for what I was looking to put together are little more ambiguous. Hence this thread reaching out for some assistance -- I will need a response more attune to my exact expectation and what I have put together based on my reading.

Okay, let me start with my system specs:

Case: Cooler Master Cosmos Pure
CPU: Intel i7 930 2.9 GHz
Motherboard: Evga X58 SLI LE (757)
Ram: Corsair Dominator 6GB 1600 (3 x 2GB)
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5870
PSU Corsair HX 850W (modular)
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate

I am running all stock coolers and as you know, I am very interested in bringing this build to water cooling. I plan on engaging in heavy gaming with light overclocking. My main goal is to have low temps, with the ability to run a bit faster as quiet as possible. I eventually want the entire system to be water cooled, but I want to start with the CPU for now, then work the GPU and motherboard into the loop. I do not want more than one reservoir either because I will not be heavily OCing and the water cooling will be for aesthetics as well. So I don't want to crowd the inside of the system. Unless, of course, something else is recommended.

Now that the situation is laid out (not talking about the Jersey Shore one, although I would like to see him that way), here is what I have put together on my own. Please let me know if it is good or if I should make any changes. Please keep in mind my goals etc...

I REALLY appreciate any help you all can give. Thanks again:



I am going for the UV blue theme as the lights on my Razer Mamba, case and keyboard are all that color. I might add some green kink reduction for some different colors, but that will be my main theme.

Thanks again!
August 2, 2010 2:15:16 AM

Everything seems to be in order, if you want to add more oc'ing room and more blocks you'll need a bigger rad or more of them depending on how you want it set up. I think that pump/res combo will be powerfull enough, but if you start adding dual gpu blocks and a mobo block you could run into some problems.
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a c 330 K Overclocking
August 2, 2010 4:05:56 PM

What kind of pump is that? I'd highly reconsider something else. As for the radiator...why only a single 1x120? You are going to need a MINIMUM of a 2x120 for an i7 chip. You also don't want that pre-mixed coolant crap. Just go with distilled water and some PTNuke or a few drops of biocide. Stay away from the 'pretty colored' water coolant/additives.
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Related resources
August 2, 2010 8:24:32 PM

The reason I am asking here is because I would love to hear recomendations. ;) 

If you have one, can you also provide a product.

As for the radiator -- yes, I figured I needed something bigger. I can actually grab the MCR220 (2x120) for the same price on newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's also stackable, making it easy to add more.
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a c 330 K Overclocking
August 3, 2010 12:57:17 PM

I'd stay away from stackable rads; you tend to get some nasty fan CFM/pressure loss trying to force air through 2 rads that way.

You'll need at least an MCR220 or equivalent rad (Swiftech rads are pretty decent for the money; I run dual MCR320's)

MCP655 is very common in the WC community, as are MCP355 with custom tops for better performance.
http://www.petrastechshop.com/pumps.html

Go with a good CPU block such as D-tek, EK or Heatkiller...even the Swiftech Apogee (never versions) are pretty decent. I haven't been impressed with the DangerDen CPU blocks since they started falling behind in the pre-Core 2 days.
http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l3/g30/c85/s141/list/p1/Liquid_Cooling-Water_Blocks_CPU_-_Size-12_CPU_Water_Blocks_-Page1.html

Most people use the MicroRes or something similar, but really, as long as its well designed and doesn't leak, you're fine. First-timers typically run reservoirs, but you'll discover it isn't necessary if you run a T-line for filling...its all about pump CFM, fan CFM, radiator surface area/fin spacing and temp deltas for your waterblocks in relation to coolant flow.
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August 4, 2010 7:26:59 AM

Yeah.. thanks for all the help guys...

I think I am going to go with the HK 3.0 LT, since it is not much more money and the flow/temps are a lot better than what I was looking at. Also, I think I might go with the MCR240 or the XPSC or whatever.. but definitely between those two at 240.

Any advice on tubing though? I know everyone says UV Blue tubing, and that is great, but I think that res/pump combo i picked out comes with distilled and a drop of coloring. Anyways, either way I decide to go, can someone link me clear and UV tubing that is good. And maybe good fittings. I have had my eye on the pure silver ones from EK.

Thanks again so much! I am going right to the shopping cart after these responses! Wish me luck!
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August 8, 2010 6:44:52 PM


Typeone -
If it isn't too late I would offer the following thoughts:

Since I own the exact same case I would install a 3x120 radiator to start. $43 for a single, $60 for a triple. It will save tons of money if/when you add more blocks. Radiator inside, fans outside under the grill.
I would also use 1/2 id tubing - more flow is better.
With that in mind read different waterblock reviews on Pureoverclock.com.

While all my waterblocks are made by dangerden, my friend uses Swiftech and Koolance blocks. They work fine, but are much more restrictive.

A couple of tips - assemble your system outside the case and use the pump to run water through all the parts, it gets little bits of gunk out that otherwise settle in the reservoir. Tygon is excellent tubing, but it does seem to leave gunk in the reservoir.
Don't forget to add a drain line and a fill line. You will need to flush the system once a year or so.
Keep the routing simple and the bends as large as possible.
Use your Bios or Zalmans fan controllers to dial in the ratio between temp and fan noise that works for you.

With this setup 3x120 rad up top, 120 rad over rear exhuast fan my
Q9650 @4.0 Ghz idles about 10C, above ambient, games about 18-20C above ambient and my
GTX 480 with DD wb idles about 9C, above ambient, games about 23-25C above ambient.
I also have waterblocks on the NB, MCP and SB chips on my 780i mobo (the NB fan just screamed and drove me insane)

Enjoy the low temps and silent running!

Fan O' Water
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August 8, 2010 7:35:25 PM

Fan O Water said:
Typeone -
If it isn't too late I would offer the following thoughts:

Since I own the exact same case I would install a 3x120 radiator to start. $43 for a single, $60 for a triple. It will save tons of money if/when you add more blocks. Radiator inside, fans outside under the grill.
I would also use 1/2 id tubing - more flow is better.
With that in mind read different waterblock reviews on Pureoverclock.com.

While all my waterblocks are made by dangerden, my friend uses Swiftech and Koolance blocks. They work fine, but are much more restrictive.

A couple of tips - assemble your system outside the case and use the pump to run water through all the parts, it gets little bits of gunk out that otherwise settle in the reservoir. Tygon is excellent tubing, but it does seem to leave gunk in the reservoir.
Don't forget to add a drain line and a fill line. You will need to flush the system once a year or so.
Keep the routing simple and the bends as large as possible.
Use your Bios or Zalmans fan controllers to dial in the ratio between temp and fan noise that works for you.

With this setup 3x120 rad up top, 120 rad over rear exhuast fan my
Q9650 @4.0 Ghz idles about 10C, above ambient, games about 18-20C above ambient and my
GTX 480 with DD wb idles about 9C, above ambient, games about 23-25C above ambient.
I also have waterblocks on the NB, MCP and SB chips on my 780i mobo (the NB fan just screamed and drove me insane)

Enjoy the low temps and silent running!

Fan O' Water

How do you have a 3x120 rad in a Cosmos? Aren't there only 2 120mm wholes on top? Or does the Pure have more?
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August 8, 2010 7:51:34 PM

JohnnyChrist said:
How do you have a 3x120 rad in a Cosmos? Aren't there only 2 120mm wholes on top? Or does the Pure have more?



Hi -

There is a lot of room above the mobo, but below the "top" of the case. Fans are on top, but below the external grill.
All of my tubing is run inside.
Only downside is that I can't use the top two slots for the DVD drive.
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August 8, 2010 10:02:01 PM

JohnnyChrist said:
How do you have a 3x120 rad in a Cosmos? Aren't there only 2 120mm wholes on top? Or does the Pure have more?


Johnny -
My mistake - The Cosmos Pure is different than the Cosmos S, so it might not have room for a 320 up top.
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August 9, 2010 2:05:22 AM

Fan O Water said:
Johnny -
My mistake - The Cosmos Pure is different than the Cosmos S, so it might not have room for a 320 up top.

So, in the area highlighted below, you have three fan holes?

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August 9, 2010 5:52:00 AM

Yes, in the following photos you can see the area under the grill, but outside the case. I cut away the mesh because I made a cheap, but effective plenum from three dead fans from the local comp shop. Finished shot shows the final install. The radiator and plenum are inside the case, the fans outside (but under the grill).
The tubing got a little tight near the CPU/NB/GPU but otherwise I am really happy with the result.

The You tube video shows a stock case. Around the 1 minute mark you can see the grill and fan placement options.

http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/4080/cosmosstop.jpg
http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/6259/finishedx.jpg
http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/7683/cheapplenum.jpg


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inoemsx7Qoo
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August 9, 2010 5:59:09 AM

Fan O Water said:
Yes, in the following photos you can see the area under the grill, but outside the case. I cut away the mesh because I made a cheap, but effective plenum from three dead fans from the local comp shop. Finished shot shows the final install. The radiator and plenum are inside the case, the fans outside (but under the grill).
The tubing got a little tight near the CPU/NB/GPU but otherwise I am really happy with the result.

The You tube video shows a stock case. Around the 1 minute mark you can see the grill and fan placement options.

http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/4080/cosmosstop.jpg
http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/6259/finishedx.jpg
http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/7683/cheapplenum.jpg


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inoemsx7Qoo

The youtube video is of the Cosmos S, not the Cosmos Pure Black.

I still got my answer though, and if I ever do a liquid cooled system, I'll pull out Mr. Dremel.
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