My first loop, thoughts?

So I've decided to make the leap into watercooling after my air cooler stopped functioning properly. I was originally just planning to upgrade to something small, but have since decided to go big (or sort of big) or go home, and upgrade my GPU as well.

So I've come up with the following components:
Powercolor 6970 LCS as an upgrade from my current Sapphire 5870 which will also provide a watercooled GPU
Corsair Graphite 600t as an upgrade from my Antec 900, since I still prefer mid tower chasis and this one has excellent watercooling options.

XSPC Rasa 240mm kit - What's not to like about this kit
Black Ice GT 120mm Radiator - Since there's only room for a 240mm rad on top, adding this rad over the rear would give me 360mm of total rad "real estate"
3 x Aerocool Shark 120mm fans
PrimoChill PrimoFlex Tubing - Because I like the black

EK Supreme HF rev 2 considering this block because it performs extremely well, and I like how it looks. Would still get the rasa kit since it's cheaper than getting the reservoir/pump and radiator separately, and I could just sell the other components I don't need.

Mounting hardware for the 120mm rad
10 x compression fittings - 2 for the cpu block + 2 for the reservoir/pump + 2 for the 240mm rad + 2 for the 120mm rad + 2 for the GPU

Feser Ultra Pure Water - no dyes or other junk to mess up the blocks
IandH Killcoil
Feser Corrosion Blocker

So my questions are as follows:
1 - What are the thoughts on my component choices?
2 - What would be the best way to set up my loop order? I'm thinking there is one of 2 ways; a) reservoir/pump -> 240mm rad -> CPU -> 120mm rad -> GPU -> reservoir/pump, or b) reservoir/pump -> 240mm rad -> 120mm rad -> CPU -> GPU -> reservoir/pump
77 answers Last reply
More about loop thoughts
  1. Distilled water is about a buck a gallon, there's no need for the corrosion blocker.
    That BI GT Stealth has a high fin count, needs fast, high pressure fans to perform, the ones you chose aren't going to cut it.
    The loop order isn't going to matter much, part of the hobby is finding out what configuration works best for you.
  2. Black Ice rads are very high FPI (fin per inch) radiators that require high cfm/static pressure fans. Most other rads are lower FPI, between 8-11 FPI, optimized for low/mid speed fans. Just a warning.

    No Feser. It tends to precipitate out in CPU blocks due to the pin matrix design and can gunk up blocks. Distilled water, PTNuke and killcoils are your best bet. Nothing performs better than distilled water, anyway.

    If you want color, the easiest and safest way is to use colored tubing.

    Sure, many will argue Feser or other premixes are safe, but there are a lot of forum threads out there with evidence supporting otherwise.
  3. Quick thoughts:
    Ditch the Feser Water and go grab some regular distilled from any supermarket. Works just as well and is much cheaper.
    Ditch the Corrosion Blocker, you've got all copper/brass and nickle/chrome plated components that will not react with each other.

    Edit: Double sniped.... what does it mean?!
  4. Quick-draw?

    This post is a great reason for me to get a new sticky put together soon. Maybe this weekend, if I have time.
  5. d0gr0ck said:


    Edit: Double sniped.... what does it mean?!

    Team 2 got to thier FFP on time.
  6. alright, so just the killcoil and distilled water then, sounds good. I've already chosen black tubes for colour.

    from the features of the BI rad:
    Quote:
    Two-pass U-flow tank configuration
    Custom MaxFin 25 micron Copper Splitter Fin Configuration utilizing 45% thinner fin material yielding up to 50% less pressure drop even with twice the fin density
    Unique fin configuration eliminates intra-louver accumulation of dust particles for trouble free operation
    Unprecedented Ultra-high 30 FPI (Fins Per Inch) fin density providing dramatically increased heat transfer surface area
    Custom low-profile 19.0 x 1.2mm MaxFlowâ„¢ tubes with 15% more waterside surface area and 60% frontal area reduction for superior low air-resistance aerodynamics and lower internal flow requirements
    Yields up to 20% more heat exchange capacity than the Black Ice Pro in both Stealth or Performance modes
    Achieves Black Ice Xtreme level performance in stealth mode (low-noise/low-airflow conditions)
    M4 Threaded Screw Holes (works for 6-32 also) for easier mounting and greater adaptability
    Now standard G 1/4" female threaded fittings
    Full high-temper brass structural construction for weight reduction and superior corrosion resistance
    High performance compact radiator compatible as an upgrade to the Black Ice Pro and most 120mm form factor radiators
    Uses 100% Non-corrosive water-solluble fluxing process
    Lead-free construction for environmental protection and RoHS compliance
    Full electrostatic polyurethane painting finish for uniform coating with high temperature curing for increased finish durability.
    Renowned Black Ice quality
    Radiator Dimensions: 133mm wide x 157mm tall x 29.6mm thick

    makes it sound like that even without super high CFM fans the rad will still work great.

    and the aerocool fans can push 82.6 CFM (or so says the specs on newegg), which seems to be higher than most 120mm fans.
  7. bejabbers said:
    and the aerocool fans can push 82.6 CFM (or so says the specs on newegg), which seems to be higher than most 120mm fans.

    Check the pressure spec, not good.
  8. delluser1 said:
    Check the pressure spec, not good.

    where would I be able to find the pressure spec for a bunch of different fans? or which fans would you recommend?
  9. Quote:
    Unprecedented Ultra-high 30 FPI (Fins Per Inch) fin density providing dramatically increased heat transfer surface area


    This is the point we are trying to make. You need good fans to push air through this.
  10. delluser1 said:
    Check the pressure spec, not good.


    Yes, all fans suffer a CFM drop when mashed up against a radiator. This is when their ability to generate static pressure becomes more important. My udervolted Scythe Slip Steams likely push a lot less air than the spec sheet would have you believe at their current rotation speed. (Rather ho-hum rad fans)
  11. so what type of air pressure should I be looking for. The coolermaster r4 fans manage 2.94 mmHg, is that high enough?
  12. bejabbers said:
    so what type of air pressure should I be looking for. The coolermaster r4 fans manage 2.94 mmHg, is that high enough?

    They're not true to their specs according to some posts I've read.
    That said, I used them on my TFC Xchanger before going passive.
    On a low FPI rad they seem to do well enough, never tried them on my BIX, but am quite sure they would not have performed well on such a high FPI rad.
  13. Question is, why get the BIX if you aren't sure what fans you want to run when you can get an XSPC, Swiftech, Thermochill, etc rad with lower FPI and you can run slower, cheaper fans and get about the same performance?
  14. ^ Good point
  15. Yate Loons, Gentle Typhoons...these are relatively cheap and work excellent on low/med FPI rads...which is what a very large majority of the WC community uses. Very few rads are high FPI.

    Besides, push/pull with slower fans is still better performing than a single high CFM/static pressure fan if both are installed on the same rads (typically these being low/mid FPI rads).
  16. so would this be a better rad choice?
  17. It's a matter of preference, but I would agree it is, from my point of view. Why the 120 vs a 220?
  18. rubix_1011 said:
    It's a matter of preference, but I would agree it is, from my point of view. Why the 120 vs a 220?

    I want to keep the rads on the inside of the case. So I only have room to mount 1 240 rad on top exhaust and 1 120 rad on the rear exhaust.
  19. I am personally in love with the Swiftech MCR rads for the fantastic price to performance ratio. They work quite well with more ordinary fans.
  20. I see. Didn't you say you had room in top for a 3x120mm? Depending on your CPU/GPU and overclocking, you might consider the 320 + the 120. You could probably run both CPU/GPU at stock speeds on 3x120mm worth of rad...I wouldn't OC on that. More volts = more heat per clock cycle.

    @d0gr0ck- I run dual MCR320's on my loop. They work for me :)
  21. nope, just said that I have 360mm of total available rad real estate.

    I wasn't planning to OC the video card (and decided to go with the radeon 6970 over the gtx 580 for a number of reasons, heat being one of them), but was planning to bring my 920 up to around 3.8-4.0.
  22. bejabbers said:
    so would this be a better rad choice?

    I missed most of this thread but any how ..T600 is very nice case and if you plan smart you can get very good
    results from it ,you can mount 200mm in fron and 220/240 on top and you good to go ,here is simple;

    http://www.techreaction.net/2010/11/28/blog-corsair-graphite-series%E2%84%A2-600t-all-internal-dual-loop/
    http://www.overclock.net/water-cooling/876602-corsair-600t-all-internal-dual-loop.html
  23. Nice spot ortoklaz...you'd get some good results with a 200mm over that 120mm. If you can consider this as an option, I'd hop on that bus.

  24. Thanks for all the help and advice. After careful consideration I've decided to go with a CPU only loop at this point in time.

    So I've decided on the following components:
    CPU block - It was on sale, how could I resist
    Radiator - Same one from the XSPC Rasa kit
    Pump/Reservoir - Same one as in the XSPC Rasa kit, and I really like the front bay pump/res combo
    fans - Took rubix's advice and found some good yate loons, with a third to replace the one in the rear. Given space restrictions might get 2 more to create a push/pull on the top rad
    Tubing - Because I like black
    Fttings - I wanted to use compression fittings since I get the feeling they're more secure
    KillCoil - No explanation needed
    and will be using distilled water to cool.
  25. this block is cheaper and you get a lot more for the money
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=59_971_498_491&products_id=27445
    here is test of it's predecessor rev 1.1
    http://skinneelabs.com/koolance-cpu-360/4/
    but if you like EK go for it ,the only thing i'm concern is RAD (i7 920 can get hot) which is the most important part of your set up
  26. Compression fittings aren't necessarily more secure than barbs...its more a matter of preference. I've used barbs and never had an issue. I do like the clean look of compression fittings, however.
  27. Got all my stuff the other day and set up the loop. Everything looks awesome. My idle temps are in the low 30's (Celsius) and and my prime95 temps are in the 50's

  28. Nice and clean in there! Good job.
  29. nice setup bejabbers. i really like the look of the totally internal loop.
  30. thanks guys. I'm happy with the way it turned out. Really thankful for all the advice from everyone here. I think I might look for a replacement for the blue led in the reservoir, and the front fan too, I guess, so I can have all matching red.

    I'm probably stick a 360 rad off the back when I upgrade to a liquid video card, might not happen until I upgrade the mobo, cpu and ram when lga 2011 comes out.
  31. Yeah, you'll need more rad space once you add a GPU into the mix. Glad to see you are happy with the build...nice and clean looking, too.
  32. Thinking I might mod the case not too far down the road. As long as I'm not attached to using the top 5.25 bay, which I'm not, I should be able to clear out a space in the top panel to mount a 3rd fan (which will still remain covered by the top grill) and stick in a 360mm rad up top. Either the swiftech or rs 360 (both are slim at 34-35mm thick). So if I do that, and maybe add a 120mm on the exhaust, I should have more than enough rad reel estate for cooling both a CPU and GPU.
  33. I like the idea of sticking a 200mm rad in the front there. Doesn't look like you are using the hard drive cage so a 200mm rad will be a nice fit.

    I must say I like your build. Very, very neat.
  34. cromedome said:
    I like the idea of sticking a 200mm rad in the front there. Doesn't look like you are using the hard drive cage so a 200mm rad will be a nice fit.

    I must say I like your build. Very, very neat.


    I considered doing that, but if I did that, then I wouldn't have any intake since I prefer to exhaust the heat outside of the case rather than into it.
  35. bejabbers said:
    I considered doing that, but if I did that, then I wouldn't have any intake since I prefer to exhaust the heat outside of the case rather than into it.


    I suppose that's a good point there... Mounting a single 120 rad on the back as an exhaust is also a good idea. It will also be easier to manage the tubing and use less of it.
  36. cromedome said:
    I suppose that's a good point there... Mounting a single 120 rad on the back as an exhaust is also a good idea. It will also be easier to manage the tubing and use less of it.

    yea, and keeping the pump and reservoir together will also help keep tubing and connections to a minimum.
  37. The 200mm would perform way better than a single 120, but If you run decent fan(s) on the 200, you'd be just fine. Besides, it isn't going to be blowing that hot of air off that rad.

    200mm with fan in pull...sweetness. Shoe-horn it in there. :)
  38. rubix_1011 said:
    The 200mm would perform way better than a single 120, but If you run decent fan(s) on the 200, you'd be just fine. Besides, it isn't going to be blowing that hot of air off that rad.

    200mm with fan in pull...sweetness. Shoe-horn it in there. :)

    that front 200mm is my cold air intake though, if I put a rad there won't I just be pulling the hot air into the case?
  39. why is the OP worry about hot air blowing in to the case ..you got blocks that will cool your components ,it's LC not air cooling,read the first post i made in this thread and you will be golden
  40. ortoklaz said:
    why is the OP worry about hot air blowing in to the case ..you got blocks that will cool your components ,it's LC not air cooling

    If I'm pulling hot air into the case from the front, then I'm pulling hot air, rather than cool air through the rad at the top. Don't you want fresh air going through the radiators, not hot exhaust air?
  41. Quote:
    that front 200mm is my cold air intake though, if I put a rad there won't I just be pulling the hot air into the case?


    The air coming off your rads is nowhere near as hot as you think it is. Even when I've run my system @100% CPU/GPU loads w/BOINC, the air coming off my rads is lukewarm at most. You'd just want the airflow at that point...heat really won't be much of an issue. Let me put it this way...my PSU fan spits out far, far warmer air than has ever come out of my rads.

    The glory of watercooling. :)
  42. bejabbers said:
    If I'm pulling hot air into the case from the front, then I'm pulling hot air, rather than cool air through the rad at the top. Don't you want fresh air going through the radiators, not hot exhaust air?

    any internally build system would suffer (and it does to some extend),as long you provide plenty of fresh air to the top rad you will be OK

    look at the clocks and CPU/GPU's this guy is running
    http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t228/miahallen/4DV452_dual.png
    do you see any issues with the temps?
    That's i7 950 and 2x480's
  43. Low-mid 70's isn't too bad considering what he has that running at. You'd see lower temps obviously at idle (which shows to be 30s-40s C) and running apps that aren't maxxing the CPU 100%...such as gaming or even video encoding/editing.
  44. Alright, so it's been decided, now that I have enough money to get the ball rolling.
    Going to be modding the case to fit a 360 up top, going to stick a 120 on the back and get the 200 for the front. Might end up even hanging my current 240 off the back, since I have it and might as well use it.

    I figure since IB (socket 2011) won't be out for about another year, I can put what I've been saving for it into the cooling.

    I've seen people talk about using a Yate Loon 220 fan in the front, would that even fit if the fan that's there now is only a 200? And with both the intakes and exhausts covered with rads, do I need to worry about the ambient temp inside the case?

    I'm also considering swapping my 5870 for a 6970 (maybe a 6990) and watercooling that. As well as integrating a fill port (into the res) and drain T (at the lowest point, likely after the GPU) into the loop.
  45. This is going to be interesting. Having 3 or 4 rads is often unheard of, usually people just go for two large rads of the same size. How are you going to mod the case to fit a 360 up top? Going to need quite a bit of cutting and drilling. I am eager to see your finished loop with all the rads and what not, be sure to keep us updated!
  46. cromedome said:
    This is going to be interesting. Having 3 or 4 rads is often unheard of, usually people just go for two large rads of the same size. How are you going to mod the case to fit a 360 up top? Going to need quite a bit of cutting and drilling. I am eager to see your finished loop with all the rads and what not, be sure to keep us updated!

    there is enough room up top, with very little modding, for a triple rad. All I'm going to have to do is cut back some of the plastic and cut a hole for the fan. This picture shows the available room: http://i399.photobucket.com/albums/pp76/lowlight1984/360Rad.jpg I won't be able to use the top drive bay, but I'll be fine with that.

    I want to keep as many of the radiators as possible inside the case so it looks nice.
  47. Ah, I see... When i get my Rasa kit with the RS360 rad I am going to put the rad outside, on the top of the case. I will cut 3 blow holes in the top of my case to increase airflow and then drill/cut some holes for the pipes. I can't wait to see some pics of your rig with all the new stuff, sounds awesome.
  48. Got my first package! This one came from aquatuning.us and I have to say that it got here quickly and it didn't cost a lot to bring it here ($8 for 72h shipping via UPS).

    In the box came: a 200mm phobya radiator, a 120mm swiftech radiator, 8 xspc 7/16"ID 5/8"OD compression fittings, 10 phobya gold plated 45 degree adaptors, and 6 m of black 7/16"ID 5/8"OD primochill tubing (I thought I was buying by the foot, but came by the metre, so I have 3 times as much tubing as I really need).

    Next order will be a 360mm swiftech rad (maybe, depends on how much bodding the top of my case will require since it's not actually flat), drain port, fill port and fill port adapter, and either a liquid cooled 6970 (or 6990 depending on budget), or a 6970 or (or 6990 depending on budget) plus waterblocks (waiting to hear what's happening with EK's nickel plating issues).
  49. "(I thought I was buying by the foot, but came by the metre, so I have 3 times as much tubing as I really need). " that's funny bro :D ,I'm glad you got that 200MM Phobia ,it will make a huge difference (got the test somewhere..i remember that rad had some good test scores )
    sounds like you going to have some fun ,i just did a bit of remodeling with my set up (separated the pump from res. and swap flaking EK FC 580 with Aqua 580 and love it)
    P.S. some pics are always welcome... :heink:
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