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First Time Watercooling, Need Input

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June 20, 2011 8:51:45 AM

Hey everyone, finally decided to go liquid cooling and have been doing a lot of research over the past couple of days. I'm going to be water cooling a Core i7 920 rig that is running a GTX 560 and eventually GTX 560 SLI. So I've decided to go with a single, series loop and see what results I get, then maybe transition to a dual loop if need be. The goal for my setup here is as quiet and cool as possible.

I have a few questions regarding some parts selection and being a noob please bear with me.

Pump: After a bunch of reviews an P-Q curve comparisons I've decided to go Swiftech but I can't decide between the new MCP35X or the MCP655. From the reviews it appears that the MCP35X is better and in fact close to the ideal perfect pump. Additionally it has PWM support to control the pump rate and in turn sound level. However I heard that this pump produces a noticeable sound even on lower rates and that the 655 model remains super quiet. Which one should I go with for my goals? Is the performance difference that great? And inside my case wouldn't the apparent dB be much lower anyhow? The MCP35X was showing 48dB on high settings out by itself in a test that Martin did on Youtube. Thoughts on the pump issue?

Radiator: I'm not really sure about what to go with here actually. Should I have one? Or should I put a rad in between each device in the loop? I was leaning toward the 360 block that come in the RASA kits. Same idea for the resevoir, the front bay installed one from the RASA kits.

CPU Block: Really lost on this one. After mulling over Skinne labs I was thinking about Aqua Computer kryos HF but I really don't know what is best. And as for the GPU block I haven't even looked yet.

Would appreciate the input, thanks!
a c 324 K Overclocking
June 20, 2011 1:42:05 PM

Either of those pumps is great, so it's more a choice of pump size and build for you. I own a 655 and its it's very quiet, however, I doubt you could hear a 35x over the sound of case fans.

Radiator- Well, loop order does not matter, so placing one between components won't change temps compared to them being in series, after other components. You are likely going to need more than 1 rad, but again, it kind of depends what you are looking at for your build.

CPU blocks- most are pretty good these days with 1-3C difference between the top 5 or so. Most of this fluctuation has to do with your loop delta and actual flow rates, so take that into consideration. The CPU block is one of the most restrictive components in a loop (unless you are running a RAM block or other motherboard chipset/MOSFET, etc block- which are not needed).
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a b K Overclocking
June 20, 2011 2:26:52 PM

I faced the same pump choice a few months ago when I started. I've heard that the MCP35X is quieter than most of the reviews make it out to be. It has nearly the same flow rate as the 655 (1000LPH vs. 1200LPH), and is a bit smaller. Both will fit nicely in a bayres, though the 35X will need a different top to allow it to fit in the DDC bayreses (sp.?).

I ended up with the XSPC X2O 750 (comes in the Rasa kit) since I'm on a relatively tight budget and it performs pretty well for the price. Will probably upgrade a year or two down the road to a 35X.

I originally had an i7-930 + 2x470s (similar in heat output to your setup), and was told to get two solid 120.3 rads to get around a 5C delta. HWLabs makes good radiators (have a Black Ice Xtreme III 120.3 and SR1 120.1 going into my system soon), as do Swiftech and XSPC (RX360).

As for CPU blocks, I'm personally a fan of the EK Supreme HF blocks. I got a used Full Copper model and it looks awesome. The Rasa performs similarly, but not *as* well as the EK. A lot of LCers also use Danger Den blocks with great success.

As rubix said, your choice in components primarily depends on the delta you're trying to get. A 10C delta will allow more leeway in what components/how many you get, but a 2C delta would require at least 2 really good rads (most likely GTX360 or GTX480 rads) with great fans that will make a ton of noise.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
June 20, 2011 2:53:21 PM

I think the 35x follows the same top/mounting patterns as the other DDC pumps...almost positive on this one.
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a b K Overclocking
June 20, 2011 3:52:13 PM

It may; I'm not sure how the top section is cut out in the res.
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June 20, 2011 11:33:02 PM

As far as space is concerned, will I be able to fit all the components inside of my case potentially? I have a modified Xaser IV full tower, its ver spacious....I was thinking about dropping on of the rads on the bottom of the case and another at the top, or maybe one in the back and one at the top. As far as airflow goes, are my HDD's going to need special attention?

I've been reading about restriction and if someone could verify, its basically the areas where flow becomes unsteady and possibly turbulent, indicating a larger pressure drop across that component?

I find liquid cooling so interesting, fluid mechanics is one of my favorite topics I'm taking as an engineer!
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June 20, 2011 11:55:38 PM

Well, I personally like to rads at the top of the case, then I have my shroud on top. I don't know your case, but I think with a bit of modding you can avoid bad airflow.
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a b K Overclocking
June 21, 2011 1:12:27 AM

cmmcnamara said:
As far as space is concerned, will I be able to fit all the components inside of my case potentially? I have a modified Xaser IV full tower, its ver spacious....I was thinking about dropping on of the rads on the bottom of the case and another at the top, or maybe one in the back and one at the top. As far as airflow goes, are my HDD's going to need special attention?

I've been reading about restriction and if someone could verify, its basically the areas where flow becomes unsteady and possibly turbulent, indicating a larger pressure drop across that component?

I find liquid cooling so interesting, fluid mechanics is one of my favorite topics I'm taking as an engineer!


I have to put my 120.3 rad on the bottom simply due to space restrictions. AFAIK it shouldn't make too much of a difference where you put them as long as they have the right fans to dissipate the appropriate amount of heat.

You're lucky you like fluids; I had a bad teacher last semester and we didn't learn anything in that class. Although the lab was awesome, I'm sticking with Materials ;) 
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