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First WC build, corsair 650D

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July 21, 2011 6:59:36 AM

Hey everyone! A buddy and I will be building a new rig pretty soon and we were hoping to get some expert advice before buying all of the LC equipment. We've both built (air cooled) computers before, but we're completely new to water cooling so it'll be a pretty cool new experience. I've been doing some research and have a preliminary list of parts set up but I'm completely open to everyone's advice!

The build:
i5 2500k
corsair 650D
EVGA 560 Ti (later will SLI, just have one for now)
Corsair professional series 750W PSU

I'll start with pump questions...I think the decision now is coming down to the swiftech 655 or 35x. As of right now I'm leaning toward the 35x (I've heard awesome reviews of it), but I wonder if its overkill for a 2x GPU + CPU loop. I'm willing to put down the extra money for the 35x (it really isn't that much more), since water cooling isn't something I'd feel comfortable skimping on! I've also read about multiple pump systems, mostly just to have a backup in case one fails; is this something I'd likely need to consider? Both pumps I'm looking at seem to have quite good track records in terms of their reliability.

For my CPU block I'm probably going to go with the XSPC Rasa, its a pretty good value and I'd rather not shell out extra cash on an EK ultimate block when I won't see a whole lot of extra performance out of it. I haven't had too much luck finding GPU blocks for the 560 Ti, only an EK nickel model and a Dangerden one. From what I've read, the nickel plating has been failing on the EK blocks, so I'll probably go with the DD model (its $100). If anyone has any other recommendations, I 'd love to get some input on this!

The corsair 650D is pretty spacious for a mid-tower and I've seen a fair amount of different rad configurations for it...so I've got some options here. I believe there's room for a 120mm rad in place of the rear exhaust fan, room for a 120.2mm setup on the top of the case and room for either a 200mm or another 120.2 rad in place of the front intake. I didn't want to cut off the front intake too much since my HDD/SSD/mobo/RAM still need some airflow so my planned loop will probably be along the lines of:

Res->pump->GPU(s)->rear 120mm rad->cpu->120.2 rad on top->(tline?)->res

Will that setup be capable of handling an eventual SLI of 560 Tis? Right now I've only got 95W of power coming from the CPU and ~170W from the video card at full load, so it doesn't seem like I'll have to go down the route of external rad mounts to keep the water cooled. I didn't know if I should put a radiator in the front intake though just in case a 120.3 can't handle what I may eventually upgrade to. In terms of actual parts, the swiftech MCR line appears to be the solid budget choice, with some other options like Phobya if i wanted to throw a 200mm rad in as well. A couple other brands performed better than the MCR, but the MCR is slimmer and cheaper (I don't have more than 55-60mm of room for the top exhaust rad). Since one of the perks I was looking at in water cooling is lack of noise, I wasn't sure where to start with rad fans. I've got a ASUS P8Z68 pro mobo, so if I could keep with a bluish color scheme, it might be nice, but I'll always go for performance over looks.

I'm fairly clueless regarding piping/compression fittings/barbs. Again, it'd be nice to stick with a bluish color scheme, but if it's going to cost a boatload, I'm perfectly happy sticking with plain clear tubing. The 35x has a universal top, so it sounds like I'd have options for the tubing size, but I have no idea what size would best fit my interests! Also, any suggestions for reservoirs? I think a cylindrical one would fit pretty well along the inner edge of the case between the motherboard and the optical bay racks, plus I like the look of them more than boxier ones. Is there a real distinction between brands for reservoirs? Or is it mostly just choosing the correct size?

Anyway, its late, that's all I can think of tonight. If you guys need any more information on the build, I'd be happy to provide it! Thanks in advance for everyone's help!

More about : build corsair 650d

a c 328 K Overclocking
July 21, 2011 1:23:27 PM

Quote:
Res->pump->GPU(s)->rear 120mm rad->cpu->120.2 rad on top->(tline?)->res


Loop order doesn't matter for temps, just as long as you aren't sucking air through your pump and don't have air collecting in your rads.

I've created a decent amount of info on the WC sticky (linked below) that can possibly help you with tubing and fittings. A lot of the questions you are asking are addressed in the sticky and the links provided within. There is a lot of data linked within there, and I'm not sure if you've gone through it or not. It by no means is the end-all be-all...but it has a lot of data.

What kind of budget? What components are going to include in the loop for sure? This will ultimately determine the components in your loop and the design. You mentioned a CPU + 2 GPU loop...I run a CPU+ 2x SLI loop with a MCP655 and dual MCR320's. The pump is about 6 years old, the rads at least 3. Again, it really depends on what you really want, what you have to spend and potential for upgrades in the future and how far into the future.
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July 22, 2011 6:24:28 AM

I'm looking to keep things within the 200-300 dollar range if possible. And will a MCR220 mounted on top coupled with a MCR120 in place of the rear exhaust keep a CPU + 1x GPU loop cool (~265W at full load)? I was hoping I could simply add a 200mm radiator in front when I SLI, but maybe that'll be a necessity straightaway. Also, I've been looking at fan options and the two standouts seem to be a yate loon model or one of the scythe gentle typhoon models. Is the extra 10-15 dollars per fan worth jumping from the YL to a GT? Just trying to find the right places to go for the "budget option" without sacrificing too much for the loop as a whole! And thanks for the links, I've got some more reading to do!
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a c 328 K Overclocking
July 22, 2011 1:53:06 PM

Quote:
And will a MCR220 mounted on top coupled with a MCR120 in place of the rear exhaust keep a CPU + 1x GPU loop cool


Yes, but I wouldn't drop a lot of OC on that. Adding a 200mm rad when you add the second GPU would round out that build well...but not a lot of people go with the '3-rad-build' in a loop unless they really want everything inside. Don't get me wrong...rads are one of the components with least resistance, so it wouldn't impact your flow much. If you were to run a 220 and a 120 rad, you might consider an XSPC RX rad or a TC PA rad (both are very thick compared to the MCR's).
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July 22, 2011 8:55:09 PM

Alright, so I think I'll stick with the MCR's for now then add the 200mm when I get the SLI and go for higher overclocking. Any thoughts on the fans though?

Also, I know this doesn't pertain to this particular forum, but when I was putting my system together, I accidentally ran a test boot up (outside the case) and the stock cpu heatsink wasn't fully in contact with the processor (when it booted it gave me a cpu over temperature error in addition to no keyboard, no boot disk, etc). Do you think my processor made it by without any damage? It didn't shut down on itself, I turned the system off before that might have happened...so does that mean it didn't quite reach damaging temps? :/ 
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a c 328 K Overclocking
July 25, 2011 3:12:20 PM

I'd test (with the heatsink correctly installed this time) to see. It's hard to say, honestly...very strange that it didn't shut down on it's own, but maybe it hadn't reached that critical of temp to force a shutdown (yet).

I'd still test it.
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July 27, 2011 3:51:49 AM

Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted in a while, been doing lots of research and working on getting my system totally squared away before I bought all the watercooling parts. I've got a much better idea of where I'm headed with the build but I've also changed a couple things. Instead of a 120.2 rad on top I'm going to have it cooled with a 140.2 rad (A Black Ice Stealth or Koolance model) and likely these Noiseblocker fans (still deciding between the PK-3 and PK-2). I'll undervolt them with this fan controller probably (unless anyone else has some good suggestions!) since I only need a four knob model and it's got a handy display for a pretty low price. I'm also going to replace the rear exhaust fan and front intake fans. I'm not positive which fan I'll grab for the back of the case since I may eventually get a thicker 120mm rad there (like an RX120) and I'm not sure what sort of fan will run quietly on it. For the intake fan though I think I'm going with a Coolermaster Megaflow, but I've also heard some good things about the AP181 and the Antec Big Boy.

For my reservoir I'm going with an XSPC dual bay reservoir that will fit with my swiftech 35x pump (it unfortunately voids the warranty from swiftech since I'll have to remove the top).

I'm probably going to go with tygon r3400 1/2 inch ID and 3/4 inch OD. I'll also be going with 1/2 inch bitspower true silver barbs.

I haven't decided whether or not to include my GPU in the watercooling build since this project has been getting fairly expensive with just a CPU loop and all new case fans. When I called into sidewindercomputers to ask a few questions about inventory, the guy told me that the 140.2 rad would actually be fine for a CPU + GPU loop...especially since my GPU is only a 170W card. I'd probably go with another 120mm rad on the back just to keep things cooler, effectively making adding the GPU about another 140 dollars. For my 560 Ti, it looks like theres only a few options for full block covers (Heatkiller, EK (non nickel), and DangerDen). Anyway, I'll probably decide on the GPU pretty soon (I'd really like to do it since one of the major benefits of this little endeavor was to keep my PC pretty silent but still be able to run something like F@H on my GPU at night, but it's rather costly). Since I haven't done a WC rig before, can anyone comment on setting up a loop (my CPU loop for now), then adding another item or two into the loop (a rad+GPU)? Is it a huge hassle? Would it be worth it just to put the money down now and not have to deal with it? Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks a lot guys!

P.S. Got ubuntu up and running and everything looks to be fine, no cpu damage
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a c 328 K Overclocking
July 27, 2011 2:10:19 PM

It's pretty simple to add more blocks into your loop, you just need to drain it, add the blocks and tubing, and reconnect tubing...prime/fill/purge air. If you have limited budget now, but want to add it later...do it. You also can consider getting a universal GPU block and ramsinks that would cut the cost almost in half from a full-cover block. They flow a little lower and perform 1-2C lower, but they work well for many people. I have used the same MCW-60 water blocks on my GPU's for 5 card generations: 6800GT, 7800GTX, 8800GTS, 9800GTX's and GTX 260's.

I'd agree that a 2x140 rad would work for a CPU/GPU loop using a 560ti and a 2500k as long as you aren't clocking the CPU past 4.5ghz...past those speeds, you are really creating a lot of heat and should consider more cooling.

Almost forgot...that BIX rad is a 30 FPI rad...do you really want that?
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a c 100 K Overclocking
July 27, 2011 3:45:59 PM

You might want to consider bundle deals to save cash. The Swiftech 220 or 320 Edge kits are really nice. It's a Swiftech MCR220(or 320) rad with resevoir top, MCP35X pump, and it comes with the Swiftech Apogee XTL which is a top rated CPU block. Plus clear tubing, clamps, fans, and the water purifying stuff (kills bacteria), and all the mounting hardware.

I got the 220 kit for $210, the 320 kit is more but with it you'd probably be ok to add the GPU to the loop without more radiator. I think it's recommended to have 420 for CPU+GPU but it should be A-OK.

The only thing I added to it was two 90 degree silver barbs (rear mounted rad, so makes it much cleaner), blue tubing, and a pair of Sythe FDB fans (S Flex I think) to make it extra quiet.

There's also an XSPC kit that is a bit cheaper and also good. I did a lot of research before buying, mostly looking at doing my own part picking and it just always added up to so much more money than it's really worth. Like having a front mounted resevoir... the only point is it looks neat. Having the top res on the rad is easier to fill and a cheaper option.
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a c 328 K Overclocking
July 27, 2011 6:46:22 PM

Quote:
Like having a front mounted resevoir... the only point is it looks neat. Having the top res on the rad is easier to fill and a cheaper option.


Yep...but for most first time builders, they care more about aesthetics than functionality...its still about 'look at my WC loop'.
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July 27, 2011 6:54:36 PM

Would having an fpi that high mean slower rpm fans (like the noiseblockers) are out of the question?
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a c 328 K Overclocking
July 27, 2011 7:35:58 PM

You'd need 2000rpm+ fans for those rads to really have them perform as they were designed. Most normal rads are 7-12 fpi in most instances, by comparison.
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July 27, 2011 7:41:55 PM

Well, both the koolance and black ice models are 30 fpi and I'd really like to get a 280mm rad up top. Any ideas for another model that might fit the 650D? Magicool seems to offer a slim 280mm rad but I can't seem to find the fpi anywhere...
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a c 328 K Overclocking
July 27, 2011 8:20:34 PM

Link: EK Coolstream 280 (2x140) rad

In reading this, there is some important info that should always be considered when mounting rads:
Quote:
Important: The included screws may be too long for some applications. Always be sure to screw them in only so far that the radiator is not damaged.

ATTENTION! FAN INSTALLATION TIP
The core of radiator is not in center. EK suggest users to install fans on side where core is closer to center.


Meaning...just make sure you don't poke any holes into the rad tubes with screws when installing.
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July 27, 2011 8:51:13 PM

I don't think I'd be able to fit a normal/thick 280 rad up top without doing an external fan mount. I can go measure my case again, but I don't think I've got more than 60mm of space to work with before fans would start hitting the mobo.
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July 27, 2011 8:55:14 PM

Its about 65mm before I'd run into the motherboard
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a c 328 K Overclocking
July 27, 2011 9:08:42 PM

Check out this build log of a guy and a 650D:

http://www.overclock.net/case-mod-work-logs/969234-close-combat-corsair-650d-water-cooled.html

Looks like he went this route:

XPSC Dual Bay Res.............[same bay res you suggested, I believe]
Swiftech MP355 Pump........[your plan to use 35x also fits this]
EK Supreme HF CPU Block..[insert CPU block choice here]
EK Block Serial 3-Slot..........[overkill, but very nice]
EK GTX580 Blocks...............[insert GPU block choice here]
RS 240mm Rad...................[RS= assuming XSPC RS series]
Phobya 200mm Rad............[good choice for additional rad space]
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July 28, 2011 4:03:30 AM

Now I'm back to considering a 120.2 rad up top and a 120.1 in the rear exhaust (probably a mcr qp). If one of the goals was to keep the computer silent, I'm not sure I'll have that option with a 140mm slim rad that needs higher speed fans. Unless an undervolted set of fans for a slim 280mm rad is still more effective than the 240mm rad. Thoughts anyone?
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July 28, 2011 4:06:28 AM

And yeah, I've been checking lots of build logs, that one included, but the people who use 280mm rads have never commented on noise so I'm not entirely sure what to think of it. It's been done, I just haven't heard too much about it. Lots of people seem to go with the 240 and phobya 200mm but that phobya alone is like 85 dollars so I was trying to stick to just the top (rear exhaust if necessary) for now.
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a c 328 K Overclocking
July 28, 2011 1:43:54 PM

Most 140 rads are a lower FPI design so you can use lower RPM fans. Most 140mm fans aren't that high of speed anyway, by design, so these rads are designed accordingly for these fans and quiet operation. However, the BIX rads you posted earlier, have a high FPI design, but this is usually typical of BIX and not most other rads.
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July 30, 2011 4:40:52 AM

Since I'd really like this to be a quiet build. I think I'm going to go with a internal thick 280mm rad and then mount the fans externally with a shroud (koolance 280 model). I was thinking I'd get thermalright x silent fans. I didn't know which rad to get. I've herd good things about the sr1 but I haven't heard much about the phobya or ek coolstream. Amy suggestions?
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