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I'm going to water cool this system, advice?

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August 12, 2011 3:25:10 PM

Xigmatek Elysium Black (case supports 3x120 or 3x140 rad in roof with 110mm clearance from top of mobo to roof, and squeeze a 2x120 in the 5.25in area with some modding)
Corsair Pro Gold AX1200
Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z
Intel i7-2600k
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 1866 9-10-9-28 2T
EVGA GTX 580 x2

I haven't water cooled a system before but I've been researching it for months. I'm already running the i7 at 4.6ghz at 1.35v and got into Windows at 5.0ghz at 1.38v. I was just playing around with it, wasn't looking to make it stable or anything. It's rock solid at 4.6 and highest temps after 30 mins of prime95 on noctua nh-d14 is about 65 degrees or 45 above ambient.

I want to water cool for the fun and challenge.

I have been doing some "shopping" over at frozencpu and took a screenshot of my current wishlist. It's not a complete list. I'm looking for advice on what to add, what to remove, what to replace for better performance / lower sound, etc.

I'd like to have this rig as whisper quiet as possible while still offering up nice overclocks.







Thanks for any advice.
August 12, 2011 3:33:23 PM

As far as fittings go, I really like the look of the black barbs. So I'm thinking about getting 45 degree fittings because they'll give me the straightest lines from one component to the next. I could use some help in nailing that aspect of the build down.

I plan to do 1/2" ID and 3/4" OD tubing, clear, distilled water, some additive(s), and maybe some black or red dye as well.

For resevoirs, I like some of the 2-bay choices. It's also possible to easily mount pump to the floor of case with a tube resevoir running straight up from it. There'd be ample room for that as well. I guess it may come down to which is safest to fill and drain.

There's a chipset block from EK but its meant for the asus p67 board. From what I understand, to use it on this board, it requires that you bend a capacitor out of the way. That sounds a little sketchy to me. I'd like to add chipset cooling to the loop but I'm not too fond of bending motherboard components lol
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a c 286 K Overclocking
August 12, 2011 4:50:38 PM

Looks very solid, get the full cover blocks for the GPU and a XSPC reservoir like this for mount your pump. I have one with the same pump that you have in the list and it's very good.

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/xsacd5tarefo.html

For the mobo, you won't get a big advantage using water for cooling it, so, I'd go with the stock cooling there. Use only distiller water plus some of this for kill almost anything living inside your loop.

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/sikibyia.html
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Related resources
August 12, 2011 4:59:45 PM

Is that reservoir you linked also a top for the pump? This is the area I get confused. To use it, you take off the top of the pump and then attach the resevoir? I looked at the pics and that's what it looks like to me...

The gpu blocks I have in screenshot are full cover blocks, aren't they? I checked them with EK's compatibility thinger.

I fully expect to miss a few things but I'd like to have as complete an order as possible so I don't have to go back a 3rd or 4th time and pay more shipping and handling hehe...

In my OP, i state i want to water cool for the fun and challenge of it. I realize a chipset cooler is unnecessary for performance but it will look really nice. (same reason i use a ram cooler, adds light and/or visual interest on my q6600 build)
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a c 286 K Overclocking
August 12, 2011 5:34:38 PM

Yeah, you need remove one part of the pump and attach the pump to the reservoir, it's very easy and without risk of do it wrong.

When I arrive home, I can take a picture for you.

Regarding the block, yeah, its' full cover sorry.

I'd not go with the mobo and RAM block since for me aren't productive but it's your choice and if you want it go for it.
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August 12, 2011 7:26:21 PM

I think I've settled on this fan for the radiators:

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12712/fan-828/Enermax...



And for the reservoir, if I go with a 2-bay one, I'd go for this and run 2 pumps in serial:

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12480/ex-res-254/Kool...



But... some of the tube reservoirs look really nice also, but I still really like the idea of running 2 pumps for redundancy, idk yet....

I'm hoping to hear from more people with their unique spin on things.
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a c 286 K Overclocking
August 12, 2011 7:28:19 PM

Are those fans Zalman?
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August 12, 2011 7:29:37 PM

Enermax, updated with links.
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August 12, 2011 7:30:50 PM

Danger Monsoon reservoirs are interesting minus the 2 pumps in serial option, but they're out of stock everywhere...
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August 12, 2011 7:53:43 PM

saint19 said:
For get the best performance of those radiators, you need something much better than those fans. Check this.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12365/fan-811/Scythe_...



Ok but it says 50dBA at 5400rpm, 150cfm. Suppose you slow em down to operate around 15-20dBA, and then its just a guess as to what the cfm and static pressure is... is that accurate? I'm not up to snuff on researching fans but with the radiators isn't there a point of diminished returns once you go above a certain fan speed / cfm ?


Edit: I'll keep looking at fans because whatever I commit to, I will have to buy 6 of them. 5 for the two radiators 1 for HDD bay.
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a c 286 K Overclocking
August 12, 2011 8:07:37 PM

The GTX radiators fan performs better with high RPM fans, if you slow down the rpm to reduce noise, the CFM also slow down.

And yeah, those scythe are build in a very solid way that can give you very good performance, if the 150 CFM aren't exactly the real one is very...very close.
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August 12, 2011 8:15:16 PM

OK. I'm going with the very popular red and black theme b/c of the motherboard / ram I chose.

It's going to be a showpiece of sorts. I'd like it to draw attention here locally and perhaps send folks to my door interested in custom work.

I just finished sleeving all of the front panel connectors and stock fans that came with the case, so I'll be finally moving the system into the case today. Right now its running on top of its own cardboard boxes for testing. The "air" version is done, anyway.

Now for the fans, I think red LED fans would be appropriate for the build. Ideally, I think black or smoked black housing / fins with red LEDs might look best. Do you have any fan suggestions within those specifications?

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August 12, 2011 8:22:44 PM

I could just get lighting from the tube lighting also... if I went that route. It's just some of those LED fans "look" really impressive.

I have enough room to support 38mm thick fans as well... Those might deliver the quiet and the air... what do you think?
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a c 286 K Overclocking
August 12, 2011 8:25:59 PM

Looks good for me, just remember test the loop time enough with all components cover for possible leaks.
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August 12, 2011 8:51:21 PM

With the denser GTX radiators, what should be my target range for cfm and static air pressure? This part is a bit overwhelming to consider as a fan must be as close to perfect in all areas - low dBA, high cfm, high static air pressure, and with any luck, look good while doing it all.... ughh.

I'm looking at:

Akasa Apache Black 120mm x 25mm

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10345/fan-675/Akasa_1...

Cooler Master SickleFlow 120x25mm

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/9301/fan-577/Cooler_M...

Enermax Magma 120mm x 25mm

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7658/fan-460/Enermax_...

Aerocool Shark Red Edition 120mm x 25mm

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12204/fan-795/Aerocoo...




Sooo many to look at... lol
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August 12, 2011 10:14:33 PM

I'm curious though, if you've got the Elysium chasis, why aren't you using 140mm rads? Isn't that case designed to support a triple 140 up top and a double 140 at the bottom (with the PSU bottom mounted)?
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August 12, 2011 10:30:29 PM

Yeah up to 3x140 up top. the psu blocks most of the bottom. im curious too... head's spinning calculating # fans, fittings... idk why i chose 3x120 up to this point other than uniformity i guess...
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August 12, 2011 10:50:14 PM

If I opt to do a push/pull on the roof, i could put the top layer of fans on the outside and cover it with the koolance 3x120 radiator shroud (i think). A 3x140 shroud wouldn't work because I think the holes I'd have to drill would be too close to the edges of the case, if not over...

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August 12, 2011 11:46:28 PM

I watched some youtube videos of that 2-bay koolance reservoir and scrapped it.

Now I'm looking at the EK 2 pump series and the multioption res x2 250 basic.


EK-MultiOption RES X2 - 250 Basic

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11180/ex-res-227/EK-M...

EK 5.25" Mountable D5 Dual Top - Black Acetal

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12183/ex-pmp-111/EK_5...

I guess I'll mount the 2 pumps / top to the floor of the case and have the reservoir right on top of it. I can't tell if they come with everything needed to mate together.

I think I like this combo best because it'll be the lowest point in the case and I can have a drain tube out the side / bottom depending on exactly how I mount it. Seems like it'd be much easier to fill too, by just throwing on a long piece of scrap hose and a funnel. Does that sound about right?

I've been staring at the frozencpu site all damned day lol... I'm going squirrelly :pt1cable: 
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August 14, 2011 9:46:19 PM

Here's the wishlist I made. Some items are listed for reference only so I can sort of keep track of everything I need. I have a really good electronics store nearby where I pick up all the braiding / heat-shrink / screws and other miscellaneous tools. I'm looking for suggestions that'll help me avoid any sub-standard hardware, installation problems, reliability / longevity problems, and any direct hardware replacements for what I've picked out thus far.

Please advise. Thank you.


EK 5.25" Mountable D5 Dual Top - Black Acetal - Laing D5 / Swiftech MCP650/655 (EK-D5 Dual TOP G1/4 - Black Acetal) x1

EK-MultiOption RES X2 - 250 Basic - Liquid Cooling Reservoir (4 Total Ports) x1

EK Supreme HF Universal CPU Liquid Cooling Block w/ Easy Mount Kit - Rev 2 - Acetal + Electroless Nickel Plated (EK-Supreme HF - Acetal+EN (Nickel))

EK GeForce 570 / 580 GTX VGA Liquid Cooling Block - Acetal (EK-FC580 GTX+ Acetal) Hot Item! x2
plus black backplate x2

EK FC Bridge Dual Serial - SLI Connection (EK-FC Bridge DUAL Serial) x1

Swiftech MCP655™ 12v Water Pump w/ Speed Control and 3/8" Conversion Kit (317 GPH) x2

Bitspower G1/4" Matte Black Rotary 45 Degree G1/4" Adapter (BP-MB45R) x12

Bitspower Deep Bold Red O-Ring - (10 Pack) (BP-WTP-010-DRD) x3

Black Ice GTX Xtreme 360 Radiator - Black x1

Black Ice GTX Xtreme 240 Radiator - Black x1

M4 x 35mm Pan Head Screws - Stainless Steel - Black - 4 Pack x6

PrimoChill PrimoFlex PRO LRT Tubing 1/2"ID 3/4"OD with 1/8" Wall - 10ft Retail Pack - Clear (PFLEXP10-34) x1

Danger Den Premium Tube Cutter - Designed For 3/4" OD Tubing Max x1

Primoflex Nylon Reusable Hose Clamp - Black - 3/4" OD x20

Bitspower Matte Black G1/4" Barb Fitting - 1/2" ID (BP-MBWP-C01) x4

Cooler Master SickleFlow 120x25mm Super Silent Fan - Red LED - (R4-L2R-20AR-R1) x6

IandH Silver KillCoils - Antimicrobial .999 Fine Silver Tubing / Reservoir Strip x1

Plus 2 more 1/2" ID Black Barbs per component that needs them so I'll have some extra stuff here and there.

Subtotal before tax and shipping is $1391.06 ugggghhh
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August 14, 2011 11:34:28 PM

Quick peek before I switch to water... haven't ordered anything yet. I'm getting some good feedback on another forum suggesting I should drop the bitspower and go for something better and less expensive.

Here's a look at the build in it's "air" config hehe.

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a b K Overclocking
August 15, 2011 12:28:29 AM

To give you an idea, I've got the GTX360 rad with 3-2000 RPM fans attached, and it's not even close to silent. You can get a lot better low fan speed performance from some other rads out there (as stated by Saint, can't believe I'm actually agreeing with him about something, has something frozen) like the PA120.3 or RX360. I'm sure you've seen this but in-case you haven't:

http://skinneelabs.com/triple-radiator-comparison-v2/4/

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August 15, 2011 12:49:53 AM

RJR said:
To give you an idea, I've got the GTX360 rad with 3-2000 RPM fans attached, and it's not even close to silent. You can get a lot better low fan speed performance from some other rads out there (as stated by Saint, can't believe I'm actually agreeing with him about something, has something frozen) like the PA120.3 or RX360. I'm sure you've seen this but in-case you haven't:

http://skinneelabs.com/triple-radiator-comparison-v2/4/


Actually, no. Thank you. I missed that one. It's been awhile since I visited that site. I reviewed blocks and fans, but somehow radiators slipped my mind. I could definitely save money if I opted for different rads.
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August 15, 2011 2:17:32 AM

Swapped out the Black Ice GTX radiators for the XSPC RX360 and RX240 radiators.
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August 15, 2011 4:32:30 PM

Some others have mentioned that these GTX radiators are restrictive and need some pretty strong fans for them. I would like to use the fans to also introduce some lighting into the case. This is not necessary though. Rounding off I have a good 100mm of clearance from the roof to the motherboard. The roof radiator states its 55mm thick. That leaves me room to upgrade the fans to up to 38mm thick. This is one of the areas that gives me the most trouble. Committing to a specific fan. I have to consider low dB, high cfm, and high static pressure. It gets a bit overwhelming. One of the purposes of this rig will be for recording. I have an add-in soundcard, creative x-fi pcie, but its currently in my old system. Once I get things going, I'll give that card a go in this system. It may need upgrading depending on the recording quality. That's for another time though. The fans come into play when I'm recording with a mic when playing my acoustic. Once I do commit to a fan, I'll need to order atleast 5 for the radiators in a push configuration. That's why I'm still not decided on them yet, especially considering the power I might get going from 25mm to 38mm. I guess I just don't have enough information yet as far as how restrictive these radiators are and the realistic requirements for the fans.

I should add that I am a disabled stay-at-home dad, and now that my daughter will be at school all day (1st grade), I'll be really bored and looking for more hobbies, hence the decision to do a water cooling rig that's quiet and powerful. It'll help immensely with all the recording, mixing, video creation / editing, etc. I just started playing around with youtube videos as another means in which to stay busy.

So yeah, any input as far as fan requirements? The ones I listed above are about my 3rd or 4th choice so far. They're 120x120x25mm, 2000rpm, 70cfm, 2.94mmH20 and 19 dB-A, red led... said:
Some others have mentioned that these GTX radiators are restrictive and need some pretty strong fans for them. I would like to use the fans to also introduce some lighting into the case. This is not necessary though. Rounding off I have a good 100mm of clearance from the roof to the motherboard. The roof radiator states its 55mm thick. That leaves me room to upgrade the fans to up to 38mm thick. This is one of the areas that gives me the most trouble. Committing to a specific fan. I have to consider low dB, high cfm, and high static pressure. It gets a bit overwhelming. One of the purposes of this rig will be for recording. I have an add-in soundcard, creative x-fi pcie, but its currently in my old system. Once I get things going, I'll give that card a go in this system. It may need upgrading depending on the recording quality. That's for another time though. The fans come into play when I'm recording with a mic when playing my acoustic. Once I do commit to a fan, I'll need to order atleast 5 for the radiators in a push configuration. That's why I'm still not decided on them yet, especially considering the power I might get going from 25mm to 38mm. I guess I just don't have enough information yet as far as how restrictive these radiators are and the realistic requirements for the fans.

I should add that I am a disabled stay-at-home dad, and now that my daughter will be at school all day (1st grade), I'll be really bored and looking for more hobbies, hence the decision to do a water cooling rig that's quiet and powerful. It'll help immensely with all the recording, mixing, video creation / editing, etc. I just started playing around with youtube videos as another means in which to stay busy.

So yeah, any input as far as fan requirements? The ones I listed above are about my 3rd or 4th choice so far. They're 120x120x25mm, 2000rpm, 70cfm, 2.94mmH20 and 19 dB-A, red led...





Some more info about me and the build. I just copied/pasted one of my posts on another forum. Didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket. :D 

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August 15, 2011 5:07:35 PM

Here's the updated wishlist from frozencpu.com

EK 5.25" Mountable D5 Dual Top - Black Acetal - Laing D5 / Swiftech MCP650/655 (EK-D5 Dual TOP G1/4 - Black Acetal) x1 ($94.95)

EK-MultiOption RES X2 - 250 Basic - Liquid Cooling Reservoir (4 Total Ports) x1 ($44.95)

EK Supreme HF Universal CPU Liquid Cooling Block w/ Easy Mount Kit - Rev 2 - Acetal + Electroless Nickel Plated (EK-Supreme HF - Acetal+EN (Nickel)) x1 ($82.95)

EK GeForce 570 / 580 GTX VGA Liquid Cooling Block - Acetal (EK-FC580 GTX+ Acetal) x2 ($130.90 includes single backplate cost)

EK-FC580 GTX Backplate - Black x2 ($27.95, price already included above)

EK FC Bridge Dual Serial - SLI Connection (EK-FC Bridge DUAL Serial) x1 ($47.99 price includes Link Geforce at $27.00 per)

Swiftech MCP655™ 12v Water Pump w/ Speed Control and 3/8" Conversion Kit (317 GPH) x2 ($106.94 includes extra O-ring $1.99)

Cooler Master SickleFlow 120x25mm Super Silent Fan - Red LED - (R4-L2R-20AR-R1) x6 ($10.99)

IandH Silver KillCoils - Antimicrobial .999 Fine Silver Tubing / Reservoir Strip x2 or IandH Dead-Water Copper Sulfate Biocidal PC Coolant Additive x1 or both maybe???? (coil ($6.99, biocide $4.99)

XSPC RX360 Triple 120mm Radiator Rev 2. x1 ($94.99)

XSPC RX240 Dual 120mm Radiator x1 ($72.99)

Phobya Decoupling Gasket x5 ($4.50)

XSPC 120mm Rad Stand x1 (mod, mounts 120x2 rad to the HDD cage so rad is standing in the 5.25" bay area) ($14.99)

Bitspower G1/4" Matte Black Rotary 45 Degree G1/4" Adapter (BP-MB45R) (quantity unknown at the moment) ($12.99)

Plain black 1/2" ID barbs ($3.50 per)
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