I have a new rig that I'm building and plan on having it water cooled. I will use it mostly for gaming for all kinds of games from RTSs-RPGs-Action-FPSs and you name it. Here is the hardware I have now running on stock air cooling:
Intel I5 2500k
Asus P8P67 Deluxe
Kingston HyperX T1 (@4gigs x 2)
PNY GTX 570 (x2 sli)
Kingston HyperX 120GB
A beefy Corsair HX1050
All nicely contained in a Corsair 800D
Now to cool this set up down with some nice liquid refreshment, so far I'm thinking of running with these components:
A Corsair H80 for the CPU
2 EK GeForce 570 GTX SE blocks (as best as I can tell the cards I'm running with are the second series reference design, at least according to EK's site)
A Swiftec MPC 35X pump (I am also thinking about using the resevoir attachment that swiftec makes for it for my res)
And a 3x120mm rad to fit nicely in the top of the case
A block to cool the MoBo Chipset
So what do you think? Any comments and suggestions would be very welcome. I would especially appreciate input on specific 3x120 Rads that work well and would fit nicely in my 800D. Also I'm going to be running the WC in serial over the vid cards and then possibly to the chipet, so I was thinking of using 1/2 ID tubing (not sure which type, am thinking of Tygon but there are SOOO many to choose from) but if anyone prefers 3/8 or something bigger than 1/2 in this kind of set up please let me know your thoughts on the subject. For the H80 as well, I am wondering where to mount it because it uses 120mm fans and unless I'm mistaken the rear fan on the 800D is 140mm.
Thanks for your time! When I get it all set up I'll be sure to post some pics, although I'm going for power not form so it will only be pretty if you find neat, efficient and functional pleasing to your aesthetic sensibilities.
If you are spending that much, running the H80 is a letdown over the cooling you could get by adding it into the loop with the GPUs. However, you'd need a CPU block and another rad. You have the 3x120 about right for the GPUs:
570 GTX TDP is ~243 watts @ 100% load. Standard 3x120 rad will get you around 500-525 watts: 2x 243 = 486 watts on the GPUs alone.
i5 2500k TPD (stock speeds) is ~95watts @ 100% load
You could keep the 3x120 and add another thick 120mm or even a 140mm and CPU block and be fine. You also should have room in that 800D to go with a 200mm in the front which would be excellent. There are a lot of people that have gone this route.
But, first and foremost...what is your budget? It seems like you have a fairly realistic amount in mind, so just wanted to address $$ for your planning.
3/8"ID and 1/2"ID have very little difference in flow rates between them, but most people run 1/2"ID. Either will be fine, just make sure all of your barbs and fittings are the same ID size as the tubing you select.
No real need to run NB waterblocks, but depends if you are planning to be overclocking very high. If so, you'll need to revise your loop build for 4.5 - 5 ghz and the amount of heat you'll be producing. Absolutely no need for HDD, RAM, MOSFET, SB blocks.
As per your question on money it's really not that big of an issue at this point I've got green to burn so I need a good liquid solution to put that heat out before it melts my house down.
Realistically speaking though, I'm somewhat obsessive over price/performance which is why I was thinking of using the H80 as it seems to give pretty good bang for the buck from everything I've read about it. Also I liked the idea of having separate loops dedicated to the CPU and vidcards, but maybe that's just overkill.
I figured trying to WC the chipset would be rather excessive, especially considering that on the sandy bridge socket mobos you are very limited on how far you can push the FSB, but I was interested to see what people thought about it.
I was in fact planning to OC, wasn't sure how far I would go, but within reason. What would you suggest for a WC setup for 4.5 - 5 Ghz?
Considering that P67 and Z68 Chipsets don't get THAT hot, I seriously doubt you'd need a cooling solution for that.
For a CPU water block, I think you should take a look at the Apogee Series from Swiftech. (Been eyeing that Apogee HD)
The H80 should be able to handle overclocks from 4.4-4.7 GHZ, but I doubt it would handle much over that. I personally like single loop systems, since they give better performance and less $$$ to buy dedicated pumps/rads for all of them.
The H80 really isn't so hot on the 'bang for your buck' scale...it performs about as well as good or great air coolers that cost less. For what you would spend on the H80 (~$100) you could pick up a CPU block (XSPC Rasa CPU block $50 (link) and 140mm rad for $30 (link) and be much better off with those to complete your loop instead of the H80 cooling your CPU for more money.
Actually I was looking at the Apogee HD before I came across the H80. I might just go with that and a 140mm Rad in addition to a 3x120mm.
I do have a question on a dual rad setup though, would it make sense to start the loop on the CPU pass it through the 140mm then onto the GPUs and then finish it up in the 3x120mm, or would there be a big drop in pressure that would make that unfeasible?
Loop order does not matter, for temps or for flow. The only reason we suggest reservoir before pump is that is makes it easier to prime and fill your loop that way, and you don't want your pump to suck air.
It will destroy the bearing, which is usually ceramic. You can tell when it isn't moving water pretty easily- it will make a higher pitch sound from higher rpms and not having any water to push and your water won't be moving (the most obvious key). If you hold and squeeze the tubing by the pump outlet, you should feel a strong, quick, pulsing 'feel' to the tubing.