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First custom water cooling suggestions?

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February 23, 2012 4:19:27 AM

So as of right now, I have a Thermaltake Frio. My temps are fine (Low 30s at Idle and Mid 60s at full load), but my issue is the noise and size (it is LOUD and HUGE). How's the noise with water cooling? I'm also looking to do a side panel mod for my case (NZXT Phantom), and custom water cooling imo would look awesome.

So let's start off with my system:

CPU: i7-2600k
Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
RAM: G. Skill Ripjaws Z 16GB
Case (as stated above): NZXT Phantom
GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850 (but will probably upgrade to GTX 600 series)
PSU: Corsair TX650M

Don't know if you need any more information. Tell me if I'm missing something important.

I've never done a custom water cooling, so I'm kinda clueless on what exactly to buy. I know you need a radiator, pump, block, tubing, reservoir, etc. Would it make sense to buy all the parts individually or get a kit like this: http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14182/ex-wat-181/XSPC... or this: http://www.frozencpu.com/products/15210/ex-wat-205/Ek_H...

I'm just throwing those out there for reference, not necessarily going to get those. So the Phantom has support for a single and dual 120mm rad, but with a little modding you can fit in a 3 x 120mm rad. Is the difference that much better to go with the larger rad? I know more surface area is better, but how is the performance upgrade?

For colors, I'd like to stick to just black and white if possible. The LEDs on my case are blue, but I might change them with white ones. My RAM is red and my GPU is blue, so there's a bit of a problem here. Since I'm probably going to upgrade my GPU and change the LEDs, I suppose if white or black theme isn't an option, then red will do fine. Lastly, my budget is probably $250 max, but I'd like to keep it under $200. Remember I'm not water cooling my 6850, so you can leave out a GPU waterblock for now. Sorry for this being so long, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :) 
a c 190 K Overclocking
February 23, 2012 4:47:50 AM

Just flagging this so I can check in later, I work nights and am off to sleep now mate
But check out the stickies here whilst waiting, Rubix1011 has got some great advice and links
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a c 324 K Overclocking
February 23, 2012 12:44:47 PM

Watercooling sticky is linked in my signature below.
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Related resources
a b K Overclocking
February 23, 2012 3:02:12 PM

The real issue with the Frio is the fans - they have a reputation for being quite loud. You could simply replace the fans on the Frio with quieter ones and you'd be good to go.

Or you could continue with the WC idea :D 
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February 23, 2012 11:16:36 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Watercooling sticky is linked in my signature below.
Thanks I saw the link yesterday but never got to reading it. Just read it and it's very helpful :) 
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February 23, 2012 11:26:23 PM

boiler1990 said:
The real issue with the Frio is the fans - they have a reputation for being quite loud. You could simply replace the fans on the Frio with quieter ones and you'd be good to go.

Or you could continue with the WC idea :D 
Do you think it would be worth it to upgrade to water cooling?
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a b K Overclocking
February 24, 2012 2:12:35 AM

From the angle of cost-efficiency: probably not. Just for kicks and bragging rights: hell yes.

Idle temps probably won't see significant change. As for full load, my i5-2500K at 1.32V for 4.5GHz hits in the upper 50s in Prime 95.

GPU temps will take a dive though.
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February 24, 2012 2:25:52 AM

steadywaters said:
From the angle of cost-efficiency: probably not. Just for kicks and bragging rights: hell yes.

Idle temps probably won't see significant change. As for full load, my i5-2500K at 1.32V for 4.5GHz hits in the upper 50s in Prime 95.

GPU temps will take a dive though.
Well I do have my computer on at full load a lot as I do a ton of heavy 3D rendering. I forgot to mention that my CPU is also at 1.32v for 4.5GHz and my GPU is at 1.15v and full load temps are getting to around 68c. Since I'm probably going to get a side panel and I take a lot of pride in my computer, I might do it for kicks and bragging rights though too haha. The fans on my 6850 and Frio get really loud when at full load, and the noise kinda bothers me. How silent is water cooling? Does it just depend on which pump you get?
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 24, 2012 6:20:06 AM

The pump can be an offender in the noise dept, although there are ways to minimise the effect,
my pump (xspc x20 750) is pretty much silent in its own dualbay res,
vibration is usually the problem so mount on dampening material and securely, if in a res then have the res as full as possible, I mean 99%+

But the main culprit is fans, despite what many may believe you need just as many fans as someone with an air set up, sometimes more lol,
but you buy decent fans with good cfm and low rpm and you can run them at lower speeds, equals less noise

couple of questions first though,
whats your ambient temp there?
what do you judge to be silent?
and how much are you willing to spend on the water?

Moto
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a b K Overclocking
February 24, 2012 2:05:43 PM

Quote:
But the main culprit is fans, despite what many may believe you need just as many fans as someone with an air set up, sometimes more lol,
but you buy decent fans with good cfm and low rpm and you can run them at lower speeds, equals less noise


^This. Good, quiet fans make all the difference. My fans push ~110CFM, but at ~35-38 dBA. There are some good fans that can push ~60CFM at around 20dBA (which is about as quiet as you can get - 25dBA is almost not audible at all).
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 24, 2012 2:14:51 PM

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/325062-10-cooling-r...
great little guide I really should bookmark, I keep having to refer people to it lol :) 
mine are the blue wing 120's, I have nine (so far, will be adding another sixteen soon :p ) and damn they are quiet hehe, although not the best on that list
Moto
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a b K Overclocking
February 24, 2012 2:19:01 PM

I was looking for that link. Thinking about replacing my fans for some quieter ones so I don't disturb the gf at night ;) 
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 24, 2012 2:20:44 PM

Np mate, its in the cpu section and homebuild too i think **Edit, as well as top of this section :p  4Ryan6 must've put it in all possible sections :p 
Moto
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February 24, 2012 11:58:36 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
The pump can be an offender in the noise dept, although there are ways to minimise the effect,
my pump (xspc x20 750) is pretty much silent in its own dualbay res,
vibration is usually the problem so mount on dampening material and securely, if in a res then have the res as full as possible, I mean 99%+

But the main culprit is fans, despite what many may believe you need just as many fans as someone with an air set up, sometimes more lol,
but you buy decent fans with good cfm and low rpm and you can run them at lower speeds, equals less noise

couple of questions first though,
whats your ambient temp there?
what do you judge to be silent?
and how much are you willing to spend on the water?

Moto
I stated most of this earlier in the thread, but I'll it's fine I can say it again. My idle temps are around low to mid 30. Silent to me is under 25ish dB. All my current fans (excluding the ones on the Frio) are NZXT. They are quieter at full speed than the ones on the Frio turned all the way down! And I'm willing to spend up to $250 on water cooling, but if you can keep it under $200 that'd be awesome :)  I also took a look at the link you provided. I've seen it before but never really looked all the way through it. The Noiseblocker Silent Pro looked like the best combination of performance and quietness, but I don't think I can afford spending $25 on each fan; the Thermalright X-Silent also looked pretty good, and it's only $13 per fan! I'm getting anywhere from 2-6 fans, it just depends on which rad size I choose and where I mount it. Do you have any fan suggestions? Lastly, how are the fans that come with the kits like the ones I posted up top?
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 25, 2012 6:39:12 AM

You haven't actually mentioned your ambient temps anywhere :) 
idle and load temps yes, ambient room temp, no

I think your best option is going to be a kit like the Rasa or Swiftechs h20 220, both are within budget and fitted properly can even look decent,
the alternative obviously is just to grab a couple of good fans for that frio, it really is up to you whether you are ready for the work and research you need for a waterloop, and the upkeep once built
Moto
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February 25, 2012 9:13:28 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
You haven't actually mentioned your ambient temps anywhere :) 
idle and load temps yes, ambient room temp, no

I think your best option is going to be a kit like the Rasa or Swiftechs h20 220, both are within budget and fitted properly can even look decent,
the alternative obviously is just to grab a couple of good fans for that frio, it really is up to you whether you are ready for the work and research you need for a waterloop, and the upkeep once built
Moto
Oh sorry lol I wasn't sure what you were asking for. I'm not 100% what my room temp is, but I think it's around 65f (or 18c). And why do you say the rasa and swiftech kits only look decent? Is it the tubing?
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 25, 2012 9:49:10 PM

Nah, I just meant aesthetically, they can look pretty good, the included clear tubing is fine, although youcan obviously opt to have coloured/branded tubing instead
And with idle of 30 in a 18'c room, you aren't doing too badly on air,
Moto
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February 25, 2012 10:18:55 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
Nah, I just meant aesthetically, they can look pretty good, the included clear tubing is fine, although youcan obviously opt to have coloured/branded tubing instead
And with idle of 30 in a 18'c room, you aren't doing too badly on air,
Moto
Yeah I was thinking about getting either white or black tubing. Do you think the kits are a better deal then trying to get seperate parts for around the same price? And for my cooler I can't get past 4.8GHz. I've tried bumping up the voltage, but it won't even go to the bios. I'd like to get a bit higher than the 4.5GHz that I'm getting now, and still be able to run it at the same voltage that I'm currently at. Do you think I could achieve this with water cooling?
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a b K Overclocking
February 26, 2012 1:48:40 AM

If it won't boot to BIOS it's most likely not a cooling issue, so investing in water won't change that.
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February 26, 2012 3:18:36 AM

boiler1990 said:
If it won't boot to BIOS it's most likely not a cooling issue, so investing in water won't change that.
What if it is because I need to up the voltage. Would it be worth it then?
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 26, 2012 10:28:42 AM

current v=1.32v yes?
so you have room for a tweak there, find out your chips volt limit though before you start,
if you up the volts then yes, its going to get hotter and you need to get rid of that heat, water may be your best option but bear in mind that its not some magic temp-lowering solution per se, there are a lot of things to consider and be mindful of,
I swapped my tubing for some black UV masterkleer stuff, D/c about Uv, I just wanted black tubing to make it easier to hide :) 
looks ok, well, what you can actually see of it anyhow, check the members gallery for some nice builds though where you can actually see the tubing :) 
Moto
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February 26, 2012 6:30:40 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
current v=1.32v yes?
so you have room for a tweak there, find out your chips volt limit though before you start,
if you up the volts then yes, its going to get hotter and you need to get rid of that heat, water may be your best option but bear in mind that its not some magic temp-lowering solution per se, there are a lot of things to consider and be mindful of,
I swapped my tubing for some black UV masterkleer stuff, D/c about Uv, I just wanted black tubing to make it easier to hide :) 
looks ok, well, what you can actually see of it anyhow, check the members gallery for some nice builds though where you can actually see the tubing :) 
Moto
Yeah I realize water-cooling isn't some special magic trick; I wish it worked like that haha. But just to confirm, water-cooling will be helpful though, correct? And for the tubing, my case is black, so I'm not sure if I should stick with black or go with white, as the cathodes in my case are white. I'll do some looking around and see what I like :) 
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 26, 2012 7:30:22 PM

I think you will see some benefits from going wet yes, although it may not be a massive drop, and white tubing can look awseome neatly done :-)
Theres a couple with it in the gallery that look really top hole
Moto
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February 26, 2012 8:31:36 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
I think you will see some benefits from going wet yes, although it may not be a massive drop, and white tubing can look awseome neatly done :-)
Theres a couple with it in the gallery that look really top hole
Moto
I was watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bOhZy5BWSk and the black looked pretty cool to me, but I still feel the same way about the white:


Ugh!!!! Oh and I have another question. Should I go for a 240 or 360mm rad? The 240 fits without any mods, and I could always add a second on the bottom in addition to the one on the top, right? What do you think I should do?
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 26, 2012 9:20:22 PM

Depends, if you're just cooling Cpu, then a 240 is plenty, if you add the gfx card later, you can add another as you say, BUT,
If you know you are doing the card at some stage, 360 up top and you can throw a 240 in the bottom to over rad a bit :-)
Plan ahead, waste less
Moto
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February 26, 2012 9:29:48 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
Depends, if you're just cooling Cpu, then a 240 is plenty, if you add the gfx card later, you can add another as you say, BUT,
If you know you are doing the card at some stage, 360 up top and you can throw a 240 in the bottom to over rad a bit :-)
Plan ahead, waste less
Moto
So If I got this: http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14183/ex-wat-182/XSPC... and added a GPU block later when I upgrade my video card and another rad (if I felt like being even more overkill), I'd be good to go?
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 26, 2012 9:38:17 PM

Yup, that will handle a Cpu and Gpu at stock, if you're clocking then the additional 240 is a necessity, not overkill :-)
You guys still can't get the EX series over there yet?
Performs like RX but the size of Rs rads
Moto
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a b K Overclocking
February 26, 2012 11:35:40 PM

We can't get them in a kit, only as single rads...
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 26, 2012 11:50:25 PM

Meh, I'd say its bad/sucky but at least you can get them now :-)
Moto
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February 27, 2012 3:03:07 AM

boiler1990 said:
We can't get them in a kit, only as single rads...
+1 sometimes I wish I lived in Canada or knew someone who lived there!
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a c 190 K Overclocking
February 27, 2012 5:22:51 AM

Seems a decent plan, for the same money you get an extra rad, which is more often than not, a good thing
Moto
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February 28, 2012 1:33:39 AM

Motopsychojdn said:
Seems a decent plan, for the same money you get an extra rad, which is more often than not, a good thing
Moto
Do you think the pump that's included in the kit could handle both of those radiators?
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a c 324 K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 1:39:45 AM

Radiators are the least restrictive components in a loop.
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February 28, 2012 1:42:00 AM

rubix_1011 said:
Radiators are the least restrictive components in a loop.
That's good to know; thank you for the information. But would I still be ok if I also cooled my GPU later on?
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a c 324 K Overclocking
February 28, 2012 1:52:11 AM

Yes, a lot of people do this. If you are concerned, there are Rasa/Raystorm kits that come with a D5 pump instead.
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February 28, 2012 2:20:08 AM

rubix_1011 said:
Yes, a lot of people do this. If you are concerned, there are Rasa/Raystorm kits that come with a D5 pump instead.
Awesome thank you so much I'll look into those if I get too concerned :) 
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March 4, 2012 4:02:10 AM

Motopsychojdn said:
Seems a decent plan, for the same money you get an extra rad, which is more often than not, a good thing
Moto
Alright I've been doing some research, and apparently the pump in all the XSPC Rasa kits is hit or miss; either it's dead silent or extremely loud. I'm not sure if I want to take the risk with that. I came up with a build that totals out to about $250.

CPU Waterblock: XSPC RayStorm [$62.99]

Radiator: XSPC EX360 [$65.99]

Pump/Res Combo: XSPC X20 450 [$49.95]

Coolant: EK EKoolant (Clear) [$14.99]

Compression Fittings: Enzotech G1/4" Thread 1/2" ID x 5/8" OD (x6) [$49.94]

Tubing: PrimoChill PrimoFlex PRO 7/16" ID 5/8" OD (x6) [$13.50]

Total: $250.36

This doesn't include fans, unfortunately :( 

To get a better pump, I could drop the compression fittings for now and just get some temporary barbs. I could use that money to get something like a Swiftech MCP350 with a MCRES Micro Rev. 2.

Do you think the extra money is worth it? Or should I just get the kit and upgrade if I have problems?
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a c 324 K Overclocking
March 4, 2012 1:48:12 PM

Quote:
Pump/Res Combo: XSPC X20 450 [$49.95]


You'd be better off with the other XSPC pump if going this route.
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March 4, 2012 3:13:07 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Quote:
Pump/Res Combo: XSPC X20 450 [$49.95]


You'd be better off with the other XSPC pump if going this route.
Ok so if I did go this route, should I just spend the extra money and get the Swiftech MC350?
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a c 324 K Overclocking
March 4, 2012 5:26:26 PM

I guess it depends on the route, actually. I meant to say that the pump you listed in the custom loop was worse than the pump that comes standard with the XSPC kits...it's weaker and has a lower flow rate. MCP355, 350 or 35x are all very good DDC pumps so it really depends if you want to go that route on a custom build.
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March 4, 2012 8:43:36 PM

rubix_1011 said:
I guess it depends on the route, actually. I meant to say that the pump you listed in the custom loop was worse than the pump that comes standard with the XSPC kits...it's weaker and has a lower flow rate. MCP355, 350 or 35x are all very good DDC pumps so it really depends if you want to go that route on a custom build.
What exactly do you mean by it depends if you want to go that route on a custom build?
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a c 190 K Overclocking
March 4, 2012 10:43:33 PM

He means going for a different pump, rather than the xspc ones,
I have the xspc 750lpm v2 (revised after noise/fail issues) and plan on getting another but the pumps Rubix mentioned are all solid choices as he stated :-)
Moto
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March 4, 2012 10:57:09 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
He means going for a different pump, rather than the xspc ones,
I have the xspc 750lpm v2 (revised after noise/fail issues) and plan on getting another but the pumps Rubix mentioned are all solid choices as he stated :-)
Moto
What pump are you going to get?
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a c 190 K Overclocking
March 4, 2012 11:51:34 PM

I'm going for another xspc 750, mainly because it will match the flowrate and head of the existing one, money notwithstanding I would grab two mcp655's
Two pumps is maybe overkill, but I'm claiming redundancy and balance as my reasons,
Plus with a possible 1560 of rad, I reckon I'm justified hehe
Moto
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March 5, 2012 12:05:22 AM

Motopsychojdn said:
I'm going for another xspc 750, mainly because it will match the flowrate and head of the existing one, money notwithstanding I would grab two mcp655's
Two pumps is maybe overkill, but I'm claiming redundancy and balance as my reasons,
Plus with a possible 1560 of rad, I reckon I'm justified hehe
Moto
Alright awesome. And I'm sorry for all these questions, but I just want to make sure I'm heading in the right direction. What do you use as a coolant? I checked out rubix's sticky and came to the conclusion to use distilled water with a biocide like this: http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11744/ex-liq-154/Iand...
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a c 190 K Overclocking
March 5, 2012 12:13:24 AM

I'm a distilled and killcoil man, I have UV cathodes in two of my resses (not my choice, they came with them) and UV kills creepies so that was a happy bonus,
No additives though, not anti-corrosive or biocide, I have three cats and wouldn't want vetbills if it leaked :-)
Moto
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March 5, 2012 12:23:42 AM

Motopsychojdn said:
I'm a distilled and killcoil man, I have UV cathodes in two of my resses (not my choice, they came with them) and UV kills creepies so that was a happy bonus,
No additives though, not anti-corrosive or biocide, I have three cats and wouldn't want vetbills if it leaked :-)
Moto
Alright cool; sadly, none of my pets are still alive, so hopefully that won't be an issue; I might just get a killcoil though so it's a one and done thing. Do you use compression fittings or just standard barbs?
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a c 190 K Overclocking
March 5, 2012 12:27:11 AM

I have Two killcoils evenly spaced atm, and I use a mix of four xspc barbs and six right angled comp fittings,
Oh hiding cables and tubes has cost me haha :-p
Moto
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March 5, 2012 12:38:16 AM

Motopsychojdn said:
I have Two killcoils evenly spaced atm, and I use a mix of four xspc barbs and six right angled comp fittings,
Oh hiding cables and tubes has cost me haha :-p
Moto
Haha since I'm asking all these questions about your setup, would you mind telling me your whole water cooling setup?
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!