First time building, need advice on parts

Hi guys,

I'm going to invest in water cooling for the first time.
I've never found liquid cooling cost effective for all the time and effort one puts in research and building, but I want to start now to get the most out of my system and have an awesome project to work on, as I'm bored as *** lately.

For the past few months, I've delved into many websites to gain information on liquid cooling.
Now, I feel confident enough that I have a basic understanding of what today's liquid cooling is all about, so that I can start work on making a parts list, ordering and building.

First off, I found that a lot of sources have very old information. Although the information often was very in-depth and many of the items used/tested are still being sold, there have also been numerous new items/techniques/inventions since those posts. (Again, on various websites!)
At this point, it's getting to get a bit confusing for me as to where I should look for reliable up-to-date information.
Hence, I decided to just register on this awesome site and ask other enthusiasts!

Let me begin with what my current rig looks like:

Case: HAF X
MoBo: ASUS P8Z68-v pro
CPU: I7 2600k
CPU cooler: Prolimatech Genesis + 2 × Thermalright TY140's
RAM: 4 × 4GB Corsair Vengeance
PSU: Corsair TX750
SPU: Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty Pro (I think it's this variant)
SDD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
HDD: 2 × VelociRaptor 450GB in RAID 0
ODD: Samsung Blu-Ray combodrive

I make Let's Play videos on Youtube ( and I chose for a number of these components for better performance when transcoding.
I picked the 2600k over the 2500 due to HyperThreading, in the understanding that it would give a performance boost when transcoding. I picked the K variant, because the price difference was small change and the rest of the system lends itself for overclocking as well, to further future proof this machine.
Same goes for the amount of RAM, 8GB would have been enough otherwise.
HDD's are still preferable over SDD's for transcoding due to two major arguments;
- HDD's sequential read & write should still be faster than SDD's sequential read & write.
- As recording gameplay and transcoding it requires a lot of workspace that gets rewritten over and over, HDD's over better life expectancy for the given task.
I picked the VR's because they have the best performance of all HDD's, but with hindsight in mind, the performance difference isn't really that big over the next fastest hard disks and not worth the price difference.

Unfortunately, after many months of research, I found out one big flaw in the whole mindset of getting an awesome rig for transcoding; both transcoding software and codecs of today do not utilize modern components very well.
For instance, most transcoding software does not utilize multiple cores or CUDA cards well.
Codecs still are made in a serial mindset, instead of parallel. They'll do one job at a time.

All this aside, I do game a lot and I'm an IT enthusiast, so transcoding wasn't the only reason to spend a little more, this time around.

That brings me to today. Liquid cooling.
As I've explained why I want to go this route in the intro, I'll skip to the questions.
1a: I would like help in getting a parts list together. What will I be needing?
1b: What are the best options for each required part, today?
2: Are two seperate loops for CPU and GPU(perhaps SLI in the future) cost effective? (Cost effective meaning time/effort/money spend) I was thinking that both of these are the major heaters, wouldn't one be getting warm water from the other in a single loop?
3: Does anyone know what the maximum amount of radiator space is that I can put in my case?
4: Is there an ultra handy thread that you think I've missed?
13 answers Last reply
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  1. 5: Is liquid cooling MOSFET and/or RAM needed?

    (Sorry for the double post, it kept saying I didn't have permission to edit my own post.)
  2. Anandtech just posted the review of new VRs today. I'd wait and get a couple of those.
  3. aicom said:
    Anandtech just posted the review of new VRs today. I'd wait and get a couple of those.

    Most unfortunate.
    Perhaps I was not clear, but the rig mentioned is as I have it now.
    I will only be switching over from air cooling to liquid cooling and want advice on that part.
    But thanks for posting this news, I wasn't aware that they would continue with the VR series.
  4. Skite said:
    5: Is liquid cooling MOSFET and/or RAM needed?

    (Sorry for the double post, it kept saying I didn't have permission to edit my own post.)

    Neither is really needed, RAM especially.

    Have you read through the watercooling sticky?
  5. rubix_1011 said:
    Neither is really needed, RAM especially.

    Have you read through the watercooling sticky?

    Thanks, but why are there so many MOSFET/north bridge waterblocks out there, then?

    I've read the sticky, this site was the first place I went to, so it was months ago, sorry.
    As I mentioned before, the enormous heap of information is starting to fall down over me by now.
  6. WOW!!! you have allot going on here I do not know what to tell you. but here is a starting point jest pick out a basic setup of parts and list them for us, I only have 1 loop but I do separate each of my components with a radiator placed in the loop after each component, the theory/hope is to remove some of the heat from the previous component before it gets to the next one. about what you can fit in the case, well I stopped trying a long time ago, to get everything in the case. check out the experimental radiator /and lutfis (2nd build)/ /threads as you can see there are a lot of ways around this issue of not enough space.
    when it comes to the best parts for your build, it basically comes down to 1 thing how much noise are you willing to put up with., or that you can contain. the best fans for removing heat from your rads are also the loudest, but silent fans may not remove enough. there is a delicate balance there and I am still looking for it myself, 13 years and still looking.
  7. Quote:
    Thanks, but why are there so many MOSFET/north bridge waterblocks out there, then?

    Because people will buy them, regardless if they are needed or not. There are some cases to be made for chipset blocks if you are doing some significant overclocking...otherwise, it's mostly for show. RAM runs incredibly cool, so there is no reason to consider a waterblock for RAM. MOSFETs are designed to run hot, but this is a personal choice if you wish to cool them. Most of these blocks you are considering are pretty restrictive, so plan your loop accordingly with an appropriate pump.
  8. here is my routing for my components, rad -> processor & Northbridge MB -> rad -> GPU -> rad -> mosfet MB -> Southbridge MB -> drive chip MB -> memory -> HHD -> pump mcp 655 and it starts over. it seems to work better than having all the rads placed right after each other, than the components to pump. I have tried several different configurations and this one keeps my components the coolest.
  9. Okay so, a single loop then.

    Pump after reservoir, adequate radiator before major components.
    That means I've got this;

    Reservoir -> pump -> radiator -> CPU -> radiator -> GPU -> reservoir.

    I'm having trouble figuring out the TDP values for my CPU and GPU (two for future proofing SLI). I can find the values for stock clock settings, but how do I go about calculating them for a given overclock?
    My dilemma is that I don't know the most stable overclock for both components.
    How can I aim for a certain overclock if I don't know that my system will get it? :/
  10. I am in the same boat as you, I have older components, and I am now ready to over clock them. but the only agreed upon clocks for my system that are stable, are pretty low clocks, and I am trying to shoot for something a little higher if possible.
  11. Radiator doesn't matter where it goes, before or after any will still cool the same.

    For TDP, you kind of have to make educated guesses and calculations- there is an example of a CPU OC TDP calc in the sticky, and might have to wing it a bit unless you can find something via Google.
  12. Right.

    Any ideas on what good equipment is, though? Or sources -that are up to date- that compare them?
  13. Yes, there are a lot of these links in the WC sticky that point to watercooling gear, reviews, comparisons, etc.
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