I often used this site for reference and I don't think I've found a better community for these discussions around so I thought it was about time I joined. Probably not a moment too soon, as I am about to attempt my first official water cooling build and it's a tad more complex than I anticipated. I've done the closed loop thing, but have always been a DIYer at heart and when I saw the NZXT switch case I just had to go all out. I guess I'll start with what I've got in terms of parts thus far, and please feel free to critique away! (I went a little crazy)
1. Asus Crosshair V formula motherboard
2. 8120 bulldozer 8-core CPU
3. White NZXT Switch Case
4. (4x) 4GB 1866Mhz Corsair Vengeance RAM
5. (2x) 2GB HIS 6950s (Modded to 6970s) to run in crossfire
6. OCZ Revodrive X2 160 GB PCI-E (x4) SSD (Windows)
7. Thunderbolt Audio/Network PCI-E card
8. (2x) Corsair Sata III 60GB SSD in RAID0 (Linux)
9. (2x) WD Black Sata III 500GB HDD in RAID1 (thinking about adding one more for raid5 (backup))
10. OCZ 850w ZX ATX12V v2.2 and eps12v w/ 140mm fan
11. XSPC Rasa CPU block
12. XSPC RX 240mm radiator for the bottom of the case
13. XSPC EX 420mm radiator for the top
14. XSPC pump within the res
15. (2x) heatkiller full kits for the 6950s
16. Kingston Hyper-X Sata lll SSD (Mac OS X Lion)
For the RX 240, I am planning on putting (2x) COOLER MASTER Excalibur120mm 85 cfm (beasts) underneath. I have two 120 mm phobya shrouds with 2000 rpm cooler master on top with blue leds to add a little color to go on the top of the RX 240 radiator.
I already use tin sheers to cut away an obtrusive riveted piece of case so that I can do push/pull on the top as well. I've got 3 xigmatek 90cfm 18 dba 140mm fans for the top of the case with 3 140mm AF Corsair fans for radiators down below the EX420. I also have two 140mm cooler master 70 cfm mounted in the front of the case, one mounted on the back and the last one in the 1 HDD bay I am leaving in, aimed at the gpu.
Finally I plan on topping it all off with the new NZXT external 5 fan controller because it comes with 5 temp sensors and my motherboard comes with 3 and has 8 4 pin fan headers to pick up any slack. Also, it allows me to mount my pump/res combo and dvd drive with the fans getting in the way.
I have quite a few questions as you can imagine. I've done my fair share of reading and I think I've done okay with my purchases so far, but I have a few doubts and I was hoping you guys could drop some knowledge on me.
So my first concern is if my psu is going to be able to handle all of this madness, or if I need to jump up into the 1000 watts to reliably power this beast? It is a very high quality psu, but I just don't think it's going to be able to handle that load.... Speaking of handling the load, I am a novice when it comes to pumps and resevoirs, will that little guy even be able to handle this loop? And on that note, I've read conflicting things about whether the order of the loop matters so I was thinking of routing it from the pump to the top res, to the cpu, to the bottom res, to each of the gpus and then back?
Also, I noticed that FrozenCpu.com has an SLI/Crossfire bridge that alleviates one from having to deal with that mess when tubing comes around. I was wondering if anyone has one or has heard any reviews about them bc it sounds a heck of a lot better than the alternative.
And if anyone is still reading this novel I sincerely thank you and hope you haven't fallen asleep at your keyboard because I am itching to start building and I really don't wanna f this one up....
yes I have a SLI bridge I bought the universal kit that cams with 3 different sizes. I am using it and it seems to work great it also helps to support the upper card on my build.
well as far as the power supply you will have to figure out if it is being maxed out with your hardware for me I help to relive the load on the main power supply by using a second PSU to power all of the other devices like the pumps, DVD rom, fan controller, HHD, SSD, and lighting this PSU can be quite small as all of this components together will not pull that much wattage. a 350W or better would be fine. and then you can use the 850W for the motherboard and video cards only.
Haven't seen the review of the XSPC EX 420 mm yet so I'm a bit wary going with that rad. Get the Black Ice Gen 2 GTS 420 mm instead. It outperforms even Airplex Revolution which is another good 420 mm rad at medium fan speed (1000 RPM) and pulls greatly ahead at even higher RPM fans.
Also, I would go with the Raystorm kit instead of Rasa since Raystorm kit include D5 pump which is a lot stronger than the X20 Pump in the RASA kit. You also get 6 free compression fittings in the Raystorm as a bonus and the Raystorm CPU block is neck to neck with the Koolance CPU block (which is considered the best CPU block right now in terms of performance) according to several professional reviews.