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New to water cooling

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August 4, 2012 4:37:55 AM

Hey all! Sorry to be another one of these threads, but alas I am.

First off, I have read the sticky a couple times. My loop's TDP is approximately 500watt, if I calculated correctly.. I7-3770K gonna try to overclock to 4.5 or 4.6(95 base*, 145-146 OC'd), plus two 7950's (160 each, 320). Here's my whole rig, so far (no psu yet :p ).

*The newegg page says 77W, but Googling it shows 95.


I don't have a set-in-stone budget, but I'd like to go for a bang-for-your-buck type of thing. I'm already dropping 2,000 on the computer itself. Don't wanna go for the ultimate end-all, be-all water cooling parts (yet ;]).



I've read the sticky here, as well as this guide at Clunk.org.

Both say that CPU blocks are all basically identical. But we all know there are just some bad apples as far as brands. I read about EK blocks being susceptible to corrosion, so I haven't really looked at them. Any others I should be wary of?

Also, this image shows the GPU I'm getting (XFX FX-795A-TNBC Black), which I believe is lacking an integrated heat spreader.

The case I'm getting is a Fractal Design Define XL. It has a slot in the front that has room for 2x 140mm fans. That's where I was planning on putting the radiator, although after reading some more on radiators specifically it seems that won't be anywhere near enough room for an adequate rad. Thoughts?

Reservoir seems more like personal taste.

I dunno what fittings to go with, either. I've read that compression fittings have some size compatibility issues, so I guess that decision will be helped by the other decisions being made.


Any input you all wanna share will be much appreciated!
Thanks :D 

More about : water cooling

a b K Overclocking
August 5, 2012 3:12:33 AM

So 1 processer and 2 video cards right, 2 360 with almost any fans will be fine for this job. Or two really good 240’s radiators and fast fans will also work. The first wrought is cheaper, but if room is the issue than go with wrought 2. A good pump like the 655 or D5 series pumps are good ones and the rest is about what you want the system to look like they all work about the same, I like copper but that is me.
August 5, 2012 3:51:55 PM

I think I'm gonna have to do some case modding regardless of what rad I go with, so I need to get use to it.

Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm wanting a green theme. Maybe some white to go with it... I've got a couple blocks I've been looking at, but I'm not too sure on any of them. Since I found out there's no IHS on my gpu's I can start looking at full cover blocks for that too.

Anyway. Once I'm off work I'll check out some rads and blocks and check back here. Thanks again! :D 
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a b K Overclocking
August 5, 2012 9:06:21 PM

Are you dead set on the Fractal Design case? I'm a huge fan of fractal design (managed to fit a 360mm rad and a 240mm rad in the r3, but it wasn't all that pretty lol). I think for liquid cooling you may want to consider a different case. Right now bang for buck I'd honestly recommend the NZXT Switch 810, it allows you to fit up to a 420mm rad up top and a 240 on the bottom. It's 169.99 on newegg now:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for your cpu block, last I checked the xspc raystorm was leading. I personally use the EK waterblocks and have had 0 issues with corrosion FWIW.

Also, the GPUs you've got listed (XFX) are reference design PCB, so you can use any gpu block you like. Hope this helps you out a bit.
August 6, 2012 1:33:33 AM

scopey86 said:
Are you dead set on the Fractal Design case? I'm a huge fan of fractal design (managed to fit a 360mm rad and a 240mm rad in the r3, but it wasn't all that pretty lol). I think for liquid cooling you may want to consider a different case. Right now bang for buck I'd honestly recommend the NZXT Switch 810, it allows you to fit up to a 420mm rad up top and a 240 on the bottom. It's 169.99 on newegg now:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for your cpu block, last I checked the xspc raystorm was leading. I personally use the EK waterblocks and have had 0 issues with corrosion FWIW.

Also, the GPUs you've got listed (XFX) are reference design PCB, so you can use any gpu block you like. Hope this helps you out a bit.

I'm not really -dead- set on it.. But it is very sexy and nice. I was looking at the Switch 810 as well but the Define XL just pulled me in more for some reason.

Thanks for info on GPU and cpu block. I'll reconsider the case, because the Switch isn't bad itself. Still looking at rads lol
August 6, 2012 2:00:23 AM

I'd suggest a bay res with pump combo so you keep those two parts out of the way and looking clean? some brands that offer these kinds of res' are Koolance, XSPC and Danger Den. obviously there would be other brands that could also do it but these three have great reviews and the brands have a good history of quality parts.

I have the koolance bayres (rev 2) and its handy to be able to seperate it into two resevoirs and also have two seperate pumps running in different loops, this would be extremely handy if you were planning on cooling your GPU's as you'd have fresh water running through it instead of second hand CPU water.
August 7, 2012 5:02:15 AM

Alright, so, finally, been workin on this (got a break from 12 hour shifts for 3 days! Woo!)

Anyway, here's what I've been looking at:


GPU:This gpu block or this one.
Also, thinking about getting 2 of these for the blocks.


CPU:This cpu block or, depending on which gpu block, this one.


Res:this bay res or this res
Sort of leaning toward the bay res.


I dunno about pump still. Been looking at reviews at skineelabs and martin's.. But most of that stuff is old. I've gathered that the MCP35X or the MCP35X2 are great pumps, but get hot themselves... and the X2 costs a bit (but according to Martin's Labs it's worth it).

I'm out of time for the night to look at radiators, but I've been using this kit to compare parts between... The radiator it has in it is only listed on Frozencpu as being in that kit. Sort of confusing.

Oh well...

Questions for ya:
Is acetal fine for the cpu block?
Are the GPU block backplates worth getting for anything other than aesthetics?

Thanks guys! Night ;]
a b K Overclocking
August 7, 2012 5:38:19 AM

Yes, the back plates help to prevent micro cracks from forming on the PCB board of the GPU. With the excessive weight of the block attached to it if it is not properly supported somehow, the video card could stop working all together. From what I have herd the new blocks are capable of preventing this without the plate, but if the company offers one for their block then from their own testing on that particular block, it has the potential to do this. The DD blocks that I bought for my 480’s will cause the video cards to sag if I did not support them with the SLI bridge and a cut piece of hard plastic tubing cut to fit from the bottom of my case up to the lower video card block. Now it does not even try to sag at all but I learned this the hard way. My first build had the TI 4600 blocks that eventually destroyed the card from excessive sagging of the card caused by the water block weight added to it.
a b K Overclocking
August 7, 2012 7:24:14 AM

I think what you've selected so far is good Deakon, the backplates I'd say it's up to you, the newer generations of waterblocks don't have issues with cracking the PCB (from what I've read/heard). I think the heatkiller waterblocks are the nicest out there in terms of aesthetics (maybe tied with the simplicity of the XSPC kits).

Also yes Acetal is fine for the cpu block.

As a personal preference I tend to shy away from bay reservoirs cause I've heard they tend to be slightly louder (maybe only when filling loop again I don't remember) and being somewhat more challenging to fill. Make sure you've also included in your loop a spot to drain the loop, essential step many (including myself...) forget.
August 7, 2012 7:42:15 AM

i've figured out a good way to drain the system with a bay res all you need is a T connection at the lowest point in your tubing and a quick disconnect coming from the bottom. then all you need to do is put either a male or female on the end of some spare hose and use that to siphon your water from the system.

I guess each way comes with their upsides and downsides. thats why extensive research and planning helps before you order your parts. you not only need to think about installing it, you will need to plan for short term and long term encounters. remember to leave room for expansion if you plan for it in the future.
a c 330 K Overclocking
August 7, 2012 2:22:33 PM

You don't need a QDC for that, you can simply use a plug for the end of the T-line.
August 8, 2012 3:57:03 AM

toolmaker_03 said:
Yes, the back plates help to prevent micro cracks from forming on the PCB board of the GPU. With the excessive weight of the block attached to it if it is not properly supported somehow, the video card could stop working all together. From what I have herd the new blocks are capable of preventing this without the plate, but if the company offers one for their block then from their own testing on that particular block, it has the potential to do this. The DD blocks that I bought for my 480’s will cause the video cards to sag if I did not support them with the SLI bridge and a cut piece of hard plastic tubing cut to fit from the bottom of my case up to the lower video card block. Now it does not even try to sag at all but I learned this the hard way. My first build had the TI 4600 blocks that eventually destroyed the card from excessive sagging of the card caused by the water block weight added to it.
Ah sweet. I didn't even think of the extra weight on the cards. haha. Thanks!


scopey86 said:
I think what you've selected so far is good Deakon, the backplates I'd say it's up to you, the newer generations of waterblocks don't have issues with cracking the PCB (from what I've read/heard). I think the heatkiller waterblocks are the nicest out there in terms of aesthetics (maybe tied with the simplicity of the XSPC kits).

Also yes Acetal is fine for the cpu block.

As a personal preference I tend to shy away from bay reservoirs cause I've heard they tend to be slightly louder (maybe only when filling loop again I don't remember) and being somewhat more challenging to fill. Make sure you've also included in your loop a spot to drain the loop, essential step many (including myself...) forget.
I think I'm gonna go with the acetal and nickel heatkiller for matching looks, unless the acetal isn't good enough material for how much cooling it'll be doing..?

Also, I don't really know about noise levels. What's loud to one person might be quiet to another.. I know my hearing is damaged from playing shows and watching shows. Also, I still haven't necessarily decided on a case (leaning towards the Switch now because it's got a lot more ready-to-go spots for rad and such), so I may have built in soundproofing. :p 

CrestfallenDesign said:
i've figured out a good way to drain the system with a bay res all you need is a T connection at the lowest point in your tubing and a quick disconnect coming from the bottom. then all you need to do is put either a male or female on the end of some spare hose and use that to siphon your water from the system.

I guess each way comes with their upsides and downsides. thats why extensive research and planning helps before you order your parts. you not only need to think about installing it, you will need to plan for short term and long term encounters. remember to leave room for expansion if you plan for it in the future.
Yeah. I still have to decide on how I'm gonna drain and the exact layout. Thanks for the suggestion. :D 
August 8, 2012 5:00:49 AM

rubix_1011 said:
You don't need a QDC for that, you can simply use a plug for the end of the T-line.


That was one of my plans initially but something about having the QDC on a short hose on the end sounded more appealing. maybe because my case is on a desk and i can just clip the hose in and have a bucket on the floor with the hose inside it.
I was really considering getting one of those t sections you see on generic garden hoses with the knob on the side that you can just twist to open the third passage but i wasnt sure if any brands other then hose brands made them to leak proof pc standards.
August 10, 2012 4:12:19 AM

Still having a tough time deciding between cases. :[

If I go with the Define XL, I'm either gonna have to cut holes for a rad, or go with a radbox. There's no real downside to the NZXT Switch except maybe no sound proofing material.. Right?


Also, is one pump enough for the amount of cooling I need, or should I go with the MCP35X2?
a c 150 K Overclocking
August 10, 2012 4:30:48 AM

How about the Bitfenix Shinobi XL?
August 10, 2012 4:39:37 AM

you could soundproof a switch if you want. you'd just have to be creative. things like rubber washers. thin foam on the walls, silent fans and silicone glue. It just depends how creative you want to get. :p  and whether you consider yourself a handyman.
August 12, 2012 3:05:38 AM

CrestfallenDesign said:
you could soundproof a switch if you want. you'd just have to be creative. things like rubber washers. thin foam on the walls, silent fans and silicone glue. It just depends how creative you want to get. :p  and whether you consider yourself a handyman.
I know I cancustomize it.. But I was referring to how the cases come stock. :p 
Quote:
Build a bong :D  Total cost for cpu loop=$170
http://www.overclock.net/t/406256/the-official-bong-lov...

haha. That's pretty neat, haven't seen one of those before. It doesn't really interest me though. :p 
August 13, 2012 12:06:46 AM

Deakon said:
I know I cancustomize it.. But I was referring to how the cases come stock. :p 

haha. That's pretty neat, haven't seen one of those before. It doesn't really interest me though. :p 

No worries man, just providing ideas :) 
September 1, 2012 8:52:40 PM

Sorry to rebump this old thread, but I've been doing some real life stuff and just recently am getting back to being able to plan this out.

Anyway...

I still have no clue what pump to get, nor what radiator to get.
I also am not really sure about the little things (fittings, amount of tubing, etc).

I'm starting to think I should just buy a kit and add on whatever I need from there. I dunno. o_O
September 3, 2012 12:52:42 AM

what case have you purchased? the best thing to do would be getting some measurements on where you were planning on installing your rad so you can figure out what size rad you could fit. get some measurements of things like, the amount of clearance between the top of your case and your ram or heatsinks, clearance between the bottom of your case and the HDD bays or GPU or how much room you may have out the back to mount a rad.
!