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Custom W/C system only 120 rad. What to expect vs H50

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January 13, 2013 4:55:51 AM

I'm finally stepping up into a custom water cooling system. Something I've wanted to do for a long time. However, I did not consider this when I bought my Antec 1100 case, which has virtually no accomodations for 240mm radiators. So, I'm adapting and expecting marginal gains over my 3yo Corsair H50. I know, "what is an H50?" They don't even make it anymore. They're prone to failure as well. Taking the plunge now to avoid disaster and get started on a system I can scale up on future builds.

Recently I rebuilt my PC: 3570k cpu, gigabyte ud5h mobo, 2x8gb corsair vengance ram. Using my old 6970's in xfire. I'm not trying to cool any GPU's yet. Hopefully going for a new GPU in the future (I've seen the Nvid keppler processor is sweetly effecient). In the process I refitted the H50 to my new 1155 cpu....without the correct adapters......I had to makeshift the system to make it work. I think it's seated OKAY, I'm getting idle ~30c and gaming load ~55-60c which seems to be acceptable. But it's winter....and the office is cold (20c).

The goal:
-Provide marginally better CPU cooling than Corsair H50
-Get a base system of high quality W/C components I can build off of in the future
-Have a bad ass elite looking W/C system lol

The gear (as currently planned):
-DD Black Ice GT Stealth 120mm radiator
-Swiftech Apogee Drive II pump/block combo
-3/8" uv blue tubing
-set of 6 monsoon compression fittings
-cheap bay mount reservoir
-single noiseblocker NB-Multriframe 1k-2k fan w/shroud

Questions:
-Obviously push/pull configuration is best. With the aforementioned components, I'm already in the $350 neighborhood....so I'd like to not get carried away much further. Can any body reccomend a couple of fans I could use in push/pull configuration for around $40?
-What can I expect from the effeciency of this system? Obviously the improvements will be minimal since I'm not using a 240mm radiator. But I should be able to kick it down 4-5c at load?

Stay tuned, build pix will follow!
January 13, 2013 5:13:38 AM

Have you considered building a radbox or mounting a radiator on top of your case?
January 13, 2013 5:17:59 AM

itzsnypah said:
Have you considered building a radbox or mounting a radiator on top of your case?


Yeah I guess I did give it a seconds thought. Probably something I will consider doing in the future, but just getting started with all the main components and parts is expensive and onerous enough. It's nothing I can mount on top (at least not without loosing my 200mm exhaust fan (which I like and need for ram/mosfet))

The Antec 1100 has a couple tube ports on the back panel I assume for just such a thing. Is there rad boxes that can mount on the back of the case without blocking mobo access? I'll do some googling on that and get back to ya.
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a c 76 K Overclocking
January 13, 2013 7:20:23 PM

Have you checked the watercooling sticky? located at the top of the section or in my sig.

In order to get a better feel of the parts you may need and a visual+mental gauge as to your budgets - the watercooling sticky helps but the watercooling gallery and the watercooling build logs will also aid you.

* DD are out of business now, so may want to think about their parts...and their prices.

How do you plan on filling and draining your system? How do you plan on mounting the parts while you assemble your loop? How much rad do you think is needed? How much noise do you want to come out of the rad setup?


I'll only touch the last part as the rad has a 30FPI count which'll mean to reach your "unprecedented" heat dissipation, you'll need an unprecedented amount of high pitched fans - with your ears at their mercy.

Whats the price dif on a 120 and a 240 right about now?

Sorry mate, but you'll need more info to get you to your Kicka$$ watercooling setup for the future.
January 13, 2013 9:18:48 PM

I have read through the sticky, and calculated TDP and whatnot. I've not been able to extrapolate what my T final will be with a single 120mm radiator @ 70watts (rated max on 3570k).

I understand that many guys in the community err on the side of the extreme for their w/c apps, and I understand the trade offs and sacrifices I'm making to my plans despite these common prefrences.

I really prefer to keep this system all internal and not add a 240 rad off the back with a rad box, nor is there space on top or the intake of this system for 240 radiator. Perhaps on a different case sometime in the future I will use a 240+120 I'm going with now. The price diff is merely $20. But again these preferences aren't entirely based on price (or performance since I'm only looking for marginal gains).

Probably a good point on DD components and the FPI density. I thought that was the one I kept reading everybody raving about, but it turns out the more popular radiator is the XSPC RX series rad's. I've modified my plans to include this and 2x Scythe 1800rpm fans as they seem to be a common choice.

Are all Scythe fans variable speed? They don't seem to indicate an rpm range.
a c 76 K Overclocking
January 13, 2013 9:29:48 PM

Then you've already set yourself a ceiling on what to get(leaving out everything). Me being an architect, I see you've built a floor height of about 5 feet where everyone in your society is 6feet +...might want to understand how crippled you're going to make your system.

That $350 could be spent on other hardware and remain within air cooling.

The other aspect is don't try recreating a closed loop cooler from scratch, its already in the market via different brands and models. But in reality what closed loop coolers are, are a paper weight for people who drive expensive cars. The H50 performs the same as a good air cooler - Hyper 212, and if you'll point towards the H100(i) then there's the Noctua/Silver Arrow/Megahelms.
January 13, 2013 10:00:56 PM

Lutfij said:
Then you've already set yourself a ceiling on what to get(leaving out everything). Me being an architect, I see you've built a floor height of about 5 feet where everyone in your society is 6feet +...might want to understand how crippled you're going to make your system.

That $350 could be spent on other hardware and remain within air cooling.

The other aspect is don't try recreating a closed loop cooler from scratch, its already in the market via different brands and models. But in reality what closed loop coolers are, are a paper weight for people who drive expensive cars. The H50 performs the same as a good air cooler - Hyper 212, and if you'll point towards the H100(i) then there's the Noctua/Silver Arrow/Megahelms.


That's exactly what I'm saying. The ceiling is already set. I have this case, I'm not going to get a new case, but rather work within it's constraints. Your analogy is pandering for the lowest common denominator. I'm not an idiot.

I'm not "recreating" a closed loop cooler. I'm counting on this system to out perform them. From what I have just been able to ascertain...it will. @ 4.4ghz & 1.2v the 3570k = ~88watts. The c/w of the xspc rx120 with a reasonable 1800rpm fan is ~0.04. So my delta @ 23c ambient ~ 5c at full load. Effectively lowering my load temp from 40c above ambient to 5c above ambient.

So, instead of being a troll, you could have linked me to a useful site where I could get empiracle evidence like here:

http://www.extreme.outervision.com/tools.jsp#cpuoc

and empiracle data about the performance of the XSPC RX120 here:

http://www.overclock.net/t/440798/test-report-xspc-rx12...

The point of all of this is excess anyways isn't it? A CPU can easily run at 60-70c but we watercool these systems because......it's kind of a hobby, and we like our components to last a long time, and we like to OC the crap out of things. BTW, I actually DO drive an M3. But it's not a fancy Toyota with extra sound dampening like a Lexus...it's a BMW and it truely is the Ultimate Driving Machine.
a c 76 K Overclocking
January 13, 2013 10:12:40 PM

:)  so you're set on the 120rad then, ok.

* not trolling, just telling you from experience that you're driving off the road, towards a tree.
** that 3570K is a real hotheaded chip, it heats like crazy when overclocked compared to its Sandy Bridge predecessor.
January 13, 2013 10:23:58 PM

Yah it does. I've heard a lot about the Ivy bridge CPU's being monsters compared to the previous gen.
a c 76 K Overclocking
January 13, 2013 10:31:43 PM

If you're interested in that Drive II pump/block, swiftech have one in the works with the MCP PWM pump on the drive block so you can control the pump via CPU PWM fan header.

Shame all that power will be going to a single 120 rad :/ 

Best solution

January 15, 2013 1:57:59 AM
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Hi reefteck,

I believe I can offer you some relevant advice. I too built a loop with a single 120mm radiator mounted inside of the Lian Li PC-Q08 which is a mITX form factor case; as such I was working with an even greater size constraint.

Furthermore I was also switching from an AIO Corsair H60 (very similar performance to the H50) and using an overclocked i5-3570k.

I was running at 4.5Ghz before with the H60 and now I can run at 4.8Ghz with my custom WC loop.

Here's the link to my build with pictures: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/282407-29-water-cooli...

Overall I'm very happy with my results, plus it was fun figuring out how to make everything fit in such a small volume.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

Also, don't underestimate a single 120mm radiator as so many do on these forums, my Alphacool NeXXos ST30 (a thin 120mm at that) does a great job considering its compact size. If you want to cool your IB processor even more I would suggest removing the IHS and using Coolaboratory Liquid Pro as the replacement TIM.
January 15, 2013 2:15:23 AM

Lutfij said:
Then you've already set yourself a ceiling on what to get(leaving out everything). Me being an architect, I see you've built a floor height of about 5 feet where everyone in your society is 6feet +...might want to understand how crippled you're going to make your system.

That $350 could be spent on other hardware and remain within air cooling.

The other aspect is don't try recreating a closed loop cooler from scratch, its already in the market via different brands and models. But in reality what closed loop coolers are, are a paper weight for people who drive expensive cars. The H50 performs the same as a good air cooler - Hyper 212, and if you'll point towards the H100(i) then there's the Noctua/Silver Arrow/Megahelms.


Luftij I respect your experience and your advice most of the time, but a lot of what you are saying here is just plain wrong. Not having "adequate" radiator space doesn't mean his computer will just self-combust out of nowhere, it just means his deltaT would be greater than the ideal target of ~10C or less. Furthermore he's trying to get a custom loop to fit into a small space, a task I have great respect for... he's not just trying to make his own replica of a AIO cooler. Finally, he says he wants to invest in water cooling so he can eventually add more parts to cool his GPU and retain his old parts if he decides to migrate to a new case - so in this case that's $350 well spent.
January 15, 2013 5:41:53 AM

sluggercz said:
Hi reefteck,

I believe I can offer you some relevant advice. I too built a loop with a single 120mm radiator mounted inside of the Lian Li PC-Q08 which is a mITX form factor case; as such I was working with an even greater size constraint.

Furthermore I was also switching from an AIO Corsair H60 (very similar performance to the H50) and using an overclocked i5-3570k.

I was running at 4.5Ghz before with the H60 and now I can run at 4.8Ghz with my custom WC loop.

Here's the link to my build with pictures: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/282407-29-water-cooli...

Overall I'm very happy with my results, plus it was fun figuring out how to make everything fit in such a small volume.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

Also, don't underestimate a single 120mm radiator as so many do on these forums, my Alphacool NeXXos ST30 (a thin 120mm at that) does a great job considering its compact size. If you want to cool your IB processor even more I would suggest removing the IHS and using Coolaboratory Liquid Pro as the replacement TIM.


I appreciate the input very much thank you. I took a look at that build thread, very nice!

I'm looking into ways of adding a 200mm rad to the top of the case where the exhaust is in the future, although from what I gather the 200mm fans don't create much static pressure and their efficacy is very low. I'm wondering if I had a 200mm rad with even lower fpi (for improved air flow) if it's efficacy would be similar to what I would see by adding a second 120mm radiator? I'm going to go check out c/w ratings for some of the 200mm rads floating around out there shortly.

I've never heard of this IHS removal before, it looks crazy! lol I'm mechanically incline but I don't know if I have that much balls. I looked at a couple youtube videos of guys doing it and it seemed traumatic for the CPU! Are there any videos you've found of a gentile and more surgical method? Also, I've used Arctic Silver 5 for my last 3 builds and have been very happy with it, although it looks like CLP has slightly better performance under load.
January 15, 2013 6:07:15 AM

Best answer selected by reefteck.
January 15, 2013 6:56:26 PM

reefteck said:
I appreciate the input very much thank you. I took a look at that build thread, very nice!

I'm looking into ways of adding a 200mm rad to the top of the case where the exhaust is in the future, although from what I gather the 200mm fans don't create much static pressure and their efficacy is very low. I'm wondering if I had a 200mm rad with even lower fpi (for improved air flow) if it's efficacy would be similar to what I would see by adding a second 120mm radiator? I'm going to go check out c/w ratings for some of the 200mm rads floating around out there shortly.

I've never heard of this IHS removal before, it looks crazy! lol I'm mechanically incline but I don't know if I have that much balls. I looked at a couple youtube videos of guys doing it and it seemed traumatic for the CPU! Are there any videos you've found of a gentile and more surgical method? Also, I've used Arctic Silver 5 for my last 3 builds and have been very happy with it, although it looks like CLP has slightly better performance under load.


SA of 200mm rad is around 2.5x larger than a 120mm radiator, so regardless of fans it would provide more cooling than a 120mm radiator. I suggest using NF-F12's for your 120mm radiator as they have the best static pressure and are PWM controlled as well.

And yes if you had a lower FPI radiator you could use slower fans, but I don't know if there's a big selection of 200mm radiators.

Edit: Just looked at the only two 200mm radiators I could find; immediately narrowed it down to one because the Antec is made of aluminum :non:  , so that leaves the Phobya 200mm radiator which is of copper/brass construction.

Now you just have to find a 200mm fan with decent SP.
January 16, 2013 10:44:14 PM

yup the one i was looking at was the phobia, I did notice immediately that that antec fan was aluminum. I saw a review on some german web page that showed a pretty significant delta T from the phobia xtreme radiator (not to mention that 200mm rad is 30% larger than a 240! :p ).

So the question becomes:
1)will it fit and

2) can I run it as an exhaust fan? I know using it as an exhaust isn't ideal, but the fan in the top expels a large amount of air from the entire case. Directly beneath the 200mm exhaust fan is a 120mm intake (the one I was going to use for my 120 rad).

3) Can I run it as pull configuration? I've seen some reports that show that pull configurations actually work slightly better or exactly the same as push configurations with lower rpm fans.
January 17, 2013 3:55:31 PM

bump bump bump!
January 17, 2013 4:15:06 PM

btw, I was looking for opinions on Aquatuning.us are they reliable? I'm always leary of dealing with international companies because they tend to hate americans lol. For reasons I TOTALLY understand!

Doesn't seem like frozencpu has the phobia xtreme 200mm radiator in stock. maybe that will change by the time I'm ready to order (2 weeks!).
January 18, 2013 12:27:11 AM

Use Performance-Pcs, Xoxide, JabTech, PetrasTechShop, or FrozenCPU.

FrozenCPU tends to have the highest prices so I really only use that website to do my component research.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 18, 2013 7:50:28 PM

Please don't bump threads. If you'd like feedback, ask for more information or clarification on what you feel might have been overlooked.

You also bumped your own thread after you chose a best answer.
!