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Monster Water cooled Build 5Ghz hopefully

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December 12, 2011 5:20:38 AM

I am building a new water cooled system with high-end equipment but I could use some input. I will be updating this with my progress as I am able to. Basically it will be a monster hopefully OC'ed to near 5Ghz system. Here are all of the details.


General Parts:

Purchased Item: Description:
√ Case: Corsair Obsidion 800D
√ Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
√ Processor: Intel Core i7-3960X 3.30GHz Extreme Edition
√ Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (8 x 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133
√ HDD: OCZ 240 GB Agility 3 Solid State Drive
√ Media Drive: ASUS Black 12X Blu-ray Burner 16X DVD+R 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache
√ Video Card: EVGA 03G-P3-1591-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) FTW Hydro Copper 2 3072MB
√ Power Supply: Koolance 1000W Liquid-Cooled Power Supply


Water Cooling Items:

Purchased Item: Description:
√ 1 x Cooling Block: Koolance MB-ASR4E (ASUS Rampage IV Extreme) CPU
√ 1 x Cooling Block: Koolance MB-ASR4E (ASUS Rampage IV Extreme) Chipset
√ 1 x CPU Adapter Koolance LGA-2011 M4 Posts for CPU-370/360
√ 1 x 120mmRadiator: XSPC RX360 Triple 120mmx3 Radiator Rev 2.
√ 1 x Cooling Block: Koolance HDD Block HD-60 (HDx2) [no nozzles]
√ 1 x Resevoir: FrozenQ Fusion Dual Bay Black Acetal Reservoir - UV Blue
√ 2 x Pump Danger Den DD-CPX Pro 12V 3 Pin Powered Pump - 237 GPH (DD-CPX Pro)
√ 1 x 140mm Radiator: Black Ice GT Xtreme 140 Radiator
√ 1 x Resevoir: FrozenQ 250mm Liquid Fusion V Series "2nd Gen" UV Cathode - UV Blue Helix
√ 2 x 140mm Fan Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PK-3 140mm x 25mm 1700 RPM 90CFM
√ 6 x 120mm Fan Feser Triebwerk V2 TK-123 120mm x 55mm High Speed Fan 2800RPM 215CFM
√ 20 x 3/8th" ID Barbs Danger Den G 1/4" High Flow Thread Barb - 3/8" ID
√ 1 x Fan Controler Lamptron FC Touch - 30W - 6 Channel Aluminum Rheobus w/ Touch Screen
√ 4 x Liquid Coolant Koolance Liquid Coolant Bottle - Clear - 700cc (LIQ-702CL-B)
√ Tubing: 8' Danger Den DreamFlex ( 3/8"ID x 5/8"OD ) - UV Blue
√ Tubing: 8' Danger Den DreamFlex ( 3/8"ID x 5/8"OD ) - UV RED


Misc. Parts:

Purchased Item: Description:
√ 3.5" to 2.5" Drive Bay: Thermaltake AC0014 Hard Drive Bay Converter 3.5" to SSD/2.5"
√ 5 x Plugs Bitspower Matte Black Diamond G1/4" Stop Plug w/ O-Ring (BP-MBDWP-DC06)
√ 1 x Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64BIT
√ 1 x Filter Sponge: Phobya Reservoir Filter Sponge - 30x30x30mm
√ 1 x Filter Sponge: Phobya Reservoir Filter Sponge - Round 65x10mm
√ 2 x Case Lighting: Logisys 12" Cold Cathode - Ultra Bright UV
√ 1 x Case Lighting: Lamptron 8 Channel High Output Aluminum Cathode Inverter - Black
√ 1 x Case Lighting: NZXT Premium Sleeved Bright LED Kit - 2 Meter - White (CB-LED20-WH)
December 12, 2011 5:56:34 AM

Here are my first drafts of the water loops. There will be 2 separate loops as the end goal for this machine is to go all water on all important parts. Since there are so many different parts requiring a water hookup, I decided it would be best to have 2 systems so there isn't so much load on 1 system. The only integral part not on water at this stage would be the memory, that will happen down the road. Below are all of the different parts that currently will be connected to water.

1. CPU
2. Northbridge
3. Southbridge
4. Power Supply
5. Hard Drive
6. Video Card


Water Loop 1


Water Loop 2
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December 12, 2011 6:21:15 AM

wow, i have no idea on water cooling but that looks amazing, would u want another rad and have the cpu on own loop?
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December 12, 2011 7:47:57 AM

I understand the desire to setup a WC system. Heck I've personally seriously considered doing an oil submerged build just for the sake of doing it. With those things beings said however, the need to WC in order to reach great performance numbers has become a thing of the past.

DMI has moved both pcie and the memory bus straight to die, so a Northbridge doesn't exist any longer. Over are the days of the old C2D mobos that could fry an egg. Southbridges and HDDs have never been a source of major heat. That leaves the CPU and GPU. Admittedly there are plenty of GPUs out there that can make a case for their own loop, big air has really come leagues and bounds over the past few years so that they can claim near 100% effectiveness when it comes to CPU cooling. As dies shrink and tdps drop the need for mass cooling also drops with it.

It's an exciting prospect, and when it's all said and done there is little that does more for the epeen than dual-loop quad radiator system. At the end of the day however is the 1-1.5k that it's going to take to do it right worth the loss of performance you'd gain by spending that money elsewhere? 3x SSDs in RAID0 for a 1k+ reads, 5x1 Eyefinity with 6000x1920 resolution, a 580 SLI build, I could find a lot of ways to take that WC money and put it in other parts that would really make a difference.

Either way, best of luck with it and I look forward to see how the progress goes.
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December 12, 2011 8:01:56 AM

siege_templar said:
wow, i have no idea on water cooling but that looks amazing, would u want another rad and have the cpu on own loop?

That makes 2 of us. This is my first WC build. I've always wanted to build one just never had the time or $$. It just so happens through life happenstances I have a bit of both right now to devote to this project. But thank you.
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December 12, 2011 8:13:46 AM

a4mula said:
I understand the desire to setup a WC system. Heck I've personally seriously considered doing an oil submerged build just for the sake of doing it. With those things beings said however, the need to WC in order to reach great performance numbers has become a thing of the past.

DMI has moved both pcie and the memory bus straight to die, so a Northbridge doesn't exist any longer. Over are the days of the old C2D mobos that could fry an egg. Southbridges and HDDs have never been a source of major heat. That leaves the CPU and GPU. Admittedly there are plenty of GPUs out there that can make a case for their own loop, big air has really come leagues and bounds over the past few years so that they can claim near 100% effectiveness when it comes to CPU cooling. As dies shrink and tdps drop the need for mass cooling also drops with it.

It's an exciting prospect, and when it's all said and done there is little that does more for the epeen than dual-loop quad radiator system. At the end of the day however is the 1-1.5k that it's going to take to do it right worth the loss of performance you'd gain by spending that money elsewhere? 3x SSDs in RAID0 for a 1k+ reads, 5x1 Eyefinity with 6000x1920 resolution, a 580 SLI build, I could find a lot of ways to take that WC money and put it in other parts that would really make a difference.

Either way, best of luck with it and I look forward to see how the progress goes.

You make some very good points. Part of this project is the fact that I've always wanted a water cooled PC. Since I've been building PC's since 1994 or so, time to scratch this one off the list. Additionally, living down south makes for heat issues that I've experience on a 7month old MOBO & vid card. Only able to OC to 3.2ghz max, with unstable results. 3.0Ghz stable, which is where I keep it. So basically i wanted to build a high-end, state of the art machine that will not need performance upgrades for some time.
-The idea about the SSD drives is a really good one...
-As far as multiple monitors I'm really not a fan of that.(I am thinking about the Asus 3D monitor though)
-A second GTX580 Hydro is planned for the future when the ram get water blocks

Thanks for the wishes of luck everyone, it further affirms my sense of fear while doing this project, JK, but not really though.
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December 12, 2011 8:17:11 AM

a4mula said:
I could find a lot of ways to take that WC money and put it in other parts that would really make a difference.


I agree with this entirely, performance-wise, and the examples you gave are excellent.
I used to have a watercooled machine with a dual loop (no rad, big pump with part of the loop running outdoors into sub-zero temps).
The water cooling is fun, setting it up, looking at it, experiencing it, honestly it's all a lot more fun to me than 10 more fps in my favorite game.

There's a point where hte sheer enjoyment of toying with a new way to enjoy an old hobby is worth more than optimizing an old way to enjoy an old hobby.
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December 12, 2011 8:19:33 AM

NvRsLpN77 said:
You make some very good points. Part of this project is the fact that I've always wanted a water cooled PC. Since I've been building PC's since 1994 or so, time to scratch this one off the list. Additionally, living down south makes for heat issues that I've experience on a 7month old MOBO & vid card. Only able to OC to 3.2ghz max, with unstable results. 3.0Ghz stable, which is where I keep it. So basically i wanted to build a high-end, state of the art machine that will not need performance upgrades for some time.
-The idea about the SSD drives is a really good one...
-As far as multiple monitors I'm really not a fan of that.(I am thinking about the Asus 3D monitor though)
-A second GTX580 Hydro is planned for the future when the ram get water blocks

Thanks for the wishes of luck everyone, it further affirms my sense of fear while doing this project, JK, but not really though.


One word of advice I have, based on experience, is that if your computer will be in a hot environment, you will definitely still want to have some air moving over the motherboard.
I removed all my fans when I had a watercooled rig before and started getting BSODs as other chips and capacitors or whatever had heat issues.
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Best solution

December 12, 2011 8:22:45 AM

Don't bother water cooling your PSU or ICH. The only part you need to focus on is your CPU and maybe your GPU if you decide to cool that as well. Keep in mind that you're working with a 6 core CPU that has twice as many memory channels and more than twice as many PCI-E controllers. It's entirely possible that the nice 4.5Ghz overclocks that are obtainable with the current LGA 1155 Sandybridge processors will be unobtainable on the 2011 platform. Here's some other info from someone who has a lot of experience watercooling:

1. Don't skimp on the pump. You want something that can move a lot of water really fast. It needs to have a lot of headroom as well. The faster the water is moving the faster it will remove heat from the CPU and the faster it will transfer it to the heat exchanger. I recommend using Swiftech stuff, especially the 655 pump. I have a 355 and while it can power a dual exchanger setup with a GPU block and large reservoir, the 655 will do it better.

2. Use half inch tubing and half inch barbs. You want to avoid switching tube sizing at all costs

3. Use compression fittings if possible. These look great aesthetically (they're the computer equivalent of hubcaps) and will simplify setting up your rig as you won't need a screwdriver to tighten the much uglier bands. Since compression fittings are physically larger than standard barbs, they may not fit on all blocks or joints.

4. Seal you reservoir fillport with Teflon tape. That water is going to get hot and when water gets hot it evaporates which will slowly cause your water-level to drop if there's any room for it to escape. This also helps if you proceed with tip #5

5. Use anti-freeze rather than pure water. I recommend http://www.prestone.com/products/antifreeze_coolant/pro... since it's a prediluted mixture of 50/50 Ethylene Glycol and water with a few additives. You can dilute it more with distilled water only if you want, but it's got plenty of flow through a pump on its own. I recommend using anti-freeze for several reasons: First, it's got anti-corrosion additives, so you wont get that nasty white buildup in your water blocks due to the presence of different metals. It's also a lubricant for the pump, anti-biological agent for algae, and it won't boil below any temperatures that your system will ever see. The caveat is that anti-freeze smells a bit, so make sure that your loop is not only air tight but pressure tight as well. This means using compression fittings, tight bands, O-rings and Teflon to ensure that every joint is as tight as possible. Oh and it also looks hella cool if you add a UV lamp to your case. On one last important note, you want to make sure that any tubing you use is safe to handle anti-freeze, most will be.

6. Use anti-kink wraps such as these http://www.frozencpu.com/products/6355/koo-83/Koolance_... liberally. These are a must if you ever take tubing outside the case (such as to a rear mounted rad) and should also be used around any tight bends inside the case.

7. Don't ever leave your PC plugged in without the loop hooked up or without coolant. Even if you think that it's off, the AC auto restore could trip on a surge. I learned this the hard way and melted a Q6600

8. Use a RAM cooler for each bank and also put a small fan on the ICH (doesn't have to be big, can mount a small 40mm with adhesive tape or electrical tape directly to the heatsink)

9.Have fun
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December 12, 2011 8:23:48 AM

RealJames said:
I agree with this entirely, performance-wise, and the examples you gave are excellent.
I used to have a watercooled machine with a dual loop (no rad, big pump with part of the loop running outdoors into sub-zero temps).
The water cooling is fun, setting it up, looking at it, experiencing it, honestly it's all a lot more fun to me than 10 more fps in my favorite game.

There's a point where hte sheer enjoyment of toying with a new way to enjoy an old hobby is worth more than optimizing an old way to enjoy an old hobby.


Yes, i fully admit this is a little like my own private Everest, part of it is simply for the thrill factor and to see if i can accomplish it.
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December 12, 2011 1:51:15 PM

As the case was not completely suited to my needs I knew there would be some old school modding involved, queue the "Dremel".

  • The PSU from Koolance didn't sit exactly flush with the case so I had to grind down some parts.

    Here is without the PSU


    Here's with the PSU


  • Had to remove one of the lower bay drive assembly so the the 2nd Rad unit could have room. I temporarily removed the hot swap bays as well during testing and configuation.

    Lower Drive Bay


    Full case with 1 Rad, 3 fans and a PSU (can't wait for stuff on backorder :cry:  )


    Now that the rest of the parts came for my build it motivated me to get working again. I cut a hole in the bottom of the case near the front since i will have a rad unit that needs to be able to draw in air.

    Bottom Case hole cut


    Since esthetically I had a problem with leaving a gaping open hole in the bottom of my case, and because it looks ugly, I fitted the hole with a filter I got aftermarket. From the outside it looks like the case came with this here.

    Case filter


    Next to come will be results and pics of my loop test and flush.



    As always, any and most feedback welcomed.
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    December 16, 2011 10:23:48 AM

    Ok, So I cranked this system out in no time flat. Ofcourse it is not perfected but it is up with a copy of win7 on it.

    Here is the sample video of the system.

    If the above video doesn't load, check this link.

    And here are the Windows 7 Ultimate performance ratings. I've never seen this high of a score in real life.

    Windows Performance Index

    I will add more when I am able to get the correct fittings I need to tidy up the water loops.
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    December 17, 2011 9:24:39 PM

    Update:

    - Still waiting for parts to come in to organize the water loops and make them more efficient.

    - Initial system burn in test had mixed results. At stock speeds of 3.3Ghz, the display adapter would fail showing a popup stating that the the display adapter had failed and that it recovered. CPU Core, Mobo, Video card and RAM have temps all below 32 degrees Celsius or 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

    - Overclocked the system to 4.34Ghz and the system is running stable with zero issues or errors. Display adapter problem has now stopped since OCed. Only temperature change has been the RAM. Now temps for RAM are at 35C or 95F.

    Conclusion: These temps are great accept for the fact that with the current fittings and the way the water loops are right now, neither of the side panels for the case will fit on the computer. So more accurate temps will be attained once the new fittings come and the side panels go back on.
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    December 25, 2011 4:57:54 AM

    Best answer selected by NvRsLpN77.
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