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Adding Watercooling (First Time) to Haf X

Last response: in Systems
June 5, 2012 3:58:04 PM


I recently built a gaming system (first one for a number of years), and I am now in the process of adding a second video card to run in SLI. However, after reading various posts in the forums it has come to my attention that sufficient cooling in SLI would require space to be left free between the 2 video cards for airflow. This is where my first problem is, I have a motherboard which only supports 2 video cards, and they are quite close together so I cannot leave any space to allow the video cards to cool.

Therefore I have decided the best option for me would probably be to go down the route of water cooling. This is where my second problem comes in, I have no experience with or previous knowledge of water cooling, or what I would need to buy for my system.

My System is:

Case: Coolermaster Haf X 942
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68-UD3P
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600k 3.40GHz (Sandybridge - 1155) - Overclocked to 4.40GHz
Processor Cooler: Corsair H60
Memory: 16Gb Ballistix DDR3 PC3 - 12800
Graphics: Zotac GeForce GTX 580 (1536Mb)
SSD: Corsair 120Gb Force GT Series 3
HDD: Western Digital 1Tb SATA 6Gb/s (7200rpm)
PSU: Cooler Master 1000Watt

Would anyone be able to provide advice on the varous parts I would need to buy, and a trusted retailer (online preferably) that I could buy them from. As I said previously I have no knowledge of water cooling and could really use all the help people have to offer.

Advice Greatly Appreciate
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
June 5, 2012 9:55:28 PM

This is a huge expense, and requires a certain degree of mechanical know-how.

IF both video cards are compatible with a water block you are looking at $500 or so for the parts. It would be far easier for you to buy a new board and new OS if needed.

Now, if you have the confidence and want to water cool for reasons of aesthetics, silence, and because you just like to tinker... then I'll help you :) 
June 6, 2012 1:16:52 AM

To be perfectly honest Proximon, I would like to weigh up all possible options available before I make a definite decision on the route to take. You make a valid point when you both say a new motherboard would be the simplest and cheapest option, on the other hand however, a water cooling mod would be much more silent and would allow for more overclocking options.

Below are a selection of the top motherboards which are available to me, in your opinion would either of these cards be suitable to run dual gtx 580's in sli with just sufficient airflow? If not, yes Proximon I would greatly appreciate your help with the water cooling.

All Advice Greatly Appreciated
Related resources
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
June 6, 2012 1:58:08 AM

The first 3 all have the extra space between PCI-E slots that we like to see for SLI. the last one is an mATX Maximus and does not have the extra width.

My personal preference of those would be the Asus P8Z77-V.

I still can't say what exactly you need to WC your two GTX 580s, because you have to be VERY specific about them. Slight variances in model numbers mean a great deal.

But let's just go to a reasonable US water cooling shop and price out parts, on a budget.

Swiftech APOGEE HD Ultimate Extreme Performance Water Block - Black $69.99

*** NEW *** Swiftech MCP655-B Special Edition 12 VDC Pump Without Speed Controller $79.95

Swiftech MCRES-MICRO™ Rev. 2 Reservoir Swiftech MCRES-MICRO™ Rev. 2 Reservoir $24.95

*** NEW *** PrimoFlex Pro LRT UV Blue Tubing -1/2in. ID X 3/4in. OD 12' $27.00

Bitspower Premium G1/4" High Flow 1/2" Fitting - Black Sparkle Finish $41.88

Black Ice® GTX Gen Two Xtreme 360 Highest Performance Radiator $119.95

Danger Den UV Black Delrin 1/2" (3/4" OD) Tubing Clamps - 10 Pack $9.95

Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120 mm by Nidec Servo Corp. - High Speed - Sleeved 3 $53.85

Sub-Total: $427.52

That's not all, doesn't include GPU blocks, and I haven't confirmed rad compatibility with the case yet. Probably around $600.00.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
June 6, 2012 9:22:13 PM

Ah that would be Performance PC.

There is an outdated UK list here: Some of those stores are still active.

And some things are best bought direct from Koolance or Danger Den or Swiftech

If you want to go with water do some research on your own and I'll be happy to review the list. You can learn a lot here:
June 7, 2012 12:40:43 AM

Thanks Proximon.

The final link which you included has proved to be extremely helpful.

I will compile a list of parts and post them shortly to get your opinion, once again Thanks.
June 9, 2012 12:25:13 PM

I have just compiled my list of parts for a CPU & GPU water cooling setup, would I be able to get some people's opinions please.

XSPC Raystorm RX360 Extreme Universal Water Cooling Kit
Tigon R-3603 7/16" ID (5/8") Tubing
PrimoChill Anti-Kink Coils (5/8")
Distiller Water (Unsure about The best choice)
GTX 580 Heatkiler Water Blocks

I know i may have missed the odd items out, if I have could someone please recommend them.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 9:10:55 PM

Tygon is nice, but I would say don't use clear tubing. If it clouds up, it gets ugly fast. I have used both that and primoflex, and there is not much difference in bend radius.

On the water, distilled water from the store is FINE. Tests were recently done:!
There are good comments in the thread as well ;) 

Did you get fittings for everything?

I like the D5 and res combo in theory, but the only one I tried so far leaked badly. Make sure the XSPC has good reviews (I think it does). There is also a Koolance version I'm sure is better, or the best.

Have you verified the GPU blocks fit the GPUs? remember, not all video card PCBs are identical.

June 10, 2012 12:03:14 AM

Thinking of going with a blue theme rather than the clear option now as I have replaced the side and front fans of my case with blue coolermaster ones, keep the blue theme going.

The kit comes with the fittings and fans for the radiator, CPU etc but as far as the GPU water block connections go I have no idea about those.

Chose the XSPC combo mainly on reviews but I suppose I could look at the Koolance option too, thanks for the tip on that one.

The GPU blocks fit, confirmed this with an email containing GPU specs to the retailer that I will be purchasing them from.

Greatly appreciate the help Proximon
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2012 12:24:01 AM

Sounds good. So barbs and clamps everywhere? Those are easiest and safest. You can buy colored clamps if you like.

You will likely need all the fan power you can get if cooling both GPUs and CPU with the one rad. Might want to consider push/pull fans if they fit.
June 12, 2012 9:21:26 PM

As far as I know most of the fittings come with the kit, but for the GPU I will probably need to purchase them separately.

Yeah, I've measured up and there is indeed space for a push pull configuration in my case. Using the dual 200mm fans on top and the triple 120mm fans below.

Worried slightly about my PSU, I might well have to consider a slightly better wattage to cope with the demands.

Thanks for the help and advice
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2012 10:23:29 PM

For a 2 GTX 580s and a 2600K, all overclocked well, plus WC and a bunch of fans... It would depend on your specific PSU. I count 4 or 5 different CM 1000W PSUs you might have. Most of them should do fine, so long as you aren't running everything at max with synthetic benchmarks for long periods.

Looking at the newegg list of gold rated PSUs above 1000W, this was the first significant upgrade I would recommend:

But perhaps that Antec TPQ 1200 would be a good compromise
But it's another Enhance product like the CM PSUs.

This Platinum Antec made by Delta is really sweet... but it's not a big jump in power: