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Stock or Custom Water Cooling? Help me decide

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July 20, 2014 3:22:18 AM

I have purchased nearly all of my components. The only thing I have not purchased yet is the cooling for the CPU/GPU. I will briefly share the key components and then get into my issue:

Haf X Case
4790K CPU
GTX 780 6GB x 3
Noctua NF-F12 x 8

My reasons for 780 6GB GPUs are very specific to my 1440p, multiple monitor, sli configuration and I don't really want to get into that debate at this point. I really need some help determining a cooling method for this rig. As for overclocking, I am a set and forget type usually leaving it to an auto overclock or equivalent. I am by no means an OC hobbyist. I prefer gaming, photo and video post processing.

My only other priority is a rig that is as silent as possible. My understanding is these particular EVGA cards are very quiet so I'm not overly concerned even with a tri sli setup. Unless someone has a very different opinion about water cooling these cards, I will likely just use their stock fans. That leaves the CPU. I wondered if it made sense to set up a custom loop for just this or just maybe an H110. The only thing I have heard about the all-in-one liquid cooling kits is that they can loose liquid over time and introduce air into the system? Is anyone familiar with this situation?. Lastly, what would you different or is my thinking sound?

Thanks for any advice.
July 20, 2014 11:49:14 PM

Very good information and I appreciate you taking the time to share it. Very clear and easy to understand. Can you (or anyone else for that matter) address the last part of my question about the loss of liquid over time in the all-in-one liquid cooling solutions? Thanks.
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July 21, 2014 12:48:14 AM

i would go with custom water cooling ... people SLI on these card said the first card blow hot air to second so then that card is about 20-30 degree hotter ... i would do a water to all the card and CPU be the best. i would protect these card consider how expensive they are.
a b à CPUs
July 21, 2014 12:48:39 PM

if your going to do custom water cooling your going to spend alot of Money and i would do seperate loops for gpus and cpu. what i would do if you case is bed enought is but the close loops coolers on neweggs for the 780s and you CPU you spend around 500 for 4 coolers compare to well over 1000$ for a custom loop

coolers for the 780s

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 22, 2014 3:26:02 AM

It's hard to recommend air cooling for 3 or 4 card setups. The card in the middle gets suffocated and generally gets pretty hot/loud.
a b à CPUs
July 22, 2014 6:31:56 AM

It really depends on how much money you want to spend
July 23, 2014 4:23:31 AM

zachparr2442 said:
It really depends on how much money you want to spend


I will spend whatever is necessary. As I said, I am not a big overclocker BUT it sounds like there may be a concern, not with the overclocking but with air cooling of three 780 video cards. I will already have 4-5K invested in this and most of it has already been purchased. I would rather do it right the first time and if doing it right includes custom water cooling, then that is what I will do.

As for the actual ordering of parts and the actual installation, that is quite another matter. I have read all of the stickies and I'm familiar with the basic operation of water cooling. Having said that, I have never put together something this elaborate. Knowing my limitations, I contacted a rep named Joe at FrozenCpu.com who offered to help a bit. If I can tell him what equipment I'm installing and in what model of case, he will provide the overview together with a parts list. I'm hoping that with his expertise and with what I have learned here, I can get this done right the first time.I can tell you that I had not originally planned to go with two loops but based on what many of you are saying, 3 GPUs on air may not be the best solution. This is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. It makes no sense to liquid cool just the CPU if I am gong to have issues with the GPUS.

What do you guys think? Is it appropriate to ask reps from sites like this, that specialize in cooling, for their help in choosing specific parts? Can I trust that they will provide the best information and suggestions when it comes to the creation of a liquid cooling system for a newb? At 50 years old, I'm keenly aware of the pifalls when one person is trying to accomplish a specific task (such as myself) and the other person (a rep) may want to push certain product they need to get rid of or gouge on price etc.

I'm sure it is up to me to get educated in this are but here's the thing; I notice that in the area of liquid cooling, there are the haves and their are the have nots. What I mean to say is that either you know what you are doing and have a killer system or you are clueless. There is also a third category and that is the guy who is trying to figure it out. He has limited knowledge and will probably make some mistakes on his first try. I don't want to be that guy. I want to get it right the first time. I don't mean to sound arrogant. It's just that after sinking 4-5K in one PC, I want it to be right. Those of you who take overclocking seriously know what you are doing. It's a passion for you. For me, it is just a step to get to the end result which is just to have an awesome, overbuilt system for work and gaming.

That was just a lot of information to say that I'm hoping to get this done right the first time. I don't want to have it together and then post a pic here and have someone tell me that I used too many 90 degrees or the wrong tubing or the wrong connectors. dd I'm up for suggestions on specific companies that may help with advice and perhaps a roadmap to put this together. Or if anyone can vouch for Joe at frozencpu, that would also be of help. Thanks.

John
a b à CPUs
July 23, 2014 6:25:34 AM

In all honesty, I know Joe and also the CEO of FrozenCPU, Mark. Very nice people and Mark was kind enough to hold onto a limited edition Block for me on request even though I live on the other side of the world.

I think when you're talking to brand reps or salesmen, you need to strike a balance of both product knowledge and what you need. If one is off then you end up with an empty wallet with useless hardware and/or someone who will see promotion next day/week/month.

4Ryan6 and I are among a couple of oldschoolers who actually do watercooling with passion. I tend to mix it up a bit with aesthetics and mess up my wallets depth but at the end of the day I know I've got my money's worth as does Rubix, 4Ryan6, Moto, ManofChalk, Boiler...

You could get a person to assemble, pick out and prepare the loop for you but you need to understand that with every hobby its as fun as maintaining it as it is playing around with it.

To put your demons to rest, you could ask around here and we could help you narrow down on some parts though alot of others will just copy paste a prescription paper for you...which isn't the norm when you'll be the one living with it for months/years to come.

In short, If you want to buy a car, do you take the salemans word for it or the people who actually drive it(or the people who read about them in magazines)?
a b à CPUs
July 23, 2014 6:45:12 AM

i would go the route of doing to different loops. one for the gpus and one for your cpu. the more rads you use also less ariflow you will need to cool your system do to the fact that you can use a lower speed. so i would do maybe two 360rad for your gpus then another 360rad for the cpu. that is an extreme system but it will keep everything cool. Res, pump, 360rad, gpus, 360rad, res. then have a loop like this. res, pump, 360rad, cpu, res.
August 6, 2014 2:24:46 AM

Okay, I wanted to keep you guys updated on this water cooling dilemma. I won't lie. When I got the quote I had to sit down. I know you guys told me it would be expensive. I guess, if I am going to spend $4500 for the computer parts, the cooling cost should not surprise me. My only issue now and what I wrote him back to say was that I have never put a water cooling system together. Well, once some years ago I did run a simple CPU line but this will be no simple run. Three GPUs on one line and another line for the CPU. Here is a breakdown on the parts in the quote:

cst-1359 LD Cooling Little Devil PC-V7 240/360 Mid-Tower Case - Black

PCI Slot Covers (8 pcs.): Black - Grill Style ($12.00)
Select Fan Control Unit: None
Select Fan Contoller Installation: None

$261.99 $261.99
hdc-116 LD Cooling Little Devil Single SSD Adapter Bracket - Black Powder Coat (SSD-S-B) $7.99 $15.98
ex-rad-333 Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper Triple 120mm Radiator $99.99 $99.99
ex-rad-332 Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper Dual 120mm Radiator $76.99 $76.99
fan-1190 Cougar 120mm x 25mm Vortex Hydro Dynamic Bearing Fan - Black (CFV12HB) $13.99 $83.94
ex-res-416 XSPC Twin D5 Dual 5.25" Bay Clear Reservoir w/ Twin XSPC D5 Variable Pumps Installed $249.99 $249.99
ex-blc-978 Heatkiller Rev 3.0 Sockets 1366/2011 CPU Liquid Cooling Block - Nickel / Black (14016) $89.95 $89.95
ex-blc-1689 Heatkiller GPU-X³ GTX Titan / 780 / 780 Ti "Hole Edition" Reference Design Full Coverage Water Block - Nickel / Black (15546)

Select an Optional Backplate: Heatkiller Titan Backplate - Nickel ($36.99)

$181.98 $545.94
ex-blc-1370 Heatkiller GPU-X Series Multi-Link Bridge Block (10198) $32.99 $32.99
koo-157 Koolance G1/4" Threaded 3/8" ID | 5/8" OD Compression Fitting (NZL-V10-16KG) $8.49 $84.90
ex-tub-1624 PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT Tubing 3/8"ID x 5/8" OD - 10ft Retail Pack - Onyx Black (PFLEXA10-58-BK) w/ Free Sys Prep $24.99 $24.99
ex-liq-164 PrimoChill Liquid Utopia Bomb Bottle - 15mL - Clear (PCLUBT-CLR) $13.95 $13.95
thr-16 Arctic Silver 5 (High-Density Silver Thermal Compound) - 3.5 Grams (AS5-3.5G) $7.99 $7.99
thr-20 ArctiClean 1 & 2 (Thermal Material Remover and Surface Purifier) - 60ml Kit $5.95 $5.95
Subtotal: $1,595.54

So, any opinions on the choice of parts? Would these be considered high quality? I want your honest opinion as to whether a novice like myself could get all of this installed by following instructions found in the part packages and what information I find on the net on how to do it?
a c 103 à CPUs
August 6, 2014 4:42:11 AM

johnstac said:
Okay, I wanted to keep you guys updated on this water cooling dilemma. I won't lie. When I got the quote I had to sit down. I know you guys told me it would be expensive. I guess, if I am going to spend $4500 for the computer parts, the cooling cost should not surprise me. My only issue now and what I wrote him back to say was that I have never put a water cooling system together. Well, once some years ago I did run a simple CPU line but this will be no simple run. Three GPUs on one line and another line for the CPU. Here is a breakdown on the parts in the quote:

cst-1359 LD Cooling Little Devil PC-V7 240/360 Mid-Tower Case - Black

PCI Slot Covers (8 pcs.): Black - Grill Style ($12.00)
Select Fan Control Unit: None
Select Fan Contoller Installation: None

$261.99 $261.99
hdc-116 LD Cooling Little Devil Single SSD Adapter Bracket - Black Powder Coat (SSD-S-B) $7.99 $15.98
ex-rad-333 Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper Triple 120mm Radiator $99.99 $99.99
ex-rad-332 Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper Dual 120mm Radiator $76.99 $76.99
fan-1190 Cougar 120mm x 25mm Vortex Hydro Dynamic Bearing Fan - Black (CFV12HB) $13.99 $83.94
ex-res-416 XSPC Twin D5 Dual 5.25" Bay Clear Reservoir w/ Twin XSPC D5 Variable Pumps Installed $249.99 $249.99
ex-blc-978 Heatkiller Rev 3.0 Sockets 1366/2011 CPU Liquid Cooling Block - Nickel / Black (14016) $89.95 $89.95
ex-blc-1689 Heatkiller GPU-X³ GTX Titan / 780 / 780 Ti "Hole Edition" Reference Design Full Coverage Water Block - Nickel / Black (15546)

Select an Optional Backplate: Heatkiller Titan Backplate - Nickel ($36.99)

$181.98 $545.94
ex-blc-1370 Heatkiller GPU-X Series Multi-Link Bridge Block (10198) $32.99 $32.99
koo-157 Koolance G1/4" Threaded 3/8" ID | 5/8" OD Compression Fitting (NZL-V10-16KG) $8.49 $84.90
ex-tub-1624 PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT Tubing 3/8"ID x 5/8" OD - 10ft Retail Pack - Onyx Black (PFLEXA10-58-BK) w/ Free Sys Prep $24.99 $24.99
ex-liq-164 PrimoChill Liquid Utopia Bomb Bottle - 15mL - Clear (PCLUBT-CLR) $13.95 $13.95
thr-16 Arctic Silver 5 (High-Density Silver Thermal Compound) - 3.5 Grams (AS5-3.5G) $7.99 $7.99
thr-20 ArctiClean 1 & 2 (Thermal Material Remover and Surface Purifier) - 60ml Kit $5.95 $5.95
Subtotal: $1,595.54

So, any opinions on the choice of parts? Would these be considered high quality? I want your honest opinion as to whether a novice like myself could get all of this installed by following instructions found in the part packages and what information I find on the net on how to do it?


Quote:
Three GPUs on one line and another line for the CPU.


IMO this is definitely a dual independent loop setup situation, but the reservoir pump combination you've chosen is for the 2 D5 pumps to assist each other as a single unit reservoir not to run 2 independent loops from?

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16931/ex-res-416/XSPC_Twin_D5_Dual_525_Bay_Clear_Reservoir_w_Twin_XSPC_D5_Variable_Pumps_Installed.html?tl=g30c97s152

Note the single fill port.

You can run 2 loops from this but the accumulated GPU and CPU heat will be commonly dumped into the reservoir to isolate GPU and CPU heat from each other you need 2 reservoirs and 2 pumps.

If you are determined to use a dual bay setup you need a split dual bay reservoir that will allow 2 independent loops like the one below note the fill ports one for each independent side.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/18524/ex-res-483/XSPC_Dual_525_Bay_-_DDC_Dual_Pump_Dual_Split_Reservoirs_-_Clear_w_Two_DDC_Installed_DDCBAYTWO-2PUMP.html?tl=g30c97s152

Personally I would not go that route as the pumps it comes with are like half the power of a D5, so I would go with cylinder reservoirs and 2 Swiftech MCP655 variable speed pumps, or if you want to run the dual bay go with 1 dual bay with 1 D5 pump and a 2nd cylinder mount for the 2nd loop.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16144/ex-res-372/XSPC_Dual_525_Bay_Black_Reservoir_-_w_D5_Variant_Pump_Installed.html?tl=g30c97s152

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/21480/ex-pmp-263/XSPC_Photon_170_Tube_Glass_Cylinder_Reservoir_Pump_Combo_D5_Vario.html?tl=g30c97s152

Let the dual bay reservoir D5 handle the GPU loop and let the cylinder reservoir D5 handle the CPU loop.

As far as the CPU water block this XSPC Raystorm is still one of the best cooling performers out there.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14186/ex-blc-971/XSPC_RayStorm_High_Performance_Acetal_CPU_Liquid_Cooling_Block_-_Intel_Sockets_LGA_115x_1366_2011.html?tl=g30c323s1205

Personally I would get Artic MX-4 instead of Artic Silver 5, it is a better product with no curing time.

There's always a little unsurity with the very first water cooling build, because you are stepping into the unknown and that scares people, IMO, you can do it and once you do, it will no longer be an unknown.

You asked for advice?

a c 103 à CPUs
August 6, 2014 6:30:47 AM

Lutfij said:
+1 to 4Ryan6's post. Its all laid pretty straight forward there. If you think you want to move down to watercooling, the proper route anyway, be sure to hit the watercooling stikcy;
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277130-29-read-first-...


Thanks my friend!
There is now a link to the official Toms water cooling sticky included in the post.
I was waiting on Rubix approval to add it. Ry

August 8, 2014 2:45:51 AM

Okay, so thanks Ryan for all of the information. I wanted to point out that this list was given to me by a rep and at this point I don't even know what half of the items on this list are used for. This brings up a very important concern of mine. Am I ready to slap down an additional $1500 to watercool parts that I have already spent about $4000+ on? This is all assuming that I want to take the time to learn everything I need to in order to assemble all of this successfully. At this point, I don't think so.

This all came up because, when I told everyone that I was going to run a 4790K and three 780 GTX 6GB GPUs with a slight overclock, they told me that I would need to water cool. At this point, I think I may go back to my original ideal of just going with a stock liquid cooling solution for the CPU and perhaps I can still use three GPUs if I don't overclock? Someone pointed out that the issue is the middle GPU, sandwiched between two more GPUs on the motherboard will now allow sufficient cooling for that center card. Can anyone verify if there is an alternative? I was wondering if maybe using a larger case like this one currently being reviewed by Tom's:

http://www.caselabs-store.com/merlin-sm8/

or maybe the case I wanted to originally use, the Cooler Master HAF X, would provide enough air flow to keep those GPUs under control. Because the GPUs already come with an overclock, perhaps I don't need to do anything else with them. I am not trying to win any OC awards. I just want a nice fast gaming rig to run two or three 2560 x 1440p monitors. Nothing more. Advice at this point?
a c 103 à CPUs
August 8, 2014 5:11:22 AM

I fully understand the reluctance to stall getting underway with learning to water cool as a road block, I suggest going for a simpler start then studying and water cooling later if you want.

If the GPUs air is vented out of the rear of the case you'll be fine, the middle card will not be smothered, most running multiple air cooled GPUs purposely target acquiring GPUs that rear vent.

August 8, 2014 6:28:12 AM

4Ryan6 said:
I fully understand the reluctance to stall getting underway with learning to water cool as a road block, I suggest going for a simpler start then studying and water cooling later if you want.

If the GPUs air is vented out of the rear of the case you'll be fine, the middle card will not be smothered, most running multiple air cooled GPUs purposely target acquiring GPUs that rear vent.



Could you (or someone else) suggest any cases that provide excellent airflow? So far a short list include:

HAF X
Silverstone RV02
Cooler Master Air 540

Sounds like what you're saying is that if I could forgo the hard drive cage and replace with good fans, I could push air from the front to the rear across the GPUs?
a b à CPUs
August 11, 2014 12:43:37 PM

4Ryan6 said:
Lutfij said:
+1 to 4Ryan6's post. Its all laid pretty straight forward there. If you think you want to move down to watercooling, the proper route anyway, be sure to hit the watercooling stikcy;
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277130-29-read-first-...


Thanks my friend!
There is now a link to the official Toms water cooling sticky included in the post.
I was waiting on Rubix approval to add it. Ry



No need to wait for my approval...feel free to link that anytime you feel the need. Likewise, let me know if anything needs to be added or updated.
a b à CPUs
August 12, 2014 4:27:14 AM

Will do mate, thanks for the approval :) 
!