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Thread: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

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    (evil grin) ehhhhhhh's Avatar
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    Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    Hi all,

    I've been playing with the idea of watercooling my PC, however as a first timer I don't really know which components, brands to go for.

    I have 2 options in mind regarding to this sytem:

    1.) Get watercooling for the graphics cards separately and fit a H50/70 on the CPU

    2.) Watercool the CPU and GPUs with one "loop"

    To make it easier for you here's a pic of the current state of my rig:



    To make more space I could remove one of the HDD bays, and I was thinking to fit the radiator on the top of the case after removing the top panel.

    As I understood I'll need the following parts:

    Radiator
    Reservoir
    GPU blocks
    CPU block (optional)
    Tubing
    Pump
    Fittings
    Cooling liquid

    I window shopped on scan and came up with following bits:




    I'm not sure how big radiator and reservoir I need, furthermore I dont really know how long tubing should I order (and which brand, model). I also don't know if the above pump would be strong enough to push water through this system.
    I'm kinda lost on the fittings too, but afaik wider/bigger holes and fittings mean better waterflow.

    I would be interested in your thoughts and read up on things if you can guide me to quality articles on this.

    Your time and effort would be highly appreciated

    thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    im not expert but ill tell you what i think.

    CPU block is fine (the ek supreme is one of the best at the minute)

    The d5 pump is a strong pump, the alternative is the laing ddc pumps which are around £50 each. Both are solid pumps but i believe the d5 is better in most ways, however depending on budget it may be worth while just getting 2 ddc pumps.

    For the reservoir id say get a single(or dual if you want) bay one as that way you can free up more space internally (if you have the bays free ofc), any make is good really just as cheap as you want IMO.

    I believe this could be a good idea to look at : http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/...pid-12622.html this is a bundle deal but it links to the individual items so you could just get the dual bay res and buy the pumps from somewhere else, this way you can mount both pumps easily and all in one or two single loops if you want. Not a bad price either really. Keep in mind a D5 pump wont fit in there, only the DDC pumps.


    Radiators, EK seems to have past me without me noticing . I know the solid performers are the XSPC RX rads (120mm 240mm and 360mm), thermalright PA 120's(120.1 is 120mm 120.2 for 240 and 120.3 for 360mm rad sizes), however from looking at your case im not sure you have much distance between the motherboard and the top of your case, it may be worth while looking at the XSPC RS radiators if that is the case as they are much thinner than the RX however the cooling performance suffers. The bigger the rad the better generally, any pump you take should handle a 360mm rad no problem so pick the biggest you can have (youll have to get the tape measure out! haha)


    Right for tubing, pick what ever size you want... the difference in performance is minimal however id say 1/2" ID (inner diameter) and 3/4" OD (outer diameter) is good stuff but its not small! If you want to make it easier to route and stuff id recommend the 7/16" ID and 5/8" OD tubing, its a good compromise between the lot and is easier to route around the case. Most brands are ok but the difference is generally the strength of the tubing, kinking etc is a pain but so far ive had no problem with XSPC branded tubing, i think some nice xspc tubing would go well with your system (im crap with colours so you choose ). Oh and generally i find ordering 2 metres is a good safe amount of order, 1 is defo to little.

    Fittings, pick the tubing first then get these... you are in luck that XSPC have just released their first compression fittings (these are the best and easiest fittings to use IMO and look great).
    http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/...pid-12869.html these are the ones, nice black chrome too! Easy to install, the slot you see in the picture is for a 10p coin or similar so you can screw it in easily .

    Graphics blocks, cant really help you there mate as i havent even got mine watercooled yet but EK offer solid blocks so i dont think you can go wrong with them... must check they are compatible with your gpu though. Head over to specialtechs website and forums and ask them as they can help you a lot!


    Back to your original part of your post as to what option to go for... how much "overclocking" are you doing with the cpu? Maybe ok to just get a single loop H50 or something and then with the gpus just shove them in one loop with 2 dual 240mm rads or seperate them into a loop each, you could probably get away with 2 of them on a 360mm rad.

    It all depends on your budget mate, to keep the costs down id say do with the all in one solution for cpu and then the gpu just get a single pump and a single or dual bay res and a 360mm rad and youll be sorted. But as i said, pop over to specialtech and throw them an email or go onto their forums as they are always on there (live shout box and live chat normally viewed by some employees aswell) and they can help you even more.,


    Hope this helped a bit?.
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    wish I could thank you more than once


    It all depends on your budget mate
    I dont want to sound ignorant but I would prefer quality over pushing the prices down.


    Back to your original part of your post as to what option to go for... how much "overclocking" are you doing with the cpu?
    The CPU runs at 3.8Ghz atm without any issues, the problem is that it boots fine on 4.0Ghz but it won't survive a Prime95 run (BSOD after 20mins and the cores hit 70C+) so I didn't pursue this matter further (as soon as it will be under water I will try again though)

    depending on budget it may be worth while just getting 2 ddc pumps.
    For the sake of simplicity I would rather want 1 pump if it's a viable solution for this setup

    ...from looking at your case im not sure you have much distance between the motherboard and the top of your case, it may be worth while looking at the XSPC RS radiators if that is the case as they are much thinner than the RX however the cooling performance suffers. The bigger the rad the better generally, any pump you take should handle a 360mm rad no problem so pick the biggest you can have (youll have to get the tape measure out! haha)

    I was thinking to use this space (pic below) for the radiator....the top of this case is just begging to be modded XD...though I'll definitely look into the XSPC rads you have mentioned.




    Head over to specialtechs website and forums and ask them as they can help you a lot!
    I'll definitely speak with them tomorrow


    Thanks again for your time and effort, it was a really helpful read and now I can start to proceed with this "spring" project further

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    you deserve a slap for even considering a pre made corsair unit !

    ideal situation would be 1 loop for the gpu and a 2nd for the cpu to reduce the restriction you will get, personally i would use that hole on the top for a cpu rad and you could follow what i did and have some brackets made and stick a tripple rad on the back of the case.

    quality costs, i have easily spent over a grand cooling my pc with koolance blocks + controller cards, thermochill rads and fittings.

    i got what i wanted, very cool and very quiet.

    the thermochill pa 140.3 hanging off the back was the best choice i made for keeping a pair of 480's under 50 degrees full load with the fans at 20%
    Last edited by GoNz0; 21-02-2011 at 11:42 PM.

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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    Quote Originally Posted by ehhhhhhh View Post
    ... I was thinking to use this space (pic) for the radiator...
    I believe in that case the common tactic is to fit the rad beneath that space the the fans above it pulling air through (although I don't think pull-only is the mosty efficient way to use a rad), which can be done without modding. To me that looks like far too nice a case to mod, but each to their own I guess...

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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    Thanks guys,

    It's a lot of info to research, though I'm very keen to investigate everything properly before I hit the "order" button. This is a battle against 2 cards which hit 90C under gpu heavy tasks with 50-60% fan speeds, and boy these are noisy...

    Quote Originally Posted by GoNz0
    the thermochill pa 140.3 hanging off the back was the best choice i made for keeping a pair of 480's under 50 degrees full load with the fans at 20%
    Do you have some pics or a project log? it would nice to get (erm...steal) some ideas

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    i will have to take some as i cant find them

    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack
    off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    A ek-d5-x-top-acetal-g1-4-rev2 might be worth looking at as well. Test have shown it improves flow and head preasure and it also allows you to use whatever fittings you like as the stock are 1/2" and not removable. I have one but have yet to fit it.

    Alternatively it might be worth tracking down a XSPC-Acrylic-Tank-Reservoir-for-Laing-D5 down as it kills 2 birds with one stone.

    +1 for the PA series of rads. From the tests I have seen the TA series is in generally inferior to the older PA seies. Might have to look second hand. A PA.120.3 should easily handle your rig as I use a PA.120.2 for a overclocked phenom 2 965 and a 5850 (soon to be 6950) with ease only using 2 fans at 5 volts).

    Swiftech radbox for externally mounting rads of the back of your case.

    Just use de-ionised water from halfords and a silver kill coil to keep your loop algae free. Its best to not use dyes as they can cause staining and clogging of the loops but I have used dye for the first time with no problems bar my pipes are now purple

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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    Right im on my main pc so i can actually reply (see responses in different colour).

    Quote Originally Posted by ehhhhhhh View Post
    wish I could thank you more than once




    I dont want to sound ignorant but I would prefer quality over pushing the prices down.

    Not ignorant at all, just easier to determin with a little bit of info but since your not looking to keep costs down too much it makes it much simpler.



    The CPU runs at 3.8Ghz atm without any issues, the problem is that it boots fine on 4.0Ghz but it won't survive a Prime95 run (BSOD after 20mins and the cores hit 70C+) so I didn't pursue this matter further (as soon as it will be under water I will try again though)

    Watercooling will help you here, id certainly pick up the ek supreme hf in this case

    For the sake of simplicity I would rather want 1 pump if it's a viable solution for this setup

    Fair enough, but i think with 3 blocks and a 360mm rad it would be to much for a single pump, as gonz0 recommended go with something like a rx360/pa120.3 and attach the 2 gpu blocks and a single pump to that and then a seperate loop for the cpu, if theres space then id use a 240mm rad but if not a 120mm should suffice. If you do go down this route then the dual pump bay i mentioned would be a great option.


    I was thinking to use this space (pic below) for the radiator....the top of this case is just begging to be modded XD...though I'll definitely look into the XSPC rads you have mentioned.

    The space looks good enough for a 360mm radiator, must check the depth of the radiator though to see how much it will "poke" out of the case but an alternative is to mount it on the back like gonz0 did. I have my radiator mounted internally, ill link some pictures of my case at the bottom of this post (few months old but its hardly changed).



    I'll definitely speak with them tomorrow


    Thanks again for your time and effort, it was a really helpful read and now I can start to proceed with this "spring" project further
    As dfour mentioned, pump tops are important part to look at for your pump as they are great at improving performance. A good thing though is for that dual bay res, it has 'built in' pump tops which are solid xspc tops so performance isnt bad, you also reduce the amount of tubing you need and compression fittings so save money while improving performance! Oh and it makes priming/removing air bubbles a breeze .


    As for the coolant, again as dfour mentioned stay away from dyes if you can as it generally ruins loops however if you have to go with a dye then i know Mayhem dyes carry a good rep. If you dont need the dye then just go to halfords pick up a 5Litre bottle of deionised water (you will only need 1-2L but its much cheaper buying 5l) and either add in a silver coil or buy some petra PT NUKE and your sorted.


    Oh heres the pictures:




    I dunno what use these could be but if you want more let me know
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    Thanks Hicks12. The inside of your case looks very well designed....I would say it looks better engineered than the 600T

    Considering all your advices, I have created my v2.0 plan

    as of now I plan to use 2 loops, 1 for CPU and an other one for the GPUs as advised.

    I thought of the below for the GPU loop:

    I have measured the space on the top of the case and I think I will be able to fit an XSPC RS 240mm radiator inside case, in the place of the big top fan....luckily, depending on my measurements I'll be able to fit 2 120mm fans on the bottom of it too (I plan to use <10db Scythes). This will create the opportunity to fit an other pair of the same fans under the top panel hence achieving a push&pull setup.

    I would go with a Laing d5 pump with this reservoir (lots of space saving ).

    The GPU blocks would stay the same EK-FC6970.

    For tubing I'll plan to use the black 1/2ID ones. And the above recommended liquid and the silver thingy.


    For the Cpu loop, I'm just collecting more info on the dimensions of the components and whether they will fit, but briefly my plan is to fit a 120mm Radiator (push and pull) on the back of the case at the standard 120mm place and connect it with the chosen CPU block and the the same d5 and reservoir combo. Removing the top HDD cage gives me a lot more room to work with. and also I could work with 3x5.25 spaces too.

    If this plan falls through I'll look at mounting a bigger Rad outside for the GPU and a 240mm one for the CPU as advised by Gonzo. This would be the hardest to do and would involve some modifications to the case.

    Also, I have some kids around time-to-time to play pc games, and I would be really afraid to have WC parts outside of the case when they attend so it's kind of a plan B atm.

    I would love to hear your opinion and if everything is OK I'm ready to order the parts...Hopefully I'll be able to finish this before I go on holiday the first week of march.

    Cheers everyone

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    why bother with a 120mm rad when a heatsink will cool almost as well

    something like http://www.overclock.co.uk/product/K...ease_8927.html unless you want to ask tom at chilledpc.co.uk if he has any radiator stand offs still and you can mount a double/tripple rad off the back and still use all the connectors

    tbh chilledpc is the best place if you want any special bits made, put your business his way and you get custom parts made for next to nothing including being able to send case parts to be modded for rads and fans (your removable top for instance)

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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    Im pleased with what the case looks like when occupied , the top panel i cut myself just so i could mount the radiator lol.

    The RS240 should handle the temps from your gpu's so you would be alright there, if not you could look into getting 2x rs240's and have one either side of the top panel? .

    My DDC pump has the equivilant res as you are looking at for the d5 so id say its not very small, where are you planning on mounting these 2 lots of d5 pumps? I can only see on real place for 1 pump+res.


    Black tubing? Not white? . Hmm i see about removing the HDD cage should make enough room, you may need to get a 90degree fitting though to help reduce the stress on the tubing if its making a tight fit between the pump top and the other HDD bays.
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

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    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    buy pipe you can see through!

    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack
    off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

  21. Received thanks from:

    ehhhhhhh (23-02-2011)

  22. #14
    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Plymouth-SouthWest
    Posts
    6,554
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    Thanked
    331 times in 287 posts
    • Hicks12's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P8Z68-V
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 2500k@4ghz, cooled by EK Supreme HF
      • Memory:
      • 8GB Kingston hyperX ddr3 PC3-12800 1600mhz
      • Storage:
      • 64GB M4/128GB M4 / WD 640GB AAKS / 1TB Samsung F3
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Palit GTX460 @ 900Mhz Core
      • PSU:
      • 675W ThermalTake ThoughPower XT
      • Case:
      • Lian Li PC-A70 with modded top for 360mm rad
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Professional 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2311H IPS
      • Internet:
      • 10mb/s cable from virgin media

    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    or what he said! I had clear tubing before, makes it damn easy to setup and is actually better if your just getting into WCing tbh. Having no problem with my white tubing at the minute but my res gives me some indiciation if its failing haha.
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Trust me, go into any local club and shout "I've got dual Nehalem Xeons" and all of the girls will practically collapse on the spot at the thought of your e-penis

  23. Received thanks from:

    ehhhhhhh (23-02-2011)

  24. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Money Grabbing Overtime Whore
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    • SuicidaL's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Rampage Formula X48
      • CPU:
      • Q9450 + Heatkiller 3.0LT custom loop
      • Memory:
      • 4Gb Corsair Dominator 8500
      • Storage:
      • 2x 1Tb Samsung F1's, 320Gb Samsung F1, 250Gb Samsung Spinpoint
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI 6870 ref + EK FC6870 custom loop
      • PSU:
      • Silverstone Strider Plus 750w
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster HAF-932
      • Operating System:
      • Win7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • 22" Iiyama E2209HDS
      • Internet:
      • VM 50meg

    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    if you struggle to find a decent pa rad, take a look at the xspc rx series.

  25. Received thanks from:

    ehhhhhhh (23-02-2011)

  26. #16
    (evil grin) ehhhhhhh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Planet Earth
    Posts
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    • ehhhhhhh's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte Z170-HD3P-CF
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7 6800K@4Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 32GB Corsair DDR4 2400
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 960Pro 512GB nvme
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Gigabyte GTX1080 8GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 650W Modular
      • Case:
      • Corsair Obsidian 800D /w 240RAD
      • Operating System:
      • WIN10 PRO 64Bit / Debian
      • Monitor(s):
      • 3x DELL 2413

    Re: Help needed in choosing parts for watercooling

    I've just ordered the first part of the wc loop:



    and this too.

    I'll order the other things after I checked how these fit

    I'm gonna update this thread later how did it go...presumably on Friday...

    cheers everyone
    Last edited by ehhhhhhh; 23-02-2011 at 11:43 PM.

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