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Thread: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

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    <Insert witty one liner> Kanoe's Avatar
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    First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    Hi Guys

    There are certain things I always wanted from a PC when I was growing up, multiple CPU's, multiple GPU's, multi monitors, custom water-cooling loop.

    The only one I haven't ticked off is the custom water-cooling loop. Now that I've gotten to the stage where the hardware is going to have to do me for a good few years (cause the wife says so!) I think it's time to look at going for water-cooling.

    The only issue is I know absolutely nothing in this area and would welcome any advise.

    I have started some planning and will list the key components that need to be considered below:

    - Case: Phantoms Enthoo Primo v2
    - CPU's: 2x Socket 2011
    - GPU: R9 295X2 OC

    Proposed layout:

    I already have a block for the GPU (as this was difficult to come by it took a few months of watching ebay like a hawk to find one to come up) GPU Block

    I guess as the GPU block uses G1/4" fittings it may be best to choose this for all parts.

    Items I will need are:

    - Reservoir
    - Pump
    - Radiator 1
    - Radiator 2
    - Tubing
    - Fixings

    I was also wondering if it would be a good idea to make a refill line (near the top rad) and a loop drain (near the reservoir) for ease of maintenance.

  2. #2
    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    Your about 5 years too late.

    I went from full custom watercooling to air to AIOs and TBH, there really isn't anything between them now that kit doesn't produce much heat.

    In fact, I'd never go back to a custom loop. The expense, time and hassle and all you get from it is the feeling of dread every time you want to take the side off your case......

    Consider selling the block and putting the whole idea on the back-burner!
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    <Insert witty one liner> Kanoe's Avatar
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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    Well I was concerned about the temps over the summer. I turned HT off on the CPUs cause they were getting quite warm and in games that actually made full use of the GPU's the second chip was thermal throttling after 20 mins of going at full chat.

    So part of the project was to hopefully reduce the temps of the components not just aesthetics.

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    Laird Of The Glen jimborae's Avatar
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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    I'd change the case to something less expensive and better quality, Fractal may be. I was very disappointed with my Enthoo Primo. Depending on what rad you get you wont be able to fit fans in push pull/pull config as it will be too deep. And i'd dont think you can fit 3x140 rad at the top as it looks like it will foul on kit in the front of the case. The method of locking devices in to the front 5 1/2" slots is alos very poor. and the number of cross threaded screw holes I had in my case was stupid, I had to re-tap a number of them. Basically for the money it should be much better quality.

    *Edit* also like Shaithis, I'm now seriously considering going back to air cooling, I dont have the time for the hassle that water cooling brings. When I was single and had bags of time and free income it was fine & fun as was the overclocking. Now I have a family & no time or money I just want things to work with no hassles.

    *Edit 2* Can anyone recommend a really good air cooler or AIO water cooler for a socket 2011 board.

    *Edit 3* I still think water cooling gpus makes a huge difference temps, on my R9 290 temps were about 30c cooler when water cooled but as I dont game much these day (thanks to family life!) the point is moot in my case!
    Last edited by jimborae; 04-10-2016 at 10:47 PM.

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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    I've not had any issues with the case and I quite like it.

    In part it was necessitated by the need for a case to support a SSI-EEB motherboard and it does that job nicely with room to spare.

    I defo wasn't expecting the responses of don't bother when I posted might take a pause to re-think but if I want to get temps down i think this is going to be my only option.

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    DDY
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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    I'm not going to say don't bother, because I tell myself that every time when I think about installing a custom water cooling system, but I do it anyway. Lets face it, custom water cooling loops are cool.

    sorry, lets start again.

    Here are some things that come to mind;

    - As mentioned, check that the planned 3x140mm radiator will fit on the roof, the uprights that hold the optical drives look like they might get in the way. I reckon a 3x120mm will be ok, but do check.
    - Consider using only the top triple radiator, or the top rad plus a single 120mm rear rad. So that the front fans can bring in cool air, rather than heated air from a radiator.
    - Consider using a vertical pump reservoir, it looks like you've got plenty of room even for a floor standing one. Vertical pump reservoirs make filling and de-airing the loop a doddle.
    - Be prepared for trouble, your graphics card will double as a CPU block leak detector.

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    Laird Of The Glen jimborae's Avatar
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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanoe View Post
    I've not had any issues with the case and I quite like it.

    In part it was necessitated by the need for a case to support a SSI-EEB motherboard and it does that job nicely with room to spare.

    I defo wasn't expecting the responses of don't bother when I posted might take a pause to re-think but if I want to get temps down i think this is going to be my only option.
    Maybe they improved things on the V2 version of the Primo, all I know is that if I was doing it again I wont be using a Phantoms case.

    With regards to our negative comments on custom watercooling in general I think our responses are based on years of experience yet your use case is pretty unique i.e. lots of heat being generated by 16 cores and a very toasty gpu!!! If low temps and low noise is your goal then a custom loop maybe the only way to go and any negative comments are null & void due to your situation and goals. So take them with a pinch of salt.

    Being able to easily fill, drain and most importantly bleed your loop is a paramount. Most of my issues have been caused due to not planning this properly and then not have the patience to rectify the situation. I've just killed my R9 290 I think by trying to bleed the loop and getting water on the card. As DDY says "Be prepared for trouble, your graphics card will double as a CPU block leak detector." With two rads your effectively doubling the place where most air in system resides and getting it out and into the res has caused me no end of grief.

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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    I'm not going to say don't bother, because I tell myself that every time when I think about installing a custom water cooling system, but I do it anyway. Lets face it, custom water cooling loops are cool.
    Do you have a site that you prefer to get your kit from?

    I know what you mean about exhausting into the case so i could reverse that one to make it an exhaust. I have 2 big fans in the bottom of the case that are intakes so that so be OK.

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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    I'm also in the middle of rebuilding my system into a smaller case
    The acrylic is being a little difficult, but almost there. Just need to re-do 2 bends I'm not happy with
    I've been doing it for years, and maybe it's me, but I don't mind the maintenance. Yes I've had leaks but honestly that's because I rushed. If you plan properly, and are patient you should be generally trouble free

    I shop around for my kit, a bit of it I get from ebay auctions. Otherwise I generally shop around and see who's got the best prices and has stock.
    Have you got your fittings sorted? I quite like the Barrow fittings, and they're not badly priced either - look for an ebay store called Mizucooling

    Do you have an optical drive?
    You could consider getting a drive bay res? I'm not entirely sure of the spacings. But I think it could work?
    The Phanteks website says a 480 rad should fit on top, so there should be no problem fitting a 420 in there with a bit of space to spare

    Quite a few of the builds using your case put a tick radiator at the bottom? That's also an option
    I'm not sure if we can post links to other websites, but PM me and I'll send you a list of where I shop around if that's helpful?

    Again I'm not entirely sure of spacings, but I think you could get a 240mm crossflow radiator in the front with a fill/drain port. Then that's your draining sorted (Ideally you want it at the lowest point of your loop)

    Overclock.net has quite a large case club for Phanteks, you could look in there for some ideas/inspiration
    They've also got a large watercooling community - loads of build logs etc

  10. #10
    <Insert witty one liner> Kanoe's Avatar
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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    I did consider a drive bay res, for other cases that might have been a good option but tbh i want to show it off in this case even though it would mean taking the dremel to it a little to create some mounting holes to put it where i wanted on the diagram.

    I will check out those suggestions, was going to have a good look at the weekend and start to put a part list together for items I need. There are a good few CPU blocks out there is there anything in particular i should be looking at for their specs or are they pretty much alike?

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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    There's not a huge difference between the blocks. I mean a couple of degrees here and there.
    But then again, you could gain or lose a few degrees based on your Thermal Paste and your mount etc etc etc.

    I'd say check what you can get your hands on/budget allows and work around that?

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    I would consider 2 loops and splitting the GPU to the smaller front rad for your dual CPU setup. Me with my current rig housed in a Corsair 900D I have a 3x140 in the top running the GPU (total overkill but this came from an old SLI setup) I run the GPU pump with a fan cable that takes the PWM signal from the video card and the 12v from the power supply to save overloading it running 3 140mm fans, this runs via the afterburner software made by MSI. the other pump and fans all run on PWM from the motherboard as it does a good job controlling the speeds. The system is near silent unless gaming but that isn't an issue as I wear a headset.

    I run a very low set of pump and fan profiles, the GPU has never got above 40C (core) and never runs the pump above 40%, the fan speeds do get around 50 as they also suck the case heat through including the CPU rad housed in the bottom.

    It is so quiet I moved my microserver into a cupboard as it was louder on 6% fan!

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  13. #13
    <Insert witty one liner> Kanoe's Avatar
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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    Well I think I have found the major parts for the loop. Have listed them below.

    Any comments welcome before I pull the trigger and buy them.


  14. #14
    <Insert witty one liner> Kanoe's Avatar
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    Re: First timer on custom watercooling rig: Advice and build log

    Any issues with the proposed items?

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