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Water cooling parts advice for a beginner?

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#1
So after I got my 8350 and saw my mighty Noctua NH-D14 brought to its knees, I decided that I'm suddenly interested in watercooling. I have been doing alot of reading and have found a few parts that I think I like, but I would like to get some advice and suggestions since I have no practical experience. (I've installed a couple AIO units but thats not really comparable...) Right now I'm just picking parts, I won't be buying anything for a while still.

So my first question is case. I have a HAF 932 currently, but I really like the NZXT switch 810. Would that be worth getting?

I looked at blocks and decided I like EK the best. I like the circles everyone seems to hate, lol. Not sure between This block and This one. The difference is the clear one I would only get if I wanted to do colored water. Not sure if thats silly.

CPU will be all thats getting cooled first off, because my 670 stays at or below 50c. But eventually when nvidia 7xx series is here I might upgrade to something I could add to the loop. So what size radiator would I need? I like the Alphacool nexxxos UT60. If I stick with this case the biggest I could use is a 240mm.

For pumps and reservoirs I really don't know anything. MCP35x seems like a good pump. And for radiator I don't know whats better, drive bay res or internal one.

What does everyone say? Thanks
 
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#2
Here's the thing about water-cooling. Once you start, and see the gains, it is very hard to stop yourself from expanding your loop. Next thing you know you will want the GPU watercooled, then the Mobo Chipset.

So always buy more then you need...Radiator, Pump and Res.

IF you have the cash to spend then a custom loop is the way to go.

Unless you plan on moving your system around then there is no reason not to use a separate external box dedicated to just housing all the cooling guts. Pump, Res, Radiators all in one external box with just the tubing running into the PC. This makes working on all the parts much easier and removes a lot of internal case clutter.

EK blocks have been really good to me, but only used on GPU's. For CPU I have had good luck with swiftech and heatkiller. Radiators there are a lot to choose from. You need to figure out what can fit where and then figure out what brand.
 
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#3
I would try a closed loop cooler like the Corsair models before switching to water cooling.
 
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#4
Custom loops can eat alot of money, and when u are new to it this is my note:

"..before u set the board under Electricity let the pump run alone for atleast 1h
place paper towles under the fitting to see any leaks
if all is dry fire it up..."

just added a Corsair H100i to current build with a AMD FX-8350
the Temps are sweet , even under load !
 
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#5
Water cooling as a very personal affair. I'm no expert but I've done enough set ups now that i know the 'basics'.

Main points (general):
The radiator has a fin density. The higher the fin density, the better it deals with high rpm fans (though it's not that simple). Lower density fins are designed for lower rpm fans. This gives a general trade off from higher noise and better cooling or lower noise and adequate cooling.

The more the merrier. If you are planning on upgrading your loop to add in more heat sources, start with a larger rad. It is much easier to attach some extra tubing than it is to start fitting in multiple rads.

Reservoirs? I personally think more water = better heat capacity, so get a larger tube reservoir. I had a bay reservoir but it 'gurgled' as water went through it. You can buy anti-turbulence bay reservoirs but generally a tube res is bigger, quieter and cheaper (but harder to fit).

Blocks. Personal choice. Google 'cpu block review' and start reading! I'd ignore individual advice and take it from your preference and a meta-review of reviews. If you choose a clear block for coloured water prepare for 'gunk'. Many people get build of 'scum' from using dyes. De-ionised water and an anti algae (silver coil or chemical is an idea). The more additives you use though the more particulated the water becomes. You don't want a lot of dissolved solids in a loop.

Bleed point. Careful tube planning to create a bleed point at the lowest level of your loop for easy drainage is a good idea. As is the notion of having the reservoir above the pump (in fact, that really ought to be gospel).

Hope some of that helps?
 
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#6
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#7
bad thing about it:



tear everything apart when cleaning, add fluid, retest for leaks......
 
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#8
Thanks for the responses. @law, thanks for the links.

Btw, I think my budget will be 500 at the outside.
 
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#9
500$ will get you a good kit.
this is a good site for reviews and WC info: http://martinsliquidlab.org/
I just started WCing not too long ago and got an EK loop for my CPU+VRM. The radiator came preflushed so it was a simple case of mounting the blocks, hooking up all the pipes, hot wiring the PSU and running a 1hour leak test.
Somethings to consider most good CPU blocks are within 2C° of each other and as such what you want is high flow rate/looks as temps are more about how well you mount the block.
Quick rundown of what I found out by reading
Alphacool has the cheapest and most effective rads. EK also makes good rads but are a bit more expensive but almost as good as the ACs while being preflushed.
The best block according to all current reviews is the the koolance 380 after that it's a mess as no reviewers agree but supremacy heatkiller cuplex kryos and the 370 are all good blocks.
EK makes the highest flow (biggest internal diameter) compression fittings in any size.
Laing pumps are the best pumps however the high power DDCs can overheat.
Getting a pump top is a good idea as they can greatly improve performance and they always make building simpler
The switch 810 is the best WC case available
 
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#10
Thanks. For blocks I think I'll stick with ek, I do really like how it looks over any others.


Unless you plan on moving your system around then there is no reason not to use a separate external box dedicated to just housing all the cooling guts. Pump, Res, Radiators all in one external box with just the tubing running into the PC. This makes working on all the parts much easier and removes a lot of internal case clutter.
.
I want to keep it all in the case, mostly for aesthetics. It does get moved occasionally

So since no one has condemned any thing I mentioned so far, lol, here's a preliminary parts list:

Ek Supremacy block
Alphacool ut60 360mm radiator
Dcp35x pump With a pump top style res?
10-15 ft primochill red tubing

Whats missing or should be changed? Anybody with pump or reservoir suggestions or comments is appreciated
 
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#11
Go air cooling, high end. I'm rather tired of my W/C system, even though it's been good to me, I only get about 10% more overclock. Intrinsically, just not worth it.

On the other hand, I'm a hobby type person, so putting a custom loop together and tweaking it has it's own rewards.

Wow, do I sound depressing?
 
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#12
Lol, wet blanket.

I already have top teir air cooling, noctua nh-d14 but its still letting my CPU get over 70 after just a couple minutes on ibt, and in games such as skyrim it's like around 50 @ 4.5ghz, I don't like it so toasty. And maybe as much as anything else like you we're saying, just the fun of something entirely different.

Also bragging rights, lol. No one else in my group of nerdy friends has water
 
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#13
this should be sticky :laugh:

"No one else in my group of nerdy friends has water, Irony"

:toast:
 

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#14
Irony You Can Run A 360 Radiator At The Top Of The HAF932. Message Me In Steam If You Want To Talk WaterCooling.
 
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#15
Also bragging rights, lol. No one else in my group of nerdy friends has water
I forgot that part, even the girls are impressed (really), lol

:toast:
 
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#16
Irony You Can Run A 360 Radiator At The Top Of The HAF932. Message Me In Steam If You Want To Talk WaterCooling.
Hmm, really? Ill be on steam in a minute

I forgot that part, even the girls are impressed (really), lol

:toast:
Roflol

Edit: so as it turns out my case does have space for a 360 rad on top. I did not see that before; so now I guess I dont have to worry about not being able to fit that.

So summary so far:
EK Supremacy CPU block
Swiftech MCP35x pump
MCP35x tank reservoir
Alphacool ut60 360 rad
Maybe these monsoon fittings
Then tubing I'm really undecided on color, white black or red.

I think that comes to about $360.

Is there anything Im forgetting or anything?
 
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#17
Hmm, really? Ill be on steam in a minute



Roflol

Edit: so as it turns out my case does have space for a 360 rad on top. I did not see that before; so now I guess I dont have to worry about not being able to fit that.

So summary so far:
EK Supremacy CPU block
Swiftech MCP35x pump
MCP35x tank reservoir
Alphacool ut60 360 rad
Maybe these monsoon fittings
Then tubing I'm really undecided on color, white black or red.

I think that comes to about $360.

Is there anything Im forgetting or anything?
Temp sensor of loop, temp display, fillport, fluid, fans, paper towles..... ;)
 
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#18
I'm pretty new to the Watercooling scene, so new that my kit hasn't arrived yet!
I bought an XSPC Raystorm all in one starter kit, it can be expanded later on if I need it.
It has a 360 rad, so I should be able to expand my GPU into the loop at a later date.

This kit has everything I need except for the coolant and biocide. I'm going to go with distilled water and a silver kill coil.
 

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#19
Hmm, really? Ill be on steam in a minute



Roflol

Edit: so as it turns out my case does have space for a 360 rad on top. I did not see that before; so now I guess I dont have to worry about not being able to fit that.

So summary so far:
EK Supremacy CPU block
Swiftech MCP35x pump
MCP35x tank reservoir
Alphacool ut60 360 rad
Maybe these monsoon fittings
Then tubing I'm really undecided on color, white black or red.

I think that comes to about $360.

Is there anything Im forgetting or anything?
Check out Martin's tests at martinliquidlab.org. He did a test not too too long ago, but it was basically showing that thinner radiators are usually better then thick radiators unless your running push pull fans, or really fast fans, strong enough to push enough air all the way through. Its because if you don't use strong fans, the first half of the radiator the air is able to transfer the heat away fine, but after that its already so weak in terms of pressure, that it cant move much more heat away as there's no more air coming threw.

That is a horrible summary of his test, but you will find that Martin will rarely ever recommend thicker radiators in most scenarios then thin.

You can also run quieter fan with thinner radiators because it doesn't take as much pressure to efficiently get air all the way across/through the radiator fins.

And don't get black tubing, itll just blend into your case since its painted black(by me :) )
 
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#20
Oh yeah, fans and coolant are important. I really love corsair fans, and I already use a few af120s. would the sp120s be what I want? And for fluid is there any benefit to buying fluid over distilled water and some kind of biocide?

Regarding rads; so what rad would you suggest then? Like a ut45 maybe? Or I guess Im not married to alphacool, is there another pretty decent rad in the $100 range?

Oh, and ya I decided against black tubing. Most likely will do red
 

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#21
Oh yeah, fans and coolant are important. I really love corsair fans, and I already use a few af120s. would the sp120s be what I want? And for fluid is there any benefit to buying fluid over distilled water and some kind of biocide?

Regarding rads; so what rad would you suggest then? Like a ut45 maybe? Or I guess Im not married to alphacool, is there another pretty decent rad in the $100 range?

Oh, and ya I decided against black tubing. Most likely will do red
Dude, just run straight distilled water. You don't need a biocide. Ive been running straight distilled in my loop since I put it together last year and haven't drained it or anything and it still looks clean if I look at the reservoir. You can talk to Erocker and MT Alex and they both have run straight distilled with no issues, for years. But im pretty sure they due drain and clean there system out like every 6-8 months.

Red tubing would look good in the HAF for sure. What colors are on your motherboard though? If your trying to keep with a color scheme try and stay with whats on the motherboard. the Alphacool XT45 would be good. yes, buy the Corsair SP120s. Not the AFs. SP stands for static pressure so they are meant to be used on radiators and heatsinks.

Are you thinking about using a bay reservoir? Because if you are I would definitely look at getting the Swiftech Maelstrom.

Comes with the res and pump.

http://www.performance-pcs.com/cata...oduct_info&cPath=59_318_666&products_id=35143

You are also definitely going to want to get bigger tubing then 3/8. Mainly because bigger tubing looks better, and not as restrictive. I recommend 7/16ID 5/8OD or 1/2 ID 2/4OD
 
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#22
Regarding rads; so what rad would you suggest then? Like a ut45 maybe? Or I guess Im not married to alphacool, is there another pretty decent rad in the $100 range?
The UT60 is an excellent rad, you just need clearance for push/pull fans in order to properly take full advantage of it.
 
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#23
If you can fit the xt45/ut60 rad your golden In your case I would go for the xt45 as it's thinner and cheaper. For Tubing I like the really thick 13mm ID 19mm OD as it's less restrictive though choice of color and fittings is cut down a bit.
 
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#24
I read this, I like the xt45. Its within a couple watts of the ut60 in all his tests, especially low speed. And its $20 cheaper.
http://martinsliquidlab.org/2012/04/14/360-radiator-shootout-summary/


Dude, just run straight distilled water. You don't need a biocide. Ive been running straight distilled in my loop since I put it together last year and haven't drained it or anything and it still looks clean if I look at the reservoir. You can talk to Erocker and MT Alex and they both have run straight distilled with no issues, for years. But im pretty sure they due drain and clean there system out like every 6-8 months.

Red tubing would look good in the HAF for sure. What colors are on your motherboard though? If your trying to keep with a color scheme try and stay with whats on the motherboard. the Alphacool XT45 would be good. yes, buy the Corsair SP120s. Not the AFs. SP stands for static pressure so they are meant to be used on radiators and heatsinks.

Are you thinking about using a bay reservoir? Because if you are I would definitely look at getting the Swiftech Maelstrom.

Comes with the res and pump.

http://www.performance-pcs.com/cata...oduct_info&cPath=59_318_666&products_id=35143

You are also definitely going to want to get bigger tubing then 3/8. Mainly because bigger tubing looks better, and not as restrictive. I recommend 7/16ID 5/8OD or 1/2 ID 2/4OD
Yeah my mobo is red and black, and all my corsair fans have the red rings on. Lol, beside the point; a year or so ago, I went on a trip for a couple weeks and apparently inspired by my computer, a few of my friends painted my room red and black. Thankfullly they left a couple walls white

So I guess just distilled water will be fine then. Also thanks for that link, I hadn't seen that res. I like that it has a temp monitor. I'm not sure about a drive bay res yet tho. I guess it would save alot of space inside.

On the tubing I didn't look very close at that. I thought I had picked 1/2ID. :facepalm:
 
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MxPhenom 216

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#25
I read this, I like the xt45. Its within a couple watts of the ut60 in all his tests, especially low speed. And its $20 cheaper.
http://martinsliquidlab.org/2012/04/14/360-radiator-shootout-summary/




Yeah my mobo is red and black, and all my corsair fans have the red rings on. Lol, beside the point; a year or so ago, I went on a trip for a couple weeks and apparently inspired by my computer, a few of my friends painted my room red and black. Thankfullly they left a couple walls white

So I guess just distilled water will be fine then. Also thanks for that link, I hadn't seen that res. I like that it has a temp monitor. I'm not sure about a drive bay res yet tho. I guess it would save alot of space inside.

On the tubing I didn't look very close at that. I thought I had picked 1/2ID. :facepalm:
Yeah, I run bay reservoir, tubes look cool, but are a bitch to mount in some cases.