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Watercooling Gone Wild: Overly Expensive Noob Edition

crazyeyesreaper

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#1
Its been nearly a decade since I last messed with water cooling back when the Phenom II series were still viable. Suffice to say its been a long time enter today where everyones doing hard tubing and I just don't have the time for that. So the premise was to get a hard tubing look without the maintenance issues. Keep in mind this is not a full system loop but instead is an over glorified ridiculously expensive CPU loop. Why? Because I can; Do I need more justification than that? Nope I don't think so.

I would like to take a moment and thank EKWB with all the help they have provided in regards to getting this build off the ground. Before I forget a bit thank you to my local machinist Tony for his work on custom brackets and any fabrication I needed done. Also a big shout out to @VSG for answering a metric shit ton of question considering how long I have been out of the loop when it comes to custom water.

Without further delay lets take this adventure together and see where it leads.

The system specifications for this build:
CASE: Thermaltake Core P5 tempered glass
PSU: Zalman 1000w 80 - Plus Gold
CPU: Intel i7 8700k
MOBO: MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 3466 MHz 32GB
GPU: MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming
SSD: 250 GB 960 EVO M.2
SSD: 512 GB Plextor
SSD: 1 TB Sandisk Extreme
HDD: 3 TB Toshiba x2

Design Mockup:
water-loop.jpg

Vomit on your screen? Not my problem. Is the planning short sighted and full of holes? You bet. Cheers for just winging it :toast: (note to all the boys and girls out there taking a bunch of expensive parts and hoping it all fits together probably not the best idea.

Parts:
Fittings: Various EKWB ACF fittings in Nickel finish
Radiator: Black Ice Nemesis 360 mm Radiator
Pump/Res: Swiftech Maelstrom D5 x100
Fans: Be Quiet! Silent Wings 3 1450 RPM PWM
CPU Block: Swiftech Apogee XL2
parts1.jpg parts2.jpg
 
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crazyeyesreaper

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#2
The fun that is mocking up the layout only to realize nothing fits as intended.

At first the Maelstrom D5 x100 with its default bracket could not be mounted to the radiator. This is due to the fact the holes would not line up. So a quick trip to see Tony my local machinist and I had some custom aluminum brackets made. $15 well spent.
1529341325634.JPEG 1531162067165.JPEG 1531162098210.JPEG 1531162117134.JPEG

However after getting everything mocked up a new problem arose the side panel would not fit due to the limited orientation of the Maelstrom D5. It can only be set up one way as configured. Meaning the fittings would not clear the Tempered glass side panel. Swiftech did not in my opinion take enough time when designing their brackets. The three cut outs could have been done in a way to allow for more mounting options instead they do not lineup making that impossible. Another trip to see Tony and the brackets are now actually usable.
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crazyeyesreaper

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#3
This kids is why you don't use dyes no matter what.

After just 3 months with a red dye the block was filty and completely clogged up. The tubing is heavily stained and generally even after cleaning the block its still gunked up. Finishes on blocks do not like acids so using vinegar to break up the dye and clean the block is out of the question unless you want to risk damage to the finish. Overall moral of the story just say no to included water cooling dye kits. It was far worse than the images show thats after 3 hours of scrubbing with a tooth brush even still a large amount of gunk is stuck between the fins.

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Even if I reused this block I ran into a different issue the G1/4" threads are not actually G1/4" The EK ACF fittings are not compatible they will cross thread and or destroy the threads. So I have had to order a new block. Sometimes life just likes to kick you when your down. Still the rough layout looks good next is to figure out a way to secure the tubing so it remains straight and true. Likely going to use a 5/8 wire clamp attached to the radiator and painted black. Time will tell.
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crazyeyesreaper

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#5
Have you considered using Denture Cleaning Tablets to Clean and flush the Loop :)
The block etc came from an AIO swiftech Prestige that i was stealing parts from however it turns out the Swiftech Apogee XL2 has improper threads. While they are listed as G1/4" they will not accept any other fittings than swiftech's meaning my EK ACF fittings would not work without destroying or rethreading the block. As such I just ordered a new replacement block and will clean this one later and rebuild the 240mm Prestige kit it came from.
 

crazyeyesreaper

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#6
Did some more tinkering with the layout and picked up some black wire C clamps to hold the tubing in place along the radiator. Once the CPU block is in it should be quite easy to get the tubing straight.

Overall its finally coming together but need to wait for the new Swiftech SKF cpu block to arrive to do the final mockup.
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crazyeyesreaper

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#7
final layout done, needs to be tweaked and cleaned up a bit but generally this should be just about right.

Now if anyone has any ideas on how to sleeve and or hide the QDC fittings to some extent I am all ears. I have looked around but haven't found sleeving in the right size.
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#8
First think I do is buy the case after being pretty sure that all items will fit. Them I make mockups... for example, using a weak old card, I rubberband a piece of cardboard to the PCB and check to see hiw GFX card(s) fit. Having good measuring tools is a must. Then I make this:

https://www.overclock.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=17784&d=1383265832

If you want to see more picks of the subsystem assembled (under rad drain w? QD , fill ports, etc ... will find here in this thread.

https://www.overclock.net/forum/161...ase-phanteks-case-club-lovers-owners-100.html

To obtain formula on how to size that radiators ..

https://www.overclock.net/forum/61-water-cooling/1457426-radiator-size-estimator.html

See a ton or misleading info on water cooling here as well as many other forums. When you have multiple water blocks, you can use th aboive perty reliably ... the 60% factor is based upon the fact that block sizes matter ... a GPU water block is much more efficient and removing heat than a CPU block is simply because of heat load per area. For just a CPU load, it's going to be a bit higher. but sill, the biggest error most people make if that your MoBo, Radiator shroud, tubing and every wet component is also radiating heat ... so the fans and the radiator fins are not handling a significant portion of the load.

So for a 360 rad... you are looking at 175 - 180 watts @ 1,000 rpm / 215 - 225 watts for 1250 rpm and 235 - 250 watts for 1400 rpm with a delta T of 10C

Your load however will top out at 125 - 135 watts with an overclocked CPU. Let's say we assume 80% of that gets taken care of by the fins .. heck let's ignore all that and use 100%. At 135 watt load and 1400 rpm, your delta T will be 5.4 C ... well below the 10C threshold for a hi-end water cooling system. S the choice of 1500 rpm fans is one I'd suggest taking a look at as best speed control technology can provide will bottom out around 375 - 450 rpm and even at 1000 rpm, you have way more sped than you could ever need. I expect fan speeds, if temp controlled will top out at about 650 understress testing

The most common misinformation put forth is that water cooling is just as load as air cooling... and that is simply wrong either way you go from there. If we talking CLCs ... I have yet to see a CLC that can match a quality air cooler's thermal performance (say anything from the Scythe Mugen Max @ $37) or the Noctua DH-15 @ $90) without being louder. The D15 beats the H100i thermally but is almost 12 times louder to get that close due to its extreme speed fans. When you go custom ... sure if you undersize your radiators ... say CPU and 250 watt GFX card / Mobo block on a 120 or 240 rad, yes you are going to hear it. But if you size the rads for 10C with max load under stress test at 1250 rpm ... you will never break 850 rpm while gaming.

The systems here are all using 1250 rm fans and they never break 800 or so rpm under stress testing ... the bottom out at about 300 - 325 rpm. They are dead silent and you cant tell the system is on with your ears. Right now just using the web and witha game running (toon is just standing there), pump is at half speed, rad fans are at 544 and case fans at 450 rpm.... Im using 4 speec control curves 1) Pump 2) 420mm rad 3) 280mm rad and 4) case fans ... if curve calls for less than 350, the fans shut off.

Looking towards the future, were you to add a water block for a 250 watt GFX card and MoBo Block overlcocked... you calculated wattage would be 415 resulting in a radiator fin load of about 250 watts, You'd get that at 1250 rpm with a 10C delta T . In short, I'd consider dropping the fan speeds to give you more low speed control; the SW3's bottom out at just above 500 rpm.... something in the 850 - 1250 rpm range would be more than enough for just CPU cooling
 

crazyeyesreaper

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#9
Not exactly a noob here i know the basics mostly the noob part is doing something unnecessary and stupid for no other reason than I can.

That said, I had a rough idea of exactly what I needed as for heat dissipation no GPU block will be added in the future. Watercooling a GPU when you swap cards every generation just doesn't make sense. Nice to look at but otherwise meaningless. Hell even the 360 mm radiator was picked due to its size more than anything else as it covers up the 2.5" SSDs.

The chassis was chosen due to its versatility I use the same chassis as a test bench and for my main system due to extra parts and swap ability including motherboards etc and an OS drive can just be swapped back and forth in regards to trouble shooting. a

Fans were selected based on overall CFM through radiator performance in which case the SW 3 offers one of the best CFM to dBA ratios available.

Otherwise this is a foolhardy fun project to see what can be done with regular tubing to get a hard tubing like design from the good ol cheap and easy floppy stuff. I digress I appreciate the tenacity of self promotions but keep in mind I review this hardware and with that comes a minor understanding of heat dissipation characteristics.

That said the average guy stumbling into this thread will likely appreciate the possible pitfalls and issues that arise that they may also be facing. Most people dive right in. I essentially did the same to see "what would happen if" Cheap and easy solutions what kind of fittings would be needed to make it doable, just how expensive is it to get a hard tubing like setup without the hard tubing etc etc etc. Answering questions no one wants to know or cares to know the answer too because I have literally nothing better to do on a saturday night.
 

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System Name Cruncher / Cruncher 2 / Cruncher 3
Processor i9 7980XE / EPYC 7401p / E5 2683 v3
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Cooling EK RGB Monoblock / XSPC RayStorm Neo / EK Supremacy
Memory G.Skill Trident Z 32 GB 3200 / Crucial 16 GB 2400 MHz RDIMM / G.Skill Trident Z 32 GB
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#10
Sub'd to see final results:)
 
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