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First time water-cooler wants advice & encouragement

post #1 of 12
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After much consideration and investigation into the new sandybridge chipset and endless hours spent reading numerous motherboard, GPU and SSD reviews it was with much apprehension that I pressed the "Buy Now" button to purchase the main components for my new build.


I've been investigating this new build since June and have posted here a couple of times previously. It's taken me months to pluck up the courage to make my final decision. One of the reasons for my caution is my decision to go water cooled, something I've only read and wondered about in the past.


I've set up my main components on my test bench as I first wanted to make sure that all the main components are in working order before ripping off the stock GTX580 cooling solution and fitting nice shiny new Koolance water blocks on each of the cards.


I also want to take some time checking out the dimensions of my new Corsair Obsidian 800 case before diving into modding the case to take radiators, pumps and reservoirs; just to make sure they all fit in nicely. I know it's a big case but like I said, this is my first water cooled rig and I want to do it right.


I still need to purchase the rest of my water cooling bits-n-pieces; so far I have brought the following.


Main components:
Asus P8Z68 Deluxe
Intel i7 2600k
Corsair Vengeance 16GB
Corsair ATX1200W PSU
Crucial M4 SSD 512GB
Two EVGA GTX580 SC
Corsair Obsidian 800 case


Water-cooling components:
Koolance 370 CPU block
Koolance VID-NX580 GPU blocks x 2
Black Ice GTX 360 Rad
Black Ice GTX 240 Rad
Koolance RP-452X2 Res
Koolance PMP450 Pumps x 2


I am still undecided on whether to go with compression fittings or barbs, I've been looking at Bitspower and Koolance compression fittings but could do with some advice on the best option i.e. compression or barbs, which manufacturer and which size?


I am also undecided on tubing size, I thought 1/2" ID 3/4" OD. I'll be running a single loop with pumps in series as follows, also see attached sketch:


Res > 360Rad > CPU > 240Rad > GPU > Res


Any thoughts on my choices so far or advice on barbs or comression and tubing size.


Thanks
Sniffs

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post #2 of 12
Tube size doesn't really mater that much but if you want to use comression fittings that IMO look better then running a smaller tube size will be cheaper.
    
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post #3 of 12
I like 7/16ID 5/8OD (primochill) over 1/2" barb since is fits so tight that it doesnt require clamps.

Also for the sake of 1C I would make the loop look as neat as possible rather than have a spaghetti inspired tube layout.
Edited by andrewmchugh - 10/6/11 at 5:59am
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post #4 of 12
First off, I hate 1/2" x 3/4" tubing. 3/8" x 1/2" is vastly easier to work with, especially the Tygon I used to use. I guess it's a personal preference, although I don't see how.

Regarding compressions vs. standard barbs, it's also more or less just a personal preference. I just use barbs because they're cheaper, but compressions (I'd choose Bitspower) are pretty. There's not really a clear winner.
post #5 of 12
I like big pumps...I ussually am fighting to get 1/2 inch tubing on my pumps. That is the only reason I use 1/2 sized tubing. 3/8 will be easier to work with, cheaper, and likely end up looking more organized. The performance difference seems to be minimal and with some blocks (not sure about those Koolance ones you have in mind) 3/8 will actually be slightly better than 1/2 acording to some testing. However, the difference either way is never more than a couple degrees. Never use the thin walled junk...you want a full 1/4" of wall unless you want it kinking all over the place. might work if you covered everything with those anti-kink coils.

As for order of operations...I always try to do what ever order allows for the least amount of hose, of course with the exception that the res is always before the pump(s). I like to put a radiator after each waterblock, but even this isn't that important. Two daisy chained radiators will do almost as well as a block > rad > block > rad setup will. The temp of the coolant will sort of even out after a while and not heat up that much in the block but some how carry the heat out. It doesn't really make sense, but it happens.
Edited by Vagrant Storm - 10/6/11 at 7:19am
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post #6 of 12
+1 for 7/16" tubing. I've used 3/8 and 1/2 before. But 7/16 on 1/2 fittings is my favorite.

definitely 7/16 tubing on 1/2 fittings... did I say that already?
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post #7 of 12
Another vote for 7/16" tubing on 1/2" barbs if you go that route. Pretty much anybody around here will suggest that. Even though I probably shouldn't, I've reused my hose after disassembling my loop and the fit is still nice and snug. One thing to note, however, if you decide to switch to comp fittings down the road, you'll probably want to switch to 1/2" tubing. There are 7/16" fittings out there, but there aren't as many options for that size.
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post #8 of 12
Be forewarned that the koolance res is a pain to bleed!
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post #9 of 12
I like bitspowers in 1/2" ID 3/4" OD (no leak whatsoever, are high quality) Remember, You get what you pay for. Since you pony up on the new rig, might as well aim for the clean look of compression fittings!

Don't forget, Add a couple set of koolance quick disconnect for easy removal/drain the loop!

Looking through your configuration, Although having the radiator before componets are better(i think its only critical for cpu) but you should just go in this order

Overall the water temperature will be the same, Will not make much of a difference whether you place radiator before or after the componets.
res>pump>360rad>cpu>gpu>gpu>240rad>res. Which will be a cleaner look of the rig.
Edited by sawjai526 - 10/6/11 at 11:10am
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post #10 of 12
me personally, I use the 1/2" barbs with 7/16" tubing with 5/8" OD, and I yet to have to even clamp my tubing and never had a blow out. Now when I need to remove the tubing most of the time I have to cut it off, unless i want to spend time and energy and have patince to pull it off ( which I dont, and always over order my tubing incase of mistakes or replacement anyways). And if it was me, I would run the CPU from the 260 rad and the cards from the 360. Cards are going to have alot more heat then your cpu, with them being 580s. but thats me.
    
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