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Some questions before my build.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm going to water cool my LGA 2011 build, I will buy one of the Sandy Bridge E i7 CPU's and two EVGA 580's and run them in SLI. I'm not new to water cooling, but I havn't really looked into it for the last couple of years. My last experience was not good. Leaks, low flow, failing pumps and high temps. This time I'm not after the cheapest build. I want quality parts that I can rely on. Really.

1. Which is the best maker/brand and also, which type is the best for the following water cooling components:

Pump (Brand? External power or powered by the PSU in the computer? Flow rate?)
Radiator (Brand?)
Reservoir (Brand? Type?)
Blocks (Brand? Material?)
Fittings (Brand? Type?)
Hose (Tygon?)

2. My case, a Lian Li PC-V2120 will fit a 360 rad in the top and a 120 rad in the back. Should I put the CPU and video cards in the same loop or should I have two loops? If so, which rad for the CPU and which for the video cards?

3. Is it better to buy two air cooled 580's and replace the cooler with a custom water block? Or will the factory mounted water blocks on the water cooled versions of the cards perform well?

4. Is there any reasons not to go with 1/2" ID in the loop?

Additional info: I prefer to have a fully internal loop. And again, quality and performance all the way. I don't care if the components look ugly. I don't have a window on my case anyway. And as for my overclock, I don't know yet. LGA 2011 is completely new to me, but if I know myself right I will probably go as far as I can go with a stable system (and ofc. as much as the water cooling allows).

A lot of questions, I know. And I'm sure some of them are already answered. But it's always good with fresh, updated opinions.
post #2 of 5
Pump: a version of Laing D5 (swiftech MCP-655, koolance PMP-450) or the laing DDC ( MCP-355 / 355x, Koolance PMP-400)
Radiator: XSPC, Swiftech, Aquacomputer Airplex
Reservoi:r EK multi-option, Koolance bay
Blocks: Koolance 370, EK HF Supreme, XSPC Raystorm
Fittings: Bitspower barb or compression
Hose: Primochill in whatever color you want

2. My case, a Lian Li PC-V2120 will fit a 360 rad in the top and a 120 rad in the back. Should I put the CPU and video cards in the same loop or should I have two loops? If so, which rad for the CPU and which for the video cards?

>>Not much performance difference between single or dual loop. Dual loop cost more and requires more tube making it a much harder install.

3. Is it better to buy two air cooled 580's and replace the cooler with a custom water block? Or will the factory mounted water blocks on the water cooled versions of the cards perform well?

>>The EVGA 580's have very good factory blocks custom made by swiftech, but the Koolance, Aqua, or EK blocks also perform extremely well. I would base it on cost.

4. Is there any reasons not to go with 1/2" ID in the loop?

>> 1/2" ID is great but harder to run due to large tube size. You can go 7/16 x 5/8 and get very close to the same performance but easier to route and bend without kinking. I used to run 1/2 ID x 3/4 but once I switched to 5/16" I'll never go back. Much easier.

Additional info: I prefer to have a fully internal loop. And again, quality and performance all the way. I don't care if the components look ugly. I don't have a window on my case anyway. And as for my overclock, I don't know yet. LGA 2011 is completely new to me, but if I know myself right I will probably go as far as I can go with a stable system (and ofc. as much as the water cooling allows).

The LGA 2011 already runs really cool and going under water probably will not give you a ton more performance. Your GPU's will get much more benefit from the water and your overall system will be much quieter.

EDIT: I meant 7/16 x 5/8 not 5/16 x 5/8... typo sorry.
Edited by RatDog - 11/24/11 at 8:19am
post #3 of 5
If you're not worried about how your loop looks, you can save a ton by using barb fittings and worm drive clamps that you can pick up at any hardware store. They work as well if not better than compression fittings.

Also, I'd take a look at black ice radiators before you make your final decision.
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Red Vs. Blue
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post #4 of 5
Ratdog gave very good information already. I agree most of them.
He knew what he is talking about.


0. Don't go with Thermaltake, Zalman, or whatever company you can hear name on the other areas.
Go for companies thaty makes only watercooling stuff. Like Koolance, EK, XSPC, Bitspower, Swiftech, etc.

1. Pump: Laing pump is extremely popular nowadays, so there are soo many OEM of Laing.
It is not super cheap pump, but still superpopular. Thats reason why there are soo many duplicated
but same product from different companies

Radiator - XSPC, EK, swiftech, HardwareLabs(Black Ice), Magicool will be fine.
The cost of rad usually depends on its size and boldness(+ material and style, but usally very similar).

Reservoir - I don't recommend Bay style. They are more compact, so easy to install
but potentially more minor problems(bubbles, or pump vibration).
EK multioption, IanDh stealth are all fine.
I don't recommend FrozenQ PC Mods' LED coloring reservoir as well,
cause I heard its LED heats water up slightly.

Blocks - For CPU, I would recommend XSPC Raystorm for LGA 2011.
If you don't care cost then I can add Swiftech Apogee HD for your choice.

Koolance 370, EK HF Supreme are good as well, but I would recommend the newest blocks for newest sockets.
Then you don't need to buy accesory, like LGA 2011 bracket or screws whatever.
In terms of performance, newest block performs slight better or same compared to Koolance CPU 370 and EK HF Supreme.

Fittings - Same with ratdog. Bitspower will be the best choice.
You may want few Enzotech, and Koolance, cuz they offer some unique stuff
but Bitpower will be the most solid choice.

Hose - Yes Primochill.
Tygon loses its transparancy super quickly.
Other hoses will loses transparancy, but relatively slowly.




2. same with ratdog

3. Performance difference will be minimal. But VGA with factory mounted waterblock is usually
more expensivethan reference + waterblock.

Waterblock pre-mounted VGA is nice in terms of you don't need to
mess up with your VGA, and they probably have better A/S for watercooling accident, but is that worth
the cost? It depends on you.
I consider block itself is almost identical to that of just waterblock.(They OEM from Swiftech)

4. 1/2" have no problem.
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Very helpful input. Thanks! I'm having a really hard time deciding now though. I'm thinking, If I skip to include the CPU in the loop, I need to have a large CPU heatsink in there. So it could be a bit tight in that area with the radiators and tubes for the video cards. I still need everything except the CPU block.
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