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Exploring the water-cooling route....

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I am getting really sick and tired of 90C+ temps on my 7970's and my 3960X and am starting the initial phase of planning for a full loop later this year. Problem is I know next to nothing about W/C. I've been doing a bit of research here and watching YouTube videos for tips and tricks (Linus did a good W/C walk though as did Tiny Tom Logan). I'm not going to be worrying about budget, I just want the best quality stuff I can get (within reason guys, no gold-plated blocks or anything like that please). So here are my expected specs:

Intel Core i7 3960X (want to run 5GHz 24/7)
Asus Rampage IV Extreme (definitely looking for mobo blocks as well)
2 x 7970 Lightnings (I've read that there will be blocks for these non-reference cards)
Corsair AX1200 (assuming this will be way more than enough)
Patriot Viper Xtreme 16GB (may be upgrading to 2133 RAM but definitely NOT water-cooling these)
Case ??? (looking at the Cosmos II right now)

Anyway, please advise as to what I should be looking at to cool all of this stuff keeping in mind that aesthetics is very important to me. Thanks so much for your help! thumb.gif
post #2 of 13
For a case, I would either go with the Switch 810 or the Corsair 700/800d. They both are enormous and can easily house everything you'll need. The cosmos II is a good case as well, but IMO it takes a lot more effort to get everything looking neat and nice. If you're willing to put in that effort, then go for it.

As for watercooling components. Here is what I would suggest.

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=59_971_498_497&products_id=32331
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=59_201&products_id=33259
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=59_457_667_671&products_id=32460
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=59_971_241_591&products_id=32817


That would just be the beginning stuff I would suggest. You would also need blocks for your 7970s (stay away from EK, koolance is a good choice), a reservoir which is all personal preference. If you are really into looks then I would recommend checking out FrozenQ's stuff, it's amazing. A pump top which suits your tastes (all pump tops will improve the mcp355). Or, you could go with a bay reservoir and get one of the XSPC one's that have the pump inside of it.

Lastly this leaves fittings, either barbs or compression fittings which is just preference and price, and then tubing. Most people around here will vote for distilled water + a kill coil to prevent growth. Recently more and more people have been trying out Mayhem's dye which is not "supposed" to clog anything up. That choice is also up to you. If you go with dye I would definitely recommend keeping a closer eye on your system and probably checking everything every 3-6 months. With just distilled water I would say that you would only need to change it out every 6-9 months.

Hope all of that helps and good luck!
post #3 of 13
Do you care about noise ? I mean other than "would be nice to have it quiet" but on the lines of if you are leaving the computer on for the night and is it in the same room where you are planning to sleep, for example.

Also will you be willing to mount radiators externally or are you looking into keeping your current case as it is ?

I would suggest trying to keep the budget more or less under control, as when starting with WC you can go way over the top budget wise if you go "only for the best" without keeping an eye on what you would need. For example, a nova 1080 (9x120 mm rad) costs approx 125$ and is in general quite an overkill as long as you have any fans on this thing, but if you are going "only for the best" you will end up with nova 1280 (9x140 mm) costing you twice as much but not offering twice the performance.

Fittings are also one of the budget lines that tend to add up fast, unless you try to optimize. In reality the difference between tubing sizes is rather small (and easily compensated by spending 20$ extra on pump) while the difference in price between the largest tubing + fittings and something budget oriented (for example, 8/10 mm tubes n fittings) can easily exceed the ~20$ price difference. And so on.


To get you started I would suggest just getting the mentioned 9x120 mm rad (Nova 1080) which should be quite plenty and then some extra for your system and just bolting it to the side of the case externally. http://www.overclock.net/t/1252656/nova-1080-radiator-overview-big-picture-warning

Add there a good pump (no suggestion there, altho I'm myself going to be using res/pump combo http://www.overclock.net/t/1253497/alphacool-dc-lt-ceramic-and-dual-dc-lt-5-25-single-bay-station-unboxing-pictures#post_17228316) - my particular solution might not be that fitting to you, though, unless you have issues with space and are really caring about noise. I'm sure others can suggest you something more powerful.

After that you would just need a GPU blocks (and decision if to use universal blocks covering only the core or going for the full blocks), a CPU block, tubing and fittings and it's ready for assembly.
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Kohver v.4
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Soliton
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Intel Core i7 3820 X79-UP4 Gigabyte 390X G1 Club3D 7870 Eyefinity 6 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
64 GB Barracuda 3 TB WD Green 3 TB Crucial M4 256 GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Crucial M4 64 GB Barracuda 4 TB Corsair LE 480HB Sythe big shuriken rev B 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Nexxos 280mm radiator DC-LT Alphacool GPX 390M04 Windows 7 Pro 64 bit 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
CM Quickfire TK (red) Corsair AX-1200i Significantly modded Jupiter .. something alumi... Logitech G700s 
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3M Ergonomic 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 X79-UP4 Gigabyte 390X G1 Club3D 7870 Eyefinity 6 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
64 GB Barracuda 3 TB WD Green 3 TB Crucial M4 256 GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 64 GB Barracuda 4 TB Sythe big shuriken rev B Windows 7 Pro 64 bit 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
CM Quickfire TK (red) Corsair AX-1200i Modded Sharkoon VS-3 Logitech G700s 
Mouse Pad
3M Ergonomic 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 X79-UP4 Sapphire 7950 FleX OC XFX 6770 Eyefinity 5 
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WD Green 3 TB Crucial M4 256 GB Crucial M4 64 GB Barracuda 4 TB 
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Custom loop Windows 7 Pro 64 bit DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 
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9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K CM Quickfire TK (red) Corsair AX-1200i 
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Modded Chieftec Smart WH-02B-B-OB Logitech G700s 3M Ergonomic 
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is the hardware I've come up with so far:

Koolance CPU 370 - CPU Block - $84
Koolance MB-ASR4E - mobo Block - $140
SwiftTech Komodo - GPU Block - $155 x 2
Koolance RP-401X2 - Reservoir - $105
Koolance PMP-450S - Water Pump - $77
Koolance HX-CU720VS - Radiator - $46 x 2
Koolance HX-CU1020VS - Radiator - $56
Cooler Master Cosmos II - Case - $330

This list is nearly $1200 which is rather heart-stopping honestly and that doesn't even include fittings and tubing etc! Still, I have plenty of time to save and a ton of researching and planning to do before I even think about buying anything. Let me know what you think of my parts list (which is practically stolen from OC3D's Cosmos II build). I know I'll need reference 7970's for the Komodo's but I shouldn't have any problems there. Thanks guys! thumb.gif

EDIT - Lol, I just realized I'll need at least $126 worth of AP-15's for this build! This is getting expensive quick!
Edited by Majin SSJ Eric - 5/20/12 at 6:28pm
post #5 of 13
Well, I realize that you probably want to keep everything from the same company for looks. But it would be a LOT cheaper and more efficient (with a better overall loop) if you spread the parts out among companies. It would still look great, would save you money, and you'd get better performance.

For example, the XSPC raystorm is only $50 and is the top performing block at the moment (or is right behind the EK HF depending on the test). Same thing with your radiators, the XSPC ex or rx series are superior and cost about the same. There's not much you can do about the GPU and mobo block, but those have always been expensive. Another thing would be the reservoir which is, IMO, overpriced and unnecessary. I would never spend that much on a res unless it was from FrozenQ.

The cosmos is also a huge money sink at $330, but that is purely preference. For example, the switch 810 can be had for $170 and the 800d for 260.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I hear you on cost of these components but I'm not too worried about budget. I'll have the money, I just need to know if there is anything performance-related wrong with these choices. I would like to stick with Koolance for aesthetics (unless Swiftech or any other is superior in performance)...
post #7 of 13
80% of WC is aesthetics.. the rest is function. what kinda temperature drop are you expecting?
yes 90° is enormous, but where do you think it'll end up after WC?
what kinda ambient (room temperature) do you have for starters?

airdeano
post #8 of 13
I have a Watercool Heatkiller 3.0 LC CPU block that I absolutely LOVE and it only cost me $50.

Also XSPC rads are really good and affordable as well. I have an RX240, and I have heard wonderful things about the EX series as well.

As for fittings, I use a mix of XSPC straight barbs, and Koolance 90 degree rotary barbs. I don't care for compression fittings all that much, and they are much pricier, but that's really a personal taste issue.

Good luck man, once you watercool, you will never go back!

Also steer clear of EK whatever you do. They have some shady business practices, and don't deserve our money, at least not until they shape up. I have an EK GPU block, and it's been a wonderful block, but I will not give them another dime until they right their wrongs over the whole nickle plating fiasco.
Edited by XPC - 5/20/12 at 9:03pm
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Majin SSJ Eric View Post

I hear you on cost of these components but I'm not too worried about budget. I'll have the money, I just need to know if there is anything performance-related wrong with these choices. I would like to stick with Koolance for aesthetics (unless Swiftech or any other is superior in performance)...

Well, I would still go for the XSPC rads. They are better performers, and honestly all rads look almost exactly the same. Otherwise, what you have picked is perfectly fine if that is what you want.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info guys. I'll probably go with the XSPC rads then if they are better. Should I still go for 2 x 240's in the basement and a single 360 in the roof?
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