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My first watercooled build - needing a few pointers

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

First time poster here so to start off with....hey!

Im starting my WC build and have gathered most the vital bits, but at the mo I have a few burning questions about my radiator, the Black Ice GT Stealth Xflow 240.

Firstly is this rad suitable for my build - Im using the Bitfenix Prodidgy (I know they're everywhere but couldn't resist!) and have been playing around with the positioning. It doesn't sit correctly if i try to mount it on top of the case and screw the fans in beneath, so I assuming that my best bet is to take it inside. One thing I am unsure of is whether this is possible / advised?

Secondly is the Xflow a good idea for my spec? I hear that Xflow requires high CFM fans to be effective, looking to use the Bitfenix Spectre Pros for this, but not sure whether this is the best idea.

Sorry I would attach screenshots but it appears I don't have permissions to yet!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated guys, I want to take my time with this one and make it right smile.gif
post #2 of 11
Welcome to the community!

While I am far from the preeminent source of water cooling knowledge, I have managed to pick up a few things here and there wink.gif I will do my best to answer your question, but hopefully someone else will be able to give you a greater amount of detail than I can provide.

First off, the Hardware Labs radiators (Black Ice) are some of the best built rads available, but each of the main "series" (GTX, SR1, GT Stealth) are designed for rather specific applications, ranging from ultra low speed fans to compact but extremely densely finned models requiring significant amounts of static pressure. The GT Stealth is of the latter type, as it is a 30 fins-per-inch rad (about as dense as they come).
I would suggest using some fans significantly more powerful than the Bitfenix Spectre Pros, which while certainly nice fans, don't possess the static pressure required to efficiently cool the radiator. I personally really, really like the Koolance 120x25mm or 120x38mm 2600rpm fans which, for just $8 (USD), provide you with a huge amount of pressure amounting to 5.4mmHg (120x25mm) or 6.4mmHg (120x38mm). They are incredibly strong performers on any radiator, and unlike almost every other fan in the same price range, they utilize dual ball bearing motors which means that they have a significantly better lifespan than most fans while also allowing you to mount them in any position with no problems (sleeve bearings die extremely quickly when mounted horizontally, and fluid dynamic bearings don't seem to like blowing air upward).
I would say that two of the 120x38mm model in push would be a step up from even four Bitfenix Spectre Prosin ppush pull, and if you can fit push pull fans then you will see serious performance from either 4 120x25mm or 120x38mm fans configured in push pull.
The best part is that you are looking at about $32 total for such powerful fans in push pull. I have yet to see another fan that can match these as far as cost to performance goes in the 120mm fan category.
They are not the quietest fans, but they are far from obnoxious, and in fact they have a more pleasant sound than most fans twice the price (they are not really any louder than 120x25mm Bitfenix Spectre Pro fans), and they undervolt extremely well so using them with a fan controller is extremely easy as there are no "loud spots" in the RPM range.

As for mounting the radiator itself, I don't own a Prodigy case so unfortunately I can't offer any help there. It is possible to make your own mounting holes, you simply need a ruler and a drill as well as thewwillingness to drill holes into your new case. However, I don't know that this is necessary, so I would wait for another Prodigy owner to chime in.

If it is necessary for you to get a different radiator, I would be more than happy to recommend a few models that may work for you, but hopefully that is a last resort and not needed.
   
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post #3 of 11
I'm going to second nleksan on this. I personally own a GT Stealth 360mm XFlow and it being my first radiator I attempted to use Specter Pro's as well. They were woefully inadequate so I recently upgraded to Gentle Typhoon AP-15's. A bit louder than the specter pro's, albeit not much, but much more air movement. Another thing on the X-Flows (which I learned shortly after ordering mine) is that it's rarely used anymore due to dual pass designs providing a very very slight cooling increase.

As far as mounting I'm not terribly sure what you're asking. If you can fit the radiator and fans inside without smashing your other components then by all means go ahead. Internal mounts are usually the preference for aesthetics anyway.
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey guys and thanks for the responses, really appreciate the tips!

Thanks for the breakdown on the different models of the rads, very helpful and informative - I will be reconsidering the koolance fans as from what you say the spectres just aren't up to the job.

To clarify what I am asking about the rad mounting - it literally will not fit in due to the lips on the case that support the fans and the inlet / outlet are restricted, so I guess I answered my own question there! If you do have any rads that you would recommend in place of this that would be great smile.gif

On the push pull stuff - making myself look like a fool here but I have to ask....is this simply achieved by reversing one of the fans and is there a more efficient configuration for this ie preferring to have the pull closer to the inlet point?

Last noob question - the way I have mounted the rad is fans screwed to the top of the case at rad cutout > rad attached to the bottom of the fans (all internally). I have seen many setups that have the fans bolted to the bottom of the rad so got me questioning as to why this is and if heat dissipation is affected when the rad sits beneath your fans.

I have had a play round and looks like the GPU should fit (7950) so all being well with my set up I will do a mock build to make sure all hurdles are reviewed.

Oh and this leads me to another question (sorry!) - should a single 240 rad be enough for a CPU and GPU loop? I am running the 7950 as above and i5 3570k but not looking to overclock.

Thanks again smile.gif
post #5 of 11
I'm assuming you need a rather thin rad to fit in there. If that is the case the Alphacool Nexxos ST30 (30mm thick) has tested extremely well with lower speed fans (Sub 1200 rpm) but can't keep up when you start going higher rpm. Also the Swiftech MCR XP line (34mm thick) tested very well at the other end of the spectrum testing very well with 1600+ rpm fans. Really with thin radiators they have to be tuned to a certain fan rpm range.

Rad orientation is mostly a matter of preference, but bear in mind that fans in a push configuration perform better than pull on a radiator. Also usually preferred to have radiator fans be intake, but it is not that big of a loss to have as exhaust assuming you have good airflow internally.

I believe you can fit a 180mm radiator in the front of the case as well, heard there were issues with the Phobya 200mm as far as clearance goes (Well that and a lack of good 200mm fans).
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post #6 of 11
It's generally advised that you want at minimum of 120mmx240mm for your first cooled component and then 120mmx120mm for each additional heat source in your loop.
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Rad config.png 13k .png file

Thanks teamrushpntball - I have attached a picture of how i see this working, would you advise this orientation?

I guess the rear exhaust may need to be replaced for a single 120mm rad if the 240 roof rad won't be sufficient to cool both the CPU and GPU.....

From what I have read the temp different is negligible when opting to pull ambient room temps into the case rather than push case temps through the rad and out, but please advise if I am wrong here!
post #8 of 11
Push pull is having fans on both sides of the radiator, with one side pushing air in and the other pulling air through. I am on my phone so excuse the terrible attempt at a visual explanation...

^^^^^^^^^^^Airflow^^^^^^^^^^^
[Pull Fan][Pull Fan][Pull Fan]
|–––––––––––––––––––|
| Radiator |
––––––––––––––––––––
^^^^^^^^^^^^Airflow^^^^^^^^^^^^^
[Push Fan][Push Fan][Push Fan]
   
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Heatkiller GTX680 "Hole Edition" Block + Backplate XSPC Single-Bay Res (Single 5.25 bay) EK Multioption Res X2 - Advanced 150 DD "Fill-Port Res" + Fill-Port Fitting (Red) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2x MCP35X + Heatsinks/80x15mm Fan XSPC EX420 Alphacool NeXXos UT60 240 6x Bgears Blasters 140mm 1800rpm Fans 
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks nlecksan, must have taken some patience to do that so appreciated - now feel stupid for not understanding a simple concept....

Sorry if I seem to be revisiting the point but just want to clarify; would you advise just a pull configuration and do you think I need a an additional 120 rad for the CPU?
post #10 of 11
Depends on the radiator and the fans as to whether push or pull is better. Generally speaking, low-FPI/low-speed = pull and anything above 800rpm or so means push, but there is no real rule.

Also, I would recommend adding as much rad space as you can fit and/or afford. If you have a space that will fit a 240, I would get the 240 rather than a 120 because as your loop grows, you will be ahead of the curve and end up with less hassle.

The general rule of thumb is 120mm of radiator space for every block + an extra 120mm space for overhead. I think that the more overhead the better, and as a resultiI have a 420 + 240 cooling a 3930K + GTX670 FTW, but work within your budget. For example, if radiator space is limite , you can get a bump in performance by simply going push-pull. Also, just because you are water cooling doesn't mean case airflow is any less important, in fact I would argue it is MOREiimportant in many cases as the rads need the coolest air possible, and the rest of the components need airflow. Many people neglectthis and end up wwitheextremely hot VRM (motherboard) temps.
   
Z77 Bench-a-lot
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i7 3930K @ 4.92Ghz Asus Rampage 4 Extreme EVGA GTX670 FTW 2GB  EVGA GTX780Ti Classified K|ngp|n Edition @ 1483... 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
EVGA GTX780Ti Classified K|ngp|n Edition @ 1483... 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws-Z @ DDR3-2248 9-10-9-26 1T Samsung 830 256GB SSD WD10EZEX 1TB HDD 
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WD10EALX 1TB HDD Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 1TB WD3200AAKS 320GB HDD WD5000HHTZ 10krpm 500GB VelociRaptor 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
LG/Hitachi Slim DVD-R/W Custom MB-Backside VRM-sinks (Copper) 3x NZXT RF-FX140LB 1-2krpm 98.3CFM Case Fans 2x Corsair SP120-PE Case Fans 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Heatkiller GTX680 "Hole Edition" Block + Backplate XSPC Single-Bay Res (Single 5.25 bay) EK Multioption Res X2 - Advanced 150 DD "Fill-Port Res" + Fill-Port Fitting (Red) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2x MCP35X + Heatsinks/80x15mm Fan XSPC EX420 Alphacool NeXXos UT60 240 6x Bgears Blasters 140mm 1800rpm Fans 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
4x Koolance 120x25mm 2600rpm Fans Comp/Rotary Fittings (BP/XSPC/Monsoon) Primoflex Pro LRT - White (1/2x3/4) Windows 7 Professional 64bit  
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
Dell P2210Hb 21.5" 1920x1080p Viewsonic VA2012WB 20.1" LCD 1680x1050 Dell U3014 Eizo 27" 1440p 10bit RGB-LED Backlit AH-IPS Panel 
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55" LG HDTV (their top 2014 model) Ducky Mechanical (Browns) NZXT HALE90 850W + 8 blown-up AX1200/i's NZXT Switch 810 (White) 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
R.A.T.3 + MX510 My Desk GRADO RS1i Headphones Grado PS1000 Headphones 
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Bitfenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller 5ch 30W/ch Bitfenix Alchemy Individually-Sleeved Extension... NZXT Individually-Sleeved Front Panel Wires (Bl... Phobya Sleeved 1x3pin-to-4x3pin Fan Splitter 
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Sleeved Wires w Paracord myself (no Heatshrink) Custom Front and Top Panels w HexxMesh *In Prog... Working on Custom Pedestal Prototype 
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