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First loop build (needs review)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is my attempt at a quiet PC capable of (relatively) high end gaming while maintaining as small of form factor as possible.

Case: Silverstone GD-05
PSU: Corsair TX-750
Motherboard: Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3
CPU: Intel i5-3570K
GPU: 2xGeForce GTX 560 Ti

The only other components inside my case are two sticks of ram and a SSD.

My proposed water cooling setup,

Res->pump->CPU block->rad 1 -> rad 2 -> GPU blocks -> res

or..

Res->pump->CPU block->rad 1-> GPU blocks -> rad 2 -> res

depending on what makes the organization easiest.

For the reservoir, I need something either small or external. I would like to keep as much of the setup internally as possible, so I was looking at something like the swiftech micro res or a single 5.25" bay res.

For the pump, I'm leaning towards the Swiftech MCP35X due to the extra head it provides over the D5.

For the CPU block, I'm leaning towards XSPC Raystorm due to its high performance and low restriction.

For the GPU blocks, I'm leaning towards Swiftech MCW82 due to a lack of competitors in the universal GPU block area. I plan on adding VRAM heat sinks and having a fan blow air over them.

For the radiators, I'm leaning towards 2xXSPC RX240. The reason for the 2x240 is due to space restrictions. For fans, I'm leaning towards Cougar Vortex PWM due to their (relatively) high static pressure, quiet operation, and PWM functionality. I plan to use them in pull configuration with shrouds.

For tubing, I'm thinking of using 3/8x1/2" tubing of some sort.

For the working fluid I plan to use distilled water with a silver kill coil.

My primary questions/concerns are:

1) Does the form factor of the reservoir have any performance impacts or is it mostly for looks and/or convenience?
2) Do the CPU/GPU blocks I chose best fit the features I want? Specifically, the features that I am looking for are low restriction so that the pump can run on a lower (quieter) setting, moderate thermal performance (duh), and reasonably cheap (duh).
3) How should I orient the fans blowing on the VRAM heatsinks? It would be easiest to have the fans oriented perpendicular to the motherboard blowing air across the GPU.
4) Do I need 2xRX240s or would 1xRX240+1xRX120 be adaquate?
5) I need tubing that is fairly flexible due to the restrictive dimensions of my case. What is a good type/brand of tubing that will bend, but not kink?
6) Are any of these components overkill or underkill? I'm particularly worried about having one component restrict the thermal performance of the rest of the loop and need to replace it.
Edited by tulanthoar - 10/8/12 at 3:00pm
post #2 of 10
i say what ever fits is the best..external just looks gross!!!..the bigger the rez the better..also fans in push pull play a big part..high cfm is the best. also get at least a 10 watt quality pump ..and that case is nice but you may wana invest in a full tower.you will be happy you did cause of maintence you have to do every few months
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I may be wrong, but I've read that low fpi (such as the RX) radiators don't need a push/pull configuration and benefit almost equally as well from pull+shroud. Will the dimensions of the case make maintenance more difficult? I just assumed that the extra effort would be on the front end in designing and installing the setup with highly restricted choices for components as well as less capacity for keeping everything internal.

The good news is that because of the small form factor, I plan on hiding my computer in the corner of the room and just running an HDMI cable to my TV+monitor. External components will look relatively ugly, but hopefully I won't have to look at my case very often.
post #4 of 10
1) Does the form factor of the reservoir have any performance impacts or is it mostly for looks and/or convenience?
Reservoirs have virtually no impact on performance. Some are easier to bleed air out of than others, but there isn't any real performance difference between reservoirs.

2) Do the CPU/GPU blocks I chose best fit the features I want? Specifically, the features that I am looking for are low restriction so that the pump can run on a lower (quieter) setting, moderate thermal performance (duh), and reasonably cheap (duh).
The raystorm is a great block. I don't know much about that gpu block, but universal blocks usually don't aad much restriction.

3) How should I orient the fans blowing on the VRAM heatsinks? It would be easiest to have the fans oriented perpendicular to the motherboard blowing air across the GPU.

If you aren't going to open your case much I'd just zip-tie or balance a spare fan blowing across your gpu. If you can find a way to get decent airflow in your case you won't even need an extra fan blowing across your gpu.

4) Do I need 2xRX240s or would 1xRX240+1xRX120 be adaquate?
The general rule of thumb is to have 120mm of rad space per component plus 120mm extra for some headroom. So 2x240 rads should be the minimum that you stick too, even if two of your components are 560's. Especially if you are overclocking, you'll need that headroom.

6) Are any of these components overkill or underkill? I'm particularly worried about having one component restrict the thermal performance of the rest of the loop and need to replace it.


Also, as for rad performance, you can get by with fans just in pull on low fpi rads. You would notice a performance increase if you had push/pull, but you'd notice a much larger difference simply by buying more powerful fans.
It all looks pretty good to me. You're definitely going for budget so there's no reason to spend tons of extra money on looks. You could try looking into the xspc raystorm kits too. The D5 pump that is included will be plenty strong enough for your loop and you might be able to save some money by buying most of your parts bundled together.
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, it is much appreciated.

I just have a couple more questions.

When you mount the water blocks on the CPU and GPU, are they symmetrical? Can I rotate the blocks in any 90 degree position to adjust which side is input/output?

I'm leaning towards cutting holes in the top of the case over the CPU, installing some sort of fan grill (so I don't accidentally get my fingers cut off), and installing the first rad on the roof of my case. The second rad will be on the outside of the case, on the right hand side if you're facing the front, and having the fans on the inside. There are also 2 slots for 80mm fans on the rear above the mobo outputs. I'm trying to decide on which fans to make exhaust and which to make intake. I'm leaning towards the side rad and rear 80mm fans being intake. Then making the top rad and a fan on top of the gpu being exhaust. I'll probably also make the left hand single 120mm fan be intake as well. I expect the case to have relatively poor airflow, but I think 3x120mm and 2x80mm as intake and 3x120mm as exhaust will be good enough. Should I switch around any of the fans from exhaust to intake (or vise versa)?

What is the approximate minimum bending radius before 3/8" tubing will start to kink?
post #6 of 10
For the most part, you can treat blocks as symmetrical. Waterblocks are designed to be oriented a certain way (see here for what it looks like on the inside), but the 1155 socket is quite small so the entire cpu will be under the area which is actually cooled by most waterblocks. You can rotate your block 90 degrees and you shouldn't notice any change in performance.
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
It will make a difference if it means that I don't need additional 90 degree adapters thumb.gif

I have one last question, I read somewhere (or maybe I made it up, I honestly can't remember) about adapters that are angled and rotate on the threading. Does something like this actually exist and if it does, what would it be called?
post #8 of 10
They do exist; they're called rotary fittings. You pretty much need them if you want to use angled adapters, otherwise they might not point in the right direction when fully tightened. Bitspower makes some good single rotary adapters (here) and dual rotary compression fittings (here).
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Is the difference between single and dual that single has one end open thread for hose barbs and the double has compression built in on the hose end?
post #10 of 10
Most single rotary adapters have an open thread at the end so you can screw in a barb or a compression fitting like you said, but some have fixed compression fittings already built in. What makes a dual rotary fitting special is that it rotates at both ends. Dual rotaries will pretty much always have compression fittings built into the end (there are also snake fittings). This is really only useful for angled fittings because it lets you positing the fitting to be pointing in the right direction and then it lets you rotate the compression end freely without rotating the entire fitting.
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