Hello, NZXT Phantom 820 owners.
Long-time overclocker, first time water-cooling n00b here.
So when my old i7 920 OC system started getting a little long in the tooth, I started shopping around for the next cutting edge rig that would hopefully last me 4-5 years like my last one. Due to the new CPU and GPU tendencies to be hotter and hotter than previous gen components, I decided to dip my toe in the water cooling reservoir, so to speak. With that in mind, I did a lot of research and decided to build my own custom loop. Once I had decided THAT, I started looking for the ideal case...and settled on the Phantom 820 due to its out-of-the-box support for 2+ radiators and plenty of room for a custom loop.
In fact, this bit of NZXT Marketing Copy for the Phantom 820 even helped me (I thought) figure out what size radiators to get for my first custom loop: "Push the envelope and utilize liquid cooling systems that feature a push-pull configuration with top 280/360mm and bottom 240/280mm radiators up to 2 1/3 inches (60mm) thickness for unmatched performance."
So after I had settled on the case and done research on which components I wanted, I picked up an Alphacool UT60 Full Copper 360 for push/pull up top and a "little brother" Alphacool UT60 240 for push/pull along the bottom. I also grabbed all 10 of the Scythe Gentle Typhoon fans I spied at my local Microcenter.
Those of you paying attention will already have noticed my current dilemma.
Despite the marketing copy which appears to indicate to the contrary, the Phantom 820 doesn't actually support a 60mm thick rad in push/pull on the top. With the UT60 360 mounted under the frame, the 3 gentle typhoons will fit above
the frame and under the top lid with no problem, so pull
will work fine. But the front-most push fan encounters the steel top of the permanent drive cage at the front of the case. And having the nozzles at the front would make things even more crowded.
Of course, rotating the radiator 180 degrees so the nozzles are at the back of the case then encroaches on the rear fan, even if I lose the stock 140mm fan and replace it with a 120mm Gentle Typhoon.
I was so disappointed I haven't even tried to fit my motherboard in yet to see if the push fans on the bottom of a UT60 would occlude some of the motherboard wiring...but I'm betting it'll either be a no-go or *extremely* tight.Le sigh.
So I'm thinking there's probably very little I can do to get this UT60x360 successfully into the 820 in push/pull...but I thought I'd reach out to the experts here and ask. I have a dremel and am not opposed to modding, but at this point I don't think even modding the case by cutting the main drive cage would allow me to get the 60mm thick 360mm long rad at the top of the case in push/pull due to the likely motherboard constraint. And if I cut the cage, where am I to install my blu-ray drive and the XSPC dual 5.25" bay reservoir with the Swiftech 655-PWM pump?
Any thoughts? Should I just exchange my UT60 for an XT45 and shrug it off as a learning opportunity? Or am I missing a potential solution?
P.S. Haven't set up my sig yet, so here are all the components for my new rig (all of which are now in hand):
Case: NZXT Phantom 820
Board: ASUS Z87-PRO LGA 1150 Intel Z87
CPU: Intel i4770K 3.5GHz "Haswell" Socket LGA 1150
RAM: 2x8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X, 2133 MHz, CL9
PSU: Corsair AX860i 860W Modular
SSD 1: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD
HDD 1: Samsung F3 Spinpoint 1TB 7200 RPM HDD
HDD 2: Samsung F3 Spinpoint 1TB 7200 RPM HDD
GPU: MSI AMD Radeon R9 290 4GD5
CDRW: ASUS BW-12B1ST
Pump/Res: XSPC Dual 5.25" Bay Clear Reservoir w/ Swiftech 655-PWM
CPU Block: XSPC Raystorm Copper/Acetal
Rad 1: Alphacool NexXxos UT60 360 (3x120mm)
Rad 2: Alphacool NexXxos UT60 240 (2x120mm)
Fans: 10x Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120mm 1,850 RPM Fan
Tubing: PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT 3/8in.ID x 5/8in.OD 20'
Biocide: PrimoChill 4" Anti-microbial Silver Coil
Fittings: Lots of Koolance Nozzles, M12 Dbl Barb (10mm, 3/8" ID, w/ clamp)