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Help me spend money!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm a long time builder, but a soon-to-be first time water cooler. I current have the following setup:



- NZXT Switch 810 Case
- ASUS Maximus V Formula Motherboard
- Intel i7 3770k @ 4.5 GHz with Corsair H100
- EVGA GTX 690
- Corsair Dominator GT DD3-2000 RAM
- Corsair AX860 PSU

I would love to add a "custom" loop, and have mapped out two potential routes. I would love ANY feedback on either setup, and which would be the preferred route.

Setup 1:
- XSPC RayStorm RX360 Kit with D5 Pump/Res
- Bottom Radiator: XSPC RX240
- GPU Block: XSPC GTX 690 Reference Block

Setup 2:
- Top Radiator: Alphacool UT60 Triple 120mm
- Bottom Radiator: Alphacool UT60 Dual 120mm
- Res: EK Multi-Option RES X3 150
- Pump: Swiftech MCP35X
- GPU Block: EK GTX690 Acetal
- CPU Block: EK Supremacy Acetal

The price difference between the two is +/- $25 so the total cost is not much of an issue.

I will be using compression fittings throughout, but I could still use some help in choosing tube size! I understand that the performance difference is negligent, but I'm having a hard time visualizing the tube sizes (I feel that the thinner the tube = better).
Edited by MarkV1184 - 1/31/13 at 2:12pm
post #2 of 11
Just a few pointers for you:

You're planned setup is very similar to my old one (switch 810, 690, 3570k). I personally chose the route of getting the XSPC EX420mm slim rad for the top and an alphacool nexxxos 240mm ut60 for the bottom. The plus side to this setup is that the 240mm rad in the bottom will have a drain port that you can put a qdc or valve on so when it comes time to drain the loop it's very easy. Also the slim 420mm radiator provides you with more cooling area than a full thickness 360mm (my logic being multiply lwh for both of them and compare volume).

As for tubing size I used 3/8 1/2 tubing, and I'd personally recommend larger tubing because it looks a bit thin (1/2 3/4 or something like that). Like you said the size of the tubing makes almost 0 difference when it comes to cooling capacity. Thickness of the tubing however does. The thicker it is, the harder it is to bend, and the thinner it is the more prone it may be to kinking.

Finally for a reservoir you're better off with the switch 810 using a bay res (there's plenty out there to choose from, I chose the xspc dual bay for the d5 vario) because it's easier to fit and less cramped.
Also YGPM
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input, PhantomTaco!

I've heard of some issues with the XSPC dual bays in that there may be gap issues which can cause leaking? I've also seen a couple cases in which the res didn't fit in the case bays without a dremel. Are these common issues, or has XSPC been able to resolve them?

In terms of pump noise, is there a noticeable different between a d5 vario and the Swiftech MCP35x?
While I'm not majorly concerned about noise, I think my wife would appreciate a quieter setup.
Edited by MarkV1184 - 2/1/13 at 8:37am
post #4 of 11
Honestly I had 0 problems with mine from leaking, and I've only read of one case with it so I wouldn't worry much.

I haven't used an MCP35x, but it is more powerful in terms of flow rate (or was it head pressure i forget), but it also is a bit louder and dumps heat into the loop (not much but it does).
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post #5 of 11
Setup 2 is better IMO.
The UT60s have amazing build quality, and are all copper fins (IIRC), and performance is really good.
Also, does your AX860 have coil whine?
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post #6 of 11
I personally think a mix of both is better value. The UT60 are the finest rads available at the moment, the D5 is always going to be a little quieter than a 355 and the EK water blocks are much better than the XSPC water blocks. I personally prefer 7/16, 5/8 tubing and fittings because it looks less bulky than 1/2 inch while still being larger internally than the ID of the G1/4 ports themselves.
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post #7 of 11
alphacool rads, koolance errthang else.
Lanu Moana
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Lanu Moana
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post #8 of 11
Go for the D5 pump, more quiet. But I dont like pump/res combo, they are harder to decouple to keep the pump noise down.

EK blocks over XSPC

Alphacool FTW. Best rads out there.

But make sure both rads are pulling in fresh air or both pushing out case air. This way, you are not recycling one rad's hot air into the other rad.
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post #9 of 11
Setup 2 simply because the rad's got my attention.
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post #10 of 11
Personally, I'd go with option 2.

While I do love the XSPC dual bay reservoir (I have 2 of them, one for my Team Competition rig, which also is a Switch 810 case), I did have to get a replacement for an internal leak that was making a lot of noise (no leaks though). I have also noticed that there seems to be a rash of the "black plastic" dual bay reservoirs having issues lately.

But either way, I would go with option 2. The Switch 810 can hold a lot of water cooling gear, and I absolutely love the Alphacool radiators. They are well thought out with features such as the 6 ports to choose from on where you want to put your tubing and screw guards so you don't puncture the radiator core accidentally.
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