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Best Case, Best Radiator, Best Fans, Recommended Tubing/Wiring?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
So I want to try out water-cooling. I watched a few videos on it, installation and everything, but I want to know the community's opinion on the best items to get (for cheap) for water cooling?

Specs:

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
AMD FX-8320 @3.5GHz/4.0GHz Turbo
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3 8GB (4GBx2)
XFX Radeon 6770 HD (1GB)
596GB WD HDD 7200 RPM
Gigabyte 970A AM3+ Socket Motherboard
HP 2009m 1600x900 Display
Rosewill Challenger Mid-ATX Gaming Case

I plan on upgrading the GPU in the future, so should I water cool that as well? (Probably going for the GTX 680 or Radeon equivalent)

So what would be the full list of things I would need to water cool my CPU/Future GPU? (on a budget, the cheaper the better)
post #2 of 21
I'd probably rock a new case if I where you. If your on a budget you can get the cheap HAF for $40 and mount the radiator on the top of the case with the brackets that come in the XSPC kits. You could mount a triple or a double up there.

I wouldn't do anything but an XSPC kit IMO. The kit will save you money and will make sure you don't forget anything. Get an RX radiator not an RS make sure if you are buying the 750 kit that it has an all black pump/res not a clear pump res. If you have the extra money get the D5 kit.

If you can afford a high end case then get a high end case that will support a thick triple rad on the inside. The new Obsidian 900d comes to mind or a 800d. I have a 800D and I fit a quad rad in the top without modifying the case. The 900D is baller.

So I would go for:
RX360 w/ Raystorm CPU Block and 750 Pump/Res for $204

or

RX360 w/ Raystorm CPU Block and D5 Pump/Res for $299

and

EK WB Universal GPU Block Bridge Edition

Stay away from EK's Nickel products. They will never be able to redeem themselves on that stuff. Even if you NEVER plan on running SLI the bridge addition is the one I would recommend because it comes out from the video card and makes it super easy to just throw some 90s on it and it will look great.

Don't forget to purchase 2 90 fittings with rotary function.

That also brings us to fittings. The 1/2" barbs that come with the XSPC kit are GREAT! the hose is CRAP so I would buy some 1/2 x 3/4 hose and you might need new hose clamps for the 3/4 outer diameter. If you want to go with compression fittings I would recommend monsoon because they are cheap and easy to work with (uses a tool instead of blood and pain).

The XSPC barbs are very good though and there is really NO need for compression fittings. They look nice and make it easy to disconnect tubes but they just are not necessarily. If you are not going to buy compression fittings you MUST include a drain line which means you need to buy a T or Y fitting and a plug. Or you could buy 1 set of quick disconnects that are not valved or you can buy a single compression fitting for the tube you will disconnect when you want to drain the system. I don't personally like building in drain tubes so I usually make sure at least 1 compression fitting is in any build I do. Maybe buy 2 90s with compression fittings built in for the video card and that can be your drain point since it would be the lowest point in your loop.


Hope this helps...

Also my reasoning for the universal GPU block is this! For the most part you can not over volt a 600 series card and the same will probably hold true for the 700 series. The cards do not have cooling on the memory from the factory and at least the Asus DirectCUII cards have a separate heat sink on the VRMs that will stay on when you take the factory cooler off. Using a universal block will give you 100% boost 100% of the time. The card will never leave boost mode while you are gaming because it will never get hot. My card stays between 41-48c under full load depending on how much the game stresses the CPU (cpu adds heat to the loop). A full coverage block is a waste of money because it will become worthless when the next series of cards is released. You can move a universal block to your next card and the card after that and so on.

As for the pump... Martin's Lab has reviewed the new 750 and the review is favorable. I have used the old 750s in a lot of builds and still own one to this day. The 750 is quiet has very little heat dump and will last a very long time. There is really NO need for the D5. However if you have a ton of money laying around you can get the D5 it is a monster. Your system will not run cooler with the D5 in fact it may run hotter. It may also be louder as drive bay pump/res combos have a tendency to shake the case pretty hard if they are vibrating.

I'd stick with the 750.

Just my opinion.
Edited by givmedew - 2/18/13 at 1:55am
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post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sociableturtle View Post

So I want to try out water-cooling. I watched a few videos on it, installation and everything, but I want to know the community's opinion on the best items to get (for cheap) for water cooling?

Specs:

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
AMD FX-8320 @3.5GHz/4.0GHz Turbo
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3 8GB (4GBx2)
XFX Radeon 6770 HD (1GB)
596GB WD HDD 7200 RPM
Gigabyte 970A AM3+ Socket Motherboard
HP 2009m 1600x900 Display
Rosewill Challenger Mid-ATX Gaming Case

I plan on upgrading the GPU in the future, so should I water cool that as well? (Probably going for the GTX 680 or Radeon equivalent)

So what would be the full list of things I would need to water cool my CPU/Future GPU? (on a budget, the cheaper the better)

Well, your post is a bit of a contradiction. You said you want the "best" but yet "cheap" and there is no such thing. I could spec out the best, but it would be WAY more than anything remotely listed here. My build has about $1,400+ in WC parts alone.
post #4 of 21
LOL... yeh best and cheap don't usually go together but I get what you mean. You want the best performance per dollar. I'd go with those kits I already listed. If you want to go extreme water cooling you can still do it without spending a ton. Spending more money won't get you better performance unless the money is spent on a larger radiator. Bigger pumps don't increase performance unless you have enough restriction that you need them.

What is your budget and are there any cases you are fond of that support large radiators?
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post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I meant performance per dollar. I would like to get the parts soon, but I don't have a good amount of money to spend at the moment. I was thinking about just watercooling my CPU right now, and upgrading in the future.

I'm looking at the HAF 912, since it has 2x 120mm fan mounts at the top for a radiator. My case (Challenger) only has one 140mm mount at the top.

But, I do have a 2x 140mm mounts on the side, but I have never seen someone mount a radiator on the side, and it will probably interfere with my GPU, so scratch that.

Do any of you guys reccommend a case for under $70 that does the job? If not, I'll look more into the HAF cases and see which one works for me.

I'm thinking of just having a dual 120mm radiator for my CPU, or is that necessary? Should I just have a single 120mm radiator for my CPU and then when I water-cool my GPU, get a dual 120mm or a triple?
post #6 of 21
In my opinion don't enter water cooling unless you are ready to make the investment. Best is not really possible for cheap unfortunately unless you get good deals on the OCN marketplace. It's better(in my opinion) to save up for the best quality options, regardless of price, to ensure you wont have issues with your loops. I haven't had experience doing water cooling on a budget but it seems to be investing in the quality items is worth it. Also there ARE often great deals on the marketplace that will save you money so I would check those often.
post #7 of 21
I think that a 120 or 240 rad would be a waste of money when it comes to those kits. Again you can mount a triple on the top of the 912 using the brackets that come with the XSPC kit.


That is what I mean... that is a 240 but I would go with a 360. If you need to cut down on the cost you can do the RS360 instead of the RX it wont effect the price very much. You don't have to buy new tubing.

A brand new XSPC kit with a RS360 will cost you less than buying used parts from the market place. People usually try to get 70-80% of retail for used water cooling equipment so your better off just buying it new as a kit since it will come with every little piece you need and save you a nice chunk right off the bat. Plus pumps go bad so buying used ones mean you don't know when it will fail.

At frozen cpu you can get the RS360 Raystorm and 750 pump/res for $162.99 use the coupon code OCN to get 5.1% off that makes it $154.67 and you can do a gpu block later. If OCN doesn't work try xtreme.

If you cant put up $160 then you may want to forget about water cooling. That pump and radiator will easily handle a big OC and a GPU.

Also in that picture the way that radiator is mounted it gets nothing but nice cool room temp air shoved into it. The kit comes with fans too just FYI!

The RX360 radiator is only $24 more so if you can swing that then you won't regret it. The RX240 will not mount inside the Haf 912 and in fact even the RS240 would be a very tight fit once fans are on it. So mount it above or in the back.
Edited by givmedew - 2/18/13 at 11:33am
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post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by givmedew View Post

I think that a 120 or 240 rad would be a waste of money when it comes to those kits. Again you can mount a triple on the top of the 912 using the brackets that come with the XSPC kit.


That is what I mean... that is a 240 but I would go with a 360. If you need to cut down on the cost you can do the RS360 instead of the RX it wont effect the price very much. You don't have to buy new tubing.

A brand new XSPC kit with a RS360 will cost you less than buying used parts from the market place. People usually try to get 70-80% of retail for used water cooling equipment so your better off just buying it new as a kit since it will come with every little piece you need and save you a nice chunk right off the bat. Plus pumps go bad so buying used ones mean you don't know when it will fail.

At frozen cpu you can get the RS360 Raystorm and 750 pump/res for $162.99 use the coupon code OCN to get 5.1% off that makes it $154.67 and you can do a gpu block later. If OCN doesn't work try xtreme.

If you cant put up $160 then you may want to forget about water cooling. That pump and radiator will easily handle a big OC and a GPU.

Also in that picture the way that radiator is mounted it gets nothing but nice cool room temp air shoved into it. The kit comes with fans too just FYI!

The RX360 radiator is only $24 more so if you can swing that then you won't regret it. The RX240 will not mount inside the Haf 912 and in fact even the RS240 would be a very tight fit once fans are on it. So mount it above or in the back.

So you're saying that this:
http://www.xs-pc.com/products/watercooling-kits/rasa-750-rs360-watercooling-kit/

with a HAF 912 will work decently, if I mount the radiator at the top or the back?
If so, I think that settles what stuff I'll buy next.

EDIT: found this video with the case, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSfoF-Qx_Gc
is that an okay setup?
Edited by sociableturtle - 2/18/13 at 11:54am
post #9 of 21
That is the wrong CPU block and the old version of the pump. Try to get the raystorm block and the all black (ver 4) pump/res. It is not the end of the world if you get the clear one and it isn't the end of the world if you get the Rasa waterblock. The raystorm is one of the least restrictive blocks out there.

Call frozencpu and see if you can get the new version of the RX360 Raystorm 750 kit. Otherwise performance-pcs has it for $204. It isn't that big of a deal between the 2 pumps.

Martin's Lab give the entire run down of the differences between ver 3 and ver 4 pumps.

http://martinsliquidlab.org/ scroll down it is on the front page.

I cut holes in the top of my 912 so that I wouldn't have to route the tubes all the way back and through the gromets. It uses a lot less hose that way and to me looks better. A lot of people don't like externally mounted radiators but seriously you get better performance that way and if you are on a budget you can't be picky.
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post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by givmedew View Post

That is the wrong CPU block and the old version of the pump. Try to get the raystorm block and the all black (ver 4) pump/res. It is not the end of the world if you get the clear one and it isn't the end of the world if you get the Rasa waterblock. The raystorm is one of the least restrictive blocks out there.

Call frozencpu and see if you can get the new version of the RX360 Raystorm 750 kit. Otherwise performance-pcs has it for $204. It isn't that big of a deal between the 2 pumps.

Martin's Lab give the entire run down of the differences between ver 3 and ver 4 pumps.

http://martinsliquidlab.org/ scroll down it is on the front page.

I cut holes in the top of my 912 so that I wouldn't have to route the tubes all the way back and through the gromets. It uses a lot less hose that way and to me looks better. A lot of people don't like externally mounted radiators but seriously you get better performance that way and if you are on a budget you can't be picky.

If you don't mind, could you give me links to the parts you are recommending? If it isn't a problem, of course.

Also, since the radiator is mounted at the top (externally) is there a big noise difference? Or will it be quiet none the less? I plan on getting some silent fans, or maybe some Noctuas for the radiator.
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