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Need Help with my First Water Cooling Loop (NZXT Phantom 820)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have been doing a lot of research over the past two weeks learning about water cooling and Think I finally am about ready to build. I do however have a lot of questions still that might take a more experienced water cooling opinion. Ill start my explaining my loop...



This is my loop. It starts with a reservoir That I plan to hide in the HDD cages, followed by a pump below. The pump will power one loop, with three sets of components in parallel. The first is the AMD HD 7970 GPU (Green), followed by a second AMD HD 7970 GPU (Blue), and last is a series of eight RAM water blocks. and an Intel i7 LGA 2011 CPU. The loop then flows back through the graphics blocks, expelling the heated water, and into a second pump. The second pump sends the water first through a 280mm radiator and then through a 360 radiator, and back into the reservoir.

I have thought about breaking it up into multiple loops, but am really set on one to make it appear cleaner. I know the loop gets restrictive which is why I decided to add a second pump before the radiators.

The components that I plan to use are:
Pump 1 - Swiftech MCP655
GPU Block - Heatkiller GPU-X³ 79X0
RAM Block - Phobya U-Cool Ram-Cooler
CPU Block - Swiftech Apogee HD
Pump 2 - Swiftech MCP35X2
280mm Radiator - Black Ice SR1 Low Air Flow Optimized
360mm Radiator - Black Ice SR1 Low Air Flow Optimized
Reservoir - Custom Made to fit in the HDD Cage

With that said Im going to move on to my airflow through the case...



The idea through this is the bottom Radiator is going to act as an intake with a push/pull setup. The front fan is also going to be an intake blowing air directly on my SSD, HDD, Reservoir, and Pump 1. Then the adjustable fan will be angles to encourage the air to flow to the top left of the case. The Rear fan is going to be an Exhaust. Then the top radiator will have the 120mm fans push the internal air through the radiator, and the 200mm fans will be large enough to exhaust the air from both the radiator and some of the internal air. I will not be using a side fan because I dont want to interfere with airflow patterns, but there is pleanty of mesh on the side panel to allow air to naturally flow in based on change in pressure.


My goal for this build is to get great cooling but keep the noise level down. So I am going to use NZXT fans, but use the fan controller to set them to the lowest speed. The Radiators that I chose have an FPI of 9, so the low fan speeds shouldn't be an issue. This will then allow me to turn them up if need be, but hopefully will keep it fairly quiet. I was thinking of eliminating the pull fans on the 280mm radiator as well as the push fans on the 360 radiator te reduce noise, but i was afraid I wouldn't get the desired cooling that way.

So Here are my questions as it stands now:
1) Can the NZXT Phantom 820 fit a 420 Radiator? I am willing to drill some holes, but Want to make sure the DVD drive still fits.
2) Will the 2 pumps I chose be sufficient for the loop? I also want to make sure the second pump doesn't hinder the flow of the first.
3) Will the Push/pull fans fit with an 80mm radiator? I chose to use 55mm because I was unsure about the room in the case.
4) Should I go with a 80mm Radiator instead of the 55mm? I like the look of the 55mm much better, but if it makes sense for significantly increased performance with little added cost, Ill consider it.
5) Where do fill/ drain ports go? and can someone suggest one to use?
6) I'm open to any recommendations on different blocks/ radiators if anyone has some suggestions.
7) Should I have the Radiator fans as push/pull setup? or would eliminating the fans previously mentioned be satisfactory?
8) Should the bottom Radiator be an exhaust instead of an intake? I was concerned about not enough intakes.
9) Should I use a side fan? What I have been hearing is no because it messes with flow patterns, but if both my Radiators are exhaust, it might make sense.
10) Should I try to use radiators with higher FPI and choose fans that can run quieter at higher speeds? Im trying to stick with white fans so it makes it hard.

I think thats all my questions for now... any comment would be helpful!
post #2 of 17
First off, if I'm looking at the pictures correctly, you are putting the two GPU's along with the CPU in parallel.
This can/has been done when there's enough pumping power (I believe that person used 2x D5 strongs) because the flowrate you need for it to get good CPU temps is pretty much massive.
Because the restriction of a CPU block is higher than a GPU block most of the flow will be going over the GPU's. Along with that you have added two RAM-blocks in series with the CPU part which makes the flow over the CPU even lower.
Since a 39x0k/X CPU outputs a lot of heat you'll need all the flow you can get over it.
If you decide to redesign your loop, keep in mind loop order has no influence on temps, best would probably for you to put the two gpu's in parallel together with the ram-blocks, and that in series with the CPU block. The pumps you can put directly after each other in the loop. If you have the room I'd go for 2xD5 in a dual top instead of the D5 and a mcp35x.

About the fans, it's best to have either both rads as exhaust or both as intake. I believe that if you have the 200mm in front as exhaust and the 140 in the back as exhaust as well you'd be fine when you put both rads as intake.

If you want the least sound you'll need low-fpi rads. If the fpi is too high you'll need higher static pressure to push the air through, essentially for higher static pressure you need higher rpm => more noise. I don't know if you plan on overclocking every piece of your rig but I think you'd be on the edge of having enough rad estate if you want to use lowrpm fans.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
currently I have three loops running in parallel. Your suggesting to change it so that I have two loops in parallel, one containing all of the RAM and both GPU blocks? When I was calculating my Thermal Design Power, I got rough numbers of 130 for the CPU, and 230 for each GPU. So I based my loop on that. I understand what your saying about restricted flow rate of the CPU Block, and that is something that I was concerned about. I feel as though your solution, if I am understanding it correctly, puts the components with larger TDP in one loop, essentially putting about 500W on one loop and 150W on the other. Since they are both combined in parallel does the amount of TDP on each part of the loop matter?

Or is there a CPU Block someone could recommend that puts low resistance on the loop?

As far as the pumps are concerned, I was talking to someone else and they suggested not putting two pumps in a row because it might put higher stress on the loop. Rather put a second one in the loop somewhere.

The FPI of the Rads im looking at are 9, which I feel is a little low. The ones I was looking at before were 22, which I think is a little high for a quiet system.

I am planning on overclocking everything in the loop, if nothing more then to experiment with it. So do you think 9 FPI is too small to overclock everything?
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by RabidSnail View Post

currently I have three loops running in parallel. Your suggesting to change it so that I have two loops in parallel, one containing all of the RAM and both GPU blocks? When I was calculating my Thermal Design Power, I got rough numbers of 130 for the CPU, and 230 for each GPU. So I based my loop on that. I understand what your saying about restricted flow rate of the CPU Block, and that is something that I was concerned about. I feel as though your solution, if I am understanding it correctly, puts the components with larger TDP in one loop, essentially putting about 500W on one loop and 150W on the other. Since they are both combined in parallel does the amount of TDP on each part of the loop matter?

Or is there a CPU Block someone could recommend that puts low resistance on the loop?

As far as the pumps are concerned, I was talking to someone else and they suggested not putting two pumps in a row because it might put higher stress on the loop. Rather put a second one in the loop somewhere.

The FPI of the Rads im looking at are 9, which I feel is a little low. The ones I was looking at before were 22, which I think is a little high for a quiet system.

I am planning on overclocking everything in the loop, if nothing more then to experiment with it. So do you think 9 FPI is too small to overclock everything?

It's a lot better to have both pumps in series and not parallel. Like 2 pumps with a pump top. It offers almost double the flow rate when parallel does not. I read about it on martinsliquidlab. It's a really big difference and most people suggest not to run them in separate parts of the loop.

Of course with higher flow rate I guess you might put extra strain on the loop but as long as you do everything correctly and have no leaks you would want that higher flow rate especially for a setup with a lot of restriction.

2 pumps is not going to be enough to like blow your loop open or something. I don't think you have to worry about causing the loop extra stress.

Mine runs fine with 2 mcp35x and the top that they sell that makes it like one pump.

Even at 100% power my loop is perfectly fine. I usually can turn it down to like 20% so I can barely hear it at all.
Edited by strong island 1 - 5/26/13 at 1:12pm
Bench Rig
(20 items)
 
  
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel i7 core 5960x intel i7 core 4770k Rampage V Extreme Asus GTX 980 Strix 
GraphicsRAMRAMHard Drive
Asus 780 ti Matrix G-Skill Ripjawz 4 G-Skill Trident X Samsung 840 Evo 120gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Corsair Neutron 120gb Corsair Neutron 120gb Kingpin Tek 9 Fat GPU Pot Kingpin F1 Extreme CPU Pot 
CoolingCoolingOSOS
EK Universal GPU Water Block EK Supremacy CPU Block Win 7 64 bit Win XP 32 bit 
MonitorPowerCaseOther
Samsung S27A950D Corsair AX1200 Dimastech Easy v3 Bench and Armaflex Gigabyte Z97 SOC Force Motherboard 
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Bench Rig
(20 items)
 
  
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel i7 core 5960x intel i7 core 4770k Rampage V Extreme Asus GTX 980 Strix 
GraphicsRAMRAMHard Drive
Asus 780 ti Matrix G-Skill Ripjawz 4 G-Skill Trident X Samsung 840 Evo 120gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Corsair Neutron 120gb Corsair Neutron 120gb Kingpin Tek 9 Fat GPU Pot Kingpin F1 Extreme CPU Pot 
CoolingCoolingOSOS
EK Universal GPU Water Block EK Supremacy CPU Block Win 7 64 bit Win XP 32 bit 
MonitorPowerCaseOther
Samsung S27A950D Corsair AX1200 Dimastech Easy v3 Bench and Armaflex Gigabyte Z97 SOC Force Motherboard 
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
What is a Pump Top? I have never hear of it before this thread.

And if im putting two in series in the beginning of my loop, which pump would you suggest? The same one I'm planning on using for pump 1? I guess I dont know what you mean by D5 either.

I started using overclock.net because the other site I was previously using I felt they werent as educated on water cooling as I would have hoped, so sorry If i come off under educated on this stuff as well.
post #6 of 17
No worries about that, it's only the smart thing to do to ask others to think with you.

Basically in the watercooling world there are 2 good pumps, both made by laing, the dcc3.2 and the D5. These pumps are used and rebranded by koolance, switch alphacool and which other brand there is. The swiftech MCP655 is a version of the D5, the MCP35x is a (pwm enabled) version of the dcc3.2.
A (dual) pump top is something that helps you easily place two pumps in series into the loop. Like strong island said there's nothing wrong with placing two pumps in a row, since even two MCP35x's at full blast will not even deliver 15m of head pressure (in other words 1,5 bar) and every descent block/rad is pressure tested at at least 1,5 bar. It's true that you put more strain on the first half of your loop but I haven't heard from anyone who had this cause any issues.
selection of D5 pump tops


I think I didn't exactly make myself clear about the loop layout, so I'll give it another try:

.......................................gpu 1 => ramblock 1
..................................../................................\
Reservoir => Dual Pump =.................................=> CPU block => Radiator => Reservoir
....................................\................................/
.......................................gpu 2 => ramblock 2

This would split the fluid over the gpu's since these have a bigger amount of surface area to dissipate their heat and focus all the waterflow over the CPU.
The maximum TDP of a 3930k may be 150 watts, but overclocked to 5Ghz (at 1.5v) the processor would eat up 300 watts easily so you'll want the flow focussed there if you can.

This would be the setup you have drawn schematically:

................................................gpu 1
......................................./.............................\
Reservoir => Dual Pump = - CPU block => 2xRam - => Radiator => Reservoir
......................................\............................../
...............................................gpu 2

The problem with this would be that the restriction of the gpublocks would be about halve of the cpu+ramblocks, so essentially 1/5 of the flow would go over the cpu and 2/5 over either gpu. Unless you have massive pumping power (so 2x D5 strong at full blast) you wouldn't be getting good CPU temps. I actually remember that the person who has such a setup (but without the ram blocks) actually has 3 D5strongs in series.
Edited by Jetskyer - 5/27/13 at 10:31am
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh! that makes sense now! I will probably end up doing that. Im trying to research exactly how much pressure drop im going to have due to restriction. I have changed my CPU block to EK Supremacy Based on Martins reviews of its predecessor. I could find any reviews on his site for GPU blocks, does he have any, or is there another site that may have them? Same with RAM Blocks.

Also, I was doing research on pump tops. Some of them brag about up to 20% more static pressure. Is this true? I would assume that if i were to just connect two pumps in series with tubing it would do the same thing as a pump top. Also I was looking at dual bay reservoirs that support dual pumps. It looks as if its basically a reservoir with a pump top built in. Would this work just the same?

Dual Pump Top: http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11252/ex-pmp-100/Bitspower_Dual_D5_Mod_Top_Extreme_-_POM_Version_BP-2D5TOPP-BK.html?tl=g30c107s1805

Dual Pump Reservoir: http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16820/ex-res-414/XSPC_Twin_D5_Dual_525_Bay_Clear_Reservoir_-_Dual_Laing_D5_MCP655.html?tl=g30c97s168
post #8 of 17
Haha, good smile.gif Glad I could make myself clear, it was a bit of a hassle to get it all to line up using just dots... tongue.gif

The EK block one of the lesser restrictive blocks, you won't go wrong with it really. GPU blocks are about half to just as restrictive as a CPU block like the one from EK. Alphacool and Aquacomputer blocks are a bit more restrictive due to how thin they are but it's not more than 20% difference. Calculation the total restriction of your loop will be a major hassle. I have tried myself and there is just not enough data. CPU blocks get tested thoroughly, however GPU blocks, RAM blocks and what more don't. All you can do is guess.
However if you go for two D5's with the loop I suggested you really can't go wrong. As long as you get 1GPM over the CPU you'll be fine, and if you put the GPU (and ram blocks) in parallel you'll definitely be able to hit that.

The reason tops (especially D5 tops) can claim they give 20% higher head pressure is due to the fact that normal D5 housing pretty much sucks (hydraulically speaking) It has a 90 degree angle directly at the outlet and both the in and outlet have a very narrow inner diameter. 20% might be a bit far fetched but a custom top would easily do better.
Dual pump reservoirs are exactly what you figured. Just a dual pump top combined with a reservoir. These will do just as good as a separate reservoir and pumps. The only thing you have to be watching out for is noise. Due to the pumps being directly attached to the reservoir you have to make sure you decently decouple the whole thing.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
what do you mean by decouple?
post #10 of 17
Hey, I'm currently doing a custom Phantom 820 build.
http://www.overclock.net/t/1387344/yet-another-rog-build-log-phantom-820-mve-3770k-crossfire-7950s-custom-paint/210_30#post_20066887

You made a very nice diagram. One thing I would like to say is that I personally only have 70mm from the top radiator mount to the very top of the motherboard. You have a 55mm thick rad + 25mm thick fans = 80mm. That won't fit. I personally am getting a 45mm thick radiator for up top, but you have to remember that you are going to have to sleeve your cables because the rad will come down so close to the top of the motherboard that is would be pretty difficult to fit non-sleeved cable under and around it. Also, you might be able to fit a 420 up top, but that would mean you would need to rip out all of the fan and hue cables that are hiding in that area. It's not worth the extra little performance. What I did was drilled some holes up front and was able to mount a 200mm radiator there. Just make sure you mount it perfectly centered or you will not be able to get to your front bezel clips and will have to take off the radiator every time you want to take out the front bezel. Personally I think you should go with ALL Alphacool radiators. Nothing touches them. They are perfect even if you are looking for low air flow rads. They are fully copper!! Also, the bottom radiator is fine as it is. Leave it as an intake. Heat rises so that is what makes the top radiator the perfect exhaust. You should do push/pull wherever you can, but specifically you should definetly do it on any rads greater than 45mm thick. I'm getting a UT60 280mm rad for the bottom in two weeks. I'm going to use it in Push/Pull and HOPEFULLY it will fit just under my front 200mm radiator. Btw you can look at the first post of my build log and all of my updates are in it so you don't have to go searching.

700


Excuse the small loop. It is getting bigger every week. Soon I will have my GPU blocks.
Edited by RavageTheEarth - 5/29/13 at 1:24pm
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