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Could use a bit of help in choosing the Proper Kit (New to water cooling)-- Help greatly Appreciated

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So lately I have been thinking of building a computer where I could take my GPU and CPU and overclock them more then I have ever before. Since I dabbled with my CPU before I never actually reached high overclocking levels cause of the heat. I wanted to build a computer with water cooling in mind. I have watched some simple build videos for these systems, and I think I enjoyed the ones with pre-made kits a lot more then the ones where you build the whole system by yourself. I was just wondering if someone could give me some pointers on a beginners water cooling build. I am still pretty much a noob when it comes to water cooling, but I've seen it in action and I just think it is the solution for me. So on this quest of mine to add a water cooling system I stumbled upon a website XC - PC and this is when the problems started arising.


I learned I have no clue at all what the difference between most of these kits are, I understand that some of them have radiators that fit into different cases and have support for different amounts of different sized fans, and others support Intel or AMD. Besides that though I have no clue how to go about picking one over the other. So any help would be greatly appreciated and if you guys have any suggestion for a noob water cooling system that I could implement in my build that would be great as well. As to my computer it is still a work in progress, I haven't picked out all the finalized parts yet and not even close to picking a case for the reason that I can't decide on one smile.gif.


So far this is what I got (the cooling fan is there because I won't buy a water cooling system until I have the computer build, don't wanna jump into something when I'm not sure the computer will run stable and that I still don't know all that much about water cooling).

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor ($218.90 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Thermalright CoGage True Spirit ($36.99 @ Frozen CPU)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ($131.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 ($59.50 @ Newegg.com)
SSD: SanDisk Extreme SSD 240 GB ($162.88 @ Amazon.com)
Storage 1 (Raid 0): WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon.com)
Storage 2 (Raid 0): WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Amazon.com)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX770 SuperClocked with EVGA ACX Cooler ($419.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W G Series 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular ($104.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1265.22
Edited by PolishGuyPro - 7/10/13 at 9:55am
post #2 of 5
Do you have any cases that your thinking about building in? You have to know what case your building in before you even start to think about what WC components your going use.
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300R
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Phenom M
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4670K Z87M Extreme 4 290 PNY 8 GB 
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post #3 of 5
The XSPC Rasa 750 kits are a no brainer. The difference in price between a 2x120 and a 3x120 radiator is minimal so if you can get a case that fits a 3x120 radiator then do that. If you can afford the price increase to go from the entry level radiator to the RX radiator then do so but the RX240 will not cool better than RS/ES 360.

Also in case the numbers are confusing 1x120 is a 120, 2x120 is a 240, 3x120 is a 360 then 480 and so on. for 140MM fans it is 140, 280, 420.

The RX radiators are thicker so they can be difficult to fit in some cases so keep that in mind as well.

Another option for keeping it super simple and newb easy is to go with a Swiftech Apogee Drive II which is your waterblock and your pump and it is an extreme performance pump so you never have to worry about outgrowing it. Then all you need on top of that is a radiator, a micro reservoir, 6 fittings, and tubing. If you go with one of the swiftech res/rad combos then all you need is the res/rad and 4 fittings (doesn't get any easier then that).

I would not recommend buying a Swiftech X20 rad/pump/res combo if you are going to mount the radiator internally. The pump sticks off the end which means it might not fit.

Also just both the rad/pump/res combo and the rad/res combo take up extra space for the reservoir part but not much... the 2 together though is a lot of extra room.

You will need to fill and bleed the swiftech reservoir radiators out of the case or ensure that you have some sort of access to the fill port once it is in the case. Not really a major problem but it can be annoying.

If you go with the micro res then you don't have to worry about it.

The Rasa750 pump can handle the CPU block that comes with it and a carefully selected low restriction GPU block. The MCP-35x that comes with the swiftech kits can handle just about anything you throw at it.


Anyways pick a case and research the swiftech kits and the xspc kits. Then tell us what you think and we can give you a shopping list.
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post #4 of 5
Basically what I learnt while doing my first build is that you will get 100 different opinions on what you should do and what is 'right' obviously its up to you to decide who to listen to and who not to - unless there is evidence that one option is better than another.

I just recently did my first build. Here are the things that I made mistakes with.

1) Not planning out my loop carefully, I needed to make 2 different orders for angled fittings which cost a bit on postage.
2) Not doing it all at once. I decided to do a CPU and then if it was easy to go GPU. I wish I had done it all at once would have save a lot of time and also postage costs.

So with that said I would say plan the build very carefully. Look at clearances in other images of your case google for the case and 'water cooled' or a variant of that and you should find a massive amount of information. Make sure that you go slow and don't impulse buy anything or go on the word of someone. Make sure you research everything.

Don't get the idea that you are going to get super amazing temps first time. I was disappointed with my temps because I had the wrong idea on how much they should improve. My temperatures actually improved massively when adding the GPU and another RAD into the mix. I don't mean that you can't get great temps but have a realistic idea on the temperatures that you may get.

Oh and when you are building go slow and triple check everything. Read EVERYTHING on the internet about watercooling.

Anyway I mention that about my experiences as it may help with picking parts. I don't have a huge amount of experience but I have read a fair bit about it so far.

In regards to the parts, I would say that you should look at the XSPC D5 kits to start with. I wouldn't recommend you get one. I personally found that they did not meet what I needed, there were parts I wanted to upgrade and parts I wouldn't use etc. So use one as a base for what you need. They have all the parts you need for a CPU loop and add a GPU block and maybe another radiator.

For radiator space It is recommended to start with a 240 minimum. If you are cooling a GPU I would say add another 240 (I put a 280 in my case and saw a massive change) but more rad space the better.

Each person will probably recommend a different CPU/GPU block. For the CPU the XSPC raystorm is great and cheap. For the GPU you would need one that fits, check to see if it has a reference PCB design. EK have a good watercooling tool on their site which lists the compatible blocks (obviously only EK blocks though)

I went with a D5 Vario pump. Its good, quiet and has enough power for my loop.

The res is something that it will come down to the case/aesthetics. If you like the look of one and the reviews are decent go for it. I would recommend a tube res. I was going to get a bay res when I first started to look into it, however the tube res won out. Mainly as I was told by almost everyone trying to fill/bleed a bay res is much harder than a tube. My case is also very very tight so it helped the loop.

Tubing is also another debated thing. I got Primoflex LRT advanced. I would say about 3m would be fine for your first build 3m served me fine for my CPU/GPU loop and a huge amount of cutting mistakes when adding the GPU. I would recommend clear tubing as it helped me when I first did my build to see if there were any bubbles or issues. Also helps with filling to see if you have a problem with your loop.

Coolant - depending on your blocks I would just say distilled and a biocide (Mayhems or similar) would do fine for you.

Fittings are another thing where it comes down to looks, I have used both barbs and compression fittings. Compression fittings are generally more expensive however they are super easy to use. Barbs also are easy but I think they may get a bit hard to work with in tight spaces. Look at XSPC compression fittings I got them for $4.50AUD each. Also remember to look at extenders, and also rotary fittings, also angled fittings if you need them.

Lastly consider a drain. It is not 100% needed but has helped me when needing to drain my loop.

Edit:

Another thing I forgot - Fans. There would be heaps recommended to you. Have you set a budget for this? That would probably help. also are you looking for performance or silence or a bit of both?

Hope that helps.
Edited by andyv - 7/11/13 at 3:40am
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your replies they have helped me somewhat. I know now that I should probably finish my build first and pick a case and then start looking at what cooling system to buy. Thank you for taking your time to answer me. Once I get all the parts finalized I will come back here and let you guys know about what I will be getting, and would be grateful if you guys could steer me in the right direction for the water cooling build then.

Edit:

I also gave all of you some rep for the help smile.gif
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