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New to Water Cooling! Some questions...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Basically, I'm planning on building around 6 months from now, but I'd like to know what I need so I can buy the items as they go on sale and figure out my designs/etc.

So far the only things I've decided on
1) I'm getting a CaseLabs case (no idea which one, hoping once I know what parts I need/want I can figure it out)
2) Intel build
3) Nvidia GPU(s)
4) budget between 2.5-4k, with anywhere between 500-1000 for watercooling. Not including peripherals.
5) don't know if I'm going to watercool GPU/RAM yet, still need to do research on that. weigh pros/cons (feel free to give your own opinion/thoughts)
6) I'm going for quiet fans.
7) my design might be better with copper/thinner tubing. I still have to do research though on what's easier for me/better.


-Are there any new water cooling products/devices/fans that are coming out in the next 9 months that I should look out for? If it's worth getting, I'll wait for those

- If i watercool GPU, I should be buying the stock EVGA cards correct? Also, does watercooling add or take away from the energy bill costs? If so, is it significantly more/less? Also, if I add this in the future to a watercooled CPU, is it more of a hassle?

- I'll be moving probably two to three times in the next four years...what is it like transporting a watercooled PC? do i have to take everything out before? I figure worst case scenario I can time my maintenance of the PC with when I'm moving but...would like to keep that in mind

-Given my budget, what are the best products/brands to be looking at?

-How long does it typically take to build? I've noticed a lot of build logs stretch for months at a time. How many hours did you put into it?

Thanks!
First build
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 ASUS P7P55D-E PRO Galaxy GTX 580 1.5GB Accelero Xtreme Plus Cooler G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB F3 12800CL8D-8GBXM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OCZ Vertex2 Extended 120, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB LITEON 24x Internal DVD/CD Writer Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung XL2370 LED Filco Ninja Majestouch 2 Brown Keys, IBM Model M XFX 750W Black Edition HAF 932 Black Edition 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Deathadder 3G, R.A.T 9, G400 Artisan Hayate, QCK Heavy, Artisen Hien Audio Technica AD700, Klipsch Image x10 
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First build
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 ASUS P7P55D-E PRO Galaxy GTX 580 1.5GB Accelero Xtreme Plus Cooler G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB F3 12800CL8D-8GBXM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OCZ Vertex2 Extended 120, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB LITEON 24x Internal DVD/CD Writer Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung XL2370 LED Filco Ninja Majestouch 2 Brown Keys, IBM Model M XFX 750W Black Edition HAF 932 Black Edition 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Deathadder 3G, R.A.T 9, G400 Artisan Hayate, QCK Heavy, Artisen Hien Audio Technica AD700, Klipsch Image x10 
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post #2 of 7
Hello,.
Please look in my sig at my water cooling guide and I am sure it will help you allot! thanks!

-ROG
post #3 of 7
Some thoughts for you...
Quote:
5) don't know if I'm going to watercool GPU/RAM yet, still need to do research on that. weigh pros/cons (feel free to give your own opinion/thoughts)

I definitely recommend putting a block on your GPU(s). That is where you will get the most dramatic temperature improvement. My GTX 580 at load went from 85C on air to 45C under water. RAM, however, will not benefit much from water cooling. It does look nice, though.
Quote:
6) I'm going for quiet fans.

A good 120mm fan to consider is the Scythe GT AP-15. It's been around for years and is one of the best. It moves a lot of air and is very quiet, especially when undervolted a bit with a fan controller.
Quote:
- If i watercool GPU, I should be buying the stock EVGA cards correct?

I believe the consensus around here is to buy a stock reference card and then add your own block, rather than buy an EVGA Hydrocopper or the like.
Quote:
Also, does watercooling add or take away from the energy bill costs? If so, is it significantly more/less?

Watercooling should have a negligible impact on your energy costs.
Quote:
Also, if I add this in the future to a watercooled CPU, is it more of a hassle?

It's not really a hassle but there is some effort involved. You will have to drain your loop, add the GPU block, reconfigure your tubing for the new component, then refill the loop. If that sounds like a hassle then WCing isn't for you. smile.gif
Quote:
-Given my budget, what are the best products/brands to be looking at?

Pretty much all of them. Alphacool, Koolance, EK, Swiftech, Bitspower, XSPC...
Quote:
-How long does it typically take to build? I've noticed a lot of build logs stretch for months at a time. How many hours did you put into it?

My first WC build took about 12 hours. But I was being really slow and methodical because I didn't want to screw up. It really depends on how much effort you want to put into it. A quick and dirty CPU loop might take a couple hours for a first timer. But if you are doing stuff like case modding, cable sleeving, rigid pipe fitting, then it can become a months-long project. smile.gif
post #4 of 7
Hi,

To answer some of your questions:
Don't believe new products will be coming out soon that will 'shock the world'.
The only things that come out are new blocks for new pieces of hardware, the rest is about as good as it's gonna get.

If you watercool your GPU you don't have to buy EVGA GPUs with pre-installed blocks although they are pretty good value/money.
But in all fairness, most of the latest Nvidia cards haven't been very good overclockers.
Even on stock cooling you could push them to the limit without a problem because of the voltage locks.
So watercooling them turned out to be a waste of money in my case.
In terms of energy cost, it's pretty ignorable since those tiny coolers don't really consume that much. (if anything at all)

If you're moving your computer it's highly advisable to drain the whole loop.
You don't HAVE to do it if you believe everything is set up properly but if something shoots loose because of a speed bump you'll be sour about life for sure.

The cost of a loop is different for everyone.
Most of the times when a loop becomes expensive it's because you've been getting fancy looking blocks, fancy radiators, fancy reservoir and a ridiculously powerful pump.
Most people start with a EK or XPSC starting kit which contains everything you need to set up a CPU loop.
Some of these kits are bigger because they allow for expansion, some don't.
So if you want to be safe you can start there, especially considering how good those kits are.

I can rebuild my current system in around and about an hour (maybe 2) from scratch.
(that is after I've taken everything apart and need to put it back)
Some build logs seem to go on for months because they are doing some serious case modding and or are building a system as they have the money to spend.
Seems like not everyone buys everything at once rolleyes.gif
But for a first timer it might take you a few hours to set it up the first time.
(electric drills, they are a gift from the gods seriously tongue.gif)

Oh and before I forget.
There's literally no point in watercooling your RAM.
Maybe if you get really crappy sticks which you overclock like nuts but even then I wouldn't do it.
It's all for looks thumb.gif

Just remember the rule of thumb when you want to watercool something.
If it's running too hot because you overclocked it, but you want to keep the overclock, watercool it.
If it's running perfectly fine but you feel like your case could use more fancy tubes... Just go ahead and watercool it biggrin.gif:D:D
Gangrene Machine
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600k - 4.8Ghz - 1.4v Asus Maximus V Formula 2x MSI GTX 680 SLI 4x4GB Corsair Dominator GT @2133 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
OCZ Vertex3 + Corsair Force 3 + 10 TB storage LG BD Rewriter EK Supreme HF - Acetal+Nickel EK FC680 GTX - Acetal+EN 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Watercool 420mm external + EK 240mm internal Windows 7 Ultimate x64 lg w2363d DAS Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Silverstone ST1200-G NZXT Switch 810 With Pedestal Mod Steelseries Sensei Steelseries QcK XL Na'vi 
AudioAudioAudio
Asus Xonar Essence One + Little Dot MKIII Sennheiser HD650 Elektrovoice RE20 
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Gangrene Machine
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600k - 4.8Ghz - 1.4v Asus Maximus V Formula 2x MSI GTX 680 SLI 4x4GB Corsair Dominator GT @2133 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
OCZ Vertex3 + Corsair Force 3 + 10 TB storage LG BD Rewriter EK Supreme HF - Acetal+Nickel EK FC680 GTX - Acetal+EN 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Watercool 420mm external + EK 240mm internal Windows 7 Ultimate x64 lg w2363d DAS Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Silverstone ST1200-G NZXT Switch 810 With Pedestal Mod Steelseries Sensei Steelseries QcK XL Na'vi 
AudioAudioAudio
Asus Xonar Essence One + Little Dot MKIII Sennheiser HD650 Elektrovoice RE20 
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post #5 of 7
The eVGA 780 Classifieds OC very well and they just released an H20 block for them.
DUALBRAIN
(15 items)
 
  
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon X5680 Xeon X5680 eVGA SR-2 eVGA GTX 780 Ti 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
eVGA GTX 780 Ti 24 GB Corsair Dominator Samsung 840 Pro Aqua Kryos x 2 CPU, Aqua Nickel Ti x 2, MIPS MB... 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 7 Ultimate Dell U3415W Func KB 460 & Happy Hacker Pro 2 Corsair 1200 AXi 
CaseMouseAudio
Case Labs TH 10 Func Audio Engine A5+ 
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DUALBRAIN
(15 items)
 
  
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon X5680 Xeon X5680 eVGA SR-2 eVGA GTX 780 Ti 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
eVGA GTX 780 Ti 24 GB Corsair Dominator Samsung 840 Pro Aqua Kryos x 2 CPU, Aqua Nickel Ti x 2, MIPS MB... 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 7 Ultimate Dell U3415W Func KB 460 & Happy Hacker Pro 2 Corsair 1200 AXi 
CaseMouseAudio
Case Labs TH 10 Func Audio Engine A5+ 
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks all, repped!

Based on feedback looks like I will have to research what brands to buy (I've heard the Scythe AP15 and Yate Loons mentioned frequently), and I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to spend more money on my water cooling gear or adding another GPU. If I get a dual GPU i will likely not have those watercooled (at least initially), but a single GPU i will likely watercool as I'll probably tinker with the settings more. Once I figure out the designs (hoping by september to have it figured out) and whether or not I get a thunderbolt or two korean monitors.

I'm assuming starter kits are cheaper/easier to assemble together...do I have to worry about compatibility issues if I'm not buying a starter kit and buying from different brands?

I'm hoping with Caselabs I won't have to do much ( i was thinking about a custom paint job, but I haven't decided yet. Tubing and things like that I'm just hoping that i have options for colors. Thanks all!
First build
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 ASUS P7P55D-E PRO Galaxy GTX 580 1.5GB Accelero Xtreme Plus Cooler G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB F3 12800CL8D-8GBXM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OCZ Vertex2 Extended 120, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB LITEON 24x Internal DVD/CD Writer Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung XL2370 LED Filco Ninja Majestouch 2 Brown Keys, IBM Model M XFX 750W Black Edition HAF 932 Black Edition 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Deathadder 3G, R.A.T 9, G400 Artisan Hayate, QCK Heavy, Artisen Hien Audio Technica AD700, Klipsch Image x10 
  hide details  
Reply
First build
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 ASUS P7P55D-E PRO Galaxy GTX 580 1.5GB Accelero Xtreme Plus Cooler G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB F3 12800CL8D-8GBXM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
OCZ Vertex2 Extended 120, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB LITEON 24x Internal DVD/CD Writer Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung XL2370 LED Filco Ninja Majestouch 2 Brown Keys, IBM Model M XFX 750W Black Edition HAF 932 Black Edition 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Deathadder 3G, R.A.T 9, G400 Artisan Hayate, QCK Heavy, Artisen Hien Audio Technica AD700, Klipsch Image x10 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mylilpony View Post

I'm assuming starter kits are cheaper/easier to assemble together...do I have to worry about compatibility issues if I'm not buying a starter kit and buying from different brands?

Kits are cheaper than buying the specific parts separately. They aren't any easier to assemble. But you lose the ability to choose your parts individually. I started with a kit, saved a bunch of money, then discovered I didn't like a couple of parts in the kit. After buying replacements parts, I was no longer saving money. tongue.gif

Parts between brands are largely compatible as long as you pay attention to 3 measurements:
  1. Threading. This is for screwing parts into each other, like fitings into rads, fittings into reservoirs, fittings into other fittings. Just make sure all your parts use the same threading. G1/4" is the most popular standard, but a couple others like G3/8" exist also.
  2. Inner diameter (ID). Make sure the ID of the tubing matches the ID of the barb/compression fitting. The one exception you will find with XSPC 750 kits is they use 1/2" barbs and 7/16" tubing.
  3. Outer diameter (OD). Applies only to compression fittings. Make sure the OD of the fitting matches the OD of the tubing.
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