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Advice on watercooled gaming computer?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I hope to start working on my first ever custom computer project before christmas. The build itself will essentially have no strict cost limit but obviously I want to be making good choices on components.

I have come up with a list of parts which I think would give me a fairly solid gaming rig that I can have for quite a long time and will perform. Obviously, I have been looking around forums a lot at what people are doing but I don't have any experience myself with making a computer, so I want to post up some of the parts I've selected to see what people think overall... Please keep in mind that this is a very changable list, especially given any advice I get.

The computer will be a personal computer and will be used for running very intensive games on as high settings as possible.

Case
Corsair Air 540
Cold Cathode blacklight (if UV active tubes are used)
LED strips

Components
Intel i7-4770k (hoping to overclock from 3.5 to 4.5ghz)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780
Asus Maximus VI Extreme (1150 chipset)
Corsair AX1200Watt (might be way too much - 860i)
Corsair Dominator Platinum 2400mhz RAM (2 x 8gb kit)
Samsung 840 pro SSD (2 x 256gb in RAID 0) - for OS and programs
Western Digital RED HHD (2 x 2tb in RAID 1 for backup daily)
Blu-Ray or DVD RW drive (LN51873)
(POSSIBLY) Xonar sound card

Watercooling
Swiftech MCP 655 Pump
Koolance 380i CPU waterblock
Koolance VID-NXTTN (GTX 780 full coverage waterblock)
Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 (or XT45 Full Copper) 240mm Radiators
(3 radiators running in pull configuration - will take some case modding at the bottom)
Corsair Air Series 120mm fans (not sure which ones to get here, noise isn't really an issue for me)
Primoflex LRT Advanced (not sure, Feser Tube is also good I have heard)
Distilled water with Silver as Anti-Bio
Koolance compression fittings
Koolance 60mm or 80mm OD cylindrical reservior

I have also run the system through a simple power consumption tool and it has given me these approximates
Max load power consumption for single card: 680watts
Max load power consumption for three cards: 1080watts (if I ever decide to go crazy with cards)

I'd love to get any opinions on this build. I know it might seem over the top or bottlenecked in places so I'd really appreciate any input.

Thanks for any help smile.gif
post #2 of 18
Here is a great guide for you: CLICK
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link! smile.gif

Any feedback on parts? Is the 780 a good choice currently, or are multiple older cards more useful? I would eventually consider upgrading to more graphics cards but currently I have only one 24" screen.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenMacNugget View Post

Thanks for the link! smile.gif

Any feedback on parts? Is the 780 a good choice currently, or are multiple older cards more useful? I would eventually consider upgrading to more graphics cards but currently I have only one 24" screen.

a single 780 with 1 monitor is a good match,,,even with the higher resolution screens,,,the 1200 watt PSU is a lot,,,,1 850watt would be enough for 2 780s..,,,,i would get a 1000watt psu,,,but I always go bigger on the PSU,,,thats just me
strix Z270E
(18 items)
 
HAF 922
(14 items)
 
902
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 7700K strix Z270E asus gtx970 dcII 4gb 16gb gskill ripjaws 2400mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
seagate sata 1 tb samsung 850 evo 500gb ssd lg blueray corsair H105 
OSMonitorMonitorMonitor
windows 10 home  asus 27inch 1080p  acer 24 inch 1080p acer 24 inch 1080p 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
logitech G110 evga supernova G2 750watt fractual design define XL R2 mx518 
Audio
sony wireless,,,headphones 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
fx 6300 asus m5a99X evo asus gtx 670 2gb  8gb 1600mhz gskill ripjaws 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
corsair 120gb ssd WD 1 tb 7200rpm lg blueray H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
windows 7 home premium 50 inch 3d plasma 1080p,,smart tv logitech wireless  corsair tx 750 watt 
CaseAudio
coolermaster 922 denon 7.1,home theatre 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
amd 965x4 asus,m4n72-e asus gtx 570 1.25gb 8gb 800 gskill ddr2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingMonitor
samsung 840 evo lg cheap zalman something cpu cooler??,,,works pretty good lg 22 inch 
PowerCase
coolermaster 850 antec 902 
  hide details  
Reply
strix Z270E
(18 items)
 
HAF 922
(14 items)
 
902
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 7700K strix Z270E asus gtx970 dcII 4gb 16gb gskill ripjaws 2400mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
seagate sata 1 tb samsung 850 evo 500gb ssd lg blueray corsair H105 
OSMonitorMonitorMonitor
windows 10 home  asus 27inch 1080p  acer 24 inch 1080p acer 24 inch 1080p 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
logitech G110 evga supernova G2 750watt fractual design define XL R2 mx518 
Audio
sony wireless,,,headphones 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
fx 6300 asus m5a99X evo asus gtx 670 2gb  8gb 1600mhz gskill ripjaws 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
corsair 120gb ssd WD 1 tb 7200rpm lg blueray H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
windows 7 home premium 50 inch 3d plasma 1080p,,smart tv logitech wireless  corsair tx 750 watt 
CaseAudio
coolermaster 922 denon 7.1,home theatre 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
amd 965x4 asus,m4n72-e asus gtx 570 1.25gb 8gb 800 gskill ddr2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingMonitor
samsung 840 evo lg cheap zalman something cpu cooler??,,,works pretty good lg 22 inch 
PowerCase
coolermaster 850 antec 902 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 18
If you are not a hardcore benchmark guy and just want to have an awesome gaming system that can do pretty much anything else that you throw at it, you might want to consider getting the Maximus VI Formula instead of the Extreme. The Formula is a sweet board and I've seen some poor reviews on the performance of the Extreme board. TTL's review shows that the MSI GD65 Gaming board performance is at least as good and better in some instances. In fact you might consider getting the MSI board for your build. It's a great overclocking board and costs about $115 less than the MVI Extreme.

You may want to consider getting a lower wattage psu. The new EVGA SuperNova G2 1000W had a great review on johnnyguru. It's fully modular and less expensive. It should easily handle 3 780's and a WC loop. If you really want the extra wattage then get the 1300W version. Both cost much less than the AX-1200.

As far as the CPU, if you are doing video editing or some other tasks that require multi threads then get the 4770k. If just gaming go for the 4670k. Again you will save some $.

Now, these suggestions will save approximately $250 - $350 so you can almost afford that 2nd 780!! Good luck and can't wait for the build log!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
@trailer park boy

I think I'll just get a 850watt power supply, the 780 has a lot of ports that I can use while I expand the system and if I ever do get too much for the PSU to handle, I can always upgrade it, so it's not the end of the world smile.gif Thanks!

@TheHarvman313

I am definitely NOT a benchmarking kinda guy, but I will be looking for something that is "futureproof" to the best of my ability. I have been considering the formula somewhat, with the MOSFET watercooling block that would be easy to incorporate into my watercooling loop. I am a bit concerned about the SLI capabilities, I know it can run up to 3-way-SLI at x8/x4/x4, but the extreme can do the same at x8/x16/x8. Does this kind of bus layout have an effect? Or do the channels never really saturate no matter what card is in use?

I was looking to use the Corair AX series because I've heard that they're extremely good. I'll be looking around more for reviews of other powersupplies, and I'll definitely have a look at the ones you mentioned smile.gif
post #7 of 18
eventhough i am not the most seasoned component person, i wil throw my two cents in. be sure to visit the water cooling club and picture gallery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenMacNugget View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I hope to start working on my first ever custom computer project before christmas. The build itself will essentially have no strict cost limit but obviously I want to be making good choices on components.

I have come up with a list of parts which I think would give me a fairly solid gaming rig that I can have for quite a long time and will perform. Obviously, I have been looking around forums a lot at what people are doing but I don't have any experience myself with making a computer, so I want to post up some of the parts I've selected to see what people think overall... Please keep in mind that this is a very changable list, especially given any advice I get.

The computer will be a personal computer and will be used for running very intensive games on as high settings as possible.

Case
Corsair Air 540 -nice case. i thought of changing my HAF XB for this case, but i like that my MB sits flat in the XB. the 540 has much more room for cooling then the XB.
Cold Cathode blacklight (if UV active tubes are used)
LED strips

Components
Intel i7-4770k (hoping to overclock from 3.5 to 4.5ghz) - nice chip. if you are just doing gaming, i am not sure how much better this is then the I5-4670K. better research this as this price difference could be applied to another component.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 - very nice. should do what ever you need it to do with one monitor
Asus Maximus VI Extreme (1150 chipset) - very nice as well. this board will give you tri-sli for upgrading if you get there. i have fould that by the time i feel the need to go tri-sli, i am aslo looking at the latest and greatest MB. might want to consider the formula as the previous poster had stated unless you know that you will be going tri-sli (tri-sli 780's is great for surround gaming, so if that's your plan, then go for the extreme)
Corsair AX1200Watt (might be way too much - 860i) - thats alot of watts for this system listed. if you plan on going tri-sli, then this will work well. if you go with the 860i, then you will have to get a new PSU when you go tri-sli which will bring up the cost of going tri-sli alot.
Corsair Dominator Platinum 2400mhz RAM (2 x 8gb kit)
Samsung 840 pro SSD (2 x 256gb in RAID 0) - for OS and programs
Western Digital RED HHD (2 x 2tb in RAID 1 for backup daily)
Blu-Ray or DVD RW drive (LN51873)
(POSSIBLY) Xonar sound card - what kind of speckers or sound syatem are you using? i would buy this after the computer is together and see how the onboard sound is first.

Watercooling
Swiftech MCP 655 Pump - i have this pump(two of them with a dual bitspower top) so it gets my vote for sure. i like the adjustable speed one as they never need to be on full blast unless i am filling the lines.
Koolance 380i CPU waterblock - i don't know much about these block, but i do like the way it looks. there isn't that much of a cooling difference between major manufactures of cpu block, so unless you are going for the lowest of the low in temps, it should be fine. i am a EK waterblock person myself as i like to see the fluid going through the blocks.
Koolance VID-NXTTN (GTX 780 full coverage waterblock) - same as above
Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 (or XT45 Full Copper) 240mm Radiators - nice choice. all copper rads. i have two monsta 480's and i love them. i like how they have multiple port options and even one for a drain if you need it. they also come with enough plugs and rad screws to get you started and not have to buy extra parts. i will change my rads to the ones you have listed soon, so they get my seal of approval(not that that means much).
(3 radiators running in pull configuration - will take some case modding at the bottom)
Corsair Air Series 120mm fans (not sure which ones to get here, noise isn't really an issue for me) - i would go with the SP versions as they have better static pressure. it won't hurt to get some sort of control for your fans whether from the MB or a fan controller. when just surfing the interweb, you don't need your fans running at full speed. it's just annoying after a while. i have 16 fans on my 480's and they can make some noise when they are all on.
Primoflex LRT Advanced (not sure, Feser Tube is also good I have heard) - i would go with the LRT advanced. i have read good things about this tube. if i wasn't going to do acrylic next, i would get the advanced LRT.
Distilled water with Silver as Anti-Bio - this is a time proven combo that works. i personally use mayhams XT products. they have all the additives i need and that way i don't have to have silver in the line. the xt products have a biocide and ph balancer. if your ph is not nutural, your tubes might "fog" over sooner then without. if you are going with colored tubing, then your choice should work just fine.
Koolance compression fittings - i only use bitspower fittings. they have never let me down. i have never used any koolance fittings other then a 5-way splitter which has no leak points so i can't help you there.
Koolance 60mm or 80mm OD cylindrical reservior - these are kind of small. i know that space is limited in the 540. a larger res will help only with filling and bleeding the air out as it has less tendancies to suck air bubbles back into the line.

I have also run the system through a simple power consumption tool and it has given me these approximates
Max load power consumption for single card: 680watts
Max load power consumption for three cards: 1080watts (if I ever decide to go crazy with cards)

I'd love to get any opinions on this build. I know it might seem over the top or bottlenecked in places so I'd really appreciate any input.

Thanks for any help smile.gif

good luck and welcome to the world of water cooling. thumb.gif
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenMacNugget View Post

@trailer park boy

I think I'll just get a 850watt power supply, the 780 has a lot of ports that I can use while I expand the system and if I ever do get too much for the PSU to handle, I can always upgrade it, so it's not the end of the world smile.gif Thanks!

@TheHarvman313

I am definitely NOT a benchmarking kinda guy, but I will be looking for something that is "futureproof" to the best of my ability. I have been considering the formula somewhat, with the MOSFET watercooling block that would be easy to incorporate into my watercooling loop. I am a bit concerned about the SLI capabilities, I know it can run up to 3-way-SLI at x8/x4/x4, but the extreme can do the same at x8/x16/x8. Does this kind of bus layout have an effect? Or do the channels never really saturate no matter what card is in use?

I was looking to use the Corair AX series because I've heard that they're extremely good. I'll be looking around more for reviews of other powersupplies, and I'll definitely have a look at the ones you mentioned smile.gif

http://www.overclock.net/t/183810/faq-recommended-power-supplies

heres the good PSU list

http://www.amazon.com/PB278Q-27-Inch-LED-lit-Professional-Graphics/dp/B009C3M7H0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376611029&sr=8-1&keywords=1440p+Monitor+Newegg

one of these should produce a clear picture,,may as well use all that graphics power
Edited by trailer park boy - 8/15/13 at 5:01pm
strix Z270E
(18 items)
 
HAF 922
(14 items)
 
902
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 7700K strix Z270E asus gtx970 dcII 4gb 16gb gskill ripjaws 2400mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
seagate sata 1 tb samsung 850 evo 500gb ssd lg blueray corsair H105 
OSMonitorMonitorMonitor
windows 10 home  asus 27inch 1080p  acer 24 inch 1080p acer 24 inch 1080p 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
logitech G110 evga supernova G2 750watt fractual design define XL R2 mx518 
Audio
sony wireless,,,headphones 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
fx 6300 asus m5a99X evo asus gtx 670 2gb  8gb 1600mhz gskill ripjaws 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
corsair 120gb ssd WD 1 tb 7200rpm lg blueray H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
windows 7 home premium 50 inch 3d plasma 1080p,,smart tv logitech wireless  corsair tx 750 watt 
CaseAudio
coolermaster 922 denon 7.1,home theatre 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
amd 965x4 asus,m4n72-e asus gtx 570 1.25gb 8gb 800 gskill ddr2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingMonitor
samsung 840 evo lg cheap zalman something cpu cooler??,,,works pretty good lg 22 inch 
PowerCase
coolermaster 850 antec 902 
  hide details  
Reply
strix Z270E
(18 items)
 
HAF 922
(14 items)
 
902
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 7700K strix Z270E asus gtx970 dcII 4gb 16gb gskill ripjaws 2400mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
seagate sata 1 tb samsung 850 evo 500gb ssd lg blueray corsair H105 
OSMonitorMonitorMonitor
windows 10 home  asus 27inch 1080p  acer 24 inch 1080p acer 24 inch 1080p 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
logitech G110 evga supernova G2 750watt fractual design define XL R2 mx518 
Audio
sony wireless,,,headphones 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
fx 6300 asus m5a99X evo asus gtx 670 2gb  8gb 1600mhz gskill ripjaws 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
corsair 120gb ssd WD 1 tb 7200rpm lg blueray H100 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
windows 7 home premium 50 inch 3d plasma 1080p,,smart tv logitech wireless  corsair tx 750 watt 
CaseAudio
coolermaster 922 denon 7.1,home theatre 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
amd 965x4 asus,m4n72-e asus gtx 570 1.25gb 8gb 800 gskill ddr2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingMonitor
samsung 840 evo lg cheap zalman something cpu cooler??,,,works pretty good lg 22 inch 
PowerCase
coolermaster 850 antec 902 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 18
How many video cards do you want?

Also Corsair is not really worth buying when you got so many options that are just as good but cheaper or even better AND cheaper
Seravee
(24 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core I7 6850K Gigabyte X99 Ultra Gaming EVGA GTX 1080 FTW2 Kingston HyperX DDR4 Savage 3000 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 840 Evo WD Green WD40EZRX  WD Green WD60EZRX  WD Red WD80EFZX 8TB  
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Seagate Ironwolf Pro 10 TB LG CH12NS30 5x Noctua NF-A14 FLX Noctua NH-D15S 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64 Bit Asus PG279Q Corsair Gaming Strafe RGB EVGA SuperNova G2 750 watt 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Phanteks Enthoo Luxe Roccat Kone XTD Laser Roccat Sense Metor Sennheiser HD 598 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Onkyo TX NR646  Harman Kardon HKTS 60 CableMod E series PSU cable set CableMod LED Strips 
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Seravee
(24 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core I7 6850K Gigabyte X99 Ultra Gaming EVGA GTX 1080 FTW2 Kingston HyperX DDR4 Savage 3000 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 840 Evo WD Green WD40EZRX  WD Green WD60EZRX  WD Red WD80EFZX 8TB  
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Seagate Ironwolf Pro 10 TB LG CH12NS30 5x Noctua NF-A14 FLX Noctua NH-D15S 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64 Bit Asus PG279Q Corsair Gaming Strafe RGB EVGA SuperNova G2 750 watt 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Phanteks Enthoo Luxe Roccat Kone XTD Laser Roccat Sense Metor Sennheiser HD 598 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Onkyo TX NR646  Harman Kardon HKTS 60 CableMod E series PSU cable set CableMod LED Strips 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
@vaporizer

Seasoned or not, I really appreciate your input! smile.gif

A friend of mine is thinking of doing his first build on a haf xb or something similar wink.gif I have spent the last week wracking my brain looking for something really nice that can also be massively upgraded and kitted out. It is more than likely that, if I ever replace the system, I will be doing so in the same case. In terms of upgrading to things like 3 way SLI 780's... I definitely will do that at some point, but will have to wait to get the 3 monitors that I plan to put in to a surround system, along with my current monitor that I'd use as an auxillery. (As such, the extreme might be the way to go afterall)

I'll definitely have to look at the power supply option. Becuase, while I will be upgrading... It might very well be atleast 6 months after I finish the original system before I do so... So the aditional power will be wasted for some time.

I definitely agree about the soundcard. At the moment I'm not even using a surround sound speaker system (5.1 headphones though) and the extreme's on board sound card might be more than I need.

I'll be getting a full copper water cooling system if I can, as I definitely don't any kind of corrosion in my system by mixing metals. As for the waterblocks etc, they're mostly personal choice, and I've heard the Koolance 380i is great.

Thanks for all your input, it's all stuff I want a second opinion on and I cannot wait to start working away at this thing.

I am kind of on the fence about cases though. I have been thinking about not going for the air 540, but instead to go for the Corsair 900D, which I know is ENORMOUS but it really has all the space I could ever want. I'm currently experimenting with different watercooling loops for now, and the future... smile.gif
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