8' to 12' of tubing (it's cheap, and I change mine out every hear because I use colored coolant, so I buy like 20' and have plenty (I'm always building up water cooled PC's so I like having tubing on hand) ... shipping charges for 8' is the same as 20' so why worry about it?
For that loop, you shouldn't need more than 1L of coolant (most likely even less, maybe 750ml). That should fill you up and have some extra for about a years worth of "topping the tank".
Originally Posted by Jimbo Slice
I really want white coolant so that it would match my overall build. I understand that there is white tubing available, but that means my reservoir would still be clear. Though distilled water is cheaper and it's still a thought in my mind.
Then you might want to get a White coolant then. I've used many different coolants over the years, Mayhems, Ice Dragon, FluidXP+, etc. For my purposes, they all work well. They can be a little pricey, especially if you were like me early on and ran 3 RX360 rads in an external loop with 40 feet of tubing (don't ask), with a 400mm res. Cost me about $100 a year for premix FluidXP+.
I love using $0.99 a gallon distilled water from the local store and a $7 bottle of Mayhem dye. It's cheap and looks great. Only problem with dye is ... well, it is a dye, and it will stain your tubing. This isn't a major problem unless you change the color of your water often. If you do, then buy extra tubing at $0.59 a foot and when you change colors, change tubing too. The nice thing with distilled water and dye (other than it being cheap) is the nice (to me) translucent effect.
I also have several rigs that use Mayhem Pastel coolant and dyes. Most notable, Gigabyte Orange (Muzzle Flash build) and my own blend of Pink (Switched Switch build). The Orange was just stock Mayhem Orange Pastel. I've been running that for months now with Durelene tubing with ZERO problems.
I recently switched over my Switched Switch build from distilled water and Mayhem Red Dye to (after replacing the tubing) Mayhem Ice White and 6 drops of Mayhem Deep Red dye and it gave me (actually my wifes) computer an awesome Pink color. The advantage of the Pastel colors over just distilled water and dye is that it is opaque and you don't need a biocide/silver.
I've been modding computers for years, and have done many water cooling builds. While I can't say that any one company makes a better coolant than the other (to me, if there is a technical difference than lasts longer or has less biological growth or runs cooler temps), I can't tell. I will say that despite the negativity here, Mayhem makes a solid product that works well.
As far as diameter, well, that really is up to you. Depending on how long you've been doing water cooling, often will factor in on tube diameter. Back in the very early days of WC'ing, when pumps weren't what they are today, there was upwards of a 5C difference between 1/4" tubing and 1/2" tubing. These days, with modern pumps, it has fallen to less than 1/2C temperature difference. You can find much history and facts on this from various sites (like on Martin's Liquid Lab). So the short answer is on tubing diameter is ... what ever size you like.
Me, personally, I like the look of 1/2" stuff. It's big and in your face. I want that, especially with colored coolant. 1/4" and 3/8" tubing is easier to route and you can get tighter bends, so if you have a small case, that may appear to you. There is also a new wave of ridge acrylic tubing (which doesn't stain) but is MUCH harder to work with, called E22.
Sometimes, what drives your tubing choice is the type of fittings you want to use. I, like most people, started out with "barbs" and wire ties. For that, all you have to do is worry about ID (Inside Diameter) of the tubing and make sure it is the same (or slightly smaller) that the barb size.
These days, everything I do is usually with "Compression Fittings". With that, you have deal with an ID and OD (Inside Diameter and Outside Diameter) of the tubing. Most sites will tell you what tubing to use for what manufacture of fittings. Me personally, I like Bitspower fittings.Edited by 47 Knucklehead - 9/19/13 at 11:33am