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Water cooling advise needed

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

I am going to build a PC soon for myself (currently buying the components). As an IT'er and somebody that believes he knows a lot about computers I find watercooling and more extreme overclocking to be something I don't have much experience with yet. (AIO solutions don't count in my opinion, the same for auto overclock tools)

In order to solve this without going bankrupt I bought a 2nd hand setup from someone to get started with watercooling.
This setup consists of:
- tubing
- an MCP 655 pump (no top)
- swiftech apogee XT
- a lot of plastic 90° barb fittings from the brand "gates"
- a T-piece (plastic) and a drain/fill port or however you call a plug for at the end of the extra tube connected to the T
- a chipset cooling block
- 2 swiftech 240 radiators stacked on top of each other with fans in the middle. (I guess this is the mcr 220-q
and mcr 220 q stack version.)

I have read a lot about how to assemble loops/what to do/... and learning that is part of the fun, so I won't ask for help about that just yet.
I got some questions about the material I got though:

1) I have a lot of these plastic fittings. Are they reliable? in every topic I see metal/specific brand fittings recommended.

2) the CPU block looks like it has the imprint of the previous CPU still on it and some lines (not deep scratches). What is the best way to try to clean it? wipe it with ethyl alcohol I guess, but if that doesn't help is there something else I can try? like sanding it,...

3) is a chipset waterblock worth using over the default cooling blocks on a motherboard (probably going for ROG maximus VI hero; mix of overclock+gaming)

4) these radiators are stacked. Is it best I separate them and try to find plugs for the stack radiator? If not, what case can fit this radiator? my budget is €100-200 for a case. Cases I was looking at are the phantom 630, 750D or cosmos SE but feel free to advise something else.

5) I guess it is also best if I invest in a reservoir? or is filling it up slowly using the T-piece enough?

6) Are there other components/parts you suggest I buy?

I am probably going to expand the loop to my GPU after I am more familiar with it all, but I want to try things with a CPU-only setup first to start with.

thank you in advance for any advise!
Nik
post #2 of 6
1. I haven't used plastic fittings so I can't say if they are good or not. Personally I use XSPC compression fittings, they're cheap and haven't failed me yet.

2. It should be fine. Rubbing alcohol and coffee filters work great for cleaning.

3. From everything I've read, chipset and memory are not worth water cooling.

4. Un-stacking them will probably work better. When stacked the heat from one will just be blowing on the next. One 240 rad should be enough for a good cpu overclock.

5. You will probably want a reservoir. Don't think they're completely necessary though.

Keep in mind I'm not a watercooling expert but I have dabbled a little. biggrin.gif
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post #3 of 6
1. the plastic fitting .. meh, depends on the quality... some are too soft and "bend" or cave in when pushing hose or jubilee clips on them; some go brittle with age... but most importantly.. they tend to be ugly smile.gif And tend to be a bit restrictive... it all depends smile.gif

2. isopropyl; ketchup.. if still residue, something stronger like Brasso and lots of elbow grease.. if you want to go to mirror finish: lapping from 300 grit upto silk/toothpaste smile.gif

3. for "bling" value, yeah otherwise not worth it... not to mention that you cant always be sure of the materials used: copper/alu problems

4. UNstack them : http://martinsliquidlab.org/2012/06/08/hesmelaughs-radiator-sandwich-testing/
case: i would suggest a Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 or Arc XL - but that depends on taste smile.gif
http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/cases/arc-series/arc-midi-r2


5. res makes it easier, but not a necessity. However, since you have a pump without top; consider one of the pump-top/res combo's like this one: http://www.aquatuning.de/product_info.php/info/p9678_XSPC-Acrylic-Tank-Reservoir-for-Laing-D5.html

6. get NEW hose/tubing... old 2nd hand hoses tend to be ugly/cheap/bad ; although its up to you, can can even use gardenhose if you want to: smile.gif
-Stay AWAY from coloured liquids/dyes.. nothing but distilled + silver coil or PTnuke/DeadWater.
-Before you do anything... flush the rads, do the rad-dance and flush/clean (open if possible) the cpublock
-Read everything there is to read (stickies) about WC
-Accept Martin as a demi-god : http://martinsliquidlab.org/

Ask more question if needed
Good luck
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpetrel View Post

[...]

I have read a lot about how to assemble loops/what to do/... and learning that is part of the fun, so I won't ask for help about that just yet.
I got some questions about the material I got though:

1) I have a lot of these plastic fittings. Are they reliable? in every topic I see metal/specific brand fittings recommended.

No exp w/ plastic barbs personally. Might see here:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1201306/plastic-barbs
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=284727
Quote:
2) the CPU block looks like it has the imprint of the previous CPU still on it and some lines (not deep scratches). What is the best way to try to clean it? wipe it with ethyl alcohol I guess, but if that doesn't help is there something else I can try? like sanding it,...

Alcohol might help cleaning the block, though I have my doubts, but you definitely want to avoid getting alcohol on anything plastic/acrylic. See the first pic here for a good 'why':
http://www.overclock.net/t/766479/watercooling-guide-for-beginner#post_9853414

Believe it or not, ketchup (catsup) and a soft rag/towel/toothbrush is good for cleaning blocks. That, or some will recommend a vinegar solution.

Here's a how-to vid from Juggalo (OCN water cooling editor) on " How to clean your CPU waterblock from Oxidation" using lemon juice:
Quote:
3) is a chipset waterblock worth using over the default cooling blocks on a motherboard (probably going for ROG maximus VI hero; mix of overclock+gaming)

It's usually overkill to watercool the board, and though overkill is highly recommended on OCN, if you're on a budget it should probably be one of your last / least considerations.
Quote:
4) these radiators are stacked. Is it best I separate them and try to find plugs for the stack radiator? If not, what case can fit this radiator? my budget is €100-200 for a case. Cases I was looking at are the phantom 630, 750D or cosmos SE but feel free to advise something else.

Well if your budget is €100-200 for a case, and that upper limit won't hurt you too bad, then get yourself the Enthoo Primo - a new €200 case from Phanteks that's crazy ideal for watercooling - and don't ever worry about anything like having to stack rads.
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-000-PT
http://www.overclock.net/t/1418637/phanteks-enthoo-primo-owners-club
Quote:
5) I guess it is also best if I invest in a reservoir? or is filling it up slowly using the T-piece enough?

A res is optional, but will make filling it up easier. A T-line is cheaper and can help with filling too and will make draining it easier. Many have their reasons for preferring one or the other. Best to read a few topics debating the two and you'll get a better feel for what you want to do ...
http://www.overclock.net/newsearch/?search=Reservoir+T-line&output=all&containingforum[0]=61&type=all&advanced=1
Edited by Unicr0nhunter - 10/16/13 at 3:48am
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the advise so far! Fast and very extensive responses here whoa.


Still reading up and doing extra research on all the things suggested. In the meantime: is there any advantage over using a pump top other then looks/being able to attach the fittings you like?
post #6 of 6
most 3th party pump tops increase performance (if used correctly)
but the biggest benefit is indeed versatility: pump/top/res-combo , easier fitting(s), etc.

in your case, it can solve the Reservoir question smile.gif

But it works also without a custom top


Note: have a look at the Aquacomputer & XSPC pump/top/res combo's smile.gif
http://www.xs-pc.com/water-pumps/d5-photon-170-reservoirpump-combo
http://shop.aquacomputer.de/product_info.php?products_id=3087
Edited by RnRollie - 10/16/13 at 7:19am
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