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First Loop and I have some questions.

post #1 of 190
Thread Starter 
I'm going to be building a new computer in the future. Water cooling has been an interest of mine for almost 10 years now, but I've never set up a loop. I've spent the better part of the last two days reading up on the subject, and I'm hoping to get some input on my findings. My motivation to w'c is primarily for the noise. It's possible that I'll overclock components in the future, but it's not a priority and it's certainly not how I've made my selections. I attempted to minimize the noise produced by every part by reading search results and reviews from queries like: "quietest X for water cooling". For the most part posts on this forum directed my choices, so that's why I'm here asking my questions.

My computer will be mostly new parts, but since I recently purchased a GIGABYTE GTX 670 GV-N670OC-2GD, the GPU is fixed in the build. My CPU is not yet decided, but I'm leaning toward something like the Intel I7 4770K and for the Motherboard the ASUS MAXIMUS VI HERO is a strong contender. Everything I've read tells me that cooling memory, mobo components, psu, and hard drives is unnecessary, so the only things in my loop are probably gpu and cpu.

Here are my selections


CASE -
http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/cases/arc-series/arc-xl
OR
http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/cases/define-series/define-xl-r2-black-pearl

RADIATOR -
http://www.xs-pc.com/radiators-rx-series/rx240-dual-fan-radiator-v2
AND
http://www.xs-pc.com/radiators-rx-series/rx120-single-fan-radiator-v2


PUMP / RESERVOIR -
http://www.alphacool.com/product_info.php/info/p1160_Alphacool-Repack---Dual-Laing-D5-Station-inkl--1x-Alphacool-VPP655.html


CPU BLOCK -
http://koolance.com/cpu-380i-processor-water-block


GPU BLOCK -
http://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-fc680-gtx-plus.html
OR
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/wahegpgtx680.html


So my questions:

1. Which case is suggested for w/c'ing? Is the only difference the window? If so, I'm not partial to aesthetics and I don't intend to beautify the loop much in any way with LEDs or fancy tubing. To emphasize again, my interest in watercooling is primarily to reduce noise. I like fractal's case because it's massive, made out of steel, has sound dampening panels, and was designed with watercooling in mind. I'm open to other chasis suggestions, but any alternative would have to beat the fractal case in at least these categories.

2a. Should I just have one 240mm radiator, or a 240mm and a 120mm? I chose these radiators because the low fans per inch value. I'll mount the 240mm in the front of the case, the 120mm i'll probably mount on the back. The chasis also supports a 240mm radiator mounted on the top, so this is a possibility as well if my 240mm, 120mm combo isn't viable. I opted away from the dual 240mm setup because I believe the radiators I'm looking at are much thicker than usual to compensate for the low fpi value, so I'm worried about interference from other components near the top of the case if I attempt to mount another 240mm radiator there. If you have any thoughts or experience here it's welcome!

2b. I haven't chosen fans for these radiators yet, I would LOVE some extremely quiet suggestions. I searched around for a while, looked at some Noctuas, but wasn't really convinced by anything I read so moved on to other components. If you know of some quiet fans, that will work well with low fpi radiators, please let me know.

3. I'd like to know if that pump is strong enough to circulate the coolant, or if I need to consider a dual pump setup. The Laing D5 came highly recommended, basically everywhere, but I'd like to know if it's hefty enough for my loop.

4. Comments or suggestions on my CPU / GPU block choices are welcome! I can't decide which GPU block to go with, and it took considerable effort to find even these two copper blocks which claim compatibility with the GV-N670OC-2GD. If you have other GPU block suggestions that are compatible with my GPU I'd love to hear them.

5. II guess I'd also like to know if I was careful enough in selecting the metals in all the parts to this point. I think everything is either copper or bronze, with the exception of the pump which says it uses "aluminum oxide" and "hard coal". Everything I've read says never to mix aluminum with copper, so I'm a little nervous about this, but maybe the aluminum isn't a wetted part? I don't know, so input here is appreciated.

I'm still sort of shopping around for tubing and fittings. I'm sure to go with barbs and clamps over compression fittings, and with 1/2" (13mm) ID tubing. I haven't done a whole lot of research on tubing, I've seen the same brand names show up in lots of topics, but I don't really know what's considered best in 2014. I don't have any aesthetic needs, so anything that doesn't kink or leak or degrade over time will probably do the job for me. Suggestions here are welcome as well.

I'll probably post more questions as I continue researching this, but it's very early in the morning here and I'd like to get some sleep. Thank you all in advance for your replies!

Best
e6
post #2 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by e64462 View Post

I've spent the better part of the last two days reading up on the subject,

You haven't spent enough time studying, as evidenced by your rad choice.

RADIATOR -
http://www.xs-pc.com/radiators-rx-series/rx240-dual-fan-radiator-v2
AND
http://www.xs-pc.com/radiators-rx-series/rx120-single-fan-radiator-v2

XSPC RX360 test results (and that's a 360).

2a. Should I just have one 240mm radiator, or a 240mm and a 120mm?
See above

2b. I haven't chosen fans for these radiators yet, I would LOVE some extremely quiet suggestions.
Then you'd love poor performance too.

3. I'd like to know if that pump is strong enough
Pump Planning Guide

I'm still sort of shopping around for tubing
Tygon R3603

While wide fin spacing rads will work with low pressure fans (note pressure, not RPM, as RPM means nothing as far as performance is concerned), there are significant performance losses with less fins. For quiet operation with good performance you need a lot of rad face to compensate for the inefficiency of low airflow fans.

Generally, thicker fans deliver more pressure.

And.........



I hope all that helps, especially Martin's Liquid Lab..............
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post #3 of 190
1) Most WC cases will have a side window, but not all. What makes a WC is the ability to mount rads.
You will want a minimum of 120.3 rads, 120.4 is also better.
Make sure both rafs are pulling in air, or both pushing out air.
For the best WC cases, look to Caselab's Merlin series.

2a) Both thick and high fin count rads ate better suited for fast noisier fans.
I suggest the Alphacool full copper line of rads.
Go as thick as you can fit, keeping room for push/pull (fans on both sides)

2b) Gentle Typhoons are the best fans if you can find them. Second for me would be Cougar fans, Yate Loons on a budget. Bur Yates don't like being mounted horizontally.

3) Yes, that pump, the D5 is enought.
I recommend the Vario model so.you can turn it up or down for noise/performance.

4) Fot blocks, I prefer EK all ariund. And I like plexi tops so I can do a visual inspestuon for corrosion/bubbles/blockage without stripping the entire loop.

5) You'll be fine. Tho I always recommend you use X1 as corrosion/biocide protection. And don't get any nickel plating on your blocks. Costs more money, and increases your chances of corrosion/flaking issues. Don't use silver in your loop either.

Tubing: Primochill Advanced LRT is considered the longest lasting, best tubing.around. No plastisizers used in that one.

Cheers cheers.gif
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post #4 of 190
The Rule of thumb that I stick with when choosing a Rad is 1 fan bay per thing you want to cool... Not saying this is perfect, but its a start... especially if you are not planning to overclock and get a thicker rad. so maybe if you can fit a 60-80mm fan in the case your good. For my last build/ current build, I have a 240 and a 120 rad, but its because I could only fit 30mm rads in there, so I tried to compensate for the low FPI and thickness. Oh... and I do really like Alphacool Rads as mentioned above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post




I have done 2 builds water cooling so far, and I can for sure attest to this graphic... you can only pick 2... and the quiet/ performance area should be a lot smaller :-p

your pump/res choice is fine.... but I agree with PepeLapiu about a variable pump... if your trying to reduce noise, lowering a setting to 3 or 4 might benefit you. You'll most likely have to assemble the pump/res combo manually, but its not hard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post


2b) Gentle Typhoons are the best fans if you can find them. Second for me would be Cougar fans, Yate Loons on a budget. Bur Yates don't like being mounted horizontally.

I agree with this also... but good luck finding them. I did a lot of research lately on high static pressure/ quiet fans, and these came highly recommended from almost anyone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

1) Most WC cases will have a side window, but not all. What makes a WC is the ability to mount rads.

4) Fot blocks, I prefer EK all ariund. And I like plexi tops so I can do a visual inspestuon for corrosion/bubbles/blockage without stripping the entire loop.

Tubing: Primochill Advanced LRT is considered the longest lasting, best tubing.around. No plastisizers used in that one.

I also agree with everything said here... EK typically is the best all around, youll fine a few of their water blocks being out performed by competitors here or there, but as a general rule, they are a solid company...

And Primochill... their 10' rolls are nice since they come with some pre treatment stuff... I used it.... everything went well.. I have seen horror stories and such about people who dont clean out their loop first and it makes me too scared to not do it :-p Plus 10' is more than enough...

As far as fittings, I have heard good things about Monsoons. I personally only use Bitspower just because they have the largest variety of parts.
post #5 of 190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

While wide fin spacing rads will work with low pressure fans (note pressure, not RPM, as RPM means nothing as far as performance is concerned), there are significant performance losses with less fins. For quiet operation with good performance you need a lot of rad face to compensate for the inefficiency of low airflow fans.

Generally, thicker fans deliver more pressure.

And.........



I hope all that helps, especially Martin's Liquid Lab..............

I chose the RAD because it was the only one I found that listed the FPI measurement. Martin says the Alphacool UT60 outperforms my selection though, so perhaps I'll go with that.

As far as the number of radiators I should use, I don't see what you're referring to. I've seen the "1x120mm per stock component, 1x240mm per overclocked component" rule of thumb posted in several places. My GPU has a slight factory OC, but I have no plans to OC the CPU. So it seems like a toss up between a 120mm + 240mm combo or just one 240mm.

For fans, I'm fine with middle-of-the-road performance, if they're quiet; because again, I have no real plans to OC anything.

Thanks for the tubing suggestion! I'll check it out.

e6
post #6 of 190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

1) Most WC cases will have a side window, but not all. What makes a WC is the ability to mount rads.
You will want a minimum of 120.3 rads, 120.4 is also better.
Make sure both rafs are pulling in air, or both pushing out air.
For the best WC cases, look to Caselab's Merlin series.
I really appreciate the case suggestion, but those are probably a little outside my budget. I also don't particularly like that they're constructed out of aluminum, since I'm shooting for something pretty quiet. The fractal cases I linked claim support for radiator mounting so I'm still hoping to get away with either the DEFINE or ARC.

Just so I'm sure I understand correctly. Does 120.3 mean three 120mm radiators?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

2a) Both thick and high fin count rads ate better suited for fast noisier fans.
I suggest the Alphacool full copper line of rads.
Go as thick as you can fit, keeping room for push/pull (fans on both sides)
I don't realy want thick high fpi for exactly the reason you stated. I'm looking to make the thing quieter not noisier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

2b) Gentle Typhoons are the best fans if you can find them. Second for me would be Cougar fans, Yate Loons on a budget. Bur Yates don't like being mounted horizontally.
Are these the best fans for quiet computing, or for fast noisy computing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

3) Yes, that pump, the D5 is enought.
I recommend the Vario model so.you can turn it up or down for noise/performance.
The pump comes preinstalled to the res, but the pump is a VPP655, which I believe has variable the variable flow control that you're recommending.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

4) Fot blocks, I prefer EK all ariund. And I like plexi tops so I can do a visual inspestuon for corrosion/bubbles/blockage without stripping the entire loop.

5) You'll be fine. Tho I always recommend you use X1 as corrosion/biocide protection. And don't get any nickel plating on your blocks. Costs more money, and increases your chances of corrosion/flaking issues. Don't use silver in your loop either.
I only chose the koolance wb because it came so highly recommended in the noobie guide posted on this forum. It does have nickel plating though, is that enough of a reason to look elsewhere?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

Tubing: Primochill Advanced LRT is considered the longest lasting, best tubing.around. No plastisizers used in that one.
I'll take a look, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

Cheers cheers.gif
cheers.gif
post #7 of 190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RabidSnail View Post

The Rule of thumb that I stick with when choosing a Rad is 1 fan bay per thing you want to cool... Not saying this is perfect, but its a start... especially if you are not planning to overclock and get a thicker rad. so maybe if you can fit a 60-80mm fan in the case your good. For my last build/ current build, I have a 240 and a 120 rad, but its because I could only fit 30mm rads in there, so I tried to compensate for the low FPI and thickness. Oh... and I do really like Alphacool Rads as mentioned above.
I have done 2 builds water cooling so far, and I can for sure attest to this graphic... you can only pick 2... and the quiet/ performance area should be a lot smaller :-p
So you're thinking that just one 240mm is probably enough if I go with one of the higher performance options like the Alphacool UT60? I'm willing to add another 120mm to the back of the case if I need to, but I'd rather keep it simpler and quieter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RabidSnail View Post

your pump/res choice is fine.... but I agree with PepeLapiu about a variable pump... if your trying to reduce noise, lowering a setting to 3 or 4 might benefit you. You'll most likely have to assemble the pump/res combo manually, but its not hard.
I THINK it comes preassembled, but I'm not worried about having to assemble it if it's not. Also, I believe the pump has the variable flow control, here is a link where you can see the controller:
http://www.alphacool.com/product_info.php/info/p808_Alphacool-VPP655---single-edition.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabidSnail View Post

I agree with this also... but good luck finding them. I did a lot of research lately on high static pressure/ quiet fans, and these came highly recommended from almost anyone.
I couldn't tell if he was recommending fast & noisy fans or slow & quiet fans. So the Gentle Typhoons are pretty quiet then? If so, I'll start looking around.

Thanks for the reply!
post #8 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by e64462 View Post

I really appreciate the case suggestion, but those are probably a little outside my budget. I also don't particularly like that they're constructed out of aluminum, since I'm shooting for something pretty quiet. The fractal cases I linked claim support for radiator mounting so I'm still hoping to get away with either the DEFINE or ARC.

Just so I'm sure I understand correctly. Does 120.3 mean three 120mm radiators?

120.3 means 3 rad spaces. Either a 360, or a 240 and 120, or 3 120 rads. The more rads you have, the more quiet your rig can be. With a 240, it won't be quiet under load for sure.
Quote:
I don't realy want thick high fpi for exactly the reason you stated. I'm looking to make the thing quieter not noisier.

My recomnendation still stands. The thickest rads you can fit while preserving room for push/pull will get you the best performance at both low and high speed settings. For best slow speed fans (silent) the Alphacool full copper line will not be beaten.
Quote:
Are these the best fans for quiet computing, or for fast noisy computing?

They have the best noise/pressure ration. So they are the fans you want at slow speed, silent computing.
But with only a 240 rad (120.2) you won't get silence. That rad will need to have fadter fans to keep everything cool under load.
Quote:
The pump comes preinstalled to the res, but the pump is a VPP655, which I believe has variable the variable flow control that you're recommending.

Good pump. But I prefer the pump pn it's own. It's harder to decouple a pump for silence when it's attached to a res.

[quoteI only chose the koolance wb because it came so highly recommended in the noobie guide posted on this forum. It does have nickel plating though, is that enough of a reason to look elsewhere?[/quote]

Nickel plating is a popular option. Many guys use it without issues. So you'll likely be fine. I just generally don't like to introduce more metals if I don't need too.

Cheers cheers.gif
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post #9 of 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by e64462 View Post

So you're thinking that just one 240mm is probably enough if I go with one of the higher performance options like the Alphacool UT60? I'm willing to add another 120mm to the back of the case if I need to, but I'd rather keep it simpler and quieter.
I THINK it comes preassembled, but I'm not worried about having to assemble it if it's not. Also, I believe the pump has the variable flow control, here is a link where you can see the controller:
http://www.alphacool.com/product_info.php/info/p808_Alphacool-VPP655---single-edition.html
I couldn't tell if he was recommending fast & noisy fans or slow & quiet fans. So the Gentle Typhoons are pretty quiet then? If so, I'll start looking around.

Thanks for the reply!
You can get an 800 rpm Gentle Typhoon which will be completely quiet.
Or a 5600 rpm GT which won't be so quiet.

I love my 2150 rpm ones. With a fan controller, they can be slowed down below 1000 rpm for silence, and still have headroom for performance if I need it.
In fact, my Lamptron controller can slow tgem down below 400 rpm.
Quieter than a mouse farth......ever heard a mouse farth? ....exactly! biggrin.gif
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post #10 of 190
This is just my opinion but if you just want to make your system quieter you can probably do it much cheaper on air, especially if you don't plan to overclock. A good CPU heat sink, decent fans, a fan controller, maybe some sound dampening material inside the case, and an Accelero for the GPU (assuming they fit your specific card) could work wonders.

If you are set on water cooling though something like this XSPC kit, a GPU block, fan controller, and some Primochill Advanced LRT tubing would probably be more then adequate. Of course a big consideration is what exactly are you using your PC for? If it's just gaming and you're not really pushing the CPU much, you don't really need a lot to keep it cool and quiet.
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