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New build water cooling advice please

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

New to the forum but have been reading quite a lot of over on the 900d owners club. Thought I best post questions here though as they are mainly about water cooling.
No water cooling experience but already got a few bits together. Would really appreciate some input re what components to buy. I have read around a bit still unsure about a few things.

Rig.
Asus X99A
I7 5820k @4.5Ghz with NZXT Kraken x41
Corsair dom 4x4gb 3333Mhz (can only run at 2600Mhz)
980Ti – with Nzxt kraken x41 + G10
In NZXT H440 (rubbish airflow, not enough space)
EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G2


Purchased already:
Corsair 900d case
Second 980ti – 2nd hand gigabyte windforce oc
EK 980ti full block (nickel) + black back plate

What I think I need to buy:
2nd EK GPU block and back plate
EK block to join the two cards
CPU cooler
Pump
Reservoir
Fittings
Tubing
Coolant
Radiators – maybe x2 480s to go in top and bottom of case
I think I will go for a black white theme with rigid white tubing and silver fittings. Not sure about one or two loops.

Questions:
Single or double loop?
Recommended radiators and pump
Kind of want to get up and running with flexible tubing while I learn and then switch to hard tubing – will this mean different fittings? Don’t want to buy two lots.
Not sure about sizes of tubing and fittings – any recommendations
post #2 of 8
Do you have any kind of budget at all or is the wallet wide open?

Based on your situation I would find a good kit to start with, this will give you 1 radiator, the cpu block, the fittings, the pump and res, and some tubing. Then you can add your gpu blocks, another radiator and more fittings. I would defnitely start with soft tubing to get the loop up and running and get experience with the whole process, and then you can enjoy your loop while you start planning the switch to rigid tubing. (Rigid and soft tubing fittings are completely different, so you will need to switch to rigid fittings with the rigid tube).

Since you already have the EK GPU I would say go with an EK 360 kit, preferably one with a D5 pump:

http://www.performance-pcs.com/complete-kits/shopby/brand--ek-waterblocks/radiator-size--360-3-x-120mm/?

Then you can add an EK 480 radiator:

http://www.performance-pcs.com/radiators/shopby/brand--ek-waterblocks/radiator-size--480-4-x-120mm/?

You don't "need" dual loops until you really get to tri or quad SLI. Again, start simpler and move up from there if you eventually "want" dual loops. I would defnitely probably get a kit with a D5 pump to ensure plenty of flow, that's a big case and if you add a third radiator or any other components it will be nice to have that extra umph.

You can get a terminal or bridge to connect the GPU's or just use tubing between them. It's hard to say which terminal/bridge you need right now because it depends on how far apart the GPU's are and serial or parallel:

http://www.performance-pcs.com/accessories-gpu-blocks/shopby/brand--ek-waterblocks/block-accessory-type--sli-link--sli-bridge--sli-terminal/?

Of course your budget might determine a lot of this irrelevant, water cooling is not cheap any way you go, especially in a 900D. Hopefully that's enough info to get you started, but don't hesitate to keep asking questions and I'm sure other's will pop in here with more info also.
 
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post #3 of 8
1 loop. 2 is really unnecessary unless you have money burning a hole through your wallet.

Lots of rads are good. I would recommend EK or Alphacool, but as long ad they are copper and brass you should be fine.

For pumps I would go with a D5.

Yes, soft tubing and hard tubing fittings are different. Go with the size of tubing that has the most fittings. For hard tubing 12 mm OD is what I would suggest
post #4 of 8
Monsoon makes a hardline conversion kit for their free center and chaingun fittings so you can switch from soft tubing to hardlines without buying completely new fittings. If you like those, its a way to save a bit of money in the long run, just don't use 1/2 x 3/4 as there is not hardlines in that size.

The only thing I don't like about the kits is the tubing. EK uses their black zmt tubing. Performance wise its great, but I think it's the ugliest stuff around rolleyes.gif I like the Mayhems tubing, primochill advance lrt is also good, but more expensive.

For your rads you need to think about what kind of fans you want, high speed/low speed, push or push/pull, and radiator fpi density and thickness. For example, if you want to run low speed push only fans, get a thinner radiator with low fpi for the best results. There are some good radiator and fan guides around here you should definitely take a look at.
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deedaz View Post

Monsoon makes a hardline conversion kit for their free center and chaingun fittings so you can switch from soft tubing to hardlines without buying completely new fittings. If you like those, its a way to save a bit of money in the long run, just don't use 1/2 x 3/4 as there is not hardlines in that size.

The only thing I don't like about the kits is the tubing. EK uses their black zmt tubing. Performance wise its great, but I think it's the ugliest stuff around rolleyes.gif I like the Mayhems tubing, primochill advance lrt is also good, but more expensive.

For your rads you need to think about what kind of fans you want, high speed/low speed, push or push/pull, and radiator fpi density and thickness. For example, if you want to run low speed push only fans, get a thinner radiator with low fpi for the best results. There are some good radiator and fan guides around here you should definitely take a look at.

Some of the newer EK kits use Primochill Advanced LRT clear tubing, but I love the look of ZMT. That's a really good point about the Monsoon fittings, probably the least expensive way to go when you want to switch.
 
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
Thanks for the input and advice.

Budget wise I don't want to waste money but this is not about saving it either smile.gif

in the end I thought I would go for flexible tubing with silver nickel connectors.
I picked up an open box ek cpu block (nickel) a d5 pump with ek top and an ek 480 rad with x4 120mm corsair white led fans.
I also got an ek sli bridge.
I am going to get a phobya silver nickel res (only metallic one I could find, not glass though).

Eventually I want to go to glass with lots of silver nickel fittings but will see how this goes first. I'm thinking some white leds to show off the glass and nickel should be a nice theme.

It's a shame that the gpus blocks are boring black I guess they could be stripped and polished but maybe that would mess with the thermals and I am not sure how they would polish up. An expensive error if t goes wrong.
post #7 of 8
Glass is just a fad imo, it's very hard to work with for the little extra looks yu get out of it. Acrylic is pretty much just as clear, put them side by side and it's almost impossible to tell the difference.

Which gpu block are you looking at? EK usually makes them in every flavor.
 
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Koolance 240 30 FPI Radiator Magicool 280 14 FPI Radiator Bitfenix Spectre PWM 120mm Fan ML140 140mm PWM Premium Magnetic Levitation Fan 
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Crucial BX100 SSD 500GB EKWB EK-KIT L120 Corsair SP120 Koolance 2x140mm Radiator HX-CU1402V 
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Bykski CPU-XPR-A High Performance Acrylic Nicke... EKWB Acrylic Nickel GPU Block Monsoon MMRS Reservoir Bykski BY-PUMP-XPH-PA Water Cooling Pump 
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Koolance 240 30 FPI Radiator Magicool 280 14 FPI Radiator Bitfenix Spectre PWM 120mm Fan ML140 140mm PWM Premium Magnetic Levitation Fan 
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post #8 of 8
+1 to that

Glass looks nice, but it's pretty much all it does. Working with it is pain, it's often more expensive (especially if you want nice bends without adapters - then cost skyrockets) than alternatives. Biggest problem of glass is weight. PMMA or PETG is much, much lighter. I don't know how you plan loop exactly but glass tubing (just like metal pipes) will sag a bit every time. With PMMA/PETG you can create nice rigid bends without adding plethora of adapters and fittings. Remember - each element added is potential leak point (especially in places where tubing sags a bit).

1. Thinking about dual loop in such constrained space is waste of time - not enough components anyway.
2. 900D is **** for airflow. Totally.
3. For bottom rad get an X-Flow rad. It will make bleeding and draining a whole lot easier. There is no difference in performance between classic U rad and modern X-Flows (older were iffy, but new like these from Alphacool are tip-top products). 30mm radiators are more than sufficient. I was using 45mm rad for a quite some time, then went to X-Flows 30mm/16FPI and got actually better temps than 45/10FPI. (BTW: I'm running 6 blocks in my main x99 system - cpu, vga, VRM, chipset, RAID controller and SAS expander)
4. For only 3 blocks 1 D5 is sufficient enough.
5. Size of tubing and fittings doesn't matter. Pick what you like. Two most obvious choices are Bitspower and EK (better choice in for example Europe as cost is 50% of BP). BP looks really nice and quality is super duper but gosh... cost starts to crank-up rather quickly.
6. Cooling capability is determined by heat exchange area (radiators) not diameter of tubing used.
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