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Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've never done water cooling before mainly because the thought of water being that close to my electronics is an obvious "NO". However, I plan on spending over $3000 USD upgrading to the hottest new hardware (literally). It would be unreasonable of me to at least look into it a little bit.

To start off my research, I first looked into leaks. I wanted to see how many people it has happened to and how much money was lost. Unfortunately I found quite a bit of victims. I heard a lot of people say to not use "kits", which I'm assuming is an entire set of all the smaller components you need for a water cooling system. This is probably the approach I would have taken (a kit) because gathering the smaller individual parts seems like it takes a lot more experience than I have.

Basically, here's a few links showing the hardware I plan to buy:
Computer Case
Motherboard
Intel Processor
Video Card
Computer Case
Power Supply Unit
Memory

As a side-note, it may be a little off-topic but if anyone has any issues with the hardware configuration above (see the links) please do speak up. I'm by no means a hardware expert, and I've done the best I can to choose my parts wisely. If you feel there are cheaper alternatives or that there might be a bad combination of items, again, please let me know!

Anyway, back on topic: All I'm really wanting to do right now is use water cooling for my processor. The case I've chosen has 7x 120mm fans, which I think is insane and will keep everything else sufficiently cool.

I've heard of non conductive fluid for the water cooling systems which I would *most definitely* want to use, since as I've already pointed out that LEAKS are my biggest fear. If I do leak I do not want any of my hardware to short out. In addition, leaks may be subtle in that it could be dripping all over your hardware for WEEKS without you knowing it, that's another thing that scares me.

Basically what I would like to know is the following:
  • Do you recommend kits or choosing the parts required for a water cooling system by hand? Keep in mind that I'm not a pro at water cooling systems, so if I were to choose the latter I would expect an explicit list of items to shop for (As a side-note, I use Newegg.com exclusively so I would like it if the items everyone suggests are sold by them. However I'm not opposed to trying other websites).
  • What is everyones thoughts on leaks? Are they a random/inevitable thing, or are they controlled? For each person that has had a leak, has it been their fault or is it just the nature of water cooling systems to have a percentage of chance of being dangerous?
  • What major steps can I take to prevent leaks, assuming they are preventable? Any advice in this area is invaluable to me.

I'm sure many newcomers come to these forums asking these very same questions, and I do apologize if I'm bringing people to the point of copy/paste. I just want to make sure I make the right decisions. I don't want to be one of those people that jumps right into the water cooling systems and ends up damaging thousands of dollars worth of hardware.

I appreciate everyone's advice. Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 21
Hi! Welcome to the forum! Nice motherboard you have chosen! I have some suggestions on the hardware-selection, but I don't think it should be posted here, If you are interested you can PM me
post #3 of 21
Most say It is worth it Which it is But I don't trust it 100% I probably will never go watercooling unless i have to.

but For now I like my fans. Only fail is dust and replacing the dead ones
post #4 of 21
get a QX9650, this RAM,or if you really want faster then this, this PSU and use the money you save for 2 more 8800GTX's.

together with parts picked from this post here you will have pretty much the most powerful rig money can buy.
post #5 of 21
The build you listed is a waste of money

Don't buy that CPU, get the Q6600 and overclock it, its soooo much cheaper

Don't get the 8800GTX, get the 8800GTS G92 512MB And overclock it

Don't get the 790i, i only saw one GFX Card, not 3

Look into a board like the P5K-E, DFI BloodIron

This is an assumption, but i think your just choosing the most expensive parts, then you wont have a budget for a decent WC setup

More expensive isnt always better

I'd suggest

CPU: Q6600
MB: ASUS P5K-E/DFI BloodIron
GFX: EVGA 8800GTS 512MB G92
RAM: Crucial BallistiX 2GB PC8500
PSU: OCZ 700W

You do not need a 1300W PSU, that is total overkill

DDR3 Is waaay to expensive for what it gives, look @ the PC8500 Crucial BallistiX


This is your first WC Build, if it all goes pete tong you dont wanna devastate loads of over expensive hardware

User a coolant like feser one, which is non conductive - so it has less of a chance of decimating your components if you get a leak

You can help prevents leaks by using wormdrive clips / PVC Clips on your barbs, or even zip ties, and making sure there isnt too much stress on the hoses
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
@RMA @RMA EVGA 8800GT @700/1755/2040 2GB OCZ Plat.Rev2 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Maxtor Diamondmax 200GB Vista XP Aspire 550W Thermaltake Shark 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
@RMA @RMA EVGA 8800GT @700/1755/2040 2GB OCZ Plat.Rev2 
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Maxtor Diamondmax 200GB Vista XP Aspire 550W Thermaltake Shark 
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post #6 of 21
Watercooling definitely.

I have used all sorts of air setups and was a little cautious about moving to watercooling.

Its good fun though and unless you're very unlucky you wont damage anything.

Scaremongerers will say its an accident wating to happen but once its all connected up properly there are no leaks even if you move your case around alot.


Buy a pump, some hose,a resevoir,a Radiator and a Fuzion block and you'll be up and running in no time.
post #7 of 21
I am looking into watercooling right now too and the very first thing I decided was to get the 100% non-conductive liquid. It may be $20 per litre, but honestly with a nice setup it will be worth it. This way I can eliminate a lot of worry about my electronics shorting out. Now they just might get sticky . Seriously, I don't plan on having leaks.
Test Chamber ITX
(14 items)
 
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(11 items)
 
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(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-2600 Gigabyte H77N-wifi Radeon HD 7750 16GB Corsair DDR3 1600 CL 10 (@1333 CL 8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Corsair Force 3 180gb Seagate Barracuda STBD2000101 2x in RAID1 Lubuntu / Win 8.1 / CentOS 6.4 -- Xen 4.3 FSP 80+ Micro-ATX 450w 
Case
Fractal Node 304 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD FX-8350 ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB AMD FirePro W5000 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveCooling
G.Skill Trident X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM x2 RAID 1 Corsair Force Series GT 120GB x2 RAID 0 NZXT Kraken X60 
PowerCaseOther
SeaSonic Platinum 860W 80 PLUS Platinum Lian-Li PC-100 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case RaspberryPi 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7-3930k ASrock X79 EXTREME4-M SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB  AMD FirePro W5000 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveCooling
G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 2x Corsair Force Series 3 180GB RAID 0 2x Western Digital Red 2TB RAID 1 Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 
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Test Chamber ITX
(14 items)
 
Dream Rig (AMD)
(11 items)
 
Dream Rig (Intel)
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-2600 Gigabyte H77N-wifi Radeon HD 7750 16GB Corsair DDR3 1600 CL 10 (@1333 CL 8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Corsair Force 3 180gb Seagate Barracuda STBD2000101 2x in RAID1 Lubuntu / Win 8.1 / CentOS 6.4 -- Xen 4.3 FSP 80+ Micro-ATX 450w 
Case
Fractal Node 304 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD FX-8350 ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB AMD FirePro W5000 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveCooling
G.Skill Trident X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM x2 RAID 1 Corsair Force Series GT 120GB x2 RAID 0 NZXT Kraken X60 
PowerCaseOther
SeaSonic Platinum 860W 80 PLUS Platinum Lian-Li PC-100 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case RaspberryPi 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7-3930k ASrock X79 EXTREME4-M SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB  AMD FirePro W5000 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveCooling
G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 2x Corsair Force Series 3 180GB RAID 0 2x Western Digital Red 2TB RAID 1 Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 
PowerCaseOther
SeaSonic 660W 80 PLUS Platinum Silverstone TJ08B-E Integrated RaspberryPi 
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post #8 of 21
I am newbie to water cooling. I only tried it because my computer case came with a kit already installed, a thermaltake (steer clear of these jokers). It leaked as predicted by many. So I did a ritual crushing of the components and offered them to the Gods.

So going by the recommendations of many - to choose a top brand name if you do buy a kit - I bought a Swiftech kit ... Not their best kit, but theyre supposed to be a good company, so I figured this kit would be good to try (Swiftech 220 compact). Anyway I tested it for an hour and the CPU block was leaking.

Before I put this second kit in my computer I had figured on covering all the joints with sealer or plumbers tape. Try and make it rock solid watertight. But for the test run I wanted to see what happened without it. I reckon if I had sealed up everything in an attempt to make it fault proof I would have never got the leak.

So I figure water cooling is all about preparation. Making sure you buy the best components that users recommend. But never believe theyre 100% reliable. You have to fill in the gaps yourself to make things a close as you can to 100% reliability.

I am not put off water cooling after a few close calls. I like a quiet cool computer. I get kinda paranoid about heated components. But having fans blowing all over the place does my head in. Water cooling is much quieter ... And its more efficient at doing the job of cooling - as you will see ... when youve seen water cooling in action.

You seem kinda studious and youre thinking this through before you take a leap. I think thats the way to go.
post #9 of 21
the 220 kit IS a good kit, its just lousy assembly causing the leaks. It is highly recommended to tighten the screws on it.
post #10 of 21
i love my wcing its some much better than air
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Coeus
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Amd Ryzen 5 1600x broken Evga GTX 1060 SSC Corsair Vengeance LPX 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
San Disc SSD need Windows 10 64bit Sharp 32inch 
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Thermaltake 1350 
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