Some observations from putting the kit together as well as reading through about 95% of the posts here for watercooling beginners in general (like me!):
-When measuring tube length, particularly to the res, measure with the res out far enough for you to fill. Then consider how the tube may bend/kink once pushed back into your case. The uber/expensive hack to not having to extend tube is to use a pair of quick disconnects and to create a temporary extension. Another alternative is to get an M20 x G1/4 fillport adapter
, a 1/2" barb or compression fitting for that (probably a 90 degree rotary as well), and run the tube to somewhere outside the case with a fillport tube/mount
. You would definitely need the bay above the res unoccupied to do this.
-Buy new tubing right from the start- primochill (Amazon 10' for $16) or Tygon 7/16 ID if you use the 1/2" kit barbs. Don't use the kit tube for anything more than jumprope for kids you don't like, strangling that jackass at work who laughs at your water cooling endeavors, or in my case, temporary extension to the drain system I have going. It smells something awful and others have reported some sort of clouding/browning even with pure distilled water over the course of a few months.
-The screws to attach the res to the case are cd-rom screws (size M3). Thumb screw versions like these
would be mighty helpful for moving the res more conveniently for top off or drain. Unless you have a Coolermaster with that clicky lock thing then I hate you.
-Pump is louder with the fill port open. Pump is especially loud when vibrating against your case. One possible way to lessen this is to use electrical tape, particularly in the middle groove that comes in contact with the 5 1/4" bay shelf. Try sliding the res forward and back, lifting it within the confines of the bay- the sound will change, sometimes dramatically.
-Should go without saying, but get real thermal grease (arctic cooling, shin etsu, etc) and apply an amount equivalent to a dry rice grain to the cpu block. I didn't believe it till I did it, pulled the block off the CPU, and saw how much spread had occurred. You get two sets of screws for the CPU block and only need to use one.
-The difficulty in sliding 7/16" ID tubing onto 1/2" barbs varies with the temperature of the tubing. Warming up the end of a tube in some hot distilled water you cooked up in the microwave makes it a cinch.
-When filling your system, never let the water level fall below the top of the pump cylinder (which I believe is half an inch from the top). Which means you'll be stopping, topping off and starting several times in the initial fill. The pump needs to be primed and not allow the possibility of sucking in air if you want the pump to last.
-If you have one of those external USB-SATA adapters that comes with a power brick
and molex connector, you can use that to power the pump. That way you can leave your PSU mounted in your system while checking for leaks and not worrying about it. PSU disconnected from wall of course!
-The pump operates on 12V and the LED operates on 5V and both use the fatty 4pin molex connector without pass-through. You can combine them into the same molex connector (ground is the middle two wires) to require fewer molex cables. To do this you'll need a very small flathead screwdriver to collapse the clip that holds the pins inside the molex.
-While somewhat harder to find, Feser has a 4-pack of the 45 degree rotary adapters for around $25. SUPER useful and cheaper than buying them individually.
-When bleeding, try and keep your rad mounted loosely or not even mounted so you can shake it something fierce. If you can invert it, you'll bleed the air out much faster. If it has to be mounted, be prepared to shake or invert your entire case.
-Have fun, take your time. Measure twice, cut once. Inspect o-rings. Don't overtighten the fittings, especially if they screw into acrylic/acetal. Yada yada. Thanks for all the help you guys have provided. Can't wait to upgrade this thing when I have to swap motherboards