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Build plan for this summer (water cooling questions from a first-timer, help please!)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Planning out an early revision of a build I plan to do this summer, my current rigs primary components are coming up on 6 years of use now so it's time to think about upgrading imo. I really want to do a fairly involved water cooling rig this year to gain some experience into this awesome cooling method.

Here's a list of components I currently have planned (please click the components below to go to my thread about hardware components suggestions):
Intel Core i7-990X 3.46GHz LGA 1366 Six-Core Desktop Processor
EVGA X58 4-WAY SLI Classified XL ATX Motherboard
G.SKILL PI+ Turbulence 12GB (6 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Memory
2 x EVGA GTX 590 CLASSIFIED 3GB GPU's
Intel X25-M SSD
CORSAIR AX1200 1200W PSU
Corsair Obsidian 800D Case


I may be waiting for Ivy Bridge, so take these components as a current benchmark when it comes to individual component power. I want to water cool the CPU and both GPU's for sure, and possibly a full motherboard block as well if the motherboard I decide to go with has one available.

This is the plan I've come up with for cooling the 800D:


Alternatively a dual-radiator configuration:


I'd like to use a combined res/pump but I'm not sure if the pumps available in the combined systems would be powerful enough to get decent flow through a 360 or 480 rad and then possibly another 120 rad. Could you please suggest powerful res/pump combos that I could use? I've allotted two 5.25" bays for the res/pump.

In addition, I'm looking primarily for performance and not a silent system. That said I don't want my system to sound like a jet-engine. Could you recommend appropriate radiators and fans that will give me a balance between noise and performance? If it comes down to noise vs performance when you're making sections though, performance wins for me.

How would you configure the radiator fans for this system? Would it be worth "sandwiching" the radiators with push/pull fans or would a single layer of fans be sufficient? I have absolutely no problem with mounting fans on the exterior of my case in order to provide ample room in the case. I'll just slap some fan grills on the exterior fans so no one catches a finger in the accidentally. I think I remember seeing a triple and quadruple fan "baffle" that would bolt to the top of a PC case for just this purpose actually.
Edited by Freelancer852 - 3/29/11 at 2:26am
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post #2 of 23
I think the Koolance RP-402X2 or RP-452X2 would be perfect for your build.
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post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
The RP-452X2 looks good to me because of the higher flow-rate PMP-450/S pumps it can accommodate. At first I wasn't liking the split res design but so long as I can un-split the res into a single it shouldn't be a problem.

I like the look of the X20 750 from XSPC a bit more, but it seems like the RP-452X2 can still take higher performance pumps?

PMP-450S lists 17.4L/min
X20 750 lists 750 lph (I assume L/hour)

Am I correct in the above assumption? Because that would give the PMP-450S a rate of 1044 lph and the X20 750 a rate of 12.5L/min. If you think 12.5L/min is more than enough I'll probably go with the X20 750.
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post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
After some more research it seems you can buy that same (or a very similar) XSPC reservoir and stick a Laing D5 / Swiftech MCP655 pump in it. I seem to recall reading some reviews noting that pump as being one of the better ones? If I do go this route I'll probably get the MCP655 Variable Speed just so I have that option available to me.

I would appreciate a few more of the questions I asked in the OP being answered as well if anyone can help out! For radiators I was thinking of going with XSPC RX360/RX480 and then an RX120 on the back of the case there if it'll fit well. If an RX120 is to thick to fit properly with a fan on it as well on the back of the case I'll probably switch it out for an RS120. Or possibly move the 120 radiator under the shelf that hides the PSU.
Edited by Freelancer852 - 4/2/11 at 2:21pm
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post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freelancer852 View Post
I'd like to use a combined res/pump but I'm not sure if the pumps available in the combined systems would be powerful enough to get decent flow through a 360 or 480 rad and then possibly another 120 rad. Could you please suggest powerful res/pump combos that I could use? I've allotted two 5.25" bays for the res/pump.
Well the rads are not too much of a problem, they don't add much restriction, the motherboard block on the other hand does. For a combined pump res I would look at something like the XSPC bay res for single DDC rather than the one you were looking at for the D5. The D5 (MCP655) is better for shorter loops due to it's high peak plow rate and low head. The DDC (MCP355) is better for more restrictive loops due to it's high pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freelancer852 View Post
In addition, I'm looking primarily for performance and not a silent system. That said I don't want my system to sound like a jet-engine. Could you recommend appropriate radiators and fans that will give me a balance between noise and performance?
In that case the HW Labs Black Ice GTX rads are for you; they do exceptionally well with higher speed fans (~1500RPM they are level with most others, above that the performance just takes off). Have a look at a comparison test of some 360 rads done by Skinnee:



For fans you have a whole host of options, check out Martin's test on rad fans to pick one out. You can even listen to them when undervolted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freelancer852 View Post
How would you configure the radiator fans for this system? Would it be worth "sandwiching" the radiators with push/pull fans or would a single layer of fans be sufficient?
If you can go push / pull it will boost your performance by 20-30%, according to Martin's test on fan orientation and shrouds, otherwise a single layer of fans in push will do the job, depending on the fan speed.
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post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Okay thanks for the links and very helpful information! I'll review the fan guide and plan on using the Black Ice GTX radiators instead of the XSPC RX series ones.

Would there be any kind of problem if I stuck one layer of fans on the opposite side of the case like I mentioned? I doubt there would be room to use a dual-thickness "performance" radiator + fans on both sides all inside an 800D, from what I've seen it looks pretty cramped with just one set of fans. Here's what I mean, with an included revision to tubing and 120 radiator placement:

(having the rear radiator on the outside would allow me to upgrade it to a 240 radiator if I wanted using the radiator standoff brackets)

Another thing I wonder about is the fan orientation, as an air cooler I'm used to the "go-with-the-flow" style cooling. Taking advantage of hot air rising by having front and bottom intake fans and rear and top exhaust fans. From what I've read most people have all their radiator fans bringing cool air in from where-ever. In my case that would mean going against the grain and blowing a lot of cool air in from the top of the PC, maybe even the rear. What are some common fan orientations to get the best cool air flowing through the case when the top (and possibly rear) fans are bringing cool air IN?
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post #7 of 23
Sorry for the slow reply, went out for sushi, nom nom nom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freelancer852 View Post
Would there be any kind of problem if I stuck one layer of fans on the opposite side of the case like I mentioned? I doubt there would be room to use a dual-thickness "performance" radiator + fans on both sides all inside an 800D, from what I've seen it looks pretty cramped with just one set of fans.
I can't see that being a problem, you will be able to mount the fans easily enough although it might be a pain to line everything up when you do it. I am not sure but I think you can just get a thick rad with push - pull fans in the top of the 800D, so try that first and use your idea as a contingency plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freelancer852 View Post
(having the rear radiator on the outside would allow me to upgrade it to a 240 radiator if I wanted using the radiator standoff brackets)
Good idea. You probably wont need to upgrade to a 240 if you are using a 480 as your main rad, depending on the fan speeds you use and the level of performance you desire, but worth leaving the option open.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freelancer852 View Post
Another thing I wonder about is the fan orientation, as an air cooler I'm used to the "go-with-the-flow" style cooling. Taking advantage of hot air rising by having front and bottom intake fans and rear and top exhaust fans. From what I've read most people have all their radiator fans bringing cool air in from where-ever. In my case that would mean going against the grain and blowing a lot of cool air in from the top of the PC, maybe even the rear. What are some common fan orientations to get the best cool air flowing through the case when the top (and possibly rear) fans are bringing cool air IN?
OK, so it goes like this:

Rads as intake: Cooler air going through the rad, therefore cooler water temperatures. Warmer air going into the case, therefore warmer case temperatures.

Rads as exhaust: Warmer air going into the rads, therefore warmer water temperatures. Heat exhausted outside the case therefore cooler case temperature.

Personally I prefer having my rads as exhaust, as I am cooling both the CPU and GPU most of the heat generated is being absorbed by the water and therefore the case temperatures are not much higher than ambient anyway (usually 2-3C).

As for the hot air rising, with good case airflow this will be very much a secondary effect compared to the air flow from the fans. Therefore desirable, but not essential.
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post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Awesome, thanks again! Hope you enjoyed that Sushi as well, I had to settle for a frozen pizza tossed in the oven...

Now here's a fun question, which water cooling component retailers are usually suggested for Canada? I've dealt with Frozen CPU in the past to get my side-panel window kit and they seemed to be pretty clean and efficient. Is there anyone that's generally cheaper?
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post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Also wondering how I would setup this loop for easy bleeding. If I stuck a T-line in between 11 and 12 on the last picture I posted and fed the T portion down to the bottom of the case with a hole or something and a plug would I be able to just unplug it over a sink/tub and let it drain itself?

In addition, does tubing size really matter? I was thinking 1/2" ID and 3/4" OD and compression fittings to go with. Looking for a tubing brand that isn't plastered with logos and brand-names, suggestions? I love the look of compression fittings and the fact that they provide a very secure connection.

Probably going to go with Bitspower fittings:
45-Degree Fittings
90-Degree Fittings (will only use these if 45-degree fittings wont cut it. I've read that 90-degree fittings decrease flow rate substantially in comparison to 45's, that about right?)
Normal Fittings (unless these rotary ones are worth it, recommendations?)

Here's the list of components I'm thinking of grabbing from Frozen CPU when the time comes:Total: $1,158.56
(I'm probably missing a few things like extra fittings/barbs but I'll figure all that out closer to the build)

And then I guess I'll order the XSPC Dual 5.25" Bay Reservoir for Single Laing DDC from performance-pcs.com since they don't seem to have them at Frozen CPU (only the dual/split res version).

Obviously if the CPU/GPU plan changes when I'm ready to build the blocks will change as well. But the rest of the water cooling components will likely stay the same. I may even start ordering certain things like the radiators, fans, pump, reservoir, etc before I'm ready to buy the PC components... Just so I have something to play with in the mean time!
Edited by Freelancer852 - 4/5/11 at 1:58am
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post #10 of 23
dont forget a fan controller..

see... 1200 dollar loop.. LOL it isnt that hard to get up there...

also... check out jab-tech.com for their compression fittings...


http://www.jab-tech.com/Bitspower-G1...5-pr-4581.html


If you buy more than two, which you will, they sell them for 7.99 each.
Edited by fshizl - 4/5/11 at 3:32am
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ABS M1 Silverstone Strider 1000 Gold Silverstone TJ07 (fshizl modded) Steelseries Sensei 
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that cheap one from fry's Steelseries Siberia V2 
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Overclock.net › Forums › Cooling › Water Cooling › Build plan for this summer (water cooling questions from a first-timer, help please!)