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New to water cooling..questions and rate my material list

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post #1 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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New to water cooling..questions and rate my material list

I've been considering a new build for some time but don't really need more than the 4790k I built several years ago. Happened to visit a Microcenter while travelling for work a few weeks back and walked out with a shiny new 9900k and a Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master. I don't normally impulse buy like that but it was my birthday and the wife said "do it". After researching cooling it became clear that water cooling was the way to go for the 9900k so here I am. Being a complete novice at water cooling I've been reading and watching videos for like 2 weeks now and think I have a material list but wanted further opinions from more experienced people. I'm only looking to cool the CPU.

What I have to start:
  • i9-9900k
  • Z390 Aorus Master
  • EVGA RTX-2070
  • Intel 660p 2TB M.2 SSD
  • Define R5

PC components to finish the build:
  • Seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium 750
  • Gskill TridentZ 8x4GB 16-18-18-38 (on Gigabyte and Gskill HCL)

Water cooling parts:
  • 01 x Hardware Labs Black Ice SR2 280mm
  • 01 x EK-XRES 140 Revo D5 PWM
  • 01 x Heatkiller IV Pro Acetal Clean
  • 10 x Barrow 3/8 x 5/8 compression fittings
  • 06 x Barrow 90 deg rotary fitting
  • 10 x Mayhems 3/8 x 5/8 clear tubing
  • 01 x Barrow Ball Valve (for drain)
  • 01 x EK Pump Bracket
  • 02 x Noctua NF-A14 chromax

I'd like to stay around $500 total for the loop components minus shipping and fans. Goal is highest stable OC for 24x7 use as quiet as possible.

The plan is to mount the rad in the front (as intake) since I am limited to 55mm thickness in the top of the R5 for 140mm rads. I've also considered push/pull in the front or even two of the thinner 280GTS rads since I can fit that plus fans in the roof. Or, should I just go with a single 360mm SR2 in the top?

For coolant I can't decide between distilled plus a biocide like Mayhems Biocide+ or Mayhems XT-1 Nuke concentrate.

For temp monitoring would the threaded plug in style sensors connected to my motherboard headers work? I've read conflicting information on whether that type is even accurate. Are the inline style better? I know about the Aquaero LT but don't think I can fit that in my budget yet.

I am open to all critique and suggestions for different parts or whatever.

Last edited by Turgin; 05-22-2019 at 01:32 PM.
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post #2 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 03:55 PM
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Hi there,

For the Motherboard only pick memory from their QVL list (see compatible memory list on Gigabyte MB).

Pick tubing that is dark colored (red, blue etc) but slightly see through (in case to spot bubbles and less light getting through for organic growth). And tubing that does not leech plasticizer.

For Coolant i highly suggest "Koolance 702 - clear" this can be used for 2.5+ years and offers great protection vs oxidation and organic growth i had my cpu opened after 3 years (nickel plated Koolance block) and it was spotless clean! Better not use colored coolant stick with plain clear coolant.

I don't think you need that many 90 degree fittings which can restrict flow (and potential leak) but then again you are using a D5 pump use straight fittings where ever you can.

If your only cooling a cpu i would say get a Aquacomputer AMS radiator (full copper) i love those rads it has no flux(so no crap inside the rad still needs a initial flush) like most flat tube rads they use flux, AMS cools excellent BUT it is pricey go with a 360 or 420 rad for silence if you get one the Black Ice you want is also a great rad just make sure you clean/flush it until no gunk/crap is coming out (see tutorial how to clean/flush rads)

Leak test your rig with air pressure for example use "Aquacomputer Dr. Drop" for at least 3+ hours ( i did 7 hours just to make sure) if you go that route make sure your rad is adapted to that air pressure (the Aquacomputer AMS rads can withstand the air pressure with ease but do read the instructions from Dr. Drop.

Other then that your list looks good.
Good luck

Last edited by Cobra26; 05-22-2019 at 04:00 PM.
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post #3 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 04:33 PM
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If you can fit two 280GTS in your budget, absolutely do it. They will give you significantly more heat dissipation than a single 360SR2, and allow you to run the fans at lower speeds for less noise at similar performance levels.

Yeah....the little girl hentai avatar is really creeping me out....
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post #4 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 04:40 PM
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Apart from it being an absolutely terrible time to invest in Intel's top desktop enthusiast SKU, and very questionable re: the 2070, most of the rest of the stuff looks good, though you are generally paying a very significant premium on Intel SSDs over smaller brands. I'd go G.Skill 3200 CL14, since it's quite affordable and generally speaking higher bin than anything below their 4400Mhz kits. Mobo's fine, though I favour AsRock generally these days for their value for money. Seasonic PSU is excellent. Case is mainly a matter of preference, but possibly think about whether you'll want to add another radiator down the line?

Good mix of cooling stuff. Barrow fittings are only second to Bitspower. Heatkiller IV Pro are typically the top CPU coolers. HWL radiators are the best, but I'm not sure if you want the SR-2 over the GTX. I wouldn't go Noctua A-14. At 140mm the Noiseblocker e-Loop B14-PS (PWM 1200rpm max version) is better than anything Noctua do. Alternatively you could get the Noctua NF-A12x25 with 140mm adapters. I haven't used the EK-XRES 140 D5, but I did buy one and then not use it ... it felt incredibly cheap and poorly made relative to the high cost.
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post #5 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 08:48 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Turgin View Post
Intel 660p 2TB M.2 SSD
This drive is not a good choice for an OS drive. It is very cheap but QLC should be used for storage drives, not something that will be constantly writing to it. Get a smaller OS drive using MLC or at least TLC. QLC's write endurance is very very low, it is only suited for media or games.
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post #6 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:43 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Cobra26 View Post
For the Motherboard only pick memory from their QVL list (see compatible memory list on Gigabyte MB).
It's also fine to select memory that has your motherboard on its QVL list. The motherboard might support (a lot) more modules than what appears on their QVL.
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post #7 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies so far.

Sorry, I left off my old reliable Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB SATA SSD I use for boot/os/apps. The 660p is only storage and work space. Nothing important on it that isn't backed up to my cloud storage and my local NAS. I got it and the RTX a few weeks ago with some good Newegg coupon codes and included items. I just wanted a new video card (had an R9-390x) and it looked like a good deal at the time. I don't even game that much; maybe once or twice a week.


The memory kit I choose is the only 32GB kit I could find that is on both the motherboard and Gskill QVL. I can't find any 32GB Cl14 Gskill kits on both QVLs. Not much intention to overclock the memory. I just want it to run stable at advertised speeds.


I will check into the eLoops. Isn't the GTX optimized for high RPM fans though? Would push/pull at lower RPM yield results on par with higher RPM in one direction?

Any specific recommendations for a different pump/res combo?

I guess my main question boils down to suggested rad and size for maximum cooling of an overclocked 9900k with quiet(ish) fans. One 280 with no thickness constraints, two 280 with one rad restricted to 55mm thickness with fans, or one 360mm with no restrictions.

Secondary question is suggestions for tube style pump/res combo other then the EK.
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post #8 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 09:00 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Turgin View Post
I will check into the eLoops. Isn't the GTX optimized for high RPM fans though? Would push/pull at lower RPM yield results on par with higher RPM in one direction?

Any specific recommendations for a different pump/res combo?
I have used the GTX, SR2 and GTS in a number of builds over the last few years. As you state, the GTX is specifically designed for high speed fans. The SR2 and GTS outperform it at lower noise levels. The breakoff point where the GTX begins to show advantages over the GTS or SR2 is well beyond what most people consider to be a tolerable noise level. And.....you are still far better off with two 280GTS (or a 360 + 240...or a 280+140) than you are with a single 360SR2. The Xtreme Rigs testing has a ton of info on various rads at various fan speeds - https://www.xtremerigs.net/2015/02/1...-round-2015/5/

I agree with what has been said about the EK X-RES. I got one, opened it, laughed, and returned it immediately. It's like a toy out of a Crackerjack box next to a Heatkiller, Monsoon MMRS, or XSPC Photon.

Yeah....the little girl hentai avatar is really creeping me out....
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post #9 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 11:21 AM
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Either the Noiseblocker e-Loop B14-PS or Noctua NF-A12x25 are more than enough to push the GTX to better performance than the SR2 or GTS. The GTR is the high density one which does require high fan speeds. If you want to run your fans at sub 800rpm, then yes the GTS or SR-2 would be better, but I don't think that's necessary to maintain silence, especially with these fans. 1200rpm on the e-loops, or pretty much any fan speed above 1200rpm on the A12, on the GTX, would provide much better performance than the GTS or SR-2. GTX has the same fpi as the GTS, it's just much thicker.
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post #10 of 71 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by pmc25 View Post
Either the Noiseblocker e-Loop B14-PS or Noctua NF-A12x25 are more than enough to push the GTX to better performance than the SR2 or GTS. The GTR is the high density one which does require high fan speeds. If you want to run your fans at sub 800rpm, then yes the GTS or SR-2 would be better, but I don't think that's necessary to maintain silence, especially with these fans. 1200rpm on the e-loops, or pretty much any fan speed above 1200rpm on the A12, on the GTX, would provide much better performance than the GTS or SR-2. GTX has the same fpi as the GTS, it's just much thicker.
I think I'm getting confused between Nemesis and Black Ice lines. I made a quick spreadsheet made from specs directly off the HL website and attached it here. From this data I like the Nemesis GTX series, which is what I think you're saying, in the front of my R5 but the 55mm clearance limitation means I would have to use the GTS in the top.
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