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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Basic CPU loop

So I am playing with the idea of a custom loop as opposed to an Arctic 280 AIO to cool an upcoming 8 core Intel CPU. I have come up with the following list of parts, and I wanted to get everyone's opinions.

1 block: https://www.performance-pcs.com/barr...-04-v2-bk.html

6 fittings: https://www.performance-pcs.com/ek-s...-10-16-bk.html

Tubing 6ft black rubber:
https://www.performance-pcs.com/ek-t...t-bk-3858.html
or clear:
https://www.performance-pcs.com/wate...-clr-3858.html

5x Arctic P14 PWM fans:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...44WTLWGU&psc=1

800LPH PWM pump:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...DAQIYG2U&psc=1

Reservoir:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...38744OO1&psc=1

420mm copper radiator:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...Q8489ITV&psc=1


Will the 800LPH pump be able to achieve a good flow rate for this large of a radiator?
Is there any reason I would need a larger/smaller tubing?

The hose(s) I am considering are 3/8ID 5/8OD either black rubber or clear PVC.
The black rubber seems to be similar to the type used in most radiator situations so that was my first choice.
I wonder however if the benefits of clear tubing might outweigh any benefits of the black rubber (if there are any benefits, I'm not sure there are) The perceived benefit would be strength/safety, but I'm not sure that applies here as I don't think the black rubber tubing is reinforced like other radiator hoses.

Are the fittings of sufficient quality?
I made sure to get compression fittings over barb/clamp style, as safety is paramount. The $$ worth of equipment in play is far more important than saving a couple dollars, but my budget is stretched pretty far already, so I am hoping I can get away with pretty close to this.
I am more worried about something like springing a leak rather than the pump failing for example. In that case the CPU should just throttle itself down to safety, whereas a leak would directly damage a lot of equipment.

The CPU block is nickel plated copper, while the radiator is just copper. Will this combo work without corrosion long term? If not what should be changed?

Is there anything else I should adjust in my design?
Is there anything else I am missing?


The PWM fans will be hooked up in tandem to the MB's PWM controller and spin based on current temps. Should the pump be connected in tandem as well, so that the flow would be proportional to the fan speed?
Or on its own independently/manually controllable PWM?

My cooling goals are to have both a quiet/effective cooling solution for everyday use, along with the ability to crank out maximum cooling for OC when necessary.

Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 08:06 PM
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For fittings, don't get EK. Quality on those is iffy. Go for Bitspower, which are overall the best.

Also for tubing, if you want to stick with black tubing, go for Tygon A-60-G, which is higher quality and more consistent in terms of shape and dimensions. The EK ZMT apparently has a lot of quality variation and sometimes the thickness is slightly off, which could cause issues with your fittings.

Clear tubing is nice but they will probably all eventually start leaking plasticizer, gunking up your blocks. Tygon A-60-G should be very maintenance free.

Mixing nickle plated copper with copper rad is perfectly fine and will not cause corrosion. Just make sure to use a good coolant with an inhibitor in it, like Mayhems X1 (generally considered the best). Also just go for a clear coolant. Colored coolants and pastel coolants eventually will leave gunk in your blocks, requiring cleaning.

Keep in mind that often nickle plated copper is cheaply done, and it will eventually start flaking and get in the rest of your loop, gunking things up. I believe Optimus is one of the few, if not the only, that uses very high quality nickle plating that should last for many years.

In general, better to do it right once, than save money now and later having to spend again because you need to upgrade. Of course I understand there are sometimes real budgetary constraints, but then I'd consider waiting and saving more.

Oh, and get a D5 pump + reservoir combo. Reliable and durable, and plenty of power, even for more restrictive loops. Make sure it's made by Laing or Xylem (many of the brands that sell them are relabeled Laing or Xylem, though sometimes they're fake).

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Last edited by sakete; 03-14-2020 at 08:09 PM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 08:38 PM
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Can you afford to be without the machine? If you have a spare PC or don't mind downtime, it would work fine with the components selected. I personally wouldn't bother with a cheapo pump though. I currently run D5's in all my loops and they are perfect.

Also I would argue that barb fittings with clamps are actually more secure than compression fittings as the clamp adjusts to the size of the tubing. With compressions, if for example you get a batch of tubing with too thin of walls the compression collar may not lock down tightly.

I would run pump PWM signal separate from fans. Personally, I leave it at a fixed speed. Pumps can have odd noise or resonance at various speeds. Run it at 100% when filling and bleeding the loop, then just dial it back to a speed where you are comfortable with the noise (or lack of it).

As for stuff that's missing, I would add decoupling kit to mount whatever pump you get. If you want to be as silent as possible these help a ton. https://www.performance-pcs.com/wate...-ac-13505.html

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 03:01 AM
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I prefer barb fittings w/ worm clamps because they feel more secure and are little cheaper so I agree with Fluxmaven on that. Also I've had multiple ek products shed nickel plating so I only use straight copper blocks, preferably not theirs.

Don't take this the wrong way but it seems like you are trying to piece together a cheap version of a custom w/c setup which never ends well. Cheaper w/c pieces will not work as well and will not last as long as quality products which could potentially damage your other expensive computer parts and waste your money and time. I'm all for saving a buck but when it comes to water cooling it simply isn't worth it. I would save more and buy quality parts. Again, I'm not saying this to be harsh, just some advice.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 03:11 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by BugFreak View Post
I prefer barb fittings w/ worm clamps because they feel more secure and are little cheaper so I agree with Fluxmaven on that. Also I've had multiple ek products shed nickel plating so I only use straight copper blocks, preferably not theirs.

Don't take this the wrong way but it seems like you are trying to piece together a cheap version of a custom w/c setup which never ends well. Cheaper w/c pieces will not work as well and will not last as long as quality products which could potentially damage your other expensive computer parts and waste your money and time. I'm all for saving a buck but when it comes to water cooling it simply isn't worth it. I would save more and buy quality parts. Again, I'm not saying this to be harsh, just some advice.
Barb fittings are good indeed, but worm clamps are way overkill, unpractical and don't look paricularly nice. A decent spring clamp is plenty good.

Do agree on a straight copper/brass loop though, so much more reliable and less hassle.

Cheaper watercooling gear has gotten way better as well. Barrow and Bykski make some excellent quality stuff, not quite Watercool(Heatkiller) or Aquacomputer, but definitely comparable to Alphacool, XSPC etc.

Heck, barrow probably makes the best bang for your buck fittings atm. The fact that Watercool is selling Barrow fittings on their store should tell you plenty.

Last edited by Gilles3000; 03-15-2020 at 03:15 AM.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Cheaper watercooling gear has gotten way better as well. Barrow and Bykski make some excellent quality stuff, not quite Watercool(Heatkiller) or Aquacomputer, but definitely comparable to Alphacool, XSPC etc.

Heck, barrow probably makes the best bang for your buck fittings atm. The fact that Watercool is selling Barrow fittings on their store should tell you plenty.
Good to know for sure. I'll have to read up on them a bit for my next build. Thanks for that.

I've used the plastic clamps too but I have so many worm clamps laying around at this point I just reuse them for nothing else but habit. Granted they don't look that clean but when positioned right they really cant be seen except for the chrome loop.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 09:08 AM
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I would not go with EK fittings. Seen too many issues with them. Barrow makes some good ones.

Cheaping out on the pump will lead to disaster. Get a D5 and be done with it.

Looks like you are trying to water cool on the extreme side of cheap. If you dont have the money, then stick to air cooling.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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@Fluxmaven
Absolutely, got it. Thanks, that is a great addition at minimal cost!
Also, Ill come up with a small pwm controller to set the pump separate.
@BugFreak
Points well taken. This is why I asked around here first. I have much experience with watercooling, and cooling in general but not in the pc space.
@Gilles3000
Good to hear, I'm glad they make quality stuff.
Thanks!

@sakete
Thats funny, the Tygon A60G was actually my first choice. The only reason that changed because I couldn't find it on either of the sites I had already enlisted and didn't want to pay another shipping charge.
Looks like USplastics is the only place to get it by the foot. I looked all over performance-pcs for it, and amazon but only in long length and for $$.
So black radiator hose style like in cars and refrigeration systems such it is. While I didn't want to miss out on the convenience of being able to visually see the flow or lack thereof, I am glad that there is a good reason to use standard black tubing. Not that I am building for looks, but I prefer the simple black hose look to anything flashy.
I appreciate the comment about colored coolants, and you should continue to give it as advice, but I would never do something as stupid as using colored coolant in a WC setup
I was hoping to stay around $200 which is just about what that list adds up to, but I will budget another hundred in order to have a quality pump. There are a lot of D5 pump/motor/reservoir options out there. Anyone want to point one out that has a real Xylem or Laing, and minimal cost. Most are over 150, but I will be saving 45 on the cheap pump so I that's pretty close. I just want to make sure I get the best pump/housing quality possible for that much if its going to cost that much. If there are solid options under that Please share as well!.

I agree, barb fittings+clamps are highly effective and used almost everywhere in the industry.
However. I have used too many hose clamps to trust then with my computer. Hose clamps when tightened down, and after time, especially when wrapped around a small diameter, tend to break easier cause the spring metal is bent around a sharper corner.
The great thing is, the hose clamp failing alone usually will not spring a leak, as the barbs themselves are highly efficient. The Clamp is just there for a little extra support
While this may be likely the case for a WC setup, it was not the case when the hose clamp broke on my water main. The water pressure was just too high.
I'm gonna go with the screw down ones and avoid failing hose clamps altogether.
Here are 3 I came up with:
https://www.performance-pcs.com/wate...3-8-v3-bk.html
https://www.performance-pcs.com/wate...f-cc5v2-d.html
https://www.performance-pcs.com/wate...1-4-cf-bk.html
I actually like the Swiftech ones the best because they have standard wrench grooves where the others do not.
Are the Swiftech quality like the barrow or Bitspower listed?
Which would you suggest?
Thanks again!

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Last edited by ctrnull; 03-15-2020 at 05:54 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 04:52 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by ctrnull View Post
I actually like the Swiftech ones the best because they have standard wrench grooves where the others do not.
Are the Swiftech quality like the barrow or Bitspower listed?
Which would you suggest?
Thanks again!
I actually own all 3 of the fittings you listed, and they are all great. If you don't mind the look of the Swiftech they are a great option. The Barrow ones have a notch cut out so you can use a large coin or a whatever to break them loose if needed. One other thing that stands out is the Bitspower fitting you linked is a different size than the other two. 1/2x3/4" which is what I typically run since I like the look of the thicker tubes, but it can be harder to work with than the smaller sizes.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 05:57 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by ctrnull View Post
Absolutely, got it. Thanks, that is a great addition at minimal cost!

Also, Ill come up with a small pwm controller to set the pump separate.

Points well taken. This is why I asked around here first. I have much experience with watercooling, and cooling in general but not in the pc space.

Good to hear, I'm glad they make quality stuff.
Thanks!

Thats funny, the Tygon A60G was actually my first choice. The only reason that changed because I couldn't find it on either of the sites I had already enlisted and didn't want to pay another shipping charge.
Looks like USplastics is the only place to get it by the foot. I looked all over performance-pcs for it, and amazon but only in long length and for $$.
So black radiator hose style like in cars and refrigeration systems such it is. While I didn't want to miss out on the convenience of being able to visually see the flow or lack thereof, I am glad that there is a good reason to use standard black tubing. Not that I am building for looks, but I prefer the simple black hose look to anything flashy.
I appreciate the comment about colored coolants, and you should continue to give it as advice, but I would never do something as stupid as using colored coolant in a WC setup
I was hoping to stay around $200 which is just about what that list adds up to, but I will budget another hundred in order to have a quality pump. There are a lot of D5 pump/motor/reservoir options out there. Anyone want to point one out that has a real Xylem or Laing, and minimal cost. Most are over 150, but I will be saving 45 on the cheap pump so I that's pretty close. I just want to make sure I get the best pump/housing quality possible for that much if its going to cost that much. If there are solid options under that Please share as well!.

I agree, barb fittings+clamps are highly effective and used almost everywhere in the industry.
However. I have used too many hose clamps to trust then with my computer. Hose clamps when tightened down, and after time, especially when wrapped around a small diameter, tend to break easier cause the spring metal is bent around a sharper corner.
The great thing is, the hose clamp failing alone usually will not spring a leak, as the barbs themselves are highly efficient. The Clamp is just there for a little extra support
While this may be likely the case for a WC setup, it was not the case when the hose clamp broke on my water main. The water pressure was just too high.
I'm gonna go with the screw down ones and avoid failing hose clamps altogether.
Here are 3 I came up with:
https://www.performance-pcs.com/wate...3-8-v3-bk.html
https://www.performance-pcs.com/wate...f-cc5v2-d.html
https://www.performance-pcs.com/wate...1-4-cf-bk.html
I actually like the Swiftech ones the best because they have standard wrench grooves where the others do not.
Are the Swiftech quality like the barrow or Bitspower listed?
Which would you suggest?
Thanks again!
Yeah, $200 for a custom loop isn't realistic. For something decent you're looking at $500+ at a minimum. For something great, closer to $1k. But it's your money

For D5 pumps, look at the Heatkiller reservoir+D5 pump combo, or an Aquacomputer D5 pump + one of their reservoirs (check compatibility first). XSPC should als be fine. Easiest to get pump + res from same brand, as then you can be sure that the res will fit on the pump. I think the EK D5 pumps are good as well, but I don't know about the quality of their reservoirs. Best quality is a glass reservoir or cast acrylic (only one brand offers cast acrylic, Optimus, but they're very expensive).

FrozenCPU also sells Tygon A-60-G by the foot, and fittings and a whole bunch of watercooling stuff. Use discount code OCN to get 6% off there. If you call them they'll sometimes give you an additional discount depending on how much you're buying.

Main
(17 items)
CPU
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Motherboard
Asus X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Formula
GPU
EVGA GTX 980Ti SC+
RAM
2x 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4-3600 C16
Hard Drive
1TB Samsung 970 EVO+ NVMe
Hard Drive
1TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
Hard Drive
480GB SanDisk Extreme Pro
Hard Drive
3x 4TB HGST Deskstar NAS (2 in RAID 1)
Power Supply
Seasonic Prime PX-1000
Cooling
Optimus Foundation AM4
Cooling
HWLabs GTS 360 XFLOW
Case
Phanteks Enthoo 719/Luxe 2
Monitor
Acer XB270HU
Keyboard
Corsair K70
Mouse
Logitech G502
Audio
Motu M4
Audio
JBL LSR305
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