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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking into a custom water cooling loop. I have not had a lot of time to research on this matter lately, so I was looking to OCN for some advice. I at least have an idea about some of the parts that I would like. I am going for keeping this computer as a very quiet machine, so that is my goal, after lower temperatures of course.

Deepthought Build Log for anyone that wants to see the full rig, and the case for spatial reasons.

First, what I am cooling:

AMD A10-7850K
Gigabyte G1 970
Motherboard MOSFET's and VRM's if possible (universal waterblock) on a MSI A88XM-Gaming
Possibly the northbridge. I really dig the dragon heatsink, so I am not sure on this one.

This all resides in a Fractal Design Node 804, and my fans are LEPA BOL.QUIET S 120mm

These are all stock clocked for the time being, but I will be overclocking at some point, preferably after getting this loop.

Now, on to what I was looking at for parts:

Some type of a Laing D5, haven't decided

Reservoir:FrozenQHelix 250mm Reservoir (or at least one of the FrozenQ reservoirs) and if that won't work out probably just a nice top for a D5
CPU:EK Supremacy EVO copper (or something similar)
GPU:EK G1 970 full-cover waterblock with the appropriate black plate

Blackice SR1 or a Blackice SR2 and most likely at least one more 120mm variant of those.

Some, some of my questions:

1)How can I cool my VRM's and MOSFETS on my motherboard and how would I measure out this area to avoid multiple product purchases and returns to find the right one?
2)As I am looking for a quiet machine, I know (at least I think i know) that I am looking for a radiator with low FPI, because I am using low to medium RPM fans, between the SR1 and SR2 I know that the SR2 has a higher flow rate than the SR1, would this hurt me at all in terms of cooling performance?
3)Is there a suggested tubing size? I get lost when i start reading about this.
4)I was looking at compression fittings, but have heard some bad things. What does OCN have to say about this?
5) keep seeing many different material types, mostly when referring to blocks (Acetal CSQ, Nickel CSQ, Copper CSQ, Acrylic CSQ, etc.), and I have also heard things about not mixing these in your loop if you can. What is the big difference in all the materials...?
6)Are these parts reliable and effective?
7)What is an effective means of controlling and regulating all this? The aqua computer stuff is sweet but I am not sure I need something that in depth. (please, tell me if I am wrong lol)

I know there are a lot of questions and info, but i would greatly appreciate the help, so thanks in advance. If I missed anything you need to know, feel free to let me know whats up and I'll do my best to get back to you.

On a final note of budget, I am saving. thats pretty much it. I am not planning on implementing this for several months, so I have time to get the funds that I will need. For now, stick with... under 700 USD? I have no clue if that is feasible or not though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddangerous View Post

Some, some of my questions:

1)How can I cool my VRM's and MOSFETS on my motherboard and how would I measure out this area to avoid multiple product purchases and returns to find the right one?
2)As I am looking for a quiet machine, I know (at least I think i know) that I am looking for a radiator with low FPI, because I am using low to medium RPM fans, between the SR1 and SR2 I know that the SR2 has a higher flow rate than the SR1, would this hurt me at all in terms of cooling performance?
3)Is there a suggested tubing size? I get lost when i start reading about this.
4)I was looking at compression fittings, but have heard some bad things. What does OCN have to say about this?
5) keep seeing many different material types, mostly when referring to blocks (Acetal CSQ, Nickel CSQ, Copper CSQ, Acrylic CSQ, etc.), and I have also heard things about not mixing these in your loop if you can. What is the big difference in all the materials...?
6)Are these parts reliable and effective?
7)What is an effective means of controlling and regulating all this? The aqua computer stuff is sweet but I am not sure I need something that in depth. (please, tell me if I am wrong lol)

I know there are a lot of questions and info, but i would greatly appreciate the help, so thanks in advance. If I missed anything you need to know, feel free to let me know whats up and I'll do my best to get back to you.

On a final note of budget, I am saving. thats pretty much it. I am not planning on implementing this for several months, so I have time to get the funds that I will need. For now, stick with... under 700 USD? I have no clue if that is feasible or not though.
1) I may be wrong here since you are running an AMD board, but watercooling anything other than the cpu and graphics cards is purely for looks unless you are doing some really nasty overclocking.

2) won't be a huge difference in those two temp wise, a couple of degrees probably. Should probably add at least another 120mm rad though since you are gonna want at least 3 x 120mm worth of rad space or more if possible

3) Tubing size is purely a looks thing. Anything over 3/8th of an inch is good enough. Get the 1/2in ID tubing if you want bigger, beefier, looking tubing. The smaller if you want a more sleek look.

4) Compression fittings look a lot better in my opinion. I've tried a few different kinds and the Bits power fittings seem to be the easiest to work with but they are expensive little bastards.

5) Different metals in your loop will cause corrosion. That corrosion will gum up your blocks and pump which will lead to a series of possible things, none of which are good. Stay away from that. Copper is the way to go, it transfers heat better than anything else. Aluminum parts are cheaper but don't perform as well as the copper ones. Acetal and Acrylic are plastics and are just fine to mix in. It's only the metals that you have to worry about. Nickel plating isn't a big deal either, that's just for looks. Basically Acetal = Black plastic Nickel = shiny silver Acrylic = clear and those 3 are aesthetic.

6) EK is probably the best block maker out there, you can't go wrong with them and D5 pumps are basically the gold standard of pumps from what I have seen.

7) If you are running the fans through the Mobo you should be able to adjust them through software and some of the newer EK D5 pumps have pwm controls so you can adjust them the same way you would adjust the fans, otherwise a vario pump will have a little dial on the bottom you will need to adjust to fiddle with the flow rate. Outside of that, just run some benchmarks and trail and error. You can also get a fan controller if you really wanna fine tune everything but that shouldn't be much of an issue.

8) You should be able to eek it out for $700 even using the expensive bitspower compression fittings. Don't know where you live but Performance-PCs.com seems to have the best prices, and although I don't know off hand what the code is, overclock.net users get an extra 5% discount there too.

Edit: I've only built 2 custom loop rigs, so if someone pops in here later and says I'm wrong about something, best bet is to take their advice over mine.
 

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Can't answer all your questions but i can offer some sound advice on most.

You'll be more than pleased with the Laing D5 and Blackice SR2 performance.

VRM's and MOSFETS, measure them by width. length and center pin to center pin on the hold down pins.

For best flow and leak prevention go with 1/2" barbs and 7/16" tubing. You'll have to soak the tube ends in hot water to get them on barbs. but they require no zip ties/clamps.
Never had a single leak with this method in over 13 years.
thumb.gif


As for mixed metal loop, go with Petra's Tech Nuke PHN. Make sure NOT to include anything Aluminum in the loop as it causes corrosion which will eat anything copper/brass.

Stick with nickle, silver, copper and brass, Acetal and Acrylic are just easier to CNC and won't matter as they're non ferrous.

For regulation you just need a good fan rheobus and Everest corporate ultimate for temperature monitoring which you can Dl free http://raceboatinternational.com/audio/everest-corporate-ultimate-edition-4-50-build.html

Hope this will get you started at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNMock View Post

1) I may be wrong here since you are running an AMD board, but watercooling anything other than the cpu and graphics cards is purely for looks unless you are doing some really nasty overclocking.
Well, I would assume that in general those power delivery components get pretty hot no matter what brand CPU one would run, so I would want to cool them. Especially when i start overclocking
biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by DNMock View Post

2) won't be a huge difference in those two temp wise, a couple of degrees probably. Should probably add at least another 120mm rad though since you are gonna want at least 3 x 120mm worth of rad space or more if possible.

3) Tubing size is purely a looks thing. Anything over 3/8th of an inch is good enough. Get the 1/2in ID tubing if you want bigger, beefier, looking tubing. The smaller if you want a more sleek look.
So I now realize that I was not very specific, I was going to try to get at least 2x 240 and 1x 120 for my minimum. If I could fit it in the case, 3x 240 would be great but I have not gotten that far into measuring things yet.

Are we sure that tubing is more of a looks thing? I really would have thought that there was at least some correlation between tubing size and flow rate.. maybe not enough of a difference to factor in then..? Definitely would go sleek though,
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNMock View Post

4) Compression fittings look a lot better in my opinion. I've tried a few different kinds and the Bits power fittings seem to be the easiest to work with but they are expensive little bastards.

5) Different metals in your loop will cause corrosion. That corrosion will gum up your blocks and pump which will lead to a series of possible things, none of which are good. Stay away from that. Copper is the way to go, it transfers heat better than anything else. Aluminum parts are cheaper but don't perform as well as the copper ones. Acetal and Acrylic are plastics and are just fine to mix in. It's only the metals that you have to worry about. Nickel plating isn't a big deal either, that's just for looks. Basically Acetal = Black plastic Nickel = shiny silver Acrylic = clear and those 3 are aesthetic.
Compression fittings do look nice, and yeah I saw the Bitspower fittings for like.. $10 a pop on Frozencpu? dang.

So the acetal and acrylic do not make a difference, and I assume are only the top of the block for looks? I would like to go all copper for the performance reason if I can but I am not sure what the Gpu block I was looking at is made out of..
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNMock View Post

7) If you are running the fans through the Mobo you should be able to adjust them through software and some of the newer EK D5 pumps have pwm controls so you can adjust them the same way you would adjust the fans, otherwise a vario pump will have a little dial on the bottom you will need to adjust to fiddle with the flow rate. Outside of that, just run some benchmarks and trail and error. You can also get a fan controller if you really wanna fine tune everything but that shouldn't be much of an issue.

8) You should be able to eek it out for $700 even using the expensive bitspower compression fittings. Don't know where you live but Performance-PCs.com seems to have the best prices, and although I don't know off hand what the code is, overclock.net users get an extra 5% discount there too.
I am running my fans off an 8-way pwm splitter, and have not really set them up with a proper curve through any software yet. I can tell you that MSI command center is... next to useless for this IMO. So I am looking at other options, mind you I do not have a 5.25" bay. As for where I am, currently residing in NJ. I can check out Performance-PCs.com, but I started to use FrozenCPU for some small things about a month ago..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dryadsoul View Post

VRM's and MOSFETS, measure them by width. length and center pin to center pin on the hold down pins.
Thanks for this! I'm sure this will help a bunch. I'll let you know how that works out if you're around in 7-8 months.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dryadsoul View Post

For best flow and leak prevention go with 1/2" barbs and 7/16" tubing. You'll have to soak the tube ends in hot water to get them on barbs. but they require no zip ties/clamps.
Never had a single leak with this method in over 13 years.
thumb.gif
Hmm.. how would one go about this in full? I.E. Attaching the barbs to everything etc? How about maintenance, does this method make things more difficult?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dryadsoul View Post

As for mixed metal loop, go with Petra's Tech Nuke PHN. Make sure NOT to include anything Aluminum in the loop as it causes corrosion which will eat anything copper/brass.

For regulation you just need a good fan rheobus and Everest corporate ultimate for temperature monitoring which you can Dl free http://raceboatinternational.com/audio/everest-corporate-ultimate-edition-4-50-build.html

Hope this will get you started at least.
Well, I would try to not have mixed metal in the loop, but sometimes you can't avoid it I guess. Thanks for the advice on Petra's. As for the Rheobus controller, It would have to be externalof some sort, my case does not have a 5.25" bay in it.

And yes, all of this info will help me get started! thanks a lot!

Side note: I have to find out how/where to put a pump inside my case. Oh boy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddangerous View Post

Well, I would assume that in general those power delivery components get pretty hot no matter what brand CPU one would run, so I would want to cool them. Especially when i start overclocking
biggrin.gif
You would think so but nope. All the EK blocks have this disclaimer "Please note this water block / heat sink kit cools exactly as much heat generating components as ASUS factory cooling solution. It is a high flow water block that can be easily used with systems using weaker water pumps." for the X79 Z97 and X99 boards atleast and they are all passively air cooled (with a couple exceptions on the pure overclocking boards). Maybe ask on the AMD processor section of the forums, but unless you are running LN2 or a phase changer or something your CPU will overheat well before your MB components do I'd wager.
Quote:
Are we sure that tubing is more of a looks thing? I really would have thought that there was at least some correlation between tubing size and flow rate.. maybe not enough of a difference to factor in then..? Definitely would go sleek though,
Yep, positive. As long as your tubing is less restrictive than your blocks/radiators, and 3/8th diameter will be, it won't matter. The only difference is the bigger tubing will have less drag due to friction from the tubing wall itself. The difference between 3/8th and 1/2 ID tubing is so tiny it won't register.
Quote:
So the acetal and acrylic do not make a difference, and I assume are only the top of the block for looks? I would like to go all copper for the performance reason if I can but I am not sure what the Gpu block I was looking at is made out of..
yeah just looks. Everything you have listed will play together perfectly well. It's the radiators you gotta watch out for the most, the major brands for waterblocks are almost always going to be copper or copper with nickel plating.

Quote:
I am running my fans off an 8-way pwm splitter, and have not really set them up with a proper curve through any software yet. I can tell you that MSI command center is... next to useless for this IMO. So I am looking at other options, mind you I do not have a 5.25" bay. As for where I am, currently residing in NJ. I can check out Performance-PCs.com, but I started to use FrozenCPU for some small things about a month ago..
Frozencpu is good too, and since they are based out of NY i think and Performance PCs is out of Florida shipping will probably be cheaper. Search the forums here I think Frozencpus has a overclock.net discount code as well.

Try one of these for controlling fan speeds since you don't have a 5.25 bay available
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/6433/bus-114/FrozenCPU_FC1_External_Fan_Controller.html?tl=g47c17#blank
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12489/bus-249/Sunbeam_20W_Rheosmart_PCI_Slot_Smart_Fan_Controller_-_PL-RS-PCI.html?tl=g47c17s240#blank
 

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As for fan controllers, Aqua 6 is just awesome. Any fan, pumps and even RGB LEDs could easilly be adjusted by tem, flow meter or any other signals input as well as $200 per unit.. But if you only want to change your fan/pump speed like I do, I advise for any pwm splitters with a functional mobo which will cost $20 or less:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNMock View Post

You would think so but nope. All the EK blocks have this disclaimer "Please note this water block / heat sink kit cools exactly as much heat generating components as ASUS factory cooling solution. It is a high flow water block that can be easily used with systems using weaker water pumps." for the X79 Z97 and X99 boards atleast and they are all passively air cooled (with a couple exceptions on the pure overclocking boards). Maybe ask on the AMD processor section of the forums, but unless you are running LN2 or a phase changer or something your CPU will overheat well before your MB components do I'd wager.
I will do this soon. Thanks. I have read in quite a few places that AMD VRM's and MOSFET's get pretty hot when running with an OC so that was why I'm interested.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNMock View Post

Frozencpu is good too, and since they are based out of NY i think and Performance PCs is out of Florida shipping will probably be cheaper. Search the forums here I think Frozencpus has a overclock.net discount code as well.

Try one of these for controlling fan speeds since you don't have a 5.25 bay available
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/6433/bus-114/FrozenCPU_FC1_External_Fan_Controller.html?tl=g47c17#blank
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12489/bus-249/Sunbeam_20W_Rheosmart_PCI_Slot_Smart_Fan_Controller_-_PL-RS-PCI.html?tl=g47c17s240#blank
I'll definitely consider those, although I am also looking at what yuc7 mentioned below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuc7 View Post

As for fan controllers, Aqua 6 is just awesome. Any fan, pumps and even RGB LEDs could easilly be adjusted by tem, flow meter or any other signals input as well as $200 per unit.. But if you only want to change your fan/pump speed like I do, I advise for any pwm splitters with a functional mobo which will cost $20 or less:D
Yeah, this I will look into more. thanks.

So, another question that I did not realize that I did not know the answer to: pumps. Specifically, how about what I need to purchase to run one. Do I just need the pump and a top, or is there more to it? I have to look into the differences between a D5 and a DDC as well, one look considerably smaller than the other, and I need to keep my options open.
 

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Typically DDC pumps are for high restrictive loops. where D5 pumps are for higher flow loops, DDC pumps tend to be a little louder on higher rpm than D5. You don't have to use an aftermarket top but most people do. A little better performance can be gain with aftermarket top. Performance based on which pump and which top. 1 pump will be adequate for 95% of loops build. Lots of builders use 2 for redundancy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by apw63 View Post

Typically DDC pumps are for high restrictive loops. where D5 pumps are for higher flow loops, DDC pumps tend to be a little louder on higher rpm than D5. You don't have to use an aftermarket top but most people do. A little better performance can be gain with aftermarket top. Performance based on which pump and which top. 1 pump will be adequate for 95% of loops build. Lots of builders use 2 for redundancy.
So... how exactly does one determine how restrictive their loop is? Does it have anything to do with the flow rate listed on the blocks..? Some type of equation?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddangerous View Post

So... how exactly does one determine how restrictive their loop is? Does it have anything to do with the flow rate listed on the blocks..? Some type of equation?
IIRC, I've seen some type of calculator floating around? I personally don't know but I hope the ones who do chime in. I am hoping that spreadsheet was to calculate restriction with amount of blocks and fittings but there is a chance it may have been for the size of radiators and amount of watts dissipated per. I will look around to see if I can find anything and follow up in your thread.
 

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Um just a simple real question no disrespect ment. Are you really going to buy a liquid cooling system that cost more the x2 your entire build? Does a 150 dollar cpu really need all this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALT F4 View Post

IIRC, I've seen some type of calculator floating around? I personally don't know but I hope the ones who do chime in. I am hoping that spreadsheet was to calculate restriction with amount of blocks and fittings but there is a chance it may have been for the size of radiators and amount of watts dissipated per. I will look around to see if I can find anything and follow up in your thread.
Thanks a bunch! If you stumble upon the one for watts dissipated related to radiatior size that would be good too. I need to double check some of that lol.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonsyph View Post

Um just a simple real question no disrespect ment. Are you really going to buy a liquid cooling system that cost more the x2 your entire build? Does a 150 dollar cpu really need all this?
To each his own. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. If he decides to upgrade within the same platform/manufacturer chances are he will be able to re-use his blocks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddangerous View Post

Thanks a bunch! If you stumble upon the one for watts dissipated related to radiatior size that would be good too. I need to double check some of that lol.
Definitely, vice versa
biggrin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonsyph View Post

Um just a simple real question no disrespect ment. Are you really going to buy a liquid cooling system that cost more the x2 your entire build? Does a 150 dollar cpu really need all this?
No disrespect taken. No worries.

Yes, because I'm going to overclock it as far as I can and then back it down a step or two so I don't burn it out super quick (before something new hits the market), and might only need to change the CPU block in a couple years. Depending on what happens with the 970 and how long it lasts me I'll be ok. I'm going for as quiet and cool as possible. And good looks
thumb.gif
, also, definitely will not cost twice my build.

I'll be overclocking the 970 as well so... HEAT lol.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALT F4 View Post

To each his own. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. If he decides to upgrade within the same platform/manufacturer chances are he will be able to re-use his blocks.
Definitely, vice versa
biggrin.gif
Will do. At the very least, the radiators will carry over right?!? lol. That alone is a big expense. I do plan on retiring this to an htpc of sorts when I build a new system, no need for the liquid cooling for that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddangerous View Post

No disrespect taken. No worries.

Yes, because I'm going to overclock it as far as I can and then back it down a step or two so I don't burn it out super quick (before something new hits the market), and might only need to change the CPU block in a couple years. Depending on what happens with the 970 and how long it lasts me I'll be ok. I'm going for as quiet and cool as possible. And good looks
thumb.gif
, also, definitely will not cost twice my build.

I'll be overclocking the 970 as well so... HEAT lol.
Will do. At the very least, the radiators will carry over right?!? lol. That alone is a big expense. I do plan on retiring this to an htpc of sorts when I build a new system, no need for the liquid cooling for that.
Thats cool, and if you take care of it and do water flush and clean and put in new fluids every so often the thing should last you a good while and with numerous systems.

This is the kit i had a while back that did awesome and looked sweet. Gave it to my brother and its still going strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonsyph View Post

Thats cool, and if you take care of it and do water flush and clean and put in new fluids every so often the thing should last you a good while and with numerous systems.

This is the kit i had a while back that did awesome and looked sweet. Gave it to my brother and its still going strong.
I don't see a link...? And yeah, isn't the recommended like new fluids/clean every 6 months or so..? Thought I read that somewhere.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddangerous View Post

So... how exactly does one determine how restrictive their loop is? Does it have anything to do with the flow rate listed on the blocks..? Some type of equation?
Restrictive loops will have more components. Something along the lines of multiple RADs, GPUs, long runs of tubing and lots of bends. martinsliquidlab.org/ has a Pump Planning Guide, in the guide he has a data base of how much pressure drops across particular blocks and cooling components. You can get an idea of how restrictive your loop may be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by apw63 View Post

Restrictive loops will have more components. Something along the lines of multiple RADs, GPUs, long runs of tubing and lots of bends. martinsliquidlab.org/ has a Pump Planning Guide, in the guide he has a data base of how much pressure drops across particular blocks and cooling components. You can get an idea of how restrictive your loop may be.
Thanks for the link! I'll do some mathy stuff tomorrow on that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonsyph View Post

Woops lol

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/23378/ex-wat-299/XSPC_Raystorm_RX360_V3_Extreme_Universal_CPU_Water_Cooling_Kit_w_D5_Photon_and_Free_Dead-Water.html

Ya i do it a couple times a year and also pay attention to the color of the liquid and watch for corrosion and you should be fine.
Nice kit! And yeah might have colored liquid in there but... at lerast I could check it when I drain it.

Thank you both for the info!
 
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