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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I'm about to build two new gaming PCs for the family and kids, and thought,
since this will be my first attempt at custom water cooling loops, that it
would be a good idea to also tap on the community for some good advice.



Here's the list of stuffs that I'm putting together:
  • Chassis: CaseLabs Mercury S8
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-5775C
  • Memory: 32GB Kingston HyperX FURY DDR3L 1866MHz
  • Graphics: Asus ROG Poseidon GeForce GTX 980 Ti SLI
  • Storage: 512GB Samsung PRO M.2 PCIe SSD


As you can see based on the pictures, I got the CaseLabs Mercury S8 chassis
with the 2 x 120.3 (360) drop-in radiator mounts and ventilated top cover,
and the 120.3 (360) drop-in side radiator mount with the ventilated side panel.

Before making any serious mistakes, I'm curious to know more about the following:
  • How to setup the loops: CPU block? parallel GPU loops? order?
  • Heat dissipation: What size radiators and how many?
  • Other components: Pump(s)? reservoir(s)? fill/drain port(s)?
  • Ventilation/airflow: How many fans? types? location?
Many thanks for taking the time helping me with these questions.

Dan Liljestig
Bugis, Singapore
 

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I would just start looking at the other builds done in that case and see their layouts. You can get an idea of how everything will go together from that then make your own changes as needed. I would search the intel build logs forum for "caselabs s8" as well as google images.

Its hard to say exactly how you should run things. Its very dependent on your goals and the equipment you plan to use for cooling. I'm of the opinion you should stuff as much rad and fan as you can in there if money is not a concern. However you will put up with more noise if you do that and diminishing returns are real past a certain point. Putting rads in push only will keep the fans on them significantly quieter.

I went heavy on the cooling side of things with mine and stuffed a radiator and and/or fan in every possible spot without using a pedestal. I also put an extra d5 pump in series for redundancy, flow, and less noise.

Use the extreme rigs radiator review to select rads that will work with your goals. The biggest tip i can give you is take measurements of everything if going with bigger rads as clearances can get quite tight in areas. http://www.xtremerigs.net/2015/02/11/radiator-round-2015/

I went with EK XE's in the top and front and an alphacool st30 in the side. I learned the hard way that a big rad in the side chamber eats up too much space and makes running wiring more difficult. It also won't cool as efficiently as it should since it blocks the passages for air to escape. I found hot air would push back through the vents and get recirculated back into the rad.
 

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WaterCooler
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Where are you buying parts from, being in Singapore? Help with part selection will really depend on who you can order from. If you can purchase from ppcs, I would check out the monsoon reservoirs. You can customize pretty much everything about them to fit your build. You may need to watch a few vids/read up on them, but the end result will be fantastic.
thumb.gif

I'm planning to buy a white S8 in a few days so I'm excited to see what you end up building.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge0fsanity View Post

I would just start looking at the other builds done in that case and see their layouts. You can get an idea of how everything will go together from that then make your own changes as needed. I would search the intel build logs forum for "caselabs s8" as well as google images.
It should be pointed out that there are many more contributors of this forum that serve as the inspiration and guiding light to computer builders around the world than there are ones credited for... I for one have been following with great enthusiasm both the joy and the struggles of builders like cpachris with the PPPP, fast-fate and the Salive8, the ShockWave by BazG, and your own build among others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge0fsanity View Post

Its hard to say exactly how you should run things. Its very dependent on your goals and the equipment you plan to use for cooling. I'm of the opinion you should stuff as much rad and fan as you can in there if money is not a concern. However you will put up with more noise if you do that and diminishing returns are real past a certain point. Putting rads in push only will keep the fans on them significantly quieter.

I went heavy on the cooling side of things with mine and stuffed a radiator and and/or fan in every possible spot without using a pedestal. I also put an extra d5 pump in series for redundancy, flow, and less noise.

Use the extreme rigs radiator review to select rads that will work with your goals. The biggest tip i can give you is take measurements of everything if going with bigger rads as clearances can get quite tight in areas. http://www.xtremerigs.net/2015/02/11/radiator-round-2015/
The main reason for these new builds is simply because of the fact that I have yet to come across a single computer, that has not shutdown on me due to overheating. With air cooling and All-In-One liquid coolers ruled out, searching for case manufacturers suitable for custom water cooling, the CaseLabs Mercury S8 with it's horizontal design felt like the perfect pick.

As I understand from reading the Extreme Rigs' Radiator Review Round Up 2015, having larger radiator surface area (using multiple radiators) combined with high static pressure optimized fans is the way to go. However the thicker and more capable of dissipating heat the radiators get, the higher speed running fans they also seem to require, in order to do so. In conclusion, taking both your advise on radiator fan noise levels and space constraints into account, and after doing some measurements, this is what I came up with.



I'm exploring the possibility of using the 120.3 (360) drop-in side radiator mount as exhaust (instead of intake), using a slim radiator mounted on the outside of the mount, with push-only fans mounted on the inside.



After taking some initial measurements, the 120.3 (360) drop-in side radiator mount seem to be able to accommodate a radiator that is maximum 400 mm long and about 30 mm thick (with some margin).



To follow up those measurements, searching for a slim radiator that has exactly 61 mm between its precisely centred G1/4 ports, the answer might well be the Alphacool NexXxos ST30 360. However it would also require me to use a maximum of 19 mm diameter G1/4 compression fittings, such as the EK-ACF Fitting 10/13mm.

The question is:
Am I too crazy to think this would work?
wubsmiley.gif
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deedaz View Post

Where are you buying parts from, being in Singapore? Help with part selection will really depend on who you can order from. If you can purchase from ppcs, I would check out the monsoon reservoirs. You can customize pretty much everything about them to fit your build. You may need to watch a few vids/read up on them, but the end result will be fantastic.
thumb.gif

I'm planning to buy a white S8 in a few days so I'm excited to see what you end up building.
Unfortunately due to the relatively small size of the matured computer user marketplace in Singapore and Malaysia, the places where you can go to or order custom water cooling (and other computer modding parts) from is practically nowhere to be found. On the other hand, both Newegg and Amazon, among with others have started shipping directly to Singapore, and if not, it is possible to ship through a third-party virtual address in either the US, EU, Japan or China.

Thanks for the tips on the Moonsoon water cooling components, really
specool.gif
stuffs.
 

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The 6502 Still Rocks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge0fsanity View Post

I went with EK XE's in the top and front and an alphacool st30 in the side. I learned the hard way that a big rad in the side chamber eats up too much space and makes running wiring more difficult. It also won't cool as efficiently as it should since it blocks the passages for air to escape. I found hot air would push back through the vents and get recirculated back into the rad.
I am considering the same case and layout. I appreciate your tip on the side radiator. I also read the Xtremerigs comparison and was thinking about 3 of the XE's (you mention using 2 of these in the top) but I was worried what issues the one in the side would have. Given it's thickness, I was thinking it might interfere with the power supply or perhaps get choked off on one side by being too close to the power supply.

It's interesting to see the OP mounting a slim rad on the outside of this mount. Space must really be tight in there. I figured if CaseLabs made the mount that there was probably enough room in there for whatever. I need to find a drawing that shows the dimensions in the case.

Ooops, I should have read 2 more posts down. The OP has pictures with dimensions. I am definitely going to follow this thread to see how he works this out.
 

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Oh, I see. The side radiator sits recessed in the mount. These are great photos and drawings. Much appreciated.

I also see that my concern with the power supply was incorrect. It's on the other side of the case in the other lower bay. I've looked at so many cases lately, I'm suffering brain lock.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A small update,
with the moment of truth...
worriedsmiley.gif




Didn't expect it to actually fit this nicely



Now just need to order the top mount radiators (with exhaust fans), and then try to figure out the rest...

Quote:
Before making any serious mistakes, I'm curious to know more about the following:
  • How to setup the loops: CPU block? parallel GPU loops? order?
  • Heat dissipation: What size radiators and how many?
  • Other components: Pump(s)? reservoir(s)? fill/drain port(s)?
  • Ventilation/airflow: How many fans? types? location?
Many thanks for taking the time helping me with these questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm planning to use the EK-XTOP Revo Dual D5 PWM Serial standalone pump, and wonder if it is possible to use the pump's technical port together with a ball valve as a drain port?
rolleyes.gif




Also in order to mount the pump directly on top of the 140x140mm fan hole cover plate, I managed to find the following #6-32 1/2" screws, nuts and washers in black oxide to be an exact match of the original 3/8" panhead screws used by CaseLabs.


 

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The 6502 Still Rocks
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Did you make that pump mount bracket yourself or is it available from a vendor? That's a really clean look. I am also planning on using that dual serial pump setup in my S8. I just got my case last week but I've not unboxed it yet. Gunmetal outside and white on the inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm looking at mounting the reservoir in the front of the middle 120x120mm fan location, but still can't figure out which reservoir to get, or how to connect it...
thinking.gif




What would be the drawbacks of feeding the pump from the reservoir through a 3-way T-splitter?

 

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Innovative ... that's what I call that idea of the feed through the 3-way. It's certainly going to result in low turbulence in the res. If you're running a coolant with particles (Pastels for example) you'd probably get too much settling in the res.

How did the drain idea work out? I like that pump top and would love to see it in the clear plexi at some point.

Yes, my case is till in the box. I've been working on a D5 Strong driver board for my pumps so I haven't reached the computer build point yet. Too many other projects going on.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by liljestig View Post

Hmm, I think this would be worth trying just to see anyway.

You might run into issues getting the air out of the loop initially I think. With a high flow dual D5 setup... it might be flowing so fast it sucks those air bubbles down again before they can rise into the res. If you can get all the air out I can't think of any reason it wouldn't work just fine after that though.

Also, if you're having issues with systems burning up there a number of ways to get better cooling.
  1. Thicker radiators (fin density)
  2. Push pull configurations on your radiators
  3. Better fans with higher static pressure (noctua might be fine)
  4. Make sure you stagger your radiators between your heat producers (CPU > Rad > GPUs > Rad > Pump/Res > Rad ... etc.)
  5. Since this is all a single loop, you might consider staggering in a DDC pump before your GPUs for head pressure.
  6. Ambient room temperatures directly affect cooling, if you have it zoned off lower the thermostat in your game room a few degrees.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by liljestig View Post

I'm looking at mounting the reservoir in the front of the middle 120x120mm fan location, but still can't figure out which reservoir to get, or how to connect it...
thinking.gif


It works, I've seen another build featured in EK blog that is doing that with a T fitting

from EK blog https://www.ekwb.com/blog/gigabyte-bench-table-by-phenom-design/

(check out the other pictures of that build to understand the full water flow)

It might not be exactly the same idea as yours, but it's the same concept, the Reservoir is there to maintain water level, but is passive to the rest of the system

the rest of the system will just recirculate the existing water that is already in the loop.

BTW, thanks for your detailed build log pictures, I'll be doing the same shortly, my Mercury S8 is still... "This order is marked as Awaiting Fulfillment"

What size is the radiator you are using in the lower left side

if you mount 120x25mm fans on the outside are you still able to close the door?

from your pictures it looks like it has barely any room for the fans, after the radiator is mounted.

or a better question is, can that 360 fan/radiator holder be used flipped over?

I ordered the case already but there are still so many unknown questions, as it might or might not affect how Thick a radiator I can fit in there.

according to other S8 owners a 60mm radiator + fans will be too thick for that lower left compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I made 60mm (diameter) by 150mm and 250mm respectively (length) paper model reservoirs with some thoughts.

Taller (250mm) reservoir (not in picture):
  • More difficult to access top port for filling and bleeding the system.
  • Horizontal ports line up too close to the pump's IN port.
Shorter (150mm) reservoir (as shown):
  • Easier to access top port for filling and bleeding the system.
  • Horizontal ports interfere with E-ATX motherboard tray (as indicated by ruler).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Chicken View Post

Innovative ... that's what I call that idea of the feed through the 3-way. It's certainly going to result in low turbulence in the res. If you're running a coolant with particles (Pastels for example) you'd probably get too much settling in the res.
However the conclusion to look for a 150mm reservoir and feed the pump from under the reservoir rise new questions.

Return to reservoir:
  • Need to solve clearance issue with EATX motherboard tray.
  • How to minimize turbulence inside the reservoir?
Return to 3-way T-splitter:
  • Difficult to bleed?
  • Other unknowns?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Chicken View Post

How did the drain idea work out? I like that pump top and would love to see it in the clear plexi at some point.
I haven't really come around to look closer at the drain port part of the design yet. Although the technical port definitely looks like it could be used with a ball valve as a such, since it is **not recommended**, I'm also considering using the pump's OUT port with a 3-way T-splitter and a ball valve. Nevertheless the pump is indeed a solid piece of engineering providing lots of options (to be continued).

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucretius View Post

You might run into issues getting the air out of the loop initially I think. With a high flow dual D5 setup... it might be flowing so fast it sucks those air bubbles down again before they can rise into the res. If you can get all the air out I can't think of any reason it wouldn't work just fine after that though.
Yeah, this (and any related issues) are my main concerns too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucretius View Post

Also, if you're having issues with systems burning up there a number of ways to get better cooling.
  1. Thicker radiators (fin density)
  2. Push pull configurations on your radiators
  3. Better fans with higher static pressure (noctua might be fine)
  4. Make sure you stagger your radiators between your heat producers (CPU > Rad > GPUs > Rad > Pump/Res > Rad ... etc.)
  5. Since this is all a single loop, you might consider staggering in a DDC pump before your GPUs for head pressure.
  6. Ambient room temperatures directly affect cooling, if you have it zoned off lower the thermostat in your game room a few degrees.
These are all very good points, thanks!
thumb.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by liljestig View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucretius View Post

You might run into issues getting the air out of the loop initially I think. With a high flow dual D5 setup... it might be flowing so fast it sucks those air bubbles down again before they can rise into the res. If you can get all the air out I can't think of any reason it wouldn't work just fine after that though.
Yeah, this (and any related issues) are my main concerns too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucretius View Post

Also, if you're having issues with systems burning up there a number of ways to get better cooling.
  1. Thicker radiators (fin density)
  2. Push pull configurations on your radiators
  3. Better fans with higher static pressure (noctua might be fine)
  4. Make sure you stagger your radiators between your heat producers (CPU > Rad > GPUs > Rad > Pump/Res > Rad ... etc.)
  5. Since this is all a single loop, you might consider staggering in a DDC pump before your GPUs for head pressure.
  6. Ambient room temperatures directly affect cooling, if you have it zoned off lower the thermostat in your game room a few degrees.
These are all very good points, thanks!
thumb.gif
#4 is actually incorrect. The water moves so fast through the loop that the temp will equalize and at most you would have a 1-2 degree difference in water temp in any point in the loop, which will make no difference in cooling performance. Best bet is to route everything the way that is easiest for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllGamer View Post

It works, I've seen another build featured in EK blog that is doing that with a T fitting

from EK blog https://www.ekwb.com/blog/gigabyte-bench-table-by-phenom-design/

(check out the other pictures of that build to understand the full water flow)

It might not be exactly the same idea as yours, but it's the same concept, the Reservoir is there to maintain water level, but is passive to the rest of the system

the rest of the system will just recirculate the existing water that is already in the loop.
Although it looks like they are actually using the reservoirs in the "traditional way" (by joining in- and outgoing flows from the radiator and pump respectively) it still give me an idea of using the EK-RES X3 in a similar way.



Perhaps I could use one underside port to feed the pump and one horizontal port for the return with IN and OUT on opposite sides of the anti-cyclone to minimize vortex?
rolleyes.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllGamer View Post

BTW, thanks for your detailed build log pictures, I'll be doing the same shortly, my Mercury S8 is still... "This order is marked as Awaiting Fulfillment"

What size is the radiator you are using in the lower left side

if you mount 120x25mm fans on the outside are you still able to close the door?

from your pictures it looks like it has barely any room for the fans, after the radiator is mounted.

or a better question is, can that 360 fan/radiator holder be used flipped over?

I ordered the case already but there are still so many unknown questions, as it might or might not affect how Thick a radiator I can fit in there.

according to other S8 owners a 60mm radiator + fans will be too thick for that lower left compartment.
Many thanks!
thumb.gif


The radiators are Alphacool nexXxos ST30 Full Copper 360 (30mm thick). The one in the lower left chamber is sitting recessed on the 'outside' with push-only fans mounted on the 'inside' of the bracket. There isn't enough room for additional fans on the outside of the radiator and close the door with this setup.

If looking for push-pull one could mount fans on the 'outside' of the bracket (instead of the radiator in my case), and then radiator and fans on the 'inside'. I was considering push-pull for these builds at first (as probably needed for thicker radiators to reach their full potential), but decided against it due to the possible chance of higher noise levels. There are pictures in the beginning of this thread measuring the available space in the lower left chamber for radiator and fans.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deedaz View Post

#4 is actually incorrect. The water moves so fast through the loop that the temp will equalize and at most you would have a 1-2 degree difference in water temp in any point in the loop, which will make no difference in cooling performance. Best bet is to route everything the way that is easiest for you.
Quote:
1-2 degree difference in water temp
You're assuming high flow, which may not be true... and still 2c might be the difference between a burned up component and a functional component (temperature will vary more in lower flow systems). OP did say he is frying equipment.
 
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