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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. This is my first time water cooling since 2010. I built in a Corsair Obsidian 800D back then and, let's just say that there was probably TOO much space in that case. Anyway, I've got a 5950x and a 3090 FE that I'd ideally like to build a loop around now that I know the EKWB 3090FE blocks actually improve VRAM temps on both sides of the card. I'm running a Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280mm AIO for my 5950x at the moment in my Corsair 5000D Airflow. It performs admirably and stabilizes around 75-78C looping Cinebench with PBO and Curve Optimizer. My issue is that my top-mounted radiator setup is kinda janky and I'm worried about clearance issues if I were to use a single 420MM radiator or even 2x 360's for top/side. I absolutely had to split my radiator and fans inside/outside the chassis. The top VRM heat sink on my B550 Tomahawk doesn't allow enough clearance for the arctic radiator + fan to be inside the case. It's simply too tall. While researching parts for a loop I did notice that the arctic radiators are 38mm thick vs. the standard 30mm of most other radiators, but I'd hate to have to deal with buying everything and learning that I can't install push/pull or just push with all fans and rad in the top of the case. I'm pretty sure those mosfets legitimately need the heatsink, especially with a 5950x that is used daily for software development with decent amounts of compile load.

I guess I'm just looking for guidance or some commiseration. I don't know if I'm just dumb and I'm missing something or if this is a very common issue that people have. Maybe you guys/gals know of a simple/quick/easy fix. Maybe you can just tell me definitively that I just have to suck it up and split the fans/rad and not run push/pull. Any help/input would be appreciated. For what it's worth, I think a 360mm radiator would have the same issue because, even though the position of the radiator is further off the z axis of the mobo, it's still too chunky and will hit that damned tall-ass heatsink. Thanks for any advice in advance.
 

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I’m surprised your VRM heatsink is causing clearance issues. Your RAM should be taller than your VRM heatsink. Maybe I’m just having difficulty trying to picture your setup without actual pictures. For example, no idea what you mean by Z axis. You could arbitrarily label anything X Y or Z.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’m surprised your VRM heatsink is causing clearance issues. Your RAM should be taller than your VRM heatsink. Maybe I’m just having difficulty trying to picture your setup without actual pictures. For example, no idea what you mean by Z axis. You could arbitrarily label anything X Y or Z.
I can see how that could be confusing. If you think of the motherboard as a flat plane with components rising out of it, I'd consider "height" to be the z-axis. How far it protrudes from the plane of the PCB/Board. Check out this
picture of the B550 Tomahawk and you'll see that the VRM heatsink extends all the way to the top edge of the PCB. It's something like 1.5" tall. Because of that, my sandwich of fan + radiator with my arctic freezer ii 280mm wants to share about 5-10mm of the same space when top mounted.
 

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Your rad should no go that far back.

2488041
 

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Yeah, I had the same issue, just wound up doing intake fans above the mobo, and put 280mm in front of case as exhaust, and 2 more 120mm rads in the front (top/bottom) as exhaust
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your rad should no go that far back.

View attachment 2488041
You see where you have "RAD" written on the image? That thing IS TOO TALL for a 280mm radiator to not hit the top of the heat sink. There are power delivery components under there that I'm afraid I can't leave bare with my system specs. "VRM heatsink extends all the way to the top edge of the PCB " - ME. TOP edge. Not the back by the IO heatsink.
 

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You see where you have "RAD" written on the image? That thing IS TOO TALL for a 280mm radiator to not hit the top of the heat sink. There are power delivery components under there that I'm afraid I can't leave bare with my system specs. "VRM heatsink extends all the way to the top edge of the PCB " - ME. TOP edge. Not the back by the IO heatsink.
I don't think the VRM heatsink is the problem. Since we both have MSI motherboards, they probably have similar dimensions for the heat sink. If anything, mine would require a beefier VRM with more cooling since Comet Lake can pull crazy power (330w) compared to the 5950X.

I have a 280mm radiator and there is a 2 finger gap between that same VRM heat sink and the side of my radiator. I have a completely different setup though. On my case, the radiator mounting tray places the radiator as far away from the motherboard as possible. When I install the glass side panel, the radiator is about 2mm away from the glass. Here are my specs as they relate to your issue:

Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Tempered Glass (2016)
Board: MSI Z490 Unify
Top Rad: EK CE280

In green is where the radiator mounts inside my Phanteks case. Again, its as far away from the motherboard as possible.

2488054




Question: What sticks out more, the VRM heatsink or your RAM modules? I'm thinking that even if you were to remove the VRM heatsink, your ram would be more of an issue.
 

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I took a look at some documentation (none of which had clear measurements) of the Corsair 5000D and I do think a thicker top mounted 280mm radiator could cause clearance issues with the top VRM heatsink on your board.

This really should not be hard to measure if you have the case on hand.

That said, you can remove that top heatsink from the board. The VRMs under it supply the SoC, which doesn't consume enough power on AM4 parts with no integrated graphics to really stress the power delivery.
 
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