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1st build for thermaltake urban t81

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emgcy

Registered
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Hi everyone. I'm planning my 1st WC build in the mentioned above (thermaltake t81) case and have few(plenty) of questions.
I've actually read a lot of the tutorials, but most of them seem outdated and also I didn't find any information about flow planning.
I have i7 5820k (a bit overclocked) and 980 ti to cool, but I wanna make a build to be capable to watercool one more GPU.
I'm not in extreme overclocking, just gaming, so AFAIK I don't need to focus on the performance, most probably it will be sufficient anyway => I'm trying to focus on silence.
Rads:
what I've understood about rads from all of the reviews: the bigger=the better. Thick with low density is the best choice. In my case i't is possible to install 140x3 rad in the front part (if I remove HDD buckets), so I've selected Alphacool NexXxoS Monsta Triple 140mm Radiator - 80mm
But I'm not sure at all if i need more rad(s) and where. Here are two sketches with options, that I'm trying to select from.



In the first one lower rads will restrict the airflow for the front rad, also the only possibility is to install 2x120 rads (1x 240 is not possible to fit). And even with 2x120 there is very restricted space between the front rad, lower rads and PSU. Advantages are: big common surface of rads, positive pressure inside of the case, so almost no dust issues.
Second option: upper rad still restricts the airflow, but not so much and there's even bigger common surface. Cons: No way to create positive pressure inside of the case, so dust issues, no air to cool other components and maybe? it's gonna affect the cooling, cause no air-no sufficient flow=?no heat dispersion.
There's also a way to remain with only one rad, but I'm not sure if it'll be enough for the system.
Fans
Right now I'm using Noctuas for my air cooling, but I've never met them as a suggestion for water rad, so I'm quite not sure.
Tubing
I want acrylic pipes,, Ilike everything to be in order, have no experience with them though, but I guess, that if I buy 4 times more pipes, it's not gonna be an issue. Also i'd like to swithc to copper pipes later (just for design), but this may be possible only after the build with the acrylic ones is ready. 12/10 mm woild be perfect (if it's enough).
Fittings
Have no idea which ones are good
Waterblocks No issues here (I guess?) Just select a trusted manufacturer for my hardware.
Reservoir
pls suggest something small and pretty:)

But the main question is : What is the best way to locate the rads?

p.s. I'd also like to make a custem leak detection system based on Arduino, moisture sensor and a hydrophobic cable (should contain two wires divided by hydrofobic material -e.g. cotton). Has anybody any idea where to get such cable?

p.p.s sorry for the mistakes, english is not my native language, and thx in advance for your replies.
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Let's start with your rad selections. You will see better performance by having more rad surface than thicker rads. What I mean by this is that if you put a 80MM thick rad up front and no rad on the bottom you will have worse performance than having a 30MM thick rad up front and putting another rad on the bottom.

As for the amount of rad you need the general rule is 120mm worth of rad for every 100 watts of heat. Your 5820k is 140w and the 980ti is 250w so let's call the load 400 watts. This means you are going to want a minimum of 4x120 worth of rad. If you plan to add another 980ti this will push your load to 650w so you will want 7x120 worth of rad.

To achieve this I would look at using a 3x120 rad in the front and up top with an additional 2x120 rad on the bottom. This will give you 8x120 worth of rad which will allow you to run your fans slower and writer. As I said earlier this may mean going with a slimmer rad like a 30MM or 45MM but it will offer you better overall performance.


As for the airflow pull Air in the front and bottom and exhaust out the top and back.


Looking at your drawings it appears that a 45MM rad would fit pretty well but you are going to want to check your measurements first.
 

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
First and foremost, :welcome: to OCFs. This should be exciting for being your first custom watercooling loop. Lets break it down.

I would stick with the 120mm Monsta since the 120mm fans have a better static pressure while 140mm can move lots of air, its all about the pressure. If you have enough rad, I can see going with 140mm shouldn't be that big of an issue but that's up to you. I would also advise on going push and pull fan configuration for a Monsta regardless. As for the other rad spaces, I would honestly only add a 240mm/280mm up top for your next rad. That should be enough for a CPU + GPU SLI setup. You won't need more rads in other areas leaving you with more room for air flow.

Your air flow should be Front/Bottom intake and Top/Rear as exhaust.

Fans, not sure what you have there as you might be able to use your existing noctuas or you can look for some premium or budget rans for the rads.

Tubing, I would strongly advise on going with regular PrimoChill Advanced LRT tubing and not go acrylic yet to get your feet wet first. Once you feel comfortable enough down the road and want to redesign the loop, then I would think it would be worth it.

Fittings, not sure if you're going to stick with hard tubing or soft so can't say much here. Regardless, based on where your budget is set for this project but if you're looking at premium fittings, Bitspower. There are many other mfgers that sell fittings for a decent price.

Waterblocks, all cosmetic really. I'd look at Swiftech, XSPC, EK, Alphacool, Aquacomputer, Koolance, etc. For GPU blocks mainly, most go with EK.

Reservoir, again all cosmetic and choose the one that best fits your case/build. Have a look at other builds of said case to get better ideas on what you think you should look for.

Did you forget about pumps? You'll want a premium pump. Either a DDC (MCP35X/MPC50X) or D5 are top notch.

Since you said English wasn't native, can I ask what region you're from because based on that intel, you might be better off with certain etailers. If you're from Europe for example, I'd go with a Aquacomputer setup. Lots of amazing gear and should be more convenient for you.
 
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emgcy

Registered
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
I can't believe that I've forgot about the pump. I've read a review at martinslab, but now there are plenty of new models. Of course the pump is the most important, AFAIK ddc are quieter, so something like this http://www.frozencpu.com/products/1...5X_12v_PWM_Controlled_Water_Pump_-_Black.html ?
I'm from Ukraine, but it's much easier for me to order from US, than from Europe.
Your air flow should be Front/Bottom intake and Top/Rear as exhaust.
I have no Idea how my drives will react (Samsung SM951 256 and Seagate Barracuda 7200 2TB) to the flow with temp (abt 50-60*C upmost?) moving towards them. Main idea was to make all rads' fans exhausting and to put supplying fans everywhere else, but I have no experience, so I trust you. Motherboard should work up to more than 100*C (asus x99 e WS), so it doesn't need additional cooling.
I would stick with the 120mm Monsta
I have 500mm space between the top and the bottom of my case. 120x3 monsta takes 400mm, so if I shift it to the upmost part, I'll have 100mm of space.
Distanse from my PSU to the front is 370mm. Monsta takes 80mm + fan takes 20 (approximately). So I have 270mm of space in case if second rad touches my PSU. 2x120 monsta needs 280mm, so it can't fit. But I can take two 120x1 and rotate them 90*, then total length will be 240mm. It's theoretically possible to buy 2x120 and fit it's part with fittings under the front rad, like this
t81 3.png (grey-rads, red-fans, blue-psu)
but as long as I have no experience with fittings and not sure if I'll be able to squeze everything, i'd prefer to stick to 2 pcs of 1x120 rads.
Fans, not sure what you have there as you might be able to use your existing noctuas or you can look for some premium or budget rans for the rads.
I have only 4 Noctuas, and only one of them is 120mm, also it's color is awful (to be honest, I just like this company because of quality level and support), so anyway I'm gonna buy almost all new fans and completely open for suggestions. About the budget...Well, as per my calculations, it should be abt $1k, but I don't wanna cut something and regret later, so when it starts to exceed these money considerably I'll start to think about it.
I would also advise on going push and pull fan configuration for a Monsta regardless.
all rads will have push and pull fans regardless.
Tubing, I would strongly advise on going with regular PrimoChill Advanced LRT tubing and not go acrylic yet to get your feet wet first. Once you feel comfortable enough down the road and want to redesign the loop, then I would think it would be worth it.
first thing, I just don't like the ordinary ones. It's impossible to make them look exactly as you want, so if I buy ordinary fittings now, I'll have to buy another ones soon enough. To be honest, I'd prefer to skip this step)


You will see better performance by having more rad surface than thicker rads. What I mean by this is that if you put a 80MM thick rad up front and no rad on the bottom you will have worse performance than having a 30MM thick rad up front and putting another rad on the bottom.

As for the amount of rad you need the general rule is 120mm worth of rad for every 100 watts of heat. Your 5820k is 140w and the 980ti is 250w so let's call the load 400 watts. This means you are going to want a minimum of 4x120 worth of rad. If you plan to add another 980ti this will push your load to 650w so you will want 7x120 worth of rad.

To achieve this I would look at using a 3x120 rad in the front and up top with an additional 2x120 rad on the bottom. This will give you 8x120 worth of rad which will allow you to run your fans slower and writer. As I said earlier this may mean going with a slimmer rad like a 30MM or 45MM but it will offer you better overall performance.
I've read, that slim rads should be with high density to compensate their size, and dense fins cause significant increaze in noise levels, that's why I've selected almost the thickest one, that I was able to find. In case of 45mm rads it's possible to fit all suggested inside, but I have no idea how noisy this build will be. And the abovementioned question: how will heated airflow toward the drives affect them?
Thx all for your responses.
 
Last edited:

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
You don't have to go with monsta as you'll have 80mm + 50mm in fans, 25mm each. You could just go with the typical 55-60mm radiators in the market or stick with one monsta and other smaller. The monsta in the front + p/p might become problematic for cable management and GPUs.

As for the pumps, D5s are actually quieter then DDCs.

Think this through as there is no rush and make the appropriate measurements needed before modding the case.
 
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emgcy

Registered
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Oct 31, 2016
You don't have to go with monsta as you'll have 80mm + 50mm in fans, 25mm each. You could just go with the typical 55-60mm radiators in the market or stick with one monsta and other smaller. The monsta in the front + p/p might become problematic for cable management and GPUs.

As for the pumps, D5s are actually quieter then DDCs.

Think this through as there is no rush and make the appropriate measurements needed before modding the case.
I was calculating monsta+1 fan (as another one will be outside of the main area) as 100mm,if one fan is 25mm, than it'll be 105mm ttl.
View attachment 184730 - here is what I mean by outside.
Cable management is mostly done through special compartment of the case, gpus are not gonna be obstructed from any rads.
I wish i had skills for drawing software, so I wouldn't have to draw all that in paint)
 

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
Can't see the image. Try and host it via "insert image" tab from the menu.
 
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emgcy

Registered
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
612XrwPEF3L._SL1200_.jpg
Here it's visible, that there are two small compartments above and in front of the main one for the fans
So, I've spent a few hours and made 3 sketches as options for rads placement. I didn't show second set of fans, cause they are outside and don't obstruct anything, so will be placed anyway.
Grey are rads, red are fans. All measurements are in cm; 1 cm=0.393701inches
opt1: 80mm thick rads

opt 2: 45mm rads

opt 3: 60mm rads +1 30mm rad

Which one to choose? Are there any others (I honestly don't see them)

p.s. for the sketches I've used Alphacool NexXxoS dimensions.
 
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emgcy

Registered
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Oct 31, 2016
It seems, that it's possible to make like this:

Will 2 rads 120x3 80mm be able to cool down about 700wt of heat?
 

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
You don't need rads everywhere. All you need is the front/top with rads while having the front/bottom as intake and top/rear as exhaust. You want to leave some spots open for case flow.
 
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emgcy

Registered
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
You don't need rads everywhere. All you need is the front/top with rads while having the front/bottom as intake and top/rear as exhaust. You want to leave some spots open for case flow.

I just don't see anything harmful about installing 1 additional rad with exhausting (from the case) fans. If there are any problems (e.g. too high restriction of air/water flow), then, of course, I should stick with 2x360 rads. Please dispel my doubts :)
 
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emgcy

Registered
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
No replies, but I'll try) Can i trust Koolance fittings? Can't find 90 deg compression for hard tubes from other company.
What is better: Rad on top, but between rad and pump 2 waterblocks or rad straight above the pump, but they are located almost below everything else
 

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
I'll chime in here quick:

Back in February I built my first loop, and I had a few of the same questions. My goal was similar, a beast gaming rig that's as close to silent as possible without compromise to performance or asthetics. I went with 7x120mm worth of radiator over less surface area with thicker rads, and there was a few reasons for that:

The first reason was noise. A thicker radiator is going to require more pressure from the fan(s), and that almost always is going to translate to louder fans. Since one of the goals was near silence, that wasn't going to work.

The second reason was I wanted a low delta temperature (difference between ambient temperature and the coolant temperature), because that means the heat from my components is being removed from the system as efficiently as possible. I could have done the same thing with fewer thick radiators, but wouldn't have achieved as quiet a rig.

The third reason was personal taste. I personally think that fewer thick radiators take up space that can be used for more components and/or airflow, and that they tend to make the case look more busy, particularly in a large case such as mine. Thick radiators, in my opinion, are better suited for smaller builds (mid-tower and smaller), where you don't usually have the room to mount a lot of radiators. I picked XT45s and the ST30 so they were more out of the way, keeping the focus on the reservoir, tubing runs and PC components, but still maintaining the low noise and excellent cooling.

So since you are also going for a quiet and cool rig, I definitely recommend you go with 2 360mm ST30s or XT45s or the EK Coolstreams (or Swiftech, or XSPC or a few other manufacturer's products) in similar thickness. I wouldn't add single 120mm radiators, as they increase flow restriction, forcing the pump to work harder for a 1-1.5GPM flow rate and complicating tubing runs (which also adds to flow restriction).

As for your latest question, I'll answer like this: are you using hard tubing from Koolance? Hard tubing isn't as standardized as soft, so the best way to make sure your tubing and fittings work together is to use both from the same company. Barring that, from what I've heard, fittings for hard tubing from any of the good brands (Bitspower, Primochill, Alphacool, Koolance, etc.) are very high quality, leaving you to simply decide which ones you want. As I said, the only thing you want to make sure of is that you use the same brand of fittings and tubing.