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gpu only loop

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Jan 15, 2018
Hi everyone

I finally got fed up with the airplane turbine aka rtx 3090 and decided to build a custom gpu only loop.

asus dark hero
palit rtx 3090 gamingpro oc
ryzen 5900X with noctua nh-d15
seasonic prime platinum 1000w
m.2 samsung evo 970 1tb + 970 evo plus 2tb + 870 evo 1tb ssd
G.Skill TRIDENT Z x4 RGB 64gb
fractal meshify 2 compact
3 fractal fans (2 in front 1 in the back)

Because of the high ram modules I can't install the second noctua cpu fan. Cpu and all other temperatures are good tho. So my main problem is the noise. That's why I need gpu loop only. It's also less complex than cpu+gpu loop.
But, because of the case's size I'm afraid the radiator with fans will be in front since I'm not sure if it'll fit on top of the case, because of the huge noctua radiator. And if it'll be in front, there will be a constant wave of hot air right into the cpu. Will it be a problem?
Have anyone tried gpu only loops?
And what do you think of the whole idea? I've never tried water cooling so any input will be helpful.
GPU only loops were certainly thought of and tried before.

Yes, you'll have warmed air blowing into the chassis which will raise your CPU temps. How much........no clue.

I would mount the radiator up top as exhaust with the front clear and used for active intake. 2x120mm radiator is a bit light for a 350W+ GPU. It will work, but you may need to keep the fan speed a bit higher. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't and you need to live with increased CPU temperatures.
Mounting the radiator up top was my first thought, but as I've said before - I'm not sure if it'll fit. Are there low profile fans that I can use with it? If I understand correctly they should be the same type as for the cpu cooling. But I didn't find any low profile cpu ones. Also If I end up with the radiator in front and the cpu temperature will be too high then I'll add cpu to the loop so it'll be full water cooling. But I hope I won't have to do that.
Right....you just need to figure out if it will fit.

Yes, there are thinner 120mm fans. The typical thickness is 25mm. Look up low-profile fans. They don't need to be "CPU" fans. In fact since it's going on a radiator, you would want high static pressure fans to push through it. Watercooling 101 (read the water cooling sticky threads...). ;)

Yeah, if you need to add the CPU to the loop, you'll absolutely want a second radiator. The 2x120mm is barely enough for the GPU alone, none the less add another ~150W to it. ;)
Ah, got it! Thanks. I thought that I can only use static pressure fans. In that case there are lots of options and It could fit up top.

Won't be a problem since it'll be full water cooling. So all space for that.
CPU fans /= static pressure. Different things.

But it depends on the FPI of the radiator as to what you need. Higher FPI means you would want higher SP fans to push through the fins.

Again, take some time to read through the water cooling sticky threads. They are incredibly informative and will raise the floor on the conversation a bit. :)
I totally endorse a gpu only loop and air cooling the cpu. For such a beefy gpu I would go with a 280mm or 360mm radiator to keep it happy. Unless it's a fat 240mm with fairly strong fans I wouldn't go small as the water temps could get pretty high for the pump.
I would stick to active personally on a 3090 with the issues I've heard about with the memory cooling. It can also be added later if you'd rather do it down the road.