• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Help me cool this beast

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.


New Member
Dec 8, 2011
I'm designing a beast. I want to watercool it, cuz at least the cpu and gpu's will be overclocked. Will be using 2 GTX 590's for, 4 way SLI. and the I7 3960X. The CPU, GPU's, and MOBO will be watercooled (total of 5 waterblocks) This will be my first time using watercooling, so could use some expert advice on a few issues I don't quite have figured out yet.

1.) Considering the ammount of heat these particular GPU's and the CPU will put out (even stock, let alone overclocked) Would I be better off with 2 loops as opposed to 1 with a big *** pump/rad (possibly external system, although would prefer to keep it mostly internal)??? I was thinking of this koolance dual res w/pumps (if that is the better way to go). In that case, was thinking maybe CPU + 1 GPU on one loop, and MOBO blocks and other GPU on 2nd loop. Or CPU + MOBO blocks on one loop, and both GPU's on the 2nd. What do ya think? or would i be better off just getting some big premade external unit and splitting the line before components and rejoining before rad?

2.) I've read a bunch of water cooling guides, and the one thing they all seem to leave out is the monitoring/controll aspect. I've noticed koolance has some fan+pump controllers. Also I've seen where some people just use a regular fan controller and hook their rad fans up to it. How important is a PUMP controller? is it a necessity or a luxury? I havn't seen any other brands of those combo controllers just fan controllers (I'm most likely not aquainted with all the brands yet either though) I would like to keep the cost of all the cooling components <$900 which will allow me to stick to the budget i have for the whole build. But that is looking like it might not happen as the waterblocks I like will cost $420-$520 alone (depending on which gpu blocks i choose). So If I have to add a pump controller which is at least $100 then there is no way i'll hit that $900 mark. So what would you more experienced people suggest?

oh yeah... and if I did end up going with the dual loop, what size rad would you suggest for each loop as described above? I would appreciate any help can give me, thanks.
You keep mentioning Koolance. Lots more out there.

Cooling the Mobo isn't worth the money or problems associated with it. And the Mobo doesn't need it. Save some $$, and when you got a few WC builds under your belt and want to do it for the bling, go for it. For now, save the cash and hassle.

MOST of us, meaning almost all of us don't use any fancy stuff. Flow sensors restrict flow, temps sensors tel you little when the final CPU/GPU temps tell you all you need to know. Again, for a first loop attempt, don't waste the effort and cost.

Your last question is good, and I can direct you to a few days of reading in our custom made stickies up top of this forum, just for you.

And this mishmash of links. http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6489396&postcount=3

We'll get you going, but you have to figure out your heatload and understand how it all works before you can really build it. We''ll help you build it. Once $1500 of watercooling is at your door, it's all up to you. Hope you got it right stuff.

Lastly, you need to look at Caselabs, Danger Den, Mountain Mods for cases to start with. You gotta a lot of heat to dissipate, gonna need lots of raddage acreage to cool it all. With that massive setup, you might even look at a TWO PSU case. Playing with the big boys now, and I envy you.
i would say skip the mobo blocks for now and go wit 2 loops with a 360 rad on cpu and 1 gpu and a 1x240 rad on the other gpu. ps that rig is gona b a monster!!
I also agree with not bothering to cool the mobo... Not needed.

I assume with 2 590's you have a multimonitor setup?
Your going to want a minimum of a 120.2(240) radiator for the CPU more is nice but not required. If you run your GPUs on there own loop then you want IMO 120.1 per GPU minimum, so your looking at a 120.4(480) or a 140.3(420) for your GPU loop. With a single loop you probably want to add another 120 or 2 to ensure that the CPU gets adequate cooling.

Motherboard cooling is unneeded but IF you insist on doing it then you want it on your CPU loop.

I have a 240 and a 120 on a single cpu and gpu loop
Gpu never goes ocer 40c and cpu never over 55c under

Without listing the CPU and GPU make/model, that information doesn't mean much.
Given the 40c GPU temp, I doubt it's a GF110 core.
Thanks guys for your input. Due to budget constraints and everyone's suggestions, I'll probably forget the MOBO blocks for now. I got somewhat of an idea brewing....

But first need to ask about "high flow" RAD's. Are they ok, for the setup I described or would it be better to just get regular? Reason I ask is cuz these Koolance Dual 140mm Copper High Flow Radiator are only ~$68 each... I figure I could get 3 of them. 1 loop with one of those rads for the CPU. Another loop with 2 of them, with both GPU's on that loop.

Also assuming I went that route, on the GPU's loop, would it be better to have everything inline or just the GPU's split or the GPU's and RAD's split? (see pics below). But again, maybe there is some reason I'm unaware of where i'd be better off wiht 1 bigger RAD or some other combination, let me know.

Also (and this is mostly @Conumdrum) I'm not dead set on Koolance products or anything. Just that I read an article w/benchmark comparing 590 gpu blocks from koolance, XSPC, dangerden, and 1 other brand...forget which one. and the Koolance was the best, followed closely by XSPC. I like the aesthetics of both the koolance and XSPC GPU blocks, so I figured why not just get a matching set of koolance blocks for CPU, GPU's, and MOBO (which i guess i'll exclude now) The XSPC GPU block is $50 less though, so going with that would save me $100 for the set. And as far as the RAD's go (koolance again :shock:,lol) well I could care less about the brand of those as long as they work cuz they all pretty much look the same. But that koolance RAD i linked to above seems to be a great price.

All Inline:

GPU's only split:

GPU's and RAD's split:
Last edited:
GPU's only split looks like the best option
am interested on how this turns out as my build will be just about the same. I'll be cooling with 3 120.3 rads and running a dual loop. The monitering is unneeded, you can moniter the pumps by RPM off your MB if you want.
What kind of case are you looking at as cooling this beast will require a nice sized one.
I've been out of the game a long time so i'm confused on the GTX 590's, since it's a dual card it needs 2 water blocks for it? so 4 total to cool 2 gtx 590's?
There is a 590 block that cools both GPUs and vRam and vReg.
I have a P9X79 Pro with a 3930K. At stock speeds and good air flow my X79 runs at about 43C the mosfets are about 52C under full load. Just to give you an idea of MB temps. My 120.2 keeps the Cpu at around 45C.
Saw someone talking about doing a setup similar to mine, with 2 GPU's in one loop and keeping everything in line but alternating GPU's and RAD's. Seems like it would be better than how I pictured an inline loop cuz then both gpu's would have equally cool water, no? I'd imagine though that because of the actuall placement of all the hardware this setup would cause you to need quite a bit more tubing.... which wouldn't be good I'm assuming???

Inline alternating:

GPU's only split looks like the best option
am interested on how this turns out as my build will be just about the same. I'll be cooling with 3 120.3 rads and running a dual loop. The monitering is unneeded, you can moniter the pumps by RPM off your MB if you want.
What kind of case are you looking at as cooling this beast will require a nice sized one.
I've been out of the game a long time so i'm confused on the GTX 590's, since it's a dual card it needs 2 water blocks for it? so 4 total to cool 2 gtx 590's?

Hmm..... suppose I could borrow that idea from you and opt for (x3) 120.3's instead of the (x3) 140.2's I suggested in my last post, since I could get them for only ~$2 more than the 140.2's. Is that overkill do ya think? Would deffinately take up more room and be noisier with 9 120 fans as opposed to 6 140 fans.

At this point, I'm thinking why not just make it simple and use a small car or motorcycle radiator with a single fan:eh?:, (might be a little noisy) or just forget about fans/RADs all together and run the loop through a water chiller.

Also, as far as the case is concerned, it wouldn't really be neccessary to have that big of a case if I kept the RADs outside of the case would it? I know I said I wanted to keep it internal, but not sure now. I could mount them on the exterior, think it would look cool, and keep everything inside nice and compact.
Water temps vary very little throughout the loop, maybe 1-2c at most. Don't worry about what is getting the "cool" water.
^^+1. People have tested parallel vs serial gpus only before. If you run just the gpus in parallel, both gpus get the same water temp, however each gpu gets 1/2 flow and usually about 0.5 to 1C worse temps than gpus in serial.

If you run gpus in serial, at full load ~200W, the second gpu gets water temp ~0.5-1C higher than the first given typical flow. What typically makes one gpu higher temp than the other, however, is differences in tim application/slightly different load/varying waterblock pressure, etc.

And yes if you stagger rads versus all rads at once, you might trade .5 to 1C better gpu temp for same worse cpu temps.

The reason to run gpus in parallel is not to improve gpu temps (typically makes then .5C to 1C worse than in series from 1/2 flow), but to decrease overall loop restriction which improves flow and thereby improving cpu temps by 0.5 to 1C.

And unless your using accurate air/water probes to measure .5 to 1C, the only thing you will notice in parallel vs series or different routing is how it looks and how difficult it was to accomplish.