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

Help me sizing my first watercool

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

Kangaxx

Registered
Joined
May 11, 2016
Hello everybody.
In the past months I've been spending my time and money bulilding my first PC. It turned out great, I'm happy of my first oveclocked gaming PC, if it wasn't for the noise my video card makes.
I have been watching some AIO WC solutions but no one fits my needs, so I've been thinking about bulding a custom loop or modding an AIO kit, which seems more cost effective, but I need some hints from you guys before proceeding since I never sized a WC system.
The screaming video card is a Zotac GTX 970 @ 106%, core +190, memory + 300
To start with, should I put a waterblock also on my CPU since I'm at it? It's a [email protected] GHz cooled by an Arctic Cooling freezer extreme V2, which gives me resonable temps being relatively quiet.
The problem here is that I have a small mini-ITX PC, I'm lucky enough to have room for radiators but not that much, keeping that beast of a dissipator inside will take out space I need to fit a 120.2 radiator, leaving me with 2 spots for a 120.1 radiators. Removing that makes up space for a 120.2 + 120.1 radiator.
And here is the field where I really need help: how many radiators should I put in for my overclocked system? I have no idea if a 120.2 is enough for both GPU and CPU but I doubt it, should I use the whole combo 120.2 + 120.1? I'm almost confident a 120.1 rad is enough for the GPU itself, but I'd like to get your opinion also here.
Then comes the question you all have heard a lot of times: how thick should the radiators be? I know that thicker is better but aside the price I have space issues, do you know how a 30mm radiator compares with a 45mm thick one? I don't think I can fit both the rads if they are 45mm thick, I have to check but I think they are going to hit each other.
Thank you very much for the interest,

Kangaxx.it
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
you should start with a 120x1 for every 100 watts you are trying to cool, to keep it quiet a 120x1 for every 50-75 watts, so you need to go with both a 120x1 and a 120x2, as thick as you can get in the case.
also go through the 120x2 rad first then the 120x1. thicker is better.
 
OP
K

Kangaxx

Registered
Joined
May 11, 2016
you should start with a 120x1 for every 100 watts you are trying to cool, to keep it quiet a 120x1 for every 50-75 watts, so you need to go with both a 120x1 and a 120x2, as thick as you can get in the case.
also go through the 120x2 rad first then the 120x1. thicker is better.

Hey thanks for the fast reply and the infos!
So, If the i5-6600K has a TDP of 91W and the GTX 970 has about 165W, ALL STOCK, should I aim for around 300W and therefore install all of the rads I can and It won't be quiet...
For the routing of the rads, I was thinking about doing this: GPU ---> smaller rad ---> CPU ---> bigger rad. Is it wrong?
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
your gpu will make the most heat, cpu, gpu, big rad, little rad is how I would prefer things, others will chime in.
 

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
I say go external. Have a low FPI triple 360mm rad with GTs slapped on it running at 800RPM or lower, pump/res installed on the housing and QDCs connecting to and from the housing and to the rear of this small case with only the water blocks internally.

Best way to do it imo and you could make it look right if you take the time and plan this right. Would save you the fiasco many try cramming into these small cases.
 
OP
K

Kangaxx

Registered
Joined
May 11, 2016
I say go external. Have a low FPI triple 360mm rad with GTs slapped on it running at 800RPM or lower, pump/res installed on the housing and QDCs connecting to and from the housing and to the rear of this small case with only the water blocks internally.

Best way to do it imo and you could make it look right if you take the time and plan this right. Would save you the fiasco many try cramming into these small cases.

That would be the best solution at all, but my case doesn't reach 360 mm in any dimension :) So it would pop off the shape of the case and other than estethics that would make the radiator exposed to shocks when I move the PC around... But I can fit a thicker 120.2 radiator if I go external, thanks for the idea.
Oh, and don't worry, I'm alredy taking my time with this, I'm asking help on a forum!

Can I ask what case you are using?

Sure thing!
It's a Bitfenix Prodigy.

prodigy_clear_window_panel_bitfenix_mnpctech.jpg

It can take 2 120.2 rads but I need the lower HDD cage because I need a magnetic drive for storage...
For what it concerns the case, It's a solid and well built case but hell sometimes you need tweezers to reach what you want.
 

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
What Jack was saying, is go with an external 3x360 (3 rows of 3 120mm fans), with tubing runs into the case for the blocks. That would save you from having to worry about rad clearance all together, as the external rad would be more than enough, and can be placed pretty much wherever you want (under your desk, behind your monitor, out in the open, etc.).
 
OP
K

Kangaxx

Registered
Joined
May 11, 2016
What Jack was saying, is go with an external 3x360 (3 rows of 3 120mm fans), with tubing runs into the case for the blocks. That would save you from having to worry about rad clearance all together, as the external rad would be more than enough, and can be placed pretty much wherever you want (under your desk, behind your monitor, out in the open, etc.).

Do you even need fans if you install 3 3.120 rads? :) Thanks a lot, but I'd like to keep the portability of my system after all the efforts I went trough building this dwarven PC, I'm a lan party gamer.

By the way, I just realized that the clearance I get from the top of the case is about 150mm... So it can fit a 120.2 radiator vertically, if I arrange some kind of bracket, and not only one. I still need a good idea in how to route the heated air out, but this needs further examination :)
 
OP
K

Kangaxx

Registered
Joined
May 11, 2016
Oh god, that's a lot of work and effort, the result is as beautifull as it is functional. That's true dedication.
That's how you put 2 rads there, also Bitfenix itself advises this configuration. Still, I'd like to keep the HDD cage (see the first pic I posted, it takes the place of the reservoir).
I have passed this evening with a ruler and a caliper taking down measures arund the case and I think my idea can fit. A really tight fit and a crammed up work, but it can fit.
Anyway, maybe it's less effort to find a place for the 3.5" HDD, remove the cage and put the rads like Alex did, I need to sleep over it.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Good idea (sleeping on it). Also don't forget to plan for the pump and res. Also with these tiny builds it's very helpful to have a dedicated fill/drain port.
 

jaymz9350

Member
Joined
May 13, 2006
On my main rig is just moved the 3.5" storage drive to an external USB3 enclosure since I had to remove the HDD cage for my front radiator. If it's just a storage drive you won't notice the speed difference
 
OP
K

Kangaxx

Registered
Joined
May 11, 2016
Allright, planning is done.
I know that my love for that integrated storage drive is insane, but I don't want to use an external HDD because I know I'm going to forget it or realize I need it when I'm not home.
Plus, the cage makes a perfect spot for the reservoir.
This is what I'm going to do: I'm going to buy the universal CPU and GPU waterblocks from ID-Cooling, both of those have an integrated pump, the GPU block also provides a nice fan for passive cooling of the board items, which I'm going to further improve with small V-RAM heatsinks since they are kind enough to provide the space for it. I don't want to change my loop if I want to change GPU.
Then, being the miser cost-performance ratio lover I am, I'm going to buy 2X 2.120 and 2X 1.120 cheap aluminium radiators, each 30mm thick, and I plan to stack them. I know this is considered generally a bad idea, but I noticed no one really tried to put them in parallel, and I think it's a good idea.
I plan to split the loop with a tee, then go inside a radiator for each branch, afterwards I plan to merge the 2 flows again in a second tee, this is the concept. Myself, I think I will continue with 2 different branches after the first radiator stack to enter splitted in the second stack, then to merge.
This way both radiators will reach the same temperature, if it wasn't for the fact that one is closer to the fans than the other. But this isn't the same thing as 60 mm thick radiators fins get hotter with the increase of the distance to the fans?
One thing I'm sure this will cut in half the pressure rise and flow reduction in comparison of having a single, unstacked, radiator.
Meanwhile, I still have to decide for the pumps, because I can't decide on it. If I put them one after the other in a line, I get the desidered effect of a failsafe experience. One pump can die, the other will continue to keep my PC going meanwhile I realize cooling performance are dropping. But I don't like the fact that 2 pumps in serie double their prevalence, I don't really need that. On the other hand, if I put them in parallel they will double their flow, which should rise the cooling performance, but if one of the two fails, I'm doomed. And you can't get over the fact that this doubles the possibilities of a total failure of the system in comparison with having a single pump. I'm really torn apart, performance of safety?
Last thing, I have to get one of those cables which allow you to supply PWM fans from the PSU and to pilot them from an header of the motherboard. I refuse to not be able to control their RPM in 2016, plus I have only one header In the mini itx board.
Besides, @ Blaylock, thank you a lot, where should I put the port?

Phew, this was a long tought, and there are so many technical things I could not be sure before buying if my father didn't confirmed what my thermodinamics school basics were supposing. He is a thermal engineer, first time I love his job :)
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
I would stay away from aluminum radiators and go copper instead, aluminum in a loop is not a good idea. I would also recommend just getting a 60mm thick rad versus trying to stack 2 30 mm rads. As for the pumps, I'm personally not a fan of blocks with pumps mounted on them but cannot speak to the quality of the "Id-cool" units. If you do go that type I would recommend running the pumps in series vs parallel as this should net you better performance. Have you looked at a combo res/pump, and then buying universal block for the cpu and gpu.
 

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
How big is your storage drive? If it's 2TB or less, you can get a 2.5" laptop drive, clone the data onto it, and place it where you'd put an SSD. Then you wouldn't lose storage space, while still having the physical space for a proper res/pump.
 

jaymz9350

Member
Joined
May 13, 2006
I understand wanting to keep it all self contained especially if you want it mobile, my main rig doesn't move so it's a non issue. I'm still trying to figure out how to squeeze another rad into my mITX rig which I will have to remove the hdd/ssd bracket to do but it's storage it networked to my main pc.

I also second trying to avoid pump/Block combos if at all possible
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
I have to agree with the above statements video avoid mixed metal loops. These tent to cause a lot of issues. It's also why aluminum rads are getting hard to find.

The port can be located anywhere it's easily accessible. Where it is in the loop isn't as important but some will say it should be after the pump so you can use the pump to drain the line. The issue with this is you can't use the pump to fill. On that note, NEVER run you pump dry, even for a few seconds.
 

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
Allright, planning is done.
I know that my love for that integrated storage drive is insane, but I don't want to use an external HDD because I know I'm going to forget it or realize I need it when I'm not home.
Plus, the cage makes a perfect spot for the reservoir.
This is what I'm going to do: I'm going to buy the universal CPU and GPU waterblocks from ID-Cooling, both of those have an integrated pump, the GPU block also provides a nice fan for passive cooling of the board items, which I'm going to further improve with small V-RAM heatsinks since they are kind enough to provide the space for it. I don't want to change my loop if I want to change GPU.
Then, being the miser cost-performance ratio lover I am, I'm going to buy 2X 2.120 and 2X 1.120 cheap aluminium radiators, each 30mm thick, and I plan to stack them. I know this is considered generally a bad idea, but I noticed no one really tried to put them in parallel, and I think it's a good idea.
I plan to split the loop with a tee, then go inside a radiator for each branch, afterwards I plan to merge the 2 flows again in a second tee, this is the concept. Myself, I think I will continue with 2 different branches after the first radiator stack to enter splitted in the second stack, then to merge.
This way both radiators will reach the same temperature, if it wasn't for the fact that one is closer to the fans than the other. But this isn't the same thing as 60 mm thick radiators fins get hotter with the increase of the distance to the fans?
One thing I'm sure this will cut in half the pressure rise and flow reduction in comparison of having a single, unstacked, radiator.
Meanwhile, I still have to decide for the pumps, because I can't decide on it. If I put them one after the other in a line, I get the desidered effect of a failsafe experience. One pump can die, the other will continue to keep my PC going meanwhile I realize cooling performance are dropping. But I don't like the fact that 2 pumps in serie double their prevalence, I don't really need that. On the other hand, if I put them in parallel they will double their flow, which should rise the cooling performance, but if one of the two fails, I'm doomed. And you can't get over the fact that this doubles the possibilities of a total failure of the system in comparison with having a single pump. I'm really torn apart, performance of safety?
Last thing, I have to get one of those cables which allow you to supply PWM fans from the PSU and to pilot them from an header of the motherboard. I refuse to not be able to control their RPM in 2016, plus I have only one header In the mini itx board.
Besides, @ Blaylock, thank you a lot, where should I put the port?

Phew, this was a long tought, and there are so many technical things I could not be sure before buying if my father didn't confirmed what my thermodinamics school basics were supposing. He is a thermal engineer, first time I love his job :)

Everything here you posted to me only shows that you haven't careful researched the basics of H20.

For one, you don't want to split the loop, excluding parallel GPUs because you kill the flow.

Two, not a good idea on stacking two radiators together for the reasons being that the first rad will feed the second rad its very warm air.

Third, as other posters have said, you don't want to introduce aluminum to the loop.

I could go on and on and basically build this loop for you and give you all the answers that are needed but I won't because I need you to do all of that. We are here to assist and keep people steered in the right path. Need you to pull the E-brake and start over. Have a read and continuously read our intro to water cooling stickies and at the same time, google your case with custom water cooling setups to get better ideas on how you want to go about this. You're pushing small form builds + high end custom water cooling. You have to pick one or the other. You picked on going mobile small factor. You will be limited on your cooling and delta temps. Now its time to do more research. Check out Skinnee Labs and Martinsliquidlab for more in depth information and specifics. Granted its outdated but the same principle applies.