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Looking for Help on First Liquid Cooling Build

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Drock37

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Hello All,

(Ill start off by apologizing for the long post. I am trying to be detailed to get the best answers possible. I will include a tl;dr at the end to sum it all up)

As of lately, I have been getting back into computer building, and have decided to build my first 'Enthusiast' gaming rig. I have never had a real serious computer, nor have I ever tried out liquid cooling (other then the closed loop CPU ones) so I decided I would go somewhat 'all out' on this one. It's been smooth sailing as of now as I'd say I'm more familiar with computers and building them then the average guy, but my knowledge of liquid cooling is minimal at best. I have gotten most of my components so far, but I still am looking to upgrade a few of my items from my last build. Here is what i am working with so far:

CPU: Intel i7-4770k Haswell
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero
Video Cards: Dual EVGA GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB in SLI
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB 1600 (Looking to upgrade to 16-32gb of 1866-2400)
Os SSD: Kingston HyperX 3k 120GB
Storage HHD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB
PSU: Kingwin Lazer 1000W Modular Looking to upgrade to: Corsair AX1200 1200W
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 900D
Monitors: Triple Samsung 23" LED BX2331
Os: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

While there are obviously higher end items out there, like the Titan, or the i7 extreme models, I think I picked up some pretty high end items. My goal was to get the best products I could without breaking the bank/having my girlfriend dump me haha. I think the case is the biggest case I've ever seen; but I love the way it looks, and it fills the space I am putting it in beautifully.

Now that you can get a picture of what I'm working with, onto the reason I'm posting here in the first place: Liquid cooling. I don't really have a budget in mind, but i figured i would try to spend less then or around $1000. Obviously this number can increase or decrease depending on your answers here. I am the kind of person that I would rather spend more on quality products then have to replace a lesser quality item in the future. I also like the ability to grow with items, so I would rather get a pump that can handle a longer loop if I decide to liquid cool other items on my rig, etc etc.

From the research i have done so far, I have decided to go with EK products for their overall performance and looks, but i am open to other suggestions. Here is what I have set up so far. Currently I only plan on Cooling my CPU and the two video cards, I might cool my RAM / Motherboard / Hard drives down the road if i find the need to, or just get bored.

Pump/Reservoir: EK D5 X-Res w/ D5 Vario Pump
CPU Block: EK Supremacy
VGA Blocks: EK GeForce 670 GTX VGA Block
VGA Backplates: EK GeForce 670 GTX VGA Backplate
Top Radiator: EK CoolStream 360 XT
Bottom Radiator: EK CoolStream 480 XT
Radiator Fans: Corsair SP120 Performance Edition
Case Fans: Corsair AF120 Performance Edition
Fittings: 3/8 x 5/8 Compression Fitting (I haven't decided on silver or black yet)
Tubing: PrimoChill PrimoFlex 3/8 x 5/8 Clear

Here are my questions so far:

1) I know nothing on pumps. Will this one be ok for what im doing?

2) Do i need to look into a pump controller? Or will simply plugging it into my PSU be enough. I'd be interested in getting an Lamptron or an AquaComputer or something if it would help.

3) For my loop I plan on going from my Res/Pump -> CPU -> 360 Rad -> VGAs -> 480 Rad -> back to Res/pump. Is this the best loop or should I try to incorporate going from a Rad before a component? I'm trying to have the shortest connections possible.

4) As you can see from my list above, I have not chosen a liquid yet. What liquid are you guys using now? I see so many out there with anti algae and anti corrosive additives in it. I also have seen some non conductive stuff, which to me seems the best.

5) My 670's already come with EVGA backplates on them because they are the FTW editions, am I able to use these? Or do i need to purchase the EK ones listed above.

6) I haven't chosen anything for my 'Sli Bridge' to connect the two cards. Should I just go straight tubing? Or is the block method better?

7) Any suggestions on Ram? I don't know enough about timings and such to really pick something out definitively.

8) Am I missing anything? I have tried to do as much research as I can, but being that I have never liquid cooled before, I would love some advice/help from some of you who have.


TL;DR : I am building my first liquid cooling rig and while I have a good amount of it built and ready to go, I still have a few questions on the liquid cooling side and am looking for some help/advice and some suggestions on different components.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

Pics so far:
23roh2a.jpg 2i1cjtd.jpg
 

LamboJ

Registered
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Location
New York, NY
1) I know nothing on pumps. Will this one be ok for what im doing?

2) Do i need to look into a pump controller? Or will simply plugging it into my PSU be enough. I'd be interested in getting an Lamptron or an AquaComputer or something if it would help.

3) For my loop I plan on going from my Res/Pump -> CPU -> 360 Rad -> VGAs -> 480 Rad -> back to Res/pump. Is this the best loop or should I try to incorporate going from a Rad before a component? I'm trying to have the shortest connections possible.

4) As you can see from my list above, I have not chosen a liquid yet. What liquid are you guys using now? I see so many out there with anti algae and anti corrosive additives in it. I also have seen some non conductive stuff, which to me seems the best.

5) My 670's already come with EVGA backplates on them because they are the FTW editions, am I able to use these? Or do i need to purchase the EK ones listed above.

6) I haven't chosen anything for my 'Sli Bridge' to connect the two cards. Should I just go straight tubing? Or is the block method better?

7) Any suggestions on Ram? I don't know enough about timings and such to really pick something out definitively.

8) Am I missing anything? I have tried to do as much research as I can, but being that I have never liquid cooled before, I would love some advice/help from some of you who have.
[/COLOR]

Hi,
I'm a bit new to watercooling as well, but I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can.

1) The D5 should be fine, I prefer the D5 variants because they're supposed to be a bit quieter, but given the number of blocks you have, if noise isn't an issue you might want to get a DDC pump instead which has a bit more head pressure.

2) You don't need to a pump controller unless you want to, but you should get the PWM version of the pump which will let your motherboard/bios or software control it so you can have it automatically adjust depending on the temperature.

3) As I said I'm not an expert on this, but my understanding is that order in general doesn't matter (outside of res before bump) because in a properly done system the temperature should be the similar across the loop.

4) The most commonly recommended is distilled water + PT Nuke or silver coil. That will definitely give you the best performance. People use other coolants for properties like corrosion inhibitors, dye colours, etc. but there is a few degrees performance hit for using those

5) & 6) Sorry, don't have an answer for these questions

7) The Ripjaws are pretty decent for overclocking. The usual recommendations are the Ripjaws, Corsair Vengeance and Mushkim Redline

8) I think you've got pretty much everything covered.

Best of luck on your build, and let us know how it goes.
 
Last edited:

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
Welcome to OCF!

First and foremost make a signature with the existing rig.

Second, as you stated you've done some research, have you read our Yellow Stickies up top in our Watercooling section? From some of your questions I am thinking you haven't so please take your time and read up on those. Once you are done reading all that info, take your time on it and let it soak in :D, come back to this thread and I am sure a lot of folks as well as myself will join in and assist you in your watercooling adventure. :salute:
 

Conumdrum

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Location
Small town Emlenton, PA
Drock, nor a bad start at all. Great job! You have no idea how many come here with no clue. You did yor homework, thanks.:grouphug:

Pump first. For a CPU/GPU/GPU setup a D5 VARIO is good not the best. Better is the PWM version for less wattage used, less heat dump into the loop. Look it up, bit more research needed. Swiftech markets it, they made their own top for the pump and it's a good one, I forget who sells it, it's USA tho. Frozen or Sidewinders or PPC. Or Um the place in Oklahoma. All D5/MCP 655/MCP 650/350. etc etc are begun by Laing, a worldwide company. They are OEM'd and resold by Koolance, EK, XSPC, Swiftech etc etc etc. Still the best WC pump made for a PC. You might have an issue, you're D5 natural is for 1/2" ID tubing, not 3/8". You want a good pump that will work perfectly fine? The Swiftech 35x. Standard PWM pump from Laing (OEM) with a VERY nice top made by Swiftech for any fittings you choose to use. I mention it in the stickies more than once...............

You are wayy overradded. You ever determine your heatload (STICKIES)? No problem overdoing it for sure. You just need more fans that's all. The bonus is low speed fans. You got good fans, no problem there.

Lastly, your liquid. Distilled water and a Killcoil or PHN Nuke or Deadwater, or others. Get colored tubing for a bit of color, why not?

I don't feel a need to ensure you about non-conductive and other crap. You can do the research if you need to.

Great start!:thup::thup::attn::clap:
 
Last edited:

RnRollie

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Location
Secret lair
^ +1

For the question on 670's. They are fairly short, so you might be able to do without backplates, and it *might* be possible to use the FTW backplates. You can always of the EK backplates later. If money is not the issue, just order the EK backplates.. i fyou dont need them, you can always use them as paperweights :)

Fro SLI: it depends on the distance between cards: consult the EK site (and other sites eg swiftech) on the SLI matter. Depending on that you can go full bridge, or adjustable fittings or even short tube runs. :)