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Looking for opinions on hardware and cooling loop

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JustJeff

Registered
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
I have narrowed down my future computer hardware and watercooling. I'd like opinions.

The PC will be used for gaming and as a media center/player. I have a pretty nice surround sound setup in my study and also have some a pretty nice Sennheiser headset. I'll be mildly overclocking, but want the headroom in the system to be able to push the system more at some point down the road. I'll be building a wall-hung attention grabbing art piece of some kind or another.

Current PC awaiting upgrade:
i5 3570k
EVGA 1060 FTW
Corsair CX550M PSU

Old watercooling I'd put back into operation temporarily:
D4 pump with molex connector
MicroRes reservoir

It's currently in my old modded RocketFish/Lian-Li full tower modded with 360 radiator on top...currently simply with 3 fans exhausting.

I went back and forth over whether to do new i5 or 5600X and what mobo to pair it with... and over the last few days decided on this
Future Rig:
i5 11600k or KF
Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Pro AX
  • I like the audio on this board and it has an amp for the headphone jack
  • 12+1 phases 90a

Asus Z590 TUF Plus
  • Audio not as good
  • 14+2 phases

One other option...I am quite smitten with the MSI EK Carbon mobo strictly on appearance. It has been explained to me that the block will add heat to the system via the VRAM. If I'm only mildly clocking I could be convinced that a monoblock wouldn't have a horrible end effect

3060ti or 3070 GPU (once the market returns to normalcy)
Possibly watercool the GPU somewhere down the road​
Watercooling I'm pretty heavily leaning towards are:
EK 360 either PE or XE
EK-Quantum Velocity D-RGB - Nickel + Acetal

My primary questions are the power on the mobos. Is it really going to matter if I go 12+1 or 14+2?
Also the 550 PSU, I bought it as a quick fix when my old one died. Should I be upgrading it?
Primary question on the radiator and block: If i'm not pushing the limits or clocking do I really need an XE radiator? Keeping in mind I may add a GPU block down the road. Similarly, will the block matter all the much. If I run a couple degrees warmer on not so extreme clocking is it going to matter? Can I just pick a reputable brand and go with the aesthetic I like the most?

Eventually I'll replace the D4 pump and reservoir. Once I build the wall hung setup I'll want something more pleasing to the eye....though as I type this I realize I could also simply hide the pump and reservoir.

Thanks in advance for all your help
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
My primary questions are the power on the mobos. Is it really going to matter if I go 12+1 or 14+2?
Also the 550 PSU, I bought it as a quick fix when my old one died. Should I be upgrading it?
Primary question on the radiator and block: If i'm not pushing the limits or clocking do I really need an XE radiator? Keeping in mind I may add a GPU block down the road. Similarly, will the block matter all the much. If I run a couple degrees warmer on not so extreme clocking is it going to matter? Can I just pick a reputable brand and go with the aesthetic I like the most?

1. Either board will be more than enough for a moderate to high overclock. You shouldn't have to worry about phases with a new i5 CPU so get the one that has the better features.

2. Your 550W PSU will be more than enough to power a 3070 or 3060ti and water cooling.

3. If you're going with a single 360 mm radiator for the GPU, CPU, and VRM then you'll want the XE. Alternatively, you could run a dual 240 mm or even a single 480 mm radiator with the PE version. Personally, I don't see a need for water cooling the VRM's, you just need good airflow as the heatsinks are generally adequate. There are other high-quality brands you should consider like Alphacool, Swifttech, XSPC, and Koolance. If you're going for all EKWB I get that too, just don't sleep on other great products that may be more cost-effective.

4. You certainly can go with any reputable brand. A few things to note, however, make sure you aren't mixing metals and do some comparative research. There are a few websites that have compared the different radiators over the years. Just because Brand A is reputable doesn't mean every product is top tier, this includes EKWB.

Good luck with your search and happy hunting.