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New (and first) water cooled build

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flk3000

Registered
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Location
United Kingdom
Hi all,

OK so I've built plenty of air cooled PCs but this is my first attempt at water cooling. Does anyone have any feedback on my planned build? My components are listed below, although I'm open to suggestions on anything I haven't already purchased! :). I've also sketched out the cooling loop - again I'm open to suggestions on better ways to do this, note I've routed a tube behind the motherboard tray in my plan, will that be OK? I'm not sure of the best way to include a drain port, perhaps a quick disconnect on one of the tubes going to the pump?

I'm leaving room for expansion with this build. I may want to go SLI in the future, and add another rad in the front.

Component list updated on July 5

Case: Fractal Design Define S (purchased)
CPU: i5 6600k (purchased)
GPU: Either GTX 1070 or GTX 1080
PSU: reuse existing 650w (purchased)
Motherboard: MSI Z170A SLI Plus (purchased)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2x8) 3200Mhz (purchased)
SSD: Samsung 500gb 850 EVO (purchased)
Radiator: Alphacool NexXxos ST30 420mm (purchased)
Fans: Akasa Ultra Quiet Viper 140mm (purchased)
Pump reservoir combo: XSPC D5 Photon 170 (purchased)
CPU block: EKWB Supremacy EVO – Acetal and Nickel (purchased)
GPU block: TBD
Fittings: Monsoon compression, Matte Black EK ACF, black (purchased)
Coolant: TBD, yellow
Tubing: 16/10mm, clear

Layout.png

And a photo of the build so far. Not much more I can do until I get the rest of the components now! :D
IMG_3853.JPG

Thanks all
 
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Itachiii

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Hi all,

OK so I've built plenty of air cooled PCs but this is my first attempt at water cooling. Does anyone have any feedback on my planned build? My components are listed below, although I'm open to suggestions on anything I haven't already purchased! :). I've also sketched out the cooling loop - again I'm open to suggestions on better ways to do this, note I've routed a tube behind the motherboard tray in my plan, will that be OK? I'm not sure of the best way to include a drain port, perhaps a quick disconnect on one of the tubes going to the pump?

Case: Fractal Design Define S (purchased)
CPU: i5 6600k (purchased)
GPU: Either GTX 1070 or GTX 1080
PSU: reuse existing 650w (purchased)
Motherboard: MSI Z170A SLI Plus (purchased)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2x8) 3000Mhz
SSD: Samsung 500gb 850 EVO (purchased)
Radiator: Alphacool NexXxos ST30 420mm (purchased)
Fans: Akasa Ultra Quiet Viper 140mm (purchased)
Pump reservoir combo: XSPC D5 Photon 170 (or maybe 270?)
CPU block: EKWB Supremacy EVO – Acetal and Nickel
GPU block: TBD
Fittings: Monsoon compression, Matte Black
Coolant: TBD, yellow
Tubing: 16/10mm, clear

View attachment 180375

And a photo of the build so far. Not much more I can do until I get the rest of the components now! :D
View attachment 180377

Thanks all
Hey flk3000, welcome to the water world :D i will start from what standed out mostly in my opinion. Don't go for a pastel or any premixed coloured coolant as you will end up with clogged blocks reducing the capability of cooling your components. Go with yellow tubing, distilled tubing and a biocide (PT nuke copper solution since u'll get nickel plated blocks). Other than that, the loop seems all good! If I were you I would go for a DDC 3.2 pump res combo, but that's just me, you should not have any problem at all with a D5.
 
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flk3000

Registered
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Location
United Kingdom
Hi Itachiii,

Thanks for this, I had heard of a few problems with pastel coolants so will explore other options like you suggested. Am I right in thinking D5 pumps are quieter, but DDC 3.2 is a more powerful pump if the loop is restrictive?
 

gkline

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Location
Lebanon, PA
flk3000: A D5 will be PLENTY for your loop and is rock solid reliable.

I have 2 D5s in my loop below ONLY because I wanted to try them out. One D5 would be plenty for my 3 XSPC RX480 rads, EK EVO Supreme cpu block and EK GTX 1080 block.

I can tell you the EK GTX 1080 block is OUTSTANDING. I even used the EK backplate this time though it probably isn't needed.

I also WHOLE Heartedly agree with itachiii. The colored coolants are getting better BUT distilled water and a few drops of biocide are the safest route. Want color, buy quality colored tubing.

Good luck and welcome to the world of custom water cooling. You'll always want more rad capacity no matter how many rads you have in the loop. WARNING! Custom water cooling is addictive and can cause serious damage to your wallet!:eek:

P.S. I own a MO-RA3-420 Pro than I use as a sole rad for my 4790k/980TI water cooled combo. Now THAT is a radiator.:clap:
 
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flk3000

Registered
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Location
United Kingdom
P.S. I own a MO-RA3-420 Pro than I use as a sole rad for my 4790k/980TI water cooled combo. Now THAT is a radiator.:clap:

Just googled it! :D:D

Thanks for the advice - I'm still deliberating whether to go for a GTX 1070 or 1080, I'll probably go for an EK block once I make up my mind.
I'll likely get a 1440p monitor soon, the 1070 should be OK according to most benchmarks, but part of me wants to go big with the GTX 1080!
 

Nebulous

Señor Senior, Senior
Joined
Oct 11, 2002
Location
The Empire State
Can't go wrong if you go big with a 1440p and a 1080. The 1070 is quite impressive for the value tho, so if you want to save some $$ that would be your best bet. Of course looking at your pc stats money is of no concern so a 1080 is already in your hands ;)
 

Itachiii

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Hi Itachiii,

Thanks for this, I had heard of a few problems with pastel coolants so will explore other options like you suggested. Am I right in thinking D5 pumps are quieter, but DDC 3.2 is a more powerful pump if the loop is restrictive?

Yea u're right! DDC 3.2 has a much bigger head pressure making it a far better choise for restrictive loops. But as the gkline said, you'll be just fine eith the D5 ;)

Have fun building it and post some photos ;)
 

gkline

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Location
Lebanon, PA
Just googled it! :D:D

Thanks for the advice - I'm still deliberating whether to go for a GTX 1070 or 1080, I'll probably go for an EK block once I make up my mind.
I'll likely get a 1440p monitor soon, the 1070 should be OK according to most benchmarks, but part of me wants to go big with the GTX 1080!
What ever one comes available. Obviously the GTX 1080 is faster BUT from what I read the GTX 1070 just about matches the 980TI.

BTW, your case looks like a watercooler's dream. Great choice.
 
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flk3000

Registered
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Jun 24, 2016
Location
United Kingdom
BTW, your case looks like a watercooler's dream. Great choice.
Yes the Define S seems really well thought out, I'm very happy with it and think it'll work well with this build (fingers crossed!). It was a choice between that and the Phanteks Enthoo Pro M - which also looks like a great case.

Of course looking at your pc stats money is of no concern so a 1080 is already in your hands
I wish that were the case ;) - I've tried to choose wisely on the hardware, although IF I go for the 1080 then I admit that will be an extravagance since the 1070 delivers more bang per buck!

I'd just like to thank all of you for the warm welcome and advice here, I'm really looking forward to getting started with water cooling, and will definitely post updates and photos here soon.
 
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flk3000

Registered
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Jun 24, 2016
Location
United Kingdom
OK I've ordered everything now and am waiting for delivery! I went for the slightly cheaper option of a GTX 1070.

Interestingly for those in the UK: I noticed that prices for my choice of RAM and graphics card have crept up since the "Brexit" vote. I certainly don't want to get into politics here but our weakening currency (especially vs the USD) is possibly the reason behind this!
 
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flk3000

Registered
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Jun 24, 2016
Location
United Kingdom
So most of the parts arrived and I've been able to continue the build, see pics below. Unfortunately my graphics card hasn't arrived yet, hence the over-long tube between the pump and CPU. I'll cut this down when I install the graphics card.

Next steps:
  • Add a 90deg fitting to the front of the pump since the tube is pulling across too much.
  • Remove the front fan (came with the case).
  • After my ATX cable extensions arrive I need to check if I can access the 8pin connector at the top of the motherboard - it's pretty tight due to the way I routed the tube behind the motherboard. I may need to look at a plan B for that tube - I'm thinking about running it from the radiator to the top of the resevoir instead.
  • Install a PWM fan hub somewhere out of the way.

I'll probably get the system leak-tested and working before my graphics card arrives. Then I'll need to drain it and cut into the long section of tubing to install the card. I can run with onboard graphics until then since I couldn't bring myself to put my battered, dusty old air-cooled graphics card into this build!:)

Eventually I'd like to spray the PCI slot covers yellow, but that can wait...

front.JPG back.JPG
 

GTXJackBauer

Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
Joined
May 22, 2011
Location
USA
Have you ever thought about switching sides on the top radiator without going through the back of the case and creating that much stress on the tubing and possibly the fittings?

Here's an illustration using your image.

Untitled.png
 
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flk3000

Registered
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Jun 24, 2016
Location
United Kingdom
Thanks, I'll give some consideration to an alternative loop layout. GFX card should be arriving early next week...
 
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flk3000

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Jun 24, 2016
Location
United Kingdom
Progress and problems...

I've fitted the new 1070 with EKWB block, finished the loop (for now), filled it and left the pump running for a leak test, all looked fine then after a minute of running my PSU went BANG :eek:.

Not sure what could have caused this apart from the simple fact that it's an older, well-used Cooler-Master PSU that finally gave up. There was definitely no liquid shorting anything, and the only thing connected to the PSU was the pump, and I had carefully bridged the pins on the 24 pin ATX to get the pump running. I hope the pump survived this OK, we'll see tomorrow when I borrow an old PSU from a friend purely to run the pump; a new EVGA 750W PSU has already been ordered.

Still not all bad - no leaks :)

I think I'll drop the pump lower down in the case to ease the load on the quick-disconnect fitting. Here's a photo taken just before I filled the loop.

IMG_4033.JPG
 
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flk3000

Registered
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Jun 24, 2016
Location
United Kingdom
Thankfully the pump has been running fine for hours on a borrowed (ancient) 280w PSU, so things should be good to go when the new PSU arrives later this week. I'll post back with some pictures once everything is working.
 
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Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Small off-topic, how's those Akasa fans working out ? asked about them a couple months back and i got a big "avoid them" :(