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Planning my first custom water cooled build.

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Nov 10, 2016
So I have been itching to build a custom loop and I'm in a spot financially right now where I can start to plan it out over the next month or so. I will be cooling an i7 9700k and a gtx 1080ti. I will be building in the Fractal Design Define S2. I have my eye on the EK Velocity Strike rgb Black Nickel+Black Water block, but have also been looking at the cheaper Velocity rgb Nickel + Acetal because I'm not sure how long I will be on this platform. I've been looking at alpha cool but besides those two places my field of focus is quite narrow. I plan to have a 30-45 mm thick 360 on top and possibly a 60mm thick 240 in front. Why you ask? BECAUSE!! Now my knowledge is faint as it pertains to tubing and fittings. I will be starting with soft tubing and don't really know where to start. I really like the look of thicker tube when soft. Maybe white, or like a deep gray or black. I have seen and will provide an idea of what i'm looking for. I just have zero idea the diameter of this tubing the type and size of fittings i need or where to find it. Of course I will keep looking but would love it if anyone can chime in and help. Also there is one more thing, I have the evga gtx 1080ti sc2 hybrid and need to find a waterblock for that as well. If I understand correctly it is nit quite a ref pcb. It appears ek does nit make a block for this card. Any links for gpu/cpu blocks would be helpful. I will probably use a pump res combo. Suggestions on that and links woud e awesome. Any cool stuff and ideas I will appreciate. I would like to be opened up to more companies and hardware that I'm not aware of. I am sure this site gets this ALL the time. And I will explore the past threads just haven't really had a chance yet. We are just now slowing down to the point I will be working only 40 hours a week again. Also since next Monday is my bday I have 4 days off and would like to sit down and compile a list of everything I am goin to get and need and get this process started. My h110i gt is fading, it's not holding up too well. If I absolutely can not find a block for this gpu then maybe I will get the Fractal Design Celsius 360 cpu cooler for now or build around it but I really want to make it work and go full custom. I am not entirely opposed to going rigid and just using a bunch of 90 degree fittings for now and making a loop with no bends to start with then maybe trying to bend and create something else while I'm able to use mine at the same time. Anyway thank you for reading and thanks for the help.
soft tube.jpeg
black soft tube.jpg

I really like the white but I know I've seen wrapped tubing in like gun metal or gray. Anything will help. I should be able to start ordering next month and have it ready to build in early December. There are a few more things I need to get. A 2tb m.2 for one.

Sorry that first pic is the wrong pic thats clear tube here is another one. It's a little thinner but I like the thick tube.
white soft tube.jpg

I am pretty dead set on getting this pump res combo from singularity computers at the moment unless anyone can suggest something else.
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FYI PerformancePCs tends to have phenomenal sales on black Friday/cyber Monday. Last year EK also had phenomenal sales through both PPCS and their own webpage. Yeah the Singularity stuff is awesome but it does come at a premium, for example you could get a similar product from EK for like half the price.

For the GPU it looks like they made a SC2 hydrocopper as well as the hybrid and air. I'm assuming that their naming scheme is based on PCB (i.e. reference, SC2, FTW are all different PCB but all the SC2 cards use the same PCB). I did a quick search of their website, but you could contact EVGA and see if they have the hydrocopper blocks available (they do for the 2000 series).

For tubing I used Primochill LRT. Some members have had problems with the box staining the tubing though, but otherwise it's pretty nice to work with. Mine came wrapped with plastic and not in a box, I believe it was cut from a bulk spool by performance PCS. My listing looked like this not this. I believe 5/8 OD is the largest they have. Then I think there are two standard wall thicknesses for a given OD. BTW in case you're not familiar, OD = outer diameter and ID = inner diameter. Since you like bigger tubing go for 5/8 on the OD. Personally not sure if thin or thick walled is easier to handle, but I wouldn't worry about it impacting your flow rates. Just be careful that the ID and the OD match for all of your fittings and tubing. For fittings, I have Bitspower fittings. Many think they are the best and they work really well. I use compression fittings so you'll need both the OD and ID to match up if you go that route (which I recommend). I also suggest budgeting a few extra fittings for 45 degree and 90 degree and even 90 degree dual rotary, spacers, etc. You can easily wind up with $50 of fittings sitting around when the build is done, but it could save you huge headaches getting the loop together.

If you go rigid there are two types, PVC and PETG. I believe PETG is much easier to work with (PVC can shatter quite easily). When buying fittings, only the OD matters for rigid tubing I believe.
Ya I thought I may end up having to use a hydro block from evga if I can find one. Cool, that helps alot. Yes I have heard of Bitspower and had pretty much already had them in mind for fittings. OD-ID no I did not know what that meant until you said something. That was the type of info I was looking for. It should be relatively easy from what you've provided to move forward now. Well then I guess I will just set money aside over the next few weeks and wait until end of Nov sales. That was about when I had planned on having everything anyway. I was just going to get pieces at a time but I will just wait and get it all at once. Thanks again that's exactly what I needed.
np. make sure you look at the stickies at the top of this forum. Also try to include a drain valve. With flexible tubing you can actually just remove the CPU block and drain from a fitting, but I prefer a valve. Also ideally you'll have a way to adjust your fan speed based off of water temp. Some motherboards can do this with varying effectiveness, otherwise an Aquacomputer QUADRO and temp sensor can handle it easily. It does use a software but it has a minimal load on system resources. If you're not dead set on the singularity aluminum D5 housing, Aquacomputer also has a pump called the D5 NEXT, which integrates a fan controller, flow meter, temp sensor with a pwm D5 and also has a display. This is probably the best way to control your loop out there, and although it's an expensive "pump" its actually combining a number of components that would all add up on their own (aquaaero alone probably costs more than the NEXT, but even a PWM D5, NEXT hub and temp sensor probably cost at least as much if not more than the NEXT).
So I know it's been a few weeks since I replied but I was waiting for someone to get back from Europe. I found on FB Marketplace really close to my home a really good deal on some used watercooling stuff and couldn't pass it up and figured it would be a really good place to start for my first loop. I got a TT 360mm rad by 63.5 mm thick. A really large EK pump res combo. The pump might be bad so I might have to grab a used d5 somewhere I'm not sure I still need to test it out. A full pack of TT 16mm petg tubing, so I will be jumping straight into rigid I think I can do it. A bunch of fittings, enough for a cpu loop. I may need to grab a few more for gpu. And two cpu blocks. An older EK, which I think is the one I will use. And a really large TT rgb block. Also 3 enermax rgb fans. I picked everything up for 150$ so I really can't complain at all. This is exactly the size res I wanted. EK was one of my top choices for sure so I'm happy with that. I originally was thinking a slim 360 up top and a thick 240-280 up front but I will just put this 360 up front as it should be enough. I can always expand/upgrade from there. I am still a few weeks off form tearing down and installing this stuff but I appreciate everyone's help and will post updates and pics as progress continues.

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Man this has taken longer than anticipated. So I have sold everything above. I have xspc v2 soft tube compression fittings. I have 4 bykski 90's, ek drain valve, bitspower ball fitting with 3 female ports. xspc caps and male to male extenders. I have a primochill temp thing lol. I should have everything I need. EK velocity black acetal/nickel cpu block. I'm going with ek zmt matte black tubing. I have clear for now, I'm going to test with it and find an oc and record temps then I will delid and direct die and test more before I complete with black tube. I am having trouble choosing rads. I was going to get either 2 360's or one and a 240. I was dead set on the 40mm thick Primochill. I like them a lot. Matt Black. I sold my motherboard and got a z390 Aorus master. Then I saw 40mm thick Bykski rads and love them but they seem to be a much lighter black. Then i have a friend who said the primochill rads aren't that great and to go with hardware labs. Not sure I like the way they look and I have know nothing about them. I'd rather go with EK if the Primochill aren't that good.


Here is a link to what I have been looking at. Does anyone have any experience with these? Also I'm going with either EK or primochill on pump/res too. The d5 is pwm, so I am wondering if that means I can hook it to a fan header and manually control the pump speed that way. Here is a link to the combo, i like it a lot. If anyone for some reason can't recommend the primochill rads please let me know. Also is hwlabs that much better? EK?