Question Best way to setup a custom loop CPU/GPU with 3 radiators ?

xNAPx

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Hello everyone
I have a custom loop of CPU and GPU cooled by 3 rads:

1x120mm on the rear
1x280mm on the top
1x240mm on thr front

I was looking for the best way to set up my custom loop to achieve the best performance possible for both CPU and GPU
As far as I know by reading some articles, best would be
Reservoir -> pump -> GPU -> CPU -> Rads -> Reservoir

Or

Reservoir -> pump -> biggest rad -> GPU -> smallest rad -> CPU -> last rad -> reservoir

What would be the best way?

Also what is the best way to mount the fans onto the rads?

For example now I have

120mm rad on the rear with fan pushing/exhaust
280mm rad on the top with fans pushing/exhaust
240mm rad on the front with pushing/intake

Would you suggest a different configuration?

at the moment this is what I have in mind

 

xNAPx

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I dont know what to tell you on how to improve your airflow,
but i gotta say,
you have some serious drawing skills xD
Lol, hahaha
Which articles did you read? All the reputable ones written will tell you that loop order does not matter.

Why the 120mm? You would be OK with the 280 and 360
I don't have a 360 rad
They are all very slim radiators, so 1x120mm, 1x240mm and 1x280mm
 

Karadjgne

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Normally, to prevent crossing and keep bends and angles to a minimum and provide a clear direction of flow :
Res- pump- gpu- 120mm bottom feed- cpu- 240mm top- 240mm front top feed- res.

Puts a nice, even flow in a circle so tubing is easy to follow.

The more bends you have, and if using smaller ID tubing, the more restriction there is to flow, which makes the pump work harder and raises head pressure. That's also true with adding too much radiator, especially if the rad is high resistance to start with. This can affect which pump you'll need to keep a good flow, not all pumps are built the same. A smaller DDC won't be as effective as a D5 etc.

I'd also advise matching up your rads. Some rads are designed for better efficiency at lower fan speeds, some require much higher sp or cfm for better efficiency. Put the wrong fans on the wrong rad and you've got a good chance of having a loop that does next to nothing useful.

There's a LOT of research and planning involved in creating a good and useful loop, without which it's entirely too easy to get a good looking loop that does not live upto your expectations. All Show and no Go.
 
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xNAPx

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Normally, to prevent crossing and keep bends and angles to a minimum and provide a clear direction of flow :
Res- pump- gpu- 120mm bottom feed- cpu- 240mm top- 240mm front top feed- res.

Puts a nice, even flow in a circle so tubing is easy to follow.
with 120 bottom you mean the orientation where the inlet/outlet are, correct?
 

Karadjgne

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Something like that yes. Specific orientation of the top rad, whether the inlets are on the right or left, and specific direction of whether the inlet to the reservoir (its often on top) will be determined by dry-fitting all the parts. You may not have space to put certain components is the exact way you plan.

For instance my top rad sits exactly 24mm above the gpu inputs. This necessitated 2x 90's, which also have to be variable angle since you can't physically screw 2 90's next to each other if they are solid. No worries, plenty of options. Except they are almost all 26-32mm tall, and I needed 23mm or less.

That's what you may run into with ram clearances, motherboard heatsink clearances, depth of angles between rads inputs etc.

You'll need to test fit the build (without tubing) , then see if you need orientation changes, loop changes, availability of fittings, tubing types, tubing sizes and possibilities, fitting sizes and needs, draining needs etc. Some blocks have specific input/outputs, some don't, so which you get can determine other factors.

Best advice I can give is get a specific goal in mind. Silence, temps, looks, whatever. Everything you do after that must all point towards that goal. So if you want silence, start with fans as they make the most noise. So which fans. Then what rads work best with those fans. Which pump is strong enough to handle that amount of loop, but is silent at that level. What tubing will enhance that pumps performance... And so forth, always keeping temps in mind.

At the end you'll have a loop that works well, looks good and is silent. If that's your goal. If temps are the primary goal, same thing, what blocks give best temps on gpu/cpu, which rad/fan combos work best... Etc.
 
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xNAPx

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Thanks for your advices
So far from what I can see radiators don't have a specific inlet/out unless I'm wrong (just discovered I made an error on the gpu in my current build), if rads have specifin in/out that should be said on them right? Or it is something I have to figure out myself? In this case how?
Considered my new project I have enough clearance from the motherboard to play with tubing.
Regarding the reservoir I've just purchased this one


Which should have the inlet in the bottom as well as the outlet.

About fan configuration? Especially the rear what do you suggest? I would like to have for example the 120mm rad attached to the chassis and the fan on the rad, but probably the opposite should be the right orientation (it's gonna be exhausting)

This is my current config


As I said I today realized I had gotten the gpu in/out wrong (I am an idiot), for the rest any advice?
 

Karadjgne

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I don't know of any rads with specific i/o needs (other than some flow-through designs), but blocks yes. Both cpu and gpu blocks Can have dedicated ports and if you get those backwards it can do anything from blocking flow to rendering the microfins next to useless as the jetplates to pressure the coolant through the fins are on the wrong side.

So while loop flow direction isn't so important, component flow direction can be.

Planning and research is everything 💪
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Most radiators flow either direction...I would be surprised if they didn't, actually.

Most reservoirs also flow in any direction, just depends on what you have setup for the inlet/outlet using siphon tubes, fill ports, etc.

Pump tops are usually pretty specific for what their inlet/outlet ports are, so be advised.
 

xNAPx

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Like an idiot I have been using my gpu with the tubes mounted wrong for more than a year, now if I fix this eill it affects my performance either way?
 

Karadjgne

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IF you've been running the loop with the gpu inputs and outputs crossed AND that particular block requires a dedicated input/output, then yes, you'll get the performance you were supposed to get to start with.

But that's only if both those conditions are true. If the block is universal flow, which many are, then input/output doesn't matter and any performance issues are located somewhere else. That could apply to the cpu block, fans, pump or even the rads themselves.

Some gpu blocks have only 2 ports, many have 4 ports. In the 4 port, underneath is the same as the top, doesn't matter which you use. In both the 2 and 4 port versions, there's 2 kinds of blocks. Some have dedicated input on the left and dedicated output on the right and some can be either input or output on either side.

The user manual or directions that came with the block will have all you need to know. If there's no paperwork, they can be looked up online (usually) with knowing exactly which block you have.

That applies to the cpu block too.
 
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xNAPx

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I've always had performance issue on the gpu feeling it wasn't working as intended, now after more than one year I realized everything was about me tubing it wrong, I am an Idiot, I'm pretty sure I will finally get the right performance once I fix this
 

Karadjgne

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Double check everything, since you are pulling the loop apart, even if that means you think you need to repaste.

What paste did you use for the gpu block btw? Because it's direct-die its slightly different to a cpu. A cpu IHS is like 20,000 grit sandpaper, it'll hold cpu pastes without issue. The gpu doesn't have that, it's silicon, almost like glass. And pastes are usually oily.

If you use a less viscous paste that spreads well on a cpu like Noctua NT-1, it'll spread too well on the gpu die, and bleed off the edge leaving blank spots on the die itself.

Arctic MX-4 is as good as it gets for gpu pastes because it's just the right amount of thick and sticky, not thinner and runny.
 

xNAPx

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I didn't paste the gpu because it comes like that from factory, if I do that I will use cryonout liquid metal
 

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