Question Custom loop kit comparison

Boraes

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Apr 24, 2014
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Hi Everyone,

So I'm luckily in the position where I'm able to upgrade from an AIO 360mm cooler to a custom loop kit. There's some pretty good deals out from a few manufacturers that all have pretty good reviews either generally as a company or on a specific kit. I'm hoping people can give me a bit of direction and help me narrow down which kit would be best.
FYI I have an EATX Tower PC so space isn't an issue - Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 7 mobo (Intel 1150 Socket), 1 x 1080ti which I do want to add W/C to but most likely not till I'm happy with the custom loop is working properly. DDR3 RAM which again I'd like to add W/C but this is again only once I'm happy the rest is working (this way if all goes wrong I only mess up hopefully 1 x area at a time XD).

  • I do want to RGB as much as possible as all my fans are ARGB and my whole computing desk, KB and surrounding area are running RGB patterns
  • Personally I do prefer the aesthetics of the hardline tubes and am aware I would need a heatgun.
  • I would like the option/ability to expand the loop with additional reservoirs, standard & mini sized pumps + other incidental extras.
  • I am aware that I can to a greater extent mix and match manufacutres but I would prefer to get a kit to start with unless someone so show me a shopping list that is better than the kits.
Initial budget is £400-575 ($480 -$700 USD)

Anyway, please have a look at the links to the kits I'm contemplating.

Thermaltake Pacific M360 Plus


EKWB: EK-KIT 360

Corsair Hydro X
NB - (Asyou can't input my mobo in the configuration tool leads me to think this kit wouldn't be compatible anyway)

Swiftech: Boraes + Apogee SKF Prestige higher tier CPU block unless I can persuade them to let me switch it out with the one.

 

hftvhftv

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May 26, 2014
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This is almost just a matter of preference, but I'd go with either EKWB or Swiftech, as they have been in the water cooling business for a long time. I personally know that Swiftech offers tech support through their Discord, which they can answer your questions on.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
I just finished my review of the Corsair Hydro X components - they're very good quality, so don't let that deter you. They're really high-quality parts, copper, nickel, etc. Radiators are designed in partnership with HardwareLabs...a high end watercooling radiator shop. Fittings are Bitspower quality. Pump is a Laing D5. Blocks are copper with nickel plating.

I've never trusted Thermaltake watercooling components, but that really goes back 10-15 years where they supported some really questionable components. However, some of their new components are rather good. For example, they use the industry workhorse D5 pump as most big players in watercooling do. Looks like most of their other stuff is copper/brass, although I have a HUGE problem with the words in this phrase to describe the radiator:

and German zinc alloy aluminum and aerospace-grade materials
You don't want that in a custom loop that has nickel, copper and brass. Not a chance. This also shouldn't be confused with EKWB's all-aluminum kits that can be used, as long as your blocks, fittings, radiators, etc are all aluminum. You just need to be cautious to not mix metals. Brass, nickel, copper, gold and silver all play relatively nice together. Aluminum needs to be kept completely separate.

You might also check out Alphacool kits. They also make some phenomenal stuff at great quality.
 

Boraes

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Apr 24, 2014
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I just finished my review of the Corsair Hydro X components - they're very good quality, so don't let that deter you. They're really high-quality parts, copper, nickel, etc. Radiators are designed in partnership with HardwareLabs...a high end watercooling radiator shop. Fittings are Bitspower quality. Pump is a Laing D5. Blocks are copper with nickel plating.

I've never trusted Thermaltake watercooling components, but that really goes back 10-15 years where they supported some really questionable components. However, some of their new components are rather good. For example, they use the industry workhorse D5 pump as most big players in watercooling do. Looks like most of their other stuff is copper/brass, although I have a HUGE problem with the words in this phrase to describe the radiator:



You don't want that in a custom loop that has nickel, copper and brass. Not a chance. This also shouldn't be confused with EKWB's all-aluminum kits that can be used, as long as your blocks, fittings, radiators, etc are all aluminum. You just need to be cautious to not mix metals. Brass, nickel, copper, gold and silver all play relatively nice together. Aluminum needs to be kept completely separate.

You might also check out Alphacool kits. They also make some phenomenal stuff at great quality.

The worry I have with the Corsair kit is that it doesn't register my 1150 socket board so using the 'configuration tool' I can't get past the 2/3 screen. Would they in fact fit my board do you think?

Yes I've read that you should only really have 1 x type of metal in a loop as they mixed metals can increase corrosion and other issues.

Yes I've heard others same similar regarding ThermalTake, but there have been some very very positive reviews of the most recent kits and value for money appears good.

I will most definitely check out Alphacool. Do you know of any other manufactures that would also do kits?
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
It isn't just '1 type of metal', its avoiding 1 type of metal - aluminum.

You can use brass, copper, nickel, silver and gold in a loop. This is more than 1 type of metal and brass is actually an alloy of copper and zinc.

All of the Intel 1155, 1156, 1150, 1151, etc boards are the same socket mounting size, which is why we call them 'Intel 115x'. Their tool just wants to know what you currently have to try and cater to your specific build. All you need to know is the CPU block for 1155 also fits 1150, just like the CPU block for 2066 also fits 2011x (because they are also the same socket mount size).

I would avoid Thermaltake unless you are selectively picking certain parts. Just because something gets good reviews, does not mean the reviews are in-depth enough for people to understand what they are evaluating. Sure, a loop with mixed metals (including aluminum) will work great for a few weeks, but eventually, very bad things happen. Most reviews are written within 24-48 hours.

Kits: EK, Swiftech, Alphacool, Magicool, Koolance, XSPC

http://www.performance-pcs.com/complete-kits/shopby/brand--xspc--alphacool--bitspower--ek-waterblocks--koolance--magicool--modmytoys--phobya--swiftech--ppcs/?
 

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