Question Does it really cost this much for a full custom loop these days?

Neostarwcc

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Sep 12, 2013
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I know it's been 10 years since I built my last custom loop but how can the price almost triple in the last 10 years? I was recommended ekwb by a friend, inserted my specs into it and it popped out almost $900 as a result. Do custom loops really cost that much these days? My specs and results are here:

https://www.ekwb.com/custom-loop-configurator/shared/oW614c97342c700

I have a pretty simple setup aside from an rtx 3090 but there's just no way a water block and backplate for a 3090 would cost over $300 just in itself. $200 maybe but not an arm and a leg, I wanted a simple loop configuration now to spend what my motherboard and processor cost when I bought them on a loop. Or maybe this really is what loops cost now. It is after all 2021 and not 2010. Just... wow.
 

Eximo

Titan
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You are buying all premium components...

GPU blocks have gone up 50-75% in the last few years due to import fees and increased cost of materials. Less competition as well. many of the smaller players dropped out completely with the price increases.

You don't necessarily need the EK backplate. I make it a goal to use the stock backplate myself.

DDR4 doesn't need ram coolers, that would just be for looks. Long as you keep a fan nearby blowing air over the motherboard.

EK Vardar fans are nice, but also expensive.

Actually a decent savings on that mono-block for the motherboard.

Personally just use distilled water and a biocide, but this would work fine.
 

DSzymborski

Titan
Moderator
EK stuff does tend to be priced at a premium and in a configurator, you're pretty much guaranteed to be pushed towards the higher-end even of that group. And you could save yourself some money but not doing things like cooling the RAM sticks, which tends to be a fairly ridiculous thing to do. Also not helping is that everything's kind of expensive now because of supply issues.
 
Well I have been looking into a loop just for my used 2080 ti I just bought which came with a ek quantum vector nickel/plexi wb and ek backplate.

Just looking at doing the gpu alone as I have a new corsair h150i Elite Capellix 360mm for my 3600x.

I have looked at a couple different rads Ek and Alphacool 2 pumps the corsair xd5 and the ek spc 160 d5 pump, fittings, soft tube and no matter have I spec it the price is easily $325-400usd.
 

Eximo

Titan
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If you are starting from scratch sure, about $400. A water cooled CPU and GPU with AIO will set you back about $250-300, add fittings and a discrete pump, and that is basically the cost difference.

D5 pumps are quite expensive, but you generally only need one through several builds, they last many years. There are certainly cheaper DDC based alternatives that can last a good while. Mine is still going almost 7 years? later.

Radiators and fittings can be re-used. CPU blocks can be re-used, up until recently, AM4 and LGA115x/1200 were the sockets of choice, so were re-useable. One of the reasons I went Intel again, so I could re-use my CPU block for the last time. LGA1700/1800 and AM5 at LGA 1718 for the next round of chips. So sadly a bad time to be buying a CPU block since it isn't likely to fit the new stuff.
 
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rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Flow meter and temp sensors are kind of extras...I understand why people want them - it stems from the idea of 'I don't trust hardware'.

Watercooled for 19+ years and there are certainly a lot of trends, but certainly can re-use a lot of equipment assuming there isn't a requirement to change supported radiator size or pumps used. GPU blocks....usually only work for SKU they are designed for. There aren't as many universal blocks like there used to be, but some do exist. CPU blocks often cover several generations and sockets, but difficult to say if the next socket will fit, or if a cheap adapter bracket will be made.
 
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Neostarwcc

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Thank you for the help guys! Was VERY helpful. Removing ram cooling would save me a $100 bill which makes it a tad more affordable. I didn't take COVID into account either. Everything is more expensive now because of the worker shortages.

I'll have to save up the money to buy but I think it would be a really good investment. My Processor and video card run quite hot.
 

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