Question First Custom Loop. Need help with components.

Jul 11, 2019
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Hello!

I just registered here in order to find some help regarding my project.

In a few days I will start to build a custom water cooling loop for the new PC of my brother.
He has a budget of 4-5k USD, so I'm kinda free which components I am getting.
So far I selected all components besides the custom loop. What he wants is a crazy RGB setup and many style points.

I decided to go with the EKWB stuff, since the reviews seem pretty positive.

This will be the first custom loop build for me at all and it will be hard tubing with PETG material.

The components I've selected so far are:

Case
CPU Waterblock
Pump + Tube + Top cover
Pump holder bracket
2x 480mm Rads
Fittings
Tubes
Liquid

For the GPU I will use the MSI 2080 Sea Hawk, which I intend to mount vertically.
It offers a pre installed EKWB-ready Waterblock.

I thought of the following:

I will have the 2 rads mounted top/front.
The Top fans will be "inside" of the case, while the front fans will be outside and not visible from the inside.
It should now be possible to mount the pump on the other side of the front rad, correct me if I'm wrong.

The actual loop should be Pump ->GPU->CPU->Top Rad->Front Rad->Pump...

I know there are a lot of components like Drains, Splitters, 45/90 Deg angled pieces and I really don't know how many of which of them I should probably need or buy.

What do I need to get in addition?
Any help or recommendation regarding the setup is highly appreciated!
Thank you!

Ps. I got the tools for the whole bending stuff.
 

fry178

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Dec 14, 2015
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Don't recommend doing a custom loop as first build, not even with ek, definitely NOT with hard tubing.
Custom really wont make a big difference over aio, like the ek predator or cheaper but similar quality is alphacool stuff like tue eisbaer.
These can be extended and are powerful enough to run cpu and gpu, given large enough rad (240 and up).
I would put a 280/360 on the top (exhausting heat) have front/rear just with case fans.
 

Gmoney06ss

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Jul 3, 2015
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2 480mm rads? So I'm assuming the case you plan out is quite large? What case is it? That will give a better idea of possible fitting needs. The best way to see what fittings you'll need is to layout all the components, or try and draw it out.

Buy plenty of extra tubing, since it's your first hardtube loop. You will make mistakes! Just have patience.

You shouldn't need any splitter, except for a possible drain setup. For the drain I would just grab a ball valve and a barb fitting. Then have some soft tube to slip over the barb when the time comes.

Edit: just saw you already posted case choice. Reading gets the better of me sometimes.

That case will not fit 2 480mm rads. Or even a single 480, you'll have to step down to 420.
 
Last edited:
Jul 11, 2019
2
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Thanks for your Feedback!

Don't recommend doing a custom loop as first build, not even with ek, definitely NOT with hard tubing.
Custom really wont make a big difference over aio, like the ek predator or cheaper but similar quality is alphacool stuff like tue eisbaer.
These can be extended and are powerful enough to run cpu and gpu, given large enough rad (240 and up).
I would put a 280/360 on the top (exhausting heat) have front/rear just with case fans.
It's not my first PC Build in general, just the first with a custom loop.
I know that there are a lot of alternatives way cheaper and easier to handle, but there is no way around and I'm definitely going to build a hard tube loop.

2 480mm rads? So I'm assuming the case you plan out is quite large? What case is it? That will give a better idea of possible fitting needs. The best way to see what fittings you'll need is to layout all the components, or try and draw it out.

Buy plenty of extra tubing, since it's your first hardtube loop. You will make mistakes! Just have patience.

You shouldn't need any splitter, except for a possible drain setup. For the drain I would just grab a ball valve and a barb fitting. Then have some soft tube to slip over the barb when the time comes.

Edit: just saw you already posted case choice. Reading gets the better of me sometimes.

That case will not fit 2 480mm rads. Or even a single 480, you'll have to step down to 420.
After double checking the data sheet you are right ofc! I confused sth in my head. Maybe I'll step down and get two 360 Rads then.
For tubing I intended to get a few packs so I can mess up a few times.
The case should be delivered by Monday next week, then I will carefully measure the dimensions of and get a few sketches of the whole build.

I thought about doing something like this on the outlet of the pump:


Are the other components OK?

I also need a few of these, right?

Thanks for your help!
 

fry178

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Dec 14, 2015
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Just because you can tune a car doesnt mean you're able to build your own engine/kit car the first time ;-).

I had my first (custom) loop running a modded aquarium pump,
as watercooling wasnt that common 15y ago.
Sure you can throw money at it to fix the problem, but outside the tubing,
there is no gain over aios like the predator (or similar), as they use the same parts (pump/radiator).
Especially the advantage of not having to flush/clean/refill the system evry 6 to 12 month,
as even with dead water/silver coil some bio residue will always be in there (even if not from you, but manufacturer etc), and you cant run fluids that kill things without damaging the loop.
Not even talking about future upgrades that will require half/most of the tubes have to be re-done, when an aio loop will only need new mounting hardware for the blocks.

Best luck to you, for me and others (thinking about full custom setup) just dont see it making sense anymore (to me) to spend more time/money to gain a few (if) % in perf.
 

Gmoney06ss

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You want to keep your drain at the lowest point, so if that's the pump, that should work. Mines on my rad.

The rest of the components look fine to me.

While I agree that the predator kit is good, to say a full custom loop isn't better, is a little off. IMO. And once you start adding extra blocks,etc, it basically becomes a custom loop, no? With 2 360 rads it will also have more thermal capacity. Especially when considering budget, I'd assume some high end parts involved. Meaning the more thermal capacity the better. And building a loop, as you know, is quite satisfying to see It all come together.

As far as the plugs go, no you shouldn't need any extra. But it can t hurt to have one or two on hand. Usually the gpu block will include a couple, at least my Ek gpu block did. And there shouldn't be a need to plug anything.
 

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