First Gaming Rig (liquid cooling help)


May 26, 2009
MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3
AMD Phenom II X4 955
OCZ Gold AMD Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
4890 gpu (and probably a 2nd sometime in the future)

my parts will be showing up tomorrow
and although i probably won't be buying into water cooling for another month or 2, i am not very educated on what parts to buy

I've looked into the Swiftech H2O-220 Apex Ultima and some koolance stuff like the rs-1000 but I hear that neither would be enough to cool an entire mother board when including a gpu (let alone 2 or RAM)

Although with this board it dosen't seem like any RAM liquid cooling set up would fit with all 4 slots used (please tell me if i am wrong!)

Anyway what I am asking for is if anyone can give me suggestions on the best pumps, reservoirs. radiators (hopefully one that fits nicely in the top of this case and still sucks blows air out of the case?), etc for a set up in this tower that includes water cooling as much of the motherboard as possible (cpu, nb, sb, etc), 2 4890s, and the ram if possible. Ideally the set up would be quiet to silent (is this possible without using multiple reservoirs/pumps/etc?)

gotta end this now before i go crazy spending hours editing this
sorry, my first time around here


Contributing Writer
You don't need or want RAM watercooling. If you are that concerned, get one of those $20 RAM fans that fits over the DIMM slots.

Just avoid Koolance; some of their GPU blocks are OK, but make sure they are copper or nickel plated. Other than that, I always avoid them. Thermaltake kits are out as well. If your complete watercooling kit comes in the same, shiny box, avoid it.

Shadow or Conumdrum have their typical copy/paste post, which is originally Conumdrum's. There is a lot of info...just make sure you soak it up and know what is what...
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this guide is to offer information on the art of water cooling a computer, mainly to a beginner, but seasoned veterans may also find some of this information useful. The guide is arranged in steps. It is important that a newcomer follow the steps in order as it will determine how well the water cooling loop(s) will turn out.

STEP 1: Is water cooling right for you?
Before a person begins to do water cooling it is important that they decide on if it is the right options. In this step I will outline the advantages, limitation, and the possible costs.
The purpose of water cooling a computer is to offer two things: silence and higher over clock. Liquid cooling (or WCing for short) allows us to use lower speed fans or reduce the number of fans needed. By lowering the speed and the number of fans one is able to eliminate a major source of noise in a PC. One of the main uses for water cooling however is to enable higher overclocks for CPU and GPU. However, water cooling DOES NOT GURENTEE a higher over clock than what you may already have. Your current overclock may be limited by FSB wall, unstable hardware/software, or you may have a CPU/GPU that just refuses to be overclocked. Water cooling only allows you to jump over one major overclocking limitation: heat. By knowing this we can now decide on if watercooling is right for you. Answer YES or NO to the following:
1. Are you overclocking to the max?
2. Is your current overclock limited only by heat and not by hardware (i.e. CPU, motherboard, etc)?
3. Are you in search for a quiet computer (i.e. for sound production, etc)?
4. Will the water cooled computer be mission critical (i.e. server, hold very important business data,etc)?
If you answered YES to questions 1-3 then watercooling is a good option for you. However, if you answered YES to question 4, I do not recommend you do watercooling, mainly because it’s one more risk you have to take. However, if you are willing to take the risks and the necessary backup plans in case of an emergency like water leak, etc go for it. Note that if done properly water leaking is a minimal risk, but it nevertheless is a risk. If you are not willing to take the risks associated with watercooling then you really should not do watercooling.

STEP 2: What do you want to cool?
Ok, providing that you have decided that watercooling is for you now we need to decide on what to cool.
For a completely silent PC: Consider cooling GPU and CPU
For a max overclocking on GPU and/or CPU: Consider cooling both GPU and CPU if you plan to over clock both. If you only plan to go after max OC on the CPU OR the GPU cool only that component; doing so will reduce cost quite a bit.
Now many would ask why I haven’t mentioned about cooling Northbridge, MOSFETS, RAM, HDDs. The main reason is that there is virtually no gain by doing so. In some rare cases, you may get a bit more OC out of a CPU if you cool the NB/MOSFET but for most people this is a waste of money. Even for a completely silent PC, as most new motherboards already have passive (heat pipe) based cooling solutions for cooling MOSFETs and Northbridge. Cooling HDDs are a complete waste. You will NOT get any performance or make them silent or even make them live longer.
This is from a guide that I just started to work a few days ago for replacing the old sticky here at Toms. Still working on it... if you find any errors PM me or post here. Like said in the objective this is aimed mainly at newcomers to water cooling and when finished it should cover what you need to look after when selecting parts. It WILL NOT cover bleeding,etc but I will link a good guide that cover these steps.

@OP: If this post helped let me know, also if any part was unclear let me know that too. And listen to Conumdrum and Rubix. They are one of the few water coolers on this Forum. Total water cooling population (of seasoned veterans) here is less than 10.
A very nice and logical intro to liquid cooling.

Might I add question 5:
Do you want to brag about how smart you are in building computers?
If you answered yes to question 5, then ignore the answers to questions 1-4 and go ahead.


May 17, 2009
How much will a simple watercooling set for just the processor cost? I intend to get a C2Q Q8xxx or Q9x5x. Clock will probably be 2.66. I intend to use it like that for 1-2 years then when things get a little laggy OC to ~3.6 GHz. I wont change anything except the GPU and maybe RAM for 4-5 years(It should last me through college). I normally game at 1024*768 with 2x AA or 800*600 with forced 6x. The resolutions are low, hence the need for overclocking. Also, will the OC spoil the system in less than the afore mentioned time period? Usage will be around 1-2 hours a day, not more than 3 at max.


Contributing Writer
^ Agreed. I have a Q6600 @ 3.4. I noticed a pretty good leap from a single 9800GTX+ to SLI'd cards. Games like Supreme Commander like multiple cores, but rendering/physics really smoothed out with the 2nd card.

Of course, having a quad and 2 GPUs watercooled helps them all stay nice and cool at ~40C @ load. (My office gets a little warm in the summer with 2 desktops and 2 laptops running along with my 28" monitor and 32" LCD TV.)