Question First time liquid cooling advice?

Iamsoda

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Hi first time doing a liquid cooling setup. I"m using all EK parts. I have an nzxt h440, 7700k (5.2ghertz), and rtx 2080 ti. I am water cooling for performance and noise levels. I going for a soft tube setup. Here is the parts list I have so far.

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-xres-140-revo-d5-rgb-pwm-incl-sl-pump
https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-vector-rtx-2080-ti-rgb-nickel-plexi
https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-coolstream-xe-240-2016
https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-af-ball-valve-10mm-g1-4-nickel
https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-hfb-fitting-10mm-black
https://www.ekwb.com/shop/tube-clamp-pvc-13-15mm-black
https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-uni-pump-bracket-120mm-fan-vertical
https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-cryofuel-lime-yellow-premix-900-ml
https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-csq-plug-g1-4-nickel

I plan on the 280mm on top, 240mm front top with push pull fans and mounting bracket for pump off the fan. I will run a series from pump>gpu>cpu>rad>rad>.

Does this seem good?


:EDIT also running with noctua high pressure fans on rads and high flow on the other 2 case spots.
 
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Karadjgne

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It's a Sunday where I live, so answers can be hit or miss as to whether they are immediate, and yours is not a rookie question that just any rookie can answer, so relies on the more experienced members to the answer. So please have a little patience.
 

Toothless010

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Jul 7, 2015
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Hello, it is now Monday!

I have the EK 360 RGB kit also with soft tubing. Water cooling both CPU and 2080 TI water block.
Random thoughts:

1-soft tubing can be rigid, I boiled a cup of water, dipped the soft tubing end for a few seconds and made the fitting so much easier to fix in.
2-you will need an ATX Bridging Plug so that the power ONLY goes to your EK pump when you fill:
ATX plug
3-I estimated 22oz of fluid in my loop. So dont mix a full gallon :) Save the concentrate for later.
4-I see you have a exit for draining. You will need additional soft tubing to screw in and drain into a "bottle"
5-when you are pretty much done filling, Rock that case in all directions slowly to let the air bubble exit. Make sure your cap to pump is off and dont spill with too much rocking. Even if you think you have all the air out, you will be surprised a few pockets of air are left.
6-Your CPU water block, make a visual inspection, get rid of any left over pockets of air. Air is bad!!
7-always a debate on the flow of your loop. End the end, it does not matter. Others say one direction, and others the opposite. I followed EK suggested flow and even they said 1-2C in temps will not matter
7-you will need 1 EK plug on "each side" of your GPU water block so fluid does not flow on your motherboard :)
EK plug
8-EK web site shipping is very slow. Overseas for me and shipping is expensive. Get a 30 day Amazon Prime Trial and get your parts in 1-2 days from Amazon with free shipping. Even Amazon third party suppliers have great shipping. Nothing like being in the middle of things and you need that additional part RIGHT NOW. Cancel Amazon trial if you no longer need. I over orders on a few fittings at Amazon and you have 30 days for full refund.
9-DONT OVER TIGHTEN the fittings. Hand tight. No tool, dont use one. I used rubber gloves for the grip when I tighten the fittings. Each fitting has a "rubber washer". Dip your finger into a cap of distilled water and run some of the fluid around the rubber washer before making the fitting.
I read a reviewer complain how bad the tubing was marked up. He used a tool :(
10-I bought additional 10/16mm soft tubing only because I had to break down 3 prior MSI water block GPU that all 3 gave me "Black screen"
tubing
My 4th video card was Gigabyte that worked like it should:
Working 2080 TI by Gigabyte
11-I bought a tool cutter to snip the soft tubing cleanly. But not necessary for the $$ price I paid.
tube cutter
12-This youtube video help me greatly. I went back to view several times.
utube video
13-With my water loop 5960X/2080 TI, I see Battlefield 5 single player and multiplayer temps 43-47C and this is all at 4K resolution and Ultra settings. Only Vsync if off to show FPS higher. 4K FPS mostly +70-90 average up to over +100 FPS.
14-Did I tell you this is now a very cool and very quiet system!!
This ends my random thoughts. For me, this was a fun and rewarding experience. Take your time and your water cooling system will last for years :)
 
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Toothless010

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follow up. check your tubing, you need 10/16mm clear

if go with black fittings see here

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-acf-fitting-10-16mm-black

this is what I used for reference

https://www.amazon.com/EKWB-EK-ACF-Compression-Fitting-Tubing/dp/B0779HSP9D/ref=sr_1_75?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1548730458&sr=1-75&refinements=p_89:EKWB#customerReviews

pump>gpu>cpu>rad>rad>.
I would cool the CPU after the GPU gpu>rad>cpu>rad>
your back to back rad is just cooling the cool water.
But I only have 1 - 360 radiator
 
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Karadjgne

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I like random thoughts, so here's a couple.

1. Plan your flow thoroughly before even making the first cut, that means working around obstacles, crossing hoses/wires etc. You'll run out of tubing with miss-cuts otherwise.

2. Make all cuts clean. Leading cause of leaks is badly cut/burred edges on tubing that won't allow for a clean seat.

3. Rinse everything out thoroughly before assembly and coolant fill, nobody is perfect and guaranteed you'll end up with an assortment of uber fine shavings and/or assembly oils, neither of which go well with coolant or the pump.

4. Verify flow inputs/outputs. Leading cause of issues (that aren't leaks) is someone sticking the input tube on the output nozzle just because it might look nicer or the tube is a little short etc. Inputs and outputs are different, and the wrong way around can bring flow to an almost standstill.

5. When filling the resevoir at pump prime, don't fill past halfway, there's a ton of air being pushed out of the loop, and if you fully fill the reservoir, it'll be an awful mess.

6. Don't use chalky/pastel coolants. Stick with clear fluids. The pastels will gum up your loop quick like, they are really for show only. They are far more viscous than clear fluids. Kinda like the difference between 5w30 oil and 90w gear oil.

Yes, it's Monday now.
 
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Karadjgne

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Oh, and one more thing, it's probably the most important. Have patience, lots of it. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your loop be. I know of a Veteran loop builder who has done hundreds of loops over the last 20 odd years who sprung a leak when he rushed a build, because he's done it so often he didn't pay full attention to what he was doing. Luckily nothing bad happened, but he did kick himself for making such a dumb mistake. You'll want your loop to be perfect, the first time, no fixes or leaks or backwards plugs, so take the time to do it right, double/triple check everything, run your loop for a few hours, check with toilet paper every connection before even turning the pc fully on.

Full custom loops are a work of love and art, this is yours, don't trash it by rushing.
 

Iamsoda

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Thank you I really appreciate the advice. I am a plumber as a profession so hopefully that makes this more straightforward. I just finished my order and added a few more things onto it. I'll post pics when I'm done.
 

Iamsoda

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Feb 18, 2015
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follow up. check your tubing, you need 10/16mm clear

if go with black fittings see here

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-acf-fitting-10-16mm-black

this is what I used for reference

https://www.amazon.com/EKWB-EK-ACF-Compression-Fitting-Tubing/dp/B0779HSP9D/ref=sr_1_75?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1548730458&sr=1-75&refinements=p_89:EKWB#customerReviews

pump>gpu>cpu>rad>rad>.
I would cool the CPU after the GPU gpu>rad>cpu>rad>
your back to back rad is just cooling the cool water.
But I only have 1 - 360 radiator
I've read that loop order doesn't matter as long as you have enough flow because the temp doesn't vary much?
 

Karadjgne

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Loop order doesn't matter. You can put the rads anywhere.
When the cpu heats up, it transfers heat energy to the coolant, not heat. Liquids have a massive ability to absorb energy, and thats what it does. Cpu transfers energy to the coolant, goes through the loop, transfers that energy to the fins on the rad which dissipates it. The coolant takes a huge amount of energy to even raise 1°C. The hoses will also absorb a little of that energy, which is why they get warm, but overall it's no different than a pan of water on a hot burner, the water takes a long time to get hot, even though the pan is 450° or so.

The loop itself will always be toting around heat energy, not all of it gets dropped off at the rad due to flow speeds, and the coolant has plenty of room to spare, so just absorbs from the cpu, gpu whatever and the pump keeps pushing it around until it hits a rad and its metal tubing/fins.

What's important is flow direction. Don't get inlets and outlets backwards, especially on the cpu/gpu blocks and the pump.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Staff member
If you have some time, the watercooling stickies are linked in my signature below. I wrote it, so feel free to ask questions. There are a lot of tools, links and information listed so make sure to read a few times, ask questions and do some investigation. I need to go through the sticky and update it with new links (some are broken or no longer around) and some of the data can be cleaned up.

YouTube has a lot of information and we can help by linking some info, but be aware...there is as much good data out there as there is bad data...just be advised.

I've watercooled for about 17 years and I do the air and liquid cooler tests for Tom's Hardware.
 
May 4, 2019
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When the cpu heats up, it transfers heat energy to the coolant, not heat. Liquids have a massive ability to absorb energy, and thats what it does. Cpu transfers energy to the coolant, goes through the loop, transfers that energy to the fins on the rad which dissipates it. The coolant takes a huge amount of energy to even raise 1°C.
...
While your point about order and direction are valid, the "engineering" statements above are suspect. Heat is energy! Thermal energy, to be precise. Heat is exactly what is transferred to the coolant. Perhaps you meant that heat is not temperature.

As for taking a huge amount of energy to raise the coolant temperature, let's do an actual calculation. Assume the liquid volume is 500 ml, which is approximately 500 grams of water. To raise that amount of water 1 degree C, takes about 2100 joules. Just to keep the math simple, also assume that the operating conditions of the system (CPU +GPU) dissipate 210 watts. Watts are joules per second, so the system could raise the coolant 1 degree C every ten seconds. Doesn't seem like a huge amount of energy.

My point is that thermal mass has little to do with the temperature of the system. It affects the transient temperature response, but overall, the thermal resistance is much more important. Seems like the OP has a good enough setup to run reasonably cool and quiet, assuming that there is a second radiator. It will run fine even without the second radiator, but probably not so quiet, since the 240SE is rated at about 250 W/10C with the fans at 1800 or so.
 

Karadjgne

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Herald
Only one thing wrong with that math. You assume a static volume. In reality, the 210w is in constant battle trying to dissipate its energy to different coolant. In that 10 seconds, that one little amount of coolant has traveled through the rad, dissipated its absorbed energy, and is now back on the cpu for the second or third time. That's like trying to boil water on the stove and the wife keeps dumping ice into the pan.

So that 500ml becomes a non-value. To get an actual theoretical volume, you'd need to know volume of the block multiplied by flow speed multiplied by time, divided by rad dissipation rate just to see how many liters, not ml, that 210 joules is trying to heat that 1°C

210w may heat 500ml 1°C in 10 seconds, but when the aggregate volume is closer to 5litres, its gonna take a whole bunch more time and any drops in load are just going to compound that further.

The D5 pump is capable of 1500 litres per hour. That's @ 0.416 liters a second. So by your logic, that's roughly a 0.1°C bump in temp for the volume inside the cpu block. Which promptly gets shoved around and dumped by the rad in a constant loop. At that rate, you'd never see a 1°C raise in coolant, 210w simply isn't enough heat output.

Edit: and yes, you are now entering an area way above my pay grade lol. Thermal resistance, absorbtion rates specific to density and composition of coolant, specific to actual liquid used, block dimensions and specific thermal resistance according to its volume as compared to the liquid, dissipation rates of rads specific to material and volume.... You givin me a headache lol.

Suffice it to say you are correct, about the heat vs temp thing, the coolant isn't going to be the temp of the cpu coming out of the cpu block
 
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May 4, 2019
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Nothing wrong with the math. If nothing else, reality should tell you that the water in the loop does heat up over time until it reaches an equilibrium with the ambient air temperature and the air flow rate. The coolant flow rate makes little difference to the equilibrium point within a broad range of flow rates. This is because a higher flow rate means less time for a given mass of water in the water block, so it heats up less, but then it spends less time in the in the radiator at a lower temperature, so it cools off less. Then the same volume of water arrives back at the water block sooner than at a lower flow rate. The bottom line, is that the volume of water spends the same total time in contact with the water block and radiator no matter the flow rate. All the flow rate does is slice the contact times into shorter, but more frequent intervals. The integral remains roughly the same.

I do not claim that flow rate makes no difference, as there are non-linearities in the heat transfer/flow rate curves for the water block and the radiator, which means that there is an optimum flow rate for each system, but so long as you are close, there will not be much difference in the equilibrium temperature for a given load. And the volume of coolant makes little difference as well - more coolant means a slower transient response.

If you want lower temperatures you need a bigger radiator and/or more air flow, or a lower "ambient" and/or a better package thermal coefficient.

Enough nit-picking. Time to go back to making my Threadripper chill.
 

Iamsoda

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Feb 18, 2015
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I also purchased 2 radiators on ebay that are not on that list. I might be over doing it. 140mm rad on top back and 280mm slim rad on roof as well as the 240mm 45mm ce on front. I did a pretty close job of measuring all the fans, radiators, pump/res etc and according to the manufactures specs, I should have some wiggle room on all of the setup. EK is actually shipping really fast for buying the cheapest shipping. Just went into transit yesterday and its coming Monday ( I live in Wisconsin). I do have amazon prime so I'll see how much I need that for that blasted fitting. :p That last conversation went way over my head. I understand a heatpump on a basic level and this is pretty much what it is. Now what I don't understand is in compressed refrigerant why does one side choose to get hot vs the other radiator. What makes that magic work?
 
May 4, 2019
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That last conversation went way over my head. I understand a heatpump on a basic level and this is pretty much what it is. Now what I don't understand is in compressed refrigerant why does one side choose to get hot vs the other radiator. What makes that magic work?
[/QUOTE]
It's not much like a heat pump at all, just like a car with a radiator. To answer your heat pump question, the condenser side gets hot because it is under pressure from the compressor. The evaporator gets cold because it is at lower pressure. The refrigerant under goes a phase change, but that doesn't happen in a water loop. (If it does, you have very big problems!)
 

Karadjgne

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When the coolant goes through the block, it absorbs all that heat energy, doesn't change the coolant temp much, if any, but the molecules of the coolant are now excited, charged with that energy. As the coolant goes through the hose, the hose is no different than one of the heatpipes in the radiator, it's molecules get smacked by the coolants hyper excited molecules, like a break in a game of snooker/pool. That molecular movement is translated into heat, so the pipe gets warm. After it goes through the rad, it's dropped all that pent up energy, or most of it, so doesn't have much molecular movement to smack the output hose with, so the hose is cool.
 

Karadjgne

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I think you might have the flow wrong. On the gpu specifically. Every gpu block I've seen has input on the left, output on the right. Same applies for the cpu block (which would be correct).

This could be an issue since there is valving in a gpu/cpu block and going against the grain can have issues with flow volume, which will affect temps.

Some gpu blocks are uni-directional, some go either way, so verify as per the instructions for that block as to whether which is which or if it matters.
 
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Iamsoda

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Yeah, my recovery and idle temps got so much better today when I removed the radiator fans from the CPU header and moved them to another fan header. Now everything is running off water temps only. Its also much quieter as the fans aren't ramping up and down at all. My water idles around 28-30c (my ambient is 23-25c), my cpu is 30-35c and gpu idles 1 or 2 degrees above water temps.
 

Karadjgne

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That's one thing I do like about nzxt cam software for its AIO's, the ability to switch from cpu temp fan adjustments, to liquid temp fans. My current air cooler ramps constantly (its quiet, but I still hear it) just with windows normal bounces at idle.

As long as something populates cpu_fan, I don't see an issue 👍
 

Iamsoda

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I actually just disabled the CPU fan rpm monitor in the bios. Since it really doesn't matter where the fans are located as the water temp is what matters. Which gets me to another question. I was thinking do I need a flow meter? https://www.frozencpu.com/products/23235/koo-395/Koolance_Coolant_Inline_Flow_Meter_w_Temperature_Sensor_10K_Ohm_-_Black_SEN-FM18T10.html?tl=g30c229s579&id=DE8uhY48 I was thinking about getting an in line tempature sensor instead, because the one I currently use is just sitting on the top of my reservoir and if the water level goes down, the temp won't be reading correctly.
 

Karadjgne

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It's your pc lol. If you'd be happier with a flow meter, sure no worries, peace of mind and all that. You pretty much got what you were aiming for, damn good temps and a stable OC. Anything else is a bonus. I've seen loops made up to look like fishtanks, complete with wavy fronds and a deep sea diver and planted with multicolored rocks. Of course when he asked about introducing bubbles into the tubes, we had words 🤣.

So yeah, it's not going to hurt to have a little security and an easy way of accuracy.
 

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