First time PC Builder Going With Water Cooling

steadywaters

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Been stalking PC forums in the last two months with plans to build my first gaming PC ever. But, I think I've learned enough and I'm quite confident I can manage the ambitious move to go with real water cooling vs. Corsair self-contained units.

Would love for you guys to takea look and review what I'm planning. Since its closing in on Black Friday, I'm waiting to see if FrozenCPU offers applicable discounts so that I'd be ready to buy (also accumulating parts as Newegg deals keep coming this month).

Goal:
- Single Loop
- Cooling CPU + graphics card
- Blue color theme

Parts already ordered:
- Cooler Master HAF X Blue Edition + extra CM 200mm LED fan for the top
- Corsair HX650
- 4x 4GB Corsair Vengeance LP

Projected purchases:
- ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 or ASRock Z68 or ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 or ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
- Intel i5-2500k
- Single nVidia GeForce GTX 570

What I'm going to order just for the watercooling (down to everything needed):
- XSPC Rasa 750 RX360 Universal CPU / Triple Radiator Water Cooling Kit w/ RX360 Radiator and Free Kill Coil!
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14183/ex-wat-182/XSPC_Rasa_750_RX360_Universal_CPU_Triple_Radiator_Water_Cooling_Kit_w_RX360_Radiator_and_Free_Kill_Coil.html?tl=g30c321s1310#blank

- EK GeForce 570 GTX SE VGA Liquid Cooling Block - Electroless Nickel Plated (EK-FC570 GTX SE - EN (Nickel))
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/13954/ex-blc-958/EK_GeForce_570_GTX_SE_VGA_Liquid_Cooling_Block_-_Electroless_Nickel_Plated_EK-FC570_GTX_SE_-_EN_Nickel.html?tl=g30c311s1356

- PrimoChill PrimoFlex PRO LRT Tubing 7/16"ID 5/8" OD with 3/32" Wall - UV Blue or spring for the 10' pack
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8276/ex-tub-433/PrimoChill_PrimoFlex_PRO_LRT_Tubing_716ID_58_OD_with_332_Wall_-_UV_Blue.html?tl=g30c99s809

- 2x Bitspower Chrome G1/4" Barb Fitting - 1/2" ID (BP-WTP-C01)
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11501/ex-tub-172/Bitspower_Chrome_G14_Barb_Fitting_-_12_ID_BP-WTP-C01.html?tl=g30c407s1030#blank

- Distilled Poland Spring Water from some drug store

Questions

1. SIZE. Major concern is the size of the rad. I've seen two builds where the RX360 was attached to the ceiling of the case with the two 200mm CM fans. One build used Enermax 120mm fans but one was hugging a heatsink on the mobo and another made it difficult to insert RAM after installing the fan. The other just used two fans.

If worse comes to worse, I'll just install RAM first and use two fans (front + mid) and leave out the back fan, right? It'll just be 100% pull and 67% push... Or maybe I'll get lucky and the mobo heatsink doesn't interfere... Or can I get a thinner fan?

2. POWER. I've used several PSU calcs to find how much power I need. Even with CPU overclocked, 650W should be able to push the 570 + pump. Right?

3. PIECES. Is there anything missing/wrong from the watercooling purchase set? Newb question, does the Bitspower Barb come with a clamp? Should I get PT Nuke to be safe?

I'm most worried about having the big pieces and missing the small pieces when it comes time to start building.

4. TUBING. XSPC kit comes with 2m (~6.5ft) of clear tubing. So, should I go with 8ft of UV Blue rather than the 10ft? Newb question, do I need a UV cathode to bring the tubing "to life"?

5. LOOP ORDER. Read enough to know loop order has little significance. But, going PUMP/RES -> CPU -> GPU -> RAD ->PUMP/RES.

That's all the questions I have for now...

Thanks in advance!
 

SushiDragon

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Dang, WC hobby has gotten really popular.

Anyway, to answer your questions...

1) Install RAM first then use all the fans. You could use 3/3 Pull and 2/3 Push, if you want.
2) The HX and AX series output MUCH higher than what the model says. They just sticked on the "650W", "750W" and ect. To get Gold/Silver star ratings. Your PSU outputs around 700-800W. So Yes.
3) Get Kill Coils and if you want, get PT nukes, not sure about the clamps.
4) I'd rather have more then I need then to just have one inch needed. Yes you need a UV Cathode, it makes UV reactive things "glow"
5) Yes.

 

rubix_1011

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Staff member
Loop order does not matter at all. Since the pump and reservoir are integrated, you don't need to worry about res > pump order to prime (which is still only a suggestion, not a rule). Your loop order above is fine.

The RX360 rad is pretty big, so plan accordingly.

If you buy Bitspower barbs, they do not come with clamps. The Rasa kit should have clamps of some sort in the kit, though.

Rasa kit should come with everything you need, but if you want different tubing, you'll need to buy it. Yes, for UV tubing to light up, you need UV lighting.

As Inanition02 mentioned, you'll want to test- do this by unplugging your ATX motherboard plug and jumpering any green and black wire inside the plug using a paperclip or piece of wire. This will turn on your PSU; you will also want to prime and fill your loop this way. Let it run for at least a couple hours minimum...you can do so inside your outside your case if you wish. Once you've tested, if you have to move it all inside your case, you'll need to leak test again...moving those components can loosen up fittings/barbs or tubing, so test again for any leaks.
 

steadywaters

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Thanks for the responses!

Yes, I definitely plan to test thoroughly before letting any of the blocks touch my components. I'm guessing I should do a mockup of the tube lengths and test externally. I want to just move the entire test setup into the build w/ as little fiddling with tubes/connections as possible.

After watching some Youtube vids of the XSPC kit, I see that it comes with a handy tool to jump the PSU for testing so I can test the entire loop with just the PSU and no other parts.

Sucks that the barbs don't come with clamps. On the product page, the Rasa kit comes with 6 barbs and 6 clamps, which means I'm going to have to shell out a few bucks for clamps for the GPU barbs...

Other thoughts:

- TIM. Read around and saw that Arctic Silver 5 led to ~3 degree (C) drops. I don't mind eating two cheap lunches to come up with $7-8 for 3.5G of it. Boy, few bucks here and there can add up.

- BUYING. Can any past customers of FrozenCPU, Jab Tech, and Sidewinders tell me what these stores were listed as on bank statements when they made their purchases?

I'm asking because my credit card is giving 5% cash back on purchases at "electronics" stores from Oct - Dec (which is why I've timed my purchases for now). Also, I believe there are 5% discount codes for these stores somewhere.
 

steadywaters

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@SushiDragon Wow never heard of it til you pointed it out. Great reviews on that TIM. Too bad FrozenCPU is the only one that has it.

Jab-tech.com looking better as it has better prices on fittings and tubing and it doesn't charge NY tax.
 

SushiDragon

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The best performing thermal conducter is the Indigo Xtreme. However the application process is not for the faint of heart.
(Note, the Indigo Xtreme is not a thermal paste)

Another good thermal paste is the MK-2. It has a relatively good price for 24 USA Dollars for 30 Grams.

Just my two cents.
 

steadywaters

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Ah, yes. I saw that test I think you are referring to. I found it the Indigo Xtreme on Jab-tech - I really don't think I'll need it.

As I keep researching, I find myself wanted better components :). Thinking of some Bitspower Matte Black compression fittings on CPU/GPU blocks for pretty looks.

Questions: I see this build here that is close to something I want.
http://www.overclock.net/intel-build-logs/910545-i7-950-haf-x-rx360-rasa.html

He is using barbs WITHOUT clamps? Isn't that a little dangerous?

Also, his rad inlet/outlet faces the rear of the case while I was planning it for the front. Does it make a big diff?
 

SushiDragon

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No, that isn't dangerous. Clamps are generally for the paranoid. I'm pretty sure he's using 7/16 ID with 1/2 barbs. VERY snug fit.

Radiator placement does not matter just as long as there is plenty of airflow around the radiator and good static pressure from the fans.
 

rubix_1011

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If you run 7/16"ID tubing over 1/2"ID barbs, you will likely need to dip them in boiling water right before pushing them over the barbs. This will allow the tubing to stretch over the barbs, and then shrink as the tubing cools for a very snug fit. Barbs are just fine, most people don't like the look of clamps, but there a lot of different clamps you can choose from.
 

Homeboy2

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I'm running 7/16 tubing over 1/2 barbs, WITH clamps.

Just cause you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you! :ouch:
 

Homeboy2

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Nah, thats crazy! :pt1cable: When I get the 1080 I'm gonna put 5/8 O.D. tubing inside 3/4 O.D. tubing and use an impact wrench to tighten the two worm drive clamps on each barb. Hopefully, it won't leak then.
 
I really I gotta say that can't see the investment in water cooling in that rig....seems money would be better spent on more GFX power. I could see water cooling w/ 2 or 3 580's but two air cooled 560's will toast (65 % faster) the water cooled 570 ..... Sandy Bridge CPU's have no need of water cooling even at 5 Ghz.

As for the rest of the build, the investment in the 16GB of RAM seems to counter the low cost MoBo. I'd want a 3 year warranty if I was investing the T & E in a water cooled box.
 

Homeboy2

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Then he can wc the dual 560's
 

rubix_1011

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I had a waterblock on my Radeon 8500 with my 1.6ghz P4. I decided to stay air on the PCI Voodoo 4500. :)

Watercooling isn't going necessarily going to get you a lot higher clock speeds, but it will help in keeping higher clock speeds, cooler for a sustained amount of time. Besides, it looks damn cool.
 

Homeboy2

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I agree, makes me want to get dual vid cards just so I can wc them! :lol:
 

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