Questions about Watercooling for new gaming rig


Aug 19, 2009
Hey guys, me again. This is the first build I've done in several years, so I'm a tad rusty. I've got my beautiful XCLIO A380PLUS-BK case here already and already installed the 1250w power supply, and I'm waiting for the rest of the parts to arrive before I continue. Yet in the meantime, I've been looking at the cooling options available. I'm going to be running an i7 950 and I'm interested in OC'ing it to 4Ghz (or higher if that's possible, but I don't really want to mess with voltage mods). Initially, I was wanting to stick with air cooling because I'm chicken, and air just generally makes me more comfortable (aside from the giant heat sinks), but the lower temp benefits of water cooling the CPU just scream out to me since I'm going to be running stuff that's heavier on the CPU than the GPU. I'm not terribly experienced at this, so I'd rather just go with the easiest yet most efficient kit possible (blocks and everything included if possible), and I'd like to keep from having to drill holes in the case (no good at modding). I'm also going to be running a pair of POWERCOLOR PCS+ AX4890 cards on the ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 board, but I'm not optimistic about the idea of water cooling them as I'm not going to be overclocking them ever. Is it a good call, or can I get away with running them on air?

Price isn't necessarily an issue (certainly choked up enough cash on the rest of it). Could anybody recommend the best suited cooler to this build for a water-cooling n00b?
1. First understand that WCing will require modding the case. I don't care what case, it will require modding 90% of the time to fit in a big 320 rad.

2. Don't bother with prebuilt-sealed units such as the H50.

3. A good WCing loop for CPU: GTZ + MCP655 aka D5 + 320 rad + 10ft Tygon + res will be ~$250-350.

4. WCing require you to understand the basics first:

5. WCing is a hobby and an artform.