Question Recommend me some specs for a 3080 with water cooling

May 30, 2020
I’ve only built one pc, with an aio, it was fine but wanted to learn and build one with a custom water loop, planning on doing it with the new 3080, maybe 3090 if things go great. So, if you are so kind I’m asking you to tell me the best components for the build and everything I need for the Custom water loop. Thanks in advance.


That is a tall order, near endless customization is possible.

If your goal is gaming, I would probably do something like this:

i7-10850k or 10900k, EK CPU block.
2x16GB DDR4 3600Mhz
Z490 Motherboard (You'll have to make a decision about size, Mini-ITX, MicroATX, or ATX, or Full or Extended ATX.)
RTX3080 Reference model (not the founder's edition) + EK full coverage water block (This would exclude your FTW, Kingpin, STRIX, TUF, etc models. check EKs block compatibility lists for RTX 3080 series)

If you simply want to equal air cooling performance you can probably get away with a 360mm slim radiator. But if you want some head room, going to take a lot more. A thick 360mm, or maybe a thick 420mm, if you wanted to go with a single radiator solution.

Multiple radiators, I would say two slim 360mm would be something that might make sense in this scenario (This is more cooling potential then common thick 360mm radiators. More fins per inch)

DDC pumps and D5 pumps are the two more popular models. Plenty out there to pick from, but EK, one stop shop.

All those decisions made, then you'll want to start looking for chassis that can fit all of that.

You have to decide if you want to tackle hard line or soft tubing. That will determine what fittings you want. Hardline tubing can be done with or without bending, but bends save a lot of money in fittings.

You will need two fittings per object. So CPU, GPU, Radiator, Pump/Res. Additionally it is good practice to have a drain port if the reservoir isn't mounted at the lowest point. So, potentially add two fittings, a T-joint, and a ball valve.

You'll want to cover your radiators with static pressure fans of the appropriate size. So at least six for dual 360mm radiators. On thick radiators, push/pull is appropriate, so possibly double that.

Also good to have a scientific water bottle for ease of filling:

Keep in mind that with water cooling you might be gaining something like 5% performance over high end air cooling, at 4-5 times the cost. Done properly the difference is reduced noise level. But if max performance is the goal, that many fans and a fast moving pump can be quite noisy.

Might be best to pick out your general components first, keeping radiator requirements in mind. Then go to EK's configurator and see what they say about compatibility, at least for softline tubing.

Hardline tubing requires a lot of planning.