Question Recommendations for extreme cooling

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
Over the last few years I've gone through a dozen Corsair Coolers, mostly H115i's that keep failing. Also, they don't cope in the Aussie summer. With ambient temps over 30c the cooler is pretty much ineffective with coolant temps hitting 40c and fans spinning at 100% as CPU temps sky rocket.

I have few needs. (1). I don't care about RGB only performance. (2). I want to be able to tweak fan curves and view temps and speeds from within Windows. (3). Any software should not be bloatware riddled with telemetry that thrashes my SSD/HDD and needs 900Mb to install (CAM/iCue, I'm looking at you!)

Fan connectors should be standard 4 pin PWM.

I'm suspecting it's time to venture into custom loops?

I've read reviews for many coolers, many of which contradict each other (Like one review will say cooler A is awesome while another review will say cooler A is the bottom on the barrel). Kinda makes it hard to know who to trust and which cooler to buy.

I'm looking at cooling two HEDT systems, mildly over clocked. One is a Thermaltake W100 case. Lot's of Room. The other is a Fractal Design 7 XL. The W100 has 11 case fans. The FD7 has 4.

I'm pretty much 100% against NZXT. The cooler may be good but Cam is a disaster. I believe you can't even run CAM now unless it can go online, which I won't allow.

I can put a 360mm in the W100, maybe even a 420mm.

But realistically, what's the best delta I can expect? If the ambient is 30c am I just expecting too much to have a 4c delta? And when the ambient hits 35c or higher is the cooler going to cool at all? Like, if the coolant is at 40c (eg), then I'll probably have fans running at 100%... Does that leave the cooler with nowhere to go... no ability to cool?

I've been struggling with this for years trying to keep my PCs cool over summer. I've even backed off OC's to help.

Would appreciate some advice. If you recommend something, price is low on my priority list. Performance is top.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
(2). I want to be able to tweak fan curves and view temps and speeds from within Windows. (3). Any software should not be bloatware riddled with telemetry that thrashes my SSD/HDD and needs 900Mb to install (CAM/iCue, I'm looking at you!)
These two things are basically 150% mutually exclusive. If you want one of them, you WILL pretty much have to deal with the other.

As far as custom loops are concerned, I'm really not aware of anything out there that allows for desktop customization of fan or pump speeds on the desktop with a custom open loop. We happen to have one of the best custom loop guys around, around here somewhere though, so I'll ask him to pop in here and suggest something if something is available. Generally speaking, it is MUCH preferred to simply control things via the BIOS, for the exact reasons you stated in (3) and to set and forget.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Let's see, much of this depends on whether you are truly looking at custom loop control or just using something to manage an AIO other than what manages your AIO. Problem is, many of them are USB and software UI dependent, you'd have to work with something which is PWM (only) dependent.

I run a custom loop: EK pump/res D5 combo, dual 240 PE rads, 4x Vardar fans, EK Supremacy CPU block, EK 2080/Ti GPU block.
Single loop, parallel CPU and GPU tubing runs. Pulled the jet plate from the EK Supremacy block, flow is insanely high now.

You have a few options, let's see if any are what you're looking for.

  1. EK Loop Connect: https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-loop-connect
  2. Corsair Commander Pro: https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Accessories-|-Parts/iCUE-CONTROLLERS/iCUE-Commander-PRO-Smart-RGB-Lighting-and-Fan-Speed-Controller/p/CL-9011110-WW
  3. AquaComputer Aquero: https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/accessories-misc/aquacomputer-aquaero-6-pro-usb-fan-controller-grafik-lcd-aq-53145.html
I use the Commander Pro, mainly because my EK components are all 4-pin 12v RGB, whereas the EK Loop Connect does not work with my EK components (it uses 3-pin 5v aRGB). Funny that the EK controller can't manage my EK lighting because - dumb reasons. I logged a ticket to EKWB about it, long story short, 'sorry, we're now going to follow the aRGB route instead'.

Anyway....

Each are USB interfaced with 9-pin motherboard header, and require software to function, which is going to be a requirement for Windows accessibility. I've used both the Corsair Commander Pro as well as the EK Loop Connect (covered it in an cooling review). I would prefer to use the EK Loop Connect as I think it would actually have more features I want, but alas, current compatibilty (for me).

I have never used the Aquacomputer Aquero models, although they used to be the GO TO controllers for custom loops about a decade ago.

I have my Commander Pro hidden beneath the motherboard tray in my Thermaltake Level 20 VT, wiring is mostly hidden. It has a 2-pin probe link up (actually has 2x) and you can set fan or pump curves to monitor off coolant temp if you wanted. I do have a custom curve which covers this and my temp probe is inserted on a Y-fitting on my pump inlet. The D5 pump is set to setting '5' which is 100% and it stays there - I don't believe in PWM cycling a liquid cooling pump, AIO, custom loop or otherwise. Save PWM curves for your radiator fans.

Coolant probe is set as the temp monitor and I set my PWM curve off of that, not off my CPU or GPU temp, although originally it was and was a pain because core fluctuations. Coolant temp is far more constant, thus, PWM ramping is less of an issue.
 

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
These two things are basically 150% mutually exclusive. If you want one of them, you WILL pretty much have to deal with the other.
Indeed. Perhaps things have moved on. Right now I use CorsairLink which is no longer developed. It is 54mb in size does all the things I want, uses 0.5% CPU and is blocked in my firewalll. There is zero interenet traffic. Perfect. But for some reason - data collection I suspect - the perfect solution has devolved into CPU hammering, massive bloat. Quite sad really.

Controlling from the BIOS is not what I want. I never set and forget. I tweak my settings regularly. Our weather is all over the place. One day can be 30c, hot and dry the next 18c pouring with rain. I often tweak my curves to keep quiet when temps are cool, and spend about 40 minutes trying to get a balance of noise and performance when temps are high.
 
Last edited:

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
You have a few options, let's see if any are what you're looking for.
All HEDT systems (4) run Corsair Commander Pro's. My main PC (The W100 case), runs 2 as there are 11 case fans. All HEDT systems run 280mm H115i. All non-HEDT run H100 v2 or H110i. (10 PCs in total).

I run a custom loop: EK pump/res D5 combo, dual 240 PE rads, 4x Vardar fans, EK Supremacy CPU block, EK 2080/Ti GPU block.
Single loop, parallel CPU and GPU tubing runs. Pulled the jet plate from the EK Supremacy block, flow is insanely high now.
Would you mind posting a pic of that? Sounds awesome.

Was this a "kit" or did you create the combo by yourself (does that question make sense?)

Are the thicker radiators worthwhile? Standard AIO is 27mm, but if a thicker radiator is worth the spend, happy to go that way.
 

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
I had a look at the EKWB configurator. Had to submit a compatibility form for the GPU, so with just CPU cooling it recommended the CoolStream XE 480 radiator. That won't fit in my case because I have optical drives. The radiator plus fan are 85mm and I only have 75mm clearance.

Would you recommend the PE 480 (Total depth 63mm), the CE 420 (70mm) or the XE 360 (85mm)? I'm kinda leaning towards the CE 420

Should I Stick with the EK fans? I prefer the Noctua's because of the higher airflow and static pressure. Besides the EK fans are out of stock until 21st December.

I thought I might throw in a couple of right angle connectors just to make the tubing neater. Worth the cost?

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/radiators-fans?___SID=U

Tanya
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
My build was composed of components that I picked out, but you can easily use a good EK or other kit to start from - AlphaCool would be another kit recommendation. My preference would be to base it around a DDC or D5 pump, if possible. I can post some photos shortly, when I get a break from work calls.

Sounds like you're used to the Commander Pro and Corsair has moved to their iCue software model instead of the CorsairLink version - but I thought there was an upgrade path which provided this.....?

90 degree fittings work well, but I actually like 90 degree elbows and then use normal compression fittings. Reason - the elbows themselves are a little larger in diameter than just the 90 fittings themselves.

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/fittings-connectors/ek-af-classic-angled-90-black-ek-af-classic-90-bk.html

I actually use some of these with normal compression fittings.

I personally like the EK Vardar fans and have used them for a while, even before using the PE 240 rads.

The SE rads are relatively thin, much like an AIO radiator, the PE rads are around 38mm thick, so normal thickness...then you get into the XE line which is very thick, like 65mm. This also depends on whether you would run 120mm size radiators or use 140mm size rads. Looks like EK have updated some of their lineup lately, so would need to go through all the options depending on needs.


You had mentioned weather and temperature swings - what part of the world do you live? It might warrant some additional consideration.
 

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
I live in Australia.

I picked the 45mm CE rad because it will fit in my case, I could get fans for it, plus I already have a load of Noctua 140mm fans. The 120 fans were out of stock until essentially January 2021. The XE rad that was recommended handled over 950w. The CE handles 799w. After playing around with various options, Keeping the coolant around 29c @ 39db with both CPU and GPU cooled looks about the best I can do. Although, if 39db is at idle, that will be too loud and under load it's going to be louder.

But to do that I have to modify the front of my case. I have two x 140mm fans, a HDD drive cage and 2x optical drives. That configuration will not accommodate the XE 480. I'll have to move things around to make it fit.

iCue is an unmitigated disaster, like NZXT's CAM. Software developers try to cram too much into a package and end up with massive bloatware. iCue thrashes a system running at 6%-7% CPU at all times with just a PSU and cooler attached. Add RAM, RGB, Keyboard and monitoring/control for other components and you're hitting as much as 10% constant CPU. Corsair say their v4 of iCue is better, but given they said v2 was better and v3 was better I remain skeptical. The software is riddled with bugs and telemetry. It's also over 900mb installed. That's just insane.

Corsairlink on the other hand is 54mb and uses 0.5% cpu and can easily be blocked in the firewall without adverse effects. The question is if I don't have a Corsair cooler will it install or say "No compatible devices detected". I'll have to test that. If it will install then I can continue to monitor temps, fans speeds and PSU from that package.

All I need then is to figure out how to be able to manage my pump and EK cooler fans from within Windows. I don't want to have to be going to the BIOS every other week to tweak curves.

You mentioned you don't like PWM control of your pump. I currently have 3 settings. Quiet, balanced and Performance. On hot days or when I'm running a game that hammers my system I set it to performance, otherwise it stays on balanced. And I can set tht from Corsairlink. I don't have to open the case to press a button on the pump or go into the BIOS. Rumor has it running a pump flat out all the time shortens it's life span. I would want the same sort of flexibility on the EK kit if possible. Is there any advantage to running a pump flat out when the system is cool?

The kits on sale here (Lets take PCCaseGear for example), contain parts that I don't need (Eg AMD), and are super expensive. The kit I put together on EK's site was A$790. A lesser kit from PCCG was A$989. I like the ability to be able to customize.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
I don't have any Corsair components in my PC, just the Commander Pro. Nothing else is Corsair.

I haven't had an issue with iCue, but if that's not your preference, and CAM isn't a go, you're left with a few other options, but they will ALL run a desktop UI.

Let's look at my iCue - looks like it requires 0.1% of my CPU and around 125mb of my 32GB of RAM. That's fine by me.

You mentioned you don't like PWM control of your pump. I currently have 3 settings. Quiet, balanced and Performance.
Correct - I set my D5 pump to 100% and leave it. I never change it. Ever. As with every other watercooling pump I have ever used.

Rumor has it running a pump flat out all the time shortens it's life span.
Agree to disagree. I would say that PWM thrashing a pump is far, far worse. Also, an AIO pump is quite, quite different than the power and longevity of a D5, DDC or most other variants.
I have my original D5 that I ran nearly 24/7 for at least 3 years and then at least 8+ hrs a day for another 3. Also have an old DDC pump from my first Swiftech kit - it also still works, and back then, PWM was never ever a thing considered on a watercooling pump. At least 4 different D5's and 5 DDC's in my PC component storage.

Most of this comes down to how much you want to piece together and how much is going to be an actual kit - meaning, comes in a box with pump, radiator, tubing, fittings and block.

Also remember, you don't have to use the same brand parts. Nothing says everything has to be EK or Alphacool or Swiftech, etc. You can have a Swiftech pump, Aqua GPU block, EK CPU block, Alphacool radiators, Koolance disconnects and Bitspower fittings. They all work together.
 

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
Ok, I just installed the latest v3 iCue on my test PC. 921mb install. 597mb RAM across all 7 processes, 7%-8% CPU. Never drops below 5%. There is a constant stream of outbound internet activity and disk activity going on (What I would class "thrashing my SSD". It's writing about 1kb of data to log files every second). Most of the bugs I reported to them in 2018 still seem to be there too.

I've been having conversations with a person on the Corsair forums who is very knowledgeable with their products. Probably knows more than the actual employees :) Any way, he also confirms the high CPU usage and suggests that Corsair are releasing a v4 next year that will address some of the high CPU usage.. I wonder if it has anything to do with the number of Corsair products/fans/commander pro's?

Good to know I can mix and match. When I added GPU cooling the price went up to A$1300.

The BIG question though is What delta can I expect from the cooler? If I understand the configuration site clearly it's going to be between 6-10 degrees Celsius. Which is exactly where I am now with the AIO and what prompted me to start looking at better cooling.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Depends on cooler/cooling setup.
It also depends on what are acceptable temps for you vs. what you already see daily.

For some, a high performing 360 AIO 'can' get close to some watercooling setups, but watercooling offers more overall thermal load management.

GPUs are fond of liquid cooling - my RTX 2080 never sees above 46C under load....while close to 80C is common on the factory air cooling.
 

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
@ 27c ambient my cooler is idling @ 36c. In games my highest GPU temp was 61c on stock cooling on an overclocked rtx 2080 ti. But then I don't play CPU/GPU killers like Fortnite and PUBG.

What I'd really like is to get the delta down to a max of 5c instead of my current 7c-9c.

Seems PC Case Gear is one of the very few options. All EK parts and in stock. I looked at Thermaltake too but their options are limited, as is Corsair.

With the fittings, I need 2 for the rad, if I cool GPU I need another two, then two for the cpu block and also for the pump = a total of 8. Is that correct?

Can I use this for my RTX 2080 Ti (as it is the MSI Gaming X) https://www.pccasegear.com/products/50628/ek-quantum-vector-trio-rtx-2080-d-rgb-nickel-plexi or do I need to stick with the RTX 2080 Ti version such as this: https://www.jpcomputersolutions.com.au/ek-vector-trio-rtx-2080-ti-d-rgb-nickel-plexi-waterblock.html

This is my parts list. Would appreciate some advice on part selection. (Prices in AUD)

How do I monitor the liquid temp and manage fan curves from Windows?


** PLEASE REFER LAST POST FOR CURRENT PARTS LIST **
 
Last edited:

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
Ok, looks like lots of options. I could not find any of those in Australia. I've sent PPCS and email to see if the ship to Australia.

EDIT: yes they do but can't deliver before Christmas
UK sites seem to have a habit of pretending to be in Australia au.aquatuning seems to be based in the UK, which also won't be able to deliver before Christmas.

Does the parts list look ok otherwise?

I assume the goal is as few joints as possible. So I'm wondering if I need the 4 angle connectors and 6 standard connectors?
 
Last edited:

HappyTrails

Upstanding
Oct 30, 2020
286
34
340
27
Thought I would krecognize something on list but not me. Custom loop here is also mix match ek, alphacools and bitspower. All very nice quality. There is place in aussie sells water cool parts but I can't remember name since I never would order from them to US. PPCS got most parts for me they not too far. Very nice service to be honest would like order another radiator from them. Oh also use icue here to control fans and rgb pump just run constant. Really like icue fan curves very easy to get just what I want fans nearly silent at idle and nice ramp up for the games. Rgb is good also but 3 of my rgb need extra cables that I need to order on ebay. It all working now but not the way I'd prefer to. You may want check on cryofuel for reviews. I was going to order some clear but change mind after reading some reviews. It may be fine I dunno. Good luck with custom loop. :)
 

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
You may want check on cryofuel for reviews. I was going to order some clear but change mind after reading some reviews. It may be fine I dunno.
Then what would you recommend?

For fan curves I use Corsairlink and it does the job. A Tiny package, that just does what it is supposed to without the bloat.
 
Last edited:

HappyTrails

Upstanding
Oct 30, 2020
286
34
340
27
Wish had the recommend for you but I dont. Run water and chemicals here in this loop. Dont forget order some chemicals if you gonna build custom loop to flush radiator and system prior to put fluids in. Mayhems makes the nice stuff and you can check PH level to be safe and pick up the filler bottle helps a lot too. Strangely enough ek had nicest one for me at best price so bonus. And try not forget to include some way to drain loop. Having to do this many times it will pay many dividends to preplan a drain. For me it was easy due to distro plate just go right in. And then there is leak tester but that up to you people have own opnions about those. Sorry not try to open cans of worms.

Yes understand about icue too much the bloatware. It do ok for me so good enough. They supposed to be working on it.
 
Last edited:

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
OMG That's a cooler :) I don't know where I'd put it. Space inside the case good, outside, not so much. I did a quick search on it at Australian retailers but couldn't find anyone selling it. The A$1200 probably equates to $600 USD as technology is insanely expensive here. Haven't really compared US to AU prices.
 

IceQueen0607

Prominent
Nov 27, 2019
145
16
595
2
Mayhems makes the nice stuff
I saw that EK used to use Mayhem coolant but apparently they opted for a cheaper product. 250ml Mayhem coolant is about A$35 on ebay.

I was going to fill using tube and funnel as I saw on a you tube video. The filler bottle looks like a really slow way to do it, but hey, the bottle's only A$12.
 

HappyTrails

Upstanding
Oct 30, 2020
286
34
340
27
Not so up on the coolants primochill, ek, mayhems so I'm not so much help. Maybe even corsair has there own coolants?? But you would want mayhems radiator flush and systme blitz parts.

Maybe your way better. EK bottle was $6 USD from PPCS and I take little nozzle thing out EK shows how to do this and recommends for faster fill. Works well with distro plate because of fill port style.
 

nofanneeded

Respectable
Sep 29, 2019
1,562
251
2,090
52
OMG That's a cooler :) I don't know where I'd put it. Space inside the case good, outside, not so much. I did a quick search on it at Australian retailers but couldn't find anyone selling it. The A$1200 probably equates to $600 USD as technology is insanely expensive here. Haven't really compared US to AU prices.
With this chiller you dont need huge case at all , not even fans and radiators place .. you can get a small case .. as I said , no Radiators needed , no fans at all , no pumps , nothing.

this chiller can pump water into your system of 9 meter length , you can put it anywhere and route the pipes .

More over , you want to use huge case for 480 and 360 rads ... all this huge case wont be needed at all. so you will end up using the same space.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS