First Custom Loop - Lots of Questions


Dec 19, 2022
I've built many PC's but never a custom loop. I promised the family a new water cooled build for x-mas so here we are. My son has his heart set on an as white as possible build so finding available parts is less than pleasant. Couple that with all the learning I am doing on water cooling and I thought it would be good to ask some questions here and get your overall thoughts. Sorry in advance for the long post:

My current thoughts for the build are:

Case: Lian Li o11 Dynamic Evo - White - in Normal orientation (glass on left as you face the case)

Mobo: This is going to have to be black for reasons of feature set and availablity. My son likes the look of the MSI MEG Z790 ACE. Since it is an EATX and it may be better to upright mount the GPU block (installing in upwards orientation on the front right side of the case, not the vertical mount in front of the mobo) I am considering overriding him here and getting an ATX - either the MSI MPG Carbon WIfi, Rog Maximus Z790 Hero, or Rog Strix Z790-E Gaming.

CPU - Likely will be i713700K (perhaps if I want overkill then the i9 13900k). Was planning on an EK Quantum Velocity 2 WB for the CPU.

GPU - Already have a 4080 FE and an EK Quantum Vector 2 WB

I wont be doing any RAM or M.2 cooling.

If anyone has any particular comments/insights on the build above I'd be happy to hear them. But now onto the specific cooling questions.


I was planning on using two 360 radiators in the top and bottom mount positions. It is very hard to find available 360mm radiators, much less ones in white (if they need to be black so be it). According to EK's configurator I need about 850W of cooling power and their website recommends 2 of their 30mm Quantum S360's (total 860W) in the top and bottom positions (they are of course out of stock of those until who knows when).

So I have my eye on some white Nemesis 360GTS's. But the models available are called 360GTS Ultra Stealth U-Flow in primer or in white. I cannot tell if those are a different model than the 360GTS on HWL's website. All the details seem identical but the marketing fluff in the name is nowhere to be found on HWL's website. Does anyone know if they are the same? If so, would two of those do the job? Based on EK recommendations, and the thought that the GTS's would outperform the EK S series I am guessing so. I have read that the GTS are a touch wider than normal 360's and have been a problem in certain applications in my case. Is that a problem with the GTS in the EVO in the top or bottom mount location?

If I need more cooling I can also get 360GTR's in primer or in white and could use that in the top spot with a GTS on the bottom. But, can you mix the GTS and GTR in one loop? The HWL website has a compatibility statements for each and neither mention the other. I could also use a GTR on top and bottom if I went with the ATX board and the upright mount (I think a GTR on bottom might be too tight for tubing runs if I mount the GPU block traditionally).

As for push/pull exhaust/intake I'd love your thoughts for this setup. In addition to the back 120 mm fan I can add more to the side if necessary for intake/exhaust unless of course I upright mount the GPU block in that location. Note I'd really like the radiator fans to the inside of the case with each radiator mounted directly to the chassis. So a pull set up if intaking and a push setup if exhausting.


I have not done a lot of research here. My son likes the look of pumps and reservoirs better than distro plates and wants it in the visible portion of the case. I was planning on getting the EK Quantum Kintetic TBE 200 D5 mainly for ease of integrating RGB. Is that sufficient/mistake?


I have not done much research here, but again the ease of integrating RGB by using EK Loop fans is intriguing. Mistake?

Upright Mounting GPU
Are there any performance advantages to upright mounting the GPU? I would think removing the GPU from its traditional location would open up air flow and provide a cleaner/more open look (especially with a reservoir/pump in the interior). Any problems there I am not envisioning (e.g. conflicts with the new 40xx power connectors/finding custom length pcie cables long enough to run through the concealed portion of the case to the mobo)?

Sorry again for the super long post and myriad of questions - but appreciate any advice you are willing to share.


[H]F Junkie
Mar 18, 2010
Why would E-ATX vs ATX matter for GPU orientation? I took a look at the case and can't figure out what the concern is.

Any reason why you want to stick with the X-flow radiators? Staying with standard radiators gives you a lot more options.

You can mix and match radiators however you want. Neither radiator knows nor do they care what the other is doing.

Push/pull is always better than single. Push tends to perform a bit better than pull. With two 360 radiators, I doubt you will need push/pull.

The most efficient cooling setup is having all radiators set to exhaust apparently. This does have the disadvantage of getting dust into the nooks and crannies of your case if you don't have at least equivalent intake with dust filters to balance it out, especially if your home is on the dusty side. A compromise setup would have the bottom radiator as the intake and upper radiator as the exhaust. In this case, you will want the exhaust radiator before the intake radiator with no heat producing components inbetween in terms of loop order for most efficient setup.

D5 tends to be the go-to pump for long term performance where space isn't an issue. You may want to look into doing a dual pump setup for redundancy. Choice of reservoir is basically based on your own preferences.

Most fans of similar blade design perform similarly. Gentle Typhoons tend to have the best static pressure but tend to be expensive.
Feb 6, 2013
The HWL Uflow gts and gts are the same, crossflow would have fittings at opposite ends but similar performance. Two 360's means you have no need for push/pull, save some money. EK loops are ok, but very expensive. Arctic fans would be my budget choice, Lian li Uni fans v1 or 2 would be my top choice. Upright video cards are an aesthetic choice only.


[H]F Junkie
Jul 19, 2013
Corsair has white radiators. My MC has 4 XR5 360s currently in stock. If you have a MC near you give them a look. PerformancePC has various different white radiators in stock also.


Apr 16, 2018
The gtr is optimized for high flow fans and will perform great at high rpms. It's a benchmark monster. The higher the rpms, the better it cools. It's no slouch at low rpms either but that's not what it was designed for. That's also why it's so much easier to find.
The gts is what you want for general use, its the best all around thin rad you can get.
High h20 fans are really the only prerequisites for your rad fans. Cost is up to you of course. You can spend weeks researching which is best. Stick with brands that have solid warranties and trustworthy reviews.
GL and enjoy the new loop!