First time watercooling

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by Exentrick, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. Exentrick

    Exentrick n00b

    Messages:
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    Jan 22, 2019
    I'm preparing for my first water-cooled build. I've been doing some reading and watching videos, but I wanted to get a reality check on what I'm thinking and ask a few questions.

    This will start as a CPU loop (9700k), but I'll be expanding it to add a GPU in the near future. My priorities are quiet, looks, and mild overclocking.

    CPU Block - Heatkiller IV Pro seems to be a fan favorite and performance looks to be excellent as well. The chemist in me wants the all copper version, but the color clashes a bit with the rest of my build. The clear acrylic top version looks like it may solve my issue (plus I save $20), but as a first timer, should I be worried about using an acrylic top?

    Res - Bitspower Water Tank Z-Multi 250
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/bitspower-water-tank-z-multi-250-full-clear-acrylic-version.html

    Rad - Alphacool Nexxxos XT45 Full Copper 480mm Radiator V.2
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/alphacool-nexxxos-xt45-full-copper-480mm-radiator-v-2.html

    My one question here - At 12 fins per inch, is this good for low speed fans?

    Pump - Swiftech MCP655-B 1/4 Threaded
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/swif...-12-vdc-d5-pump-without-speed-controller.html

    or

    Performance-PCS Uber D5
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/performance-pcs-uber-655-fully-modded-d5-12-vdc-water-pump-white.html

    Performance-PCS' looks better and i'm not all that cost-sensitive, but I'm still struggling to justify the extra $$$ for the looks here.

    Fittings - Shiny compression fittings from Bitspower

    Tubing - I could use some help here. Recommendations on ID/OD would be appreciated. Looking on performance-pcs, I see options for PVC, Plasticizer-free, and Neoprene or polyurethane - suggestions here would be helpful also.

    Coolant - Water + ~20% antifreeze... haven't really given this part much thought yet.

    Fans - Also an area I'm struggling. Ideally, I'd like white fans or white and black with addressable LEDs. My default would normally be Noctua, but they look like crap. Suggestions?

    Am I forgetting anything? Any advice for a newbie?

    Thanks,

    X
     
    Reality likes this.
  2. Reality

    Reality [H]ard|Gawd

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    Feb 16, 2003
    yeah 12 fins per inch is fine with low speed fans
    both of those pumps are D5s and you wont see a single shred of difference in temps or noise between either pump, both are excellent

    personally I like narrow tubing, something like 3/8" ID , 1/2" OD, again the temps and flow rate wont be different enough between a narrow size tubing and a thicker size where you would notice to be honest

    regarding noctua fans, I believe they have black fans now last I heard, not sure if they're available to buy yet

    you could hit up Ebay for some Gentle Typhoon AP15s or those EK equivalent "Vardar" fans, not sure if they have an LED variety for the EK/Noctua though

    to be honest as long as you get a set of fans with a decent level of static pressure you'll be good, a 12fpi radiator doesnt need powerful fans, you could go even weaker/quieter with your fan choices if you decide to go push/pull

    as far as coolant, you dont need to put antifreeze in with the distilled water, just grab a small bottle of whatever biocide PPCs sells and yoire good, or grab a premixed color which has that stuff mixed in

    sorry nobody replied to your post bro, I havent visited this board in a while since my main machine went down
     
  3. Exentrick

    Exentrick n00b

    Messages:
    6
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    Jan 22, 2019
    Thanks for the response - very helpful. I'm actually looking at cross flow version of that radiator now to make running tubing a bit easier. I figure it won't make a difference except for where the fittings go.

    I posted this on the Linus Tech Tips forums as well and received a suggestion on using a pump/res combo. My worry there is that it would be easier to control vibrations/noise if the pump and res were separate. If I put some vibration dampening on the mount, is this something I should even worry about?

    Thanks again,

    X
     
  4. EnderW

    EnderW [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Sep 25, 2003
    You could get the Noctua industrial fans and undervolt them or lower speed via PWM.
     
  5. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit Limp Gawd

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    Apr 16, 2018
    I wouldnt worry about isolating pump vibrations. Most if not all combos come with some type of dampening material. D5s arent loud and really dont cause much vibration other than when your bleeding the air out.
     
  6. Reality

    Reality [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,883
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    Feb 16, 2003
    yeah D5s are very quiet and dont really vibrate much, I used to have two Koolance PMP500s, now those on the other hand. lol
     
  7. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

    Messages:
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    Mar 23, 2012
    A couple of general tips:

    Tubing is typically measured OD (pipe is measured ID). 1/2" (13mm) is usually more than adequate for big custom loops, 3/8" (10mm) is common, 1/4" (6mm) works fine and is what you usually see on AIOs. Usually tubing size is going to be dictated by your pump (you don't want too small of tubing for too big of a pump). Bigger tubing is more difficult to route nicely, so it's not necessarily better. Most custom loops are going to run 13mm or 10mm, and you aren't going to see a big difference in cooling either way.

    For typical soft tubing (PVC or Polyurethane). Barbed fittings work fine if your being cost conscious, compression fittings are always nice though. Make sure you get anti-kink springs though for any sharp bends or long runs. Soft tubing will get really soft when it heats up, and it will kink very easily, particularly at sharp bends or with long unsupported runs. Some cheaper tubing will cloud up over time, it can plate out in rads and blocks, but I haven't found it to significantly affect performance, just aesthetics.

    Barbed fittings don't need a gear clamp on them - zipties can work fine while your configuring things. Worm gear hose clamps or quick-squeeze clamps also work and look more professional.

    Rigid tubing is a pain in the butt to work with, but once you get it set looks great and will last forever. Don't plan your first build with rigid tubing. Polyethylene tubing (thicker stuff usually used for icemakers and such) is a good intermediate step - it's very stiff, but not entirely rigid. These types will have to use compression fittings.

    Do not use push-to-connect fittings. I don't know of anyone in PC watercooling that sells them; they are very common in hardware stores for like ice machine hookups.

    Coolant - for starter just use plain Distilled water. Get it from the store - do not try to use tap water. Once your comfortable with it, you can use the exotic coolant they sell at the PC Watercooling stores, but I've found it to be overpriced. The dyed stuff is horrible, don't use that - it usually will cause big issues (every now and then there's one that isn't utter crap, but you really have to do your research here). I have run 50/50 antifreeze before as well (nothing fancy, Autozone special), and it works exceptionally well so long as you like the color. But I recommend to just use plain water your first go around, it makes draining for rearrangements or leak cleanup so much easier.

    Some people swear by kill coils or antibiologicals. I've never had a problem with it myself, but I wouldn't say it's bad advice. I usually run 50/50 long term and it contains it's own antibiological.

    Make sure you have a way to get air out of the loop. It loves to hang out in rads and blocks, and will seriously impact your performance (and cause noise). It often takes more effort to purge than you would think.

    For pump vibration - just some plain rubber grommets or a thin sheet of rubber from hardware store work just fine. Odds are the pump will already have something. You just don't want it rigidly mounted to your case without something at least a little bit flexible in between. If the pump is installed inside a reservoir (pump/res combo), those are usually ok as-is, but if you notice a hum or vibration, can always throw in some grommets on the screws (like a washer) to help isolate it.

    Be ready to tear your loop apart and rebuild it a couple of times. Especially the first time, getting it all in there just right takes some practice.

    Acrylic top on your block - no issues so long as you don't overtorque the fittings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019 at 9:57 AM