First timer, need help

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by FearTheCow, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    I am looking at going full water cooling for the first time, so far I am looking at
    pump/reservoir - xspc d5 photon variable speed/sata
    cpu block - xspc raystorm pro AM4
    radiator - hardware labs nemesis 360gts + nemesis 240gts
    gpu block - ?
    fittings - bitspower
    tube/size = ?
    I will be cooling a ryzen 2600x and reference vega 64 in a corsair air 740 case, aiming for as cool and quiet as possible, nothing is set in stone so any recommendations or advice is appreciated.
     
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  2. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I have 270 version of that xspc D5 pump/res.

    It sure looks pretty, but if I were building a system today, I might get something else. It's just a pain in the ass to fill via the fill port, and I have found the pump has had more of a hum than most other systems I have heard. The fill issue is a design problem on these. Everyone has that problem with them. The hum issue may just be a bad pump in mine. I have no idea.

    I also had a number of leaks with my XSPC swivel bends, so over time I have soured on the XSPC brand. If I were personally building a new system now without any components available to me, I'd probably avoid XSPC all together. (I'd probably go with a Watercool Heatkiller IV if I were buying a CPU block today)

    That radiator looks pretty good. I've never used that brand though. I'm tempted to suggest more radiator capacity, but that's because I forget how much more heat my old 32nm hexacore 3930k at 4.8ghz and 1.445v produces than modern CPU's, so it is probably fine.

    As far as GPU blocks go there are two styles. Full over blocks offer the best performance as the cool the VRM's and VRAM in addition to just the GPU chip. The downside to this is that they are video card specific, so if you ever switch cards you are buying a new block. Then there are the generic GPU only solutions, but now you have to figure out how you are cooling the rest of the video card.

    Alphacool has tried to do something in between where they have a core block for the GPU that bolts on to a kit for each GPU, so when you switch GPU's you keep the core block and just change the kit. Not sure how well they perform. There are much fewer reviews in the world of watercooling than we are used to, so a lot of choices wind up being based on anecdotal evidence from other users and educated guesses.

    Personally I'd go with a full cover block. There are many manufacturers but you'll have e to find one designed for your video card. Usually this is easy for reference design boards, and increasingly difficult for custom board partner boards depending on how prolific they are.

    EK probably has the best availability of full cover blocks for just about any video card you can think of. They have somewhat of a poor reputation on here though, because of Kyle's recent Threadripper block review (his criticism was well deserved) and the historic issue they had with nickel coatings years ago, but I have found their full over GPU blocks to be excellent. I've had one on my Pascal Titan since I got it - what - 2.5 years ago and it has both performed amazingly and showed no signs of issues in my last drain and refill a few weeks ago. This block keeps my GPU when fully overclocked at full load ~3 to 5°C above loop temperature, which is pretty impressive, IMHO.

    As far as tubing goes, I know it is trendy to do clear hard tubes these days, but personally I don't like them. They make me nervous, because they don't sit as tight in fittings as soft tubes. They also tend to be made of PETG which means you can't use coolants with glycol, as it reacts poorly with PETG.

    Personally I recommend soft tubes. Much has been made of tubing size in the past, but IMHO it's a ton of hogwash. Go with larger or smaller ID tubing if you want, whichever you like better. I went with 3/8" ID, 1/2" OD Primochill Primoflex Advanced LRT, and have been very happy with it.

    When you buy fittings for the tubing sizing matters. Barb fittings are the cheapest but probably the least elegant solution. If you go with these you just need to match the ID of the tube to what the barb fittings is designed for. Probably a good idea to also use a zip tie over each barb just in case. Compression fittings are the more expensive and more elegant solution. They clamp down on the tubing to create a seal. This means your fittings need to match your tubing both ID and OD.

    Be sure to plan all this stuff out in advance, as all the little seemingly cheap parts (like fittings and bends) add up and can be real budget busters if you don't.

    I'm probably forgetting a lot of stuff, but ask away.

    Finally, spending a little time watching this video will be time well spent:



    I'm not a huge Jay fan in general, but his older water cooling instructionals are really good, and can really help a first timer. He should have just stuck to making water cooling videos. He is pretty good at that. Pretty much only thing I disagree with him on in this video is his choice of growth inhibitor in his fluid, but you'll find many different views of this even within our own watercooling community.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  3. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  4. Smoked Brisket

    Smoked Brisket [H]Lite

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    I have done 4 builds, my my most recent was a hard tube build and I loved doing it. That said I strongly recomend soft for the first time. It is cheaper and you need to get your loop mistakes out of the way and get comfortable before you start shelling out for a heat gun, jigs, hard tube fittings etc. As to them being more susceptible to leaking, I havent seen that. I am sure you have done the research but that case looks like its going to be hard to fit thick rads in so you are right on the money with those nemesis gts.' I have the 240 in my pc08 build, great qualitity/performing rad. I have used bitspower fittings in all my builds and they have been used and reused so always a good choice, however they are on the expensive side and from all I have read here all of the major brands dont have any leaking issues so pick your color and just go for aesthetics and value, brand doesnt matter as far as EK, Ocool, Bitspower, XSPC, koolance, primochill etc. Tube size does not matter greatly as far as performance just make sure they match the size of your compression fittings. I did my first wc build this decade so I have never used barbed fittings, and I am not sure why anyone still would. That is not a dig, compression fittings have a cleaner look and are more secure than barbed fittings. My first build was with an xspc raystorm kit and I eventually replaced a lot of it with ek parts. I am not an EK fanboy but I did find that their res and cpu block "felt" chunkier and of higher quality. That said XSPC is a fine brand. If you have the patience, assemble your hardware in the case with the rads before you order the fittings, then you can see things like where a 90 degree fitting or and extender might go to make the loop really clean and also save yourself some money. Hope this helps.
     
  5. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    I was thinking of ordering the hardware first, settled on drawing it out using pictures/specs of the items to figure out fittings.

    The hardest part right now is finding a full cover water block for my Vega 64, the only one I have found in stock is an alphacool eisblock gpx-a plexi, do you know what inlet/outlet comes with it? Seems like it is straight into the side.
     
  6. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, unfortunately this happens. EK had full cover blocks for reference Vega and strix models, but they are all either EOL or out of stock on their website. Same seems to be the case for Watercool's Heatkiller. Maybe you can still find one somewhere in the distribution channel?

    Generally this is the case though. There are a flurry of water cooling blocks for GPU's right around launch time, but later down the road they tend to become more sparse. None of the manufacturers want to manufacture parts for older GPU's and then be stuck with them, and because GPU lifecycles are so short, this means that they are generally only available for the first several months after launch. Vega was launched a year and a half ago now, so it might be difficult to find parts new.

    Looks like Swiftech still have their Vega parts listed for sale, both the Eco and Prestige models. I haven't used their blocks myself, They are one of the oldest names in PC water cooling, and generally should be considered a trusted brand, even if they aren't the coolest most frequently discussed brand anymore.

    Otherwise there's always the used markets... Got to be careful there though, as you never know what the previous has done. It's a bit of a roulette. Be prepared to open and clean the block and carefully check for corrosion.
     
  7. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett Editor-in-Chief HardOCP Staff Member

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    Love all three XSPC setups I have here, but no experience with their swivels. I think Z had severely overheated his iirc.
     
  8. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    They did get hot at one point, but not enough to deform the seals. The temp would have been well below what would be required for that.

    Screenshot_20181229-202017~2.png

    I don't know what material XSPC used for their seals, but the lowest high temp range of the commonly used materials in the chart above is 210°F, which is 98.9°C. My "oops no fans" incident only reached 53°C from recollection.

    Initially I did mention the hot temp as a theory as to why it had leaked once. My theory was that thermal expansion would have allowed it to leak once in 2017, and then it would have contracted again afterwards, because I wasn't seeing anymore leaks after that.

    Then all of a sudden late this year it started leaking again and much more than it had in the past.

    I don't think running the coolant to just over 50°C hot once would lead to permanent damage. It would likely need to get way hotter than that. but I guess nothing's impossible, and I guess you are right, should be considered before wholesale swearing them off.

    For what it's worth I saw several other mentions of XSPC swivels leaking when I googled my problem. Apparently lots of swivels from mentioned brands have developed leaks for various users. I decided to move to Bitspower to be on the safe side as they tend to have the best reputation of the lot from what I can tell.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
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  9. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Buying the swiftech block for the GPU, heatkiller for the CPU, the 2 rads,

    Now I just need to decide on the res/pump, looking for one with a bracket so I can mount to the inside back of the case.

    I am going to go with the biggest tubing that bitspower makes compression fittings for, I am a big fan of as little head loss as possible.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
  10. Smoked Brisket

    Smoked Brisket [H]Lite

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    Holy shit, wondering why I chime in when the heavyweights roll in with charts, lol. Your in good hands my friend!
     
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  11. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Do as you see fit. That's the fun part of water cooling, customizing it the way you like it.

    That said, you don't have to worry about head loss. Unless you are building an unusually restrictive loop, the basic D5 pump has more than enough power to push more than enough flow through pretty much any loop.

    The ideal loop has high enough flow such that it reaches a steady state where there is very little difference in temp regardless of where you are in the loop. No hotter after a block than before, and no cooler after a radiator than before. A basic D5 can accomplish this running at a very low setting in most loops.

    It's just not something you have to worry about these days unless you are building something obscenely crazy.

    I'd recommend you use a diameter tubing that makes it easy to route everything and fit it. 3/8" ID, 1/2" OD did it for me, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  12. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Is larger tubing harder to route?

    Edit: are you using a pwm d5?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  13. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett Editor-in-Chief HardOCP Staff Member

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    Yeah, with that D5, I go 3/8 x 1/2 and it flows well.
     
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  14. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    There was a pinned thread in the [H] wstercooling subforum about tubing sizes for several years. If you search maybe you can find it. The conclusions there may no longer be relevant as the pumps at that time were not as capable as they are today.

    I'd say you almost certainly would get a better time to empty a 5 gal bucket with larger diameter tubing (just don't empty it completely, you never want to run a ceramic bearing pump dry as it will quickly damage it).

    That said, it may not be a relevant difference . Flow rate - like everything else - reaches a point of diminishing returns eventually. After you reach a certain flow rate, the increases beyond that point are going to be marginal.

    With D5 5 speed pumps (before the own ones came around, they have a twist switch with 5 settings, 1 the slowest and 5 the fastest) most people with two block, two radiator loops claim they got the point where higher speed does not result in measurably lower temps after about the second or third setting on the pump, probably depending on how restrictive their blocks and radiators are and how many 90 degree bends they used.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  15. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I think this thread was the one I was thinking of.

    The conclusoion - IMHO - is that the difference in most cases is academic.
     
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  16. Smoked Brisket

    Smoked Brisket [H]Lite

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    Can you expand on that? You said with that d5. Are there good and bad d5's or d5's with lower flow rates?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  17. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    D5's are typically identical in their performance. It is a standard pump manufactured by (I think) a Chinese company named Laing. I think it was originally designed for aquariums, but I am not sure. At some point the water-cooling community noticed that it was very well suited for our purposes and started using it. Since then just about every single watercooling brand has bought D5 pumps from Laing and integrated them into their product portfolio. What differs between them is how they connect to other things, and what kind of speed control they have, full speed all the time (really old), 5 speed via knob (somewhat old) and PWM control (new).

    There are also modified D5 pumps called D5 Strong which provide more flow than normal D5's, but when people refer to D5 pumps, they are generally referring to the standard D5 in one of many hookup/control configurations.

    I don't know exactly which D5 Kyle uses, but chances are its capabilities are very close to anything you'd pick up named D5, unless it is a D5 Strong, which is a little bit more powerful (and also louder, from what I have read)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  18. Smoked Brisket

    Smoked Brisket [H]Lite

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    That is a really great explanation of d5 pumps and should be probably stickied somewhere. That was also my understanding of d5 pumps. I feel a bit stupid now because I realize that I read what Kyle said as that d5 instead of that d5. I put the emphasis, not kyle.
     
  19. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett Editor-in-Chief HardOCP Staff Member

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  20. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit Limp Gawd

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    Laing is actually a part of a larger corporation in the USA/EU known as Xylem or Lowara pumps depending on the region. Im 99% sure Xylem provide all of the NA Laing/Xylem products. its been a very long time since i originally researched this and memory fades...
    http://laing-thermotech.com/
    The Lowara built Laing pumps are primarily used in the EU/China (check the back of your ek/barrow/heatkiller d5 or the side of your ddc for the laing/xylem moniker).
    http://lowara.com/
    Long story short if your pump was built by Laing, Xylem or Lowara it is built to Laing standards and is for all intents and purposes a genuine Laing pump. The only difference is the name and region it was built in.
     
  21. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Alright, so here is where I am at now lol...
    pump/res - XSPC photon 170 pwm
    cpu block - heatkiller IV basic
    gpu block - swiftech Komodo RX-LE vega full cover
    radiator 1 - GTS 280 x flow
    radiator 2 - GTS 360 u flow
    Fittings - to be decided after I draw shit out.
    The stock on GTS radiators is kind of wonky, almost tempted to go with 2 GTS 280 x flow radiators, gotta draw up how I can route the tubing with current list and with 2 x flow 280's

    Edit: added shitty paint mockup, what do you think.
    . Inked air 740.jpg

    Edit 2: Think I am going to try hard tube.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  22. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Using any tubing - the larger the diameter, the larger bend radius you will need = more room it requires in the case. Even if your using flexible tubing, you still need to follow bend radius rules, otherwise your tubing will just kink (especially once it gets warm and soft), and that's not so good for anything.

    --But--

    Larger pipe moves more water, so you get more flow (or more precisely, your pump sees less back pressure so it works more efficiently). And the fittings are larger, so if you have 5 thumbs, it's easier to work with.

    You do not need a lot of flow to cool a computer. That being said, it's kinda like RAM - you can never have too much, but you can definitely have not enough.

    If you look at most AIOs, those are running 1/8 or 1/4" tubing. 1/2" is more than big enough to cool very large heat loads and there's very little reason inside a PC you'd ever need to go any larger than 1/2".

    3/8" is a good size to plan around for a single loop. It's large enough to still get great flow and be easy to work with, and it's small enough to be fairly inexpensive and not need large radius bends.
     
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  23. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Got mad at the morpheus 2 VGA cooler I bought to ride me over while I decided exactly what I wanted for my WC build.... ordered everything but coolant, should be here by friday.
     
  24. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Swiftech block came today, went ahead and put it on and prepped everything else for tomorrow, can't wait to get it all together.
     
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  25. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well, getting a gts 280 x flow to fit in the bottom of an air 740 is not worth it lol, will I see much or any temp difference with the front radiator pushing air into the case and the top radiator exhausting?
     
  26. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    I hit a completely unexpected snag, the heatkiller 4 basic doesn't come with the am4 bracket, so I get to wait until Tuesday for a bracket.
     
  27. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit Limp Gawd

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    with a well planned fan configuration like yours theres not going to be much difference, maybe a degree or two. not enough to worry about. bah, thats a drag about your block!
     
  28. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Since I have time to stare at it, I am buying a couple more fittings to minimize the amount of tubing visible.

    On a side note, the xspc photon d5170 fits perfectly mounted above the power supply and I can see the reservoir through the back of the case, changing the pump speed isn't going to be fun since I got the vario and not pwm, hopefully speed setting 2 is good enough.
     
  29. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit Limp Gawd

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    youll probably want to start the pump out on 5 and work your way down. during the purge process its much harder to get the air out of the loop if the pump is running slow. with my xspc d5 vario i couldnt hear it on 5 so you may not need to adjust it at all once you get all of the air out of the loop. the sound of the air blowing thru the system into the res will likely be the most noise youll ever hear.
     
  30. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Got everything hooked up except the CPU block, should be here sometime around 10am tomorrow.
     

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  31. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, getting the air out after the first fill takes a while.

    Do plenty of case gymnastics with the pump running (tilt in all directions until you no longer get hear the sound of air rushing) . Stubborn bubbles can also be helped by turning the mup on and off.
     
  32. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Ignore the different brand and colors of the fittings lol, wasn't paying attention when I ordered them.

    I tried to make everything as neat as possible, probably going to swap the 90 degree fittings for long radius ones or start doing sections of hard tubing in a couple months.
     
  33. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Got the new mounting brackets, everything is together and leak testing now, only had to tighten one fitting so far.

    I really shouldn't be so impatiant, forgot to add a T at the bottom of the loop for draining, going to do that in a week or two.

    Edit: added pic with bonus "helper" cat.
     

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  34. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit Limp Gawd

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    looks good, i wouldnt have known the fittings didnt match until you mentioned it. i see the kitty has taken ownership of his new tower lol!
    the easiest way to drain it with your set up is to pull your cpu block. bend it back away from the case and pull one of the tubes. tilt the case a bit while it drains and youll get most of the coolant out. thats how i drain my loops for years. i never bothered with a drain port until my current loop. altho after having one ill never go back to the old way! now i just push my case to the edge of my desk pop the drain tube onto the port and done. takes like 30 seconds to drain it now.
     
  35. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    So far no leaks and I think I have almost all the air out of the system, damn I am impatiant and want to hook it up.

    Edit: Used a silicone lube called "magic lube 2" for the o rings on the fittings, figured if it's good enough for pool equipment it's good enough for my PC.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  36. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Still burping the system a bit, said screw it and hooked everything up last night, think I need to redo the GPU water block, temp is hitting 60c.
     
  37. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, that seems a bit hot, unless you just have some trapped air in the GPU block that needs to work its way out.

    My overclocked Pascal Titan X never hits 40C at full load. I do have a lot of radiator capacity and pretty fast fans though.
     
  38. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit Limp Gawd

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    yeah thats really high for an idle gpu temp even for a vega. my 980tis always run 30-32c idle and have never gone above 50c loaded. im running a 420 and 360 rads but yours should still be under 40c idle even with the system fully heat soaked. can you use a flash light to see if theres any air trapped in the block? it looks like youve got a plexi front but i cant tell for sure.
     
  39. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Oh no, idle is 30-32, under full load it hits 62c max, just took it apart, pretty sure I used too much TIM, reapplying now.
     
  40. FearTheCow

    FearTheCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Alright, my new GPU temps are 25c idle and 50c after 30 minutes of playing BF V, clocks stay maxed out too finally. I am going to play with the pump speed to see if I am moving water through the radiators too fast, can feel a difference between the second rads intake side and exhaust side.

    Edit: bought some rubber pump stand offs as there is a slight resonance in the case from the pump.

    Edit 2: temps are the same with lower pump speed, turned fans down, temps are the same and the sound of silence is sweet indeed vs the reference blower.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019