Need Feedback on a Water-Cooled System

Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
4
Long time reader, first time poster. :) I'm getting ready to do my first ever water-cooled rig, and I'd like some feedback on the system as I currently have it planned. I've spent several months perusing the water cooling forums on various web sites as I've researched various parts and concepts to make sure the system is decently engineered on paper before I start buying parts.

The concept is I want a powerful, yet generally "quiet" system, that will be used for both gaming and work.

So here's the current part list:
CPU: Intel Haswell i7-4770k
MB: Asus Maximus VI Formula
Memory: Corsair DDR3-1600 Vengeance (16GB, CAS 9-9-9-24)
GPU: Asus Poseidon GTX-780 (x2 in SLI... assuming I can find them to purchase :na: )
PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 800W
Rads: Alphacool NexXxos XT45 Full Copper 360mm
CPU Cooler: EK-Supremacy Full Copper
HD: Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB (x2) (I may buy a larger or third SSD...)
Monitor: Asus VG248QE (either with G-Sync or G-Sync capable)
Case: Enthoo Primo

Given the case and the places where rads can go, the cooling loop will be pump -> top radiator -> cpu -> gpus (in parallel) -> bottom radiator -> back to pump.

I'm open for suggestions on the tubing, barbs, pump(s) and reservoir for the cooling loop. I'm probably going to go with Bitspower True Brass Barbs and Bitspower Acrylic Plugs. I'd like some suggestions on the clear tubing to use, and a pump/reservoir combo. I don't have a major preference here other than I would like the loop to be as maintenance free as possible. I'm leaning towards using a Swiftech MCP (probably an MCP35X or MCP35X2) as the pump.

For the fans, if I'm understanding the thought process correctly, I want high air-flow for the case fans, but high static pressure on the rad fans. Ultimately, I would like all of the fans to be "quiet" (i.e. around 30db noise level). For the rads, I'm planning on 6 fans total in "push" configurations. What are some of your preferences for case and rad fans, and why?

I would prefer to control all of the fans speeds via the mobo's on-board PWM system if possible. The mobo has 6 fan connectors (3x chassis and 3x optional), and the case has a 5-fan PWM hub. I'm thinking that I may "link" all of the fans on each radiator so they function as a single unit. So that would be 2 PWM "units" for the rads and then however many case fans I use. I would like to hear some thoughts on this as well, especially on whether or not this is feasible, and why I should perhaps not link the fans. If I can't or shouldn't link the fans, what recommendations are there on a fan controller?

If I can't get the Poseidon's anymore, I will probably switch over to the EVGA GTX 780 Hydro Copper video card. Cost wise, the EVGA is similar to what I would spend on an as Asus GTX 780 Direct CU2 with a EKWB water cooling block.

I'm looking at using either Innovations Cooling's Diamond 24 or Gelid's GC-Extreme for a TIM if I need it. I'm not planning on cracking the heat spreader off of the CPU this time around; I'd prefer to save that experiment for my next system. That's also why I'm looking at buying the video cards with the water cooling built in. This time around I simply want to get used to creating a solid loop for a water-cooled system. Once I'm more comfortable with the concepts, I'll start experimenting with installing the water blocks myself and on maximizing the cooling potential.

Any thoughts and feedback relevant to this build would be appreciated.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
18
MB: Asus Maximus VI Formula

Water cooling the motherboard isn't necessary and the Asus blocks are controversial due to their aluminum construction. The Maximus also have that real time clock bug that hasn't been resolved yet. Finally, the warranty on Asus motherboards is basically non-existent.

Rads: Alphacool NexXxos XT45 Full Copper 360mm

One popular configuration for the Enthoo is an XT45 420 mm in the top and a UT60 240 mm on the bottom. The UT60 has extra ports that can be used to facilitate draining and the XT45 can be fit so you can access the ports if you remove the screen on top.

I'm open for suggestions on the tubing, barbs, pump(s) and reservoir for the cooling loop. I'm probably going to go with Bitspower True Brass Barbs and Bitspower Acrylic Plugs. I'd like some suggestions on the clear tubing to use, and a pump/reservoir combo. I don't have a major preference here other than I would like the loop to be as maintenance free as possible. I'm leaning towards using a Swiftech MCP (probably an MCP35X or MCP35X2) as the pump.

The D5 pumps don't require heatsinks/fans like the DDCs do and are quieter and more reliable. I have a Swiftech MCP655 PWM and EK top in my Enthoo Primo but recommend the XSPC version due to Swiftech's wishy washy pump warranty.

For the fans, if I'm understanding the thought process correctly, I want high air-flow for the case fans, but high static pressure on the rad fans. Ultimately, I would like all of the fans to be "quiet" (i.e. around 30db noise level). For the rads, I'm planning on 6 fans total in "push" configurations. What are some of your preferences for case and rad fans, and why?

People like the Phanteks PH-140SF (the same fans that come with the case but with rubber vibration-dampeners and without LEDs) for the radiators. I have 5 pushing air through the radiators and 2 on the front pulling air in and one in the rear of the case exhausting air.

I would prefer to control all of the fans speeds via the mobo's on-board PWM system if possible. The mobo has 6 fan connectors (3x chassis and 3x optional), and the case has a 5-fan PWM hub. I'm thinking that I may "link" all of the fans on each radiator so they function as a single unit. So that would be 2 PWM "units" for the rads and then however many case fans I use. I would like to hear some thoughts on this as well, especially on whether or not this is feasible, and why I should perhaps not link the fans. If I can't or shouldn't link the fans, what recommendations are there on a fan controller?

I believe the case's PWM hub can connect up to 11 fans. I have most of my fans connected to the hub but might get a Lamptron CW611 in the future. The case comes with a few 2X fan splitters and I bought some 3X and 4X splitters so I could put all a radiator's on one cable and one connector on the PWM hub. You likely won't need a 2nd PWM hub.

If I can't get the Poseidon's anymore, I will probably switch over to the EVGA GTX 780 Hydro Copper video card. Cost wise, the EVGA is similar to what I would spend on an as Asus GTX 780 Direct CU2 with a EKWB water cooling block.

I have a GTX 780 Hydro Copper and the reviews are right. Its design is poorly thought out. The block is attached using something like 7 types of screws and the VRMs aren't cooled very well. I got a good deal on mine (used) otherwise I would have chosen something else.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
4
I've been trying to find out if the water pipe in the Poseidon is Aluminum or Copper plated. I haven't seen anything consistent in my Google searches so far. Most of the reviewers (including here on HardOCP) didn't discuss it. I found one site that said the pipe was anodized aluminum, but I'm not sure if they were confusing the back plate and thermal armor with the water pipes construction. Has anyone seen any solid information on this?
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
4
Water cooling the motherboard isn't necessary and the Asus blocks are controversial due to their aluminum construction. The Maximus also have that real time clock bug that hasn't been resolved yet. Finally, the warranty on Asus motherboards is basically non-existent.

Since I'm trying to avoid aluminum in the loop, that eliminates the Formula right there. I looked at some of the other z87 boards reviewed on this site, and I think I'm going to go with the ASUS Z87-Deluxe.

One popular configuration for the Enthoo is an XT45 420 mm in the top and a UT60 240 mm on the bottom. The UT60 has extra ports that can be used to facilitate draining and the XT45 can be fit so you can access the ports if you remove the screen on top.

Hm. I like that idea. I'll take a second look at my water cooling loop layout and see about making that change.

The D5 pumps don't require heatsinks/fans like the DDCs do and are quieter and more reliable. I have a Swiftech MCP655 PWM and EK top in my Enthoo Primo but recommend the XSPC version due to Swiftech's wishy washy pump warranty.

Sold. I'm going to use the XSPC D5 PWM pump. I'll probably go with one of the bay reservoirs as well.

People like the Phanteks PH-140SF (the same fans that come with the case but with rubber vibration-dampeners and without LEDs) for the radiators. I have 5 pushing air through the radiators and 2 on the front pulling air in and one in the rear of the case exhausting air.

Hm. I'll take a look at those. I'm still working out what fans to buy.

I believe the case's PWM hub can connect up to 11 fans. I have most of my fans connected to the hub but might get a Lamptron CW611 in the future. The case comes with a few 2X fan splitters and I bought some 3X and 4X splitters so I could put all a radiator's on one cable and one connector on the PWM hub. You likely won't need a 2nd PWM hub.

Good to know.

I have a GTX 780 Hydro Copper and the reviews are right. Its design is poorly thought out. The block is attached using something like 7 types of screws and the VRMs aren't cooled very well. I got a good deal on mine (used) otherwise I would have chosen something else.

I went with the Poseidon's for now. I found that the water pipe is a nickel plated copper, so that's not going to create a severe mixed-metal issue.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
530
PWM isn't necessary for the pump. Just get a D5 with speed control and set it to the speed that fits your noise tolerance. A D5 vario running at the lower settings will handle your loop just fine.

Also, 30db isn't what I would call quiet. With your radiator setup, you could run really quiet (<1000rpm) fans and still have good temps. I personally recommend fans from Scythe and Noiseblocker, but there are good cheaper options if you're on a strict budget.

If you're going with clear flexible tubing, just get some Primochill Advanced LRT. It's the best stuff on the market right now, and won't cause any issues if you decide you want to go with a colored coolant from Mayhems or something.

Do you have a source that shows the Poseidon has nickel plated copper internals? I'd be extremely weary of Asus' built in water cooling components, since they've pretty much always been aluminum in the past. For the price of the Poseidon you could grab another 780 and an EK block that will look and perform significantly better. If you're worried about voiding your warranty, you can go with a GPU brand that doesn't have a policy against water cooling (EVGA, Galaxy, MSI depending on the card, etc.)
 

topcaliber

n00b
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
50
I thought ASUS mobos were suppose to be good?

Non-existant warrenty?

What would you suggest then?
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Messages
4
PWM isn't necessary for the pump. Just get a D5 with speed control and set it to the speed that fits your noise tolerance. A D5 vario running at the lower settings will handle your loop just fine.

Sure, but I'll probably hook it up to the PWM to experiment with it. This entire build is an experiment for me to get used to watercooling. ;)

Also, 30db isn't what I would call quiet. With your radiator setup, you could run really quiet (<1000rpm) fans and still have good temps. I personally recommend fans from Scythe and Noiseblocker, but there are good cheaper options if you're on a strict budget.
No budget issues on this build, so I'll happily take a look at those fans. Thanks for the suggestion.

If you're going with clear flexible tubing, just get some Primochill Advanced LRT. It's the best stuff on the market right now, and won't cause any issues if you decide you want to go with a colored coolant from Mayhems or something.
Sounds good. I'm not picky on the tubing.

Do you have a source that shows the Poseidon has nickel plated copper internals? I'd be extremely weary of Asus' built in water cooling components, since they've pretty much always been aluminum in the past. For the price of the Poseidon you could grab another 780 and an EK block that will look and perform significantly better. If you're worried about voiding your warranty, you can go with a GPU brand that doesn't have a policy against water cooling (EVGA, Galaxy, MSI depending on the card, etc.)
I don't have anything direct from Asus. There are a couple of reviews and a preview that I can link here. Also, HardOCP checked out the DirectCU2 back when it was released, and that cooler does use nickel-plated copper for the heat pipes. Since the Poseidon is marketed as a hybrid of that system, it stands to reason that the water pipes are the same construction as the heat pipes in that system. They serve the same purpose.

http://extremespec.net/asus-rog-poseidon-gtx-780-directcu-h2o-cooler/
http://www.ocaholic.ch/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1191&page=1
http://dgxtech.com/asus-preparing-rog-gtx-780-ti-poseidon
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/09/02/asus_geforce_gtx_780_directcu_ii_oc_video_card_review

That being said, I'm still planning on using an anti-corrosive in the loop and to periodically change out the water in the system.
 
Last edited:

Drew1966

n00b
Joined
Apr 13, 2014
Messages
25
I used Primochill for my tubing and found it incredibly hard to work with 1/2 ID is very stiff, so I went with Masterkleer for my new loop and found it much easier to get my compression fittings around. I'm not sure if it will breakdown sooner then the Primochill though. I watched a ton of watercooling videos on youtube one channel "Singularity Computers" has some of the best videos to help you make your decisions. That's were I got the tip on Masterkleer Tubing.
 
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