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  • Hyper's first water loop!

    So after many years of hesitation and a lot of pressure from forum members, I finally decided to go with a real water loop instead of my fake all-in-one Corsair H100. There's a surprisingly huge difference in performance...I was finally able to push 5GHz on my CPU. The downside to all this is that I picked up 6 Delta ffb1212eh-pwm fans. Now...if you know anything about these fans, they are extremely extremely loud. 6 of them running together sounds like a vacuum cleaner, with no exaggeration. Fortunately, the reason they are loud is because they are extremely efficient! Running at 5GHz at 1.44v, on the Prime95 Blend test I stay at under 70 degrees Celsius. Now...you're probably thinking...Hyper, you messed up your loop! Under 70c isn't all that great for a 5GHz 1.44v i7 3770k with HyperThreading on when running prime. But you'd be wrong! Because these are the temps I got with the fans limited to no more than 35% of their max rate! So they are very very quiet.

    Oh, and did I mention that the fans are so powerful that I didn't need 6 of them? These are my numbers with 3 fans, limited to no more than 35% spin rate. I'm keeping the other 3 for a separate loop I'm going to build for my 3 GTX Titan cards. Perhaps it does seem silly to pay $250 for 6 fans that I'm running at 35%. But the upside to this is that for benchmarking purposes, they will provide incredibly ridiculous levels of cooling. And for normal day to day use, they'll go back to being nearly as quiet as my previous H100 setup.

    Anyway, still waiting on this supposedly amazing and godly thermal paste...if you can even call it that. It's the Indigo Xtreme "Advanced Phase Change Alloy." That on its own is supposed to drop average temps under load down by 5 degrees Celsius compared to the arctic silver 5. That's pretty huge. So I will test that and see how it works out when it comes in. I will follow up with more details. For now, here's a picture of what I've done. Minus one of the tubes being longer than I'd like it to be, I think I did a pretty alright job.

    Comments 43 Comments
    1. foana's Avatar
      After running my first water cooling setup, H100, and being able to see how good it actually works I really want to get into a custom loop. When I first setup the H100 it was winter here and without any overclocking with my 3930K I was getting 14c idle, that for me won me over. Looking forward to trying out some proper gear in the near future.

      What are the specs for that setup? Is it an all in one package?
    1. HyperMatrix's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by foana View Post
      After running my first water cooling setup, H100, and being able to see how good it actually works I really want to get into a custom loop. When I first setup the H100 it was winter here and without any overclocking with my 3930K I was getting 14c idle, that for me won me over. Looking forward to trying out some proper gear in the near future.

      What are the specs for that setup? Is it an all in one package?
      I got the XSPC Raystorm D5 EX360 as recommended by Sneaky. Reviews said it was a good unit. It's has a more dense radiator in it, so the stronger the fan, the better the cooling. The kit was $240 and included the reservoir/pump. The radiator. CPU block. Some clear tubing. 3 standard fans (which I didn't use). And I believe some thermal compound (which I also didn't use). I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Delta ffb1212eh-pwm fans I bought to others. They're honestly overkill. In terms of price. Noise. And also performance. Just way too much fan. I feel as though the power of just a single fan at 100% could cool the entire radiator...

      Also from reviews/benchmarks I've seen, the Indigo Xtreme thermal paste will have between 1c-7c better temps than other solutions depending on how well you've applied the paste. I had a really rough time with the thermal paste (currently arctic silver 5) on this cpu block because I installed it while the case was up vertically. It would have been substantially better on its side. But as I knew it's only going to be like this for a week or two before my Indigo Xtreme shows up, I didn't worry too much.

      All in all it was a very simple process. A lot easier than I expected it to be. Even the power supply cable pin connection was bypassed with a little header they give you. Plug that in and it powers up on the pump without the motherboard being connected. Then from my understanding it's just a matter of letting it pump the liquid (sold separately) into the tubes, and as it does so, add more water to the reservoir. Keep doing this a few times until all the air is out of the system. Though that can take a little while (they say 24 hours?). And it's recommended to run the pump/radiator/tubes without a mobo/cpu/etc in the case for 24 hours. Not just to let the air out. But also in case there are leaks. I did a damn good and thorough job with the tubes and I'm lazy so I didn't bother doing any of that. I also used a non-conductive liquid in case of leaks.

      Additionally I purchased a killcoil, which is a silver swirl you stick in the radiator to help kill off bacteria in the loop. I also put a few drops of biocide for good measure. For the 3 fans I ended up using, I used a $5 PWM splitter for 2 of them attached to my motherboards CPU fan plug. And attached the 3rd fan to the CPU optional plug. Really glad I had it on my mobo. So I can run all 3 fans off the same set of controls.

      All in all I feel much more confident with water cooling setups and feel that I can very easily mix/match things and make them work. And I'm looking forward to getting some video card watercooling going. I've already done the 114% power target bios hack on the GTX Titan's. Now I just need to get them on water. :P
    1. foana's Avatar
      Yeah I have seen that kit and the Indigo paste on a reputable online retailer in Aus. Actually I don't think it can be referred to as a paste, it's more of a liquidized alloy and if it performs as advertised I can only see it and variants becoming the norm with thermal conduction. I was going to get some after having to remove the H100, as the supplied paste is meant to be top notch with that unit, though I was apprehensive and ended up going with MX4 so I am definitely looking forward to your results.
      With the second loop for your graphics would it not have been better to go with the dual loop kit or are you looking at doing a full custom setup when you get the blocks you are after? Looking to do the same, but with 2 cards.
    1. HyperMatrix's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by foana View Post
      Yeah I have seen that kit and the Indigo paste on a reputable online retailer in Aus. Actually I don't think it can be referred to as a paste, it's more of a liquidized alloy and if it performs as advertised I can only see it and variants becoming the norm with thermal conduction. I was going to get some after having to remove the H100, as the supplied paste is meant to be top notch with that unit, though I was apprehensive and ended up going with MX4 so I am definitely looking forward to your results.
      With the second loop for your graphics would it not have been better to go with the dual loop kit or are you looking at doing a full custom setup when you get the blocks you are after? Looking to do the same, but with 2 cards.
      Personally waiting on Sneaky's advice on potential setup options. But I'm leaning towards a separate loop for video. That will serve me better if I end up adding a 4th card. Or if it's possible to add a second (reservoir-less?) pump/radiator I could just add them after the CPU before hitting the GPU's. That way it'd all be the same loop, but no impact to GPU temps from a hot CPU which is something I want to avoid.
    1. foana's Avatar
      What case are you building all of this into?
    1. Sneaky's Avatar
      Thought this better here than the other thread

      Quote Originally Posted by HyperMatrix View Post
      How should I go about implementing it into my loop? Would the existing xspc kit you recommended be enough? Should I add a pump/radiator after the CPU before hitting the GPU's or are 2 pumps not allowed in a loop? Should I then setup a separate loop for the GPU's?
      OK, I had my CPU (i7 960), and two GTX580's with EK blocks on a single loop
      with one Koolance PMP-450S pump (same as your XSPC pump), with 2 x 120x240 rads + 1 x 120x120 rad and the temps were pretty good, although I had very average fans and only in Pull config.
      The pump handles it really well with really good flow rate.
      I would think you could set up a single loop adding three titans and it should perform really well.

      Here is what I would do if I were you:
      Add another two radiators, 1 x 120x120 + 1 x 120x240
      The 120x120, put it at the back of ya case, next your rear IO, the 120x240 put at the
      bottom of your case.
      You said your Deltas were amazing just using one fan per rad space so you already have three fans to add to
      the new rads.
      Purchase 3 x EK Water blocks for your Titans AND get the EK back plates as well (the titans have their vrm's on the
      back of the card so the back plate, as well as looking cool, will also help as a heatsink for the vrm's).
      Run the loop like this:
      Pump/Res -> 360 rad -> CPU Block -> 120 rad -> Titans -> 240 Rad -> Pump/Res
      Having the loop like this you have the 120 rad cooling between the CPU and GPU's and you
      also have the 240 rad cooling before the coolant is dumped back into your res/pump (the last thing you
      want is hot coolant sitting in your res as it would obviously be near your drives).

      I personally believe that this single loop should work well with the overclocks you want and I am pretty sure the
      Titans would run slightly cooler than my 580's did plus you would have one extra 120x120 rad as well.
      I think the only thing that may be an issue is the pump but TBH I think it should have plenty of head pressure
      to cope with this as long as you don't have any restrictions in the loop, IE: Quick Disconnects/Flow meters.

      The Rads I think you should get:
      XSPC RX240 (this is a thick RAD which would probably perform up to 80-90% as well as your existing 360 rad)
      http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=13082

      XSPC EX120
      http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=18732

      Now IF you do find that your pump isn't powerful enough (as I said though I think it will do fine) OR
      you want to add a forth Titan with WB, you can always upgrade your Pump/res to a Dual Pump/res like this:
      For a Dual loop system:
      http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=22659
      For a single loop with Dual Pumps:
      http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=21256

      You will also need to buy new fittings and best to keep them all uniform, I have used the Koolance compression fittings
      and not one of them has leaked on me so I do recommend them but there are many brands out there.
      I think the Monsoon compression fittings look pretty awesome and you can get them in many colours.

      Anyway, that's my thoughts on it
    1. HyperMatrix's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by foana View Post
      What case are you building all of this into?
      Cooler Master Cosmos 2
    1. Sneaky's Avatar
      OH I also forgot to add, it would be wise to purchase an EK triple SLI Bridge and connectors
      as it will improve flow rate as well as mounting all the cards together making them much
      more solid and putting less pressure on your PCI-E slots
    1. foana's Avatar
      haha, so much room. Very nice build coming along there, much to the envy of many an enthusiast I'd have to say!
    1. BlackOctagon's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Sneaky View Post
      OH I also forgot to add, it would be wise to purchase an EK triple SLI Bridge)
      Hang on, what? They do after market SLI (and CF?) bridges now? What's the purpose/advantage?
    1. Sneaky's Avatar
      No no no, it is a bridge that connects the GPU water blocks, it's not an actual
      CF/SLI Cable/connector
    1. HyperMatrix's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Sneaky View Post
      Thought this better here than the other thread



      OK, I had my CPU (i7 960), and two GTX580's with EK blocks on a single loop
      with one Koolance PMP-450S pump (same as your XSPC pump), with 2 x 120x240 rads + 1 x 120x120 rad and the temps were pretty good, although I had very average fans and only in Pull config.
      The pump handles it really well with really good flow rate.
      I would think you could set up a single loop adding three titans and it should perform really well.

      Here is what I would do if I were you:
      Add another two radiators, 1 x 120x120 + 1 x 120x240
      The 120x120, put it at the back of ya case, next your rear IO, the 120x240 put at the
      bottom of your case.
      You said your Deltas were amazing just using one fan per rad space so you already have three fans to add to
      the new rads.
      Purchase 3 x EK Water blocks for your Titans AND get the EK back plates as well (the titans have their vrm's on the
      back of the card so the back plate, as well as looking cool, will also help as a heatsink for the vrm's).
      Run the loop like this:
      Pump/Res -> 360 rad -> CPU Block -> 120 rad -> Titans -> 240 Rad -> Pump/Res
      Having the loop like this you have the 120 rad cooling between the CPU and GPU's and you
      also have the 240 rad cooling before the coolant is dumped back into your res/pump (the last thing you
      want is hot coolant sitting in your res as it would obviously be near your drives).

      I personally believe that this single loop should work well with the overclocks you want and I am pretty sure the
      Titans would run slightly cooler than my 580's did plus you would have one extra 120x120 rad as well.
      I think the only thing that may be an issue is the pump but TBH I think it should have plenty of head pressure
      to cope with this as long as you don't have any restrictions in the loop, IE: Quick Disconnects/Flow meters.

      The Rads I think you should get:
      XSPC RX240 (this is a thick RAD which would probably perform up to 80-90% as well as your existing 360 rad)
      http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=13082

      XSPC EX120
      http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=18732

      Now IF you do find that your pump isn't powerful enough (as I said though I think it will do fine) OR
      you want to add a forth Titan with WB, you can always upgrade your Pump/res to a Dual Pump/res like this:
      For a Dual loop system:
      http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=22659
      For a single loop with Dual Pumps:
      http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...ducts_id=21256

      You will also need to buy new fittings and best to keep them all uniform, I have used the Koolance compression fittings
      and not one of them has leaked on me so I do recommend them but there are many brands out there.
      I think the Monsoon compression fittings look pretty awesome and you can get them in many colours.

      Anyway, that's my thoughts on it
      Hey. Really appreciate all the info. Here's sort of what I'm thinking based on the info you gave me. Picture 1 is my current setup. Picture 2 is what I'm thinking, taking into account the suggestions you've made. Just a slight modification of swapping 240mm and 120mm positions in the loop so the water is much cooler before hitting the GPU's? Since the 120mm is just being used to cool it for the benefit of the pump and nothing more. Let me know! Also, yes. I do have pro MS Paint skills. :P


      Current Setup:
      Attachment 894

      Possible Setup(?):
      Attachment 893
    1. HyperMatrix's Avatar
      I should note that the reason I wrote "possible 2nd pump/reservoir" is that if it's just as effective to use the one double-pump reservoir you mentioned, then the 2nd pump in the diagram wouldn't be needed. It would simply go from the CPU to 240mm RAD to the Titan's. Leaving one less thing to maintain. And a little less loopy mess. :P I also almost wonder if it would be better to go from the 360mm to the Titan's first, then to the 240mm and the CPU.
    1. Sneaky's Avatar
      OK, the second pic, of what you are thinking of doing is a little messy (you will have tubes going everywhere)
      also having the coolant enter the GPU's from the top Titan and exiting the top will mean that out
      of the three cards the top card will run the hottest.

      I have made a diagram of how I think you should do it, how do I display it here?
    1. Sneaky's Avatar
      I meant to write "also having the coolant enter the GPU's from the BOTTOM Titan and exiting the top will mean that out
      of the three cards the top card will run the hottest.
    1. Sneaky's Avatar
      Will normal [IMG] ..... [/IMG] tags work here?
    1. Sneaky's Avatar
      DOH, have to press the "reply" button lol

      Attachment 895
    1. foana's Avatar
      I'm not well versed in this water cooling jazz Sneaky, but say, regardless of the res, would a higher litre per hour pump result in better cooling with all that restriction going on in the blocks and rads in that setup? Is it better to run more rads or higher flow on the pump, or a mixture of the two? I guess you would have to get flow monitors to really fine tune what I am asking?
    1. Snowman's Avatar
      I haven't built a water loop myself but it seems to me (at least in my ignorance) that splitting the hose into three separate channels and hitting one titan with each then recombining to one hose before you hit the radiator would eliminate to problem of pumping progressively hotter water into the latter cards. But as I said I've never built one myself. The logic seems sound though.

      Edit: Looked into the Triple water bridge and it looks like that performs the paralleling I was thinking of. NVM =)
    1. HyperMatrix's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Sneaky View Post
      DOH, have to press the "reply" button lol

      Attachment 895
      Hmm...Sneaky, is a 120mm rad enough to cool down the water after passing the CPU? What I'm concerned about is that if Ambient is 22 degrees Celsius, that would mean the water hitting the CPU should be no more than a couple degrees higher before hitting the CPU if I'm thinking this through right. So let's say it's 25 degrees after coming out of the 360mm rad and about to hit the CPU. If the CPU is running very hot at 80 degrees Celsius for example, how hot is the water coming out of the CPU block? And when it passes through the 120mm radiator, will the water be in the 25-28 degrees Celsius range? Or will it be higher at 35-40 degrees Celsius, for example? Because if that's the case I'm automatically at a huge disadvantage in the heat dissipation department. I'm not disagreeing with anything you're saying, mind you. I'm just trying to educate myself more on how these systems work and you seem to be a pretty knowledgeable source to tap into. If the single 120mm rad isn't enough I could always attach another 120mm rad to the outside of the case on the same spot and run them stacked with a Fan - Rad - Rad - Fan setup. Just really want to make sure I fully grasp and understand everything before placing an order so I don't end up with another pump/part I don't need. :P
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