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Old 11-01-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
crazymonkeyzero
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Default First time Liquid Cooling

I'm helping one of my relatives build a new PC and he wants it to have custom loop liquid cooling if possible to overclock his 3930k (just a cpu loop) and have a quiet system, so I come seeking advice. I've installed aftermarket air coolers and "pseudo water coolers" such as the h60 in the past, but I've never actually build a true custom water cooling loop, and am thus excited and a bit frightened simultaneously.

I see there are all in one kits available at retailers such as frozen cpu and performance pcs, and would like to purchase one to get started (due to ensured compatibility of parts). First off, is this a good idea, or should I buy the parts individually?

Also, does anyone know if there are any reliable/good brands? I was thinking about getting an EK H30 kit with 360rad(there's copper and nickel....which is better?). But I see there are other brands such as XSPC and Alphacool.

Also what additional items will I need to buy? I heard Additives/biocide are necessary? And some decent fans such as those new noiseblocker eloops?

My budget is really anything around $250
(for the liquid cooling+additives+fans)


Thanks so much for any advice on the matter.

Last edited by crazymonkeyzero; 11-01-2012 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:49 PM   #2
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This is a good guide to get you an idea of what everything does and how to set it up.

http://www.clunk.org.uk/forums/water...beginners.html

A 360 rad is great for a 3930k, and necessary if you really want to overclock that bad boy.

The XSPC and EK kits are good buys for 1st time around IMO. Just make sure it has socket 2011 support.

Use a Silver Kill coil and distilled water. NOTHING ELSE
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:28 PM   #3
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Thank you for the link to that site. It's super detailed and will be very useful when I get to putting together the loop.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:43 PM   #4
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Try RS360 or RX240 kits, it simplifies watercooling by reducing the need to connect the pump and reservoir separately. I would prefer to recommend this because of the option to remove the pump from the reservoir but it'll be off your budget. Having used XSPC Raystorm, there is compatibility with LGA2011 out of the box.

I don't use additives, distilled and a silver coil gets the job done. I don't know how good is the quality of the tubes that XSPC provides but it is mostly clear and it will leach plasticizer after a while. It isn't detrimental to anything, just a minor cosmetic problem to the inner walls of the tubes. The kit does come with fans but you can get any fans with good static pressure.

Tips :
Don't run the pump dry.
Visualize the flow of the water in the tubes before cutting. Measure twice, cut once.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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Other good advice is to place the pump as low as possible and the reservoir as high as possible. This makes priming and bleeding much easier.

Setups where the pump and res are combined make bleeding and priming more difficult, but save on space. See Koolance RP-452x2 for awesome space saving design but difficult filling and bleeding processes.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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Might also want to make sure that you're not liable if something goes horribly wrong with the loop. I'd say you should just do research and parts recommendations to him, but he needs to be the one building, TESTING, and maintaining the loop. Water isn't set and forget and it can go wrong, horribly horribly wrong, with not much warning and fry most of your system in one go.
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVerLoRDI View Post
This is a good guide to get you an idea of what everything does and how to set it up.

http://www.clunk.org.uk/forums/water...beginners.html

A 360 rad is great for a 3930k, and necessary if you really want to overclock that bad boy.

The XSPC and EK kits are good buys for 1st time around IMO. Just make sure it has socket 2011 support.

Use a Silver Kill coil and distilled water. NOTHING ELSE
This is what my current CPU and NB loops use, and it's rock solid...going on 1.5 years now.

Those EK kits look pretty good too.

and yes, there is maintenance on a loop.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice guys. Also one more question. How often are you supposed to flush out/maintain the loop? Some people say every 6 months, while others claim every 2 years is fine. If you're just using distilled water+kill coil+anti corrosive, there should be no algae or biological growth, so shouldn't you be able to theoretically get by up to 5 years( life of average pump) w/o maintenance?
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:22 AM   #9
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I'd say you could go about 1 year without maintenance, 2 years max. 5 years is unlikely as you will have to clean everything else to get the most out of your loop. You can't avoid a dusty radiator and removal of the radiator might just call for an overhaul of the whole loop. Even with air coolers, there will always be a periodical maintenance, there is no exception for water coolers.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:38 AM   #10
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I tend to bleed, clean, and cut new tubing for my loop every 12-18 months just from updating my hardware. A silver coil definitely adds life to your loop. Visually, here is a picture of my loop about a year ago when I got my 7970. It'd been up for about 15 months, but with no silver coil:

What you see is a combination of growth and plasticizer/tubing breakdown . When I just changed it out again a few weeks ago, it didn't look anything like that. Granted that's 11 months vs. 15 months, but the silver coil makes the difference. For reference, here's my brand new loop:
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:18 AM   #11
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Thanks for the visual description MrK6 You're new loop looks awesome, and definitely much clearer.



I think I'm going with this EK kit, for less than $200 (lga 2011 support) it seems like a good deal. I thinking xspc pump/res combo would be harder to drain, since it would be higher up. Also seems the packaging is good, thus parts should arrive unscathed.... lol I hope.

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...260557c91bc3fe


Also can someone recommend some nice looking blue/uv blue tubing that will surely be compatible with the kit. Since I'm not using dye and still want some color, colored tubing is the only solution.

Last edited by crazymonkeyzero; 11-03-2012 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymonkeyzero View Post
Thanks for the visual description MrK6 You're new loop looks awesome, and definitely much clearer.



I think I'm going with this EK kit, for less than $200 (lga 2011 support) it seems like a good deal. I thinking xspc pump/res combo would be harder to drain, since it would be higher up. Also seems the packaging is good, thus parts should arrive unscathed.... lol I hope.

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...260557c91bc3fe


Also can someone recommend some nice looking blue/uv blue tubing that will surely be compatible with the kit. Since I'm not using dye and still want some color, colored tubing is the only solution.
Wow those kits are getting cheap! That is a good price.

Looks like the tubing is 3/8" ID and 1/2" OD. Any tubing that is that size will be compatible. Technically any 3/8" ID tubing would be compatible, but for simplicity sake just get the same size so you don't have to worry about maybe getting different clamps.

Just a warning, water cooling is really fun and addictive. Aigomorla warned me that I'd be tweaking with it pretty much constantly. Some day you'll find yourself with something like this:

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