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3900x/Radeon VII watercooling: another newbie thread

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,654
5,669
136
Build is complete! Post-mortem is here:

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/3900x-radeon-vii-watercooling-another-newbie-thread.2566259/post-39884459

Time for yet another WC newbie thread. I had sort of wanted to tackle this in the Watercool.de thread (and @guskline offered to help; thanks!) but it's clear I'm going to need to make my own, especially since our stickied beginning WC post is out-of-date and not really available anymore anyway (link in sticky is dead. The proper parites are aware).

Without further ado, here is the current planned system:

CPU: 3900x, not likely to go for the 3950x if that rumoured chip shows up between now and July
dGPU: Radeon VII reference card
RAM: 2x8GB DDR4-4400 Vengeance LPX. Might expand to 4x8GB if Matisse handles it well.
Mobo: to be determined, but possibly x570 Aorus Master. Or if I'm feeling cheap/weird, Crosshair VIII Impact. I've given up on watercooling board components. VRM cooling looks good on most X570 boards, and if it has a little chipset fan then oh well.
Case: Rosewill Thor v2
Other stuff not really important. I have a 750W EVGA P2 and 1300W EVGA G2 available depending on what I need.

Goals:
3C or lower delta between coolant and ambient. Overkill.
Max realistic OC for 3900x without active cooling - probably 250-300W heat load
GPU @ 2050 MHz or higher, probably not with more than +20% power limit and not with more than 1.2v on GPU. 1.3v can kill Radeon VII . . . anyway, probably 400W heat load. Maybe higher.

Current WC parts list:

MO-RA3 420 Pro (black): http://shop.watercool.de/epages/WatercooleK.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/WatercooleK/Products/25120

update: switched to the 420 LT (black). It's the same as the Pro, but only mounts fans on one side.

with feet: http://shop.watercool.de/epages/WatercooleK.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/WatercooleK/Products/22200
and res mount bracket(s): http://shop.watercool.de/epages/WatercooleK.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/WatercooleK/Products/30235
(basic mounting kit needed for brackets): http://shop.watercool.de/epages/WatercooleK.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/WatercooleK/Products/30236
aaand a passthrough: http://shop.watercool.de/epages/WatercooleK.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/WatercooleK/Products/50601

Heatkiller Tube for D5: http://shop.watercool.de/epages/WatercooleK.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/WatercooleK/Products/30203

update: only using one

D5 Vario: http://shop.watercool.de/epages/WatercooleK.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/WatercooleK/Products/30047
Current plan is to use two.

update: Using two: one pump in the res, one in a standalone top.

Heatkiller IV CPU block for AM4: http://shop.watercool.de/epages/WatercooleK.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/WatercooleK/Products/18012
This is the pure copper block. No nickel.

GPU block is up in the air! It could be:

EK copper+acetal Radeon VII block: https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-vector-radeon-vii-rgb-nickel-acetal

or

Bykski copper(nickel plated) + plexi Radeon VII block: https://www.primochill.com/products/bykski-amd-radeon-vii-full-coverage-gpu-water-block-clear-a-radeon-vii-x

Only other component I've looked at seriously is tubing:
EK ZMT rubber tubing: https://www.microcenter.com/product/486769/ek-tube-3-8-(10-mm)-x-5-8-(16-mm)-zero-maintenance-tubing-10-ft---matte-black

update: I picked rubber tubing from the Watercool store. Didn't know they had it! Got 3 meters. Should be enough, I hope.

I don't want it to be pretty, I want it to be completely opaque, and I want to avoid plasticizers leeching into the coolant.

Haven't picked out fans or fittings yet.

Got 2 packs of 8 XSPC 10mm/16mm nickel/chrome compression fittings.
Got 9 of these: https://www.newegg.com/bitfenix-bff-spro-14025ww-rp-case-fan/p/N82E16835345046
Got 2 Koolance quick disconnect sets for my expansion port.

The overall plan is to mount the MO-RA3 outside the case, and use the passthrough to feed coolant to/from the blocks inside the case in a single loop. I'll mount the reservoir(s) on the side of the MO-RA3. Not sure if I'll need more than one D5, but if I have two, I can run them at lower duty cycle if full flow proves to be unnecessary for proper cooling.

Loop order would be: d5/res -> CPU block -> GPU block -> rad -> d5/res (etc) for single pump or d5/res -> rad -> d5/res -> CPU block -> GPU clock -> d5/res (etc) for dual pump.

update: plan is mostly unchanged, except that I am not only using one 100mL res/pump combo. No reason to use two reservoirs! d5/res -> rad -> d5 -> CPU block -> GPU block -> d5/res etc.

Main issues up in the air:

Fittings: what should I get? XSPC compression fittings? If I wind up with a kill coil, I don't want fittings that are going to shed nickel rapidly.

Fittings selected.

GPU block: The Bykski block supposedly significantly outperforms the EK block. Sadly, the Bykski block introduces a large amount of nickel plating into my loop, which I don't necessarily want. If I use the Bykski block, I could use something like cupramine (discussed this in other threads) and if I use the ZMT rubber tubing it might not absorb the cupramine. Presumably the borosilicate glass reservoir won't absorb cupramine, and I don't think the tubing would either, so I wouldn't lose potency over time. Still not as good as a kill coil, but what can you do? Alternatively I could just get the EK block and use a kill coil.

Power for pumps and fans: Since all the pumps and fans will be outside the case, I need to figure out how to get power to all these things. Should I be running a separate PSU + fan/pump controller here? I could use as many as 18 fans.

Ordered a molex extender and molex splitter for regular use, and a 12v 2a external power supply from Coolerguys for leak testing/fill operations. Also got some cupramine just in case I go with the Bykski block. Oh, and I got a 9-port fan splitter from Watercool to power all the fans (molex input).
 
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Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
20,903
9,088
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I want to see into my hoses, in case crap gets in there, or air, so I got this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N9HVTEM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
and for fittings, I got this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NODETZW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For reservoir/pump combo, I got this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074G47CYK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Tubing cutter
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M5D7096/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
external power to test complete water loop before putting motherboard in the case: (I had a sta adapter already)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MGG6SC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Don't forget the silver couil to keep the water clean.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A66HMRC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And I didn't do this the first time, but during my rebuild, I am using anto-freeze (clear) 20% and distilled water 80% mix.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,654
5,669
136
Thanks @Markfw ! I can't use all your recommendations, but I'm going to be looking at the fittings and cutter for sure. Watercool.de has what appear to be really expensive fittings.

For rad, I'm using a MO-RA3 which is . . . huge. It's 3 420 rads in one unit. To cool it, you use 9 140mm fans. Completely over the top. I'm going to have to figure out how to power my pumps and fans since they are all located outside of the case. Watercool.de has some molex-powered boardlets that offer 9x 3-pin adapters for fans, but how am I going to get a molex out of the case? USB->molex adapter? External PSU? I'm thinking external PSU is the answer. It will be goony, but it'll work.

I actually want black tubing so I'm going with the rubber stuff.

As for the kill coil . . . it's tempting to just say "to heck with it", use the inferior EK block, and go with a kill coil. But if I use the rubber tubing, I should be able to charge the system with cupramine once and never have to recharge (rubber won't absorb the stuff, I don't think). Then I can use the demonstrably-superior Bykski block. If Watercool.de had just made a copper block for Radeon VII, I'd get theirs, but . . . they didn't.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
20,903
9,088
136
Thanks @Markfw ! I can't use all your recommendations, but I'm going to be looking at the fittings and cutter for sure. Watercool.de has what appear to be really expensive fittings.

For rad, I'm using a MO-RA3 which is . . . huge. It's 3 420 rads in one unit. To cool it, you use 9 140mm fans. Completely over the top. I'm going to have to figure out how to power my pumps and fans since they are all located outside of the case. Watercool.de has some molex-powered boardlets that offer 9x 3-pin adapters for fans, but how am I going to get a molex out of the case? USB->molex adapter? External PSU? I'm thinking external PSU is the answer. It will be goony, but it'll work.

I actually want black tubing so I'm going with the rubber stuff.

As for the kill coil . . . it's tempting to just say "to heck with it", use the inferior EK block, and go with a kill coil. But if I use the rubber tubing, I should be able to charge the system with cupramine once and never have to recharge (rubber won't absorb the stuff, I don't think). Then I can use the demonstrably-superior Bykski block. If Watercool.de had just made a copper block for Radeon VII, I'd get theirs, but . . . they didn't.
Did you see my external power link ?
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
20,903
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Yeah, each adapter only provides 2 amps. The product listing says it can power . . .4-5 fans I think? I'll have anywhere from 9-18 of them, and two pumps.
Buy one for each pump and 2 for the fans ?
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,654
5,669
136
@Markfw

Possibly. Or I could just get a conventional PSU and go from there. It's all a matter of cost and bulk. Watercool.de has some splitters for the fans, and the pumps require molex connectors . . . hmm. Decisions, decisions.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,654
5,669
136
Update: Got two Koolance quick disconnect sets for mounting on the exterior of the pass-through from FrozenCPU. That way I can disconnect the rad and pumps without tearing down the entire loop.

Ordered the CPU block, rad/rad accessories, 2 D5s, res + res accessories, 10mmID/16mmOD rubber tubing, and passthrough from Watercool.de

Got fans from Newegg.

Now all that's left is the GPU block molex extender cables, antimicrobial (cupramine or silver kill coil; depends on which GPU block I get) and a power source for leak testing. Also gotta make sure I got the proper Torx bits for this Radeon VII.

edit: also looking again at that Coolerguys external PSU recommended @Markfw and @aigomorla . 12v 2a means I could power one D5 with it that should be sufficient for leak testing. Theoretically I could use three of them, 1 per d5 and one for my fans (they are only 12v .18a +/- 10%) so they will not go over the 2a threshold, even for 9 of them.

edit edit: Got one of the Coolerguys PSUs along with molex extender + splitter and some cupramine.
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,654
5,669
136
Parts are starting to arrive. Got the fittings from Amazon and the fans from Newegg.

Stats on the fans:

.18a @ 12V (1200 RPM)
86.73 CFM
1.38 mmH2O
22.8 dBa

I am not all that impressed with the static pressure. Fortunately, the MO-RA3 is good for low-pressure fans. 9 of them working together works out to . . . ~32-33 dBa so it will not be terribly noisy. Not compared to the 2x3000 rpm IndustrialPPC fans I have now. And the stock Radeon VII cooler, hah. 3850 rpm = bringin tha noise.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,292
986
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You need to run a premix for koolance QDC's.

I have had problems with them seizing together from corrosion with silver in the inside plating.
So i would run the system without silver and with a premix if you absolutely must have those QDC's.

Personally i used to use them a lot, and never had a problem with the older QDC's.
But the new ones have been a bane to me, and i avoid them in my builds.

Its not just koolance, its most QDC's.
The only QDC's i will trust now are probably CPC Colder QDC's but those are quite pricey, and difficult to source in 1/2ID.

Bykski is a horrible company.... I probably will not buy another block from them again.
Sigh... i ended up with a GPU block from them as well, because they were the ONLY company that made it for my Zotac 1080Ti AMP EXtreme.

But it was missing a LOT of the pads, and the water pathways did not directly cool the last set of VRMS i have on the card in the rear.
It does an OK job at keeping them in check, but i would of preferred if water went over those last sets of VRM, or it was attached to the main cooling block somehow.

Be prepared to require additional parts for Bykski, if you realize u dont have something. Its not missing, they just didnt give you enough.

What fans did you get?
Possibly if you want great cheap fans with good static... these are my top choice, unless you want to pay the same price for one fan as you would in this 5 pack.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HC782D5/ref=emc_b_5_t

I would also pick one of these up as a fan hub if you do not have one:
https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Silverstone-Splitter-SST-CPF04-USA/dp/B07N3HP8S5/ref=pd_sim_147_4/143-6543758-2819218?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07N3HP8S5&pd_rd_r=addaa6b5-9136-11e9-a3ac-ebbd02d573e6&pd_rd_w=qt167&pd_rd_wg=y84Jc&pf_rd_p=90485860-83e9-4fd9-b838-b28a9b7fda30&pf_rd_r=5M3673B36GM361DYK6VV&psc=1&refRID=5M3673B36GM361DYK6VV

You can daisy chain those Artic fans by 3's and then connect the final header to that hub.
Its a great fan hub, and i also use those in all my builds now.
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,654
5,669
136
@aigomorla

Thanks for the head's up! I'm going to try cupramine at first. It shouldn't cause corrosion with the Koolance QDCs. Also I noticed that the worst offenders among Koolance's QDCs seem to be the black/matte black finish ones. I opted for the chrome. They are said to not flake as much.

As for Bykski, I think they have upped their game with recent blocks. Most of the posters on OCN using their block on Radeon VII are getting great temps. Their block is currently outperforming (or at least matching) EK and Alphacool. Barrow has a block out as well, but I have not seen results from anyone that tried it. My only possible concern with the Bykski block is that even with distilled + cupramine, there could be nickel flaking over the long-term anyway. Ditto for Barrow.

The fans are:

https://www.newegg.com/bitfenix-bff-spro-14025ww-rp-case-fan/p/N82E16835345046

Currently I have a cheap molex -> 9x 3-pin fan splitter to power them, but I'm willing to consider other fan hubs/controllers.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,654
5,669
136
Hmm, those fans register at .3 sones which is about 22.5 dBA? Higher static pressure, lower airflow. MO-RA3 isn't very demanding wrt static pressure so it'll mostly be a wash. Noise levels should be about the same too (22.8 dBA on the fans I've got).

edit: oh you meant the price. Yeah I could save some pennies going with those Arctic fans. I'm pretty sure I could do a return, though the restocking fee might make up the difference. I saved a lot of money not going with the fans on Watercool's shop though! They wanted something like 140 Euros for PK3s.
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,654
5,669
136
Tube cutter came today. Looks like it'll be good for, you know, cutting. Tubes.

@aigomorla

Looks like I have 30 days (and counting) to do an RMA on the fans with restocking fee. If I do that and pay shipping, I'll save maybe $20 on the Arctic fans. I need to take a look at the fans I have and see if I'll have any other trouble out of them, like mounting. Performance-wise, I still think it's a wash between the two since Watercool.de carries fans for the MO-RA3 420 that have static pressure as low as 1 mmH2O (actually their 200 mm Bitfenix fan is lower than that, but I think that's a typo).

But if I want to save around $20, I do have an option.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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Why not just buy a 5 pack and try them out on amazon.
You can always have spare fans on use.

If your a prime member returns shipping is covered for.
 
Feb 4, 2009
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Parts are starting to arrive. Got the fittings from Amazon and the fans from Newegg.

Stats on the fans:

.18a @ 12V (1200 RPM)
86.73 CFM
1.38 mmH2O
22.8 dBa

I am not all that impressed with the static pressure. Fortunately, the MO-RA3 is good for low-pressure fans. 9 of them working together works out to . . . ~32-33 dBa so it will not be terribly noisy. Not compared to the 2x3000 rpm IndustrialPPC fans I have now. And the stock Radeon VII cooler, hah. 3850 rpm = bringin tha noise.
I’m no expert but stopped in to say those corsair “mag lev” fans can be bought bulk, I saw an ad on amazon for a 4 pack for around $65.
I looked into these reviews say good pressure but noisy on high speed.

https://www.newegg.com/corsair-co-9050039-ww-case-fan/p/N82E16835181106
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,654
5,669
136
Oh okay. The 140mm fans are a bit pricey. At that price level, I would be looking at some of the low-rpm variants of Noctua's industrialppc line, or maybe using a fan controller to slow down the 2000 rpm ones to maybe 1200 rpm. I'm going to be running 9 fans (or 18 if I expand, lulz).

I popped open one of my Bitfenix fans and found the contents to be generally appealing. Only problem I had is that the included screws are of the self-tapping variety, which tells me that the fan body isn't already threaded for screws. Hmm. Not sure if I like that. I can pre-thread them before installation . . .
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,292
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Artic Cooling fans = Best budget - unless you can find me Yate Loons again. DrMx im seriously recommending you try them out before finalizing anything.

Nidac Gentle Typhoons = Best 120mm radiator fans PERIOD. even more so then Noctua unless you want SCREAMERS.

Noctua IPPC 3000k = Best 140mm fans but they howl.

Best 120mm fan ignoring noise and finger safety.
San Ace 38mm thick 120mm Server Fans = You cant beat them, they are a beast, they are loud, they will cut your finger like no tomorrow, they will push air though that radiator regardless of restriction as they are designed for just that in the enterprise sector.
 

ClockHound

Golden Member
Nov 27, 2007
1,108
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Since we're voting...even if it's not our democratic right to spend DrMrLordX's money.

I'd vote for the AC 140mm as the budget option. The Bitfenix fans from that series I've used all failed or developed bearing noise before I was ready for it.

Since we're not budget-constrained...the Thermalright TY-147a SQ is good choice that looks better than the BitFenix, imo:
https://www.pc-cooling.de/luftkuehlung/luefter/140-mm/560/tr-ty-147a-sq

The Noctua NF-A14 iPPC 24V versions are great. The iPPC-2000-24V spins up to 1100rpm on 12V and the iPPC-24V-3000 goes to 1614rpm on 12V in my system. They also cost way too much. But, probably cost less than the Bitfenix which will likely need to be replaced 2-3 times before the Noctua's life is exhausted.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,654
5,669
136
I'd vote for the AC 140mm as the budget option. The Bitfenix fans from that series I've used all failed or developed bearing noise before I was ready for it.
Eww. That sucks. Might have to return these after all!

edit: I went ahead and got two of the 5-fan packs aigo recommended. I'll either keep all the fans (ha!) and do a performance comparison, or just return the Bitfenix fans.

Wow, this is a big project for a newb! Good luck :)
Yeah, wish me luck. Hopefully nothing leaks. Ha.

I have to admit, putting everything but the blocks outside of my case actually makes it a lot less intimidating.
 
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