WorkLog: Custom Water Cooling Aorus Z370

crashtech

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Jan 4, 2013
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#1
I am finally ready to make the leap to a custom WC solution, but honestly have no experience at all with water outside of AIOs. So I'm asking for help. I value, in this order: Durability, noise level, cooling capacity, fair price, looks. I think my preference would be for plain black neoprene tubing, for my first effort, it seems to have some advantages. Nothing needs to be flashy, the PC will sit right next to me and I don't want the distraction. I have the motherboard set to stay a constant red color, and my RAM is red too, so if red fittings can be had at little to no extra cost, that would be a nice touch. I don't want to water cool the GPU, just the CPU and VRMs.

Existing:

Aorus Z370 Gaming 7
i7-8700K, delidded
Thermaltake Core P5
4x 120mm fans, various
Jumper for ATX PSU
Distilled water

Tentative Parts List:

XSPC EX480 Radiator
EK-Supremacy EVO Water Block
XSPC Photon 170 Pump/Reservoir
Silver kill Coil
EK-Tube ZMT Matte Black 16,1/11,1mm
EK-ACF Fitting 12/16mm - Elox Black
EK-Cable Pump testing adapter
EK-Cable Splitter 4-Fan PWM Extended
Mounting hardware for used block
Bare die mount adapter


I could add more, but really it's all subject to change once some experts chime in. But it's a start. I think since the 480 will fit, I'll use it unless there's a reason not to, they're not that much more money. Thanks for looking!

Edit: I've added parts mostly from the EKWB configurator, although it recommended a different pump and rad. Also decided not to WC the VRMs for now, need to contain cost a bit. I probably won't go through with this without some advice, it's too big and costly a step outside of my area of expertise to do so otherwise.
 
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IEC

Super Moderator
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Jun 10, 2004
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#3
Well one thing I see already... just use distilled water with silver kill coil or similar in your loop instead of the premix stuff. Unless you are looking for pastels or dyes for cosmetic reasons there is no point to reducing your thermal performance by using anything other than distilled water. It's also dirt cheap.
 

crashtech

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Jan 4, 2013
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#4
@IEC , perfect, thank you! Distilled water from the grocery store will be okay then?
 

IEC

Super Moderator
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Jun 10, 2004
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#5
@IEC , perfect, thank you! Distilled water from the grocery store will be okay then?
Yes. Just make sure it's distilled. My local grocery store carries it for 78c per gallon. It shouldn't be more than about $1/gallon. Certainly beats premix prices by an order of magnitude or two...
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
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#6
Thanks again!

Also I have changed from the EK-XRES 100 DDC to the XSPC Photon 170 for pump/reservoir combo, unless that's a bed decision. The Photon does not say how loud it is.
 

lane42

Diamond Member
Sep 3, 2000
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#7
My one tip to you is test it first. Set it up outside the case, run it for a few hours,
and check for leaks. Your motherboard wont get a second chance with a leak.
 
Aug 2, 2003
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#8
Well youngster, I can't offer advice, but I am excited to watch this build as it occurs. :)

The Photon looks like a solid choice, other than 3x the power consumption, but 18w is fairly minimal in my opinion, if you are cooling multiple components (CPU/GPUs). The pressure on that one looks more than sufficient. As for sound, I'd be more concerned with vibration. I recently used a 850 gallon per hour pond pump to force -20F Washer Fluid into my tractor's tires for added weight (and lower center of gravity), and I could not HEAR that it was running, but the 5 gallon bucket was humming, just a little. Use some small but thick o-ring 'washers' (front and back) when you mount the reservoir, and I think you will be more than pleased with even a 'noisy' pump.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
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#9
@lane42 , my thought was to build it on the case but then pull the water block away from the motherboard for testing. The way my setup is arranged, the block will be the only thing that can drip directly on electronics.

@TennesseeTony , "sound" advice on the vibration isolation! I think I'm going to switch back to the EK pump, though for simplicity and shipping reduction.
 
Jun 12, 2018
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#10
Thanks again!

Also I have changed from the EK-XRES 100 DDC to the XSPC Photon 170 for pump/reservoir combo, unless that's a bed decision. The Photon does not say how loud it is.
I own a first gen XSPC Photon 170 and it’s been good for me for a little over 3 years.

Couple things I will let you know though:
1- The location of the ports (in and out) are kinda funny, finding just the right position when mounting the combo is sometimes difficult (you can rotate the entire setup in the mounts) but something to think about when planning the loop.

2- The fill port can be fairly restrictive (not sure about the second gen) unless you can remove the entire top cap to fill take it slow when filling.

3- The cloudy center stud (for the LED) didn’t really work well with the light I used, mileage may vary, would have preferred it straight clear or not at all, you can’t remove it as it seals an o-ring to the hole for the LED)...

4- I used the D5 Vario and it wasnt too loud depending on your loop you can turn the speed down too.

Aside from that i ordered an adaptor for the top fill port as it wasn’t G1/4 (was larger) from Performance-PC, can’t rememver if they changed that in v2 as well.
 

crashtech

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Jan 4, 2013
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#12
Thanks for the advice, everyone! I have modified my parts list a bunch of times now, and will probably pull the trigger soon. I hope I've not made any mistakes!
 

crashtech

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Jan 4, 2013
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#13
The only thing I am left wondering is if I should get some angle adapters especially for the pump. Pretty hard to guess what will be needed ahead of time.
 
Jun 12, 2018
126
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#14
The only thing I am left wondering is if I should get some angle adapters especially for the pump. Pretty hard to guess what will be needed ahead of time.
It's really hard to say until you have it all planned out, The pump[ you linked, is different than mine, I have the same layout as the V2 with D5 and I had to use some angled or rotary fittings to get everything to work out, like I said above mine is V1 so it's a bit different for the ports.
 

crashtech

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Jan 4, 2013
8,993
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#15
Well I got antsy and went ahead and bought everything, adding 2 double 45° swivel fittings for the pump or wherever. I'm pretty happy that I was able to put it together for right about $315, let's see if it all goes together okay.
 
Aug 2, 2003
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#16
I own a first gen XSPC Photon 170 and it’s been good for me for a little over 3 years.

Couple things I will let you know though:
1- The location of the ports (in and out) are kinda funny, finding just the right position when mounting the combo is sometimes difficult (you can rotate the entire setup in the mounts) but something to think about when planning the loop.

2- The fill port can be fairly restrictive (not sure about the second gen) unless you can remove the entire top cap to fill take it slow when filling.

3- The cloudy center stud (for the LED) didn’t really work well with the light I used, mileage may vary, would have preferred it straight clear or not at all, you can’t remove it as it seals an o-ring to the hole for the LED)...

4- I used the D5 Vario and it wasnt too loud depending on your loop you can turn the speed down too.

Aside from that i ordered an adaptor for the top fill port as it wasn’t G1/4 (was larger) from Performance-PC, can’t rememver if they changed that in v2 as well.
Get your hiney over to the Distributed Compution sub-forum (under software) and start helping us to cure cancer, Tuberculosis/Zika/AIDS/ map the Milkyway (3D animated)/find dangerous asteroids/find massive prime numbers/etc etc etc! Put that bad a$$ hardware to work during 'idle cycles'! (at least while it's still 'cold', might as well use 'intelligent heat'....)

If not, well, I still appreciate your posts. :)

We are a super friendly group, and will welcome you like a long lost relative!
 
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StefanR5R

Platinum Member
Dec 10, 2016
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#17
AFAIR, silver coils and nickel plated components should not be used together.

I have some nickel plated blocks in my loops as well because I couldn't (or missed to) avoid them in favor of bare copper blocks. I use distilled water mixed with Glysantin G48 as a precaution against biological build-up, although I suspect that I don't really need the Glysantin.

I use neoprene tubing too and like it for its handling and low maintenance.

I don't want to water cool the GPU, just the CPU and VRMs.
[...] i7-8700K, delidded [...]
Also decided not to WC the VRMs for now, need to contain cost a bit. I probably won't go through with this without some advice, it's too big and costly a step outside of my area of expertise to do so otherwise.
Are you certain that above-ambient watercooling (in contrast to chilled water) buys you anything over a large air cooler?

My own reason for watercooling is to be able to cram two 250 W GPUs into a single PC but run them without a lot of noise. (And my reason to use (a) 250 W GPUs and (b) two per system is total system power efficiency in GPGPU applications.)
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
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#18
@stefan, thanks, I will not use the silver coil. it was only $5, maybe I will turn it into a piece of jewelry.

Glysantin G48 seems to be a normal ethylene glycol engine coolant, is there a minimum ratio that will still provide a biostatic effect? Water transfers heat best. A little glycol may also help the pump shaft seals, it's a better lubricant than water.

I am NOT certain that I will gain any additional cooling capability; it was merely my presumption that such a large radiator would likely be at least the equal of the largest air cooler I could mount. My case is designed for water cooling, and it lives pretty close to my ears, so noise is a big consideration as well. I eventually want to add GPU(s) and VRMs to the loop as well, but needed to get started for now on a small budget.
 

StefanR5R

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Dec 10, 2016
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#19
Glysantin G48 seems to be a normal ethylene glycol engine coolant,
Yes; it's inexpensive and readily available everywhere. (Unlike additives from PC watercooling vendors.) There are very similar coolants sold in North America under different names, which I don't recall.

A potential downside is that Glysantin has dye in it, which some people don't want in their loops.

is there a minimum ratio that will still provide a biostatic effect?
Yes. Back at the time when I researched for my own builds I found some info on this on the net but haven't made notes about it. I simply use the mixture ratio as advised on the coolant can --- which depend on the minimum environmental temperatures; I took the lowest ratio, appropriate to a far too hot home... which never reaches the freezing point. :-)

Water transfers heat best. A little glycol may also help the pump shaft seals, it's a better lubricant than water.
That's what I read too when I got into it.

Are you certain that above-ambient watercooling (in contrast to chilled water) buys you anything over a large air cooler?
(PS, I asked because I really don't know; haven't been following much under which conditions recent CPUs overclock well.)
I am NOT certain that I will gain any additional cooling capability; it was merely my presumption that such a large radiator would likely be at least the equal of the largest air cooler I could mount. My case is designed for water cooling, and it lives pretty close to my ears, so noise is a big consideration as well. I eventually want to add GPU(s) and VRMs to the loop as well, but needed to get started for now on a small budget.
Ah, makes sense.

BTW, I started my own watercooling ventures with an expandable AIO (a.k.a. modular AIO). It eased the learning curve, but turned out to be not very expandable after all due to a weak pump.
 
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crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
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#20
I found this:



In this article. Looks like 25% is the way to go.
 

lane42

Diamond Member
Sep 3, 2000
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#21
I seem to remember some guy's use to just use Distilled water and a teaspoon of Bleach.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
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#22
That sounds like a really bad idea on the surface, bleach works by liberating chlorine gas, I'm not sure that would be good for a system not specifically designed for such use. But, I'm totally willing to be wrong here, a spoonful of bleach is even cheaper and more readily available than antifreeze.
 

StefanR5R

Platinum Member
Dec 10, 2016
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#23
Your bringing up bleach here made me look up whether this forum hasn't a FAQ on this.
Argh! It's a 404.

Edit, updated link: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/newbies-guide-to-watercooling.4596/
The search function brings one mention of bleach up in this thread, from 2008. I'm skeptical.
(posts #186, #187)

Edit 2, searching the entire subforum for "bleach" also brings up mostly rather old posts.
 
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lane42

Diamond Member
Sep 3, 2000
5,128
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#24
That's what i thought also, not a good idea, but it has been used.
 

lane42

Diamond Member
Sep 3, 2000
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120
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#25
You can always get a little crazy


Don't know if it would work :)
 
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