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First custom watercooling build: seeking feedback/advice

chrisnyc75
Level 12
So, I’ve decided to take on my first custom watercooling build to go with my upcoming IB-e upgrade. I’ve done quite a bit of research and formulated an initial build and setup plan, and am now at the point that I want to run it by the experts here and solicit feedback & advice.

To start off with, here’s a VERY rough diagram of what I expect my build to look like (please forgive my horrendous artwork, but you get the idea):



My planned loop is: pump > res > cpu > rad > gpu > gpu > rad > pump. I would like to be able to mount the pump directly under the reservoir, allowing me to make that last connection shorter and more direct, but I need to see the case first to figure out if that’s possible. Where I have the pump in the diagram (bottom right corner) is the designated default pump mount.



I’m still working out how many additional fittings (i.e. 45 degree, 90 degree, etc) I’ll need.

Now, a few notes on the less obvious choices I’ve made:

One thing that concerns me about this build is fan noise. I’ve never been one to be concerned about fan noise, but I’ve also never planned a build with 15 fans before. lol I’m concerned that 12 Corsair high-flow fans at full speed could sound like a freight train, so I’ve made some compromises. I figure with 2 large radiators + 12 fans, I can afford to dial back the rpms & airflow just a bit in favor of less noise (Swiftech, on top) and aesthetics (the red Phobya, on bottom).

For the top radiator, I went with the XSPC low profile 36mm radiator because I have exactly 70mm clearance between the top of the case and the top of the mobo. To compensate for the slim form factor, I decided to go with the (3x)140mm model. This will allow me to have the top radiator in push-pull config while not conflicting with the NB heatsink or ram. I could, of course, have gone with a thicker radiator (up to 70mm) and just one set of fans, but I think it’s more effective to go with the thinner radiator w/ push-pull since the top will also serve as the main air exhaust – I want to make sure I don’t get warm air building up inside the case faster than it can be exhausted out the top.

I have made a conscious effort to keep all components in the system pure COPPER/BRASS, no nickel; and I do not plan on any additives to my H2O (besides the silver killcoil). My understanding is that this should keep my system from reacting with itself and keep my components clean and operational with minimal maintenance (clean/flush once a year or so).

I'm not thrilled with the the idea of using cold cathodes for lighting, but I don't think I've ever seen a UV LED (?). I could just go with red LEDs, which is what I have in my current build, but I rather like the idea of highlighting the tubing with UV light.

I considered going with universal gpu blocks instead of full coverage, but I intend to overclock the crap out of my graphics cards once I get them under water, and I'm not sure how the voltage regulators would do with passive cooling. I'd love to hear insight on universal vs full coverage gpu blocks. If I could go with universal blocks it would save me a lot of money down the road when I decide to upgrade my graphics cards, but I don't want to go that route at the expense of overheating VRMs.

Finally, the Enthoo Primo chassis won’t be available for purchase until mid-October, so I have a few more weeks of planning to do before I can get my hands on it, but that just gives me plenty of time to be meticulous about planning.

I think that about covers it. Any & all feedback, advice, or insight is welcome and appreciated.

Thanks! 🙂
Asus RIVBE • i7 4930K @ 4.7ghz • 8gb Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133 CL8
2xSLI EVGA GTX 770 SC • Creative X-Fi Titanium • 2x 840 SSD + 1TB Seagate Hybrid
EVGA Supernova 1300W• Asus VG278H & nVidia 3d Vision
Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/ custom watercooling:
XSPC Raystorm (cpu & gpu), XSPC Photon 170, Swiftech D5 vario
Alphacool Monsta 360mm +6x NB e-loop, XT45 360mm +6x Corsair SP120

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73 REPLIES 73

chrisnyc75
Level 12
Just a note to let you know that my build is complete (except for a few ongoing aesthetic adjustments & minor tweaks, of course). I finished building the loop yesterday, filled it, bled it, leak tested it, and finally powered on the system (the moment of truth!) and everything worked beautifully (and she's a real looker! hehe). 😄 Pictures and details forthcoming in my build log thread very soon....

Can't wait to get her overclocked and see what she can do with proper cooling. 😛
Asus RIVBE • i7 4930K @ 4.7ghz • 8gb Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133 CL8
2xSLI EVGA GTX 770 SC • Creative X-Fi Titanium • 2x 840 SSD + 1TB Seagate Hybrid
EVGA Supernova 1300W• Asus VG278H & nVidia 3d Vision
Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/ custom watercooling:
XSPC Raystorm (cpu & gpu), XSPC Photon 170, Swiftech D5 vario
Alphacool Monsta 360mm +6x NB e-loop, XT45 360mm +6x Corsair SP120

chrisnyc75
Level 12
I've never used a fan hub before, using the Swiftech PWM hub with 6 Corsair SP120's & Phanteks fan hub with 6 Noiseblockers now. However, both are returning unexpected speeds, and I'm not sure why? With all speed control disabled (i.e. all fans set to max speed), the Corsairs are returning ~2000 rpm, and the Noiseblockers are returning ~2100 rpm. That's ~400 rpm less than either set should be returning at max speed. I know that max rpm is always an estimation and falls within a ~10% variance, but 400 rpm seems like a pretty big variance from the advertised speed, and I know both are extremely reputable models that should perform as advertised.

Why? Is this common with fan hubs, or is something in my bios/software messing with fan control/power?

edit: fyi, this variance exists using fan control in bios OR disabling bios fan control and using FanXpert or Speedfan, so it strikes me as a hardware/power issue rather than a software/driver one.
Asus RIVBE • i7 4930K @ 4.7ghz • 8gb Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133 CL8
2xSLI EVGA GTX 770 SC • Creative X-Fi Titanium • 2x 840 SSD + 1TB Seagate Hybrid
EVGA Supernova 1300W• Asus VG278H & nVidia 3d Vision
Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/ custom watercooling:
XSPC Raystorm (cpu & gpu), XSPC Photon 170, Swiftech D5 vario
Alphacool Monsta 360mm +6x NB e-loop, XT45 360mm +6x Corsair SP120

kkn
Level 14
i have the same on mine, it varies a good deal depending on the load on each fan header.
the fan header just takes the estimate rpm it can get.
i have 2 fans on 1 header and 3 on another one ( on my fan controller ) and 4 on my pump.
all giving various rpm outputs.
i just set my fans on a min voltage as low temp and on abow a ?? temp they speed up.

kkn wrote:
i have the same on mine, it varies a good deal depending on the load on each fan header.
the fan header just takes the estimate rpm it can get.
i have 2 fans on 1 header and 3 on another one ( on my fan controller ) and 4 on my pump.
all giving various rpm outputs.
i just set my fans on a min voltage as low temp and on abow a ?? temp they speed up.


Cool, thanks kkn. Just wanted to make sure I didn't have something connected wrong or a bum fan hub. It makes sense that with so many fans pulling from a single mobo header the power variance might be more than it would with just 1, just needed experienced confirmation. 🙂

On the bright side, I can't imagine what my system would sound like if they all ran at their actual advertised max speed anyway. With 16 fans at ~2000 rpm it already sounds like a jet engine. lol
Asus RIVBE • i7 4930K @ 4.7ghz • 8gb Corsair Dominator Platinum 2133 CL8
2xSLI EVGA GTX 770 SC • Creative X-Fi Titanium • 2x 840 SSD + 1TB Seagate Hybrid
EVGA Supernova 1300W• Asus VG278H & nVidia 3d Vision
Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/ custom watercooling:
XSPC Raystorm (cpu & gpu), XSPC Photon 170, Swiftech D5 vario
Alphacool Monsta 360mm +6x NB e-loop, XT45 360mm +6x Corsair SP120