The Watercooling Guide, From A to Z

dividebyzero

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The second res is for looks. im planning on 1 asus poseidon graphics cards for now with the evenutuallity of a second. but I have a habit of enjoying a good bit of overkill on what I do. so my cooling I want is a bit on the side of overkill value for my pc even if im not a heavy gamer. granted my CPU im running is an Amd Fx-9370 cpu and the radiators are all made by Xspc[SIZE=4].[/SIZE]
A good bit of overkill sums it up nicely.
The dual MCP35X's would suffice for that setup. I'd assume you would go with the two big rads in the bottom of the chassis and the smaller one in the roof. Even with that setup the pumps won't have a problem moving the coolant. Draining and flushing will be fun with a bay mounted reservoir - I'd suggest fitting a couple of quick disconnects (QDC) between the two lower mounted radiators to help out in that regard. Even if you're using the fat RX series rads (though I'd assume it will be the AX or EX series if they are newly acquired) there is ample room to fit the QDC's.
Start a thread if you're after any particular input - or if you just want to show off a build log. This thread is more for the general guide. Good luck.
 

TitanJeager87

Posts: 11   +0
Thanks a million for the info. it will help. as im only saving up for the upgrades currently its gona take some time and cash to do it. hopefully I can land a second job to get the ball rolling.

Another question the tubing size you recommended what was it exactly?
 
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cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,519   +5,876
I'll assume you're using dual MCP350X's with the reservoir which should be plenty if you're using relatively low restriction waterblocks and 1/2" ID tubing that has well radiused bends (no tight bends that introduce inertia into the system), and frankly, if you're using a full tower like the 900D there isn't any excuse why the loop should suffer from tight flow direction changes.
Another question the tubing size you recommended what was it exactly?
If I may be so bold, I believe he was recommending the 1/2 inch tubing. When he assumed you were using it already, and stated you really didn't have an excuse not to use 1/2 with the 900D.
 
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TitanJeager87

Posts: 11   +0
Nice I was just checking cause the cooling loop I currently have is just my cpu and it came with my cpu. so its a prefilled cooling loop.
 

TitanJeager87

Posts: 11   +0
Hey everyone I have another question with the setup im planning out with 20 120mm fans just in the cooling system alone what kind of cables or controllers do I need to pick up for the whole fan control?
 

dividebyzero

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Hey everyone I have another question with the setup im planning out with 20 120mm fans just in the cooling system alone what kind of cables or controllers do I need to pick up for the whole fan control?
You really need to start a new thread. Please do so.
Fan control depends upon the number of channels the fan controllers have and the maximum wattage allowed per controller channel...which of course depends upon what fans are used and their attendant wattage/amperage and start-up requirement.
 
Hi, I would appreciate if You could elaborate a bit on what You wrote in post #11 "...tubes out through the window..."
1) Are there any "outdoor spec" radiators? If so, could they be fan-less with adeqate size/area? (Utilizing self-convection)
2) What is the max recommended distance between an external radiator and the water-cooled chassis? I understand that there are a number of variables playing their role here, but if You could give a hint, given certain preconditions such as the tubings inner diameter, etc.
3) In my office, we have a central cooling system installed. It is dew-point regulated, and as I understand, uses normal tap water as coolant medium. Now, If I was to go totaly off the chart, and connect my chassis to this central system in order to get rid of pumps, reservoirs and radiators all together, what type of WB:s should I look for? I.e. which surface finish/materials have the longest survival rate in a (presumably) galvanic corrosive environment?

Regardless if You have the time to reply to my questions, Your post is a very well written and informative guide into the mystics of water cooling. Big thanks!
 

dividebyzero

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Hi, I would appreciate if You could elaborate a bit on what You wrote in post #11 "...tubes out through the window..."
1) Are there any "outdoor spec" radiators? If so, could they be fan-less with adeqate size/area? (Utilizing self-convection)
Any conventional radiator / heat exchanger could work depending upon variables (see below). The system I was talking about is passive of course. If you submerge a pump into a large reservoir - in this case an external tank - the additional heat from component cooling is insignificant given the volume of water in the system. With more specialized computer orientated options available these days the DIY approach has largely passed away- although not completely.
2) What is the max recommended distance between an external radiator and the water-cooled chassis? I understand that there are a number of variables playing their role here, but if You could give a hint, given certain preconditions such as the tubings inner diameter, etc.
Depends upon pump head pressure, but I've seen systems like those outlined above where the coolant lines have been in the order of 7-10 metres in length. I'd go with 1/2" (13mm) inside diameter tubing since that offers you a decent range of standard fittings choice.
3) In my office, we have a central cooling system installed. It is dew-point regulated, and as I understand, uses normal tap water as coolant medium. Now, If I was to go totaly off the chart, and connect my chassis to this central system in order to get rid of pumps, reservoirs and radiators all together, what type of WB:s should I look for? I.e. which surface finish/materials have the longest survival rate in a (presumably) galvanic corrosive environment?
Well you seem to have a grasp of what you want to achieve and the likely pitfalls. Most AC units I've seen (and car radiators which also make good watercooling rads) use copper tubes. If you can connect directly to Copper/Brass and not introduce too many galvanic risks then copper blocks, or copper+ delrin (polymethylene or POM), or nickel plated copper. Here's a basic chart for mix-and-matching metals


Your biggest problem will be mineral salt build up, although that would depend on how "hard" the water supply is.
Regardless if You have the time to reply to my questions, Your post is a very well written and informative guide into the mystics of water cooling. Big thanks!
Thank you. Glad you can get some use from it. I'll be updating the chassis compatibility chart soon ( for those whose watercooling loop won't include an AC unit or 55 gallon drum!).
 
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I'm new to WC and found your post to be and EXCELLENT source of information especially for newbies like me!! Thanks for all the info! Although I find it very complete, I still have a couple of questions...

I have a PC that I want to WC (GPU and CPU):
  1. Would a single multi-fan radiator be okay? (For example: 3 x 120mm)
  2. Is the following order of components correct? If not, what would be recommended?
    Reservoir > Pump > CPU > GPU > Radiator
  3. Is it a bad idea to use longer tubes to have the pump, reservoir, and radiator far from the PC? (I.e. 5 feet away)
Thanks!!
Guelo
 

dividebyzero

Posts: 4,840   +1,267
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  • #36
I'm new to WC and found your post to be and EXCELLENT source of information especially for newbies like me!! Thanks for all the info! Although I find it very complete, I still have a couple of questions...

I have a PC that I want to WC (GPU and CPU):
  1. Would a single multi-fan radiator be okay? (For example: 3 x 120mm)
  2. Is the following order of components correct? If not, what would be recommended?
    Reservoir > Pump > CPU > GPU > Radiator
  3. Is it a bad idea to use longer tubes to have the pump, reservoir, and radiator far from the PC? (I.e. 5 feet away)
Thanks!!
Guelo
Glad the article has been of help.
As to your questions...
1. A single 360mm (3x120) radiator should have more than sufficient cooling ability for a CPU + single graphics card system.
2. So long as the reservoir feed into the pump, the rest of the loop order is at your discretion.
Reservoir > Pump > CPU > GPU > Radiator or Reservoir > Pump > GPU > CPU > Radiator are both fine.
3. Not at all. Some people prefer to have their radiator (for example) mounted apart from the system (better airflow, isolating fan noise away from the system for example). 5 feet isn't excessive and should not be a concern. Longer distances - such as mounting the radiator in an attic or crawlspace under the house would require a pump with very good head pressure.
 
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Glad the article has been of help.
As to your questions...
1. A single 360mm (3x120) radiator should have more than sufficient cooling ability for a CPU + single graphics card system.
2. So long as the reservoir feed into the pump, the rest of the loop order is at your discretion.
Reservoir > Pump > CPU > GPU > Radiator or Reservoir > Pump > GPU > CPU > Radiator are both fine.
3. Not at all. Some people prefer to have their radiator (for example) mounted apart from the system (better airflow, isolating fan noise away from the system for example). 5 feet isn't excessive and should not be a concern. Longer distances - such as mounting the radiator in an attic or crawlspace under the house would require a pump with very good head pressure.
Hey, I just wanted to thank you for your fast response! Your replay has been very useful! After I'm done with my cooling system, I'll venture into water-cooling my receiver. I would like to put it inside a cabinet that has little ventilation. Let's see how it goes. Thanks again!
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,576   +6,084
I would have to say that over the years of being on this board, this is by far the single best article I have seen here and the comments were equally good as well. Nice job folks, very impressive, even to the old dog .....