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Thread: What's what in water cooling this day?

  1. #1
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    What's what in water cooling this day?

    I've been running a Thermochill PA 120.3, Switftech pump (forget model), Tygon tubing, (recent upgrades of EKWB 1080 Ti full cover and EKWB EK-Supremacy EVO on a i7 2600k) for about 7 years now with the exception of course of the new blocks.

    I pulled my loop apart about a month ago to swap out the GPU and CPU blocks for cleaning and well, it has been a while since I built the loop as well as my machine was feeling its age to a certain degree.

    So yeah, I've been way out of the loop (pun intended) in quality, performance and affordability.

    Can anyone point me in a direction to try to get caught up Rad performance, pumps, and the like? I know it's general, though I have no idea how much things have changed.

    The tubing, rad and fittings have wear on them but no corrosion. I had been running PT Nuke, distilled water and for the most part copper/nickle plating (EK barbs/fittings).

    Now though that I rebuilt the look I'm seeing what seems to be metal particles (when water is flowing, the res tornadoes and has a slight pearlescent appearence) I know that I'll have to tear it down completely and replace tubing and fittings at some point, though not sure if I should stick with the Thermochill or seek a replacement. It's been rock steady piece of equipement though I know it will eventually fail.

    I'm holding out to upgrade to a 8th/9th gen CPU and newer board with DDR4 and in doing so then build a new loop.

    So, thoughts? Advice? Do's/dont's?

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    I am Xtreme zanzabar's Avatar
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    There are no upgrades on the rad or pump side. The new blocks might do better if you get a block made for the cpu die size you have (if you upgrade) but there are no upgrades performance wise. Fans might get you minor gains.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_challenged View Post
    I've been running a Thermochill PA 120.3, Switftech pump (forget model), Tygon tubing, (recent upgrades of EKWB 1080 Ti full cover and EKWB EK-Supremacy EVO on a i7 2600k) for about 7 years now with the exception of course of the new blocks.

    I pulled my loop apart about a month ago to swap out the GPU and CPU blocks for cleaning and well, it has been a while since I built the loop as well as my machine was feeling its age to a certain degree.

    So yeah, I've been way out of the loop (pun intended) in quality, performance and affordability.

    Can anyone point me in a direction to try to get caught up Rad performance, pumps, and the like? I know it's general, though I have no idea how much things have changed.

    The tubing, rad and fittings have wear on them but no corrosion. I had been running PT Nuke, distilled water and for the most part copper/nickle plating (EK barbs/fittings).

    Now though that I rebuilt the look I'm seeing what seems to be metal particles (when water is flowing, the res tornadoes and has a slight pearlescent appearence) I know that I'll have to tear it down completely and replace tubing and fittings at some point, though not sure if I should stick with the Thermochill or seek a replacement. It's been rock steady piece of equipement though I know it will eventually fail.

    I'm holding out to upgrade to a 8th/9th gen CPU and newer board with DDR4 and in doing so then build a new loop.

    So, thoughts? Advice? Do's/dont's?

    Thank you for your time.
    pt nuke and distilled is still my preferred mix. personally i wouldnt change what you know works. there are those that suggest running the clear liquid suggested by your block manufactuer. ek cryofuel i believe its called.

    im assuming your running either a d5(big one) or ddc pump(small square one). they are both excellent options. you may want to replace yours if its well beyond the mtbf(usually 50,000hrs or 5 years). or simply run dual pumps for redundancy. ive opted to go with dual pumps. the piece of mind is worth it to me.

    as long as your 120.3 isnt punctured or is suffering from some kind of hellish corrosion it should continue to cool your gear for many years to come! just continue to keep it clean and free of corrosion and it will be fine. the pa 120.3 is still among the best cooling thick low fpi rads going(still have mine). the difference between it and a newer low fpi thick rad will be minimal(maybe 5-10 degrees at the most).

    as far as the metal flakes in your loop that is definitely something to take care of sooner rather than later. the last thing you want is for the bearing in your pump to potentially get damaged. or clog up your blocks and or rad. its most likely one of your fittings that is flaking its nickel or chrome plating. it could be a block but being that youve just upgraded your blocks its likely a fitting.

    if you want to increase your cooling capacity you could always add another rad. but tbh even with a 990k you will be fine with your 120.3. unfortunately thermochill no longer exists(im sure you know this) so unless you can find a used one they are a no go. but there are tons of really solid rads and companies to choose from. some of the best rad companies to look at are alphacool, hardware labs, and ek(just to mention a few).

    for tubing i have had excellent luck with primochill lrt soft tubing(im assuming your going to stick with soft). i had to stop using tygon due to plasticizer leaching that kept clouding up my water and leaving white film on everything.
    https://www.primochill.com/products/...-bloodshed-red
    for fittings ek still makes solid gear both barbs and compression fittings. other companies ive had good luck with are bitspower, alphacool, barrow and xspc(avoid their 90s).

    you already have a very solid cpu/gpu loop. your cpu block is gtg for the new 9th gen procs. so really unless you want to add a new gpu for sli or add a rad or pump just to be extreme! your 120.3 should continue to cool your new gear nicely.

    but i would definitely pull your loop apart and find out what the flakes are and make sure to flush your rad really well.
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  4. #4
    Xtreme Owner Charles Wirth's Avatar
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    The biggest advancement in the past two years is RGB

    And the competition in the AIO market is fierce with lots of good choices, custom loops have not seen any major advancements.
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  5. #5
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    There have been many great performance breakthroughs in the watercooling arena over the past 7 years.
    Better waterblocks, bigger and better rads, better and quieter fans and most of all, some rather great performance improvements.
    With that said, and if I were you, I'd look at the following;

    Alphacool VPP755 pump
    NEMESIS GTX 560 rad
    New naked waterblock if you can accommodate it, otherwise, take a look at Koolance's offerings

    Beyond that fans are always improving, my most recent favorites are the Noctua NF-A14 chromax - powerful, yet very versatile at lower temps.

    And finally, don't forget the additives. Don't know about you, but the addition of deposits in a loop can cost precious numbers overclocking potential, and so I set my sights on EK's latest cryofuel products. Which not only stop the formation of deposits in a loop, but the erosion of plating in the process - a win-win imo.

    Hope this helps.

    PS. the resent combination of pump & res. has proven to be of great benefit in achieving and maintaining high flowrates with D5(vpp755) style pumps. As the flowpath remain orientated to the optimum intake and output ports
    Last edited by Smalltimer; 10-19-2018 at 01:04 PM.
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  6. #6
    I am Xtreme
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    Avoid Alphacool VPP755 pump like the plague it has too many problems, just spending few minutes in google will convince you to avoid that pump.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak1skav View Post
    Avoid Alphacool VPP755 pump like the plague it has too many problems, just spending few minutes in google will convince you to avoid that pump.
    It seems the V1 was quite bad, and that V2 is much improved. ie, my own pump has been trouble-free up until now, and I've managed to lower my overall temps by a few degree's C since installing it.
    With that said, my take on this, is that if I can get a full year of trouble free service from it, then I'll be satisfied. Though I'm hoping for 3 years personally. Which is my current time to replacement schedule on pumps :p

    PS. the VPP755 has been trouble-free and very quiet overall, though I've read that the trick to longevity is to avoid certain types of coolants and/or distilled water.
    Last edited by Smalltimer; 10-20-2018 at 01:35 PM.
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  8. #8
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    there are too many excellent pumps out there to take a chance on a vpp755 period. that is by far the worst d5 ever produced. i wouldnt run one in my loop if it was given to me. if running a pump with distilled in the loop causes issues, that automatically eliminates 99% of wcers. the trick to longevity is to include distilled in your loop and avoid contaminating the water with dirt, dyes, or colored fluids. running noctuas is about the only solid advice you gave Smalltimer. some corrections are needed.
    OP already has a cpu block. a very solid ek supremacy evo. the same block that ek has been making for 6yrs. no idea why you say there have been great performance break thrus? where exactly? most blocks have been using the same cold plates for at least the last 6-7yrs.
    OP is already running a swiftech pump. which means hes running either a d5 or one of the many ddc models. so theres no need to downgrade to the vpp775. again there havent been any great breakthroughs with pumps.
    OP is running a very solid thermochill 120.3 rad that holds it own against the best rads of its class. there have in fact been improvements in rads but they are far from the great improvements you claim. there have been strides made in the high fpi thin to medium rad front but hardly anything earth shattering.
    hwlabs has made improvements in the thick rad high fpi count rads but those arent in the same category as the 120.3, the sr2 line are among that class but they are only a few degress better than the 120.3. the gtr line has improved rad performance quite a bit in the last 2-3 years but they are a hybrid that requires uber high rpm fans to shine. the gtx line is hwlabs all around performer but again the difference ib low rpm cooling against the 120.3 would be negligible.
    noctua is and has been among the best silence oriented yet high performing fans made for more than the last 7 years, more accurately 10-11. so im sure the OP is familiar with them.
    ill take your word on the the optimum intake and output ports improving flow...i have only ever used a d5 pumptop with mine(including the ddcs). which has been proven to increase the already excellent flow with a d5. to the OP as long as your maintaining 1 to 1.5gph your golden. laing pumps have no problem maintaining that with a cpu only loop.
    if your looking to read some solid info on wcing in general check out
    https://martinsliquidlab.wordpress.com/
    its been a while since Martin has updated the site but all of his info is solid and still pertains to the hardware we have today.
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  9. #9
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    Interestingly enough, I've acquired several pumps over the years with numerous mods and tops, and managed to retire them all without failure.

    What's outstanding with the VPP755 however, is that it beats all all(DCC, D5's & Koolance) of the pumps. Though I haven't physically tested it against the Koolance personally, it was a dog from the get-go. But if you look at the specs you may see why this particular pump come out on top. Very low power-draw(watts) and a golden ratio on head-pressure and flow-rate. And is likely why everytime someone who knows what they're doing tests this pump, it ends-up on top of the heap. Which would include, though not limited-to; the best current D5 packages; http://thermalbench.com/2016/11/04/a...vpp755-pump/4/

    As for waterblocks, I can testify to EK's reputation. They are incredibly good blocks, and I should know, as I now own two of their full nickel variants. The first one deteriorate after nearly 2 years of running Di(plating decay on microfins & inlets), and the second was a replacement provided by EK to remediate the issue. And while there's no doubting the stellar performance that came with these blocks, it's worth noting that the Koolance 400I beats it by as much as a few degrees(Celsius) depending on setup. How? I have no idea personally, but it beats it nonetheless. Also noteworthy is the Kryos NEXT full nickel, which appears to be equally good(if not better) then the 400i. Though I have yet to see a head to head of those two blocks on current processor solutions personally.

    However and with all that being said, the most recent and exciting innovation in the waterblock realm has to be the Ncore naked blocks. Of which a handful of reviewers tested prototype, that have since undergone numerous design and performance improvements since then. Is it better then the 400I? I have no idea personally, but the designer seems to think so. Whatever the case, I can't wait to put one through it's paces once these start shipping.

    RE: the difference ib low rpm cooling against the 120.3 would be negligible.

    he Nemesis GTX is possibly the single best radiator currently available from a scalable performance point of view and also beats out most of the other currently available radiators comprehensively. While they love their trademarks (and rightly so in this case), I have to hand it to them here- the Supercruise optimizations done provide a tangible result here compared to the other radiators. Now to be fair, the SR-1, GTX and the EX560 are older designs but seeing such a big gap consistently with airflow is always nice. Only the high airflow optimzied GTX gets close. Given that this is their flagship series, I expected nothing less too!
    A. I think this is where personal preferences come in. If we swap-out a ran and shave a total of -8c off our loaded temps, then why not conclude this to be a worthy endeavor? I certainly do, and so I'm of the view that all of the aforementioned improvements(though incremental) are significant, in that they add-up to what I'd call significant gains in the end.

    Now to be fair, I know alot of great modders who can't be bothered with shaving a few degree's off their loops. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, I envy those who content themselves with good and /or good-enough. Though as an extremist in the pursuit of excellence, I'd add that these are precisely the types of gains that make this entire endeavor worthwhile.

    Whatever the case, I can totally understand why someone might want to avoid VPP pumps given their reputation. Though I can't say I've ever been intimidated by such things personally. In fact, I consider it a challenge.

    PS. Martin's a noob

    OH and additives are for pussies! - straight Di or bust
    Last edited by Smalltimer; 10-27-2018 at 06:54 PM. Reason: for awesomness
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