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Thread: Starting in water cooling

  1. #1
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    Starting in water cooling

    Hi guys

    Apologies in advance for the NOOB questions. Very much grateful however for any pointers.
    In brief, want to build a new system, with a Z390 motherboard and a Thermaltake P3 case. Main focus is on being quiet (yes, I know the case is not a closed one...). It would only be used to cool the CPU as can't be bothered with messing around to make it also work for my graphics card.
    I'm used to aircooling, as well as, on my current system, water cooling (Corsair H80: https://bit-tech.net/reviews/tech/co...-h80-review/1/).

    Now (and here come the NOOB questions....) what is better to get with the above (i.e. focus on quiet) on mind?
    Is it just the 'water ring' (which really is the same as the Corsair H80 I have now, but with a bigger radiator): https://www.thermaltake.com/Cooling/...360/design.htm
    or a pump like here, which also has a radiator and fans: https://www.thermaltake.com/Cooling/...it/design.htm?

    What's the advantage of one over the other? What are the basic characteristics? (e.g. 'never get a pump because it's just too loud and really there only for visual effect' or 'get the pump as does better cooling'
    Also, what is an AIO (all in one) pump? Should I be insisting on getting a Z390 motherboard with an AIO header therefore?

    Have been reading around and also understand that, for example, corrosion is an issue - am not interested in a system that I may have to fix in say three years as don't have the time to mess around, just want it to work.

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    sorry been out of all this for a while, but I would stay away from all-in-ones.
    my corroded 2 coppers

  3. #3
    Dothan FTW!
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    I really can't recommend Thermaltake for watercooling-I'm still scarred from a bad experience with a Thermaltake kit back in 2004 that leaked and killed an entire system!

    I'd also say to to avoid all-in-one units because of corrosion from mixed metals. The Pacific kit you have linked comes with a good pump (Laing D5) which has been used in PC watercooling for well over a decade and has proven to be very reliable. The D5 is bigger than the AIO pumps so there will be some vibrations, but the noise depends on how you mount the pump.

    I wouldn't trust the Thermaltake waterblock or radiator for the same reason of mixed metals, there are better options out there for the same money, like an EKWB kit, or XSPC.

    Are you looking into watercooling for noise reasons, or for the way it looks? Air cooling has come a long way in the last few years and a high end air cooler would perform very well at the same or less noise level with minimal maintenance (just clean the dust out of it once in a while).

    With any watercooling kit you need to check on the coolant level regularly as it evaporates over time, even with a "sealed" all in one. A custom kit with a reservoir is easier to maintain but you should really be changing the coolant once a year, and topping it up every few months, or you will find all sorts of stuff growing in the tubing, which can clog the waterblocks and even stop the pump from working. If you don't do the maintenance, you will have big problems in 2-3 years!
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  4. #4
    Xtreme Owner Charles Wirth's Avatar
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    I saw many new designs at CES but the one I would go with now is the Corsair AIO for quiet/performance/quality.
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  5. #5
    I am Xtreme zanzabar's Avatar
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    I would skip the AOI. If you want a kit for cheap grab the swiftech h220x or h240x
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  6. #6
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    I agree with zanzabar. The AOI is a great way to bring people into our community, and is a great way for folks to never gain inspiration to upgrade

    I'll post a pic of a build that I almost went AIO. Coming from about a dozen liquid cooled builds over the last 15 years, I could not let myself slip.

    Last edited by Vinas; 06-17-2019 at 05:03 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Hey Vinas, What a blast from the past! Still crunching?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by llama_thumper View Post
    Hi guys

    Apologies in advance for the NOOB questions. Very much grateful however for any pointers.
    In brief, want to build a new system, with a Z390 motherboard and a Thermaltake P3 case. Main focus is on being quiet (yes, I know the case is not a closed one...). It would only be used to cool the CPU as can't be bothered with messing around to make it also work for my graphics card.
    I'm used to aircooling, as well as, on my current system, water cooling (Corsair H80: https://bit-tech.net/reviews/tech/co...-h80-review/1/).

    Now (and here come the NOOB questions....) what is better to get with the above (i.e. focus on quiet) on mind?
    Is it just the 'water ring' (which really is the same as the Corsair H80 I have now, but with a bigger radiator): https://www.thermaltake.com/Cooling/...360/design.htm
    or a pump like here, which also has a radiator and fans: https://www.thermaltake.com/Cooling/...it/design.htm?

    What's the advantage of one over the other? What are the basic characteristics? (e.g. 'never get a pump because it's just too loud and really there only for visual effect' or 'get the pump as does better cooling'
    Also, what is an AIO (all in one) pump? Should I be insisting on getting a Z390 motherboard with an AIO header therefore?

    Have been reading around and also understand that, for example, corrosion is an issue - am not interested in a system that I may have to fix in say three years as don't have the time to mess around, just want it to work.

    Many thanks in advance!
    If you're looking for cheaper kits to dip your toes in the waters of custom loops then I recommend checking out XSPC's RayStorm D5 kits. They are actually fairly price competitive with a decent AIO cooler setup, but instead of AIO you get everything you need to make a functional custom loop.

    Comes with a D5 pump + reservoir combo, tubing, compression fittings, CPU waterblock + mounting hardware and thermal paste, fans, and a thick radiator. If you can't fit the thick radiators in your case, they offer standard size rads as well. Honestly those kits are the best bang for the buck I have seen in the custom loop world and XSPC makes some very high performing waterblocks.

    https://www.frozencpu.com/products/1...ead_Water.html

    I also highly recommend Koolance LIQ-702 coolant. 1 700ml bottle should fill the entire system but I always get two to be sure. That coolant is a corrosion and bio inhibitor. My last custom loop system ran it for over 5 years without ever changing the coolant. Never had any buildup or performance degradation.


    As far as custom loop vs AIO... As others have already stated: AIO's have weak pumps and are very prone to corrosion because of mixed metals and cheap junk coolant that doesn't properly inhibit corrosion or biological growth. The D5 is a proven reliable pump that will handle small to large loops, you can adjust the speed of the pump and it will run pretty quiet. fans you can dial down with a speed controller, or switch out with noctua fans + a speed controller to make the system as silent as possible. The rest will come down to sound deadening inside the case.
    Last edited by ATMA-WEAPON; 06-23-2019 at 12:38 PM.
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  9. #9
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    ATMA, thanks for the info.

    Is the D5 Photon better than the X4 Photon?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestang View Post
    ATMA, thanks for the info.

    Is the D5 Photon better than the X4 Photon?
    The only difference is the pump. X4 pump is a smaller pump rated for max flow rate of 10 liters per minute.
    The D5 is a bit larger pump with a max flow rate of 20 liters per minute.

    You don't usually want to run pumps at full speed/power unless you have heat sinks on the pumps and plenty of water blocks to go through. Otherwise the pumps tend to get very hot. So the way I go about it anyway is to get (a) much bigger pump(s) than you need and run at a lower speed/flow rate to keep the pump(s) nice and cool because it doesn't have to run full tilt to keep up with the heat output of the system it is cooling. End result is less system heat output, quieter operation, and longer pump life.

    My twin DDC's are running at 40% throttle unless the system gets up to high temps (70?C+) then the pumps both kick up to 75% throttle automatically which brings rising temps to a halt.

    Don't get me wrong: the x4 is a great pump too and far better than any AIO pump I've seen, but why go that route when the D5 kit is cheaper?


    during my initial testing of my loop before ever powering on the system I let the pumps run 100% throttle after filling the system full so it could work out the air and check for any leaks...in just 10 minutes of operation those pumps were getting too hot to touch. Hooked them to a fan controller and dialed them back for the rest of the testing and left them on for over an hour at lower throttle and they remained cool to the touch.
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  11. #11
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    Ok, thanks for the info. Those kits look really nice. Maybe be getting a Ryzen 3900X or 3950X and don't think an AOI will be good for 24/7/365 full load crunching so those would be a perfect solution. Only other option is a big Noctua air cooler.
    Home PC -- 24/7 Cruncher #1
    GA-P67A-UD4-B3 BIOS F8 mod, 2600k (L051B138) @ 4.5 GHz, 1.260v full load, Arctic Liquid 120, (Boots Win7 @ 5.6 GHz per Massman binning)
    Samsung Green 2x4GB @2133 C10, 2x MSI 1660ti, Vertex 4 128GB, 2x3TB WD Red RAID1, BR Burner, Win7 Ult x64, Enthoo Pro, HX750

    Work PC -- 24/7 Cruncher #2 ... Crucial M225 64GB SSD Donated to Endurance Testing (Died at 968 TB of writes...no that is not a typo!)
    GA-EP45T-UD3LR BIOS F10 modded, Q6600 G0 VID 1.212 (L731B536), 3.6 GHz 9x400 @ 1.312v full load, Zerotherm Zen FZ120
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