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-   -   Completed Project Water FTW (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/case-mods-worklog-gallery/39585-project-water-ftw.html)

Nostril January 4, 2011 03:10 PM

Project Water FTW
Well, I've been skipping along happily with some lovely air cooling for as long as I can remember, but water cooling has always been something I was extremely interested in. My Noctua NH-U12P has followed me for three builds thus far, and is getting pretty long in the tooth, so it's time to replace it, in a big way.

The idea sprang up after seeing how much extra cash I would have after working while being home for the holidays. So, with the help from the HWC water cooling community, Rison, MpG, and Alpine for selling me some quality components, and Dazmode/NCIX for my CPU water block and a bunch of fittings, I'll be sinking more time and money into my hobby!

Even though my current system is in my signature, I have in my system right now.

  • Intel Core i7 860 [Thanks Alpine, currently running at 3.8GHz, 1.258v]
  • 8GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3-1600, 9-9-9-24, 4x2GB
  • EVGA P55 FTW SLi motherboard [Where the name of the project comes from, love the board, so nice]
  • MSI GTX 465 Twin Frozr II Gold Edition, flashed to a GTX 470
  • And of course, hard drives and all that jazz.

The entire machine will be housed in my trusty Cooler Master HAF 932.

Now, starting out, I was thinking of just cooling the processor and saving some cash, but with getting a lot of my parts used, I decided why not cool the video card too. So, without further delay, the water cooling parts list.

  • TFC X-Changer 360 w/ 6x Noctua NF-P12s in Push/Pull
  • Swiftech MCP355 w/ EK X-Top
  • Swiftech Micro Reservoir revision 2
  • EK Supreme HF Revision 2 Plexi/Nickel
  • EK FC470 Full Cover GTX 470 block Plexi/Nickel
  • Primochill PrimoFlex LRT clear 1/2" ID clear tubing
  • Various barbs, compression fittings, and angle adapters, most of them being from Bitspower

I started gathering these things mid December, with the first things to come being the radiator, bitspower barbs, pump, and processor arriving. I didn't even really touch them other than to take pictures until I returned to my apartment from Christmas break on the 2nd. (All pictures are clickable)



Arriving at my apartment, I couldn't help but play around with the components I had. More parts from Rison were on my kitchen table, courtesy of my room mate.


The MCP355 is a pretty powerful little pump, though it was only driving water through the radiator/reservoir. I found it a little loud, but there was a bit of air in the loop, and the pump was sitting directly on the table. Picking it up by the tubing pretty much eliminated all pump noise other than the air bubbles going through it and the radiator.

Later that same evening, I installed the i7 860 from Alpine, and removed the Noctuas from my case. They were cleaned and mounted to the radiator.


This thing looks just plain imposing. Then again, this is my first loop.

The other thing that was really bothering me was how I was going to mount the reservoir. After seeing it in person, and noticing it came with Velcro, it spawned a perfect idea for a mounting point. I moved my DVD drive to the bottom 5.25" slot, and the reservoir is now Velcro'd to the inside of the 5.25" bays. It's pretty solid, and allows me to see the water levels and pretty easily fill it.


I'm still playing around with tubing ideas. I have a good idea of how my flow will go (Res>Pump>GPU>CPU>Rad>), I just can't decide on which ports to use on the reservoir.

Now I'm only waiting on a couple more parts. The CPU waterblock has been ordered from Dazmode, Possibility of a used GPU water block here soon, and finally, my Bitspower compression fittings will be ordered from NCIX on Friday with my Brother's parts. Everything is set to come in When I'm back home the next weekend to help my Brother out with his build, and I'll be bringing all of my parts back to my apartment on the 16th to finish my build.

Very excited.

Rison January 6, 2011 05:44 AM

Hey, that stuff looks familiar! :biggrin:

As for the loop, looks like solid theory. I used to fiddle with which block went first.. until I realized it doesn't matter, and the best way to set it up is which ever is the shortest path (which is how you set up)

As for the resevoir, I did the exact same thing with placement but used zip ties instead of the velcro (which is why there was velcro in the box I think)
What I recommend, is to inset the res to the front of the case.. then having your fill port at the top.. and having your inlet from the rad the top barb on the side, and the exit to the pump being the bottom barb on the side. By moving your res closer to the front, you dont have to bend the tubes at hard angles when routing them.
The temptation is to have your rad connect to the res at the top - which I debated for a long while myself.. but then your fill port would be on the top barb on the side.. that could work, but I was afraid of a "waterfall" effect when the res got lower with water, and that it could push air bubbles into the loop.
That entire reasoning above, is why I bought the EK 250 res.

Your drain port should be at the lowest point - the T fittings work good for those (i'd probably put it after the pump)
That rad does hold a lot of water, be sure to run it for 2-4 hours.. then tilt it to remove more air, then another 2h, than tilt/shake it gently again.. (rinse/repeat) until all the air is out. I would have everything mounted except the rad when I leak tested.

I have 1/2 bottle of swiftech hydrx I should have given ya.. totally forgot about that. It's not really worth driving anywhere for, or mailing for that matter.

Anywho, good luck and post the progress. :thumb:

Nostril January 7, 2011 09:31 PM

Thanks for the advice Rison, much appreciated. :thumb:

Anyway, quick update. Everything that I still need is either paid for or on it's way! Extremely big thanks to Magictorch for my EK470 full cover block, should be arriving on Tuesday. Big thanks also goes out to Dazmode for extremely quick shipping. Thanks to that, the EK Supreme HF should be in by Monday. The only deciding factor on me building or not is the NCIX order for the compression fittings and a Bitspower 90 degree rotary fitting. Payment was sent today, so HOPEFULLY it'll ship on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. If it doesn't, I'm going to be a very disappointed hardware enthusiast.

So, as stated in the prior post, plan is to head home for the weekend next Friday, and on Sunday, grab the water cooling gear and my 72 kcups from singlecup.ca, then head back to the apartment. From there, a night of building will ensue with the help of my room mates.

Expect pictures. Lots.

Rison January 8, 2011 08:54 AM


Originally Posted by Nostril (Post 471916)
grab the water cooling gear and my 72 kcups from singlecup.ca, then head back to the apartment.

Another tip, if you like van houtte k cups you can goto Red Carpet Coffee service in Burnside (Dartmouth) They are at 100 Wright Ave, unit 4. 902-468-7821 (drive in the complex, they are near the end on the left)
I used to own a cafe, and still have better pricing than retail - but they do sell to the public (magic words to buy from them is saying "cash account") they take credit card though.
You have to know what products you want from them before you call, you can look all that stuff up online.. they keep a huge inventory (typically) so they have always had what I wanted when I ordered.
You have to pre-call your order in a day before, than go pick it up. It's FAR cheaper than any online vendor, even with free shipping.
But i'm the crazy type that buys $200++ at a time worth of kcups anyways. I've had my Keurig coffee maker for over 6 years now.. I bought it before they were cool. :thumb:

Nostril January 10, 2011 02:16 PM

Quick update, look what came in the mail today!


Many thanks to Magictorch for the awesome deal on the EK FC470, and thanks again to Dazmode for the EK Supreme HF. Picture was taken by my brother back home, so I won't actually get to touch these till the weekend.

On that note, everything else is either in the mail, or should be in the mail tomorrow, and is slated for arrival by Friday! Will have more pictures up once stuff arrives.

Nostril January 16, 2011 08:54 PM

Well well well!

I ended up receiving almost everything by Friday, except for the single radiator and the Feser fittings that were coming from Elwoodz. Although I am disappointed with Canada Post, I should be receiving those by middle of the week. I'll finish my build then, but for now, some more pictures.

I really couldn't resist getting it set up and running now, just to see what it could do... So, 4 hours after arriving at the apartment, I was priming. 57 degrees on my i7 860 under full load at 3.8GHz, 1.282v.

Pictures to follow... And I do apologize for the quality, as the camera has a broken screen. I have to take a lot of pictures just to get anything half decent.

This was the haul for the weekend. 16GB of DDR3, 72 kcups (That jet fuel is pretty darn good), the water blocks from the previous post, looooots of bitspower compressions, a bitspower 90 degree rotary, an enzotech spacer and t block, along with 3 feser 45 degree compressions.

First thing done when I got home. The GPU. Really doesn't look as menacing without the Twin Frozr II heat sink.


That's better. Still not as menacing. But a little bit better looking.

EK Supreme HF mounted. Thing is nice looking. Great finish on the base too.




Some leak testing. Only one leak, and it was the 45 degree rotary adapter at the fill port. Not a big deal at all. Pump was secured with zip ties and dampened with some neoprene from a cheap laptop case.


My tubing in the front. Was difficult to get the reservoir to fit here, but definitely worked out well. Not as clean as I would have liked it, but still better than it could have been.

So, as it's not done yet, may as well say what's next.

Waiting on the X-changer 120 from Elwoodz. Need to get it shipped from Amherst to Truro when it arrives there... Along with that is 11 Feser compressions, 7 feser barbs, and 3 feser 45 degree rotary compressions. Also, I'm waiting on a couple of plugs, so I can move my drain port from under the reservoir to between the pump and video card. Will be attaching the T-block directly to the pump, then having a drain port off of that.

I honestly don't like the Swiftech res too much. What I did was order some male to male fittings, and a new EK multi option advanced res. It'll be attached to the pump, which will be clipped to the side. Not sure how yet, but I'm working on that. I'm also going to be putting a fill port off the radiators outlet using an enzotech t block, another male to male fitting, and some compressions. A drain port will be put off the pump in the same fashion.

Eventual loop SHOULD be reservoir > pump > GPU > 120 rad > CPU > 360 rad > res.

So, expect a finished build by the weekend!

Nostril May 2, 2011 07:44 AM

Never got around to completing this thread, however, my final build is and has been done, at least for this project. It's been up and running for around 3 months now, and I can honestly say it's been worth the trouble. GPU and CPU are both kept well under 60 degrees when under heavy load, Which I find is rather impressive.


Replaced the Micro Reservoir with an EK Multioption Advanced 150. I don't know how much it cleaned up my corners, but I think it looks a bit nicer, and the thing bled ridiculously fast. Initially I was also thinking that I'd run a Feser 120 on the back as well, with the same push-pull Noctua setup, however, space was very limited in the back, and routing the tubing would have been very hard to accomplish, especially with 1/2 ID tubing. I ended up ditching that idea. Besides, the triple radiator gives me great temperatures as it is.

I also added a drain port with a T block and a quick disconnect. Haven't had to use it yet, but I can only assume it'll work out just fine.


Overall, I'm pleased with how this project went, and considering I didn't really run into any trouble, I'll more than likely do this again. Thanks again to everyone that helped with choosing parts, and thanks again to those that sold to me.

Expect a BST thread with some unused watercooling gear. :bleh:

Jaydu May 2, 2011 09:06 AM

looks really good. I like the drain Think I will do a quick disconnect for my drain aswell.

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