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Old March 17, 2009, 06:35 AM
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Default Watercooling Build: Looking for input!

I'm looking for some input from the great community Ive tried to become a part of over the past couple months now. Its nice to have a homegrown Canadian site to come to, let me tell you!

Anyways, enough with the ass-kissing

I'm finally going to take the plunge (*groan*) into watercooling! My budget is ~300 if I can. I'm hoping to pick up a couple used pieces on the forums to help lower cost.

I'll go higher should I need to buy a new case, but for components directly related to Watercooling, I'd like to stay around 300.

Currently I have for hardware:
Mobo: ASUS P5K-Deluxe Wi-Fi
CPU: Q6600 @ 3.4 undervolted to 1.2 volts on a 120 Extreem Air (Yes, my chip is a goddamn -beast- )
RAM: 2x2 Gig 800mhz 5-5-5-15 G.Skill overclocked to 1066mhz at 4-4-4-12

couple various hard drives, cd-roms etc as seen in my sig...

All in a P-180 Case.

So, here is my first real question: Should I upgrade my case? Or just stick it out with this good looking P180. Not that this is not the P182 with watercooling ports, rad mounts etc, I'll have to cut/mod this case to make it work as seen in other guides here on the site, probably the top rad mod if I do go with this case...

Whats the recommended WC case to upgrade to if this P180 isnt worth it?

2nd Question: Pump Choice: I'm thinking the Swiftech MCP655 that almost everyone seems to use. It must be popular for a reason, right? I'm going to be doing a simple CPU loop, maybe GPU once I upgrade from this 88gt...
CPU Block: I really dont know what to do here. I want to future-proof myself for i5/i7 (Do we even know the socket design for i5?) but need it to also fit my current 775...Does such a block exist currently? (More in regards to the i5)
Resevoir: I'm leaning towards the Swiftech MCRES V2. Again, everyone seems to use it, and after reading about it, it does seem to be the best.
Rad: I'm a bit at a loss for this. I guess it depends on what I do with a case. 3x120mm in size, again, to futureproof me if I decide to go CPU-GPU-NB on an i5/i7 build.

I know its pritty vague right now, but as most of the guides show everything seems to be user preference, so thats what I'm after. Good old Canadian input. I think currently my biggest stumbling block is if I should even use this P180 case, or just buy a new case and make my life easier to set it up.
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Old March 17, 2009, 06:53 AM
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Yeh I'm keen on this topic too nice post! I don't mean to bud in on ya mate but i'd like to know which is a good mid ranged cpu waterblock. Currently I've jimmy rigged a 939 clip onto a 940 board. Any links regarding cpu cooling is good!

cheers
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Old March 17, 2009, 06:57 AM
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Nice to see someone else getting their feet wet.

The MCP655 is a great piece of hardware, a MCP355 with an aftermarket top gives similar if not better performance from what I hear though, and it popular because of its small footprint(The MCP655 is BIG).

As for the case, that is entirely based on preference, making radiators fit inside the case may be a lot of fun but as I see it, I think you can probably do some cutting on the top of the case and fit a triple radiator up there(if you are comfortable with a bit of dremel work). If you still feel you need more cooling power you can fit a single 120 rad on the back of the case. The pump could go down below in the bottom chamber and voila. If you are thinking of replacing it, most of the Lian-Lis are fairly easy to watercool(V1000 and Vsomething or other) seem to be popular, the Silverstone TJ07 is also stupid easy to watercool, you can easily fit a triple thermochill or Feser rad in the bottom, which says something as those are fat rads.


Hardware I would recommend:

Rad: Swiftech 320(A Feser or thermochill if you really intend to adding more to the loop later, not necessary to keep a Q6600 cool though)
Res: You got it
Pump: MCP355/655
Block: Fuzion 2 or a Swiftech GTZ, both have retention hardware available for other sockets and are quick to release as new sockets arrive. Both great options, go with whichever is more attractive/available
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Old March 17, 2009, 08:25 AM
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P180 should be fine for small scale watercooling, but you will need a radbox if you want to mount a decent sized radiator without using a dremel.

MCP655 is one of the best commercial grade pumps, but your loop shouldn't require the power of the 655, so you can actually go for a DD CPX-pro since it's a relatively cheap pump with decent power.

CPU block you should look into investing in a Heatkiller block . However if you can't find one, then a cheap choice is apogee GT, or move up to Fuzion V1/V2. If you want absolute performance, check out Koolance 350 and EK supreme LT (warning, very restrictive, but should be fine for a simple loop like yours)

Reservoir is a simple choice, just get a MCRES rev2, it works great and it's cheap. Or you can skip the idea of res all together for a Tee line.

You don't need a triple rad for your loop. A good double rad will be more than enough to do the job. Go for a MCR220, or invest in a more expensive rad like Thermochill 120.2 or TFC Xchanger 240

Good luck
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Old March 17, 2009, 08:35 AM
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I would recommend the following:

Pump: MCP350 (that can easily be modded to an MCP355 if you can do very simple soldering) or an MCP355, both with an aftermarket top (EK Xtop rev.2 or XSPC reservoir-top for convenience).

Radiator: XSPC RX220 or RX320, the new king of the hill with low & medium speed fans. As thick as a Feser/Thermochill, but a lot cheaper.

Block: I don't if socket i5 will be (very) different from i7, so I won't speculate. But right now, the HeatKiller is the block to beat, and is compatible with lga775 and i7. The Swiftech Apogee GTZ is compatible with lga775/i7 also, and is a great performer.

The EK Supreme is also another great block, but far more restrictive than the previous 2. However, in a cpu only loop, with an mcp350/mcp355 with aftermarket top, I wouldn't be a problem. The inclusion of a gpu block would still be acceptable.

Case: I find case aesthetics to be personnal taste... but the TJ07, the Cosmos S and the HAF932 do simplify watercooling....

My .02, just suggestions though
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Old March 17, 2009, 09:01 AM
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wow, moddable pump? I'm all over that 350 to 355 mod. Kinda cool with the built in Res too. I like that. Saves hose distance :) Less water to pump = better flow rate, right?

Looks like NCIX doesnt carry the XSPC rads, but they do have the res. I'll do some PM around and see what I can pull in at other retailers that have the rad.

So far, based upon everyones advice I'm probably going to go with;

MCP 350 (modded to 355 with 1/2 barbs, and XSPC res top!)
Swiftech GTZ cpu block
Rad I'm torn, if I can find a XSPC rad, I'll do that, if not, maybe a feser/tchill...But it will be a 3x120 for future upgrades chipset/gpu cooling.

I just want expandability so I dont have to swap all this expensive cooling gear when I upgrade my hardware this fall :)
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Old March 17, 2009, 09:24 AM
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You can only find the XSPC RX-series radiators in the states for now, unfortunately... sorry I shouldn't of recommended it

The MCR320 is a fine radiator, especially for the price.

The TFC and the TC rads are great, but If I had to choose between the 2, I would go with a TFC even if it's more expensive because of the weird fan spacing and the non-G1/4 fittings the TC rads use.

Cheers,
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Old March 17, 2009, 09:33 AM
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Nice selection of parts. But a triple rad? Look at what my PA120.2 can handle, and I'll be adding a second GTX 260 the second it arrives. All inside a P182, slightly modded.

i7, Nb, GTX 260 #1, GTX 260 #2 (mind you this is an old pic, with the dual 280s I had back then, but the pump/res/rad haven't changed location)



I'll add new pics on the WC rig thread once the second 260 is plumbed.
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Old March 17, 2009, 10:02 AM
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A few thoughts:

If you look at actual tests, the difference between the less-expensive Swiftech rads and the more expensive Feser/Thermochill/XSPC radiators is surprisingly small, especially when you consider some of the hype (as I look over at my three Thermochill rads ).

The Micro-Res is a great reservoir. Size for size, it bleeds faster than any pretty much any other reservoir I've seen. The XSPC restop is also very good (and compact), although bleeding is going to take a little longer.

The MCP655 is an excellent pump, and the standard version has a speed-adjustment which lets you slow it down if you're really serious about keeping noise down. The two disadvantages are its size, and the fact that it tends to add a little more heat (10-20W extra, which really isn't that much) to the water compared to some other pumps. But when you compare the price of a MCP350/55 + an aftermarket top, it's a pretty good deal. Regardless of what pump you use, you NEED to isolate the vibrations. Multiple layers of foam/gel, or even cable suspension are your best bets, otherwise even a low-powered pump will turn the solidest case into a sound box.
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Old March 17, 2009, 10:15 AM
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Nice Charlie, I see why you like the parts choices

So you think the 120.2 will cover your 2x260's, 920 and northbridge? Then I'll be fine with a double, you're right. Also, I assume you have the side modded to vent outwards from the Rad? Or are you just using the front intake to cool it? Seems like there wouldnt be alot of airflow over the fins, just past...You must have it sidemodded!

MpG: Swiftech rad it is. As to your comment about the 655, you may be right when you say in comparison to a 350+top its the same, but I would still need a res/t-line if I go that route, which adds to the cost again. Plus as Charlie said, I dont need to go that big for my setup of CPU & maybe GPU (currently) to CPU/GPU/NB down the road.

Thanks for the input guys. Keep it comming, I'm going to start price shopping for the things I know I'm getting, and the ones I may get
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