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Old August 15, 2010, 12:00 PM
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Default First time WC setup! Rad mounting ideas?

So I got a ridiculous deal on watercooling parts and I decided to take the dive into water!

I've done quite a bit of reading and researching, but I had a few questions and wanted to get you experienced fellows' opinions on some things.



I'll be cooling an i5 750 and 5850.

The parts I currently have are:

XSPC RX360 Rad
XSPC RX120 Rad
HK 3.0 1366 (which I need to sell/trade for 1156 WB - someone trade me!!! Or is there any way to convert the 1366 into a 1156?)
MCP655-B pump
5850 full cover block
Dual-bay 5.25" Reservoir (which I'm hoping to change out to something smaller)
5.25" Fan Controller
Spare/used tubing and some plastic fittings (which I will change to new tubing and metal fittings).

I intend to buy new fittings, new tubing, will use distilled water, with a silver coil (do the BP True Silver fittings work just as well?)


Now I figure that a single XSPC 360 radiator would be plenty for one i5 750 and 5850 (although I will be OCing both of them quite a bit), but would adding that extra 120 radiator in the loop make any difference? I would just put it on the case exhaust (but if not much difference, I'll probably just sell it).


I'll be using my Lian Li 7FNWX case, which is pretty small and I don't think I can mount the 360 anywhere inside without modding it quite a bit, which I want to avoid as I neither have the tools nor the work area to be able to do it.


That being said, I am thinking of mounting the 360 on top of the case. My idea is to use shrouds to lift the rad off the case (and use double sided tape to keep it there - although simple drilling of holes wouldn't be too bad either), and then put 120mm fans pulling on top of the radiator:


@@@ Fans pulling air UP
==== Rad
++++ Shroud
------ Top of Case


Would you recommend another way to do this? I do not really want to hang it off the back as I think it looks rather strange and access to USB ports etc would be less convenient.


Coming from only ever having experience using air coolers, your input would be greatly valued! Thanks!
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Old August 15, 2010, 12:54 PM
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I think those cases can accomodate an internal floor placement because the i/o ports are on top, but I'm not sure whether they will hold a 360mm rad or just a 240. It would be nice to do an internal mount- you could always sell those rads, and have enough for a good 240mm which would cool both your cpu and gpu no prob.
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Old August 15, 2010, 02:59 PM
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You have some good components to work with. The XSPC RX rads are THICK as I'm sure you've noticed.

To convert the HK 3.0, I think you just need:
The back plate - HEATKILLER® Backplate Socket 1156
and the 1156 brackets - HEATKILLER® CPU Rev3.0 1156 Mounting Kit
maybe someone else has actually done this before.....

IMO, the 360 will be just fine for that loop. If you really want more cooling you could add the 240, but in that small of a case I think you may run into problems.
The 360 is 125x58.5x410mm and your case is 120x470x490mm. But you need to leave some room for the external ports.

If you don't want to hang it off the back.... you can:
As babrbarossa says, go to a single 240
Mod the top of the case to fit either a 240 or 360 internally
Mod the top of the case to fit a 360 externally
Use standoffs and set the rad on top of the case (no mods)

If it were I, I would first measure out the 360 vs the top of the case, then I would go ahead and cut the top of the case to fit the rad.
Then mount the 360 internally, or the 240 if the 360 is impossible.
You will lose the use of 2 5.25 bays (except for something like a thin fan controller) and you will have to ditch the top rear fan. BUT, you will have 3 120mm fans sucking air out of the case which will increase airflow over the single fan for sure. Then, install your choice of radguard on top of the case to cover your cuts.

Honestly, if you would like to do something like this, but are a bit leary of cutting the case... Don't be. It will take a dremel, masking tape, maybe 10 reinforced cutoff wheels and probably an hour of your time. The radguard will cover the cuts anyway.

Obviously in any scenario the fans can go on top of, or below the radiator.



If you decide to go on top, like you are talking about, Remember that you need to leave a good bit of room between the fans and the top of the case for good airflow. Also, remember that the water tubing and fan wires need to make their way back inside the case somewhere.

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Old August 15, 2010, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babrbarossa View Post
I think those cases can accomodate an internal floor placement because the i/o ports are on top, but I'm not sure whether they will hold a 360mm rad or just a 240. It would be nice to do an internal mount- you could always sell those rads, and have enough for a good 240mm which would cool both your cpu and gpu no prob.
Thanks for the reply, I don't think even a 240 would fit at the bottom, especially with the PSU there as well. The front fan there is a 140 and the PSU goes to just about where the grills end at the bottom there :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin1706 View Post
You have some good components to work with. The XSPC RX rads are THICK as I'm sure you've noticed.

To convert the HK 3.0, I think you just need:
The back plate - HEATKILLER® Backplate Socket 1156
and the 1156 brackets - HEATKILLER® CPU Rev3.0 1156 Mounting Kit
maybe someone else has actually done this before.....

IMO, the 360 will be just fine for that loop. If you really want more cooling you could add the 240, but in that small of a case I think you may run into problems.
The 360 is 125x58.5x410mm and your case is 120x470x490mm. But you need to leave some room for the external ports.

If you don't want to hang it off the back.... you can:
As babrbarossa says, go to a single 240
Mod the top of the case to fit either a 240 or 360 internally
Mod the top of the case to fit a 360 externally
Use standoffs and set the rad on top of the case (no mods)

If it were I, I would first measure out the 360 vs the top of the case, then I would go ahead and cut the top of the case to fit the rad.
Then mount the 360 internally, or the 240 if the 360 is impossible.
You will lose the use of 2 5.25 bays (except for something like a thin fan controller) and you will have to ditch the top rear fan. BUT, you will have 3 120mm fans sucking air out of the case which will increase airflow over the single fan for sure. Then, install your choice of radguard on top of the case to cover your cuts.

Honestly, if you would like to do something like this, but are a bit leary of cutting the case... Don't be. It will take a dremel, masking tape, maybe 10 reinforced cutoff wheels and probably an hour of your time. The radguard will cover the cuts anyway.

Obviously in any scenario the fans can go on top of, or below the radiator.



If you decide to go on top, like you are talking about, Remember that you need to leave a good bit of room between the fans and the top of the case for good airflow. Also, remember that the water tubing and fan wires need to make their way back inside the case somewhere.
Thanks for the detailed reply!

The mounting kits seem to work indeed, except the only place I can find them is Dazmode, and both the backplate + mounting kit for 1156 would cost me another $35+ship :(

I think I will try to sell the 1366 HK off, and then get a apogee xt, which I hear performs very well.

Radguards seem like a great idea though. Another reason I didn't want to mod it was because I didn't want to uglify the case and make it impossible to re-sell should I need to down the road, but I guess a good looking radguard can make it look alright. Although I'm having trouble finding one in Canada that won't charge me $20 shipping.

For now though, I will start with placing the rad on top. What is the standoffs that you speak of that require no modding?

There is actually a cutout for a panel on top for a 140mm fan. I can make use of... one of those screw holes? haha..
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Old August 15, 2010, 04:32 PM
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Maybe you could use those standoffs and mount a triple rad using just those. Have the standoffs supporting the middle so it balances. That would require the least amount of work, although it might not be that secure.
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Old August 15, 2010, 04:51 PM
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What is a standoff? Is it the things that go between the motherboard and case?

If so, I would drill little holes on the top panel and then screw the standoffs in?
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Old August 15, 2010, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tragd View Post
What is a standoff? Is it the things that go between the motherboard and case?

If so, I would drill little holes on the top panel and then screw the standoffs in?
Sorry, I guess that is a little confusing.

In PC speek, standoffs are those little things between the mobo and case.

Generally speaking, a standoff is just something that is used to separate two things. The concern for me with doing this, is to make sure that there is enough space between the rad and case to allow air to come through the rad unrestricted. Something as short as a PC standoff would be much too short.

The threads in the XSPC rads are #6-32 thread. Also, remember that you CANNOT put a screw all the way "through" the radiator as it will hit the fins. FYI

I am not sure what you have access to for tools, but there are a number of ways to go about it, if you are reluctant to drill holes in the case, then using double sided tape, or a silicone adhesive will allow you to remove the rad without damaging the case at all. You will still need to drill a few holes in the back of the case for the water tubes:

1. If you have any friends with a lathe, they could make you some standoffs out of plastic or aluminum pretty easily. In my head I see taking a 1" bar of aluminum and keeping a 1" foot with a 1/2" neck, then a hole in the top threaded for 6-32. then you just cut the head off of a screw and screw it into the standoff, and the standoff into the rad. Standoffs held to case with 3m tape.

2. Do the same as above, but if you don't have access to any tools, just use some "coupling nuts" (McMaster-Carr). The only concern here is that there is much less surface area between the coupling nut and the case, so you won't be able to use as much tape or adhesive. Maybe if you used 6 or 8 instead of just 4?

3. Sames as 2, but instead of tape or adhesive, drill 4 holes in the top of the case. Much more solid this way.



Please excuse my poor paint skillz. Even a poorly drawn picture should be worth 500 words right? lol I really hate the Win7 Paint

EDIT: Also yeah, those 140mm screw holes.... you would only be able to use 1 lol. And, the apogee block is great, but check out this waterblock comparison Skinnee Labs | EK Supreme HF
EK supreme HF sits on the top of the pile currently. I have 2 and love em.

Last edited by dustin1706; August 15, 2010 at 07:10 PM.
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Old August 16, 2010, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tragd;416047
[B
HK 3.0 1366[/B] (which I need to sell/trade for 1156 WB - someone trade me!!! Or is there any way to convert the 1366 into a 1156?)

Conversion kit


You block must be copper version, not LT.
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Old August 17, 2010, 01:10 AM
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If you can find a Canadian store that sells them then maybe take a look at one of these:

EK-CoolStream RAD XTC 280 [3831109860144] - $109.00 : PC Case Gear

From what i've seen you should be able to install it intrenally
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Old August 17, 2010, 02:14 PM
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Thanks again for all your help and inputs.
I like the tape idea, at least until I get fed up with it and end up selling the case for a bigger one most likely.
The 280 rad would probably work out nicely for this case, but again I'm hoping to spend as little as possible, but still make it work :p

And about my other question, would I see any improvement in having the extra 120mm radiator in the loop? Or would the 360 be more than enough, considering many are saying a 240 is enough?
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