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-   -   custom or closed loop? help me decide which one is right for me. (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/water-cooling/47802-custom-closed-loop-help-me-decide-one-right-me.html)

Pabz0r545 October 30, 2011 10:43 PM

custom or closed loop? help me decide which one is right for me.
Hi all. Lately I have been thinking of upgrading my CPU cooling from Corsair H60. I'm running the i5 2500k at 4.7 ghz getting 70 C max at full load in prime95 using realtemp and hardware monitor and I am looking to drop my temps some. I don't think the h60 has all that much cooling power and I know I could be getting better temps with a different cooling kit. If I can drop to the 60 degree range I would be really happy but I don't know please don't laugh at me if that is a ridiculous thought/goal lol.

Now my dilemma is do I purchase a corsair H100 or do I go custom water cooling? You might laugh at me for thinking I can do custom in an mATX I think it can be done. The case is quite long and has great cable management. I can sacrifice both of the 5 1/4" drive bays either for reservoirs or HDD/SSD storage. I removed the HDD cages in the front where dual 120 mm fans are mounted and would be perfect for a 240mm rad. I took the measurements and I have exactly 275mm to work with which is exactly enough for an h100 and hopefully some 240mm custom radiators. The only thing I am worried about is the hose length. I sized it up comparing the cpu block to my h60 and where the connectors are and the distance is about 9 inches from cpu block hose to the top of the radiator where it would be sitting. Also would an H100 give a dramatic temp change opposed to an H60?

With all that being said I do like the possibility of water cooling other components in the future.

I'm not afraid to dip my toes into the custom water cooling world. Budget is not much of a factor. I do like to tinker with my stuff a bit and can appreciate a challenge but at the same time I can appreciate ease of maintenance and simplicity long term. I don't know guys, what do you think? Should I go with custom or will the H100 suffice? Does anyone have any input on the length of the hoses?

Also for system specs look at my profile thing on the right there. Everything will be the same but the motherboard is an ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z, the case is a Fractal Design Define Mini and possibly the CPU clock speed. Oops I also will likely be removing the HDD as I don't use it at all unless I can find a single bay reservoir but from what i notice all the ones I have seen are dual bay.

Your input is greatly appreciated as always.

Prolab October 31, 2011 01:58 AM

Well, i can tell you this much - if you do decided to go custom loop, its very $$$$.

So have a realistic budget to begin with.

Once your set on a budget, are you planning to WC just the CPU? Or other components as well? Make sure your certain about this for now.

Once you figured out which part(s) youre going to WC, find out the thermal load on your component(s).

Personally, ived use this guide:

Beginner’s Guide to Water Cooling Your PC | Overclockers

And help me figure out my plan off attack. Goodluck!


Double and triple check all your connections and always be careful checking your loop. Dont want water dripping down on your stuff. And if it does, dont panic!

Just let it dry for a few days and double check everything and you should be good to go.

Evochuck October 31, 2011 08:12 AM

I need to agree with prolab, when you start QC it seems cheap since all the parts alone aren't that expensive, but when put together, it goes fast, to give you an example, my CPU/GPU single loop with a single rad ran me for about 500-550$....... about 5x the price of a high performance air cooler.

Pabz0r545 October 31, 2011 12:02 PM

Hey guys. Thanks for the replies. However my questions have still pretty much been unaddressed. :P

I know that a custom loop water cooling will cost a lot of $$. As mentioned in my original post budget is not really an issue. I am comfortable spending up to 500 for my initial cost. I am just still not sure if doing a custom kit is going overboard for my needs or if I should just go with something like an h100 since I am 90% sure it will fit.

dandelioneater October 31, 2011 12:29 PM

The custom water cooling solution will perform much better than the H100. The H100 is not a bad choice by any means, With good fans I'm sure it works very well. The H100 will fit your case no problem, looks great, requires little maintenance, and will be much, much cheaper. The custom loop requires $$$, time, somewhat regular maintenance, and makes it harder to swap/troubleshoot components. I think you have to decide if you are willing to spend the time working on your PC to setup the loop and if an extra few hundred MHz is worth $500 in cooling.

Dragonstongue October 31, 2011 01:02 PM

I think if you really want the best, I would go CL.

Reason being is you can easily adapt it to your specific build/needs, as long as you choose the parts properly, you can use it for years to come, it would just be as simple as getting more cooling tubes, maybe changing a few plates, not to mention you can have it quiet performance or balls to the wall type cooling power.

The H series coolers, are in many ways good coolers, better then most air coolers, are very compatible, but are not meant to be serviced, and the fans they come with, to get the most cooling, tend to be very noisy from the reviews I have seen.

If you have the funds, time, and research to do so, I most definately would go with a custom loop, beyond any other reason, is simple, its custom, so you can make it any way you so choose, heck, if you have a large enough coolant supply it can be almost completely noiseless, with the right pump and such :)

Pabz0r545 October 31, 2011 02:08 PM

Again, thanks for the replies. Much appreciated :)

I definitely have the time and the money. Plus I am quite bored of my pc and will enjoy the challenge. I am also quite familiar with aquarium pumps and fittings and that kind of stuff as live planted aquarium is one of my other hobbies. The question now is : Do you think it would be possible to drop from 70C to 60C going from the H60 to a custom loop? Or is that a ridiculous goal? I don't want to spend 500+ for a few degree change in temps. But at the same time it's not just about the temps, its about appearance and noise levels as well. Plus something to do. A challenge.

I am now really leaning towards going custom. I really like the expandability of custom compared to closed loop. I'm sure in the future I will want to WC my vid card(s) when I upgrade when the new ones come out. I even spent all night last night looking at peoples setups, full systems, and individual parts. Pricing them out and doing 'pretend builds'.

Now a new question arises. Would it be recommended to purchase a full kit? Or separate parts? And which kits are good? Or which brands are good? Also it appears that the EK 240mm length radiator will be the only one that will fit in my case, being 277mm where I have 275 to work with. I might have to dremel a lowered dip area on my 5 1/4" drive bay area to gain those extra 2mm. All the other ones that had size specs seemed to be 5mm-10mm too big.

Will an EK radiator be compatible with say a for example a koolance waterblock, provided they both have the same size fittings?

dandelioneater October 31, 2011 03:12 PM

You should be good to go mixing koolance and EK. Both accept g1/4 threaded fittings which is standard on both 1/2'' and 3/8'' fittings.

Pabz0r545 October 31, 2011 03:47 PM

Now is there any difference in the tubing? Is 1/2" recommended over 3/8"? Personally I like the look of the smaller tubing better. Also will the pump output affect the size of tubing I should use?

Dazmode November 1, 2011 09:22 AM

The difference is marginal, so I wouldn't worry much about difference between 1/2, 7/16 or 3/8 tube.

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