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getting my nose wet for the first time

I'm about to embark on a new journey, I want to water cool my system with a custom loop simply because it would make a nice visual addition to my new case a Thermaltake Core P5.

However I've never tried this before so I was thinking to start with the simplest custom loop I could imagine. That is seemingly more difficult than I could imagine because I have no experience and no Idea about what is absolutely needed in a build nor what would look nice and clean in my case.

so I'm here to hear some opinions/recommendations for a total newbie regarding custom water cooling.

but first I will try to add a few of my unordered thoughts and hopefully you guys can help me fill out some of the blanks.

the easiest place for me to start thinking about this is the radiator and fans as I've had AIO's before I Kinda understand their purpose and how they look. But even then the range of options is way out of my league.
I was thinking to only cool my CPU to begin with maybe later play with cooling the GFX card if I get the hang of this.
So I was thinking the size of my case I could go with a 480mm radiator to fill out my case visually, I know that would be way overkill to a single CPU but here I'm looking also at the visibility of my case.
I've also been thinking of just going with a 360mm radiator I'm thinking of going for something not to slim and not to thick maybe 45mm thick.
As it is I don't know how to decide between them and I have no idea of what brands to go for.

Next up I was thinking of a pump and a Reservoir but no idea of what to get here. I wish to have something that looks clean and stylish but again what pumps are good quality ? and I'm guessing Reservoir is just about what I find to look nice and go for that.

regarding the CPU block I feel the same I've heard I shouldn't mix metals too much so I guess what I will be choosing depends on my fittings and radiator choice in that regard I guess it's more simple than a radiator as some will be sorted out once I know what radiator I go for.

 

however I like clean and stylish so I guess hardline would be the way to go however I want something clear so was thinking to go for borosilicate glass and only do fittings to bends that way I could simplify a little how to handle the lines and the glass. 
But I guess hardline would be slightly harder to do is there a way to make a clean minimalistic stylish setup with soft line that is easier to make ?

I've already decided on trying to make a pull configuration on the radiators with the lian li uni fans as I've fallen in love with them.
I'm also considering ways I could ensure a little airflow over my motherboard just because I know my case is pretty open so airflow is probably not that focused on the motherboard.


and here I am with no idea how to really start this up, what I'm forgetting or missing, and most importantly no idea of how to get on with this. Do you have a suggestion/opinion/tutorial for dummies/anything I could use to move forward with this project or am I forgetting something essential ETC ?

I'm usually a guy who needs to understand every single little part before I make the big picture so this is a major undertaking for me as I'm coming from a place of almost complete ignorance.
 

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I watched declassified systems and singularity computers YouTube channels for years before making a single loop. 
One has a section for teaching and does a way better job of everything compared to to more mainstream YouTubers. 
 

But I’d find components you like visually first. And go from there. 
Copper or nickel plated copper stuff is the norm and easier to get for a variety of parts. 
 

If the case can fit a 480, do it. That way you can add what ever later and still have low fan speeds and low temps. Which should be the goal overall. 
 

Also looking up builds in the same case will give you an idea of what it’s gonna be like or could look like. 

Main RIg Corsair Air 540, I7 8700k, ASUS ROG Strix Z370-H, G.Skill TridentZ 16GB, EVGA 1080TI SC Black, EVGA 850 GQ, Acer xG270HU 2560x1440@144hz

 

Spare RIg Corsair Air 540, I7 4770K, Asus Maximus VI Extreme, G.Skill Ares 32Gb, EVGA 1080sc & 1060 SSC, Corsair CX850M, Acer KG251Q 1920x1080@240hz 

 

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12 hours ago, Mick Naughty said:

I watched declassified systems and singularity computers YouTube channels for years before making a single loop. 
One has a section for teaching and does a way better job of everything compared to to more mainstream YouTubers. 
 

But I’d find components you like visually first. And go from there. 
Copper or nickel plated copper stuff is the norm and easier to get for a variety of parts. 
 

If the case can fit a 480, do it. That way you can add what ever later and still have low fan speeds and low temps. Which should be the goal overall. 
 

Also looking up builds in the same case will give you an idea of what it’s gonna be like or could look like. 

my case can easily fit 480 I was just thinking that, it is not the norm for cases so maybe getting a 360mm would give more sense.
and thank you for the two youtube channels I will be studying them thoroughly

is there a brand of radiators that's better than the others for beginners?
feature, looks or something else ?

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On 10/21/2020 at 10:15 AM, Sil3ntDragon said:

so I'm here to hear some opinions/recommendations for a total newbie regarding custom water cooling.

I literally completed my first water cooling loop this weekend (link in signature if you're interested), so until then I was also a total newbie :)

 

On 10/21/2020 at 10:15 AM, Sil3ntDragon said:

I was thinking to only cool my CPU to begin with maybe later play with cooling the GFX card if I get the hang of this.

My personal view is that it's easier, cheaper and less disruptive in the long run to do everything at once. By far the most annoying part of doing my build was the filling, bleeding and leak checking, so IMO you might just want to commit to doing it all in one fell swoop if you can afford to (and can afford to be without a PC for a little while longer whilst you get the bits together to do it).

 

Others may disagree but as long as you're careful it should be relatively easy to "get the hang of it" first time around.

 

On 10/21/2020 at 10:15 AM, Sil3ntDragon said:

So I was thinking the size of my case I could go with a 480mm radiator to fill out my case visually, I know that would be way overkill to a single CPU but here I'm looking also at the visibility of my case.

In a Core P5 you would want to go 480 from the off, to avoid having any dead space (unless you're going for a distro plate)

 

But I would caution that unless you're intending on going all out and also doing hardline tubing the P5 will probably be a fairly unforgiving case to work with. Open cases can look absolutely stunning but they tend to be much harder to cable manage or plan in ways that ensure they look clean. Not to say it's impossible by any stretch of the imagination but it will probably take a good bit more time and planning than doing so in a closed case would, and you may well find yourself in a situation of having to redo various bits because it doesn't work quite the way you want it to.

 

On 10/21/2020 at 10:15 AM, Sil3ntDragon said:

I've also been thinking of just going with a 360mm radiator I'm thinking of going for something not to slim and not to thick maybe 45mm thick.

Radiator choice is very much dependent on the components you're trying to cool, any overclocks that you intend on running, and whether you want the thing to be tolerable from an acoustic perspective. I'm a big fan of Hardware Labs GTS and GTX range as they have excellent performance that's tailored specifically for low-RPM fans and extremely good build quality, but they don't offer a 45mm radiator option.

 

The EKWB PE480 or 480mm Alphacool XT45 offer good overall performance in a 40-45mm profile, but will only perform better than the 30mm HWLabs GTS480 at high (over 1200) RPM. At fan speeds under 1000RPM the GTS range are probably the best radiators on the market.

 

On 10/21/2020 at 10:15 AM, Sil3ntDragon said:

Next up I was thinking of a pump and a Reservoir but no idea of what to get here. I wish to have something that looks clean and stylish but again what pumps are good quality ?

I would recommend a Laing D5 pump in something the side of the Core P5. You should only go with a DDC if you are really tight for space. Brand doesn't really matter as they're all the same on the inside. I went for PWM but in hindsight I probably would have saved money and got a Vario pump as they're much easier to fill and bleed when you are leak testing. 

 

As for reservoirs, I personally like the square glass Watercool ones if you want something a bit "different" looking. Singularity Computers tube reservoirs are also excellent and give you a great many different port options as well. I'm personally a fan of using acrylic distribution plate and reservoir combos to simplify tubing runs and generally keeping stuff tidy. You can get a very nice distro plate for the P5 which gives it a very clean look...but if it was me I would HAVE to sleeve that bloody pump wire.

 

CL-W264-PL00SW-A-05.jpg

 

On 10/21/2020 at 10:15 AM, Sil3ntDragon said:

regarding the CPU block I feel the same I've heard I shouldn't mix metals too much so I guess what I will be choosing depends on my fittings and radiator choice in that regard I guess it's more simple than a radiator as some will be sorted out once I know what radiator I go for.

Most vendors use copper or nickel plated copper so you don't really need to worry about mixing metals too much. Basically you need to make a decision between classic/functional looking and RGB/glowy. The actual performance difference between most block is fairly minimal, a £20 Barrow off AliExpress will offer 95% of the performance of a £250 EKWB.

 

On 10/21/2020 at 10:15 AM, Sil3ntDragon said:

however I like clean and stylish so I guess hardline would be the way to go however I want something clear so was thinking to go for borosilicate glass and only do fittings to bends that way I could simplify a little how to handle the lines and the glass. 
But I guess hardline would be slightly harder to do is there a way to make a clean minimalistic stylish setup with soft line that is easier to make ?

You can do fairly clean and minimalist soft tubing but you usually need a distribution plate and it can take a LOT of planning, trial, error, and the inventive use of fittings to do so.

 

With borosilicate most people make up all the bends in acrylic or PETG first and then remake them in the glass, because that's the best way of minimising wastage as the glass is so expensive in comparison. IMO glass looks better with simple 90 degree bends than it does with fittings used to handle the bends, which is fine as you can get prebent glass tubing.

 

Personally I'd do the loop in acrylic (especially something like frosted acrylic which looks amazing) and then fit and leak test it using compressed air...THEN make a decision whether you want to go through the whole process again with glass or you're happy with the acrylic. Fitting are the same regardless of whether you use acrylic or glass so the only additional cost is time and a few meters of tubing. 

 

On 10/21/2020 at 10:15 AM, Sil3ntDragon said:

and here I am with no idea how to really start this up, what I'm forgetting or missing, and most importantly no idea of how to get on with this. Do you have a suggestion/opinion/tutorial for dummies/anything I could use to move forward with this project or am I forgetting something essential ETC ?

Mirroring what @Mick Naughty says...

 

1) Look at other people doing their builds to get ideas you like.

2) Check out Alex at Bit-Tech's series on loop planning, tools and some of his custom builds

3) Get to a point you're sure what components you want to use, based on reviews etc.

4) Plan on paper or in photoshop to work out how many fittings, connectors etc you need

5) Prepare to be without your PC for MUCH longer than you intend. I think it took me about 40 days from final power-down on my old cooling to fully powering up the new system, but I do have an 8-month-old and an exceptionally demanding job so I was doing bits when I could find time really.

6) You will forget to order stuff or do thing you end up not liking the look of. Don't fret or try and bodge, do it right or end up doing it twice. I've got about 5ft of EK-ZMT offcuts that are testament to that.

7) Take you time

P R O J E C T | S A N D W A S P
Intel 6900K @4.3GHz (1.285v) | MSI X99A MPOWER | 32GB G-Skill Trident Z RGB 3000MHz CL14

Custom Distro Plate | XSPC D5 PWM | Watercool Heatkiller Blocks | HardwareLabs GTS & GTX 360 Radiators
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