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Looking to make a custom water cooling system for my graphics card. First time, would love advice.

I have a pc I built over a year ago that I love. It has a Threadripper 2920x, Asus Zenith Extreme Alpha motherboard, 64GB 3200 ram, a RTX Titan that was an upgraded from a 1080ti, a 1200w Corsair PSU, all in a Corsair Obsidian 750D Airflow Edition case.

 

I built this pc for my hobby 3D modeling and rendering, explaining the Titan upgrade because I needed more Vram for my bigger projects. I also use the computer as my gaming system. For the most part everything works and runs fantastic, most games and renders have the graphics card running average around 45°C with a locked framerate at 150 fps on the Nvidia Control Panel. However, I'm getting to the point where I'm working on bigger and more projects and while the Titan is still a great card to use, it gets a little toasty at times. I have iCue make my ram LEDs glow red when it hits 65°C and that's when I pause the renders or gaming to let my system cool itself off. Now I know 65° is not a dangerous threshold but I still want my card to have a long life, so that's my own thermal limit.

 

The Threadripper itself is cooled by a Corsair AIO, so any cooling modifications I do wouldn't effect the cpu temps, also the AIO makes it so CPU temps have nothing to do with GPU temps. What I want to do is watercool my Titan for three reasons.

 

1. Better cooling and thermals, making sure my card can function longer.

 

2. I can populate more of the pcie lanes underneath without restricting airflow. I want to add storage options and it would free up more space.

 

3. Eventually I will be getting another graphics card to pair with my Titan so I can have more render power for my 3D projects. I have a GTX 1070ti just sitting that I can use in the meantime, then when prices of new cards become sane again, I would want to invest in a EVGA RTX 3090 that I would also want to watercool.

 

So I need to design and make a watercooling setup for my pc that can handle 2 gpus in the future. It will be completely independent from CPU cooling so no need to ad that to the mix, so just the GPUs will be cooled in this system. The problem is I don't know what to do nor how to get started. I kinda want to put the radiator(s, if 2x 280mm ones could work) on the front cause the AIO is using the top vents.

 

I plan to just cool the one Titan card now and add to the cooling system when I get my second permanent card later. Soft tubing is totally fine and prefered for easy use and upgrades.

 

This would be my first time doing anything watercooled other than my truck, lol, so any advice would be great. 

 

Parts list, friendly advice, suggestions welcome. Thank you all again.

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I'd wait until you have the second GPU down the road, then plan and build the loop once. If you build it now, you'll have to redo most all the tubing anyways to add a second GPU later and will be effectively double the work.

 

Your temps are so far below the point of concern that I'd just wait until you actually need watercooling.

Be sure to QUOTE or TAG me in your reply so I see it!

 

CPU Ryzen 5 5600x GPU EVGA 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra MOBO Asus ROG Strix B550-F Gaming RAM Crucial Ballistix 3600 MHz CL16 32 GB PSU Corsair RM1000x COOLING Noctua NH-U12S

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I won't try to convince you not to do this. Though there are compelling reasons, your mind seems made up. So.

 

You'll probably want to get a new case for this, since the 750D Airflow doesn't have the greatest water cooling support. Corsair does not advertise radiator compatibility in the front, so you shouldn't assume it. I don't know whether your AIO can be moved to the front. Doing so would leave you with room for only a single 360mm rad which would still not be enough for 2X power hungry GPUs.

 

Some other top level suggestions:

  • You should try out the EK Configurator to get an idea of what you will need.
    • EK is more expensive and not necessarily better than other options, but it would be the easiest route. Regardless the tool is a useful learning tool.
  • You should go for EK ZMT tubing or equivalent for the greatest longevity.
  • With that much GPU, you'll want at least 2x 280mm or 2x 360mm radiators IMO.
  • Always get a selection of extra 45°, 90° and short extension fittings just in case.
  • Always get a few extra compression fittings. They come in handy for filling/draining at the very least.
  • Aside from EK, look at Bitspower and Barrow for fittings and HWLabs for radiators.

BabyBlu (Primary Rig): 

  • CPU: Intel Core i9 9900K @ up to 5.3Ghz, 5.0Ghz all-core
  • Motherboard: Asus Maximus XI Hero
  • RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 4x8GB DDR4-3200 @ 4000Mhz 16-18-18-34
  • GPU: MSI RTX 2080 Sea Hawk EK X, 2070Mhz core, 8000Mhz mem
  • Case: Phanteks Evolv X
  • Storage: XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB NVME, 3x ADATA Ultimate SU800 1TB (RAID 0), Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB NVME
  • PSU: Corsair HX1000i
  • Display: MSI MPG341CQR 34" 3440x1440 200Hz(OC) Freesync, Dell S2417DG 24" 2560x1440 165Hz Gsync
  • Cooling: Custom water loop (CPU & GPU), Radiators: 1x140mm(Back), 1x280mm(Top), 1x420mm(Front)
  • Keyboard: Corsair Strafe RGB (Cherry MX Brown)
  • Mouse: MasterMouse MM710
  • Headset: Corsair Void Pro RGB
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro

Roxanne (Wife Build):

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 4790K @ Per Core 5.0Ghz - 5.0Ghz - 4.9Ghz - 4.8Ghz, Cache @ 4.6Ghz, relidded with LM TIM
  • Motherboard: Asus Z97A
  • RAM: G.Skill Sniper 4x8GB DDR3-2400 @ 10-12-12-24
  • GPU: EVGA GTX 1080 FTW2 with LM TIM
  • Case: Corsair Vengeance C70, With Custom Side-Panel Window
  • Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB, Samsung 860 EVO 1TB, Silicon Power A80 1TB NVME
  • PSU: Corsair AX760
  • Display: Samsung C27JG56 27" 2560x1440 144Hz Freesync
  • Cooling: Corsair H115i RGB
  • Keyboard: GMMK TKL(Kailh Box White)
  • Mouse: Glorious Model O-
  • Headset: SteelSeries Arctis 7
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro

BlackBox (HTPC):

  • CPU: Intel Pentium G4600 (Kaby Lake)
  • Motherboard: Asus H110T/CSM Thin Mini-ITX
  • RAM: G.Skill 1x8GB DDR4-2400 SO-DIMM CL16
  • GPU: HD 630
  • Case: Akasa Euler Fanless Solid Aluminum THIN Mini ITX Case (passively cooled)
  • Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB
  • PSU: External 120W Power Adaptor
  • Display: 4K TV
  • Cooling: Passively cooled by the Akasa case. No moving parts!
  • Keyboard/Mouse: Handheld QWERTY keyboard and trackpad.
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro, Kodi autostarts on boot

NAS:

  • Synology DS216J
  • 2x8TB WD Red NAS HDDs in RAID 1. 8TB usable space
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Just saying, you would be better off putting the CPU in the same loop as the GPUs. AIOs don't really cool threadripper well because of how massive the IHS is. Basically every AIO on the market is designed for smaller chips like say a 10700k, not the absolute unit of a Threadripper CPU. The waterblocks designed specifically for threadripper are awesome in comparison, and I personally recommend them over anything Asetek or similar like the Corsair AIO.

 

That said, if you really don't care, on to the loop itself. You'll need to find a block for the RTX Titan, but there are a ton of them out there. I like EK blocks, but if you prefer the look of something like the Corsair waterblock for RGB support or something from Alphacool, that's fine as well. For the purpose of this parts list, I'll throw in the EK block.

 

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-classic-gpu-water-block-rtx-2080-ti-d-rgb

 

Next you'll need a radiator. The general rule of thumb is to use a 120mm radiator for every non-OCed component and a 240mm radiator for every OCed component, erring on the side of too much radiator than too little, with the main exception to that being the 3090. Unless you get a 3090, you're going to be fine with a 280mm radiator and two different GPUs. If you do go for the 3090, I'd recommend you get at least two 280mm rads, but you don't want to stack them, since it doesn't really help. These rads are good and should be fine. That being said, you might want to go for a different case so you can do dual 360mm rads instead. The Lian Li O11 Dynamic is a good candidate, as well as a few cases from Fractal and Phanteks.

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/radiators/black-ice-nemesis-l-series-280-stealth-radiator-nls280-f2pb.html

 

Next you'll need a pump/res combo. You want to get one with a D5 pump for the best quality and reliability, and get the largest reservoir you can fit. The larger the reservoir doesn't mean the system will perform better, it will just make it easier to fill and IMO usually look better. If you wanna cheap out and get something smaller, it's up to you. 

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/combo-pump-reservoir/aquacomputer-ultitube-d5-100-expansion-tank-with-d5-pwm-pump.html

 

Next on the list is fittings. I like Bitspower fittings, they're what is running in my loop, and they've been running for years without any leaks. Get two for every component you'll have in the loop, plus two extra for filling and draining, and in case you have a fitting break on you so you can get your system up and running quickly. These are good fittings for a decent price.

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/fittings-connectors/bitspower-bp-mbcpf-hfcc6-g3-8-compression-fitting-for-id-7-16-od-5-8-tube-matte-black-bp-mbcpf-hfcc6.html

 

Next is tubing. Anything that is the same size as the fittings will function, so make sure the inner diameter and outer diameter are the same. You can make it work getting the wrong size as long as the tubing is smaller than the fittings, but it's not fun (ask me how I know). EK's ZMT tubing is awesome, super high quality and easy to work with. By far the best tubing I've used to date. Get something like 3 meters of the stuff for a build. You won't use it all, but it allows for error in setting up the loop.

 

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-tube-zmt-matte-black-16-1-11-1mm

 

Finally, you wanna get a drain plug. This isn't necessary, but it is helpful. Get a T fitting and a valve in order to make it. 

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/fittings-connectors/bitspower-black-sparkle-t-block-rotary-g1-4-inner-g1-4-x2.html

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/fittings-connectors/ek-af-ball-valve-10mm-g1-4-black-nickel-ek-af-bv-10-g14-bknk.html

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/fittings-connectors/alphacool-double-nipple-g1-4-outer-thread-to-g1-4-outer-thread-with-o-ring-chrome-ac-17035.html

 

This would get you a fully functional loop. That being said, you really don't need it with the temps you say you have, and honestly the biggest reason to go for a custom loop for this system is the Threadripper CPU. 

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1 hour ago, RAS_3885 said:

I'd wait until you have the second GPU down the road, then plan and build the loop once. If you build it now, you'll have to redo most all the tubing anyways to add a second GPU later and will be effectively double the work.

 

Your temps are so far below the point of concern that I'd just wait until you actually need watercooling.

 

1 hour ago, HairlessMonkeyBoy said:

I won't try to convince you not to do this. Though there are compelling reasons, your mind seems made up. So.

 

You'll probably want to get a new case for this, since the 750D Airflow doesn't have the greatest water cooling support. Corsair does not advertise radiator compatibility in the front, so you shouldn't assume it. I don't know whether your AIO can be moved to the front. Doing so would leave you with room for only a single 360mm rad which would still not be enough for 2X power hungry GPUs.

 

Some other top level suggestions:

  • You should try out the EK Configurator to get an idea of what you will need.
    • EK is more expensive and not necessarily better than other options, but it would be the easiest route. Regardless the tool is a useful learning tool.
  • You should go for EK ZMT tubing or equivalent for the greatest longevity.
  • With that much GPU, you'll want at least 2x 280mm or 2x 360mm radiators IMO.
  • Always get a selection of extra 45°, 90° and short extension fittings just in case.
  • Always get a few extra compression fittings. They come in handy for filling/draining at the very least.
  • Aside from EK, look at Bitspower and Barrow for fittings and HWLabs for radiators.

 

55 minutes ago, RONOTHAN## said:

Just saying, you would be better off putting the CPU in the same loop as the GPUs. AIOs don't really cool threadripper well because of how massive the IHS is. Basically every AIO on the market is designed for smaller chips like say a 10700k, not the absolute unit of a Threadripper CPU. The waterblocks designed specifically for threadripper are awesome in comparison, and I personally recommend them over anything Asetek or similar like the Corsair AIO.

 

That said, if you really don't care, on to the loop itself. You'll need to find a block for the RTX Titan, but there are a ton of them out there. I like EK blocks, but if you prefer the look of something like the Corsair waterblock for RGB support or something from Alphacool, that's fine as well. For the purpose of this parts list, I'll throw in the EK block.

 

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-classic-gpu-water-block-rtx-2080-ti-d-rgb

 

Next you'll need a radiator. The general rule of thumb is to use a 120mm radiator for every non-OCed component and a 240mm radiator for every OCed component, erring on the side of too much radiator than too little, with the main exception to that being the 3090. Unless you get a 3090, you're going to be fine with a 280mm radiator and two different GPUs. If you do go for the 3090, I'd recommend you get at least two 280mm rads, but you don't want to stack them, since it doesn't really help. These rads are good and should be fine. That being said, you might want to go for a different case so you can do dual 360mm rads instead. The Lian Li O11 Dynamic is a good candidate, as well as a few cases from Fractal and Phanteks.

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/radiators/black-ice-nemesis-l-series-280-stealth-radiator-nls280-f2pb.html

 

Next you'll need a pump/res combo. You want to get one with a D5 pump for the best quality and reliability, and get the largest reservoir you can fit. The larger the reservoir doesn't mean the system will perform better, it will just make it easier to fill and IMO usually look better. If you wanna cheap out and get something smaller, it's up to you. 

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/combo-pump-reservoir/aquacomputer-ultitube-d5-100-expansion-tank-with-d5-pwm-pump.html

 

Next on the list is fittings. I like Bitspower fittings, they're what is running in my loop, and they've been running for years without any leaks. Get two for every component you'll have in the loop, plus two extra for filling and draining, and in case you have a fitting break on you so you can get your system up and running quickly. These are good fittings for a decent price.

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/fittings-connectors/bitspower-bp-mbcpf-hfcc6-g3-8-compression-fitting-for-id-7-16-od-5-8-tube-matte-black-bp-mbcpf-hfcc6.html

 

Next is tubing. Anything that is the same size as the fittings will function, so make sure the inner diameter and outer diameter are the same. You can make it work getting the wrong size as long as the tubing is smaller than the fittings, but it's not fun (ask me how I know). EK's ZMT tubing is awesome, super high quality and easy to work with. By far the best tubing I've used to date. Get something like 3 meters of the stuff for a build. You won't use it all, but it allows for error in setting up the loop.

 

https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-tube-zmt-matte-black-16-1-11-1mm

 

Finally, you wanna get a drain plug. This isn't necessary, but it is helpful. Get a T fitting and a valve in order to make it. 

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/fittings-connectors/bitspower-black-sparkle-t-block-rotary-g1-4-inner-g1-4-x2.html

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/fittings-connectors/ek-af-ball-valve-10mm-g1-4-black-nickel-ek-af-bv-10-g14-bknk.html

 

https://www.performance-pcs.com/water-cooling/fittings-connectors/alphacool-double-nipple-g1-4-outer-thread-to-g1-4-outer-thread-with-o-ring-chrome-ac-17035.html

 

This would get you a fully functional loop. That being said, you really don't need it with the temps you say you have, and honestly the biggest reason to go for a custom loop for this system is the Threadripper CPU. 

Thank you so much for the help and advice guys! I may have to hold back a bit and think about my options. Since nothing is broken right now, the best solution might be to hold off watercooling until I can find a good case for the new loop and 3090. Will have to find a use for my old case though. Also the new case has to have at least 2 front 5.25 bays for a optical drive and HDD hotswap bays. That's the reason why I got the 750D. And yes I do use them, lol. 

 

Also don't worry about my Threadripper. It's average temps under load is 39°C and only once have I seen it jump to 55° from a heavy task. I think I'm all good for now. Will definitely want to watercool my next one in a few years when I get a 24-32 core one when PCIe 4.0 is the norm.

 

However this means that I won't be able to use a second GPU until the new case because the temps spike hard when there are two cards, I tried. So gonna have to live with just the Titan unless there is a good aftermarket blower cooler for either or both the Titan or the 1070ti. It's a Gigabyte 3 fanned one if that helps, no idea of exactly the model. In boxes right now.

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