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I really want to do a custom loop but I can't really afford to go full tilt on it.

 

I was thinking about getting an EK watercooling kit.

 

I have some questions though before I decide:

 

1. Could I upgrade the kit to hardline tubing later on of course after buying new fittings?

 

2. How much should I spend? Should I buy one of the more expensive kits that have the better pump/reservoir? What specific kit do you recommend keeping in mind that price is an issue?

 

3. Are they really safe? Are the fitting decent? Do I have to worry about leaks more than if I went with individual parts or an AIO?

 

Note: I'm not planning on ever cooling my video card. It has no temperature issues and hits instability due to voltage long before the temperatures get high so there's no real point.

I am planning on adding another radiator though doing maybe 2 240 rads. I know I don't need more than a 240 for that, but that's just for the look of it.

 

So, I'm torn. 

I really just want to water cool for the aesthetics,

but if I have to spend more than 240 Canadian, it's not worth it right now.. not until I have a video card that would seriously benefit from it anyways.

 

Help me decide.

Should I just go for it and buy an EK kit or should I just settle on an AIO and hate myself.

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37 minutes ago, stateofpsychosis said:

-SNIP-

If you were to get a kit that you wanted to expand on I would suggest to get the P360 kit since it would easily accommodate and GPU and the has the good D5 pump. For hardline you can swap the tubing and fitting over but if you want that directly then i would suggest to part out a watercooling system yourself instead of getting a kit to start out with.

 

In terms of leaks if you do the proper leak testing before powering up the system it's not common for it to just suddenly leak. 

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Hmm... the P kit isn’t really that great of a deal. I tried parting out a basic loop on the ek website and it came to like 450 or something like that and that kit is pretty close to that so maybe it is worth avoiding the kits. I do want a good pump. Oh, I’m using soft tubing at first because everyone recommends doing that before you try hard tubing.

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Hmm I’d still save like 80 bucks with the kit and then I could buy another rad or something. Decisions decisions.

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3 minutes ago, stateofpsychosis said:

Hmm I’d still save like 80 bucks with the kit and then I could buy another rad or something. Decisions decisions.

My recommendation.

 

If you have plans to go hardline, then go hardline from the start. Nothing can prepare you for doing hardline well apart from doing it. Money spent on soft tubing and soft tube fittings should be spent on extra hard line tubes for bending practice instead. (and a heat gun + silicon insert)

 

If you are kitting out stuff individually, consider alternative companies for various parts. While I personally do use a reasonable amount of EK stuff, HWlabs have superior radiators, Bitspower have great fittings, etc etc. This will incur costs, but my take on custom cooling is to do it to your satisfaction once, rather than constant tweaking.

 

Leakage depends on your skill at the end of the day. Most fittings from reputable companies are fairly good. I have all EK fittings and have not had any issues, but I know many people who have had them, but usually this is down to simple things like not screwing it tight enough, or not taking recessed ports into account.

 

Since you're just after cooling your CPU, I would recommend an AIO. That way you will have nice cash to spend on a good 240 or 280 (or even a 360, if your case can do it) with nice aesthetics to meet you need. 

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6 minutes ago, For Science! said:

My recommendation.

 

If you have plans to go hardline, then go hardline from the start. Nothing can prepare you for doing hardline well apart from doing it. Money spent on soft tubing and soft tube fittings should be spent on extra hard line tubes for bending practice instead. (and a heat gun + silicon insert)

 

If you are kitting out stuff individually, consider alternative companies for various parts. While I personally do use a reasonable amount of EK stuff, HWlabs have superior radiators, Bitspower have great fittings, etc etc. This will incur costs, but my take on custom cooling is to do it to your satisfaction once, rather than constant tweaking.

 

Leakage depends on your skill at the end of the day. Most fittings from reputable companies are fairly good. I have all EK fittings and have not had any issues, but I know many people who have had them, but usually this is down to simple things like not screwing it tight enough, or not taking recessed ports into account.

 

Since you're just after cooling your CPU, I would recommend an AIO. That way you will have nice cash to spend on a good 240 or 280 (or even a 360, if your case can do it) with nice aesthetics to meet you need. 

Yes, but then I’d have to hate myself for not having pretty colourful fluid moving throughout my machine :P 

 

what do you mean by recessed ports? Sounds important.

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I have serious hand issues so tightening fittings right will be an issue. I’ll probably do jayztwocents method and tighten them 1/8th of a turn with a wrench after hand tightening if I go custom loop.

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4 minutes ago, stateofpsychosis said:

Yes, but then I’d have to hate myself for not having pretty colourful fluid moving throughout my machine :P 

Honestly, you can't really see the water "flow" unless you use something like Mayhems Aurora (definitely not for long term use) or the Primochill Vue (not available, still in testing). So I would get that idea out of your head first. A fully bled custom loop looks the same when its on or off because it is full to the brim with water and so nothing to indicate any movement.

 

There are a limited number of AIOs that come with transparent tubing + color like Swifttech, but I've heard bad things about them in the past. I think Corsair/NZXT/Fractal are the better choices there.

 

 

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3 hours ago, For Science! said:

Honestly, you can't really see the water "flow" unless you use something like Mayhems Aurora (definitely not for long term use) or the Primochill Vue (not available, still in testing). So I would get that idea out of your head first. A fully bled custom loop looks the same when its on or off because it is full to the brim with water and so nothing to indicate any movement.

 

There are a limited number of AIOs that come with transparent tubing + color like Swifttech, but I've heard bad things about them in the past. I think Corsair/NZXT/Fractal are the better choices there.

 

 

Yea, I heard bad things about those transparent AIOs too.

Nah, I'm not concerned with making it look like it's flowing.

 

If I do it, it'll be with UV reactive stuff like the mayhem stuff.

I love the look of that.

 

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6 minutes ago, stateofpsychosis said:

Yea, I heard bad things about those transparent AIOs too.

Nah, I'm not concerned with making it look like it's flowing.

 

If I do it, it'll be with UV reactive stuff like the mayhem stuff.

I love the look of that.

 

To me it sounds like you're fairly internally convinced about going the custom loop route.

 

I think getting 480 mm of rad space is a waste if you don't intend on expanding. Since it sounds like you want to either do hardline or use fairly exotic coolants, I think you will have to go the nickel/copper route (as opposed to the fluid ga,img series)

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13 minutes ago, For Science! said:

To me it sounds like you're fairly internally convinced about going the custom loop route.

 

I think getting 480 mm of rad space is a waste if you don't intend on expanding. Since it sounds like you want to either do hardline or use fairly exotic coolants, I think you will have to go the nickel/copper route (as opposed to the fluid ga,img series)

Yea, I think you called it.

I'm going to have to do it the right way, not the kits.

 

I'll have to save up a bit more, maybe buy a part here and there until I have everything, snipe sales and all of that.

Yea, maybe I'll stick to just a 240 or just go with a 360 instead of two rads.

I'll eventually cool a video card, but like I said.. this 1080 is just performing so good, there's no point.

I'm peaking over 2.1 for god sakes on my overclock and it never goes past 68 degrees.

No point in touching that.

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I recommend 1 of 3 options:

  1. Get the EK S240. It's aluminium, so you CANNOT mix metals and have to be careful when shopping but it should be fine to expand in the future. The quality is not an issue. If you do want to do your GPU as well (I know you said you didn't but may as well let you know that it's there) theres the S240G and if you really want to pinch pennies there is the S120, although the S240 is much better value. There is also the S360 but if you are just cooling a cpu the 240 will do fine. 
  2. Get the EK L240. Pretty much the same as the S240 but with copper blocks so you dont have to fret about mixing metals. This wont really get you much performance increase from the S240 and it does cost more. 
  3. Get a monster air cooler like the NHD15. This will do just as good of a job as an AIO or even a small custom loop (more or less) and probably will end up being cheaper and less of a headache. Water cooling is still a good option but I recommend you go for a custom loop in a kit or a air cooler. AIOs are not recommended by me. Some people swear by them but I've has way too many failures and found them to be less than impressive in terms of long term use and maintenance and quality of construction. 

EDIT: forgot to mention that both custom water cooling kits I mentioned will be fine for hardline but you'll obviously have to replace the fittings. 

 

ANOTHER EDIT: forgot to give links. Listed below: 

 

I'm here to help people and have fun. Feel free to chat! 

 

 

i5 6500

Asus Z170-AR 

Saphhire Nitro 380X

 Hyper X Fury Black 16gb (2x8gb) 2133

 

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3 hours ago, BurblingBarbacoa said:

I recommend 1 of 3 options:

  1. Get the EK S240. It's aluminium

S240 is copper, but don't get it anyway EKslim rads are the worst of the bunch

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7 hours ago, BurblingBarbacoa said:

I recommend 1 of 3 options:

  1. Get the EK S240. It's aluminium, so you CANNOT mix metals and have to be careful when shopping but it should be fine to expand in the future. The quality is not an issue. If you do want to do your GPU as well (I know you said you didn't but may as well let you know that it's there) theres the S240G and if you really want to pinch pennies there is the S120, although the S240 is much better value. There is also the S360 but if you are just cooling a cpu the 240 will do fine. 
  2. Get the EK L240. Pretty much the same as the S240 but with copper blocks so you dont have to fret about mixing metals. This wont really get you much performance increase from the S240 and it does cost more. 
  3. Get a monster air cooler like the NHD15. This will do just as good of a job as an AIO or even a small custom loop (more or less) and probably will end up being cheaper and less of a headache. Water cooling is still a good option but I recommend you go for a custom loop in a kit or a air cooler. AIOs are not recommended by me. Some people swear by them but I've has way too many failures and found them to be less than impressive in terms of long term use and maintenance and quality of construction. 

EDIT: forgot to mention that both custom water cooling kits I mentioned will be fine for hardline but you'll obviously have to replace the fittings. 

 

ANOTHER EDIT: forgot to give links. Listed below: 

 

Thanks for the tips.

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23 hours ago, For Science! said:

S240 is copper, but don't get it anyway EKslim rads are the worst of the bunch

good for compatibility if you don't want to think about it, probably also fine if it is a cpu only loop. But yes...

I'm here to help people and have fun. Feel free to chat! 

 

 

i5 6500

Asus Z170-AR 

Saphhire Nitro 380X

 Hyper X Fury Black 16gb (2x8gb) 2133

 

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