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Need budget and spec advice on a new WC build

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#1
DanielCoffey

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Hello folks - I am in the process of budgeting for a good single-CPU, single-GPU full custom water build with the primary focus on silence and would appreciate some help.

 

I am coming back to a PC after a few years as a Mac Pro user. Last time I attempted to use water it was when the first single-rad EXOS external models were available and now I am finding the choice very bewildering.

 

The PC I am building will be a single R9 290X and 4770K gaming PC and I am interested primarily in quality and quiet components. I have what I consider to be a very good budget for this so will be looking for premium parts and case throughout. Overall spend will be in the region of £2600 to include Windows licence (£150) and Dell U2713H 1440p monitor (£600) but does not need to include storage as I already have that from my current machine. I reckon the budget for the box itself minus drives should be in the region of £1850.

 

So far I have pencilled a spec as follows but have no idea on the appropriate wattage of PSU and amount to allocate for the water kit and case fans.

 

PSU - fully modular platinum, 650W to 850W which should probably be loaded to about 2/3 of capacity

CPU - Intel 4770K with moderate OC depending on the luck of the draw with the CPU I get. Not de-lidded.

GPU - AMD R9 290X, moderate OC

Motherboard - Z87, no idea of brand yet but one that can WC (Gigabyte?)

RAM - 2x8Gb 1600

Case - premium - I am used to high quality Al cases but colour is unimportant

 

There will only be two 2.5" 7mm SSDs (Samsung 840 PRO) and one 3.5" drive internally so any drive cages can be stripped out for air flow. If I can get away without an ODD I would like to.

 

I had thought that the budget for the case would be in the £140-180 range. I had provisionally earmarked £400 for full water blocks, rads and so on but have no idea if this is even in the right ballpark.

 

So, to get the ball rolling, could you lease help me sanity-check the initial component list and budget. Remember, I would rather pay more now for the right stuff. I can wait a little longer if I need to save more and will be doing the bulk of the purchase online at places like Scan for the regular stuff and specialist WC shops for the enthusiast WC parts.

 

Thanks for the help...

 

Daniel.



#2
Rob*

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Quite alot to go at there mate.. But welcome to the forums Great first post :)

 

With regards to the wattage, i came across this a few years ago and bookmarked it.. It's good to reference to once in a while:

http://www.extreme.o...culatorlite.jsp

What sort of case are you looking for, as theres such a variety out there.. Check out the cases on our sister site, i dare say you'll find something on there:

http://www.thecoolin.../Cases_800.html

 

I has a much larger range than on WatercoolingUK.

The size / design of the case usually determines which Radiator is to be used and how many these days unless you plan on doing a full mod of the case, i,e cutting it be pieces.

 

For a system like that, adaptable what i'd probably look at is a 360mm Radiator in the roof of your case, now you don't need a 360 to cool just CPU and VGA however if you want to put silent fans on there, then a larger surface area is required so you can turn the fan speeds down creating less noise.

 

Pump wise, silent operation you should look at either a D5 Vario or one of the EK / Phobya DCP pumps as those are super quiet.

 

http://www.watercool...diators_73.html

 

http://www.watercool...lack_29803.html

http://www.watercool...ario_42175.html

 

OR

 

http://www.watercool...Pump_41743.html



#3
DanielCoffey

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Thank you for the link to the PSU Calculator. For the single GPU it reckons that 565W will be drawn at the wall so to allow some headroom in the PSU to keep quiet and in the efficiency sweetspot it looks like I want a 750W or 850W.

 

I don't plan on modding the case at this stage and I have a strong preference for understated cases. I don't have to stick to the Tower format since I have the luxury of plenty of space. The key factors for me are a clean WC build and high quality. I don't mind paying for quieter fans and larger rads.

 

It is nice to know that a generous radiator area to allow slower fans is a good idea. Would you advise a 240+360 or even 360+360 to allow for less fan noise? This machine will be in our main living room and I have to admit that I keep getting hassle from the noise of my current Mac Pro when it is under load and the GPU and expansion bay fans spin up.

 

I have been adjusting parts of the build budget and have been able to shave £50 off the estimated cost of a Windows license by looking on Microsoft's own store so I have an extra £50 on the cooling and fans. Is £450 roughly in the ballpark for a quiet and complete kit for that part of the job?



#4
Rob*

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I don't think it's worth having a 360 + 240 with only CPU/GPU heat sources in the loop.. With a decent radiator, i,e the Black Ice SR1 / XSPC AX which are made for low fan speeds you will be able to get a lower speed fans.. Something like 800rpm which are near silent.

 

You could upgrade to a 480 radiator if the case supports it, but i wouldnt go for 360+240 you're basically adding more noise (fans) into the system without hardly any gain.

 

These are adjustable from 500rpm up to 1600rpm via a PWM connection, you could easily wire these up to a controller and let them fluctuate with the heat:
http://www.watercool...PWM 120&x=0&y=0

Or just get slow running fans like this at a static speed:
http://www.watercool...25mm_38574.html

 

Notice the S12A FLX fans are 700RPM on minimum speed producing only 7.4dBa - That's damn quiet, but you pay a premium for it.



#5
DanielCoffey

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Thanks for the tips. I am still trying to work out a shortlist of cases and I am on the fence for the 290X or the 780 Ti but at least their power and cooling requirements are in the same ballpark.

 

I am in the process of talking to my wife to see if there is a different form factor or cube case that could be put on the table rather than a midi-tower underneath because I have just remembered I have the UPS under there too. The current Mac Pro case is 8" x 19" x 19" (excluding the top handles) but I have space for a good 12" width under there.

 

On the subject of fan controllers, is there a preferred brand at the moment?



#6
DanielCoffey

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I have spent today trawling reasonably recent case reviews and I think I am settling on one of the Nanoxia Deep Silence family of cases for the WC build. I have enough room for any of the family, even the Deep Silence 6 and I like the clean, non-windowed look.

 

Do you have any recommendations for a favoured model in the Deep Silence series? I don't have a lot of drives to fit in but I'd prefer an easier installation over a compact one unless there is a detailed build log I can mimic. The 4770 and the 780 Ti / 290X will generate a fair amount of heat for the system to dump and the mobo will be in the loop too.

 

EDIT : I have picked the Nanoxia Deep Silence 6 tower case as the box for this build - I like the appearance but don't feel that the 1 or 2 have the quality I am looking for and the 4 is too small.

 

I will look for other builds but I think 280 + 280 will probably allow me to have nice and low fan speeds even with a good over clock. I will work on short-listing and pricing parts for the build now.



#7
Rob*

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On the subject of fan controllers, is there a preferred brand at the moment?

 

Depends what you want it to do really.. Popular ones right now are the Aerocool type:

http://www.watercool...r_brand_79.html

 

My personal Favourite is the Bitfenix Recon.. As you can give it an IP and connect into it to adjust fan speeds and things from any device.. http://www.watercool...lack_33755.html

 

 

I have spent today trawling reasonably recent case reviews and I think I am settling on one of the Nanoxia Deep Silence family of cases for the WC build. I have enough room for any of the family, even the Deep Silence 6 and I like the clean, non-windowed look.

 

Do you have any recommendations for a favoured model in the Deep Silence series? I don't have a lot of drives to fit in but I'd prefer an easier installation over a compact one unless there is a detailed build log I can mimic. The 4770 and the 780 Ti / 290X will generate a fair amount of heat for the system to dump and the mobo will be in the loop too.

 

EDIT : I have picked the Nanoxia Deep Silence 6 tower case as the box for this build - I like the appearance but don't feel that the 1 or 2 have the quality I am looking for and the 4 is too small.

 

I will look for other builds but I think 280 + 280 will probably allow me to have nice and low fan speeds even with a good over clock. I will work on short-listing and pricing parts for the build now.

 

Looks like a good choice that with regards to Watercooling.. You can easily fit a 360mm radiator in the roof without any modification what so ever, even the thick 60mm rads will go in there with fans either side.

280 is essentially just a bit larger than a 240, using 2x140mm radiators.. With the 360 Radiators you would be able to get a rad much larger and higher performance than the 280 allowing the fans to be turned down more meaning less noise.

 

That's the theory anyway! :-k



#8
DanielCoffey

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Thanks Rob. Now I have settled on a case (albeit a huge one - it is about 5" taller than the Mac Pro) I can start speccing the parts. I will look at the controllers too. I know the DS6 comes with a two-channel basic controller but I need to educate myself on what is available these days.

 

EDIT : I see the first (German) WC build in a DS6 is posted... http://www.hardwarel...ung-990607.html



#9
DanielCoffey

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Heh - just as I was about to order the case I spotted that QuietPC has the new DS5 listed. It is a large Tower case like the DS6 but is more sensibly proportioned. The rad options appear to be a fat 280 in the front and a slim 280 in the top. I am glad I spotted it before placing the order.

 

I presume a fat 280 and a slim 280 will be enough for the 4770K, 780 Ti and motherboard at a reasonable fan speed?



#10
DanielCoffey

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I have another question - when choosing a Z87 motherboard for a WC project, how critical is the cooling in the voltage areas near the CPU?

 

Should I aim for something water-cooled (like the ASUS Maximus VI Formula or ASRock Z87 OC Formula) with a water channel over that area or will the single fan in the Deep Silence 5 case be sufficient to cool a typical air-cooled board? I was thinking that some of the tower air heatsinks would probably not have directed much air at the board itself so I am unsure about which style of board to choose. I will be wanting to OC the processor.



#11
IanF

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Air cooling for the VRMs etc is fine so long as there is reasonable air flow over the heatsinks.

 

I've always replaced the Thermal Interface Material (TIM) with something decent, as the stuff used by the motherboard manufacturers is very thick and poor at removing the heat. This has always knocked 5°C+ off the temperatures for me.

 

That said, my main gaming rigs have had the chipset and VRMs water cooled for the last five years :)

 

If you want to go down this route it's probably better to buy a good air cooled motherboard for which there are compatible motherboard cooling blocks, either individual blocks or full cover

 

HTH.

 

Ian.


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#12
DanielCoffey

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Thank you - I thought it would probably be important and a good idea. I did say I wanted to do it right after all.

 

I didn't even know blocks like this existed so it will be an education looking at them.



#13
DanielCoffey

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I am at the point of deciding if I want a combined bay reservoir/pump or something separate on the case floor and I think I am leaning towards the bay reservoir/pump as it frees up the case floor for my SSD cage.

 

I don't know if it matters where the radiators are in the loop but this is my first draft of the layout in the DS5 case with a double bay reservoir/pump and I would appreciate comments (I cannibalised images of the majority of the parts from promo shots... the GPU is just a placeholder as none seems to have imaged a 780 from above). The lower front rad is double-fan push/pull.

 

EDIT - image removed as it is not possible to fit the top rad.



#14
DanielCoffey

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Doh - I will need a drain, yes?



#15
IanF

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Your loop plan looks good to me :)

Adding a drain is always a good idea. Saves a lot of stress and drama, something I only learned after not having one.

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#16
DanielCoffey

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I am still on the fence about the res/pump type. At the moment I am leaning towards the EK-D5 Vario X-Res 140 tube reservoir rather than a bay res for ease of maintenance but I am not sure about my mounting options. In the D5 case, most of the drive bays have to be removed to fit the second radiator so I am short of places to fit it.

 

Would you advise I get a separate tube reservoir and put it up top near the 5.25" bays with the pump on the case floor or go for the combined pump/res?



#17
Husker

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Personally i would go for a tube res and a separate pump for aesthetics. Tube reservoir's look awesome in any build.


Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0
AMD FX-8320 OC'd To 4.2ghz
8GB Corsair Vengeance Pro
Nvidia Geforce GTX660

Gelid Darkforce Case

BD Drive
Thermaltake 750W Modular PSU

Custom single loop on processor with 120 rad, 250mm tube res, EK pump. (work in progress).


#18
DanielCoffey

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I will be ordering the DS5 tomorrow so when I get it I can measure clearance around the lower front and look for anchor points.

 

If I remove that remaining drive cage in my original picture above, I will have a ton of empty space in the case floor (my SSDs can go up in the 5.25" bays as I have an OWC multi-mount).

 

There are holes drilled for a fan on the floor itself but they appear to be associated with the holder for the lower HDD racks and bottom dust cover. I am not sure if the dust cover is retained if the screws are removed but I may be able to use something on the floor to hold the pump.

 

How are tube reservoirs usually anchored in cases if there is no vertical mounting location?

 

===========

 

EDIT : Here is my current component list for initial sanity check...

 

MONITOR - Dell U2713H 27” 1440p

 

CASE - Nanoxia Deep Silence 5 (White)
 
RAD - Alphacool NexXxos ST30 280mm
RAD - Alphacool NexXxos UT60 280mm
 
PUMP+RES - EK-D5 Vario X-RES 140
or
PUMP - EK-D5 Vario X-TOP
TUBE RES - EK-RES X3 150 Reservoir
 
RAM - Corsair Vengeance Pro Silver C9 2x8Gb
 
PSU - Corsair AX860i 860W
 
CPU - Intel 4770K Haswell no cooler
BLOCK-CPU - EK Supremacy
 
MOBO - ASUS Maximus VI Formula
BLOCK-MOBO - EK-FB Kit ASUS M6F
 
GPU - MSI nVidia 780 Ti Gaming 3G
BLOCK-GPU - EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Acetal (WC-494EK)
 
FANS (7) - 
 
FAN CONTROLLER - 
 
HOSE - 7/16" ID / 5/8" OD
 
BARBS - 1/2" with clamps
 
DISCONNECTS, CUTTER, COOLANT, KILL COIL, PUMP DECOUPLER - 
 
OS - Win8 download from MS Store
 
KEYBOARD + MOUSE - 


#19
Marcus

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Hi Daniel, it looks like a pretty solid plan and I know you mentioned the Alphacool rads but we've just added a number of Thermochill radiators into the sale on the website so it's a good opportunity to shave a few quid off your build if you wish to. [-Y 

 

http://forum.waterco...ive-reductions/


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#20
DanielCoffey

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Thank you for the heads up Marcus - it is a shame I can't fit a 140.3 in the case but that is a very good sale price!






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