Sunday, December 14, 2014

PC: Custom watercooling on gaming rig (Part 1)

Hi my friends.

The time has come to upgrade my main gaming rig.

Just for a bit of information, this was till now my gaming rig consisted from the following parts:
[✓] Case: SilverStone SG06-USB3.0
[✓] PSU: Silverstone ST45SF 450W SFX
[✓] Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus VI Impact
[✓] CPU: Intel i7 4771 @ 3.5GHz
[✓] Ram: Kingston HyperX 16GB @ 1600MHz
[✓] GPU: Palit JetStream GTX 970
[✓] SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
[✓] HDD: Western Digital Green 2TB 3.5"
[✓] Cooler: Noctua NH-L12 (without the top 120mm fan)
[✓] Fan1: Noctua NF-F12 PWM (on the front),
[✓] Fan2: Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM (on top of the heatsink for Push/Pull setup)
[✓] Fan3: Noctua NF-A6x25 FLX (on the top of the chassis for exhaust)

Some pics are the following:

Don't get me wrong, the system worked awesomely well, and since I never overclocked at all, I was just fine althought I always seeked for beter lower temperature solutions.
So far I never messed with watercooling but I really wanted to gief a try after checking awesome SFF watercooling builds like the ones from hyp36rmax (thanks for the endless inpsiration my friend).
SG06 is an awesome case which I love but when it comes to watercooling imho you can only put:
- Either an AIO watercooling solution like Like Corsair H60/75 in push/pull setup, H80i in push setup, or Cooler Master Nepton 120XL in push setup
- Or a custom watercooling solution with a radiator up to 30mm in push/pull setup or up to 45mm in push setup.
Sadly both solutions can be used only for CPU cooling or custom GPU cooling. Both CPU and GPU can't be cooled efficiently with such thin radiators (although I hope to see someone prove me wrong. Da pr0n would be a nice view for me)

After a lot of thinking I decided to move a slightly larger case in order to fulfill my needs smile.gif
Cooler Master's Elite 130 case was affordable, I could find it locally and most important, other people used that case successfully with custom watercooling loops on both CPU and GPU.
Good part is that CM 130 has a 5.25" bracket, so because I wanted to keep my Bluray/DVD-RW drive I thought of getting a neat metal case which could hold both the slim drive plus 2x SSD/HDD's.

Ok I kept a lot of my previous setup but I had to get a lot of stuff more. This was the new part list:

[✓] Case: Cooler Master Elite 130
[✓] PSU: Cooler Master V750 (Semi Modular)
[✓] 5.25" bracket: IcyDock ToughArmor MB994IPO-3SB
[✓] HDD: Western Digital Blue 1TB 2.5" (since I had one spare, temporarily replaced the 2TB 3.5" Green)
[✓] Pump & CPU Waterblock: Swiftech Apogee Drive II (really awesome kit to conserve important space)
[✓] GPU Waterblock: EK-FC970 GTX - Acetal+Nickel
[✓] Radiator: Alphacool NexXxoS Monsta 120
[✓] Reservoir: Swiftech MCRES Micro Rev2 Reservoir
[✓] Fans: 1x Noctua NF-F12 PWM (Good thing I had one from the previous setup)
[✓] Fittings: 8x EK-CSQ Fitting, 6x EK-AF Angled 90°, 2x EK-AF Angled 45°
[✓] Tubing: PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT - Crystal Clear
[✓] Cooling Liquid: EK-Ekoolant Pastel RED

...and here are some pics of the received stuff :) (exciting times ahead)

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