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Hi All,

I'm starting research for my first water-cooling build and I was hoping to get some advice.  I really liked the build from the Mana review and I've always wanted to water cool so I decided now is the time!  

Like most things I do I tend to go extreme straight from the beginning even though it tends to take longer and mistakes are made.

I'm tentatively looking at the following:

1 x Manta Case

1 x 280 Black Ice Nemesis GTS Front Radiator w/ 2 x 140 Fans (Pushing into the case) (Haven't decided on fans, open to suggestions)

1 x 240 Black Ice Nemesis GTS X-Flow or 240 Black Ice Nemesis GTS  Top Radiator w/ 2 x 120 Fans (Pushing out of the case)

1 x CPU Block - EK Supremacy MX or EVO (again open to suggestions, I want to use copper though)

1 x Full GPU Block (Haven't decided on a GPU yet, sorta waiting for the summer GPU wars to pan out)

1 x EK-XRES100 Pump/Reservoir or EK-XRES140

PrimoChill 1/2" OD Acrylic Tubing (I know, hard tube first time out, I'm prepared for pain) 

PrimoChill Hardline Fittings (Nickel plated apparently, I don't think this would cause corrosion potential though)

I intend to just use distilled water + silver kill coil which is why I want to use copper blocks and it's my understanding if I stick to copper and brass as I have it should be less of an issue.  I'm open to a bio-cide, but I kinda like the idea of not using chemicals if I don't have to.

I'm still in the beginning stages of planning, and I'm open to any feedback you have but my primary questions are the following and I'm really hoping Stuart/noobas4urus will have time to chime in.

1) Do you think I could use the Black Ice Nemesis 240 X-Flow on top to avoid that long run across the top of the motherboard?  It'd be great if I could just use a few fittings to connect the outlet of the one radiator to the inlet of the other.  I think it'd be better aesthetically and it'd remove one of the more complicated bends in the build.

2) Do you think I'd have room for the EK-XRES140 vs the EK-XRES100?  The little bit of extra coolant room would make filling it easier.  Could you elaborate on how you attached the pump to the bottom of the case?

Thanks a lot for the time and for the inspiration for the build, you can tell I mostly used your review build as the basis for my parts.

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Hey I walkbarefoot! I'm happy to hear that your taking the plunge. I just got the EK Supremacy Evo CPU block and so far I love it. It's very well made.

I'm not the master of watercooling by any means but, I do recommend using PETG tubing instead of regular acrylic. Especially if it's a PC that will get moved around to Lans etc. PETG is stronger and more resilient.

I've heard Primochill makes great fitting but, I've also heard that they are large. Which means there's a potential for clearence issues when your putting two fittings next to each other on a block.

I like your style. Dive right in. I always tell people that the best way to learn is to just try it. I wish you the best in your watercooling endeavor.

Check out our current scratch build for Cooler Master's Case Mod World Series: http://mod.coolermaster.com/en-us/modder/19?filter=viewed

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Thanks for the reply Envious.   I was researching the PETG vs Acrylic tubings and it's definitely a touchy topic so I found clear information about them difficult.  But from what I've found neither of the tubings suffer from the plasticizer gunk build-up problem.  The PETG is typically easier to bend (requiring lower-heat) and work with as it has a little give at room temperature and is more shatter resistant. (Hammer-test)  The acrylic on the other hand is crystal clear and has a higher tensile strength and would be compatible with chemical liquids like automotive coolant (not that I intended to use it).

I honestly settled on Acrylic just from watching the Singularity computer builds.  I'll certainly put some more research into the topic.

I actually had the same concern with the primochill fittings and have been going back and forth between them and bitspower.  The primochill ones seemed to be a bit easier on the wallet and I feel more comfortable with the compression style fittings versus a lot of the bitspower ones are just push tubes.  Granted with acrylic tube there's not really anywhere for the tube to go so the tube pulling out seems very unlikely.   Which fittings do you like?

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What Primochill fittings are you looking at?  I have a set of ghosts and didn't have any problems with clearance on an EK Supremacy block.  And I'm pretty sure they are the same as the revolver, just without the bevel on top.  If you're worried about them, you might check the Monsoon economy fittings.  Super nice, not huge, and very clean look.

As far as fans, just get something good.  Everyone has a favorite, and there are some that perform better or are quieter(check Dazmode on youtube), but as long as you get decent fans, you won't have trouble.  IE, a Corsair SP120 may not be as nice or as strong or as quiet as an EK Vardar, but you can buy 2 for the price of a Vardar and they'll work just fine.  Just don't buy some $5 special.

Acrylic vs PETG...go PETG and invest in a ratchet cutter.  And get Primochill's PETG.  The batch I got from them was very clear.  I don't know if you could tell the difference with acrylic unless they were side by side.  

As far as the radiators, the GTS's are nice, just check your clearance on the x-flow.  The problem with the x-flow is that in spaces designed for radiators, they're designed for the size plus room for fittings on ONE end, and the x-flow doubles that by sticking fittings on both ends.  My P380 will hold a GTS 360 perfectly in the top panel, but the x-flow I used wouldn't fit the space.  I could fix this by flipping the rad and fans to a pull config rather than push and it worked, but if you're tight on space, that x-flow's extra length might be just a bit too much.

Hope some of this helps.

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Hi InsolentGnome and thanks for the response.

I was actually looking at the Ghost's but they appear to have been discontinued.  I might try to pick them up if I can get enough of them because I like the way they look, although the new one's look nice too.

I've been agonizing over the PETG vs Acrylic, but you're the second person to reply and it seems to be the up-trending tube type.  Singularity Computer builts appear to only use acrylic tubing, but they also are incredibly focussed on appearance and while I want it to look good, I'm not under the illusion my build is going to be as picture perfect as his :)   So i'm leaning towards PETG just for safety reasons as I do intend to take this to other people's homes now and again.

I appreciated the GTS X-Flow comment.  I've actually altered my planned path flow a bit which will eliminate the long run with a non x-flow radiator.   I'm cautiously optimistic that I might be able to get 2x280's in there. (I plan to buy and install a single 280 and then put a cardboard insert in place to see how much working room I'd have if I put a 280 on top too.  This is my planned water-flow path.  "Please excuse the crudity of this model".




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@iwalkbarefoot Sorry I missed this thread dude!  I hope your build has been going ok, any pics?

I did a fast and dirty mod on the reservoir for the review.  I used 3m 4010 double sided tape to hold the res base down.  If I were to do a permanent mount I think I'd make a small plate and mount it on the wire shroud.  The tape wasn't holding the best because of the wire cutout right where I put the res, part of the placement was to hide that hole but I sacrificed rigidity for it.  I'd want that rigidity back in a permanent build.   The 4010 tape holds really well if it goes down on a solid clean surface, you could mount with that.  A taller res would work too.

Acrylic vs. PETG: they both have their pros and cons.  Acrylic is clearer, more brittle, can't be cut with a tube cutter (needs a saw) and takes longer to cool when bending.  PETG gets a lot of props for being able to be cut with a tube cutter, it sets up faster after bending and you can pound on it with a hammer and it won't break.  It does have a cloudier appearance when compared to acrylic, granted it's not opaque or anything, but side by side you can see it.  The manta review was mostly acrylic because that's what I had on hand.



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