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Common Traps with Water Cooling!


solarity
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I wanted to put a common trap guide together based off my experiences and other's experiences.

 

1) GPU Compatibility - When selecting a GPU for your new build it is best to go with a graphics card that is a "referenced"/"founder edition" style. A referenced GPU uses the same PCB as the Founder's Edition. The Reference cards are sold by Add in Boards (AIB) partners i.e. Asus, Gigabyte, and etc. The AIB partners use the same PCB as the founder for their referenced style cards. Some AIBs produce non-referenced GPUs, these use a custom PCBs and power delivery that use a custom PCB. As every AIB partner also have their own non-referenced designs, it is difficult to and expensive a block for every card. It might be to late for some, but for new builds, get a FE as they tend to have better silicone than AIB partners.

 

2) Drain Plug - Don't forget the drain plug. Generally you want this on the lowest part of your loop that can drain out the most fluid. This makes it easier to do maintenance.

 

3) Small Case - Corsair does have a good configuration tool and it will give your recommendations based off your case. These estimates are conservative and should pretty much work as shown. With creativity and modifications some things can be adapted to work, though these can take a lot of time and be frustrating at times. In some cases other manufactures overstate their abilities and you might run into issues in this situation. Corsair's configuration should be a good starting point. Corsair left out some smaller cases like the 280x as it might be difficult to get a system like a 280x setup with a custom loop in the manner that most people would expect with HydroX.

 

4) Fluids - Avoid exotic fluids like Primochill VUE or Mayhems Aurora. These are meant for show PCs and aren't intended for long term use. Many people have had issues with these types of fluids. To keep it safe use a Corsair fluid or one that is listed on their compatibility list. The Corsair uses Mayhem's X1 as it's OEM for fluid.

 

5) Loop Order - Order your loop in the manner that makes the shortest runs or looks the best. In a res/pump combo like Corsair's XD5 loop order doesn't matter. Water can absorb a lot of heat so don't worry if you are running your GPU into the CPU, before it goes the radiator.

 

6) Multi-Radiator - In a custom loop it is generally better to have radiators set to intake so it takes in the cool ambient air. The performance of the radiator is impacted by the air temperature. Having it circulate warm air fed by another radiator is less optimal than having both rads being fed by cooler ambient air. I tend to have a 140mm fan as exhaust. The intake fans will have less air flow due to filters, bends, and radiators.

 

7) Old PSU - If you have an old PSU laying around it can make life a bit easier and safer to use the 24pin jumper that was included with the XD5 to power that PSU. You don't want to fill and leak test with your system powered up. Having an old PSU for just powering the pump can take some stress out of building the loop.

 

8) more to come...

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Hard tubing type - PETG is easier to work with than acrylic, but it’s more permeable so more susceptible to staining. Also find out what’s in your coolant. Coolants with glycol should be used with acrylic (borosilicate glass tubing is probably ok too), not recommended for PETG. This is mentioned somewhere on Mayhems.
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Although these products are not necessary for building your loop, the tools listed below can make life easier for you in the long run when building custom loops:

 

  • Aquacomputer Dr. Drop pressure tester incl. air pump - Dr. Drop is an simple pressure tester for your entire water cooling loop or for single components. Ever left a port uncapped, a tube run missed or a fitting loose? The advantage is that you can perform a quick dry test on your loop and determine any basic problems before any liquid is used. I temporarily couple this to the drain port in my loop - you did heed solidarity's suggestion #2 in the first post? Please note that I don't recommend this as a complete replacement for normal leak testing, rather as a supplement.

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  • 2 weeks later...
What Drain plug is suggested with Corsair XD5 and where to locate it?

Thanks

 

You would use a Y-Splitter and then the Ball Valve to create your drain. You would do this at a low point in your loop - so where to locate it depends very much on how your loop is configured.

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