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First Water loop Build Thoughts - Radiator Question


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Sooo i have been thinking of jumping on the water loop bandwagon and i am about 80% in favor of giving it a whirl. So i'm looking at the hydro config tool and i think the only real question is for you custom loop experts is, would there be any gains of significance going with the XR7 54mm RAD instead of the XR5 30MM?

 

Probably be looking at what, maybe like 5-7c temp at idle difference between the two or something like that?

 

I have a Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL case. Another thing i have to consider on the RAD placement is that i have a RTX 3090 Kingpin on the way to me that has a 360 RAD attached to it as well so the GPU obviously will not be in the loop but i wanted to mount the RAD for it on the side as intake and mount the loop RAD up top with fans exhausting mounted to the bottom of that RAD.

 

I also was going snag one of these off Amazon to make it easy to drain the thing,

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07W826GV1/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

 

Thanks in advance for any pro tips on this.

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Probably be looking at what, maybe like 5-7c temp at idle difference between the two or something like that?

 

Sigh.. only in our dreams. In a typical loop you can drop the coolant temp about 1-1.5C per radiator per pass. In my triple 360mm in an O11 I had to work hard to get that near 4C from heat pick up to return. Gains are always small and radiator thickness matter a lot less than radiator length (in terms of fan units).

 

I made this switch in the beginning of last Summer, dropping my XR5 360x30mm for the 54mm thick variation. Looks great and a perfect fit in the side/rear compartment on the O11 XL. The difference at moderate speed between 360x30 push-pull and 360x54 push-pull is about 0.5C per pass. If you were to run the fans up to 1800-2000 rpm, you could probably get that 1C degree difference. However, there is a substantial problem with the comparison I just made. In the side/vertical slot, the 54mm will fit perfectly in the back and the case will close. One set of fans on the interior. With push-pull, you can't close the back. So the real comparison for the side is push-pull on a 30mm vs single fans on 54mm. That's pretty much a non-starter. You could use any fans you want and moderate speed and get equal results to very heavy fans on the 54mm. To make up for that, I tried running 120x38 industrials on the inside. Push-pull on the 30mm is still better in most every way.

 

The other possibility is if you were thinking of doing the 54mm on the top or bottom. The grate on the bottom of the XL is a bit more restrictive than it looks. I've had some difficulty getting optimum results out of the bottom radiator as intake - and this is without the dust filter. Push-pull didn't help at all. Unclear what the issue is exactly, but running the bottom as exhaust changed the temp drop from 0.5-0.6C per pass to almost 1C. That tells me the fans have a hard time getting air through the bottom + radiator. Adding a 54mm thick would make this more difficult. The top is problematic for push pull because of RAM collisions and there is something to be said for not making the interior look so compressed with 104mm of overhang. Lots of pics out there of XLs with that double top/bottom thick radiator look, but from a performance standpoint the gains are dubious if not non-existent.

 

The above is for anyone considering 30 vs 54mm in that case. Specifically for you, I don't see the reason if you are going to have separate loops for GPU and CPU. The GPU rad is going to be the one with all the wattage (300-400w). I don't know what CPU you have in mind, but unless this is 32+ core Threadripper for your all day encoding runs, it's going to be a much smaller wattage. A single 360x30mm radiator can handle pretty much any CPU on the market. My data comes from a 500W load. The more watts, the more it matters.

 

I don't know if side intake for the GPU radiator is the best in terms of heat management since everything coming out the backside of it is pure waste heat. I would estimate the exhaust temp will be 30-40C depending on the time of year. That then becomes the minimum air temp in the case and definitely affects RAM, m.2, MB, and possibly the CPU temps depending on where the CPU radiator goes. Up top as exhaust would be my first pick, but with all in one units sometime the hoses dictate where things have to go. The good news is the XL is super versatile and there is a way to make any 2 rad system work.

 

Corsair ball valve is great. I think they look nice. However, getting in a perfect drain line is an art form. It may take a 90 degree fitting in combination with that to run it off the side of the pump/res combination in the usual spot in front of the vertical side fans.

Edited by c-attack
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After reading your response i think i will stick with the XR5 radiator if i proceed with it. Another issue i didn't think about is pump placement.

 

I was going to do push/pull on the side with the KPE radiator and i guess mount the loop RAD up top which means i will have to mount the pump on the bottom right fan, kinda makes your head hurt drawing all this up in your head.

 

I'm running a 10900K however, The Kingpin has 3 different BIOS selections and each Bios has a different total wattage output. Normal BIOS 450W, OC BIOS 480W, LN2 BIOS 520W.

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the 10900K will be super easy to cool on a single 360 rad. Since you don't cool the GPU on that loop, your only concern will be to do neat tubing runs, but well. since you will have an AIO in the case... maybe not :p

If you use soft tubing, you can easily route the pump send and return to the PSU chamber so they are not visible in the main one.. lots of possibilities.

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p/p rad top for CPU and p/p for the kingpin bottom side both exhaust and have nice fans on the side as intake is what I would do in that scenario. I'm assuming you're gonna OC the F out of your CPU and GPU so I'd refrain from pumping all that heat through any of the rads.
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I'm assuming you're gonna OC the F out of your CPU and GPU

 

LOL!

 

My Dude!!

 

You already know i will LoL. Just going to run 1 pass on a few benchmarks on normal BIOS then skipping the OC BIOS and going straight to LN2 BIOS LoL. Got my window A/C unit out of the garage and rigging up to blow some "intercooled boost" into that KPE RAD LoL.

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