First Custom Loop Shopping List

Associate
Joined
15 May 2020
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373
Hello All,

I've decided to scratch the itch I have to do a custom loop in the hope it'll go away.

I've searched threads here and seen a few videos thus far.

Can you please comment on the component choices, any better for this setup or better priced alternatives there might be out there? Any tools that'd be good to get?

Any thoughts apprecited!

I had started with a budget of £500 but that doesn't seem possible for GPU + CPU, so I guess it will end up around £750 based on what I've chosen below.

My priorities are:
- Performance
- Safety (leak / relatively idiot proof)
- Quiet
- Looks

I started with the EKWB calculator and went from there. I'm currently looking at the following products:

Case: Fractal Design Define 7
CPU: Ryzen 3900x (may grab a 5900x if one comes available)
GPU: EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra

Main components:

CPU block: EK Velocity AMD Copper + Plexi £66 (although it's out of stock so may have to go for the full nickel version at £95)

GPU block: Whatever comes available for the 3080 ftw3, estimating £150 to £200

Radiator, front: EX XE360 60mm thick £99 (there is plenty of space up front and I have 6x Noctua A12-X25 lying around which I think would work well on it)

Radiator, top: XSPC EX280 36mm thick £59 (I have some Arctic P14s and feel that these mounted in a push exhaust config would allow me to draw air over the ram fairly efficiently)

Extras:
Drain valve £14
A flow sensor £38
A temperature sensor £10
(is there a combined temp and flow sensor on the market?)

Essentials:
Fittings: EKWB Quantum Compression Fittings £8 x14
Tubing: EK Duraclear 3m £15
Fluid: EK Cryofuel 1L £8

Tools:
Tube cutters £7
Anything else?




My basket at Overclockers UK:
Total: £607.68 (includes shipping: £11.10)​
 
Associate
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Nottingham
You really don't need a flow sensor. Temperature sensor: only if your motherboard has a header for it.

Tube cutters? Those are for hard tubing. Sharp scissors are just fine for flexible hose.

You'll need at least one T-splitter to put your drain valve on. Make sure you have fittings for that as well (you'll want to hook up a bit of hose to drain it).
 
Associate
OP
Joined
15 May 2020
Posts
373
You really don't need a flow sensor. Temperature sensor: only if your motherboard has a header for it.

Tube cutters? Those are for hard tubing. Sharp scissors are just fine for flexible hose.

You'll need at least one T-splitter to put your drain valve on. Make sure you have fittings for that as well (you'll want to hook up a bit of hose to drain it).

Hi Shiari. Thank you!

I'll add THIS Phanteks G1/4 T-splitter to the list.
 
Soldato
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London/Beds
You'll need a way to attach the T splitter e.g. a male-male thread connecting piece.

You might also want 2L of coolant. I think my loop uses 1.1L and it's a 360x45mm rad plus a 120x30mm one, plus 250mm reservoir. Worth having enough to compensate for any loss/spillage/refills during setup.

A funnel can be useful for filling the filing bottle, not essential though.

Any 45° or 90° fittings? Drawing out your case layout and planned loop will help work out if they will be handy.
 
Associate
OP
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You'll need a way to attach the T splitter e.g. a male-male thread connecting piece.

You might also want 2L of coolant. I think my loop uses 1.1L and it's a 360x45mm rad plus a 120x30mm one, plus 250mm reservoir. Worth having enough to compensate for any loss/spillage/refills during setup.

A funnel can be useful for filling the filing bottle, not essential though.

Any 45° or 90° fittings? Drawing out your case layout and planned loop will help work out if they will be handy.

Thanks for your reply! I actually did my final order yesterday and ordered 2 bottles of the EK concentrate that should let me make 2L of coolant, along with the EK filling bottle. For the slim 360 x-flow plus a fat 360 and not too much tubing, I think it should be enough.

I've made a loop diagram below and I've got 4x 90 degree fitting which I think will clean up the tubing for the CPU, GPU and resevoir.

The drain port was the bit I was most unsure about. I've ordered the EK Quantum Torque T-splitter (THIS), which I'm thinking will have compression fittings (THESE)on the two female ports, then an EK ball valve exiting that. I guess that will also need a compression fitting on the exit to allow draining.

Actually one thing that might have to change on the diagram is making the pump inlet at the base of the pump, unless I can still fill the loop through the top of the resevoir with an inlet there.

Any thoughts on this diagram and things I might be missing?

Image not coming through from Imgur so linked below.
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https://imgur.com/a/YXy37zD
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Last edited:
Soldato
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London/Beds
There we go! So a couple of observations:.

From your diagram it looks like the CPU block will need to be "upside down" as the inlet is on the left in their photos. I don't think this will matter much as there aren't any imposing text logos that would look won't upside down.

You can fill your reservoir from the remaining two ports on the top. Make sure to use the little return tube on the inlet port - it ensures air gets trapped in the reservoir rather than travelling up the return tube when powered down. It also minimises splashing noises if the reservoir is low. Nothing wrong with using the bottom ports for inlet though, that's what I've done. My reservoir also has a handy third port in the base so I use that for a tidy drain point - no T-splitters :)
 
Associate
OP
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There we go! So a couple of observations:.

From your diagram it looks like the CPU block will need to be "upside down" as the inlet is on the left in their photos. I don't think this will matter much as there aren't any imposing text logos that would look won't upside down.

You can fill your reservoir from the remaining two ports on the top. Make sure to use the little return tube on the inlet port - it ensures air gets trapped in the reservoir rather than travelling up the return tube when powered down. It also minimises splashing noises if the reservoir is low. Nothing wrong with using the bottom ports for inlet though, that's what I've done. My reservoir also has a handy third port in the base so I use that for a tidy drain point - no T-splitters :)

Thanks, I'll check out the cpu block when it arrives but I think I'll be able to mount it right way up and cross the tubes, if necessary. I actually ended up getting the full nickel look one.

Oh actually I read yesterday that the EK reservoir has a suitable port for draining, so maybe I will use that!

One last thing: any thoughts on having the front radiator oriented with ports up? Apparently it makes it easier to bleed the system, and I'm thinking the only downside is that I'll have to put the case on its back to drain the radiator fully? Anything else to consider?
 
Soldato
Joined
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Posts
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Location
London/Beds
Thanks, I'll check out the cpu block when it arrives but I think I'll be able to mount it right way up and cross the tubes, if necessary. I actually ended up getting the full nickel look one.

Oh actually I read yesterday that the EK reservoir has a suitable port for draining, so maybe I will use that!

One last thing: any thoughts on having the front radiator oriented with ports up? Apparently it makes it easier to bleed the system, and I'm thinking the only downside is that I'll have to put the case on its back to drain the radiator fully? Anything else to consider?
I think front mounted with ports at top is the most common orientation. I think you've got your head around it - it will be tricky to drain as water will want to sit in the bottom of the radiator. I'm not sure about being easier to bleed or not, but it should be fine. My front 360 wasn't particularly challenging to bleed with top mounted ports! There's always a bit of tipping and shaking with any fill or drain routine :)
 
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I think front mounted with ports at top is the most common orientation. I think you've got your head around it - it will be tricky to drain as water will want to sit in the bottom of the radiator. I'm not sure about being easier to bleed or not, but it should be fine. My front 360 wasn't particularly challenging to bleed with top mounted ports! There's always a bit of tipping and shaking with any fill or drain routine :)

Cool, thanks mate. The radiators will hopefully turn up Tuesday (after a 50 pound import charge. Ouch. Brexit.), the OCUK stuff and GPU block later in the week, and I'll get into it next weekend! Appreciate your help! :)
 
Soldato
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X-flow rads tend to be slightly longer than u-rads so you may struggle to fit the x-flow in the top but the gts doesn't look too "diamond" shaped. I can't tell if it's got ports on more than just one side. If they're on both, you could try what I did.

p600s-10.jpeg


I used the top of the x-flow to go across to the top of the front rad.
 
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X-flow rads tend to be slightly longer than u-rads so you may struggle to fit the x-flow in the top but the gts doesn't look too "diamond" shaped. I can't tell if it's got ports on more than just one side. If they're on both, you could try what I did.


p600s-10.jpeg


I used the top of the x-flow to go across to the top of the front rad.

Yeah that's my plan :)

I think the x flow I have is 413mm, which I should just fit after losing the top pull fan on the front.

I was really keen to get the hwlabs x flow after reading how high the resistance of the standard version is. Probably not a major thing, really, but the x flow on top just seemed to make good sense for layout, too.
 
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