Custom watercool or not

Hi I am in two mind on custom hardline watercooling, mainly because I haver never done this before outside AIO, I am running and 8700k and a 1080ti FTW3 on a ASUS formula X mobo in a phanteks evolv atx glass case.

So I am really wondering long term maintenance how hard is it? I am worried abouot emptying the loop if needed and making a mess of it.

main reason I am considering this is because my 1080ti is running a little hotter than I like an noisy, on the aggressive fan curve it is 90% speed and sitting at 68-74 degrees and on the quiet profile it is getting up to 80-85 and no custom curve I try really helps

A custom loop does require some commitment time wise. Maintenance is not much of an issue if loop is planned well. You are only cooling two parts so initial investment and time afterwards will be much less than more complicated systems. I can assist you if you like.

My only concern is your case. It has terrible airflow which effects your temps, same will be for water cooling. I would suggest getting a better case and try air first unless you actually want to water cool. You could get a Meshify for great air flow, but you may want to consider getting a case that also is good for water cooling. Case choice for water cooling will depend on certain factors that can be discussed if you are serious.

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I can’t speak from experience, but from the research I’ve done into custom loops it shouldn’t be bad to maintain assuming the loop is designed well. Raziel also brought up a good point with your case not being the most airflow friendly case. So, here’s some things you should consider if you don’t wish to change cases.

If you wish to put a 360mm radiator in the front of that case it must not exceed 400mm in length. At 400mm of length it’s very a tight fit. So tight in fact that the radiator will likely only have 1-2mm before hitting the floor of the case. This radiator will also need very high static pressure fans as the front panel is so restrictive.

The top radiator on the other hand is a whole different ball game. Depending on the tolerance of manufacturing of your specific case you may not be able to fit a radiator up top without modding that panel. As far as I know you will more than likely be limited to and EK SE series radiator as anything thicker will cause conflictions. If there are any radiators thinner than the SE series those should work too in theory. I’ll post a link from the guys over at Singularity Computers who cover this more in depth. One thing they don’t mention though, is that it may be beneficial to remove the dust filters on the top panel. The less resistance the better, as this case has seen up to a fifteen degrees temperature differential by removing the top panel.

If you have any questions just let me know. I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability, but again I must state I have no experience doing custom loops or building with your case.

Singularity Link: (If I’m not allowed to post this sorry in advance)

Ive been running a custom loop for a number of years. Maintenance is not much of an issue, depending on what type of coolant you use. Some of the colored fluids are going to require tearing down the loop for cleaning, or replacing the fluid when the color starts to change.

That being said, I have only ran distilled water as coolant. I top it off when I lose some due to evaporation. I drain the system when I upgrade a component. I have had zero issues with thus method.

Since you are already running high end hardware, I would say go for it. One mistake a lot of people make is they cut cost by buying a lower end CPU or GPU to fund a custom loop. This is a bad idea. This is not an issue here.

I am far from being an expert, but I will help where I can. Just ask.

After watching Jayz2cents, custom watercooling just seems like too much work for the results.


Just to throw something into consideration, I ran the ek MLC configurator for your parts and it came out to about 400€ for a working loop with a 360 rad for both CPU and GPU.

Reason why it’s cheaper than all custom is there’s fittings or tubing or valves or a dedicated pump and reservoir, all those small things tend to add up.

I dislike noisy CPU or GPU coolers, so maybe something like this is worth considering for you too.

Might be a stupid question, but have you tried repasting the card? Temps seem quite excessive for that fan speed, unless you’re really pushing it?

The heatsink on the FTW3 is Nickel-plated (According to Tom’s Hardware), so you could potentially repaste it with Conductonaut.

Not sure how you arrived at this conclusion. There are many benefits to water cooling. Whether the user will utilize the benefits is another story. I utilize it fully. I run my 64s at 1710 and 1950X at 3.9 on full out renders for days at a time with 20 to 40% fan speed. Whisper quiet. Try that on air.

You gotta watch when he botches his hardline tubing. He doesn’t show his mess-ups very often, but he does talk about them sometimes. Plus the cost of all the fittings, the fittings to replace the wrong fittings, etc… it adds up real fast. Suddenly you’re looking at $400 worth of water cooling parts, not to mention time. And Jay gets a lot of parts for free and he still complains about the cost.

That is no different than choosing other hardware parts. You have to decide if buying a higher performance part is worth to you.

Building your own PC is half the fun and mistakes happen there as well.

I do not think everyone should water cool. If you like it fine, if you use/need it fine.

If you look at my use case, on air, it would be a thermal throttling jet engine taking more time than needed to accomplish a task.

Water cooling isn’t for everybody, but to say the cost and effort is not worth the results is an inaccurate statement. The performance increase and silent operation is more than worth it to me and I spent more on water cooling than most spend on their PC without peripherals.

To say water cooling is not for you, I get and understand totally. To make a blanket statement that it is not worth it, I don’t.

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Closed loop and call it a day :smiley: (h80i or equivalent)

only maintenance is cleaning out dust every now and again.

…and yes, I chose the easy option


As someone who built his first loop this year, I definitely find it worth it, both in time spent on the project and the resulting quieter, cooler, better performing system (mostly in the GPU realm).

It wasn’t cheap, but I didn’t go into it trying to save every penny, and spent about $400. I probably could have saved $50 if I’d just used straight fittings and left out the temp sensor, but then it would’ve been ugly and I couldn’t live with that either.

Mine was soft tubing though, I would expect a hardline system to cost a bit more, but not horribly so.

It depends. Fittings for hardline is cheaper. If you forgo using 90s and bend all you will find cost is much of a much. As long as you are a proficient bender. Some have it, some don’t. You can go through a lot of tubing if the latter.

I sure as hell can. It’s my opinion. And I know best. :slight_smile:

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Its why I went with off the shelf closed loop, 90% of the cooling capability with less than 10% of the effort :smiley: