MicroATX Custom Loop High Performance Build

This is a custom loop I want to implement in my next build:

*The orange and brown sections are where the tubes run over each other, they're not in parallel.

These are the components I am considering and some justification on why I chose them:

  • Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VI Gene
  • (Build quality is exceptional, all the features I need, like the colour scheme.)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 4770K
  • (Probably will get enthusiast Broadwell processor when they're released.)
  • Memory: Corsair Dominator GT 2133 MHz CL 9 4 GB × 4
  • (Want 4 module, high frequency, low latency RAM. Going to decrease frequency to make latency even lower. Matches motherboard colour scheme.)
  • Storage: Corsair Neutron GTX 240 GB × 2
  • (Best SSDs I know of.)
  • Graphics: ASUS Radeon R9 290X
  • (Probably will get enthusiast Maxwell card when they're released.)
  • Power: Corsair AX860i
  • (Want platinum and modular power supply. Excess wattage is chosen for possible second graphics card upgrade in the future.)
  • Case: Corsair Obsidian 350D Window
  • (Best windowed mATX case I could find.)
These are the cooling components:
  • Reservoir: EK Bay Single Reservoir (CSQ - Acetal)
  • (I want the reservoir in one of the 5.25 in bays, there is not going to be much room anywhere else in the case. Tek Syndicate members told me not to go for a dual bay reservoir because it will add excess noise and not benefit the loop that much.)
  • Pump: EK D5 Vario
  • (Best pump I know of.)
  • Front Radiator: Alphacool NexXxos XT45 240 mm
  • (The maximum thickness I've seen for a radiator in a 4 fan setup in this case is 5 cm, so this one will give me a little more clearance between the fans and motherboard and still allow for 4 fans.)
  • Top Radiator: Alphacool NexXxos ST30 240 mm
  • (3 cm is the maximum thickness for a top-mounted radiator I've seen in this case.)
  • Processor Waterblock: EK Supremacy Elite (Nickel)
  • (Best processor waterblock I know of.)
  • Graphics Waterblock: EK FC R9-290X (Acetal + Nickel)
  • (If I get a Maxwell graphics card, I would get the equivalent EK full cover block for it.)
  • Tubing: PrimoChill Rigid Acrylic (Red)
  • (Was considering flexible tubing but acrylic looks better and some say it performs better. Red will match the colour scheme. I want straight runs with minimal turns so acrylic is the best in my opinion.)
  • Fittings: PrimoChill Rigid Ghost Compression Anodised (Black)
  • (Best compression fittings I know of and are recommended for the tubing.)
  • Radiator Fans: Corsair Air Series SP120 Quiet Edition × 6
  • (Best static pressure fans I know of and matches the colour scheme.)
  • Case Fan: Corsair Air Series AF120 Performance Edition
  • (Best air flow fan I know of (apart from Noctua but I don't want brown fans unfortunately) and matches colour scheme.)
  • Coolant: EK Ekoolant Clear
  • (Pre-mixed with anti-microbial mixture and has been tested with the blocks and pump.)
  • Thermal Compound: Noctua NT-H1
  • (Best after-market thermal compound I know of.)
  • Cable Sleeves: Bitspower Deluxe 0.5 in Sleeves (Black)
  • (Will make cable management easier but will be a mission to sleeve everything...)
  • Heatshrink: Bitspower Deluxe 15 mm Heatshrink (Black)
  • (Complements the sleeves.)

Is there a better custom loop design I should use?

Are there more suitable components I should be using?

Should I wait for the X99 chipset to be released and get a different motherboard and processor? (Still want mATX though.)

What is the optimal direction for the water to run?

  • Reservoir > Radiator (Front) > Graphics > Radiator (Top) > Processor > Reservoir;
  • Reservoir > Processor > Radiator (Top) > Graphics > Radiator (Front) > Reservoir.

What is the optimal direction for the radiator fans to run?

  • Pushing air out of the case;
  • Pulling air into the case;
  • A combination of pushing and pulling.

Should the non-radiator case fan be:

  • Intake;
  • Outtake.


I'm from Australia. The system will be used for 1440p gaming and engineering work. I welcome any thoughts and criticism!

1: No, loop order does not matter

2:If your budget allows for higher end parts, get higher end parts

3:If you want a computer within the next 2 to 5 years, i reccomend you not worry about it.

4:Loop order does not matter

5: Depends on your patience,  If you have the time to take off your rads for cleaning every 3 months, use them as intakes, if not, exhausts.  

6: I reccomend intake.  Make sure your intakes are filtered. Always make sure to have positive pressure


Always remember!  LOOP ORDER DOES NOT MATTER!  Do whats easiest.  It seriously only changes temps by 1 or two degrees

Oh, wait a moment, Make sure you go from one component to another.  Dont use fittings to make one tube turn into 2 tubes.  can create air bubbles and will increase temps by up to 5 degrees.

Yeah I chose a loop in series rather than in parallel. The pressure drops otherwise.

So could I make all the radiator fans as outtake and the case fan as an intake and that would be optimal?

Thanks for your help :D

if think you should make the radiator fans outakes because you dont wana be blowing hot air from the radiator into your case that's just doesnt make sense.

if think you should make the radiator fans outakes because you dont wana be blowing hot air from the radiator into your case that's just doesnt make sense.

So make the radiator fans as intakes and the case fan as the outtake?