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Helpful ReplyHot!Advice on my first custom loop

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shiphtfour
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2021/07/31 20:27:39 (permalink)
Seeking some advice on my first custom loop. I want to make sure the routing of my tubes makes sense or if there is a better way of doing it. Attached is an image of the route that I planned. The custom loop is composed of:
  • EK-Quantum Reflection Evolv X D5 PWM Distroplate
  • EK-Quantum Volume FLT 120 Reservoir
  • EK-Quantum Magnitude CPU Water Block
  • 2x EK-CoolStream SE 360 Radiators

 
Easier to visualize the loop looking at the picture, but in case it is unclear the route goes from the distroplate to the CPU block, from the CPU block to the top-mounted radiator, from the top-mounted radiator to the rear-mounted 120 reservoir (not shown in picture), from the rear-mounted 120 reservoir to the GPU block (not shown in picture), from the GPU block to the distroplate. 
 
At this point I am unsure of what is the best orientation of the front-mounted radiator would be. I've read the mounting the ports on the bottom is better for draining/dripping/gurgling noise, which is shown on the picture in green. The alternative would be mounting the ports on the top which is shown on the picture in blue, which looks cleaner to me, but ultimately I want to go with whichever is the better option. Any advice?
 
I also realize that the rear-mounted EK-Quantum Volume FLT 120 Reservoir is unnecessary, but I figured it would look better than having nothing there at all.
 
If it matters, the components going into my build are:
  • ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero
  • Ryzen 9 5950X 3.4 GHz 16-Core AM4 Processor
  • EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA HYDRO COPPER (I am 1m 32s away from my notify)
  • Crucial 64GB Ballistix RGB DDR4 3600 MHz Memory (4 x 16GB)
  • be quiet! Dark Power 12 1000W 80 PLUS Titanium Power Supply
 
I would appreciate any input, thanks!

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CraptacularOne
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/07/31 21:18:32 (permalink)
The route the loop flows is of no consequence, loop order doesn't matter all that matters is that you have decent head pressure in your pump to push the water through your loop and have adequate radiator capacity and air flow. You are free to run the loop in whatever order is most aesthetically pleasing to you or in what order makes sense in your layout. There will be virtually no difference in temperatures of your components. 

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/07/31 21:37:49 (permalink)
CraptacularOne
The route the loop flows is of no consequence, loop order doesn't matter all that matters is that you have decent head pressure in your pump to push the water through your loop and have adequate radiator capacity and air flow. You are free to run the loop in whatever order is most aesthetically pleasing to you or in what order makes sense in your layout. There will be virtually no difference in temperatures of your components. 


Thanks for the reply. When researching before buying the parts that seemed to be the general consensus. I wasn't 100% sure about the radiator orientation though or if specific ports on the distroplate should not be used or if the flow through the distroplate mattered though.
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CraptacularOne
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/07/31 22:15:29 (permalink)
shiphtfour
CraptacularOne
The route the loop flows is of no consequence, loop order doesn't matter all that matters is that you have decent head pressure in your pump to push the water through your loop and have adequate radiator capacity and air flow. You are free to run the loop in whatever order is most aesthetically pleasing to you or in what order makes sense in your layout. There will be virtually no difference in temperatures of your components. 


Thanks for the reply. When researching before buying the parts that seemed to be the general consensus. I wasn't 100% sure about the radiator orientation though or if specific ports on the distroplate should not be used or if the flow through the distroplate mattered though.

Well the ports on your distroplate absolutely do matter. You have to make sure you are connecting them to channels that actually connect and not "dead end" your loop or you will get no flow. I was referring to flow order from components, in that it doesn't matter what order they flow from be it pump, GPU, CPU, radiator or radiator, pump, CPU, GPU. The liquid temp in the loop will all normalize regardless of flow order. 

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 12:19:07 (permalink)
Thanks for your reply, you saved me from making a very dumb mistake. As you said, I wasn't thinking about the channels in the distroplate and how it was designed to flow. I've reconfigured the route to account for this, and now I am confident it will work correctly. I decided to nix the rear-mounted 120 reservoir and just put a fan there instead. Also, I know you said the order doesn't matter, but I just like the idea of the fluid passing through a radiator in between the CPU and GPU.
 
The configuration of the loop is now: distroplate > cpu block > distroplate > front radiator > gpu block > distroplate > top radiator > distroplate
 

 
Thanks again for your help
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CraptacularOne
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 15:33:09 (permalink)
You do realize that even if you run your loop as your described there is still no radiator between the CPU and GPU right? In your present configuration there is just a pump/res between them. If it makes you feel better running it that way go for it because it doesn’t matter. All the liquid in the loop will reach steady state regardless of order they flow. I’m not arguing one way or the other just simply stating it doesn’t matter and not to stress about it. You could run your GPU block right after your CPU because like I said there will still be no radiator between them if you run it the other way lol.

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 15:45:24 (permalink)
The loop has to pass through the distroplate before going through the radiator, but this route still takes the coolant through a radiator in between the CPU block and GPU block. I believe you though that it doesn't matter, I watched a couple of youtube videos that tested various orders and the temps were the same.
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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 16:26:55 (permalink)
Hopefully it is apparent from the attached picture, but it looks like the thermal pad underneath the heatsink on the M.2 slot on my motherboard is causing the drive to bend slightly. Should I be concerned about this?
 

post edited by shiphtfour - 2021/08/01 16:31:43
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 18:36:15 (permalink)
I would remove the thermal pad under that drive. 
post edited by CraptacularOne - 2021/08/01 18:41:36

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 20:08:06 (permalink)
CraptacularOne
I would remove the thermal pad under that drive. 



I removed the thermal pad and the drive no longer bends. Do you think it is worth finding a thinner thermal pad, or is it completely unnecessary? I assume the drive stays under acceptable temps without it and it is not like it can be OC'd or anything...
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 21:22:29 (permalink)
shiphtfour
CraptacularOne
I would remove the thermal pad under that drive. 



I removed the thermal pad and the drive no longer bends. Do you think it is worth finding a thinner thermal pad, or is it completely unnecessary? I assume the drive stays under acceptable temps without it and it is not like it can be OC'd or anything...


The only thing that benefits from cooling on a NVMe drive is the controller, the NAND flash itself actually performs better when warmed up. I'd say replacing it isn't worth it at all. 

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 21:27:10 (permalink)
Thanks, I will leave it as is then. Now it is just playing the waiting game for my gpu and 16mm acrylic tubing to come in stock. I have some PETG tubing that I might practice the bends with in the meantime though.
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 21:45:12 (permalink)
The thermal pad on the m.2 seems to be optional as long as you are not covering the drive but I would check the temperatures just to make sure. Only time it mattered on a build I have done is the z590 FTW since it has a heatsink over the m.2 and having the thermal pad got the heat out a lot faster.

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 21:52:44 (permalink)
Hoggle
The thermal pad on the m.2 seems to be optional as long as you are not covering the drive but I would check the temperatures just to make sure. Only time it mattered on a build I have done is the z590 FTW since it has a heatsink over the m.2 and having the thermal pad got the heat out a lot faster.



Thanks for the reply. My motherboard has a heatsink over the M.2 drive as well (which is much more aesthetically pleasing with it on than removed), so I will make sure to check the temps once everything is up and running. If it appears to be an issue I will buy a thinner thermal pad. If it matters, the drive is a 2TB Samsung 980 Pro, not sure if they tend to run hot or not.
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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/01 22:30:03 (permalink)
In order to get the front-mounted radiator to fit with the distroplate installed, I had to remove one of the side panels that contains the mounting holes. I knew this was going to be an issue before purchasing, because EKWB's site explicitly says the distroplate "disables mounting radiators on the front of the case." However, I saw a reddit post saying they got it to fit by cutting some of the side panel off.
 
This shouldn't affect the functionality of the radiator at all, but it does mean that I will only be able to mount one side of it to the case. Anyone see an issue with this? The alternative would be trying to cut a thin strip of the siding off like the reddit user did (which I have no idea how to go about doing) or designing a 3D printed replacement (concerned the plastic might melt if temps are high). Any thoughts appreciated.
 

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/03 07:47:38 (permalink)
So I was confident that I had the loop configured correctly until I looked at the CPU block and distroplate manuals again. I must say, EKWB really has some subpar documentation for their products (these manuals weren't even included in the boxes, had to find them on their website).
 
The first thing I am confused about is the inlet and outlet port on the CPU block. From the manual, it would appear that rotating the block 180 degrees does not change the inlet and outlet ports (which does not make sense). I can't tell if they made a mistake on the image or not (I am using the AM4 version)...

 
Next, I was hoping to get clarification regarding which ports from the distroplate are supposed to connect to the CPU block. Should I be connecting the CPU inlet port on the distroplate to the inlet port on the CPU block? Maybe I am overthinking it, but I would think that the outlet port from the CPU block should connect to the CPU inlet port on the distroplate (going out of the CPU and into the distroplate). I just want to make sure that my loop is setup correctly.

Finally, I was hoping to get clarification on which direction the coolant flows through the distroplate. When I first looked at the manual, I assumed it was the direction of the arrows that I added in red. However, now I am not so sure (is it the opposite direction?)... 
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B0baganoosh
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/03 08:36:51 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby shiphtfour 2021/08/03 11:05:25
Their images are a bit confusing on the blocks. I don't know how you could rotate it and not have the "EK" symbol flip sides unless that's a different piece.

What you need to know is, they suggest that your in-port is the one that directs water to the center of the block. If you look at the block's hole pattern, usually one port has a diagonal feed that goes to the center of the block (the water is then forced to find it's way from the center-outward to get out of the block) and the other port just goes straight in on the outside area of the block. So if you look at the block itself and make your inlet the one that directs to the center, you're good to go. Regardless of where the "EK" logo is, that picture you posted does agree with that direction I've given as well (the "IN" always gets directed to the center of the block).
 
Going by the picture you posted, I would think the arrows are correct for flow-direction. It just gets a little confusing as they don't show the red arrows on the one side (with the pump), but they do show them on the back side (opposite the pump). So it looks like they intend for you to go Pump -> Top rad -> CPU -> GPU -> back to pump. That would also confirm that the distroplate's "CPU Outlet" goes to your CPU block's "IN" port, and so-on. 

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/03 09:53:37 (permalink)
Thank you for replying. Knowing that the inlet port on the CPU block is the one that angles to the center is extremely helpful, that much I can determine by just looking at the block IRL. I think they messed up on the image in the manual showing the ports as the same when the block is rotated 180 degrees.
 
Regarding the second picture, to clarify the red arrows are something that I added to illustrate how I interpreted the flow through the distroplate. Those arrows are not on the image in the actual manual. I was hoping someone had a more definitive answer since it very well could be the opposite direction.
 
The logical interpretation would be that the distroplate's "CPU outlet" port goes to the "In" port on the CPU block as you said, but I was honestly hoping that it was actually the other way around and the distroplate's "CPU Inlet" is supposed to connect to the "In" port on the CPU block. The reason being that the former configuration requires me to "twist" the tubes around each other to reach the correct ports (adding an image to illustrate what I mean). The other option would be rotating the CPU block 180 degrees to flip the in and out ports, which is why I was confused by the manual showing the ports in the same spot even when the block is rotated 180 degrees. Again, they could have made the documentation A LOT more clear than it is...

post edited by shiphtfour - 2021/08/03 09:57:44
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/03 10:23:02 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby shiphtfour 2021/08/03 11:05:20
OH, my mistake, I didn't realize you added the red arrows. Well...if I were to guess then (because their manual gives you no choice), I would guess that your arrows are backwards.
 
The reason for this is based on this image from their site:

The fill-port probably goes towards the pump's inlet (this is my guess, and it is only that). That would mean that the flow actually goes Fill-port -> pump -> GPU -> CPU -> rad. That would mean that the labels are "Inlet" to "IN" (distro-to-block) and "outlet" to "out". That also would help with the issue you show of tubes crossing over.
 
Their image of the CPU block being rotated only shows the "EK" badge rotating while the innards stayed the same in the image...which...looking at close-up pictures of the magnitude online...is impossible. So yeah, that's an error.
 
I couldn't tell from the manual renderings what the cavities inside the distro-plate actually looked like. Looking at the photo above, you can see there's an open cavity from the fill ports down past the drain and into the pump. Usually, your reservoir fills into the pumps inlet, so that makes me believe this does the same and that your red arrows are backwards. Sorry I missed that before. Your arrows were so nice and cleanly done that I thought for sure they provided them lol. Also, I missed your note that you added them (woops!).

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/03 10:55:54 (permalink)
I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out. Your response helps put me at ease that my current planned loop will work (shown on post #5 in this thread) and that the CPU block should be oriented right side up (EKWB logo in the lower right not upper left).
 
Therefore, the configuration of my loop is actually: Pump > GPU Block > Front Radiator > Distroplate > CPU Block > Distroplate > Top Radiator > Distroplate
 
I changed the direction of the arrows on the distroplate to reflect what you suggested. I am pretty sure that the channels between the ports are located on the back half of the distroplate, and the front half acts as the "reservoir." The spot that I circled allows for the coolant to pass between these two sections of the distroplate.
 

post edited by shiphtfour - 2021/08/03 11:02:37
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B0baganoosh
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/03 11:24:19 (permalink)
shiphtfour
I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out. Your response helps put me at ease that my current planned loop will work (shown on post #5 in this thread) and that the CPU block should be oriented right side up (EKWB logo in the lower right not upper left).
 
Therefore, the configuration of my loop is actually: Pump > GPU Block > Front Radiator > Distroplate > CPU Block > Distroplate > Top Radiator > Distroplate
 
I changed the direction of the arrows on the distroplate to reflect what you suggested. I am pretty sure that the channels between the ports are located on the back half of the distroplate, and the front half acts as the "reservoir." The spot that I circled allows for the coolant to pass between these two sections of the distroplate.
 





I believe all of this is correct. That circled area was also much more visible in the picture from their site. They had put the diagonal machine-marks on that front "reservoir section", but I wasn't really sure until blowing up the picture that I could make a good guess on flow from that at first. 

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/03 11:41:33 (permalink)
Nike_7688
 
I believe all of this is correct. That circled area was also much more visible in the picture from their site. They had put the diagonal machine-marks on that front "reservoir section", but I wasn't really sure until blowing up the picture that I could make a good guess on flow from that at first. 


This would have been so much simpler if EKWB had just done a better job of explaining this in the documentation to begin with... 
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/03 15:36:44 (permalink)
I guess I am a glutton for punishment, because I just ordered a 140mm radiator that I am going to try and mount in the rear of the case. Going to be a tight fit, trying to clear the gpu with the tube that connects the rear-mounted radiator to the distroplate, but my rough measurements suggest it will work. I need to get my gpu notification soon before I make any more poor decisions. At least the acrylic tubing has shipped, so I can start working on some of the bends in the meantime.

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shiphtfour
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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/04 16:29:09 (permalink)
Managed to (very crudely) cut off a strip from the side panel of the front mounted radiator. It looks like sh-- but when mounted it is tucked behind the distroplate so you can't even see it. This way I don't have to worry at all about the radiator not being secure.

 
After mounting it though, I discovered that the pump on the distroplate blocks access to the left port. Therefore, I have to use two right angle fittings to get around it, and from there get very creative with my bending. I could of course string multiple fittings together coming from the distroplate, but what's the fun in that? Has anyone attempted wrapping wire around the tube before heating it up so that when you do the bend it will hold its shape until it cools? That's the only way I foresee this working...

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Re: Advice on my first custom loop 2021/08/10 02:04:24 (permalink)
Thanks for the updates

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