New to Water Cooling


Hey guys, I just wanted to let you all know that I’m new to water cooling and wanted to know if the stuff I was planning on buying will cool a GeForce GTX 980ti and an i7 4790k. Im using the following; Thanks :slight_smile:


Hey! Welcome to the party.

I just did my first custom loop not too long ago. And I know @RedBeerde and @ducksauce88 recently just did some custom loops as well… So if you have any questions I, and I’m sure the other two as well, would be happy to help out. (RedBeerde’s build log is MUCH better than mine)


Also, have you delided your CPU? While it DOES void your Intel warranty, you probably won’t see the full benefit of a custom water loop if your thermals are being bottlenecked by the crappy Intel TIM (thermal interface material) used on the non-extreme processors. I delided my 4770k and saw temps drop by ~20C under load.

EDIT: Delidding can destroy your CPU if done wrong. Please read lots of guildes/tutorials, and only attempt if you are an advanced computer builder


I just finished up a watercooling project, linked above, with that same CPU and GPU. Just make sure that the gtx980ti you buy (evga, asus, gig, etc) will match the waterblock. I know for my setup, EK’s 980ti waterblock only worked for reference style cards.


EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW ACX 2.0+ w/BP (Part Number: 06G-P4-4996 -KR) is not a reference style pcb (card), therefore the EK waterblock would not fit on this card


EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+ ACX 2.0+ w/BP (Part Number 06G-P4-4995-KR) is a reference style pcb, and EK’s waterblock does fit on this card.

Just be 100% sure that your waterblocks will work for your components before you buy. Nothing worse than tearing everything apart just to find out that something doesn’t quite match up.

If you are buying the CPU and GPU new, make sure to run them, and do your burn in / stability tests before you install your loop, to make sure there are no DOA items.

As far as your parts list is concerned, you have the essential items, and as is, your loop would work. That said:

The amount and size of radiators you are considering is pretty much the minimum you should do. If you have the space I would consider either a second 120, or replacing the 120 with a second 240, especially if you consider overclocking and upping voltage on the 4790k to 1.3v+.

You may want to consider compression fittings instead of barb style. Barb fittings require zip ties (or equivalent) in order to secure and seal them, compression do not. They will both do the job, but compression look a little nicer and eliminate the risk of a zip tie breaking and creating a leak.

While a bay reservoir is nice since it tucks itself away in a 5.25 bay, it comes at the cost of convenience. I have not looked at that specific one, but typically a bay reservoir is a bit trickier to maintain, fill, drain etc, due to the cramped location. Obviously this is only a quality of life issue, and the one you have selected may not have those issues at all, just keep that in mind. If you have the space, I would consider a tube style reservoir, but again, it comes down to personal preference.

I don’t know anything about the pump you have selected, but I do know that the only pump I have seen consistently recommended, with a near zero percent failure rate, is the Laing D5 pump. Whisper quiet, and very powerful, it is an industrial fluid pump, adapted for watercooling loops. It is sold by just about every watercooling oriented manufacture under different names (Swiftech MCP-655, EK-D5, Alphacool Laing VPP655, etc…) You’ll want the variable speed style, either by PWM control, or a rotary switch on the pump itself. Its a bit more expensive than the pump you have selected, but its also arguably the most important component in your loop, It may be worth spending the extra money for it.

Feel free to shoot me a PM or ask in this thread any other questions you may have. I’m happy to help.


That’s a huge drop. I was surprised to see that while stress testing, my CPU temps are <50, but CPU Core temps still consistently spike to 65+ I am curious if the TIM would be to blame. I may have to look into Delidding mine.


Depends on which CPU you have. The 4770k was particularly bad, The 4790 and 6700k are alright, but you should still see a benefit. DO NOT try it with any extreme series i7 (5820k, 5830k 4950x, etc) because those are soldered to the heat spreader and you will destroy your chip.


Also, leave LOTS of time to do this project, and plan on being without your computer for several days. There will be things you didn’t account for, and things will go wrong.

At least, that was my experience and what I’ve heard from pretty much everyone I’ve ever seen build a custom water loop.