Water cooling for a beginner - where do I start??

I am currently looking into two methods of water cooling - a custom loop or 2 AIOs for my:
Case: corsair graphite 780t
Motherboard: asus strix z270e
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080
CPU: intel i7-7700k
I want to water cool both my GPU and CPU (and possibly my motherboard :??:) so would you recommend going for
• evga gtx 1080 ftw hybrid
• corsair 115i

• ekwb EK-KIT X240
• with EVGA hydro copper plate for gtx 1080

OR do you think those kits are crap and I should draw up a list from scratch of all the components I need individually?

My price point is under £400 - preferably under £300 and I am looking for a very silent setup, but one that can still cool my CPU and GPU at slight overclocks down to below 40-35ºC.

EDIT: I have read on some threads that AIOs are much louder than custom loops - is this true?
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  1. one of the nice things about watercooling is the diy idea

    but if you can get a aio for cpu, well, that is simpler to use and maintain, also could look alot nicer i must say

    if you are going for both gpu and cpu, the custom loop is a logical approach, if not, forget the custom and use just a aio for cpu, if you really need it
  2. If you want to get into liquid cooling, I'd start with reputable AIO's before moving to a custom loop in future.
    With only slight overclocks, liquid wouldn't be my first recommendation - an air cooler from Noctua or similar should be relatively silent.
    But if you want to go the liquid route, AIO's provide a decent 'entry', without requiring the same level of maintenance as a full custom loop.

    EKWB are a reputable company, and are generally recommended products - they'd be almost the 'next step' between AIO and then designing your own loop.
  3. So are my AIO choices for CPU and GPU good? BTW the FTW Hybrid is an AIO water cooled GPU
    Should I go for that ekwb kit?
    Will the AIO be just as quiet as custom loop and would I be able to keep temps <35ºC with AIO?
  4. Your AIO choices are decent.

    I wouldn't bother with the EKWB myself (although I wouldn't bother with an AIO for that setup either).

    Most AIO's *can* be quite - but the noise generally comes from the fans. Most AIO's come with some basic 'stock' fans, and upgrades to known 'quiet' fans (Noctua are the kings of 'quiet', Corsair have offerings, among others) will really help keep the noise down.

    As for <35'C...... if you're talking at 100% load, then no.
    The better liquid cooling will probably see 50's at max load, 20-30 at idle.... dependent on your room temperature.

    One thing to note aswell, AIO and liquid cooling may show cooler temps vs air cooling initially, but require some time to 'burn in'. If you run a stress test, on air it'll level out pretty quickly. With liquid, it'll take longer to stabilize - it's a little above my area of expertise, but relates to the way water increases in temp, and how the metal transfers heat to the liquid.
  5. What did you mean by "I wouldn't bother with an AIO for that setup"?

    Are you saying that having two individual AIOs for a GPU and CPU is bad or are you saying that because you are experienced you personally would go for custom liquid cooling?

    So after the time to burn in, would MY AIOs (evga hybrid and 115i) show a significant cooling advantage over air coolers?

    Would I be good temp wise to work with AIOs at slight overclocks?

    EDIT: the reason I am sceptical about AIOs is because of this thread ||
    Tomshardware Forums title: Best Nvidia GTX 1080 AIO GPU || By TickTockBoom
    **Please search this manually if link doesn't work - sorry about this**

    Do you agree with it?
  6. Best answer
    Neither actually - I'm saying with those components, and for what you want to achieve from it (quiet, mild overclocks) IMO liquid cooling isn't really the 'answer' I suspect you think it is (no offence intended).

    A quality air cooler (at least for the CPU) would achieve the same end goal, perhaps with a minor noise increase (very minor with the right cooler selection) and would also be cheaper.

    High end liquid cooling IMO, only really shows any significant improvement at substantial overclocks (ie not 'slight') or as a labour of love (ie the cost is likely going to be disproportionate to the benefit)

    After burn in (30mins+, generally) is when you'd measure. Unfortunately there's no definitive "significant cooling advantage" - it really depends what you're comparing.

    For example
    A stock intel cooler vs an H115i or KrakenX61? Absolutely, the AIO would show major gains.
    Something like a 212EVO vs something like a Corsair H55? I wouldn't expect substantial gains - you'd likely see comparable performance.

    Then, when you compare some 'high end' air cooling vs 'high end' AIOs:
    Noctua NH-D15 vs H115i..... In this instance, they'd be pretty close.
    The H115i would likely be a degree or two cooler, but the D15 would likely be quieter by virtue of Noctua fans a standard.

    If you upgraded the ~$120 H115i with 'quiet', high performance fans from any of the top manufacturers, you'd be adding something in the $50 range minimum to the cost. So you'd be looking at $170+ for that option, vs an $85 air cooler, for a degree or two in temps improvement.

    Hopefully that makes sense, I feel like I just rambled on for a while.

    I'm not trying to discourage you from liquid cooling, but just making sure you don't have unrealistic expectations that'll just leave you disappointed after a likely sizeable investment.

    **EDIT** The article won't open for me.
  7. Thxs for your input.
    I have chosen to ditch the custom loop idea and just go for an AIO because I want to keep this setup for at least 4 years (I know the GPU will be outdated by then ;) ) so I may decide to do some substantial overclocks to 4.6-5GHz for the 7700k CPU and I am assuming the AIO would be able to keep that under 50ºC.
  8. If you go the AIO route, ensure you opt for one with a 5 year warranty minimum (the H115i is 5 years)
    The warranty period is (generally) about as long as I'd look to run an AIO - even 5 years for a H115i might be pushing it a little.

    As far as 'under 50'C' goes, it'll really depend on the voltage required to achieve your desired OC - there's just no guarantees.
  9. I just had to point out this beauty that was made specifically for that board.
  10. Very wrong decision - Most AiOs are crappy coolers. They are loud, have very small (if at all) advantage over good air coolers.
    There is (almodt) no practical reason to buy those shiny toys from Corsair, NZXT, TT and many others. Especially for the long run.

    If you want a liquid cooling - a decent entry point would be Swiftech's H220 X2 for the CPU only.
    For a cool and QUIET system with both CPU and GPU liquid cooled, you need a 480 rad surface (2x240 will work).
    A single 240 rad will not be able to do it quietly.
    For a complete custom loop, you are looking at 350$ at least. 450-500$ is more realistic. There is a reason it cost that much over AiOs. It is materials, components quality etc.
  11. I have to completely disagree, nonsense. As somebody who owns both a custom loop and a corsair h110 AIO, the loudest part of the set up is the fans, which can easily be adjusted to your liking. The Corsair h110 has phenomenal temps. Custom looping is a pain in the ass and their really isn't much to gain for your average user/gamer.
  12. Aluminum rads are not effective in dissipating heat as their copper counterparts.
    It forces the manufacturers to make them with high fin density - that results in high noise and requires fans to run at considerably higher RPM.
    Not to mention that the pump in h110 like AiOs is practically a joke.
    h100 is the worst out of the box performer in both noise and temperatures when compared to others like NZXT, Arctic etc.
    it can be somewhat fixed with fans, but that will cost additional 50$ making it over 150$.
    For that price, there are EK Predator and Swiftech's AiOs that are by far better quality, performance and longevity. and of course are more versatile as they are serviceable, customizable and expandable.
  13. I'm not making the argument that the h110 is this great AIO. I'm telling you what I have and what I've experienced with what I have. If I had to do it again, I'm not sure I'd even bother with a different AIO. Stays under 50 degrees Celsius under load and I'm not bothered by the fans. I just don't think it's going to make a difference to the average user. If you're picky about sound or you want the better conditions for overclocking, go with a better AIO.
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