X99 rig going under water eventually

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by fantaskarsef, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    So this thread is about getting my rig together, and opting right for the water cooling parts to put in it.
    Mind you, this is a build stricktly for gaming, it has to do nothing besides it, and it is aimed to eventually help me jump to 1440p resolution (with possible DSR use) for gaming.

    As for the 'main frame', everything's here, and I did a quick setup under air to test the components for basic funtionality. Here it goes:

    Asus Rampage V Extreme
    Intel 5930K
    Noctua NH-D15
    Corsair Vengeance LPX 4x4GB 3000MHz
    Corair AX1200i
    Asus 980 Strix dual SLI
    Samsung 850 Evo 120GB (system disk)
    Samsung 850 Pro 512GB (game disk)
    Corsair 900D case

    Here's a pic of the boxes as proof of purchase ;)

    [​IMG]


    Putting stuff together I was... relieved to have it actually boot, besides a few little things I have experience. Here's a pic of how it looks with an open case, so far at least:

    [​IMG]

    This is all work in progress, and any input could be helpful. If the first post is way to long, boring, and useless for you, please scroll down towards the mid of the post, where you can read where I'm at currently.


    Things I have noticed so far:

    The case is just.... big. Never had that much space to put stuff in, but that comes with the downside of needing to look out for cable lengths.
    The case's own front fans are a bit tricky to hook up to the mainboard, but nothing's easier than getting extension cables for that.
    Also, I will have to (re)move a bit of furniture, but a friend of mine is moving soon and has little money, so she'll get those pieces where the rig will find it's place.
    Still, thanks Vet for the recommendation!

    The only true downside of the 900D is that it's hard to put the thumb screws for the graphics card back in.
    With a card 'rising' above the slot's height, you have to fiddle around with it, as you can't use a screwdriver
    (besides the drink helping calm down maybe), and the card's PCB and cooler itself is somewhat of in the way of
    letting me get my fingers there. This might change with a full waterblock though, which I already planned on getting for both cards.

    The other one was the Noctua cooler. I bought it in confidence it will fit with the mainboard and the large case, only to find out the
    Noctua site itself states it's not compatible with the Rampage V Extreme. Which isn't fully true, but as you can see on the pic above,
    it's a tight fit towards the first PCIe slot. Thankfully, you can mount that cooler in any direction you like, and with the fans mounted
    to blow the air upwards, I might just get away with it, although limiting my CPU and top GPU's overclock on air. This is only temporary,
    as it's merely meant to see if nothing got damaged while shipping, or is faulty from the start.

    When I first opened the Strix's box and took the card out I was a bit worried about it's weight, thinking it might sag and it does, but
    only 2-3mm at the furthest from the case's slots. I guess the backplate helps, and I hope that'll change with the full waterblock, once again.


    The stuff I have done so far sums up to:
    Assembling the rig as pictured above, with all necessary cable work for a basic test.

    In the BIOS I was able to quickly enable XMP for my modules, getting the 3000MHz with 125MHz strap. I'm not too happy with it,
    but for final use and 24/7 overclock I figured it won't be such a problem. To my shock but not so much of a surprise, I got the infamous 'bd' error,
    so I downclocked the RAM to 2666 MHz for now. I still have to losen the cooler a bit, or toy around with the voltage to see what helps,
    but both are things eventually made obsolote with the water cooling setup and the renewed tuning thereafter. Also, in BIOS, I set the CPU cooler's
    and the case's fans to 'quiet' operation.

    I even did a quick installation of Windows 8.1 on it, but only with the key currently in use on my HTPC. The gaming rig's still offline,
    and I planned on first setting up my current X58 rig as my new HTPC before activating this installation. Could I actually do some testing as in
    benching, if I should, with a non-activated Windows?
    Funny side note, besides the optical drive of course, the rig's very quiet, to the fact I couldn't hear it with the case all open and the side
    panels removed as I set two meters away at my current gaming rig... sounds like one of my goals, quiteness in idle, seems in arm's reach!


    So there I stand now, and that's where fellow guru's help would be welcome.

    I still got to test the second Strix card and see if it works, but I'm fairly positive this won't be an issue. Also, I plan on updating the
    mainboard's BIOS at the next boot, hopefully helping with that nuissance 'bd' error code. Also, I think I should at least see if SLI can be enabled,
    although it's hard to really test it with the Windows installation not yet activated.

    What I am more curious about is, what should I do next?
    Should I install all the drivers and do some benching, although I could do better under water? I'm not sure I want to go through the time
    and trouble needed to do it.
    Should I update the graphics card's BIOS already? Probably with a newer one from ASUS or a custom one?
    I thought about setting everything up on air and stock speeds / voltages until the water cooling comes into place, and maybe enjoy the benefits
    of the new hardware as I set up the current gaming rig as an HTPC and my current HTPC for my parents. But should I do that, or better
    not touch that thing until everything's done?


    That brings me to the next and final point, which would be the water cooling stuff. I may not be a total noob, building my own gaming rigs
    for about 12 years now, but liquid cooling is something way beyond my experience. Of course, experience comes with doing, but I would be
    glad to get some vital input on help on that subject.

    As the case has such large openings and mounting options it's tempting to go with two 480 (4x120mm) rads, on in the bottom's side,
    and one on top. The only thing making me wonder is that I have 12cm of clearance from the top to the edge of the mainboard, and 11cm
    from the side of the case to the PSU. Wouldn't a Alphacool NexXxoS Monsta 480 rad be too thick for that? Being 80mm thick, it would most like
    only allow a single fan to be mounted, so there wouldn't be push / pull config. If that would be vital, I should opt for radiators not that thick, and
    there I would be open for suggestions. Please mind, the build is aimed for moderate temperatures, but I would very much like it to be as quiet
    as possible, under all loads with focus on quietness under idle. Also, I could as well opt for a 360 (3x120) rad up front, but I'm not sure it
    would make things any better, cooling and noise wise.

    Besides that, I have no bloody idea of what to get besides the rads (and I'm not even sure on those). I have somewhat picked the EKWB full
    cover blocks acetal / nickel for the GPUs, and the MOSFET and south bridge cooling for the mainboard, also in acetal / nickel, original csq.
    Should I get the matching backplates from EKWB too, or would the ones already on the Strix work with the waterblock? I am unsure of
    which CPU block to get, as it might be a choice of looks too... would I do wrong in going with the EK Supremacy EVO acetal / nickel, original csq?

    Everything else that I would need for watercooling, reservoir, tubing, fittings, liquid, liquid additives, and whatever I don't even know about....
    I have no clue, to be honest. I would be very thankful for guidance to solving that problem.

    I remember people telling me that the D5 vario pump would be a good one, as well as to have a good fan controller would be useful, as there might
    be quite a few fans working on those rads and case openings. I still remember that water cooled fan controller Vet has in his rig, the most
    original idea to take care of that. I do have two 5.25" fan controllers (Scythe Kaze Master 2) that each could handle 4 fans, but that would only
    work with single sided mounting on two 480 rads, with the case fans hooked up to the mainboard, and the pump at the CPU fan header(s).

    Having wrote all this down, thanks for everybody that took the time to even read the (techno)babble I was giving here, I tried to keep it
    readable in form.... I hope you have a bit of time to explain a noob what's it all about, what to look out for, and possibly, what I've done
    wrong so far (but please don't tell me I should have waited with the GPUs or the CPU :D).


    Hooray for guru3d!
     
  2. Nono06

    Nono06 Master Guru

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    So you finally got it :)

    First, I would recommend updating to the latest bios.
    On a recent platform like the x99 there are still bugs that need to be corrected.
    Moreover, Asus does not seem to list all the updates in their log.
    For example, with the deluxe, the version 1004 included a critical fix regarding MOSFET but nothing was written in their “what’s new”:
    http://www.xtremerigs.net/2014/10/24/asus-critical-bug-fix-bios-for-x99-deluxe/

    On my side, when trying to find the max OC I always install the minimal drivers because once I’m done I always prefer formatting and reinstalling windows :)
    But since you do not have your WC, it may not be forth to try to OC now.

    After that, I always install the latest drivers available (even if they are beta)
    I tried the latest MEI firmware today, and my PC seems to boot a bit faster now.
    As I said in the other thread, I’m surprise that ASUS do not update the OROM section in their bios. This would have been easier.
    If you want to try that, do not forget to change the OROM option in the boot section in UEFI to “keep current”. The default value is set to “force bios”, so it will always replace your updates by the one included in the bios. The version to use is “9.1.x” with extension “1.5M” for x99.

    Regarding the “BD” error. I had the same on my side. This was mainly due to the strap set to 125MHz
    If you use a recent bios (because old one was not able to support more than 2666Mhz memory on strap 100), I would recommend to stay with strap 100 and see if you can have memory working at 3000Mhz. Using the 100:133 ration for memory may help also but you will have less choices in term of memory frequency.
    The uncore voltage also has an impact on that since it includes the memory controller. So you can try to increase that a bit. Of course if you change the uncore frequency, you will have to put more voltage on it. MyDog said he is using 1.35V for 4.5Ghz on that part and mem at 3200. For me, it requires 1.39v for 4.45ghz and memory at 3235.
    The “funny” part is that System Agent (SA) voltage has role in that also. You can try to increase it a bit (around 1V) to see if it helps.
    SA is the difficult part when OC (at least it was for me) because there are “voltage holes”. It can almost work at certain voltage but if you increase it a bit then it is getting worse then if you increase it more it starts to work again.

    Regarding VGA bios, I have not followed the 980 story. So I cannot really comment. I modified mine (680) because I wanted to extend the max voltage that I can use. Not sure, if it is something still doable with 980.

    For WC, mine is somehow basic. I have only one 360x60 rad, with 3x120 fans as push and 2x200 as pull. I’m using an EK pump + reservoir combo. The pump is a 1000l/h. On the CPU have an EK full copper water block. Nothing else. I honestly do not know if a push/pull is far better than push only. I’m sure some guru’s here have the answer.

    Enjoy your new toy :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  3. -Tj-

    -Tj- Ancient Guru

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    Nice setup fantaskarsef!:thumbup:

    Yeah I noticed that too, but wasn't quite sure if its cache voltage or SA voltage lol :)


    Although I wouldn't go so overkill with cache voltage, 1.35v is max max when on air or aio h2o.. Mydog used that by ln2?

    Also 4.2 -4.3ghz should be enough to keep it at reasonable ~ 1.15 - 1.20v voltage. Unless you really want that extra 10-20points, but imho not worth it for 24/7..:nerd:


    [​IMG]
     
  4. Veteran

    Veteran Ancient Guru

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    Subscribed! Personally i wouldn't start building/using it until you most of your parts. Otherwise your just going to have to take it all apart again.
     

  5. Fender178

    Fender178 Ancient Guru

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    If it were me. I wouldn't finish building it until you are ready to install all of the liquid cooling stuff.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  6. IhatebeingAcop

    IhatebeingAcop Master Guru

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    That's a monster of a rig. I'll be watching this unfold. Nice buy!:banana:
     
  7. Nono06

    Nono06 Master Guru

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    Well according to Asus OC guide. A range between 1.35-1.45v is safe for the uncore part:
    http://rog.asus.com/365052014/overclocking/rog-overclocking-guide-core-for-5960x-5930k-5820k/

    You know, we always want to extract the maximum juice from your setup even it is only for few points :nerd:
    It is like spending 300-500 euros in WC... It is somehow beyond common sense for most of the people :)
     
  8. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I think I'll just test the second Strix to see if it actually runs (and I don't have to go for RMA right away), but besides that I will concentrate on getting those watercooling parts.

    As for the voltages I still gotta read into those specific things happening at the Haswell-E architecture. Lots of research to do, actually!

    It's pretty much the same with the water cooling sollution, I have about zero clue as to what's better, push pull, push only (depending on the fans too I guess). Anybody got a hint at a good noob-ready guide to water cooling I can read into? I've found a few on the net but to be honest, it still doesn't feel like I know much about it.
     
  9. leedreamer189

    leedreamer189 Member

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    Looks promising! Looking forward to seeing how it comes together!
     
  10. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

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    Did you want help with a parts list or something? Really you dont learn until you have first hand experience with it
     

  11. Rich_Guy

    Rich_Guy Ancient Guru

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    Looks great fantaskarsef

    Enjoy! :D
     
  12. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Sorry guys, I've been locked down somewhat, had to suffer from the flu a little, so I haven't been able to put much work into my project recently.
    I've found those watercooling guides, yet some seem to be a bit off or outdated.

    http://www.overclockers.com/beginners-guide-water-cooling/ (half way through as of yesterday)
    http://www.overclock.net/t/766479/watercooling-guide-for-beginner
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/a-beginners-guide-for-watercooling-your-pc,1573.html
    http://choosemypc.net/wcguide/
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7363/the-neophytes-custom-liquid-cooling-guide-how-to-why-to-what-to-expect
    http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/t355358.html


    I know, I kind of see it like the first time I really did pick my rig's parts myself back in the day... you need to get going eventually, the rest is learning by doing. Yet I wouldn't mind a few hints, as in 'this CPU block is bad' or 'this pump is a quiet one'. Probably even one that helps me relise if I need two seperate loops or only one for my build, which the first guide somewhat made me unsure about... :confused:
     
  13. Veteran

    Veteran Ancient Guru

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    One d5 is enough, you only need 2 when you have lots of blocks causing restriction. I have only 1 in my loop on speed setting 2 although having the monoblock helps a lot with low temps and low restriction.
     
  14. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Well I'll have two GPU blocks (full cover), two big rads, CPU block, and two blocks for the mainboard (unfortunately), so I guess that's not a small number or restrictions... If the pump can take it while retaining reasonably quiet, I'm okay with it. I just don't want it to do crazy stuff and run on speed 10...

    Also I've noticed there's different manufacturers of D5 pumps, and some even building it into their reservoirs... is this correct? How to know which Vario to take? Does it even make sense to buy a reservoir with the pump built in?
     
  15. Veteran

    Veteran Ancient Guru

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    For what you describe one pump is still enough. The pumps are all the same, just the plastic housing had different branding on. At one Tim the aquacomputer ones pumped more water per litre per hour around but that's changed now. There all the same. Ive also had my swiftech pump now running for 6 years and no problems. Highly recommended.
     

  16. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Oddly enough, I can't find it at Swiftech's site... is it his one, MCP655? (link)

    Also, I can't seem to be able to get this one, except amazon uk. If those pumps really are the same regarding the machine inside, I could opt for another, could I? Like this one, XSPC D5 Vario (link)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  17. Veteran

    Veteran Ancient Guru

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  18. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Oh actually I planned on going with one pump tbh. Good to know some model like that works. I'm just worried if it's the right one, I've seen D5 Vario from EKWB (link), which is stated to have five speeds, whereas the XSPC one (link) just states there's some form of speed control, but not how many steps there are. I've read that there's the D5 with 5 steps, and the Vario with 10 or 11, so which one is which and what model to get? :confused:

    I've looked at some pictures of watercooled rigs and I'm uncertain of how to arrange parts in the loop. With Vet's watercooled build it looks like it's going something like this:

    fan controller
    reservoir / pump
    mainboard full block
    top radiator
    graphics card
    bottom radiator


    As it would for in a rather nice cirly, running clockwise, I thought about something like this:

    (fan controller?)
    reservoir pump (next or close to the 5.25" bay cage)
    bottom radiator
    graphics cards (bottom, then top one)
    chipset
    cpu
    mosfets
    top radiator

    As elegant as it sounds, I don't think this will work and offer good temps, right? If it's hard to understand I will try to make a drawing to help grasp what I'm trying to say.

    The radiators themselves will be 4x120mm rads (480s) on top and bottom, most likely Alphaxool Monstas with single pushing fans... I still don't know if fans not as thick with push/pull would be better.

    As I've taken another look at your build pictures vet, I've noticed you did have troubles with connecting the bottom rad next to the PSU, what was that about if I may ask?
     
  19. Veteran

    Veteran Ancient Guru

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    Get the variable 5 speed pump, when putting the quad rad in the bottom you may need 90 degree angled bends because of the psu and even then you may need some spring hose clamps instead of compression fittings because of lack of space.

    When I put my triple rad in I had to use a spring mounted clip as the psu was rubbing against the compression fitting screw on hence the spring mounted clip.

    What you need to do is get your rad and put it in the bottom and see how it stands, also when using a quad uptop if you plan to use a watercooled fan controller with even a single fan on you may run out of room especially in push and pull. Once again you would need to measure.

    As for push and pull I would just have a single fan config and a thicker rad, also if your using monsta rads push and pull may not be an option because of the spacing. You maybe forced to use monsta rads but triples instead of quads.

    Once you have the rads you will see what I mean, I would measure first or only buy one, don't buy two yet because you may have to send one back.


    Also does your motherboard support mosfet fittings? Not all motherboards support watercooled mosfet/vrm fittings especially x99.

    More research you need to do buddy.:)
     
  20. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, I already opted for the D5 Vario with more steps, the only problem is it's a little tricky to come by here as it seems.

    Regarding the mainboard and mosfet cooling, there's a sollution for that from EKWB, unfortunately out of the Rampage V Extreme's layout there won't be a monoblock for the mainboard (I've read the BIOS battery is in the way for anything like that). Here's the link, just to drop it. I've also got to check out fittings and stuff now, since the board's watercooling sollution might interfere with the PCIe slots and the graphics cards there... oh my.

    Should I plan the tubing to put a rad before and one after the pump, or would it be better if I'd put one in to between the cooling blocks, say after the GPUs?

    And yes, I know I still got to do a lot of research, only that thing's itching to run, seeing it standing there every day... dammit.
     

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