I need suggestions for a demanding CPU watercooling solution - probably a suggestion of "custom loop" components.
I just outgrew my 12 core overclocked CPU and upgraded it to an 18 core i9-10980XE. (I do a lot of very intense CPU work.) My Noctua NH-D15 can't handle the output, and tops out at about 4.1 GHz (overclocked) whereas most cores pushed individually can run as high as 4.7 GHz (if the cooling is adequate). So the cooler greatly limits what I can do with the CPU.
I think I need a loop that can reduce the OC temps by about 25 C from those the Noctua can achieve (so that OC currently hitting 100C on the Noctua only hits about 75C on watercooling). I.e., reduce a delta-T of about 70 to a delta-T of about 45 (or ideally even less, under 40 C).
That's a hell of a drop. It suggests I need custom loop not AIO, and probably good kit at that - a very good 360mm copper radiator, and a high flow rate pump. But it should be possible.
- System: i9-10980XE, Asus WS SAGE X299, 128 GB 3600 RAM, very basic old VGA card (not used for gaming), EVGA Supernova G2 1000W PSU, Samsung NVMe system+data SSDs. System runs 24/7 for weeks to months at a time (offline), so stability and not needing to interrupt often, matters.
- Price/quality: Price is not important, although "cheapest possible" is good. Quality, reliability and performance are key.
- Kit vs. custom loop: I am OK with kit or custom, but suspect I'll need to choose individual components.
- Experience: I've been building custom PCs and custom enclosures for a long time. I've never used water cooling before but I'm familiar with it; it doesn't scare me.
- Leaks: I am quite nervous of leaks. The pump/reservoir/radiator will be "standalone" outside the chassis, so if they leak or I move the computer on its side, it's safe. So it's only the CPU block and connectors that are a concern for leaks.
- Loop length: The external pump/reservoir/radiator means I need to allow a total loop length of up to 2.0m (2.5m max).
- Noise: Not especially worried about fan and pump noise as long as they don't sound like a howling gale.
- Radiator/pump/reservoir: I expect I will need a very good (thick?) 360mm copper rad, and a large combined very high max flow rate durable pump-reservoir.
- CPU block: This is the one component able to leak inside the case. So I want it really well engineered for LGA-2066 heat flow and water connections, whatever way is absolute most sure to avoid leaks, since it will run 24/7. Happy to get a premium product, if it has functional benefits.
- Fluid and tubing: I don't care about aesthetics and looks. My kit is functional and quality, not "pretty". So I would like a fluid and tubing that as little as possible causes sediment, degrades over time, etc. Would aim for flexible tubing with anti-kink. No preconceptions about ID/OD thickness.
- Connections: Must be very good and once tested initially, very hard to "go wrong". I don't want to buy another £2000 CPU/motherboard/RAM here!
- Redundancy/continual operation: If the reservoir can't be topped up while in use, then I would consider a 2nd pump or reservoir in parallel, with shutoff valves, so I can top up one while the other is in 24/7 use.
- Materials: For the loop gneerally, whatever's needed to avoid sediment/plastic deposit and not have to maintain often. For the metal components, no "mixed materials" electrolytic contact with the water, so probably copper/brass not aluminium.
I've been advised to look at EK for everything except the radiator, and get a thicker radiator from someone else who makes them, such as Thermaltake. But it's hard to find good reviews and advice.
What are my options? Is my goal realistic?