Best 480 radiator/fans, reservoir/pump, Ryzen waterblock, fittings, tubing, coolant, and accessories

Feb 9, 2018
I'm new to custom water cooling and could really use some advice. I'm dizzy from reading everything I can on water cooling and trying to understand which components are best. This is my machine:
  • Case: Thermaltake Core P5 (extra PCI x16 riser cable)
  • CPU: Ryzen 1700X
  • GPU: 2x EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 Hydro Copper
  • MB: ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero X370
  • HD: WD Black 256GB Performance SSD - M.2
  • RAM: Team T-Force Night Hawk RGB 16GB (2 x 8GB)
  • PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 1050W
  • Water cooling: ???

This machine serves 3 purposes:
  • Mining Ethereum and other coins
  • Showcase/art piece for my business (will be VESA mounted on wall)
  • 2 hours/week of VR gaming

Because of this being a showpiece, RGB lighting (Aura support a bonus) is very nice.

Would be so helpful if someone could guide me on what to buy for the following parts:
  • 480mm radiator/fans (the Core P5 supports 120x480mm)
  • Reservoir/pump (room for a tall one)
  • Waterblock for the Ryzen CPU
  • Fittings/adapters
  • Tubing (the hard tubing looks 10x better than flex)
  • Coolant (would love a blood red)
  • Anything else I'm missing? Flow meter, temp sensor?
go read the water cooling threads and the mining threads. nobody is gonna want to hold your hand through this and if you want to get on the mining bandwagon youll need to do your research.
Not speaking for pendragon...

But I think if you ask specific questions after doing research, then you'll get (potentially) a lively discussion.

I think the EK Coolstream XE series is still either the top or nearly top performer for fan RPMs above about 1K (very high RPM is a different story). Even at 750RPM they're no slouch.

For thinner rads, the charts look favorable for the Hardware Labs Nemesis GTS, but I haven't even tried to see if it has been dethroned because I go for thick rads.

Fans: ThermalBench had tested the MagLev bearing Corsair ML120 fans to be quite impressive at high RPM (must use PWM control and not voltage control). Some people had trouble with these fans making noises in certain positions. I've never owned them because I have a bunch of the original Scythe Gentle Typhoons, which were the king of the hill of ball-bearing fans (similar to the EK Vardar... though that seems to be switched out to Vardar EVO now? I dunno how that is). I think ML (sold cheaper in 2-packs) and ML pro are the same, but Pro has the rubber dampers at the corners, and more LED options. - silent wings 3 test... did well, comparable to Vardar in the noise vs airflow chart. These might be a good low RPM option. - at High RPM, the ML120 seems great. But it looks to be good at low RPM as well.

Tubing: probably PETG. You'll want a good tubing cutter... makes it simple. Youtube JayzTwoCents does a lot of playing around with coolant mixtures and hard-line tubing... might be a starting place to see how some coolants look in 1080p. Youtube, that is.

PerformancePCs is a popular online store for WC gear.

Fittings: depends on what you're trying to do... Bitspower is good quality, but there are now some similar models that are pretty much the same. You'll need to design the layout and see what makes sense: rotary fittings, Quick-disconnects (Koolance / Swiftech), etc... Again, take a look at some of the builds on youtube... I think video helps to visualize what you want. Fittings can get expensive.

Waterblock: I'd guess that aesthetics are going to matter a lot here. The WC Heatkiller blocks have always looked well built to me, but as far as performance goes: - preview of the Koolance 400 series... looks good, but the Alphacool Eisblock XPX retains its negligible performance lead (overclocked 5820K, not Ryzen). I just don't think it looks very appealing. Realistically, the performance of these blocks is so closely grouped that you should probably just pick the one that appeals to you.

Pump: Avoid the AlphaCool Vpp755 unless you can verify that they've fixed the longevity issues. This pump looked to finally best the Laing D5 based pumps in performance/noise, but they'd all eventually start producing annoying noise and fail... some sort of fundamental design flaw, and the fixes utilizing a new washer didn't seem reliable.

Edit: Also, pumps are much noisier if they're fixed/bolted into place, vibrating the case chassis. I do wonder if hard-line tubing is noisier for this reason...hmm. In any case, while your pump mounting will likely be dictated by aesthetics, if it's too noisy, there are ways to decouple the pump.
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I have ek's monoblock for my 1700x and C6H and have no real complaints. It's not that much more over a regular block really the only draw back is if you ever want to change motherboards, you will need a new block...

If you have the hydro copper cards probably wouldn't hurt to remove the blocks and put real thermal past on the cores...

As for radiators, I really like xspc's RX series of radiators... I currently have 2x 360s and 1x480

For pump and reservoir that is going to have to depend on how you want to set yours up... definitely stay with a D5 style pump or a DDC and cylinder reservoirs are definitely worth the money... I personally went with a swiftech pump w/ top and a separate cylinder reservoir
So helpful Archmage and hitched , thanks! Can I mix parts, like XSPC's RX480 and Bitspower fittings? Is everything pretty standard? I love the idea of quick-disconnects. Do they work on hard tubing?
So helpful Archmage and hitched , thanks! Can I mix parts, like XSPC's RX480 and Bitspower fittings? Is everything pretty standard? I love the idea of quick-disconnects. Do they work on hard tubing?
yes but i recommend it match fittings and tubing by manufacturer due to slight tollerence differences. i guess if you got creative like an external res/rad you could use qdc on hardline if they are hardline compatible, you have to check, im not sure.
So helpful Archmage and hitched , thanks! Can I mix parts, like XSPC's RX480 and Bitspower fittings? Is everything pretty standard? I love the idea of quick-disconnects. Do they work on hard tubing?

Quick disconnects really wouldn't be needed on hardline.. but I'm sure you could get a fitting with 1/4" thread and then attach to a disconnect..

A fill port is a good thing to think about also, I have one piped into the top of my case and I also put one in my lowest point on my system which is on my RX360's, it worked out great because it has 4 ports on it..