Watercooled gaming pc under £2000

  got2nesa 00:13 28 Nov 2008

I'm building a gaming machine and want to know if anyone see's any potential *compatibility issues that I may have missed, or if you'd do anything differently, let me know.

*by compatibility I don't only mean, "it won't work", but also "it would work better if you replaced [part A] with [part B]

- Thanks.

note: I'm going with a very beautiful and expensive case, it is the top case for water-cooling, which I'm also going with. I am going with watercooling because I will be overclocking more than I'd like to rely on air for, and I'm also fond of how quiet water is over air.

[B][U]::System Specs::[/U][/B]

Mobo (£120): Asus P5Q-E, iP45, S 775, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), DDR2 1066/ 1200/800 MHz, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX

CPU (£140): Intel Core 2 Duo, E8400, Wolfdale Core, S775, 3.0 GHz, 1333MHz, 6MB Cache, 9x Multiplier, Retail

Gfx card (£230): 896MB EVGA GTX260 PCI-E 2.0 (x16), Mem 1998MHz, GPU 576MHz, 216 Cores, 2x Dual Link DVI-I/ HDTV

Sound card (£90): Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional

HDD 1 (£35): 250GB Samsung HD252HJ, Spinpoint F1, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ

HDD 2 (£35): 250GB Samsung HD252HJ, Spinpoint F1, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ

Optical Drive (£16): Optiarc (Sony/NEC) AD-7200S-0B 20xDVD±R, 8xDVD±DL, DVD+RW x8/-RW x6, DVD-RAM x12, SATA, Black, OEM

PSU (£100): 650W Be Quiet Dark Power PRO BN073 Modular PSU 87% Eff

RAM (£55): 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12, DHX

OS (£65): Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic SP1* 64Bit 1Pk OEM (DVD)

[I]Sub-Total: £886 (inc. VAT)[/I]

[B][U]::Case (+water cooling)::[/U][/B]

Case (£245): Silverstone TJ07B-W Black Aluminium Full Tower Case with Window ATX/E-ATX/SSI (w/o PSU)

CPU Block (£50): Swiftech Apogee GTZ CPU Block LGA 775 - 3/8" & 1/2" Barbs Incl

Radiator (£75): TFC Xchanger Triple Radiator 360 using G1/4" Threads

Fans (£35): 3x 120mm Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F Fan 1600 RPM

Reservoir (£75): XSPC Laing DDC-Pump 12V Ultra(18w) Acrylic Reservoir with G1/4" Threads

Lighting (£3): Sharkoon 4" UV CCFL 2in1 Kit (x2 CCFL Tubes + 1 dual Inverter + adhesive Velcro strips)

Tubing (£7): Alphacool Hose PVC 11/8mm Clear 2 Meter Length

Fluid (£14): 1L Feser One Fluid - UV Acid Green for water cooling systems (Non Conductive 10 ìS)

Barbs (£10): EK Polished Nickel Plated Brass G1/4" (BSPP) Thread to 1/2" Hose Tail

[I]Sub-Total: £514 (inc. VAT)[/I]


Display (£181): 22" LG L226WTQ , Black , Widescreen, 2 ms, DVI/VGA, 1680x1050, 3000:1

Speakers (£29): Creative Inspire Black T3100 2.1 Speaker System

Mouse (£27): Logitech G5 Laser Mouse, 2000dpi, USB 1.1/2.0, 7 Buttons, Black - Gamers Choice

Mousepad (£27): SteelSeries SteelPad 5L Multilayered Gaming Mouse Mat (E3162)

Keyboard (£54): Razer Lycosa "Unstoppable" Gaming Keyboard [RZ03-00180600-R3W1] Non-slip Rubber Backlit Keys - UK

Headset (£88): Sennheiser PC350 Gaming Headset

[I]Sub-Total: £406 (inc. VAT)[/I]

[B][U]::Grand Total::[/U][/B]

[I]£1806 (inc. VAT)[/I]

I'm also getting an external HDD along with Acronis for secure back-up. If I were to go with air-cooling and not overclock my rig so much, it would have a grand total of around £1300. But, as I mentioned, I will be overclocking more, and I want a cooler/quieter environment. Also, this case + cooling-system is a long-term investment, I will only be spending ~£0-£300/year in upgrades, in order to stay with the flow of things.

Suggestions awaited!

  I am Spartacus 09:24 28 Nov 2008

You don't need watercooling for that CPU with reasonable overclocks. My E8400 at 4.15GHZ is happy with a Thermalright Ultra Extreme (TRUE) at around 33ºC above ambient (say 53ºC) on full load. If you're aiming for above 4.5GHz then maybe watercooling is an option but a lot depends on the particular CPU you get, some overclock with ease others are disappointing. It's definitely not worth spending a few hundred on a watercooling setup for a less than 10% sustained increase in performance (at best).

Are you 100% sure all those watercooling components will connect with the correct fittings/barb sizes? Also are you sure a triple rad will fit in that case without you having to resort to a Dremel? If you're building the loop yourself and the parts happen to fit together make sure you do at least 24 hours leak testing with the loop outside the case.

It is a very nice case but the price you've quoted seems a bit expensive.

My TRUE setup is actually quieter and just as effective as my watercooling loop. I have to have the fan speeds on high to get the fluid down to a decent temperature. Admittedly I only have a dual rad in my loop.

  citadel 18:46 28 Nov 2008

you can get an i7 machine for that money, plus there are new 55nm 260 cards in december

  got2nesa 23:01 28 Nov 2008

Thanks for the replies... I was thinking of i7 but I think they're just too overpriced. If I were to get the exact same of everything that I'm getting now then it would cost me £400 extra for an i7 + mobo + ddr3 ram... The thing about i7 is that, by the time I need to upgrade to dual core, the i7's of today will be underperforming compared to the one's that aren't even out yet.

So, I get what works for today, and save my money for what will be top-notch in the future...

I think I will go with air cooling for now, and a small Lian Li case. I don't plan on using SLi in the near future, hence the non-nVidia mobo.

And I've upgraded my 260 to the 896MB BFG GTX260 OCX MAXCORE which runs at 2250MHz memory and 655MHz gpu. It outperforms the 4870x2 (Crossfire) by itself.

Plus, runs much quieter and cooler.

Thanks for the tip on watercooling, Spartacus.

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