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Custom Loop in Desk


Well-known member
Jun 15, 2008
Sudbury, Ontario

I am currently in the design phase of building a computer desk with my PC in it. I have only ran air cooling on PCs to date so I have 0 clue as to how to approach the water cooling side.

The main reason for W/C on this project is:
A: I have always wanted to have a water cooled system, but I always take the water cooling funds and put them into hardware instead

B: I don't feel that with my plans I will be able to achieve adequate air flow

As for the design;

I will be running a two tier PC case in the desk. Each section will be ~ 2' -10"L x 1' -5"W x 12"H with the Mobo in the top section.

Now for the water loop I had, which is where my questions are.

At this point in time it will be CPU only (I run GTX 460s in SLI, and the water blocks for those GPU's seem to be impossible to purchase now, and the Maximus IV Extreme Z mobo block is also discontinued)

When I purchase a new Mobo and GPU's they will be on water, so I plan to build a water loop with the capability to cool them now.

My thought was to run 2x 360mm rads and 2x DDC pumps in series. I was planning on 3/8" ID 1/2" OD tubing, but I may be wrong on that choice.

My pumps and Rads will be in my bottom section of the "Case" with 1x 250mm x 60mm Tube EK reservoirs in the top section.

I will be running the Reservoirs horizontally in the top section (in the big blank spot in the ghetto, unfinished design below) I haven't edited the image to remove the "Rad" in the top section, however it will just be exhaust fans (probably only 2, with 1 intake per side panel)
My Power supply and HDDS will be located in the lower section of the case, so I will have 2x intake fans, and use the rads as exhaust fans.
My design isn't finished but here it is:


I guess now is where I actually reach my questions lol

Should I run the 2 rads in series, or have 1 on either side of the pump?
Is 2x 360mm rads necessary for a CPU/Mobo/1-2 GPUs?
is running push only OK, or should I be Push Pull?
And finally, what is the order I should run everything in? Pump -> Rad -> Reservoir -> CPU -> GPU -> Mobo -> pump?

Oh, 2x pump is based on my opinion that I will loose too much LPM running 2x rad once I get a motherboard and Video card /s in the loop

I appreciate any help I can get. I have looked at many W/C builds and while I feel I have gained quiet a bit of knowledge from them, I would still like some reinforcement from the experts. I would hate to drop $800+ on a less then adequate cooling solution

My biggest standstill in properly pricing out the Loop is fittings. Depending on how the loop is built... order, Rad locations / series or multi sections, reservoir setup will change which fittings I need, and since they are way over priced I don't want to buy any fittings I don't need. I may not be using a traditional PC branded fitting though so pricing may not be too bad. Just need to check my employee discount on what Fastenal has to offer for my requirements (copper, stainless and nickel fittings, 101 sizes and styles to choose from) (Straight Compression fitting from BP - $13.99, straight compression fitting from Fastenal ~$2.20 *Wholesale, not my price:thumb:)

P.S. My system is Overclocked, and will always be overclocked so the better the cooling solution, the happier I am. I would like to reach 5.0 GHZ without the requirement of wearing a parka in my basement... again =P

Edit: Here is my current parts list Minus Fittings and fans;

2x XSPC RX360 Radiators
1x Ek-Supremacy Plexi Nickel CPU Block
2x DazMode Storm DDC 3.2
1x EK Multioption X2 Res 250 Basic Reservoirs
10' Clear Feser Tube Hose - 3/8ID 1/2 OD
1x Koolance Liquid coolant.
1x XSPC Dual DDC top

Edit: Decided to alter my initial set up a bit. Not going to run 2x reservoirs and I changed from D5's to DDC pumps. D5 dual pump top seems a bit hefty on the wallet.
Last edited:


Staff member
Feb 12, 2007
Grande Prairie, AB
The simpler the loop the better IMO. One loop, everything in series. But you can get away w/ throwing the GPUs in parallel.

Push > pull if you can do it. Not much of a difference but you can get 1-2C lower deltas by using push. You can gain maybe another 1-2C by adding push/pull. But that is making the fans twice as loud. IMO not worth it at all.

Loop order matters almost none, water cooling loops are small so water temperature equalizes throughout the entire loop quickly.

2 x pump isn't really needed either. One MCP35x will be plenty sufficient. The only thing a second pump will add is redundancy. If you use two pumps I suggest slowing them down somehow. Too much flow can be a problem, especially if you are using DDCs.

As for fittings, you are paying entirely for aesthetics. But if you are using 3/8" ID 1/2" OD you can get compressions rather cheap. Koolance compressions for that size are around $5 - $6 each.


Well-known member
May 31, 2010
When I decide to stay in one place for more than a year or two I plan to do the same thing.

Watercooling fittings are mostly G1/4" BSPP which is an o-ring seal and I don't see much for that kind of thread at fastenal. Compression fittings are prettier but more expensive, barbs/clamps work just fine if you want to save a few dollars there. Ideally, you want your reservoir at/near the top of your loop to make the system easier to bleed, but besides that just route it however is most convenient. Rx360s are a good choice and will be adequate for a CPU/mobo/1-2GPUs. You should easily be able to run that loop on one pump and the only reason for two is redundancy as lowfat says. You could just get one pump to start and if want to you could later add in a second pump and pump top.

Not sure what you had planned, but you can get mobo trays from mountain mods. MountainMods.com-Computer Cases-Parts-Motherboard Parts-Modular Motherboard Tray 10 PCI (XL-ATX)

Make sure you give us a build log with lots of pics when you start working on it. :thumb:


Well-known member
Jun 15, 2008
Sudbury, Ontario
Thanks a lot for the info, I had read / asked about it in other forums and have decided to cut it down to a single pump. Planning to run Pump->Rads->Reservoir->CPU for now, then drop the mobo and video cards in there between the cpu and the Pump.

Also Dustin, as per the fittings via Fastenal, if I decided to go that route it would be direct from a mfg such as Legris. However BSPT and BSPP threads are analogous to NPT and NPS threads, respectively *May need to add an O-ring separately.
That is the Mobo tray I was planning on picking up. Will fit the bill for my current needs, and it is huge for future.

Pretty much completed the design stage now. Just working on a few final small details then I will be starting the build.