Suggestions for watercooling setup!


Hi there,

I currently have following setup:
Core i7 920 @4200Mhz @1.375v
Intel DX58SO Extreme Series board
Corsair XMS3 2GBx3 @1600Mhz @1.62v
XFX GTS250 Overclocked to EVGA GTS250 Superclocked clocks ;)
Coolermaster V8 with 120mm 83.7cfm & 6.7mmH2o fan and a 80mm 67cfm & 5.9mmH2o fan between top and center fins as exhaust
CoolerMaster 600Watt Extreme Power Supply
CoolerMaster HAF932 With 4 120mm side fans, 3 120mm top fans, 1 140mm rear fan & 1 230mm front fan

Now summers are going wild (42-45ºC) and my overclocking is getting unstable.
So i had to lower my CPU to 3600Mhz (even 3800Mhz won't work :()!
So i'm thinking of setting up a water cooling setup.

I'm thinking of:
Swiftech APOGEE XT Ultra Extreme Performance Water Block
XSPC X2O 750 Dual 5.25” Bay Reservoir Pump
Swiftech Radiator - MCR320 Quiet Power Series Triple 120 mm

So here are my questions:
1. My selected water block is no doubt the best! and the reservoir and pump combo is also fine. Right?
2. Is my radiator good enough cause i found no good reviews? (I'll be using CoolerMaster R4 Red LED Fans @69cfm @3.02mmH2o @2000RPM)
3. I hate ALL colors except black and red so ofcource my coolant needs to be red.
UV Red should appear fantastic but i've seen in many forums that they are appearing orringesh!!
I EXACTLY wan't red or BloodRed in UV. Which coolant can do my job?
4. I'm new to watercooling so please tell me everything i need to buy (tubing, connections, barbs etc) cause none of anything is available in my country so i'll be asking my relative to bring it from UK so it won't be easy to get replacements or any upgrades before next year.

Also is CoolerMaster Aquagate Max any good? (In terms of Performance vs price)

Please help!



Tech Monkey
You have to understand that *we* think thru things. A whole new-ish collection of parts takes a bit to digest.

From my own profile, you can tell that I prefer & decided on the XT water block. This was after several net searches for the "best". Even if that only means a few tenths of a degree. Of course "best" may imply other issues such as periodic maintenance. Even tho I have been an OC-er for several years, the idea of "maintenance" has grown more serious. There are many posts on this forum with pix showing some pretty disgusting results (me included) of low maintenance.

On these forums there are several engineers and self employed people with a spectrum of ideas of simple to more "innovative" to maintain to crazy performance. I am into crazy performance. That means I am willing to OC to as much as possible with water cooling. I run my systems 24x7 with *my* software. I am only mildly interested in what a stress benchmark will do ... maybe a little more than mild interest ... but I like the 4.41 GHz performance I get from the i7 920 for the software the I live & die for my business. The system will fail OCCT after a few hours, but the software I use to make $$ is *not* OCCT. OCCT does afford an idea of a margin for crash ... does that make some sense?

I don't mention coolant in the profile. I use distilled water with a fish tank anti-bacterial and Water Wetter. Google either & you will understand the why for either.

I also used Indigo Extreme TIM. This was also discussed on this forum. One fellow was absolutely convinced that I was killing my processor. For me, a $300 processor, is not such a big deal. I was/am interested in all that I can squeeze out and new technology. So check out & search thru old threads in these forums. If you want max performance, I just say, "if you can't afford to pay, don't play". I don't know of anyone on any forum saying that they have the 24x7 OC of their i7 920 that I have.

So yes, my office was WELL over 90 deg F today. Things crashed. I dropped BCLK from 210 to 205 & all was fine. I could have messed with more, UCLK & DRAM, to keep performance up, but it wasn't important. Besides I couldn't stand to be in the office so better performance is a little academic.

I am sweating, the bedroom is air conditioned ... good night. All is running well.
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Techgage Staff
Staff member
Firstly, unless your Core i7 CPU is reaching >85c on the core temps then notching the appropriate voltages higher can probably get the system stable again on air. If heat alone is sufficient to make an overclock unstable, then in most instances either A) the machine was right on the edge of a stable overclock, or B) it wasn't fully stable and the heat just made it fully unstable. If it was A, then slightly more voltage for the weak link would resolve it.

The CoolerMaster Aquagate is one I don't even recall anymore, and as it is an older kit I'd say no. The best pre-built watercooling setup I believe is still the CoolIt Systems Domino A.L.C. As you are new to WCing a system, the Domino might not only be the best bet but it would certainly be cheaper as well.

The components for your WC loop look fine. Swiftech makes solid products... the XT is currently the best CPU block on the market and their radiators are decent. Last I checked Thermochill rads have an edge in performance, especially if you plan to use quiet, slow speed fans. I'm not hugely familiar with that reservoir/pump cominbation, but generally Swiftech's MCP655 or MCP355 pumps are the most recommended (I use the variable speed 655).

You mention dyes... Distilled water, dye (if any), an anti-microbial/algaecide additive are usually the best to use If you want red dye, find a pool shop or major hardware store and check out the pool/pond supplies, as you can find the cheapest options for a loop there including genuine red dye. (non-UV though, if you want UV-reactive dyes then you must order a custom brew from an online watercooling shop)

Building your own loop is complex, time consuming, and will require a myriad of parts. And unless you are extremely careful you run the risk of buying parts that use different sized barbs, barb threading, or different tube sizes. If you have to source parts from out of country then I strongly suggest simply trying a higher-performance air cooler like the Noctua DH-14, or the self-contained and ready to go CoolIT Domino ALC.


Now thats what i call a reply. :)

The Noctua DH-14 isn't available in my country but V10 is and its better than Noctua DH-14 - I Suppose!

But i want to setup liquid cooling for both performance and visuals.
I can easily handle the complex installation (I'm a DIY Enthusiast :cool:)
I read about Thermochill radiators but they aren't available specially when the PA120.3 got discontinued.
Their new PA140.3 is fantastic radiator but it double the price of Swiftech MCR320.
When I'm buying someone i always want best bang for the buck!!

So finally would you still recommend Thermochill 140.3 keeping in mind its double the price of MCR320.
And is it compatible with my 'HAF 932' cause it isn't with the 'Cosmos S'?


Techgage Staff
Staff member
The old style PA120.3 was discontinued because it used non-standard fan spacing, meaning it could not mount in most cases. The new PA120.3 that replaced it uses standard 15mm fan spacing, which means it can be mounted in any triple-120mm fan setup like a Swiftech radiator. The new PA120.3 has been available for several months now. :)

You can see in William's review that the Noctua DH-14 outperforms even the latest prebuilt watercooling loop from CoolIT.

Here even the older model U12P outperforms the Dominao ALC

This is the best results for the V10 I have seen, but the NH-14 is still better. Most reviews show a larger difference in results... but after seeing these numbers a full blown watercooling loop would probably serve your needs best.

After looking at those results I must take back my recommendation of the ALC. ;)

I do bring up the complexities of a watercooling loop because if you are missing as much as one clamp, one barb with the correct threading, or anything you can be left without a usable system until you are able to source or replace the needed parts. This is something you need to keep in mind before you begin such a build. Triple check that you have everything before you order!

The PA140 uses 140mm fans and is not compatible with anything except customized MountainMod cases. The HAF 932 might be able to be modded into fitting a 140.3, but it would not fit easily I can assure you, as I have measured my own HAF 932 to check. ;)

The new 15mm PA120.3 is compatible with the HAF 932, and should be compatible with the Cosmos S as well. It should also be cheaper than the PA140. If the MCR320 is still much cheaper in your country then you might be best sticking with that, the performance difference does not justify twice the price.
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