Ryzen build: Water-loop

Before buying components it's important to design/sketch the complete water loop or at least have a plan on how you'll gonna build it. This is necessary in order to know how many fittings/adapters and tubes to buy and will help you create the tube shapes later on.

I've created a pretty simple loop which is almost a rectangle from frontal perspective. A perfect setup to start with. I ordered the required EKWB fittings (in white) and 90° adapters. The adapters are not available in white, therefore my plan was to colorize (white spray paint) them so I would get some highlights inside the case.

Before spray painting:

After spray painting:

The result is pretty good but it took me a few tries to get there. The entire process was a bit messy as I have no clue how to spray paint, but that will hopefully improve in the future.

Tubeless build

The following picture is a snapshot of the current state (without any tubes).
The pump+reservior combination is already installed in front of a 280mm radiator.
What you can also see here are the RAM modules in their shiny white (as mentioned in Part 2).

The EKWB Vardar EVO fans are intakes and therefore on the front of the case:

One 280mm radiator is probably not good enough for continuous payload on this hardware, but it will do for this computer's use case. And for sure it's also way easier to start with instead of building two rads into this case.

Tube bending

This is definitely the part I feared the most. The loop consists of 4 separate tubes:

  1. Radiator to Pump: No bending, just a straight tube
  2. Radiator to CPU: Contains a 90° angle
  3. CPU to GPU: Contains a 90° angle
  4. GPU to Pump: 90° angle + 2x 45° angle on one axis + 2x ~10° angle on another axis

The straight tube was easy. Nonetheless I had to learn how to cut the tubes and prepare them so the fittings/adapters can be installed without getting any damage.

The 90° angles were my first test in bending. I used the heat gun and a silicone cord which makes the tube more stable while it gets "bendable". This is the result of my second attempt to create the Radiator to GPU tube:

There was no way to get this build working without doing the most complex of all involved tubes: The GPU to Pump tube. It cost me a lot of time to calculate the angles and distances - still I got it wrong on first attempt.

The second attempt was better - honestly still far from perfect - but I had to use it as I was already out of tubes and out of time.

I am pretty satisfied with my first loop. It's not perfect, but also not a complete disaster. Additionally I installed a valve below the pump so I can drain it easily in the future.

Here it is, the (still empty) loop:


The liquid/coolant is from Mayhems in Pastel Orange. What no one told me was that this color would change into a (still awesome) red when used in conjunction with white LEDs.

Writing that tube bending was my biggest fear is actually a lie. My biggest fear was that there would be any leaks afterwards. But luckily, there weren't any!

Filling the loop is the most satisfying part. It will take you a while to initially fill and leak test it (which I did for 24+ hours), but if there's one thing that's worth it, it's pouring the coolant into the reservior:

... and starting the pump afterwards:

What I won't show you in this part is the completed loop as this will get revealed in the final fourth part.

Additional tasks

The loop isn't the only complex and time-consuming part in building systems.

I've spent a lot of time with cable management and simplifying the interior so I would get the cleanest build I could possibly create. This also includes the back panel of the case as it's covered with tempered glass.

To be honest, the original back panel on the Enthoo Evolv is a mess (as in almost every other case), primarily due to the PWM hub (fan controller). I moved the PWM hub to the top as I didn't install a radiator there and had a lot of remaining space:

I do not plan to bore you with additional pictures of this kind, that's why there won't be any more. :P You will see the results in the final build (or in regards of cable management you hopefully won't see anything).

I also had a few other minor tasks like setting up the LED lightning but that won't be part of this build log.

Part 4 will be the final reveal of the build.