Quiet Liquid Cooled Gaming PC Build Guide

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The CryoVenom R9 290 LE came together with the $360 VisionTek CryoVenom® 360 Liquid Cooling Kit, which includes a discrete 360mm radiator and three 120mm fans, a couple meters of tubing, a combined pump/reservoir and lots of other hardware. It arrived in a large carton containing an impressive wooden box and the long radiator in a separate retail box.

Impressive wood box for all the goodies except the big radiator.

The radiator is a Coolstream PE 360 Triple, measuring 403 x 131 x 39 mm, from Slovenian watercooling specialist EKWB.

The wood box unboxed.

Click for large image Full contents of the VisionTek package: Radiator, various mounting screws and hardware, adapters for PCIe power, EK-SBAY pump/reservoir, three 120mm fans, coiled length of 3/8" inner diameter vinyl tubing, seal compression fittings, bottle of coolant concentrate, and sheets of instructions. (Click image to enlarge.)

The three 120mm fans supplied by VisionTek EK originate from Gelid, a quiet-cooling oriented brand familar to SPCR. Fan geometry is not ideal for low tonality, however, as the struts and trailing edges of the blades are too close to parallel.

VisionTek EK reservoir-pump combo EK-SBAY DDC 3.2 PWM is meant to be mounted in an optical bay and the water level can be directly monitored through the clear acrylic front panel. The pump speed can be controlled via PWM motherboard header.

VisionTek EK Supremacy CPU waterblock

A little later, we asked for and received a sample of the VisionTek EK Supremacy CPU waterblock. This would be used in the loop along with the VisionTek G9 290. Another nickel-plated base and acrylic assembly, this CPU waterblock is also impressively made with excellent machining, fit and finish.

VisionTek EK Supremacy CPU waterblock. The mounting system is rugged and precise, with large preloaded spring thumbscrews and hardware for all current CPU sockets.

Beautifully smooth, flat nickel-plated copper base.

With no previous experience to go by, our take on the supplied watercooling components was basic:

  • The huge radiator is probably the biggest that can be installed in any case. As with air-only coolers, total heat radiation surface area is one of the keys to effective cooling, so the 3-fan Coolstream PE 360 radiator seems suitable.
  • The 120 x 25mm 1600 RPM fans could be easily tested with SPCR's usual methods and resources. If they are far from our defnition of low noise, we have many other fans to choose from.
  • The VisionTek EK reservoir-pump combo EK-SBAY DDC 3.2 PWM looks and feels very nicely built. It would have to be tested for noise to discover whether the pump is suitable for our goal of quiet computing.

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