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  1. #1
    ROG Guru: Grand Master Array
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    Oct 2012

    i7-5960X Watercooling Results With EK-KIT X360

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    Having owned the i7-5960X and the Rampage V Extreme for a few months now, I was looking to extract some extra performance from this awesome combo. However, my current air cooler wasn’t going to help me achieve my goal. As much as I love air cooling, I was convinced that I need to cross over to watercooling to be able to overclock this 8 core monster. There was just no way around it.

    While AIO closed loop liquid coolers are very popular nowadays, I wanted more performance than what they can provide. But also being a newcomer to the custom watercooling world, I didn’t have the knowledge or funds to spec out a capable watercooling loop on my own. So I did the next best thing and went with a watercooling starter kit to get my feet wet. Since custom watercooling is so versatile, I am sure that I can always swap out some of the components in the future or even upgrade my custom loop to watercool my graphics card.

    EK-KIT X360
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    After doing a little research, I found this nice EK-KIT X360 from EKWB. Since EKWB is a popular and reputable brand in the watercooling industry, I was positive that my i7-5960X and Rampage V Extreme were in good hands. And besides - the X360 kit includes a 64mm thick 360mm radiator that should allow me to push the CPU beyond 4GHz easily.

    Overview of the Installation Process
    The installation manual that EK has provided with the X360 is one of the most detailed that I’ve ever read. It explains in a clear and concise way on how to install the kit from start to end. What I loved most about it was the extra tips that were present in each step. It’s almost like you had a veteran watercooling user guiding you along the way. Instead of boring you with the details, I’ve decided to do a quick summary of what I did.

    I removed the Rampage V Extreme from the case so that I have more working space. After thoroughly cleaning the CPU’s HIS with isopropyl alcohol, I proceeded to apply the included TIM using the dot method. I installed the thumb screws and springs then started to fasten the thumb nuts in a crisscross pattern by hand. I must say that I’m loving this tool free design.
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    After putting the Rampage V Extreme back into the case, I decided to attach the three fans into the radiator. I’m rolling with a push configuration which works best in my scenario and ambient temperature.
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    All that is left at this point in the installation process is to mount the reservoir and pump to somewhere in the case. Afterwards, I started to cut the tubes and connect them to each component using the compression fittings. I double checked all my connections and then started to fill the loop carefully.
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    I wrapped all the compression fittings with paper towels to start the 24 hour leak test. Let’s fast forward to the next section.
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    EK-KIT X360 Cooling Performance
    My i7-5960X has a stock voltage of 1.14V at load which got me a little worried about how much overclocking headroom is left. The only way to find out the quality of a chip is to test so I proceeded to the BIOS and started overclocking. ROG Realbench was used to stress test the CPU for stability at each frequency. After many days of arduous work and BSODs, you can find my results below. They are presented in delta temperatures so that you can get a better idea of the EK-KIT X360’s performance.

    The EK-KIT X360 is truly amazing and performed flawlessly to keep the temperatures in check. The delta temperature readings are below 40C up to 4.4GHz. You might notice that there was a substantial increase from 4.4GHz to 4.5GHz. There is a reason for this but it has nothing to do with the cooling however. I’ll show you in the next graph.
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    Since I keep notes during my overclock sessions, I’ve graphed each frequency with the corresponding voltage necessary to achieve stability. This is valuable information as it tells me when to back off. Normally your CPU voltage scales in a linear pattern as you start increasing your CPU frequency. Eventually you will get to a point where it needs a hefty increase in voltage for an extra 100MHz. That’s the point where diminishing returns start to kick in.

    For my particular CPU, the sweet spot is at 4.4GHz. To get to 4.5GHz, I need to feed it 0.19V which is three times as much than what I need to go from 4.3GHz to 4.4GHz.
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    The EK-KIT X360 has proven that it can definitely keep the i7-5960X’s temperatures under control. Depending on your room’s ambient temperature, you have as much headroom as high as 1.47V on the vcore. For an average chip, you should be able to achieve 4.6GHz to 4.7GHz with this starter kit.

    BIOS Configuration
    Since the three fans that come in the package use three pins, I’ll choose DC Mode in the BIOS.
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    Being non PWM fans, my options to control them to my taste are limited. I can choose between the typical profiles like Silent, Standard or Turbo. Since it’s winter time where I live, my ambient temperature is decent. So I decided to run the Silent profile.
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  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Brown Belt Array MeanMachine PC Specs
    MeanMachine PC Specs
    Laptop (Model)I enjoy my wife
    MotherboardCVI HERO + CVII Hero Wifi
    ProcessorRyzen 7 1800X + 2700X
    Memory (part number)CMD16GX4M2B3000C15 + F4-3200C14D-16GTZR
    Graphics Card #1EVGA GTX980 SC for CVFZ
    Graphics Card #2EVGA GTX 1080 hybrid
    Graphics Card #3GTX 770 for phys x
    Sound CardMB
    MonitorHP w2408h
    Storage #1Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2
    Storage #2Samsung 840EVO 500GB and 960 M.2 pro
    CPU CoolerCorsair H105, H110 and H115i
    CaseCorsair 750D and 780T
    Power SupplyCorsair AX-1200i and Antec 850 pro platinum
    Keyboard Logitech K800
    Mouse Razer Mamba
    Headset Corsair Vengeance 2100
    OS W7 Ultimate 64bit and W10 pro 64bit
    Network RouterNetcom Wireless NF18ACV
    MeanMachine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Hi Chino. An excellent write up as usual and thanks for sharing the info.
    Being the next build as this, when I have the funds, It will help a lot. Bookmarked and saved.

    We owe our existence to the scum of the earth, Cyanobacteria

    My System Specs:

    MB:ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero/WiFi GPU:EVGA GTX 1080 sc PSU:Corsair AX-1200i
    AMD R7 2700X Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i Case: Corsair Carbide 780t

    Memory:G.Skill TridentZ F4-3200C14D-16GTZR SSD:Samsung 500GB 960 EVO M.2

  3. #3
    ROG Enthusiast Array EK Luc PC Specs
    EK Luc PC Specs
    MotherboardAsus ROG Rampage V Edition 10
    Memory (part number)2 x G.SKILL TridentZ (3200C16Q-16GTZB)
    Graphics Card #1Asus GTX 1070 ROG Strix (O8G-GAMING)
    Graphics Card #2Asus GTX 1070 ROG Strix (O8G-GAMING)
    CPU CoolerCustom Watercooling
    Casebe quiet! Dark Base Pro 900
    Power SupplyCorsair AX860i
    OS Win10
    EK Luc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Very nice review Chino!


  4. #4
    ROG Enthusiast Array EK_Derick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Nicely done
    CPU: Intel Xeon X5680 Motherboard: Asus Rampage III Black Edition GPUs: 4x Asus Matrix 7970 RAM: Corsair Dominator GT 4x4GB PSU: LEPA G1600W + Enermax 600W Case: Silverstone TJ07-B

  5. #5
    Excellent job! Definitely I need a custom RL to push my i7 5820K over 4.3 GHz, that EK Started Kit seems the best way to do it

  6. #6
    ROG Guru: Brown Belt Array Antronman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Your next step is one of these:

    Say hi to the next generation.

    Peace is a lie, there is only Passion
    Through passion, I gain strength
    Through strength, I gain victory
    Through victory, my chains are broken
    The Republic of Gamers shall free me

  7. #7
    ROG Member Array wireghost PC Specs
    wireghost PC Specs
    MotherboardASUS Rampage V Extreme
    Memory (part number)64GB DDR4 Crucial Ballistix Sport
    Graphics Card #1Sapphire R9 290X Vapor X
    MonitorSceptre 28"
    Storage #1Intel 300GB SSD
    Storage #2Samsung Evo Pro 1tb ssd
    CPU CoolerEK X360 Modified
    CaseCorsair 900D
    Power SupplyCorsair AX1200i Full Modular 80+ Platinum
    Keyboard Steele Series Apex
    Mouse Tt Level 10
    OS W7 Pro & Debian

    Join Date
    May 2014

    Adding my review, since I put it on the Rampage V too: Wish I'd more pictures of the assembly process. Took the EK X360 and changed out a few components.

    Great Kit and great write up. Being the first time going with an open loop, I followed Chino's advice and went with the X360. The EK kit really is top quality and very impressive. Each component incredibly well packaged & very easy to assemble.
    The only issues I ran into were incredibly minute. I found it a whole lot easier to get the tubing onto the flanges by very briefly soaking the end in a cup of hot distilled water (around 5 seconds). Quickly figured out that the motherboard water block standoffs to use on the RE5 were the short ones and did not use the PVC washers ( I was a bit confused as to whether I should). Small issue with the springs catching on screwing down the thumb screws, but it was nothing I couldn't easily loosen up with extremely careful and delicate aid of some tiny 45 degree needle nose pliers, to loosen the “catch” on the standoffs. Those were the only issues I had and I have to say, EK support is exceedingly great.
    I decided to go slightly modified, and I worried a bit about compatibility, but it all worked out well. Using the stock res inside a 900D seemed a bit small, so I instead used a FrozenQ 250mm Crystal Blue Quad Spiral. I changed out the fans on the radiator to Noctua NF-F12's at 3000 RPM (ordered a fan controller, to try to prevent the pre-BIOS load fan spin-up). With 64GB of DDR4 packed pretty tight on the RE5, the Noctua's power cools them with an upward and outward airflow. Flushed the system and tried out Mayhems Aurora Silver (pretty neat stuff, but not a long term coolant). The EK compression fittings hold surprisingly well. I transported the entire chassis with a full res a few miles down the road to a local CISCO class LAN tourney the company I work with sponsored, to put it out for display. It held up through the potholes, bumps on the road, and two trips up and down two flights of stairs, so I'm very confidant in the fitting stability.
    Now that I have the kit installed and working I'm going to start tweaking a few things. Adding a 45 degree EK fitting for the res to the pump short run, and adding a Tee shutoff valve to aid in draining and flushing. Also ordered the new EK 2011-3 Supremacy Elite Block, to give that a try (figure it should perform well on a RE5), so I can't wait to try it out, and the next step will be adding a block to the GPU.

    With the fans, I've added a controller and have run out of Molex it seems, so I'm changing the CM 1200 PSU to a fully modular Corsair AX1200i. Need a spare for testing, so it works out.
    Though it's marketed as a kit, it's versatility, quality & upgradeability is really amazing.

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    Last edited by wireghost; 02-18-2015 at 02:07 AM.

  8. #8
    ROG Guru: Yellow Belt Array Deon017 PC Specs
    Deon017 PC Specs
    MotherboardASUS Rampage IV Extreme Black Motherboard
    ProcessorIntel Core i7 4960X Extreme Edition
    Memory (part number)Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A2133C11 32GB
    Graphics Card #1Asus Poseidon GTX 980Ti
    MonitorAsus Rog Swift 27" 3D Monitor
    Storage #1ASUS RAIDR Express 240GB PCI-E SSD
    Storage #2HDD: Intel 520S 240GB SSD
    CPU CoolerEK Supremacy Elite CPU Waterblock for Intel 2011
    CaseCorsair Obsidian 900D Super Tower Case
    Power SupplyCorsair AX1200i Digital ATX Modular Power Supply
    Keyboard Logitech G19s Gaming Keyboard
    Mouse Asus ROG Gladius
    OS WIN 10
    Network RouterAsus RT-AC3200
    Deon017's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    nice write up Chino - I do believe that EK has made open loops much easier with these kits and the quality is great

  9. #9
    ROG Guru: Grand Master Array
    Join Date
    Oct 2012


    Picking custom watercooling parts can be overwhelming for new guys. EKWB has made it easier with their starter kits.

  10. #10
    ROG Enthusiast Array
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    I might pick up one of those kits !!! LOL

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