This build is the result of adding a 16mm PETG waterloop to an air cooled Ncase M1 build I did in 2016, as well as upgrading from a 1080 to a 2080. The purpose of this was mostly for the aesthetics, since an optimal air cooling setup in the M1 would probably match or beat my results. Still, my temps are significantly better than they were previously:
- CPU Idle: 30C
- GPU Idle: 30C
- CPU Load: 70C (temps intermittently spike up to a max of 70, I'd say the average is closer to 65-67C or so)
- GPU Load: 66C
These results are based on running 1 hour of OCCT and 1-2 hours of continuous gaming, with a 21C ish ambient temperature. I've removed the glass from the windowed side panel since the GPU block sticks out a little too far, which should also be helping with airflow. I don't really see a problem with this so long as I dust it out every now and then.
Something that might seem questionable is the decision to watercool a regular 6700 paired with a pretty cheap motherboard (Gigabyte H170N), given the cost of everything else. My hope was that this would allow for more effective cooling of the GPU. I also saw no reason to spend the money upgrading my cpu/mobo, since the 6700 still seems decent enough for gaming.
Here are a few other misc notes on the build:
- I had to remove the front I/O to fit the bottom radiator.
- I had to drill holes to mount the pump/res.
- The bottom fan/rad setup is pulling air from the bottom, the rear fan/rad is exhausting air from the case. Not sure if this is the best configuration, but it's probably not a big deal since I removed the side panel glass.
- I used custom cables from Solo Sleeving, the lengths were 20cm for the 24 pin, 40cm for the EPS, and 20cm for the 8 and 6 pin PCIE. The 24pin just barely fit, but other than that I'm pretty happy with the lengths.
- The fittings are mostly 16mm OD Barrow compression fittings, with a few EK ones thrown in there. If it seems like there are a few pointless fittings in random places, that would be because I didn't order enough tubing and mis-cut a few of the longer runs. I don't mind the look of these though.
- The build is definitely not quiet under load, in part thanks to that open air side panel. I honestly think it's still quieter than the stock cooler on the 2080 FE under load, though. That thing seemed unreasonably loud when I was testing it.
- All 3 fans and the pump are plugged into a fan hub, which is then plugged into the CPU pwm fan header on the motherboard. The CPU fan header is set to "normal" in the BIOS, which seems to be doing a good enough job of controlling the fans/pump. They're pretty quiet at idle.
- I got the 2080 and the waterblock/backplate used, in like-new condition, for $700. So far no problems with either.
For anyone else who might be thinking about doing a custom loop in the M1, I found these builds/posts really helpful: