Watercooling radiator - so many choices

Ohk guys, to think, I've actually been considering switching to watercooling lately, as I've noticed that the price of a bunch of Papst or Panaflo fans, some hole-saws and a big-ass heatsink ends-up being pretty damn close to that of a radiator, waterblock and pump. I know what I want for a pump, an Eheim 125 (probably, if not than another model), and a <A HREF="http://www.directron.com/maze3.html" target="_new">Maze3</A> (or perhaps a <A HREF="http://www.directron.com/mcw5000a.html" target="_new">Swiftech MC500A</A> ?)...

Now what I'm stumped on is a radiator. I know I want to keep the margin big for what I can use as a CPU b/c I will be upgrading soon, and again, and again, and, well, you get the idea. Right now its an Athlon XP 1600+ (Palamino) - and yes, I will be OCing. Now, I've got a bunch of choices from Directron.com, where I can get myself some stuff on store credit, so hell, why not take advantage (unless someone can point out a good radiator at a decent price somewhere else, I would like to keep it to these choices). Anyways, there's <A HREF="http://www.directron.com/rad676.html" target="_new">Swiftech's RAD676</A> radiator which can handle 2 120mm fans, then there's the <A HREF="http://www.directron.com/xtreme1.html" target="_new">Black Ice Extreme</A>, an OEM <A HREF="http://store.yahoo.com/directron/radiator1.html" target="_new">"Low Pressure Drop"</A> radiator and finally <A HREF="http://store.yahoo.com/directron/wc417.html" target="_new">Danger Den's "Heater Core"</A>.

They've also got <A HREF="http://store.yahoo.com/directron/innovaset2.html" target="_new">Innovatek's SET2 watercooling kit</A>, which I've heard some good about but nonetheless, I would still rather picking and choosing myself, though the kit does look pretty nice for the price - but I don't know.

Anyways, what do you guys use. Svol, I know you just made your own waterblock, but what did you use before ? Any and all replies are welcome, thanks.

<b>"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people"<b>
18 answers Last reply
More about watercooling radiator choices
  1. Don't go for the Swiftech or OEM radiator. The HWLabs Black Ice Extreme and Danger Den's Heater Core will be the best.

    Or you go to the local car junkyard/garage and ask if they sell second-hand car heathing radiators.

    I currently use an HWLabs Black Ice with a 'old' Swiftech MCW462B. But I also have a Seat Ibiza radiator for my second watercooling setup I'm planning to build.

    I think the Swiftech MC500A will be the best performing waterblock from those 2. But the difference will be very small so you'd better choose for the price.

    My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dims when I turn it on :eek:
  2. As svol said, a heater core from an old car will work real well, try fom something small like a Honda Civic or a Chevette.

    "Apple is more like the French army. They have great style and class, they often get praised for their valor, and they do everything except win."-<A HREF="http://www.overclockers.com" target="_new">Ed Stroligo</A>
  3. Hmmm, what about putting those radiators in series - does that work well enough ? I'd love to keep the noise level down as much as possible, and also the fact that during the summer time, it gets pretty hot in this room (about 30-35 degrees celcius), and I want to be sure that the watercooling setup will be good enough to keep the system running at decent temperatures. So, my idea would be to either set both radiators in the back of the case, one on top of the other, or perhaps both on the top of the case (with exhaust pointing up)... is it worth it ? And what should I expect during the summer... now, I know that watercooling allows you to go down to ambient, and if I hit ambient thats fine, as my margin for temperature rise is slim (I preffer to keep my temps under 45*C). Hmm, otherwise I think I'll grab that Swiftech waterblock, since they're both the same price (unless I can find that nice large black Innovatek waterblock, I like the construction of that one), and the probably the Danger Den radiator, though I will look for a car radiator from a scrap yard - but how do I properly clean that out ? I'm thinking using a strong acid (sulfuric perhaps) since that will not tarnish the interior tubing and allow for a nice cleaning... Thanks.

    <b>"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people"<b>
  4. Thanks dude, I will be checking out what radiators I can find... what about waterblocks, any opinions or prefferences ?

    <b>"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people"<b>
  5. i'm kinda frustrated cuz i had a long reply written and AOL crashed on me >O
    first of all, you can usually find car radiators cheap (less than $20 US) so you shouldn't need to go to the junk yard to find one and clean it out. instead, go to a local car place and they'll have common ones in stock. i can't tell you which one will perform the best for two reasons: 1) i don't have enough experience with them, 2) it depends on how much water you can pump through them (1/2" tubing, high flow resistance waterblocks? how many waterblocks? etc) and some need higher cfm fans while with others a more powerful fan makes no difference
    you could check out <A HREF="http://www.overclockers.com" target="_new">http://www.overclockers.com</A> and hit watercooling for lots of tests, articles, and info
    this guy Bill Adams that they have is a nut who's very scientific about the whole thing
    i think the black ice xtreme is a good choice, but it's pricey, a car radiator might do a better job
    also, flat tube radiators do better (in general, according to some of Bill Adams' work) than round tube ones, which is something to consider when you're lookin at the radiators at your local car shop
    as for the fan noise, if you don't already have a fan, check out <A HREF="http://www.directron.com/fanal12025b.html" target="_new">this one</A>
    it's about 80CFM @ 30dB, plus it's nice lookin
    i have one myself and i'm quite satisfied
    as for the waterblock, you can probably tell by my sig what i'm gonna tell you =)
    i'd choose danger den over swiftech solely because it looks cooler. they perform the same (and very well, at that) and cost the same as far as i know
    oh also, for putting the radiators in parallel or series, i think most people prefer parallel because you have hotter water hitting each radiator then, which some think leads to better cooling, personally i'm not sure, but it makes sense
    you know you can get double wide radiators too, that will fit 2 120mm fans
    and as for stacking the radiators, i think you'd need a very strong fan (well, multiple fans really) to get good airflow and make the setup effective
    i recommend not stacking them

    I LOVE DANGER DEN WATERCOOLING, they went out of their way to both personalize my kit and change my order when i needed to, i had to change my sig to give them props
  6. I have a maxXxpert setup. Works good for me, but I have never compared it.

    "Apple is more like the French army. They have great style and class, they often get praised for their valor, and they do everything except win."-<A HREF="http://www.overclockers.com" target="_new">Ed Stroligo</A>
  7. Serves you right for using AOL :tongue:

    <b>"If spam wasn't totally bogus, Hotmail users would be well-endowed, slim people with hair who make big money working at home and having great sex provoked by free porn and herbal Viagra.</b>
  8. Hmm, I did check-out those watercooling articles (and boy there are a lot), and I've even found a guide to which car radiators to use, and using that I've found exactly which one I'd like to use, with 5/8" (OD) in/out, 9 1/2" long (perfect room for two 120mm fans) and 6 1/8 " wide, by 2" deep - off of an Acura Integra - and it has a nice angle on the hose inlets. Now its just a matter of finding the radiators in the area and I'm set - I was even thinking I might build the cooler outside of the case, since I've got a water pump that was used on a fish pond (a massive foot-long pump - I've gotta check the Liter/minute though). Thing is, thats boud to be loud, and the point of watercooling (besides the temps) is peace and quiet... soooooo, yeah. Anyways, my search continues, and we'll see what I can put my hands on for a decent price, and then we'll see at that point. Besides, I've contacted Eheim in regards to buyin their pumps wholesale, so we'll see if i can get off cheap on that so i can maybe keep the setup in my case... but we'll see. Thanks for all the info btw,

    <b>"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people"<b>
  9. I would say you put radiators in serie IF the tubes inside the radiator are big enough... otherwise it will slow down the waterflow to much.
    You can experiment with parallel setup too, but I don't have any experience with parallel radiators. I do have experience in putting waterblocks parallel which resulted in a very low waterflow with my system.

    My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dims when I turn it on :eek:
  10. Well Svol, I found the radiator I'm going to use (a 1969-1973 Buick Riviera heater-core)... its 12 inches long by 6 inches wide by 2 inches deep - big enough I think. Now I was thinking in series as well, not in parallel anyways... and the pipes are 5/8"OD which I think is perfect if I work with some 1/2" ID tubing... right? that way I can use the pump to its fullest. Only thing is that the Waterblcok i want to use - Innovatek's <A HREF="http://www.sharkacorp.com/cgi-bin/TLSstore.cgi?user_action=detail&catalogno=in-wc-coolr3" target="_new">Innovacool Rev.3 waterblock</A> and the OD connectors are 3/8"... will i have a problem with that if i just use adapters?

    <b>"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people"<b>
  11. Don't think so... I use a couple of tube size adapters too in my watercooling and it performs very good.

    But can you please use the metric system for Europeans like me that get crazy with all thise inches?

    Anyway isn't that Innovacool a little pricey?

    My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dims when I turn it on :eek:
  12. yeah, the innovatek waterhead is kinda pricey... but i was going to see how much i could pick it up wholesale from 'em directly... I still need to get their pricelist but i'm hoping its cheaper - if not I'll probably pick up the Danger Den Maze 3 with the bolt-down mechanism... Funny you ask me to use metric system - I'm Canadian and it seems like everything is rated in the imperial system still, even here, and its a pain for me too, heh. To convert, the 1/2" ID tubing is 12.5mm and the radiator i'm picking up has OD dimensions of 15.5mm, though I believe if I cut the ends off they're actually just enlarged 9.5mm hoses. The radiator itself is 262.5mm long by 145mm wide by 50mm deep and I'm paying $17.50 US for it :) AND its brand new too. I've just been thinking about how to mount it into the case lately... I think I'm going to cut and bend some plexiglass to make a fitting for it, which i will bolt onto the top of the case, but not sure - i'd like something thats maybe a little less makeshift (call me picky i guess...) and sturdier, though it would probably work fine. Sheet metal ? Urgh, too much work... maybe plexiglass is the next best thing. Think any of these fans will do ?
    <A HREF="http://www.directron.com/120l1a.html" target="_new">http://www.directron.com/120l1a.html</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.directron.com/sf12025l.html" target="_new">http://www.directron.com/sf12025l.html</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.directron.com/4412fgl.html" target="_new">http://www.directron.com/4412fgl.html</A>
    Wait a sec, 'course they will - but what about if i have them on a rheobus, at 7V each ? the point is, i want - wait, scratch that out, NEED quiet - I'm tired of buzzing this and whooshing that - I know that a lot of the noise is also from the harddrives (a maxtor 40-gig and a WD caviar 2.5 gig, which is probably the noisier of the two), but I'm pickin up some accoustic foam soon too... bah, hope it works.

    <b>people are only idiots when they don't realize - when they do it just gets funnier, like a dog chasing its own tail</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by error_911 on 03/08/03 08:06 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  13. Well you probably need a high wattage rheostat/bus to control those fans... if they use more then the rheobus can supply then you will kill the rheobus.

    If you don't want to control the fans and just want low noice you can use the 7V trick by using the 12V for positive and 5V for ground wire.

    As for the imperial system... only Americans and Brittains are so stuborn to use that unlogic and out-dated system. I wish metric would get everywhere standard soon.

    My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dims when I turn it on :eek:
  14. I'm not worried about the rheobus, i've used it with a 25W current already and it's functioned perfectly... mind you, i still might do the 7V trick to lower them to that initial speed, n plug 'em into the rheobus after that to lower them even more... but we'll see what temps i hit and wheather or not I can do that...

    Just one question that keeps on ringing in the back of my head - will this be quieter than my air-cooled setup ? I mean, I'm thinking about the two 80mm case fans, the one 120mm side-mount fan, the 80mm on the heatsink and the 80mm and 92mm fans in the PSU... going to watercooling I will replace the two fans in the PSU for some papst/panaflos (those sub 20db fans) and plug those into the rheobus together... then the two 120mm fans for the radiator into the rheobus together as well, and then I cut the sound down quite a bit didn't i.... hmmmmm, I HOPE SO.

    Tell me about it, the imperial system is still somewhat used here (though we technically adopted the metric system 35 yeards ago), ppl still say "give me a pound of this" and measure hieght in inches and feet AND centimeters and meters, its kinda funny if you ask me. Anyways, will get the radiator soon, and the pump and waterblock soon enough and I'll post some pics :)

    <b>people are only idiots when they don't realize - when they do it just gets funnier, like a dog chasing its own tail, or like george bush's public address(es)</b>
  15. I'm looking forward to pics... as for the performance compared to aircooling even with a 'hovering' case because of the amount of fans (I love my old sig). I chenged from a crazy ventilated case (hence the old sig in my bio) to watercooling and 1 casefan always running (instead of temp controlled or all on). My CPU temps dropped from 40 C full load below 35 C at full stock speed (currently 32C with mobo-back cooling, while case is 31C)... and the temps didn't increase (well maybe between 0.5-1 C) with my +340 Mhz OC. Not to mention it is much more silent.

    My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dims when I turn it on :eek:
  16. Hmmm hovering case huh ? Hehhehehhe, sounds good.. Well, I'll have a nice large radiator (by the end of the week!) and the fans, waterblock (though I'm still torn on that, but you're right, the Innovatek is way too expensive, though they sold me on the design of it, it's going to end-up being the Danger Den maze3 simply because i can have the clear top instead of the Swiftech... but i wonder which one's better for a future peltier element.. hmm).. but thats some nice temps you have, i'll be happy to see that on my system without having to hear the "vrrrrrrrr" of the fans... ooooh, and the new case too ! hehehhahah, I'm like a little kid in a candy shop !

    <b>people are only idiots when they don't realize - when they do it just gets funnier, like a dog chasing its own tail, or like george bush's public address(es)</b>
  17. I think (from looking at the design) that the Maze3 has less performance then the newest Swiftech... but I firs2t have to see comparison benchmarks for real proof.
    Both have a peltier kit so installation will be less difficult.

    My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dims when I turn it on :eek:
  18. hmmm, i dunno, I've read a few benchmarks that say they come up side by side and most simply say that it is a matter or what you like more/price that should be the deciding factor... also i've read a few places about how cooling is better when there is pressure upon the center point (like if the intake was in the center of the maze) and not as good on lateral surfaces (such as the swiftech), though the swiftech does create water turbulence which is supposedly good as well... i dunno, maybe I'll just flip a coin.

    I've also been thinkin about the water pump... I'm going to get the Eheim 1250 (1200 Litres per hour) and put it on a dimmer so that I can controll the pump's speed (because I can also pick up the 1048 which is only 600L/hour but at $10 less its not worth it, though I don't want the 1250 pump to be loud..).

    <b>people are only idiots when they don't realize - when they do it just gets funnier, like a dog chasing its own tail, or like george bush's public address(es)</b>
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