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best watercooling out there

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Last response: in Overclocking
March 28, 2006 10:59:23 AM

i am looking for the best water cooling kit for under 300$. for me, performance is the priority, i dont really care if it can't fit in my case (mid ATX).

also, if was wondering if you guys would actually recomend using componenets and building my own system, or if that is just harder and doesn't give any extra performance.

More about : watercooling

March 28, 2006 12:25:13 PM

What case are you using? How many fans does it have? Are you willing to mod your case with a dremel?
March 28, 2006 12:47:12 PM

Honestly your not going to get a whole lot for $300 depending on what you need to cool, especially if you plan to water cool your graphics cards. GPU blocks (which cover the ram also) run at least $95-120 depending on brand and card. CPU blocks are $40-65, Radiators are $50-120 depending on size and composition. Reseviors are cheap as hell, $15-25 up to $50 if you want anice neat one. Pumps can range from a measly $50 for an shitty one to $150 for one with alot of headroom.

Even after all that you still need tubing, clamps, fluid (for the love of all that is good and holy do not use actual water, lol). Then you need fans, mounting hardware, at least a solid day, if not entire weekend to set it up.

There is always the option of buying an external one or an all-in-one kit but I've never liked those. The Zalman fanless external WC kit is nice because its silent but it will get hotter than most other WC setups. I personaly have 2 7800GTX's and my venice A64 WC'd and its nifty :) . WC is a big step, esp if you have never done it before. I hope you have a backup plan in case somethign gets wet, doesn't always happen but if you dive before looking it probably will.
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March 28, 2006 11:25:10 PM

i have a lian li pc-65, so not that much room. it has 4 80mm fans and cools excellently, but is just so loud its rediculous. the water cooling would make it silent and probably give me an advantage in the cpu cooling department over air cooling.

i am looking to cool my cpu (amd x2 4200+), my motherboard (asus a8n-sli premium, the kind with the heat pipe but no fan), and my video card (ati x850 xt).

my main goal is to be able to keep my 4200+ under 40c while overclocking, and to get my x850 under 60c (its rediculous, on 100% fan it gets up to 70c during gaming) and maybe even open up some overclocking overhead.

about the dremel, i have one, but am very hesitant to use it. my case is aluminum (have never tried, but that sounds like it wouldnt go over well) and in general, its just pretty :wink: . if i could keep it that way, i would prefer to get some sort of external radiator.

in the end though, i only want to do this if it can do 3 things (in this order):
1. cool my cpu better than any air cooling component
2. be silent (or just about)
3. be around $300 or less

you guys can make your recomendations from that
March 28, 2006 11:28:21 PM

i have a lian li pc-65, so not that much room. it has 4 80mm fans and cools excellently, but is just so loud its rediculous.

i am looking to cool my cpu (amd x2 4200+), my motherboard (asus a8n-sli premium, the kind with the heat pipe but no fan), and my video card (ati x850 xt).

my main goal is to be able to keep my 4200+ under 40c while overclocking, and to get my x850 under 60c (its rediculous, on 100% fan it gets up to 70c during gaming) and maybe even open up some overclocking overhead.

All right, I'll pick out a few parts that *I* like and try and fit your budget, I'll post back here in a few hours. Wendy's is calling my name, Hmmm Spicy Chicken

Edit: Alright I've looked a few parts, and picked out what I think are some solid choices. I am partial to swifttech because I have heard nothing but positive reviews of them.

Pump: Hydor L35 (450GPH)

GPU Block: Swifttech VGA 3/8" Block

Note: to save some money I did not choose one that covered the ram since it is not entirely necessary. Just toss on some $1 heatsink fins and have air flow in your case and your good to go (and memory speed is not where you gain performance if you OC).

CPU Block: Swifttech CPU 3/8" Block

The radiator depends on the free space in your case, as does the resevoir.

If you don't want to have it fully internal there are a few external options availible on, but I don't like those only because my PC is constantly moving since I'm in college and move apts randomly.

Let me know if you need anything.
March 29, 2006 12:24:58 AM

Read the watercooling guide at the top of this forum.
Beats any advice given here.

Didn't know there was one lol. I had to learn it all on my own. Then agian I started WC'ing crap at least 2 years before I'd even read anything on THG.
March 29, 2006 1:38:16 AM

i <3 you wusy! =D

anyways, read the guide, you can get a killer setup with $300!

a setup that i think will fit the budge and still be silent would be

pump: lain d5/swiftect 655
cpu block: swiftech storm/ dteck mp-05
gpu block: maze 4, mp-1 or mcw60
rad: bip3
March 29, 2006 1:58:02 AM

The problem you might run into is trying to fit a 3 fan rad in a mid tower case, that can be a challenge, but then agian challenges are what make life worth while.
March 29, 2006 2:04:34 AM

so, i looked at your recomendations (thanks a lot btw), and i was thinking if i wanted to just skip the vga cooler for now, i could spend around 250$ (60 for cpu block, 60 for radiator, 60-80 for pump, 20 for tubing and shit, and maybe 30 for reservoir).

i was wondering three things,

1. could i rig my own reservoir out of... well, say a 1 gallon milk jug (or something of the sort)?

2. how big should i go on the radiator? i was looking at a 2x120mm job, but if i wanted to overbuy for the future, when say i have two 7900gtx's in sli, would the 2x120mm be sufficient?

3. what size tubing should i go for, 1/2 in? that is my first inclination (biggest = best, right?), but i am wondering if i have to buy a pump, cpu block, and radiator with all 1/2 in fittings.

if this turns out that i dont even really need a reservoir, and i can build my own kit for about 220$ (to start off with), then im gonna LIGHT THIS CANDLE (anyone remember that commercial?). any final recomendations or answers to my questions is highly appreciated and i thank you guys for all the help you have already given me.
March 29, 2006 2:20:24 AM

I know these are not considered the most expensive, but for the price you can not beat the quality...

I have this one... and it cools my Opteron 175 down to 30 to 32C idle virtually silent, and overclocked to 2420MHz full load benchmarking tops out at 42C.

The constrution is very good quality giving confidence of leakproof well made components. Also, it is designed to be mounted in the case, I have one similar to yours, the Lian Li PC-60B Plus.
March 29, 2006 2:20:52 AM

1) i guess you can ghetto out a res... but why when you can get a T line for like a dollar and won't look as ghetto and improve your flow

2) with a 4400+ and two gtxs... i would recommend a 120x3 rad.. not that a 120x2 wouldn't handle it, its just that if you want to OC, its good to have head room

3) 1/2 inch is the way to go

you have a mid tower which is really tight on space, i recommend you to build an external radiator box for your radiator and pump. this solves the space problem. if you don't... fitting a 120x3 radiator is a bit of a challege in such a small case
March 29, 2006 2:22:34 AM

My PC is handling overclocking with just one 120mm rad and temps are fairly cool.
March 29, 2006 4:49:59 AM

I must respectfuly disagree. I have a 2x120mm radiator that handles my 2 7800 GTX's oc'd to 520 (RAM cooled as well), and my Venice oc'd to 2750, with out breaking a sweat. 40c under load for GPUs and 45c for CPU (since its cooled after the GTX's.

I would not ghetto rig a resevoir for the simple reason that sh!t happens and you don't want to accidently kick the milk jug when your drunk one night, drain the liquid, and fry every component in your PC. Just me though heh.

As for skipping the VGA block its not a bad idea really. It's more of a to round out the system than a real necessity. First cool your CPU so you can OC that mofo lol.

AH, almost forgot tubing size. As the tube size gets smaller the pump has to try and force the same volume of water through a smaller diameter, so the pressure increases, which is fine toa point. I personly use 3/8" for a few reasons. First off, its smaller, and when your tight on space its nice to save as much as you can. Second, its more flexible. When you start acctually laying it all out you will be able to take tighter turns with 3/8" as compared to 1/2". There was a third... but i forgot lol.

Using 3/8" is perfectly normal and safe with regards to the pressure increase over 1/2" tubing. In fact, I have 3/8" lead off my radiator which is then fed into a splitter that goes from 1 3/8" to 2 1/4" and then each line goes to a single 7800GTX water block. After the GTX the lines are fed into another splitter, this time going from 2 1/4" back to 1 3/8" and then onto the CPU block and then to the pump and raditor.

There is alot of leway, but those are a few things I have learned in my 3yrs+ of water cooling (hey im only 21, so i only have so much experiance :p  ).
March 29, 2006 5:40:17 AM

as i said, the 120x2 rad will handle it perfectly, i just wanted a 120x3 for more headroom.

the difference between 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch isn't that much, but the 1/2 will provide you with better temperatures. and when you go for really anal things like the storm vs the mp-05 just for that 0.5c... the tubing is an easy way to get some extra performance out of your loop
March 29, 2006 2:08:55 PM

True 1/2" will give you lower temps its just it doesn't bend that well... Ok, given that it really depends on what type of tubing it is since flexibility is diffrent based on the tubes construction. flexible = Good :) 
March 29, 2006 3:23:44 PM

The setup in my sig costed me about 600Eur, I upgraded a lot of connectors and fitting, quick connect etc with better quality, my friend is a pipe fitter ;)  Took me 5 hours to build it as the manual said, then 8 hours to improve it so that I can trust and like it.
March 29, 2006 4:13:10 PM

Man, the ThermalTake BigWaterSE 12cm liquid cooling system
I installed took about 30min's and gave me confidence it was watertight and solid.
Granted, I do not have sub-zero temps, but I idle around 32C and max out at 42C, but it only cost me $95 from, including shipping.

MY PC...
Lian Li PC-60plus Black Aluminum Case (w/TR-3B Black Thermometer/Fan Controller 3.5” bay)
Opteron 175 (2x 2.42 GHz, 2MB cache, Socket 939, .09 micron, E6 stepping, OSA175DAA6CD)
ThermalTake BigWaterSE 12cm liquid cooling system complete kit
Asus A8R-MVP Motherboard (ATI Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire, socket 939, SATA2)
HiS X1800XT Graphics Card (625 MHz/700 MHz OC core/1500 Mhz/1600 MHz OC mem, Dual DL-DVI VIVO 512 MB PCIe)
ATI TV Theater 550 PRO Tuner (PCI TV and FM Tuner)
4x 512MB Corsair Micro Xpert DDR RAM (2-3-3-8-2T (spd 2-2-2-5-1T) TwinXP 1024-3200XL)
2x 74gig Western Digital Raptor Hard Drives RAID-0 (WD740GD RAID0 150gig Boot Drive)
2x 250gig Western Digital Caviar SE16 Hard Drives (WD2500KS storage and data)
Plextor 716AL Black 16x DVD/CD Burner (IDE slot loading type)
Antec TP-II 550 Power Supply (550 Watt ATX12V v2.0 PSU)
Dell 2405FPW 24-inch LCD Monitor (UltraSharp Wide Aspect Flat Panel Display)
Logitech G-15 Gaming Keyboard
Logitech Cordless Optical TrackMan
Case Fans (SilenX 120mm intake, Adda 120mm exhaust blower, SilenX 92mm exhaust and SilenX 80mm Fan)
March 29, 2006 6:07:16 PM

are you only cooling your CPU?
March 29, 2006 6:15:13 PM

With water, yes.
March 29, 2006 6:46:55 PM

K, just checking cause with that small radiator I wonder if it could handle a GPU and CPU, but since your only cooling your CPU it handles it like a pro :) 
March 30, 2006 1:30:58 AM

holy crap.... so man nexxxos blocks... i feel sorry for your pump =[
March 30, 2006 6:17:31 AM

I guess you wanted to say "so many Nexxos blocks", Well this was the advice of a shop, of course I had to start somewhere, after reading a lot of reviews. This might also explain why the pump noise. I have to the temps seem to be quite good. The Gpu block seems to be quite free flowing, while the CPU block seems to be quite restrictive.

The biggest pump noise difference was when I changed the small quick connect to bigger air brake connectors, they look better, leak less and are easier to handle, but they are also very big, about 2 times bigger.
March 30, 2006 9:54:19 AM

Finland... quick, throw your PC out in the snow!

That's why I want an external passive radiator, so that I can trow it out at -40C ;)  then I can overclock !
March 30, 2006 10:50:22 AM

Finland... quick, throw your PC out in the snow!

That's why I want an external passive radiator, so that I can trow it out at -40C ;)  then I can overclock !

Then you run into possilbe condensation problems :tongue:
March 30, 2006 11:00:35 AM

The cool thing about being in Finland is that we have tube insulation material and small electric heater available even north of where Santa's factory exist.