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A few questions from a water cooling newbie

Last response: in Overclocking
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April 22, 2006 7:12:51 AM

I am slowly assembling pieces for my next computer. So far I have the Swiftech Apogee, a Thermaltake radiator (the one that fits in a 5 1/4" bay), and a Thermaltake reservoir (5 1/4" bay). I chose the Thermaltake parts because I liked the look and they seemed to get good reviews on Newegg.

So far, all of my components are 3/8" ID. I am looking at a pump, and from what I can see the two offerings from Swiftech - MCP350 and MPC665 - appear to be the best. I am leaning towards the MCP665, but I am concerned that it is natively 1/2" ID.

Will the 3/8" conversion kit impeed it's performance and/or longevity? Also, the Apogee seems to perform well with a lower GPH rate, do I even need to go with the MCP665, or would the MCP350 do just fine?

I am also looking at water cooling my video card (Radeon x1900XTX). Should I bother with one of the full-cover blocks? I've seen some people (SidVicious I believe) say that they are not as effective as one of the blocks that covers the GPU, with passive RAM sinks... So which is preferrable?

I have also been considering water cooling the chipset. Is this worth it? I know it will cause further pressure-drop in the system and add more heat to the water, so does it really help the chipset that much? Does anyone have personal experience with this?

Finally, I am wondering if the radiator I have will be sufficient, or if I should consider a secondary one, perhaps outside the case. I had hoped to avoid an external radiator if at all possible, but if I need it, I need it.

Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions!

Edit: For referrence, the pertinent components I will be cooling:
Opteron 170 (which I plan to OC as much as I can)
DFI Lan-Party SLI-DR Expert
ATi Radeon x1900XTX (unless my co-worker can finally convince me to get the 7900GTX)
April 22, 2006 5:41:27 PM

ditch the apogee, its a piece of crap... get teh mp-05 or the swiftech storm.

get the 655 instead for higher flow rates when there's restriction

and NEVER EVER get those TT radiators. they arn't designed well (they have round tubes like condensors)... go for a bip3, PA120.2 or PA120.3

and you should stick to 1/2 ID for higher performance
April 22, 2006 6:11:35 PM

Quote:
"]ditch the apogee, its a piece of crap... get teh mp-05 or the swiftech storm.

get the 655 instead for higher flow rates when there's restriction

and NEVER EVER get those TT radiators. they arn't designed well (they have round tubes like condensors)... go for a bip3, PA120.2 or PA120.3

and you should stick to 1/2 ID for higher performance


Why do you say the Apogee is a piece of crap? According to everything I've read, it performs about as well as the Storm. Is there something else I am not privy to, aside from the cooling performance, which makes this block a POS?

As to the Thermaltake radiator, I realize that it is probably not the most effective one out there. I asked before if I should get a secondary one to be on the safe side, perhaps this answers my question... While I realize the radiator may not be as effective as one of the Black Ice radiators or another high-performance one, do I truly need something better? The radiator can't possibly hurt my temps, especially if I install another (better) radiator into the loop.

As far as going 1/2" ID - I am already commited to 3/8" ID. I have a 3/8" reservoir, a 3/8" radiator, and a 3/8" flow-indicator.

You did convince me of one thing - and that is to go with the MCP665. However, I am still concerned about the 3/8" conversion kit. Is it going to impeed the performance severely?

And please do not just reply with "ditch this" or "ditch that." I have already paid for the parts and unlike some people on these forums, I do not have a limitless source of disposable income to throw at my computer. If there is something absolutely integral that I need to replace, I will do so. If something I have will hurt my performance noticably (2-3 C is not a huge deal to me), I will replace it. But I'd rather avoid replacing what I have now if at all possible. Again, it is a matter of budget.

Thank you for your help though. Hopefully I can learn enough beore it's all done to make this a rather smooth experience (my first time water cooling).
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April 22, 2006 6:17:04 PM

you already bought some? my bad


the reason why the apogee is a POS is due to its design. swiftech needed a block thats cheap, easy to mill and provide decent performance. it is basically a redesigned mcw5000, sure its not bad, but you can do much better like the mp-05 or the swiftech storm which is much better than the apogee. (the review is massly flawed, the temperature readings come from the mobo and there wasn't any stable heat source... and isn't weird how the apogee performs exactly the same as the storm? then why did swiftech make 2 waterblocks)


the reason why you don't get crappy radiators is that it actually hurts temp. adding a crappy radiator will kill flow and doesn't compensate for it because the radiator isn't effective at releasing heat. stick with one good radiator like the PA120.2.
April 22, 2006 6:42:34 PM

Well the problem I have with the TT internal radiator is that it is spilling the air back into the computer case itself. I am currenlty redesigning my WC loops due to a fracture in my resevoir and tubing issues. Then again my comp moved too much lol. back to my point, you can compensate for the radiator by directing the air flow after is passes through the raditor out through a blow hole in the top if you want to improve the temps.

I think you will be able to get by with your current setup but if you add your graphics card to the water mix I can forsee your temps jumping up higher than you might want. With my twin 7800GTX's on water they hit about 45C, then my CPU is cooled next, which is a Venice core OC'd to about 2.75Ghz @ 1.6v which hits 42C under load.

If you try and cool an OC'd Opty with a X1900XTX on the same loop your bound to reduce your overall OC potential. My advice would be to stick to air on the X1900XTX since the cards fan already expells the exhoust directly out the back of your case (assuming i remember the design right :p ).

Using the 3/8 conversion on the swiftech pump should increase the pressure in the tubing because it is trying to push 317GPH (i think thats its max flow rate) through a 3/8 tube instead of a 1/2 tube. Its not that big of a deal to drop one size in tubing usually. But dont try and knock it down to 1/4 with out using splitters to maintain flow rate and pressure.

If you really get attached to the idea of WC'ing your X1900XTX I would recommend adding a 2nd radiator to the mix to cool the water after it passes through the CPU block then cool the X1900XTX then to the resevoir then Primary radiator and back to the CPU.

Just my 2 cents :) 
April 22, 2006 7:12:31 PM

Thanks for the information :)  I'm glad to hear that the 3/8" convertion shouldn't hurt that pump too much. I think I'll go ahead and get the MCP665 as soon as I have the money (rent in southern California is a b****).

I am pretty attatched to water cooling the video card. The main reason is that my current setup has a ton of fans, and is therefor very loud :cry:  I'm a little tired of the constant noise, you know?

I'm not too worried about the internal radiator dumping heat into the case. I have a Thermaltake Armor case, which has very good natural air-flow. I plan to have a few 12cm fans (silently!) pushing air through the case, one of which I am going to mount above the radiator (the idea being hot air is pushed up from the radiator, then out of the case by the fan). I'm not going to be using the HD caddy that is up by the PSU in the case, so perhaps I can mod a bit and get another radiator up there.

I found another article on the Apogee that seems to indicate it is a decent performer. I realize it's the "budget" block from Swiftech, but it seems to do pretty well when tested on an actual CPU. Does anyone have some links to something refuting this? Again, I'd like to hang on to what I have but if the hardware is not up to what I need, I will replace it as necessary.

Which 12cm radiators work rather well? I am hoping to keep the radiators inside the case (I think the external ones are tacky-looking and could be problematic when I have to move the system) if at all possible. I've been browsing Danger Den's selection, but since they are a site trying to make sales, they tend to promote everything as being a good product.
April 22, 2006 7:31:37 PM

Hop over to frozencpu.com they have a large selection of radiators, this is where I plan to buy my entire WC setup from case to pump to blocks. I am eyeing the Innovatek RADI Single 120mm Fan Radiator because it looks to have a mounting sleeve on the radiator which would make mounting it to the inside of a case easier, provided there are holes lol.

As long as you have a plan for dealing with the air flow you should be fine. I was just asking that you watch out for it.

As for the CPU Block, I don't think you'll be disappointed with its performance but again its not the best block. If your ok with decent temps, and not great temps then I see no need to buy more crap than you already have.

I used to use a Koolance low flow system and still maintined low 40 temps under load with a dual 120mm Fans/radiator. So you should be fine with that impressive little pump. I think I found out my system was pumping through at 2L/Min (.6GPM) which translates to about 120LPH (60GPH) which absolutely BLOWS. The pump you want is oooooo about 5x faster flow rate, you'll do just fine :) .
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