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Modern Day Water Cooling not for the feint of heart?

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May 30, 2006 5:03:42 PM

Forgive the ignorance... Is there a company that sells water cooling components so you can build a customized system that meets Modern Day needs? I am creating my shopping list for my next computer and am trying to figure out if I can water cool the thing. I am looking at the FX62 (AM2 slot), and TWO of the 7950GX2 video cards. This is going to give me 4 gpus to cool instead of the single GPU that I see coolers for. Of course I am brand new to water cooling but what I would have expected was a pump off the reseviour that would feed multiple lines to the computer and then return to the radiator/reseviour. Each of the lines off of the pump would cool a different part so that you could customize and cool whatever you wanted.

Example: If your pump split to 6 lines then you could cool 2 CPUs and 4 GPUs, or you could cool 4 CPUs, a GPU, and the northbridge.

Basically a customizable approach that would provide the same temp water to anything that you wanted to cool, instead of sending the water to the CPU (heating it there), then sending the heated water to the GPU (heating it more) and so on.

I think I will leave this post there instead of continuing to ramble. Let me know what I can do.

THANKS
May 30, 2006 5:33:04 PM

Quote:
Forgive the ignorance... Is there a company that sells water cooling components so you can build a customized system that meets Modern Day needs? I am creating my shopping list for my next computer and am trying to figure out if I can water cool the thing. I am looking at the FX62 (AM2 slot), and TWO of the 7950GX2 video cards. This is going to give me 4 gpus to cool instead of the single GPU that I see coolers for. Of course I am brand new to water cooling but what I would have expected was a pump off the reseviour that would feed multiple lines to the computer and then return to the radiator/reseviour. Each of the lines off of the pump would cool a different part so that you could customize and cool whatever you wanted.

Example: If your pump split to 6 lines then you could cool 2 CPUs and 4 GPUs, or you could cool 4 CPUs, a GPU, and the northbridge.

Basically a customizable approach that would provide the same temp water to anything that you wanted to cool, instead of sending the water to the CPU (heating it there), then sending the heated water to the GPU (heating it more) and so on.

I think I will leave this post there instead of continuing to ramble. Let me know what I can do.

THANKS
????Why???? :roll: :roll: :roll: Just save your money and get a CPU in the 300 range and OC it and get a pair of 7900gt's(better yet x1900xt and xfire)and oc them. You'll save a ton of money and you won't even notice that the system you want gets a 98236912396349837 in some benchmark compared to the 6723923798123 in the system that costs probably 1500 dollars(us) less
May 30, 2006 5:51:32 PM

Regarding water cooling the 7950GX2:
Caution, the 7950GX2 is two circuit boards "piggybacked" on one another. You may be challenged in getting a water block & cooling lines to the lower unit due to the limited clearance between the two cards. Choose your cooling components after you have the graphics card(s) in hand.
Related resources
May 30, 2006 5:59:51 PM

I am building the system primarily for work (that was for my wife's benefit -- read that as hardcore gaming). I want to run it through a home theatre projection system (the kind that projects to a white screen) which means the picture is going to be blown way up. In order for this to look decent I figure I am going to be turning all the options up on anything I play which means alot of video power. I need the dual core CPU in my actual work (working with Databases and web based applications), and want the upgrade path provided by going AM2 so I am pretty set on my choice of the FX62. To be honest I have not considered anything but Nvidia for the graphics card and I probly should. Even so, if I start to overclock things and want to cool it all...

How can you water cool so many components?
May 30, 2006 6:01:10 PM

Is there a company that sells the components piecemeal to allow customized solutions? Like I said I am very new to water cooling.

Thanks
May 30, 2006 6:20:58 PM

i understand what you want to do, i use a water cooling system and have for some time now.

from what i read in your post you want seperate routing for each cpu/gpu so that they are all getting "cool" water and not "recycled" water. but the only thing i can think of is that your going to need to have multiple pumps. even if you can find/make a piece to split all those lines from the pump your still gonna need a pretty heafty pump to move the water through that much line.

your cooling capacity is going to have to be pretty good too with all those cpu/gpu's prob looking at a double rad setup atleast, especially if you want room to OC.

finding a custom water setup like the one you described will prob cost alot but if you got the money go for it. other than that the cheapie kits like the "Thermal Take Big Water SE" are really easy to add onto i.e. more pumps lines even extra bay tanks for more fluid. you could easily start with one of those and add onto it for what you need. hope that helped.
May 30, 2006 6:26:09 PM

Danger Den has great piecemeal components. Their Maze4 series offers impressive cooling characteristics. You could also start with a base Swiftech kit from Frozen CPU (or anywhere, really) and add individual cooling blocks for the additional hardware.

One thing to keep in mind with your split-off-the-pump idea is that each of those lines needs to have a certain amount of flow. You will need to be sure that your pump has a much higher flow capacity than normal, in order to maintain flow through so many individual loops. Also, remember that you will need a high pump head as well, as you will see huge pressure losses due to the various splitters and other fittings necessary to handle all those components.

My best advice to you would be to set up fully independent loops, one for CPU and some graphics cards, one for the remainder of your graphics. Have separate pumps, radiators and reservoirs for each. Otherwise, you're either going to have to spend a cubic butt ton on your pump, or you'll exceed its ratings and fry something due to either lack of pressure or lack of flow.

Just my 2 cents (and barely worth that).

-J

Edit: Damn you Hyst3r, beat me by 6 minutes. Good to see someone else out there was thinking along the lines I was.
May 30, 2006 6:46:31 PM

i agree, splitting the lines right off the pump with cut the flow in half, or divide the pressure over the number of lines.

the best idea would prob be multiple pumps. and thermal takes systyem is made for customizing and adding.

i use one and i really like the spill proof connectors. if you mess those up, you sholdnt use water cooling :lol: 
May 30, 2006 6:55:43 PM

I wanted to thank HYST3R for his response. I am finding the ThermalTake website very useful. I am particularly interested in the Tide Water Plus as it is made for cooling two video cards in SLI or CrossFire. The fact that everything for this is selfcontained makes it seem easier to use in combination with a standard water cooler for the CPU. I do have to wonder though about what limits a card cooler like this will place on my ability to overclock the GPUs.

I have not looked at the ATI cards yet but if I like this cooler and since I do want a TV tuner as well I will have to start looking at ATI for space consideration on the motherboard.
May 30, 2006 7:00:12 PM

Danger Den is good and so is Swiftech. I don't think there will be much in terms of water cooling for those video cards in the near future. I would suggest that you just go for the 7900GTXs as those have water blocks already.

I also agree that you will need to have 2 separate lines. I think you can split one line into two with little difficulty but not into six. This will mean water blocks for everything, probably 15' of good tubing, Tygon is always mentioned, and two separate rads. You might be able to get away with one reservoir but again you might have 2.

In the end I think it would be easier to set up two entirely separate water cooling systems. I realize that money doesn't seem to be an issue with the components that you have listed but be ready to spend at least $500 on your water cooling.
May 30, 2006 7:01:08 PM

Quote:
I am building the system primarily for work (that was for my wife's benefit -- read that as hardcore gaming). I want to run it through a home theatre projection system (the kind that projects to a white screen) which means the picture is going to be blown way up. In order for this to look decent I figure I am going to be turning all the options up on anything I play which means alot of video power.


If you're going to use this set up in some HTPC configuration, then any single mid-to-high end video card (7800, 7900, X1800XT, etc) will suit your needs...IMO, don't go SLI, but put the cash into a projector that is going to give you a high quality projection, something that offers both 4:3 & 16:9 at a minimum resolution of 1280x720 or possibly 1400x1050...good projectors, and I mean good multi media projectors, and not that crap out the Dell catalog, are well over $2500 USD.

Quote:
Is there a company that sells the components piecemeal to allow customized solutions? Like I said I am very new to water cooling.


Check out Danger Den for all kinds of good stuff about water cooling.


Quote:
Basically a customizable approach that would provide the same temp water to anything that you wanted to cool, instead of sending the water to the CPU (heating it there), then sending the heated water to the GPU (heating it more) and so on.


Lastly, I get what you're saying about wanting seperate loops for the cpu, gpu, etc...essentially a double loop type system...but from what (little) I've experienced with water cooling...having seperate loops won't make that much of a difference...the idea of seperate loops precludes the fact that you would need enough pumping power to maintain a consistent flow thru each loop and possibly may require more than one pump...
May 30, 2006 7:03:04 PM

Thanks cmptrdude79, I just hit danger den and it has everything piecemeal. This is a very nice site.

Since this is my first water cool job, can someone recommend a good pump? Yes I will be getting more than one (probly one for cpu and chipset and the other for GPU). I have heard there is not much need for chipset coolers but what the hay.
May 30, 2006 7:08:06 PM

Just a little friendly advice. You do not need all of that graphics horsepower to display on a 110" projection. I use a Sony Cineza VPL-HS11 projector to display 1280x720 (720P HD res) with a pc with a x1800xt. I run oblivion well at this resolution with HDR and 2x AA (with the chuck patch of course ;-)) and it runs it well. All other games i run at this res with higher AA and they all look beautiful. On the other hand, if you have the money to buy a 1080i/p hd projector and want to run at this res, then you have the money to buy 2 7950s. I just dont know how you are going to water cool them with the piggyback PCB setup they have. The lower chip will be a tight fit for a water block.

TM
May 30, 2006 7:08:45 PM

In specific, let me state: stay away from aquarium pumps. They will not generate enough head/flow to cool multiple components effectively. Unfortunately, this encompasses most cheap water cooling pumps.

Specifically, let me recommend either the Eheim 1250 or Eheim 1260. If you're going to run more than 2 waterblocks per loop, then definitely go with the 1260, due to its greater pump pressure (head) and flow rate.

The advantage to the Eheim pumps over others is length-of-life, as well as being AC powered. This creates a little more headache in your external wiring, and creates the need for a relay card if you want the pumps to automatically switch on with your system, but saves the draw off your internal power supply.

-J
May 30, 2006 7:09:43 PM

Quote:
I wanted to thank HYST3R for his response. I am finding the ThermalTake website very useful. I am particularly interested in the Tide Water Plus as it is made for cooling two video cards in SLI or CrossFire. The fact that everything for this is selfcontained makes it seem easier to use in combination with a standard water cooler for the CPU. I do have to wonder though about what limits a card cooler like this will place on my ability to overclock the GPUs.


If I were you, I'd avoid a Tide water Plus for cooling two high-current GPUs. The regular Tide Water uses the same coolant volume, radiator size and pump to cool a single card. Reviews show that it works reasonably well in this capacity. Adding a second card to this limited cooling capacity looks to me to be asking for trouble. Then to see you're considering OC'ing the GPUs? Danger! Danger!!! (As in - go see Danger Den)
May 30, 2006 7:09:45 PM

Yes from what I have seen on the projectors I am expecting to pay $3K -$5K for mine (thank goodness I can expense my computer to the company I own which makes the cost there not important, but I have to eat the cost of that ever so nice projector). In addition to resolution I have been concentrating mostly on lumens and contrast ratios... Is there something else I should be looking at as well???

As for the separate loops I am now convinced I will need two completely separate water cooling systems.
May 30, 2006 7:10:46 PM

Do not bother splitting your loop into parallel feeds, run it in series.
It is almost never beneficial to run parallel.
Honestly, at reasonable flowrates there will be less than 1C difference in water temperature between each componet.
Probably something like 0.6C difference between componets is what you would see, but I would need to sit down and do the math.
The quality and number of radiators and the quality of your water blocks will have a much, much greater effect on each componet.

It may be worth your time to run with two loops but that is generally not advisable either.

I never recommend kit watercooling as it is always(in my view) too expensive for too little performance.

Go here, do some searches and ask for help, with a little luck you will get all the answers you need.

Chipset cooling is an absolute waste.

These pumps are becoming popular when running two in series for reasonablly sized watercooling. If you go with six componets you may need more than two of these have to offer.

Edit: Eheim pumps are top notch, BTW.
May 30, 2006 7:12:54 PM

Yes that was basically what I was afraid of with the Tide Water... Thanks for letting me know.
May 30, 2006 7:14:55 PM

Thank you for the pump recommendation.
May 30, 2006 7:17:53 PM

Thank you all for the information provided. I need to check out the various sites you provided and see where that leads me. Right now though my head hurts from information overload (guess maybe I am getting tooo old).

Thanks again and I will keep an eye on this thread and post new questions as I learn more.
May 30, 2006 7:20:39 PM

Quote:
Yes from what I have seen on the projectors I am expecting to pay $3K -$5K for mine (thank goodness I can expense my computer to the company I own which makes the cost there not important, but I have to eat the cost of that ever so nice projector). In addition to resolution I have been concentrating mostly on lumens and contrast ratios... Is there something else I should be looking at as well???


The only other I could suggest is looking at the cost of replacement bulbs, etc...check out Digital Connection for info on HTPC related components, they offer good write up on what they sell, and they have a decent FAQ, although sign in req'd for support (meh, what can ya' do nowadays)...also check out HTPC News for HTPC news, reviews, and all around good info.

Sounds like a helluva project! Good luck!!!!
May 30, 2006 7:24:36 PM

I myself went to the sound a vision website as well as other for the professional reviews on projectors before i picked mine out. I also test ran a few (got to love a brother that owns a high end hometheater shop!) before i settled on my sony. Good contrast is a must. Also look at connections. Get one with HDMI and component video, as well as s-vid and composite. The sony i bought also has a vga port. Also, dont skimp on the screen. A $1000 screen is a wonderful investment. Some people forget that. A painted wall wont do.

TM
May 30, 2006 7:35:19 PM

The pump has to be at least 500 GPH and it should be able to pump 6-9 feet straight up. I could wash cars with mine ( I use a submersible pump ), but I do use a pressure regulator.
It's going to take him a while to set that baby up too, he has to test it outside of the system for quite some time. With all those connections he has to.
From what I've seen of the 7950's, good luck, it may be more trouble than it's worth. You should look into building an air box for your video cards. My GPU is watercooled but the memory isn't, so I built an air box for it, hardly even gets warm at 1200 mem speed.
May 30, 2006 7:38:16 PM

Unless you are going to play games in 1080i/p resolution, I don’t see any need for a quad SLI setup.

You should visit asetek.com, they make some of the best water-cooling systems available.
May 30, 2006 7:41:52 PM

What you really want is high head, since realistic flow is something close to 1.5 to 2.5 gph. The pump I linked to has 15 ft (4.7 meters) max head and ~160gph (600lph).

Heat dump is also a factor.
May 30, 2006 8:15:37 PM

Going beyond two gpu's will get you little to no extra performance. I recommend two 7900GTX's and since they're single PCB cards they'll be much easier to rig up. There's just little reason to get all that extra horsepower and cooling mayhem for little to no performance gain. Understand that the resolution output on the projector will be similar to that of a good monitor at the same res., so just because its projecting at 110", its still only 1280*1024 resolution. 2 GTX's at that res will do you quite fine. The 7950GX2's are wasteful, pointless, troublesome overkill. The line splitting and multiple loops is near pointless. Dual radiators with the line in series would be much easier for only a little bit less heat dissipation.
Essentially: I'd go dual 7900GTX's with waterline in series, dual radiators, and a good flow pump. That good flow will help too if you're worried about cooling in series. To soothe your fears, you could always go two separate radiators, run the line to one vid card, then to a rad., to the other vid card, and then to the cpu and back to the first vid card. Less chance of heat dump (not that I think you'd notice it much anyway) and much easier to do. BTW, I am horribly jealous of such a rig and set up.
May 30, 2006 8:27:05 PM

Quote:
Chipset cooling is an absolute waste.


Why do you say that? The NB fan on my DFI mobo can get real loud under load. I've considered water or a heat pipe cooler to quiet that sucker down.
May 30, 2006 8:28:42 PM

Quote:
What you really want is high head


Word.
May 30, 2006 8:40:59 PM

Quote:
What you really want is high head


Word.

I was waiting for that. Way too easy in this thread.

-J
May 30, 2006 8:41:45 PM

if yopur going with an outrageous water cooling set up, why wouldnt you do the NB too? while your at it add in everything you can i say.
May 30, 2006 8:45:11 PM

If that was truly aimed at me, Hyst3r, I just forgot to leave the chipset cooler in on my reply.

However, I do agree that chipset cooling brings negligible gains in terms of OC potential (maybe on the order of .5 - 1%). There are, of course, exceptions to this, but in general, I've found that to be the case.

-J
May 30, 2006 9:50:42 PM

Exactly. Run the first loop from the pump to the chipset and then to the CPU and back again. Then use a second loop for the graphics cards and, if you get a pump with enough pressure, split it so they're cooled evenly. You could set them up to use the same resevoir/radiator also. You just don't want the two pumps sourcing water at the same spot since it will make the pumps work harder.

7950's would be a bit of a waste and watercooling might be difficult. Two 7900GTX's would be (or x1900xt's or whatever the good ones are) and that's PLENTY of power for anything you're going to do. Although, if you want it for the cool factor, have at it. Just know that it'll be complex to water cool. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if you had to take the cards apart to get a water block on the GPU's and you'd probably need a third pump (1/card + 1 cpu/chipset).
May 31, 2006 10:27:40 PM

That may be the case but I cooled mine just because it get's hot.
2 things that work very well hot are the Sun, and slicks after a burnout. Unless it has a specific operting temperature electronics run best cool with longer life expectency.
Cool the Northbridge.
May 31, 2006 10:44:29 PM

Quote:
What you really want is high head, since realistic flow is something close to 1.5 to 2.5 gph. The pump I linked to has 15 ft (4.7 meters) max head and ~160gph (600lph).

Heat dump is also a factor.

You mean 1.5 to 2.5 gph thru the system correct ?
June 2, 2006 4:14:07 AM

As an avid amd fan and tech junkie, I would say revise your setup. The latest isnt always the greatest. The AM2 sockets are great , but they dont show enough preformance to switch or to purchase, and ddr2 is nice but isnt that much better. the Opterons are where its at 170 opteron with a OC will slam a FX-62. And it will last longer. Also the video cards i wouldnt go with the 7900gx2. despite what people/nvidia say. 4 GPU's what are you running 16 moniters. No man you dont need it unless your like a Graphics design god who Edits movies in the backround. best bet if you want the best is Crosfire 1900XTX's thats what gets best benchmakrs. IF you like Nvidia go with 7900 GTX SLI . OR wait for SLI II. I also warn you the 7900 series despite all the hype also has a problem with tearing and artifacting. I dont know if its fixed, but i know it was bad cause i saw it like a day ago.(friends comp). I run a 7800. Anyways... Rethink your setup because no cooler expect Zalman supports AM2(and thats high quailty Air). Opterons are amazing processors, and i know people that will vouch for them over a fx-62. IF you want a fx go with fx-60 maybe. Just not AM2 its too new and doesnt really promise much expect for trouble. Watercooling stuff is out there if you want a custom watercooling job look here http://www.pugetsystems.com/liquid_custom.php . Thats a good place to look at they do a good job with there system.
June 2, 2006 4:16:40 AM

hey master lee , I read a computer engineer professor posted something about the ideal operating temperature of computer electronics. It was like 84F.
June 2, 2006 4:47:18 PM

Thank you for the in depth reply. I am under the impression that AMD is moving to AM2 (no new 939 processors). If that is the case the AM2 while not offering any performance increase (and actually a decrease in performance out of the box -- FX60 vs FX62) will offer better upgrade options in the near future. Yes I am a die hard AMD fan and so would not even consider Intel. As for the graphics I have always liked Nvidia but am not a die hard fan. After all the posts I have gotten on this and the Nvidia forums I have reluctantly decided against the 4gpu in favor of a straight two card setup. I have even started looking at ATI. Sadly though I do hard core gaming and want a good TV tuner and was thinking maybe ATI would have something (guess not). I am still looking at both types now though. Sadly time is running out and I need to have this thing built by the end of the month.
June 2, 2006 5:17:55 PM

Quote:
Regarding water cooling the 7950GX2:
Caution, the 7950GX2 is two circuit boards "piggybacked" on one another. You may be challenged in getting a water block & cooling lines to the lower unit due to the limited clearance between the two cards. Choose your cooling components after you have the graphics card(s) in hand.


Also, you'd need a radiator that could effectively deal with the heat being generated by those various components... sure, a pump could push liquid through those blocks, but what good does it do if the liquid is nearly boiling?
June 2, 2006 5:44:03 PM

nah man it wasnt aimed at you, it was aimed at the smart guy that said north bridge cooling is completely unnecesary.

he obviously has an amd system.

the NB controls everything traveling from the cpu to the ram, if the cpu gets hot, and the ram gets hot, wouldnt you think that you need to cool your chipset also? me too. :roll:
June 2, 2006 5:44:44 PM

Swiftech makes high quality cooling components. Danger Den is certainly a good place, as well - I particularly like their graphics cooling blocks.
June 2, 2006 5:49:50 PM

Two things.

If you are going to use two pumps for one system I'd think about putting them between components not in series, the output from the second pump is the same regardless of whether you have a pump right in front of it. Put the second pump between the cpu and gpu or something.

Also, I think you should go ahead with the chipset water cooling, not just because you can but they can produce a lot of heat. With the cpu and gpu hsf's removed there will be less air flowing over the mb to cool all the other components in your system.

I'm building a second loop soon (my first cools just my cpu, gpus and chipset), my second will cool my ram and hdds (this will be a much smaller set probably smaller tubing and swiftechs micro pump and single rad).
!