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Watercooling help.

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  • Heatsinks
  • Water Cooling
  • Computer
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
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September 23, 2006 6:15:10 AM

I'm building a AM2 computer and I need a watercooling setup. Hopefully, the most I spend is around $200 (The lower the better). I dunno if I would want to run Sli or not but I would want a watercooling setup where I wouldn't have to clean every one a month.

More about : watercooling

September 23, 2006 7:09:46 AM

In this setup, would you just be cooling the CPU or do you intend on cooling the GPU (and, later, possibly an SLI setup) as well?
September 23, 2006 7:17:05 AM

Well, I'm planning to cool the processor and the gpu at the same time. I dunno if I'm gonna run Sli though. I don't think I need a hdd or a ram cooler, but if there are any, plz let me know. I think I would prefer a AC pump. I don't think I'm going to overclock anything but I'll probably get AMD's 4x4.
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September 23, 2006 7:27:32 AM

An AC pump is going to require you to set up an AC relay in the computer so that the pump will turn on when the computer turns on. Why the aversion to using a DC (12v) pump? They don't really use much energy from your PSU, are smaller and less of a hassle than an AC pump.
September 23, 2006 9:54:21 PM

Oh ok. I thought watercooling setups can use up to 100 watts of power. But can't I turn on the AC pump myself everytime I turn on the computer?
September 23, 2006 11:18:31 PM

sure you can...

But, just think about that one time that you might be in a rush and forget that you have to manually turn that pump on. You'll know somehting is wrong when your computer shuts down and will no longer boot up becaue the CPU is fried.

I'd install a relay switch if I was going to use an AC pump....
September 24, 2006 12:31:35 AM

Hmm, yeah that's what I was starting to think. Hmm. Well, I'm pretty new to this so can you give a setup of each a ac and dc powered pumps? I mean, I dunno how to set a relay switch.
September 24, 2006 12:38:31 AM

Here's some good advice - stick to the DC (12v) pump.

They use a tiny amount of energy, are directly connected to the PSU so they turn on when the computer turns on and they are plenty powerful enough.

That being said, cooling the CPU and GPU:

Pump:
Swiftech MCP655 12v DC Pump ($77)
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/swmc12vdcpu.html
Sooo quiet and yet, so powerful. 317gph, 12v standard 4-pin molex connector to your PSU

CPU waterblock:
Swiftech STORM Rev 2 ($80)
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/swstunhipebl.html
The top of the line CPU waterblock

OR

Swiftech Apogee Extreme Performance block with AM2 Support ($46)
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/swapexpebl.html
Effective water block with low flow resitant characteristics

GPU Waterblock:
Acetal MAZE4 GPU ($45)
http://www.dangerdenstore.com/product.php?productid=150...
Low restrictive properties to waterflow.

Swiftech MC14 VGA Forged Copper BGA Ramsinks ($17)
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...
For videoram

Reservoirs:
Danger Den Single 5 1/4" Bay Reservoir ($30)
http://www.dangerdenstore.com/product.php?productid=52&...

PrimoChill - Single Floppy Bay Reservoir ($10)
http://www.voyeurmods.com/index.php?action=item&id=1697...

Cyclone 120 External mounted ($33)
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...


Radiators:
Dual 120mm
Black Ice Xtreme II Radiator ($43)
http://www.dangerdenstore.com/product.php?productid=2&c...

PrimoChill Black Ice XtremePro 2 Shroud ($12)
http://www.voyeurmods.com/index.php?action=item&id=1059...
TO help sela off the gaps between the rad & fan to focus air direction

Radbox Assembly ($20)
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...
Don't worry about using the PCI pass-thru that comes with it.


Tubing:
Tygon 1/2in. ID 11/16in. OD Laboratory Tubing #R3603 ($2.25/ft)
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/ty1idx11odx3.html
Get, at least, ten feet. Best tubing around and you won't find it cheaper anywhere else


Clamps:
Breeze Miniature Hose Clamp 7/16 in. to 25/32 in. (10/#3.60)
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/brmihocl7int.html
to secure the tubing to the fittings
get 20


Kinks:
Swiftech Coolsleeves 625 ($2.60)
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/swco625.html
helps protect tubing from kinking in tight bends
get 2


Coolant:
Regular
HydrX Extreme-Duty UV Coolant ($3.29)
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/hyexduco.html
UV Reactive, biological preventative - must mix with distilled water
get 2

OR

Non-conductive
PrimoChill ICE 32oz ($20)
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...
lubricant, non-conductive, corrosive inhibitant, non-toxic, biodegradeable, biological preventative
get 2


You'll need to get your own fans for the rad. This is a guideline mind you. It isn't set in stone but is a list that will give you a top-of-the-line cooling loop. Substitutions can be made for various parts though so see how it fits into your budget and adjustments will be made where needed
September 24, 2006 1:56:36 AM

Ok thanks then.

Well, does that swiftech storm rev 2 support socket AM2? I looked at the site and it doesn't say.

And about the radiator, what's the difference between 1/2 and 3/8 fitting size and for the barb style, should I get it in perfect seal or high flow fitting?

When are you supposed to clean your watercooling set?
September 24, 2006 2:50:12 AM

Well, you learn soemthing new every day..

The Storm does not list AM2 as a proc it is copatible with - I was not aware of this. However, this just means that you can get the Apogee. It's an excellent water block in it's own right so no worries there.

There is a distinct difference between 1/2 ID and 3/8 ID but the most glaring would be that 1/2 ID allows for the best high flow characteristics in a cooling loop.

The difference between high-flow and barb is that high-flow is shorter. The are a bit more difficult to deal with when adding tubing to them but it's no kind of a deal breaker. Either fitting is fine to use though.

Cleaning a cooling loop? Just, occassionally, pay attention to the coolant level in your reservoir and if any needs to be added then turn of the system and ad some. You can check your water blocks for any algae buildup (if any appears) but it would take some time for that to happen.

You "might" clean the loop once a year. Whenever I alter my loop (like adding or using a different water block) I always throw the old tubing away and use new tubing.
September 24, 2006 5:30:16 AM

Ok thanks for all your help.

What would you prefer, the hydrx extreme-duty uv coolant, or the primochill ice?

I heard that you should place your reservoir at top of the loop, but what happens if your reservoir and cpu block are at the same level?
September 24, 2006 5:54:14 AM

Well, I use PrimoCHILL ICE. I used to use the hydrix but a leak and subsequent frazzled videocard convinced me to use the nonconductive coolant. It is, however, considerably more expensive - about $20 compared to $5 for the hydrix. But, with th experience I had with the videcard and the leak, it was a no brainer for me. I'd rather spend $20 - $40 a year than the $500 I spent to replace the videocard.

The most advantageous position for the reservoir is above the pump - the higher the better. You see, pumps were designed to push water through a cooling loop and their pulling abilities are not so strong. THat is why they can't prime themselves. Having the reservoir above the pump allows gravity to assist in the downward motion of the liquid.
September 25, 2006 6:50:24 AM

phreejack has a poopload of knowledge about watercooling a compy, but i would still recommend you do something simple like google a topic like "watercooling reviews"

many people do things a little bit differently but you'll get a good idea of what standard setups are and you might find something very similar to what you have

i bought my swiftech kit based off what i've read in reviews over the last couple years... i tried to price out comparable stuff for what i wanted to do from companies like dangerden, polarflo and asetek, and i settled on an AIO system, but that's just the way i went....

i'm really happy with my setup, but it took me forever to get up the nerve to spend the cash on it, and a poopload of research... i would recommend the poopload of research, coupled with the advice of people like phreejack
September 25, 2006 7:50:57 AM

ultimately, crapback is right. I (and others) will and can give you advice about components and placement but, ultimately, you'll develop your own cooling philosophy and may, in the end, do thigns slightly different. That's cool though because you can pick and choose from what we say and it can only help you.

One thing I like about your case is that it has a tremendous amount of modding potential - if you don't mind getting into that sort of thing. I've modded the heck out of my Cooler Master Stacker over time - mostly to accomodate my cooling loops.

As for your cooling components - just as a general guideline, mind you, as you may want to change things around but,

- drivebay reservoir (as high up as you are comfortable with)
- pump below it on case floor
- dual 120mm rad outside on the back suspended by a radbox assembly

setup would be like:

reservoir - pump - CPU water block - GPU water block - rad - back to reservoir

First thing is, you may have some clearance issue with your PCI slot devices as the rad would partially hang over them so plan the position of your PCI devices accordingly to accomodate for this as much as possible. Also, when setting up your rad on the radbox, to help you with possible clearance issues, attach the rad like this:

radbox/fan(s)/rad so that the fan is attached to the radbox and then the radiator is attached tot he flan - this will give you more clearance for the PCI slot devices.

Now, if at some point, you feel bored (uh-oh, what is he going to suggest now - lol), and you want to maximize the rads cooling potential you can create a "push-pull" configuration for your fans and rad. This will require you putting 120mm fans on BOTH sides of the rad (with shrouds as well). Have one side of fans blowing air through the rad (preferably the ones closest to the case). Have the other set of fans (the ones farthest from the case), pulling the air from the rad.
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