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Watercooling confusion!

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Last response: in Overclocking
September 28, 2006 4:31:19 AM

Ok I am pretty new to watercooling but I am learning alot. I learned that it is best to have the watercooling system run off of your PSU because you could possibly forget to turn it on.

Ok heres my question. I am a huge fan of Newegg. I would love to buy all my stuff there. But only if its the best deal. I want to do a watercooling system that is very high performance. I.E. If its a little noisy thats ok. As long as it keeps things really cool. I was looking at the Zalman reserator, I dont think it will keep things cool enough for what I want. So now I am looking at the Koolance Exos. But its exspensive. Its about $350 to water cool my cpu and gpu.

Now heres my question. Is that a good system to go with? What I like about it is you can add, northbridge cooler, ram cooler, harddrive cooler, etc. Water cool everything in the system. But is it better to peice together a system from a custom watercooling company?

Heres the rough specs of the system im hoping to get, come x-mas.

Pentium D-805 I would like to OC this baby to 4.0Ghz or higher.

Nvidia 7600GT.

Gigabyte G8N-SLI Motherboard. Nforce4.

OCZ Gold Series 1GB Stick. PC2 5400.

Koolance Exos-2.

Koolance GPU-180 Heatsink.

All this for roughly $800. Thats about my budget unfortunatly. Maybe $1000. But I want to stick to $800 because I know thats what Im getting for X-mas. I know Im spoiled.

Unfortunatly because of budget I have to stick with an IDE 80Gig Harddrive and Allied 450Watt Psu. Unless I can get a cheaper water cooling system then I can put that extra $$$ towards an 80Gig Sata drive and 580Watt Psu.

So what to you guys think? Am I going about this all wrong? Any suggestions on watercooling systems? Or should I scrap watercooling and just get Zalman Cpu and VGA Fan/Heatsink Combos and save some money? But according to wonderful toms hardware I wont beable to go above 3.8Ghz with the 805 with the top of the line zalman Heatsink/Fan.

Thanks for the help, sorry for the long post. I dont want to leave anything out.

More about : watercooling confusion

a c 239 K Overclocking
September 28, 2006 4:55:17 AM

Personally I'D put my money into my components out the gate and water cool later down the road if I was still feeling the need for W/Cing, you'll have a fast enough machine air cooling to pretty much do whatever you'll need to do today, with todays software.

W/Cing is a lot of work just to setup, they make it sound glorious but its in reality, a pain in the a$$.

I have an Artic Cooling setup, and a suggestion I would suggest to anyone is to have a see through side panel so you can inspect for leaks before firing up your system each time, I had a leak that got on my video card and if I hadn't seen it and punched the power, I'd have lost quite a bit of hardware.

Leaks will happen!
Pumps do die on you and stop circulating!
I've had both of those happen to me, its a whole lot less pain to aircool and punch your power button without inspecting each time before you do.

Besides if you gave up the W/Cing, look at what you could add to the video card!
September 28, 2006 6:39:14 AM

Well, before I speak on any budget considerations, I thought I'd touch on you creating your first cooling loop.

With the understanding that you intend on doing some heavy overclocking of the CPU. There are so many different computer components that could, potentially, be watercooled - the CPU. northbridge, GPU, HDD, system memory, voltage regulators for the CPU, voltage regulator for the GPU, etc. Yet, to cap expenses as much as possible and maintain a really effective cooling loop, for an initial cooling solution, you really only need concern yourself with the CPU and GPU to begin with (and possibly the NB if you feel you MUST). Everything else can be handled by adequate air cooling (proper venting, possibly some kind of dedicated aftermarket product). Things like hard drive waterblocks, ram waterblocks and voltage/mosfet waterblocks will severaly add to the resistance of the waterflow - making the cooling loop less effective. When you decide to cool those types of components is when you might consider things like more specialized pumps, additional pumps and, therefore, multiple cooling loops.

Ideally, while products like the EXOS system are effective in their own right, the setup that would provide you with the best flow potential for future upgrading is something based on 1/2 ID. Koolance's kit is based on 1/4 ID and is highly restrictive. In this type of environment, adding additional water blocks in the future, as I indicated above, might neccesitate the a second loop or pump and, with the EXOS, you can't do that.

So, looking at Newegg as your source for components, initially, you are going to be limited to your access for components. A kit that will ensure you future upgradeablitiy and offer you the excellent water flow. characteristics of 1/2 ID, I think your best bet is this kit:

Swiftech H20-220 APEX ULTRA CPU Liquid Cooling Kit ($249)

The kit does use 7/16 ID tubing but, the components use 1/2 ID connectors. The equipment is premium, a top of the line CPU waterblock, a poweful (and silent) pump that can handle multiple water blocks and an excellent radiator.

What you are going to find out is that, ultimately, Do-it-yourself, is the best route to go. Why? Because it allows you the flexibility of using the best components from multiple companies. With that, here's a list of components that comprise a DIY kit that provides you with the best potential for both cooling and future upgradeability:

Swiftech MCP655 12v DC Pump ($77)
Sooo quiet and yet, so powerful. 317gph, 12v standard 4-pin molex connector to your PSU

CPU waterblock:
Swiftech STORM Rev 2 ($80)
The top of the line CPU waterblock

Danger Den Single 5 1/4" Bay Reservoir ($30)

Single 120mm
Black Ice Xtreme Radiator ($34)

PrimoChill Black Ice XtremePro Shroud ($10)
TO help sela off the gaps between the rad & fan to focus air direction

Dual 120mm
Black Ice Xtreme II Radiator ($43)

PrimoChill Black Ice XtremePro 2 Shroud ($12)
TO help sela off the gaps between the rad & fan to focus air direction

Radbox Assembly ($20)
Don't worry about using the PCI pass-thru that comes with it.

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

Breeze Miniature Hose Clamp 7/16 in. to 25/32 in. (10/#3.60)
to secure the tubing to the fittings
get 20

Swiftech Coolsleeves 625 ($2.60)
helps protect tubing from kinking in tight bends
get 2

HydrX Extreme-Duty UV Coolant ($3.29)
UV Reactive, biological preventative - must mix with distilled water
get 2


PrimoChill ICE 32oz ($20)
lubricant, non-conductive, corrosive inhibitant, non-toxic, biodegradeable, biological preventative
get 2

You'll need to get your own fans (120mm) for whatever rad you would choose.
Related resources
September 28, 2006 8:14:19 AM

Owning the Koolance system, it tends to get loud under load.

Remember to change the coolant regularly, or it tends to solidify and if left long enough the chemical can break down and eat the rad or it might have been a problem with the pcs-1 series.

Its not nessecary but I like the hard drive coolers, their warm to the touch nolonger third degree burn hot.

Current temp 107f under load, 97-100f idle.
AMD 2800+ - cpu cooler
ATI 9600xt - gpu coooler
northbridge cooler
3 hard disk - coolers

note nolonger OC'ed think the controller boards shorted and has burned 3 psu: antec thermaltake and now my enermax.

Total cooling parts cost about $850

Worth it - not really but maybe with the next rig.
September 28, 2006 9:11:08 AM

Unless I can get a cheaper water cooling system

Whatever you do, don't get the Thermaltake Bigwater. I had it, it sucked, I ripped it out threw it in the trashcan(no joke, $180 down the drain) and threw in a Thermaltake Big Typhoon.

It leaked and fried my 9800xt and believe me, I installed it correctly because the leak didn't occur till after two weeks of use. It needed tightenings regularly, and the slightest overtighten would create a leak because it used cheap rubber rings to seal the liquid from escaping(the pinch effect). Then worst of all, the cheap cables that it came with softened up on a not so hot summer day that only reached a mere 92 degrees F my cpu was running a solid 34c. The cables decided to spring a lot of very small leaks all over the place which damn near fried my x850xt. Thats when I tore it out and bought the Typhoon.

The cables also were capable of kinking...I never let it happen during operation, but the fact that the cables where cheap enough to be kink-able shows that the water cooling system from Thermaltake was my worste pc nightmare ever!

The pump also seemed to struggle just going from the pump>flow meter >level indicator> cpu >radiator >pump in my Thermaltake Kandalf. What a p.o.s. experience that was.

I think that most of those problems were the cables fault so if you do get any cables get these.
Tygon don't settle for anything less.

Oh and one last thing listen to Phreejak, he knows his stuff. :) 

And be sure to get a tube cutter, it's worth it

OH ALMOST FORGOT, might i recommend a sweet case for a wicked sick price, that is made for water cooling. The pump goes right at the front.

Logisys FULL TOWER w/ removable motherboard tray $19.99 (75% off)
September 28, 2006 1:27:44 PM

Well I did a bit of pricing on new egg. As I said before if I do watercooling from koolance I can only get the essentials. But if I do air cooling I can get alot more stuff. Power supply, DVD Burner, Dual Hard drives, The all new case fans, northbridge cooler, vga fan/heatsink and cpu fan/heatsink. So you are right I can just add water cooling later on down the road. Thanks for the recommendations though if I change my mind. But for now I think I will stick with air cooling. BTW The CPS9500 from zalman did almost as good or better than some water cooling solutions. So I should be able to get it to 3.8Ghz. :twisted:

Thanks for the help again.
a c 239 K Overclocking
September 28, 2006 2:49:09 PM

You must be a Stargate SG1 Fan? :D 
September 28, 2006 3:23:14 PM

Bow before your God!!! :evil: 

Yes, actually. You got the Gao-uld inside joke?
a c 239 K Overclocking
September 28, 2006 5:41:51 PM

Thats my favorite SciFi channel show, I cannot believe they've canceled it!

It got so addictive to me watching the little weekly tidbits the SciFi channel would release, that I finally got fed up with it and bought the entire series on DVD commercial free, its great!

Anyhow it really is a great series and probably the best running series the SciFi channel has ever done.

What are some of your favorite episodes?
September 28, 2006 6:07:19 PM

Oh by far when they kept repeating the day over and over - they're going to be showing 3 unaired episodes sometime...
a c 239 K Overclocking
September 28, 2006 6:20:04 PM

The biggest missing pieces of the puzzle for me was the 2 episodes after The Lost City, New Order pts 1 & 2, where O'neill is taken out of suspended annimation, excellent episodes by the way.

My favorite episode has to be Lost City above all and then probably Message in a Bottle, where O'neill is speared to the wall by the alien device, cool episode and some good acting.
September 28, 2006 6:58:31 PM

Leaks will happen!
Pumps do die on you and stop circulating!
I've had both of those happen to me, its a whole lot less pain to aircool and punch your power button without inspecting each time before you do.

Besides if you gave up the W/Cing, look at what you could add to the video card!

Words of wisdom... WC'ers must be vigilant.

I've had a few WC nightmares too, not on PCs but on high voltage equipment. The main thing I learned from that is you have to keep nosey people away from your WC loop. People that fiddle around with things they don't understand, then they don't tell you after they accidentally make a hole in your water line... Explaining that to the boss was... colorful. Fortunately, the guilty party was apprehended and executed.
September 28, 2006 7:58:36 PM

drawn and quartered too I hope.
September 28, 2006 9:36:32 PM

Tarred and feathered?

We made 'er walk de plank. Drowning seemed apropriate, aye, matey?
September 28, 2006 9:58:08 PM

sent'em to davey jones locker did yee? arghhhhh
a c 239 K Overclocking
September 28, 2006 11:18:02 PM

When I was in the Navy we went through a hurricane at sea and the ocean decided it was going to watercool our after steering drive motors that run off 400v DC.

Needless to say I was scared to death, we still had to stand watch in the compartment with about a foot of water sloshing back and forth around 2 400v sealed running motors.

I hung a chair from the pipes on the ceiling and swung back and forth without putting my feet in the water, talk about water cooling! Whew!

The chair idea worked though, I'm still kicking!
September 29, 2006 1:56:05 AM

This post has officially been hijacked.

So what do you guys think? LOL.

SG-1 Is a great show. Anyone seen the new show "Heroes"?
September 29, 2006 2:12:56 AM

I've downloaded it but, not watched it yet.
September 29, 2006 2:18:30 AM

about a foot of water sloshing back and forth around 2 400v sealed running motors.

September 30, 2006 5:09:12 AM

Let me tell you man.. from my own personal experience.. stay the hell away from watercooling, unless you are willing to work and have a monitoring system. It is a pain in the Too much work for what I feel to be marginal gains. Although with the new Core2, those are not exactly marginal gains, but pound per pound (or better said bang for your buck), you are better off buying the 60 dollar supah dupah air cooler than a 350 dollar water cooler system (at that price... instead of overclocking the processor, you CAN get a processor that runs at the speed you want.. ) and no hassle. Water can leak, water evaporates over time, algea can form (even in running systems.. over 3 years.. I had algea. It is a good idea to add 1 drop.. and I repeat.. 1 drop of chlorine in the water. no more than that, or you will start eating away at your plastic tubbing). All in all, I am listening to wusy et. al.. listen to all the guys here. Look at the post "best heatsink" people are still trying to decide what is the best air cooling device for me to get. The one that gets the most votes, gets my money. Plain and simple. Let me know if you need anything else from me to disuade you of water cooling. Again, just a pain in the neck.

Edited to add my system.
Asus P5W DH Deluxe
Core 2 x6800 Intel Extreme (Overclocked to 3.45Ghz)
2407 Dell 24 Inch Monitor
MSI 7950GX2 (Overclocked 600Mhz, 800Mhz Memory)
Corsair XMS2 2GB 800Mhz (Overclocked to 934Mhz)
Plextor dual layer - 16x DVD-+R Burner
Dual Raptor Drives - 10k RPM in Raid 0
1.5 TB Hard Drive space
X-Fi Platinum Sound Card full surround digital
Lian-Li 201PC Case
1 Kilowatt Enermax Galaxy PS
Every cable shrink tubed and managed
Stock Heatsink and Fan :roll:
Visa Bill - Priceless
a c 239 K Overclocking
September 30, 2006 6:23:12 AM

Man did your post bring back the W/Cing blues memories, it was a pain in the a$$, you couldn't just punch the power button without inspecting and making sure everything was OK, well you could and possibly suffer the consequences.

Once it developes its first leak and you manage to catch it, you can never relax again, you're constantly checking it.

I was going to reset up my W/Cing rig but after this thread, I don't think so!
September 30, 2006 11:28:00 AM

You were in the navy dude... and you've been through a hurricane (which is an unsettling experience in itself)... what's a little water cooling scare to you?

Water cooling, if done properly and with much research and asking questions, can be a relatively painless experience.

Personally, I feel as if I have a slightly complex setup in my rig and I actually never worry about it. When putting it together, if you carefully intall all the equipment (like, as wusy gave an example for - the metal clamps) then it can become as much an after thought as any standard air cooling.

I have been using PrimoCHILL ICE in my cooling solutions for almost 2 years now and I've had my share of leaks and spills (early on). But, because I know the coolant is truly non-conductive, I've not had to worry. I spend $40/year on the stuff (as I change out my fluids once a year) and, personally, I think that it is worth the expense for the peace of mind it gives me.
a c 239 K Overclocking
October 1, 2006 1:45:02 AM

Oh I'm cut to the heart! :cry: 

My whole life revolves around what you think! :roll:

NOT! 8)
a c 239 K Overclocking
October 1, 2006 1:58:20 AM

You were in the navy dude... and you've been through a hurricane (which is an unsettling experience in itself)... what's a little water cooling scare to you?

I can deal with my O/Cing adventures when I loose something cause I cranked it up too much, but loosing an expensive component to water, but thanks for all the water clamp tips like I was clueless there, I thought I could just run water from the water hose right on my equipment, no wonder the stuff blew up! DI-DI-DI

ROFLMAO :lol: 



I use Water Wetter, or was that Bed Wetter, Oh what the heck, Who Cares! :p 
a c 239 K Overclocking
October 1, 2006 6:37:27 PM

And your point is?

a c 239 K Overclocking
October 2, 2006 4:17:18 PM

Of course all problems have a solution, if you want to take all the time and trouble to apply them, and water cooling does take a lot of time and trouble to setup and use in the first place.

Even though I have the option of resetting everything back up after a failed W/P replacement, pulling the M/B and resetting all that crap back up and then reinstalling everything, takes time I'm just not willing to invest right now.

Water cooling is great as long as there are no problems and I'm not just talking about leaks, equipment failure was my last problem that almost cost me a lot of money to recover from, and if I hadn't done daily checks I'd have lost just about my entire investment.

So if you want to water cool great for you!

And if I choose not to I shouldn't have to explain my actions to you like you're the Guru of water cooling and you may be for all I know.

So presently I choose not to and that should be good enough for you.
a c 239 K Overclocking
October 3, 2006 2:46:01 PM

You still dribbling something? :roll:

I told you about those leaks! :lol: 
October 4, 2006 5:56:06 AM

nothing some moldy bread won't cure... :wink:
a c 239 K Overclocking
October 5, 2006 12:49:26 AM

Hey Rich, Hows things with you? :)