Help me redo my entire water cooling system please.

Hey all. My water cooling system is not cutting it as of right now. Idle temps are about 41-43c and load are as high as 53-55c. I've narowed it down to the radiator and fans not being able to cool the water fast enough to get the CPU cool.

I came to this conclusion by 2 tests. First was by unplugging my bottom GPU from the PCIe slot, and the power cables. Idle temps dropped around 6-7 degrees C. So this takes out the "reduced flow rate from GPU's" theory (although i''m sure it doesn't help). I also tested the water with a mercury based thermometer (couldn't find electric long and thin enough to fit in reservoir hole) but it read about 38 degrees C (not totally accurate, i had kinda a hard time reading it).

As of right now i have the following components:

Swftech 655 pump
Swiftech MCRES-Micro reservoir
Thermochill PA 120.3 Radiator
Swiftech Storm R2 CPU block
BFG 8800 GTX water block (x2)
3 Enermax Enlobal Marathon Fans (44cfm 17bda i believe)
Silverstone TJ-09 Case, and Silverstone Zeus 850w PSU

These are cooling a C2D x6800 and twin BFG 8800 GTX's

Loop is: Reservoir>pump>radiator>GPU's>CPU>Reservoir.

The problem is, my loop has my CPU after my 2 GPU's, raising my temperature well over 10c higher than it should be (on idle); maybe more.

The fans will be upgraded, I'm getting 6 Silverstone 120mm 110cfm max, adjustable rpm fans. So assume that with either option below, that i have the 110 cfm fans installed, not the ones i have installed currently

So I have 2 options:

1.) Redo my loop to where i have 2 independent loops, 1 for CPU only, and 1 for GPU's only.

Pros: much cooler temps

Cons: costs a crap ton more money, I'm not totally sure I'll even have the space to put an extra pump and radiator at the very least, possibly another reservoir. Harder to do.

If i go with this option i would need help finding a way to orientate everything. I have 2 120mm fan slots on the top of the case for exhaust, so there may be a way to take out the grill and mod the radiator to the case on the top. I'm almost positive i wouldn't be able to fit an extra pump in my case. i just don't have the room. Any suggestions?

2.) Just switch my loop orientation to where it hits my CPU first, then my GPU's, then put all 6 fans on the radiator in a push-pull flow rate.

Pros: much cooler temps than what i have now. Easier to change and install

Cons: Temps won't be as cool as having 2 independent loops.

So, in YOUR opinion, what should i do? i can afford to do a second loop. what i DON'T want is pumps and reservoirs hanging out of my case that look like shit.

Would I see enough of a difference in temps between option 1 and 2, for it to be worth all the extra effort and money of picking option 1? And by "enough of a difference in temps" i don't mean a 2 degree C difference. It would need to be at least 5+ of a difference.

I believe I included all the info i can, and I've tried to make all this as clear as possible. If you need more info or understanding, please do post. All opinions welcome; i just want to do this right the first time and still get good temps.

Thanks for your time.
5 answers Last reply
More about help redo entire water cooling system please
  1. The GPUs dont need to be cooled as much as the CPU (higher idle temps are more acceptable), run the water to go through the CPU bock first.
  2. Well, I am no water cooling expert, but most of the "How to water cool" directions I have seen on the web (been researching, thinking of doing it myself) say that the CPU should be first, and the GPU's second in the loop.
  3. Just add a T-joint before the loop hits the gpus and the after too, connect them to the cpu and it should be ok.
  4. Yep, the other option is to split the line (use a Y not a T) and route one to the cpu and the other to the gpus then recombine before it hits the radiator. You can also replace your fans with higher CFM fans as that rad needs it, could use 6 fans in push/pull as well.
  5. I'm at the point now where my CPU idles about 15 degrees lower than my GPUs, so I am considering putting a peltier junction on the CPU and dialing it down to the point where the CPU and the GPUs are in line temperature wise. This should give me improved cooling to the CPU and maximize efficiency in my water loop.
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