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Custom Watercooling (following my chat with Koolance..)

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February 8, 2007 11:16:48 PM

After a number of conversations with many people with regards to the cooling problem i was having whilst trying to maintain a near silent PC.

I decided to call around a number of water cooling manufacturers and put the problem to them direct and ask for the best solution to the problem:

The Problem
To cool and maintain a constantly decent temp under load of a Gaming/HTPC

Components i required to keep cool CPU, GPU (2x if i can get a better cooling system in place) RAM, HDD's.

(currently idle i was achieving circa 50deg C and nearer 65-68deg C under load, no overclocking, base system)

I decided to be quite stuborn for lack of a better word, and refused to change my choice of casing for the system as it works well with my setup at home.

The Solution offered

Koolance recommend that if i wish to house my cooling externally and at a reasonable distance from the system itself:

ERM-3K4U1 (1 Pump) $899.99
ERM-3K4U Pump Expansion Kit $139.99
VID-282-V10 (Vid)Out of Stock $199.98
CPU-330 (CPU), [no nozzles] $49.99
Nozzles, 3/8" (10mm) G1/4 Threaded, Pair $8.99
HD-55-L06 (HDx2) $49.99
RAM-30-V06 (RAM) $99.98
Shutoff Valve, 10mm Pair w/ L-Bracket $29.99
Shutoff Valve, 6mm Pair w/ L-Bracket $29.99
Drain Valve, 6mm $9.99
Drain Valve, 10mm $11.99
Liquid Coolant Bottle & Funnel, 700mL $14.99
Tubing, Clear PVC 10mm (3/8") ID $12.90
Tubing, Clear PVC 6mm (1/4") ID $9.90
Tubing Wrap, Black 10mm (3/8") ID $39.90
Tubing Wrap, Black 6mm (1/4") ID $34.90
1 Discount VID-282-V10 x2 $-10.00
1 Discount RAM-30-V06 x2 $-4.00

Sub-Total: $1,629.46

Seems a touch pricey to me!

Surely there has to be a better alternative out there? for those of use that want to maintaince performance and cooling?

My Setup:

Case:Silverstone Grandia GD01MX
PSU:Enermax Galaxy 1000W
Motherboard:Abit AW9D-Max
CPU:Intel QX7600 Extreme Quad Core
CPU Cooler:Silverstone NT06 v2 Cooler
Memory:Corsair Dominator XMS2 8500 DDR2 4GB (4x 1GB Modules+Cooler Fan)
GFX Card:EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB
Sound:Creative X-Fi Elite Pro
Hard Disk 1: Western Digital Raptor X 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA
Hard Disk 2: Western Digital Raptor X 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA
Hard Disk 3:Seagate Barracuda 750GB 7,200 RPM SATA
Hard Disk 4:Seagate Barracuda 750GB 7,200 RPM SATA
Optical Drive:Plextor PX-760SA DVD RW SATA
Keyboard:Logitech diNovo Edge
Mouse:Logitch MX Revolution
Display: Asus MW221U 22" Widescreen

Current Confirmed things to do:
1. Apply Shin-Etsu X23 (as per DaClan testing)
2. Look for a water cooling solution to eliminate the noise and hopefully improve performance and component cooling and overall system temp.

3. Find a solution to do this! that hopefully isnt $1600.00

Additional Stuff to do:
-Find a TV Tuner that works well in the UK with electonic programming
-Find a way to "broadcast" media to other pcs around the house/i-net

Input appreciated. Thx you
February 8, 2007 11:35:50 PM

a $900 pump hum....

that pump is load of BS what your basically getting is a $150 pump and a huge crappy pointless housing for 900!!! dollars.

there are lots of almost silent water pumps couple this with a three fan radiator and use all quite large fans and this will be just as quiet but like $300-400.

that koolance is a load of crap.

http://www.dangerden.com/

much better than koolance.
February 8, 2007 11:54:10 PM

I got a Titan Robelo case, comes with the watercooling built in, keeps my 3.2 ghz e6600 at 41 during orthos, might hit 44C on a hot day, very quiet overall.

Not using the supplied waterblock on the 8800 GTX, as it runs cool enough.

$200 for complete system at microcenter.

review and pix
Related resources
February 9, 2007 12:03:15 AM

I have a koolance exos 2 and am looking at getting the pc4-1025sl. I got that system for the same reasons. to get low temps and get a really really quite system.

I think the ERM-3K4U1 (1 Pump) is overkill it is meant for 4+ multi core servers. I would recommend the
KIT-1050SL Kit, Silver that will be good enough.

Why would you need a 6mm and a 10mm it doesn't make any sense. but for the KIT-1050SL Kit, you only need the 10mm
Shutoff Valve, 10mm Pair w/ L-Bracket $29.99
Shutoff Valve, 6mm Pair w/ L-Bracket $29.99

That will cut your cost by $500
this is still alot of money but not if you consider what your getting.
but as I said the ERM-3K4U1 (1 Pump) is overkill, I can not beleave koolance recommended it. my setup cost me $800 bucks. And I really would recommend koolance when it comes to water cooling.
February 9, 2007 12:17:13 AM

Ok, well theres silent and then theres SILENT... ya know...?

IMHO, water cooling ram and HDDS is total BS!!!! Cheap azz zalman type ramsink is perfect for ram and vga ram too. As for hdds... ive got 4, and i use 2x antec 120mm internal fans 2 cool them. They are REALLY quiet and cool v well.

Main problems i have with my water setup (which i got from dangerden and totally love it!), cost under $300
1. I OC a lot so my NB gets hot and used to cause problems, but thats cos i was too lazy to setup proper internal airflow. Remember... with water u STILL need some sort of airflow. Bigger fans shift more air with less noise.
2. STILL havent gotten around to getting 2x good fans for the rad, and a custom shroud, so its a little too loud, but still WAY quieter than a normal pc.

To keep it quiet, id look for a heatercore/oil cooler on ebay. Get the biggest one u can justify putting in. Then get the biggest fans u can, i think there are some 150cm?? ones around, 2x of those @ 800rpm will make bugger all noise but shitf enuf air.

All in all, dont try to water cool EVERY component. CPU, GPU and MAYBE NB if u wanna waste cash. Otherwise use as big a fan as u can. All this should also cost under $300.

Im also looking at foam insulation for inside my case.

Hope this helps
February 9, 2007 12:17:49 AM

The guy recommended using a 2 loop system

10mm loop to just CPU and back
6mm loop to all other components and back

I will look at those other sites now! thx

Would the KIT-1050SL Kit be adequate to cool the above system sufficiently?

Thanks
February 9, 2007 12:22:37 AM

I have recently ordered

2x 92mm fans for the front of the case there is space behind the hard disk cage for 2 fairly big fans pulling air into the case

1x 92mm fan for the side rear vent near the cpu

I ordered the silverstone fans as they seem to state that they run near 40+ cfm so i am hoping i can run these at fairly low rpms with the preinstalled fans in the casing.

I would ideally like to keep the CPU/GPU cool as these seem to be the most heat generating items.

I am also making the effort to sit down and sleeve everything, and run the cables around nicely out of the way to aid the airflow as best i can.
February 9, 2007 1:02:39 AM

Some Screenshots of the system info:

CoreTemp + Nvidia Monitor + PCWizard
Idle

Load
*using prime95 for like 15mins only to give you an idea of temps.

I have seen GPU temps hit near 79/80 Deg C also at times.

keeping in mind amb temps at the moment are very low due to the snow outside.
February 9, 2007 1:41:36 AM

Why would a 8800GTX be necessary for a HTPC?
February 9, 2007 1:45:19 AM

Its life is now being spent 50% HTPC functions

other 50% is spent gaming mainly :)  in the comfort of my sofa fragging ppl :) 

best of both worlds basically! :) )
February 9, 2007 2:51:46 AM

please spend the money then post some pics to prove it....
February 9, 2007 6:02:59 PM

Hmmm seems i understand now why he recommended that unit.

The internal 1050 series units run the pump fairly hard therefore it runs noisy, which kind of seems to defeat one of the reasons to go with a watercooling.

The second is that the distance the unit will be housed from the main case if i was to take the external option. Apparently the quality of cooling is seriously harmed whilst using an external system if the distance between the watercooling system and the case itself is over 2-3 ft

The system the guy from koolance recommended would allow me to house it neatly away up to approximately 15-20ft they approximate, without seeing too many issues in terms of performance drop in cooling and whilst maintaining good sound levels with the cooling apparatus being housed nice and neatly away.

Again i am a novice in all matters concerning watercooling so if that makes sense or if an alternative to that suggestion is out there would appreciate to hear it.

Thanks
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 9, 2007 6:19:06 PM

I have all DangerDen blocks (1/2" ID-cpu/gpu/northbridge) and pump in my case with a 2x120mm radiator w/ 2 fans. Total, less than $300 and it runs nice and cool.
February 13, 2007 1:18:01 PM

Pictures as promised of the sheer lack of space in there! :( 






Theres going to be a fan going into that side vent and behind the hard disks pulling air into the system will be 2 new fans when they turn up.

Also if i get the chance this weekend i will clean up the cabling and sleeve them all.

Other than that.

Thanks
February 13, 2007 3:48:22 PM

Interesting, so you want to liquid cool the cpu, video card, ram, and x2 pairs of hard drives.

But you don't want change from a case that already has run out of room from the picts?

Sure the tubing can be run and you can probably stick the pump inside the case, but there is no way a radiator is fitting in there and getting you decent airflow, which means the tubing is coming out the back end.

Plus as has been mentioned you are still going to need at least one fan in there keep ambient temperature down which will negatively affect your watercooling abilities.

You can get quiet 80 mm fans but you have to find them at a computer show or order them on line. Unless you blare your tv at some point you will notice fans that run over 30 db. That used to happen to me when the tv would go quiet and suddenly you could hear the fans and it would sound odd, but actually the fan itself wasn't that loud.

You should be able to use the Koolance Exos 2 to mount to the back of the case and run hoses through a PCI slot and while the 120 mm fans should be quieter than the 80 mm ones you have.

People complain about koolance systems because of the prices, but I've used 2 koolance systems and HTPC's and gaming systems and the loudest thing in that area is the fan on the back of the HDTV.

That said since you are pretty much forced to go with an external radiator no matter which brand you chose, there isn't much point to watercooling the ram since you're still going to need a fan to cool the ambient temperature inside the case anyway as the heat from the north and south bridge will just linger, the hard drives will not be totally cooled by the water blocks as the WD ones have a "radiator" on one side to send excess heat into the case and the koolance blocks just cool the circuit board.

Plus the powersupply is expecting cool air in its intake so it can spit out some hot air.

You do have some options for pumps and radiators and a few are fairly quiet. I don't know how many of those can handle the 4-5 waterblocks and still be quiet though.

I think its doable but that pump is definitely overkill.

The PC next to my TV is an old koolance model PC2-C (80mm fans) and is quite few years old, but cools the CPU, northbridge and video card, keeps 3 WD raptors cool (75, 150,150) stays at around 32 cel and is quieter than my HDTV when muted.
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 13, 2007 5:39:26 PM

I agree; your case is way too small for all the stuff you are talking about. The HHD blocks and RAM blocks aren't really necessary. You can get drive coolers with fans that are much cheaper and don't require tubing to be routed. As for your RAM, get one of those RAM fan coolers.

OCZ RAM fancooler

I have one of these, and its a nice touch to the case. Plus, I have read some conflicting sides of RAM coolers and slowing the flow of water in your cooling loop because they need small fittings like 1/4"...most water loops are 3/8", but Koolance might be native 1/4". Another thing...RAM waterblocks are another expensive piece.

Your case looks pretty cramped, so you are going to be limited in what you decide to use INSIDE. I would suggest one of these pump/res combos:

pump
Resevior

But I also saw that Koolance has an all-in-one setup also:
Koolance combo

It looks rather nice :) 

Remember, make sure you do your homework before buying your parts, and get a mental idea of how to route your tubing before you start. Take pics and draw diagrams if needed. If you want, I can send/post pics of my rig and water loop if you want. Just let me know.
February 13, 2007 5:42:46 PM

Yes as far as the case goes,

I am currently looking at a new NAS enclosure to house all my hard disks in. Creating some space in the case.

Housing it away out of site and away from the rest of my AV gear and casing.

In terms of water cooling the only viable solution for my situation i can see would be an external only one.

As i really do not have room with the rest of my AV gear for a tower case. It would just look out of place and rather hideous :( 

Dont know its all abit of a quandary right now
March 17, 2007 4:13:58 AM

The final build and solution

I eventually after much back and forth chatting with Koolance opted for this solution and im very pleased with the vastly reduced noise and huge reduction in temperature.

Sorry im going to link to another thread here where ive been posting with regards to this on a HTPC forum saves uploading things twice.

Final Water Cooled Solution

I think the drops in temperature were certainly well worth the hassle.

Thanks to all who advised along the way!

Now to find a suitable NAS device, TV/PVR card and some other odds and sods!
February 2, 2011 1:37:22 AM

Reasonable distance, what distance would that be for the 2k3ucu? Thanks Brett
Balexander5@cfl.rr.com
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 2, 2011 12:07:33 PM

What's the deal with people resurrecting old threads lately?

This one had been dead for 4 years...
!