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First Overclock. Learning as much as I can. Tips Advice?

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May 5, 2007 10:40:57 AM

Hello all, I'm doing my first proper build and OC soon. And want to know as Much as I can.

As far as applications go. I will need MemTest, Orthos, Prime95, CPU-Z and some temp monitors(none come to mind at this time). And that for a true stable system I should have no errors on a 24 hour run. I assume that if at any time the programs error, shut down, or any sing that the system crashes I'm using an unstable settings, correct?

I understand I need to shut off a lot of things in my BIOS. Differ from board to board. I'll be using an EVGA board with the 680i t1 model I believe. This will take stress off the Northbridge and help for faster boots.

I understand that I will be limited to only increasing the FSB of my processor because of its locked multiplier(E6600). And that the TAT readings should not go over 100% on the stress tests. I know the Vcore is the voltage running to it. And can be increased to help stability at higher OC's. With a max of 1.55v.

In general I think I understand Mem timings. Lower is better. Generally what the numbers mean. The t1 and t2 thing is something rather new I've been noticing and don’t understand that. Is there a way to see the correlation between tight timing on a lower speed RAM can be the same speed(memtest) in relation to a looser timed higher speed RAM? Oh and voltage may need to be increased to help stabilize it or run higher OC's.

Running a 1:1 ratio is best? I honestly don’t know. I know things are running "synchronously" but what exactly is beneficial about that? also, I've assumed you want your FSB speed to be the exact same as your memory. In my case if 400mhz with the 9 multiplier giving me 2.7ghz and 400mhz for the memory. Rating it DDR2 800. Is this correct or no? Also, what does the FSB on my motherboard have to do with anything? Or its "standard memory speed"? Does it have to do with CPU/MOBO compatibility? The C2D says FSB 1033 and my MOBO says 1333/1033 meaning they support each other?

If I wanted to obtain the highest OC possible with water cooling. And lets say I got to a speed of 517mhz. Giving me a total speed of 3.6ghz roughly. I would need to run my memory at 1033 then right? At least with a 1:1 ratio. And if my MOBO says "1200 memory standard". that’s DDR2 at 600mhz. meaning with a 1:1 ratio. Optimal speed son that system would be FSB of 600? I know I may not get near that mark. But in theory this is correct? When does it become needed to cool the bridges past stock cooling? And why?

I think I've said and asked what I can. I work nights so I’m ready to fall asleep. I want to do thing well. But I don’t want to go about it in a stupid manor. I understand blacks may need to be lapped. You need a good thermal grease. Ample air flow. Good water cooling. What am I missing? I don’t in any way feel I know it all. And would love all input. I think missed many voltage areas. TAT and Vcore are all that came to mind that I know of for sure. Any suggestions, advice, anything. Feel free.

MOBO - EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

RAM - Patirot Extreme PC8500 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

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Edit - I fixed the spelling errors!

Also, Does the FSB:MEM Ratio possible mean relation to overclocking? With a 1:1 instead of meanign same speeds. it means same percentages in overclocking? Like going to 300mhz to 400mhz is a 25% increase so you will need to increase your memory 25% in order ro run properly?

More about : overclock learning tips advice

May 6, 2007 2:34:29 PM

Well, the C2D OC guide is a great place to start. It should answer the majority of your questions. I'll do what I can for some of the others.

For temp monitors, Speedfan and TAT are two I find useful. TAT more for its ability to independantly stress the cores quickly. Yes, any memtest or prime95 crash is a detection of instabiliity, though it does not necessarily mean any one component is faulty. Constant memtest errors indicate bad modules, but other than that, are usually an indication of insufficient voltage or timings that are too tight.

Depending on your desired overclock, you should not have to go over 1.4V, much less 1.55.

For memory, tight timings are better, but only slightly. When overclocking, it's a good idea to loosen the timings for the sake of stability. Good modules allow overclock while maintaining timings, but often require a lot of voltage, as much as 2.3 or 2.4V. Keep in mind that loosening the timings is only a very minute performance sacrifice. If it lets you get another 200Mhz out of your CPU, it is well worth it.

Running 1:1 is sometimes regarded as best, but there's no real answer here. Whichever will run stable on your system is the best.

You shouldn't have to lap a good waterblock. You may want to lap your processor's IHS, C2D's are notorious for not being quite flat. This voids the warranty, so be careful.

You should consider alternative cooling of your bridges if they regularly exceed ~55-60C. They overheat the same reason your CPU would when overclocked, they are operating at a higher frequency than they have been designed to, and often have additional voltage applied as well. In your case, make sure that you have good airflow over your northbridge and your VRMs. These mobos are designed to have the excess spill air from your CPU's HSF dissipate their heat. With a waterblock on the CPU, this air is not present, and needs to be compensated for.

Your motherboard choice. Are you going to ever run SLI? Or are you looking for max overclock? DFI's new Infinity 965-S is the best overclocking C2D mobo I've ever seen. 535 FSB with the first bios. It's a lot cheaper too, and easier to cool.

Ok, that's most of your questions I think. Let us know if there is anything else.
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May 6, 2007 9:18:33 PM

Thanks for the posts

I understand the core concepts of overclocking. Just a bit confused on the frequencies and their ratios. I guess the best way as far as memory timings are concernced etc. Test with 3DMark or pi etc and see if it hurts your scores or not.

The C2D guides yes did say "Changes this and this". As far as some of the BIOS area's I understand. But simply telling me "CHange your northbridges voltage" isnt enough for me. I want to know why. When are signs shown that you need to. You know what I mean?

If I hit an instability problem. And I up my Vcore. An it isnt corrected. I should turn it back downand try upping the voltage to the memory. if that doesnt work. Try upping both vcore and mem. If neither of those work is it time to up a little more and test those. Or is that the time when you should start playing with your bridges?

I'm not going to be running SLI right away. So thank you for the MOBO idea. I will look into it.

As for cooling goes. I'm planning 2 seperate loops. One to CPU one to the northbridge and GPU. The rad will be using 4 120mm fans in a push pull set up. And the casewwill haev at least 3 fans in it as well. All 120mm. 80CFM rating at 20+db under full load. I'm hoping thats plenty. I looked for the coolest fans I could while keeping a low noise rating.
May 6, 2007 10:57:07 PM

Basically, any voltage increase is an attempt to increase stability. At higher frequencies, more voltage is needed, plain and simple. The tricky part of the thing is, when system instability begins to present itself, it could be a number of components, or only one that is to blame. There's real no surefire way to look at the situation and say, "I need to up my mem volts" or "I need to loosen my timings a bit" or "I need a touch more vCore." You might have to do only one, or you might have to do all three, it just depends.

That being said, you should add at least .1V to your NB right of the bat. Remember, it, for all intents and purposes, IS the FSB, and therefore you'll be stressing it quite a bit once you go beyond 1333Mhz. Also within the NB is your MCH, which controls your memory, and that will need additional voltage as well. This is also why you want to disable some of the little extra firmware stuff that runs on it through bios. As for the SB, you should be fine leaving it at stock volts.

Here's an look at that DFI board I mentioned:
http://www.csd.dficlub.org/forum/showthread.php?p=19143
The 680i boards are good boards, but their NB is quite power hungry, and you'll have to disassemble the VRM heatsink to WC the NB, so I think the 965 will be simpler for you, add less heat to your loop, and save you some money while maintaining performance at or beyond what you would get otherwise. This board will easily overclock beyond what a standard 600 board will do as well, DFI boards overclock like no other.

Here's a quick and dirty bench showing the performance relationship between mem timings and frequency:
http://gomeler.com/2007/02/22/memory-timing-and-frequen...
May 7, 2007 5:07:51 AM

Thans for the links. The board seems great from the link you posted on it. I'm no fan of any aprticular chipset. So its no real problem for me. I do like that the Intels have better Raid capabilities versus Nvidia. Doesnt come with a lot of stuff. Then again I'm paying half the money for it. By chance do you knwo the difference between this and the G/X Board?

Is it true you cannot change the multiplier down from stock?

It seems to me like he wasnt gettign 533 stable(24/7). I think he meantioned a prgram that boosted his clock speed. Which I wont be using. I was hoping to run at a true 533 core clock. With a 1:1 and 1066 memroy syncroniously. Even if I had to drop my muliplier down to do so. I dont mind running at

Some other things I lied about that DSI board. Were the 2x16 pcie the 2x4pcie and the 3xpci slots. Althoguh you said not SLI? Or do the drives just not yet support it? The board looks capable just you'd lose out on some slots. Sorry I just realized that its rated for crossfire not sli. I'll be running the Nvidia cards not ATI. So if I do go that board route. I'll either have to switch to ATI or get a new MOBO. I plan to run dual GPU's in the future. Anyone knwo when the R600 series is supoes to be relased? If they can offer a competitive product that is int he smae price range. I may opt to go that route and sell the GTX or put it in a seperate build later.
May 7, 2007 5:18:35 AM

It also seems like that motheboard doesnt even accept 2 pcie bandwith speeds of 16 if you're running 2 slots. Oh and if there are no onboard graphics why is there a connection to the monitor? I'm nto trying to talk down on it. just wanting to know why. I guess this board is more for OC'ing than it is per say "feature rich". More thinkign I will have to do on this.

edit - I saw talk of a 680i DSI board in the future? Know any info on that by chance?
May 7, 2007 9:13:30 AM

Ok, I mentioned the DFI board because you mentioned you weren't planning on SLI. If you want dual GPU, I would recommend the 680. The ATI X2900XT is due to be released by May 21st. Based on preliminary benches, it is faster than the 8800GTS by a small margin, but is beat out by the GTX. It is supposed to retail around 400 USD. If you ran crossfire, one would be at x16 and the other at x4. This might hurt performance, it has been shown that the 8800's are slowed down running at x8 and x4, so it stands to reason that this card will be as well.

DFI will likely have a 680 board in the future, but it might be some time. They definately take their time when they build a board, but the results are usually worth it. It doesn't really come with a lot of stuff, because it doesn't really need a lot of stuff, it's built to be simple and effective. There's no graphics port, that's a COM port on the back.

Overall, if you want dual graphics, it looks like 2 8800GTX's will be the fastest for a while longer. To fully use them, you'll need a good SLI board, preferably a 680i. Don't expect to go over 500FSB with one though, it's pretty rare. But they overclock easily and you should be happy with one.
May 7, 2007 10:59:45 AM

yeah, sorry. I wasnt trying to negate anything you were saying. Simply asking. So if I was sounding rude I apologize. You've been a great help.

The thought of running at 533 sounds awesome. I doubt I could reach that at the 9 multiplier though. Even with all the cooling.

I really like what I've seen with the DFI motherboard. And in fact am really considering it. As all the features of the EVGA baord I was plalnning on getting wont get used for some time. In fact I think I'm going to change to this, as my needs dont quite suit the 680 from EVGA just yet. With how often technology changes I think the DSI is more than plenty. Thanks for meantioning it.

If I ran my memtory with 1:1 at say 1066 efective(533fsb). Would I see increase because they run the same vs say 533 fs at the cpu and increased to 575mhz fro the ram or even 600? Would I be caple of overclocking my meory that high? its only a 67mhz increase from what its rated at. SuperPi would be great for seeing which ran better correct?

Any things other than the CPU, northbridge, and Gu need water cooling? I've seen memory watercooling but may be out of my reach as of now. Even simply heatsinks on things. Suggestions there?

My build is a GTX GPU, e6600 CPU, the DSI MOBO, and the PE RAM above. 1-2 seagate HDD's, and a samsoung GTG 20" 2ms monitor. I've been debating weather or not to get a 700watt PSU or drop to something as low as 550 watts. Because the case(Lian LI a10" suppers dual PSU's. And if I can run a single 550 for now until I later upgrade to more GPU's and HDD's. I can save a few more dollars or should I really stick with the 700 I selected? Its a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

thanks for all the help so far. its been great. I'm feeling much MUCH more confident.
May 7, 2007 11:39:39 AM

Generally, it's best to keep the multiplier high and the FSB lower, basically less stress on the total system. That's what I would recommend for a long-term setup. If you just want to see what you can push the FSB to, go ahead and drop the multi and see what you can get. I have no doubt you could push your memory this high, in fact, you might not even need to loosen the timing or increase voltage, though I would go ahead and bump it up just a tad to ensure stability. It's 1066 ram?

If I were you, I'd go ahead and get a 700W now. With a fully overclocked system, the 500W would be nearly maxxed out, which results in a big drop in efficiency. You typically get max efficiency out of a PSU when it's around 65-85% loaded. So a 700W might actually help a tad with the power bill. That's a pretty decent PSU, I'm a big fan of FSP:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
And it might save you a money. Note that the efficiency is rated at >85% instead of "up to 85%".

Some other good choices:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These are all good units for your price range. I would personally recommend the FSP unit mentioned first, unless of course you really want modular cables.

SuperPi is a good generic test of system speed, but it doesn't stress RAM too much. If you want a really good test, run the gamut of benches, 3dMark, video compression, etc.

Nah, you weren't rude, I understand what you're saying. Don't worry about it.
May 7, 2007 10:43:41 PM

Yeah, its 1066 ram.

Thanks for the PSU options. I really like the idea of modular cables. I'll only be running 1 or 2 HDD's to start. But will be maxingout the cases space to 6 HDD's at a latre date. 2 in RAID 0 and 4 in RAID 5. The modular cables are a big plus there, until I get the extra HDD's. Although I'm not set on any one thing just yet. Other than a GTX GPU(If the 2900 doesnt have better cost/performance), the Lian Li case, and the Monitor. And The CPU as well. I wont be buying for a few more weeks until I finish saving up. I've got about 80% of it right now. So not too much logner and I'll start ordering.

Speaking of the memeory. These were the 4 in "compeition".

OCZ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Patriot - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2 different Crucial - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
THe patriot got the most and best reviews of the 4 so thats why I chose them. Plus they were high up on THG's list on the recent memory testing they did. Oh and OZC hads their platinum on there as well for under $200(which was my goal). But its out of stock sadly, just like the DFI motherboard.
May 8, 2007 2:24:07 AM

Yea, modular cables are nice, I wish more manufacturers would start adopting them. PC Power & Cooling has been knocking them forever though, even though it's been categorically proven that there isn't THAT much of a voltage drop, it's usually hardly measurable. But I would definately go with a 700W model from the get-go though.

The Patriot RAM should do the job just fine, good price too. Gotta love the way DDR2 prices are falling. The DFI mobo will be back in stock on Newegg on May 14th at 9:15am ET. That's the third time it's sold out, that should tell you that it's a hot motherboard. Let me know if you have any more questions!
May 8, 2007 4:38:54 AM

I've always got questions. Haha :D 

Thanks for the help so far. Its been great.

I think honestly the only questions that come to mind as of now. Would be alternative cooling for the motherboard for say the voltage regulators and things along those lines. Needed, not needed? The cooler the better.

I'm going to OC it until I cant anymore with the cooling and everything. Just to see what its capable of. But lets say I OC is as far as I can that still posts, passes memtest, Orthos, Prime, etc. At least a 12-24 hour test. Then it is more than capable of handling every day tasks with out fail then? I'm assuming at least. My everyday tasks aren’t quite "everyday" I guess you could say. As it would be used not only for gaming but CAD and rendering as well. I was actually going to go the quad route because I can make use of well over 4 cores. But I don’t think the $500 price tag on even the low end is very appealing yet.

Sound. I was originally going to go with Creative’s X-fi sound card. But after reading some reviews it seems there are lots of issues with it and games like BF2(which I play). And instances of static and things. I really do not want to deal with that. Any other recommendations? I’ve always owned Creative sound products. :x

Last set of questions for now. Haha. Sorry man. The board is rated for a FSB of 1066 and DRR2 800. Now the 680i are rated for the future 1333 and DDR2 1200. Because of this will I run into any issues as far as running a 1:1 if I were at the 533 mark? I assume I wouldn’t and the numbers posted on the board are merely for stock specs of products not for overclocking.

Just for kicks my new build plan is the follow(Sorry no links)
-DFI motherboard you pointed out
-GTX, GTS, or 2900 GPU(waiting on final prices)
-e6600 CPU(May look into the Q6600 if prices fall by the time I buy which I doubt)
-Patriot Extremes DDR2 1066(2x1GB)
-Thermaltake's 700watt PSU with the modular cables etc
-lian Li a10 black case
-samsungs GTG 22 or 20inch LCD flat panel with 2ms(grey to grey)
-XP Pro(May look into dual booting later with Vista and XP)
-Segates 7200prm sata drives 320gb
-Mircosofts 4000 ergonomic keyboard
-Logitechs g7 gaming mouse
-logitechs 5.1 500watt speaker system
keyboard mouse and speakers will most likely be something for later. (My orignal bild plna was over 5k. Which I've cut now into half)
May 8, 2007 12:42:57 PM

Cooling on the VRM's is a good idea, especially if you have to push your vCore beyond 1.45v or so. The only problem with this is that I don't know of any aftermarket coolers for VRM's. Koolance offer liquid cooling modules for the VRM's on ASUS MB's, these just might fit:
http://www.koolance.com/shop/default.php?cPath=29_71
But you'd have to contact DFI to make sure. This would probably be one of the best things you could do to ensure a long-term, stable solution. Overclocking will decrease the life expectancy of your components. Good cooling will help, hell, I've had an 805D running 1.2Ghz faster than stock on liquid cooling for a year and a half now. But the increased voltage will eventually take its toll.

Quad wouldn't be a bad idea at this point, but they don't overclock as well and they're still a tad expensive. A fast E6600 should be fine, you can always migrate to a quad in a year or two. Personally, if I could afford it I would get the quad now, settle for a lower overclock but more flexibility in the future. I think 2 years from now, the vast majority of gaming and professional apps will be able to take advantage of quads, but for now they're few and far between. It's up to you.

The X-Fi does have issues, but I've never owned one. I'd troll the forums a bit and see what I can find. I'd say go ahead and get it, RMA it if it gives you issues. You could always just get a cheap Audigy, it should be enough for the majority of your needs.

No, the ratings on the board mean very little beyond marketing. You'll find no issues.

Overall it looks very good. Can you describe your cooling setup?
May 8, 2007 6:36:54 PM

If you need links to specifics just ask. here's the basic system I'm going for.

-dual rad with 4 fans in a push/pull config
-pump with 20 foot head
-water blocks on the CPU, Northbridge, full cover GPU block, and the VRM's etc on the motherboard.
-half inch tubing
-haven’t picked out a specific liquid yet

At a later date I may look into memory cooling. Waterblocks will be EK as long as I can find a US supplier. I'm only choosing them because of what I've heard they're amazing blocks. I haven’t come across any good water cooling site that really compared things. So I don’t have much to go on as far as parts are concerned. I'm really open to suggestions there. But the dual rad, 4 fan setup I want. the high head pump I want. The water blocks I want. My routes may need tweaking to see fit. The setup will most likely have most of the component next to the PSU in the lower half of the case. At least the pump and reservoir. The rad will defiantly have to sit outside as its going to take up a ton of space. But that isn’t an issue. I can make a housing for it later on.

As far as routes are concerned, I'll either be running 2 or a split line. If I run 2 lines, I'll run one to the CPU and the VRMs, while the other ran to the GPU and northbridge. If I run a split line, I'll run to the CPU then split off and run to the GPU while the other line ran to the VRM's and the northbridge.

Yeah the rendering program I use is strictly CPU dependant not memory and can easily push the quad to its limits. Since I'm moving from a single core AMD to the CD2. I cant really complain. My only reason for switching is they're overclockable by so much. I think if I couldn’t, I'd notice a significant loss in single threaded applications.

Thanks for the link. I've seen similar by EK as well for the MOSFETS I believe? A term which I don’t know. so it may be a completely different thing. haha. In a year or 2 I could make my own blocks(which I will). which should be fun.

I think I can honestly say now. I don’t have any other questions. Though an hour from now something will pop in my head. lol

Thanks for all your help. It’s been greatly appreciated. :) 
May 8, 2007 10:42:19 PM

Sounds like a good setup. You'll have to monitor temps carefully to make sure your radiator isn't being overwhelmed by the heat from CPU and GPU. The Northbridge too will add heat. MOSFET is Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor. Basically, a fancy transistor. It's the component in the VRM that generally produces the most heat. VRM cooling is kind of deceptive, most of the time it only means cooling the mosfets, as the rest of the stuff doesn't get as hot, and more importantly, isn't affected by the heat as much. Blah, hope that's explainable.

Swiftech is generally regarded as having the best CPU blocks. Koolance has a new line out now that look pretty sweet too, but I've never seen good benches comparing waterblocks. They're both in the 50-60 buck range. DangerDen is overpriced. Koolance has nice new chipset coolers as well, but pretty much any chipset cooler should be sufficient. Try to find one that maintains 1/2" though, that way you won't restrict flow too much.

Liquid cooling RAM is pretty pointless in my book. It restricts flow too much. Just aim a 120 at it and you'll be fine 95% of the time.

If you're going to make your own blocks, make sure to electroplate the inner copper with gold or nickel. Most radiators are Al, and they'll corrode like no other if there's copper exposed in the loop, eventually fouling your coolant. Something to keep in mind.....

Well, good luck on your little project. Feel free to hit me up you run into problems.
May 8, 2007 11:14:04 PM

Suggestions on getting things colder? I did forget to mention the rad will support 120mm fans. The colder the better. Even if it doesn’t mean I get to OC a lot more. I always seem people with temps like 26 idle and 35 load. But then I see where people on water are only getting 40 and even high 50's on load. I'd rather not be up that high. And I do understand ambient temps are a big factor. Maybe a tec radiator? do they even make tec radiators? I've seen mini ones for CPU's. But I don’t want to go that route because of condensation. If it were on the radiator. The rad would just cool the liquid much better. And not be soo cold I have to worry about a whole bunch of other issues.

The EK blocks from what I've read seem to rave about how well they work in both low and high flow situations. You'd think TGH would have a water cooling comparison here. Maybe I should post that in the suggestion forum.
May 8, 2007 11:32:19 PM

Yea, I'd really love to see a good, in depth comparison of all the various pumps, blocks, rads, etc.

Of course ambient matters a big deal, obviously. I'm not a big fan of TECs, even if you put one on your radiator, well, the resevoir would probably be a better spot, you'd still have to cool its hot side with either water or a good HSF. So you just jacked power consumption in the system way up in exchange for a few C cooler. Putting one on your CPU and cooling it makes more sense, but can be a huge hassle with insulation and providing cooling and power. I'd stay away if you're the least bit unsure about it.

What you can do is possibly look to add another radiator to your loop, a smaller 120mm one that you can hook one of your case fans over. That way water would say, come out of the CPU and get cooled before going into the GPU. But pushing water through multiple blocks and radiators might require a bigger pump to keep flow rates up. So you see, it's all about trade-offs...

That's actually the first time I've heard of EK is when you mentioned them. Their stuff looks alright, but I'm concerned about what seems to be a lack of surface area within the cooling channel. Those waves just don't seem like enough. But I have no idea without trying one. Take a look at some of koolance's block diagrams, those are how the internals of most waterblocks are, tons of surface area laid out to induce turbulent flow.
May 9, 2007 1:25:31 AM

The reason behind the "wave" design for the EK blocks is it offers more surface area for the same volume vs straight lines.

Yeah the tec on the radiator is a dumb idea. :roll: Even on the reservoir it would too. At least if its a plastic like most are. if I could find a good copper one then I think that would work quite well. Though the smaller ones on the CPU would be much more efficient. If I could find other means of cooling good portions of the coolant besides phase change. I don’t see any negatives aside from power consumption. Since it technically shouldn’t cool below ambient temps.

Why do you personally not like TEC's?

I was actually planning on running dual cooling setups if its feasible. 2 rads, 2 pump, etc etc. So that wouldn’t be too much of a problem if like I said, it's feasible.

Now that I think about it. The copper reservoir sounds like a good idea. Essentially a large ample flowing waterblock. With plenty of "fins" on the inside for surface area but still not restricting to the rest of the system. Would cool very well if I had to guess. Though as you said. Something would need to be added for the hot side of the tec. If only I had my mill. If onlyyy.

since the topic has gone to cooling. What of HDD cooling? I honestly dont care about how there will be a lot of tubes running around everything. Even if it looked messy. I'm not a fan of the windowed cases. I like that subtle look. Probably too much with HDD. and I've never really seen anything that seemed very efficient to me. Probably a no go there.

edit - forgot to meantion. The tec thing. Could be set so the tec only started working(along with the HSF on it) when temps reached a certain point. to save more on energy and heat.
May 9, 2007 1:51:54 AM

It's not the waves, it's just that there's fairly few waves and a lot of flat surface around them. Take a look at those koolance diagrams. See how the whole surface is covered? That's what I meant.

It's not that I dislike TECs, I just find them inefficient for the majority of setups. I mean, you're more than welcome to experiment, I just personally wouldn't mess with one. They're pretty cheap, but need to be cooled by fairly expensive means...I am a big fan of passive resevoirs such as this one:
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2233/ex-res-87/XSPC_P...
Which offer a good reduction in system temps. Remember, copper is your enemy in WC. Too many components are Aluminum, and together they'll wreck your system in no time. Almost all manufacturers of blocks still use Copper since it transfers heat so quickly, but they gold plate it with 24k to keep the Al and Cu apart.

For Hard Drive cooling, not too much is really needed. I have a 120mm fan blowing directly onto my Raptor, and it never gets above 90F. Most watercooled HDD setups have the same downfall as memory blocks - a reduction to 1/4" and added flow restriction when you don't really need it in the first place.

You could certainly set a TEC up as you mentioned, you'd need to do some circuit building though. The problem I see with that is that as it "surges" on and off it'll put a strain on your PSU and the rest of your system, especially if you're using a big 200W-range TEC. A separate PSU might help with that.
May 9, 2007 5:47:53 AM

I think I'll have to go over the blocks I was planning to get. That reservoir wont work unless I do switch to different blocks because the EK's are pure copper. Thank you for the link. I do like the passive ideas as well. It seems by the time I'll be done with all this I'd need a separate case to house all the cooling components. lol

Is there any data on the gold plated copper blocks? From what I know they don’t just get a gold plating. Its a 3 stage plating process. Seems like this would almost trap the heat within the block. Then again this is only me speculating. and if it was so bad they'd never do it. Sure wish THG started doing alternative cooling comparisons.

Thankfully man. I really wouldn’t need to make a PCB for the TEC(I’m hoping). There are already products out there that run to case fans to turn them on when temps reach a certain level. I'd simply adapt them to the tec plate. At least I think it would be that easy. I honestly hope its that easy. haha Or I've got a lot more work ahead of me.

For the pSU to power it. I agree that would be needed. Would a cheaper ATX PSU be more than enough compared to the "tec specific" ones? At nearly 1/3 the price its much more appealing.

Though the dual cooling setup and the tec. and some of the other "minor" things wont be purchased right away along with the computer. First the working parts, then the wc'ing, then the extras like the tec extra pump and rad etc.

Actually. With what you said. And the surging on and off. I don’t like the idea of it possibly turning on and off every 5 minutes. I personally don’t know how fast the tec takes to start working to its full potential. it will defiantly take time to reduce the coolants temp. A simple on/off switch may be more appropriate if I am rendering or gaming.

I was looking at the koolance blocks. Which do you mean the 300, 305, or the 330 models?
May 9, 2007 9:08:24 AM

Well, any of the blocks you should see how different it is. And good point, gold really slows down heat transfer. That's why the coating is only a few microns thick, this way the transfer slowdown is minimized. I'm not sure of the exact process used accomplish this though.
http://www.koolance.com/technical/cooling101/006.html

Yea, the surging would probably be a pain. It takes them a little while to cool down fully, and even longer for heat energy from the water to transfer to the TEC, so an on/off switch on a seperate PSU would be fine. And yea, go ahead and get a cheap one since it's not going to be a vital component.
May 9, 2007 9:25:03 AM

Thats a really nice link. Thanks for that.

I came across a website that mentioned a website listing specific wateblocks that were being rated. Sadly the site was in german. With the website translator, a was able to find their ranking. Seems to be the "extreme performance" blocks are EK, Danger Den, Alpha cool, Asetek, and EXPC. Alhpacool and Asetek being the tops in both radiators and CPU blocks.

The 2 website I found were www.water-cooling.com and www.watercoolplanet.de
May 10, 2007 5:02:29 PM

Sorry CB. I'm back with more questions!

Pressure testing and proper sealing of a WC system. Thoughts on the do's and dont's? All tips there are extremely welcomed. Also, that you again for all the help you've been.
May 10, 2007 6:33:17 PM

Sealing is really going to depend on the hardware you use. Some manufacturers, like Koolance, provide pressure fittings on all their components. With others you'll have to buy and install these components seperately. Pressure fittings are my personal fave, they're virtually leakproof and simple to install. I use teflon tape on all screw-in components, for a better seal and ease of removal later. Just a small amount is needed. Do you have a good hardware store nearby? You should be able to find everything you need fairly cheap. Get brass fittings, or plated ones if they're available. In lieu of pressure fittings you can use barbed fittings and clamps. This isn't as reliable though, and it doesn't look as neat. If you don't mind paying a little extra, you can get most nozzles here:

http://www.koolance.com/shop/default.php?cPath=62_63

I also recommend springs, such as here:
http://www.koolance.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=62_...
Especially if you're setup has a lot of twists and turns, this will prevent kinks. It also makes it look nicer, IMO.

As far as pressure testing goes, if you're using compression fittings I wouldn't be too concerned. Just power up your WC pumps without turning on anything else in the system. You can do this by hooking up the PSU to only the pump and then jumpering together pins 4 and 6 on the 24-pin plug. Let it run and purge the air from the system, and check carefully for any signs of leaks. With any other setup, it would probably be wise to measure out and build a mock-up loop prior to installation onto the actual hardware. Remember that everytime you stretch tubing over a coupling you should cut the stretched portion off and NOT reuse it.

Here's more fittings, etc.
http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l2/g30/c101/list/p1/Liquid...
!