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Watercooling a 8800GTS & CPU (new to Watercooling)

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August 4, 2007 7:29:49 PM

Just got my 8800GTS 320MB last week (upgraded from 6150 onboard- what a difference lol) I've been getting some mad OCs out the 8800GTS (675/1000) but the only thing that's holding me back is the temps- its gets too hot after about 2-4mins of these speeds.

I've decided to invest in the world of water cooling, But I've got no idea where to start, I'm looking for:

Something thats good for Overclocking
That's not too loud
That'll take a 2nd 8800GTS (I plan to SLI in a year or so)
Preferably under £150-200 all together
A all in one kit, but I could handle something more complex
That'll work with a VGA water-block that was designed for the 8800GTS- like http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=273&code=021 or http://www.koolance.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=406

I'm from the UK so stores like ebuyer.com, amazon.co.uk, scan.co.uk, overclockers.co.uk and dabs.com are preferable- but I can buy from else where. I wont be buying for more than a month, but I all ways like to do my research. Any thoughts or ideas will be appreciated.

Thanks, Adam
August 5, 2007 12:33:17 AM

Some general thoughts regarding your post....

You most likely will have to go with a higher-end kit to handle the SLI aspect. All-in-one kits usually won't have this capability, especially if you are considering overclocking.

You will also have to consider expandability. This means looking at either larger, or multiple radiators, as well as a pump or multiple pumps that can handle the flow.

You should also determine if you are going to cool the gpu's alone, or the cpu along with. That makes a big difference.
August 6, 2007 5:51:21 PM

Thanks for the reply. Who makes the best water cooling components? I would rather buy all the parts from the same manufacture as I am worried about compatible tube sizes. They would have to be compatible with Zalman's ZM-GWB8800 GTS unless there is a better 8800GTS waterblock that I'm unaware of.
Related resources
August 8, 2007 7:45:16 AM

Having a full-coverage waterblock such as the Zalman that you mention, is not the ideal solution. 1) The full coverage may not be in spec with your video card, thus it may be possble that it was milled differently. This could result in gaps between your cooler and your graphics card. Not good. 2) They add increased heat to your water cooling loop, which is not necessary. Cooling the video ram with ramsinks is a better solution.

Generally, the names Swiftech and Danger Den come up as the best water cooling products.

Personally, I use most of my components from Swiftech. For your application, I would recommend the best rated all-in-one system currently on the market, which would be the Swiftech H20-220 Ultra + . This system has top quality components, as well as the ability to upgrade very easily. It also has all the extra little parts in it that you wouldn't think about needing.

This kit comes with the MCR-220 radiator which is well-respected among water cooling enthusiasts, the MCP-655 pump, which is a top-notch pump, as well as the Swiftech Apogee GT CPU water block, which ranks among the top CPU water blocks.

The kit also comes with a MCW-60 GPU water block. This waterblock also ranks among the best waterblocks for video cards. To use this waterblock with a 8800 series video card, you would have to simply add the MCW8800 Ramsink set and possibly a MCW60-G80 backplate kit if the H20-220 kit does not come with it.
August 8, 2007 8:22:57 AM

Swiftech's H2O-220 ultra + is the kit for you. I would also add a bigger reservoir and a single 120mm radiator for better performance. Personally I use PCIce liquid cooling coolant made by Primochill (non conductive and many color choices)
August 8, 2007 9:57:41 AM

I went with DangerDen.
I also made the mistake of cutting corners to keep the cost down... Now ive JUST (like 3min ago) forked out ~220USD for 1xRad, 1xRez, 3 feet of hose and some gaskets and a shroud.
That price does NOT include blocks and pump which i already have.
For coolant u cant go past 'Zerex'

I too have a gts and im not getting a block for it
A. All the blocks ive seen are ****
B. I intend to u/g to a 9xxx card as soon as they r out (8-10 months?)
C. It runs coon and quiet even with a decent OC

Fo a good cpu+sli rig u will need a good rad. As ive found out there IS a HUGE difference between the capability of rads. Definately spend the extra $ for a good one.
August 8, 2007 10:49:29 AM

A couple of things to start.

Firstly, there is no one supplier that provides all the best components. However, don't worry too much about incompatibilities regarding tube sizes - you can replace most all connectors for all components to achieve a standard tube size for the complete circuit if necessary (although with the correct selection of components, this won't be necessary).

If you're serious about building your own system, I would first recommend reading the guides here. I would suggest reading this one first.

I've just ordered the components for my 1st water-cooling system (CPU only to start, with planned future expansions to include chipset and graphics once I've built up some experience). It's great fun planning everything, and after reading the above guides, I feel much more confident about installing it.

I'm based in Spain, and the suppliers here are limited. As such, I have ordered the majority of my components from Aqua-PCs (UK) and Petra's Tech Shop (US). I can strongly recommend both for professional service and fast delivery. There are also other recommended suppliers listed in one of the guides linked above.

One other thing - your budget may restrict your options. The current exchange rates against the US$ will be in your favour if ordering from the US though.
August 8, 2007 11:48:29 AM

I recently stepped into my 1st water-cooling system and I ended up buying this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you Google "Koolance EXOS-2 Reviews" you will read a lot of good things. Also, regardless of what some people say about Koolance, and maybe some of their past parts, everythign I ordered was TOP-QUALITY! The CPU block was solid, heavy, and good design; the RAM cooler works good; and I have a dual HD cooler for my Raptor drives (HUGE improvement).

I plan on buying Koolance's 8800GTX GPU cooler next, but I need to get some $. Anyway, after playing with my overclocking settings, I was able to bring the temp way down from what I initally got. I have had better results @ 8x450 then when it was 9x400. At the 3.6GHz she turns now and the RAM at 1125MHz, my CPU runs between 38C Idle -> 50C Load
August 8, 2007 11:51:12 AM

adamdon89 said:
Just got my 8800GTS 320MB last week (upgraded from 6150 onboard- what a difference lol) I've been getting some mad OCs out the 8800GTS (675/1000) but the only thing that's holding me back is the temps- its gets too hot after about 2-4mins of these speeds.

I've decided to invest in the world of water cooling, But I've got no idea where to start, I'm looking for:

Something thats good for Overclocking
That's not too loud
That'll take a 2nd 8800GTS (I plan to SLI in a year or so)
Preferably under £150-200 all together
A all in one kit, but I could handle something more complex
That'll work with a VGA water-block that was designed for the 8800GTS- like http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=273&code=021 or http://www.koolance.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=406

I'm from the UK so stores like ebuyer.com, amazon.co.uk, scan.co.uk, overclockers.co.uk and dabs.com are preferable- but I can buy from else where. I wont be buying for more than a month, but I all ways like to do my research. Any thoughts or ideas will be appreciated.

Thanks, Adam


About the best 8800 GPU solution is the D-tek block. Get the big passive heatsink they sell with it to cool RAM, I/O, and your Vreg. http://www.dtekcustoms.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPRO...
August 8, 2007 12:13:46 PM

www.koolance.com seems like a good place to get watercooling stuff. They have an 8800GTS block with a neat SLI adapter. Considering designing a setup from there myself, but I'm looking at at least $400.
August 8, 2007 12:30:00 PM

In an ideal situation, where you intend on cooling more than one major component (i.e. CPU & GPU(s)) it is advisable to have seperate rads for each - especially if you do ANY o'clocking AT ALL. Having seperate rads between each component will allow the heated coolant to be cooled BEFORE it reaches the other part. This will ensure that no one waterblock will have to suffer by having to deal with the heat from a previous block AND the heat from the computer part that it is on.

A typical setup for something like this might be:

reservoir - pump - cpu block - rad - gpu block(s) - rad - back to reservoir

I'd use 2 dual 120mm rads - that's an optimal size - if you o'clock.

Stay away from full body waterblocks for the GPU. I know they cover the memory and vregs and such but they are not condusive to a good flowrate with all the bends and tight turns in their stream. Stick with the core blocks like the D-Tek, Maze4, MCW60 and the Stealth. Use ramsinks for the memory and mosfets. I am especially fond of the Swiftech Stealth because it uses the Apogee CPU design pin matrix and is the only block I know of that covers the ENTIRE GPU core of an 8800 (other than the full body blocks).
August 8, 2007 1:17:55 PM

I know this isn't what you asked, but you might consider getting a Thermalright HR-03 air cooler.

It will cool your GTS very well and will be far cheaper & less hassle / risk than water cooling.
August 8, 2007 1:53:28 PM

What's better for performance a res or a T-line?

I don't mean to scalp this post with my own question, but I figure it might help others.
August 8, 2007 2:19:18 PM

Quoted from Water Cooling Guide The basics

Quote:
Between the reservoir and the T-Line, with identical fitting sizes the T-Line will in fact slightly outperform the reservoir. I should note that the difference is very slight. with a AQX50Z the difference is less than .1gpm when using the same fitting sizes, but if you are want to squeeze every last gpm out of your pump then it is something to think about.
August 8, 2007 2:46:08 PM

T8RR8R said:
What's better for performance a res or a T-line?

I don't mean to scalp this post with my own question, but I figure it might help others.


A reservoir will allow you to have more coolant in the loop. More coolant = less heat (the loop will recycle less often) Better when using high flow pumps Laing D5 (Swiftech MCP655, Danger Den DD12-5, and Koolance PMP-450), Hydor, and Eheim pumps.. Basically anything over 100 GPH. A t-line can also be used for fill and/or drain lines.
The best setup IMO is....Pump>Radiator>CPU>chipset>Radiator>GPU>Reservoir>back to pump. Or you can run seprate loops one for the CPU/chipset and one for the GPU(s)(works better for crossfire / SLI setups). Keep your pump low and your reservoir high, everything else in between...(less air in the line this way and bleeds quicker)

Always test your loop for leaks before powering up your PC for the first time, I let mine run 24 hours min. DO NOT RUN YOUR PUMP DRY no matter what kind you have, many a n00b has damaged or killed their pump doing this. When using high flow/high pressure pumps always use clamps on all fittings those hoses might have gone on tight but will soften up once heat is added to the loop. Also remember to keep your case, radiator, fans... free of dust, dust will degrade your systems performance and could cause even "non-conductive" fluid to become conductive in the event of a leak.


August 8, 2007 3:01:31 PM

aoe said:
Quoted from Water Cooling Guide The basics

Quote:
Between the reservoir and the T-Line, with identical fitting sizes the T-Line will in fact slightly outperform the reservoir. I should note that the difference is very slight. with a AQX50Z the difference is less than .1gpm when using the same fitting sizes, but if you are want to squeeze every last gpm out of your pump then it is something to think about.


Trust me you will get lower temps with a good sized reservoir.
.1 gpm less flow??? Who really cares when you are using pumps that push 5+ gpm through a 1/2" ID line? Think about how many times a minute your coolant is being recycled and you will see my point.
August 8, 2007 5:49:27 PM

Maybe I should have stated that I'm no noob to the water world, just never used a T-line except for a drain since I've always had a res. There wasn't a point in hooking up a T for me since it would only be easier to fill or replace the res which is already easy and works just fine.

Anyway I figured that a T would provide slightly better temps because the water returns to the pump with pressure from the pump, and not just gravity.

ALSO, the more water you can put into a system the more capacity the water will have. Take a small cup of water and boil it in the nuker. Then take a BIG jug of water and try to boil that. It'll take longer for that big jug to get up to temp.

Running things in paralell will usually bring better temps than running things in series too.

I'm sure that if you add all of these things together you may actually reduce your temps by quite a bit, but component selection, ID diameter and flow are still more important than most other things. Above all ambient temps still matter the most.

Oh and one last note. Although puting your rad before your blocks will yield better performance DON'T run your radiator before your water blocks, because the HOT water from your blocks will run to your pump before being cooled. The hotter the pump gets the faster it will wear out, just like anything else. Your rad should be just before your pump or res. Technically it doesn't really matter where a T-line goes but it's always smartest to put it just before your pump.
August 8, 2007 6:51:28 PM

Your fluid is getting recycled 10+ times a minute using a Laing D5 pump (317 GPH -block/rad restrictions) and quart of coolant, not many systems are capable of holding even that much. The coolant temp going into the res and coming out of the res will be within a few degrees F once the system gets up to temp (usually 8 to 15 degrees F above ambiant temps depending on setup) your pump will not wear faster as the temp differance on a properly set up liquid system going into the pump from a block or a rad is small. If your radiator is blowing overly hot air 1-your rad is too small, 2-you do not have enough coolant in your loop, 3-your fan(s) are not pushing enough air, 4- your ambiant temps are too high, or/and 5-your pump does not have enough flow.
The main objective in a coolant loop is to keep your coolant as close to ambiant room temp as possable, unless you are chilling the coolant using "other means" but then condensation is your biggest enemy.
!