new to watercooling, questions

Im planning on doing a new build and I want to use watercooling this time around.

the parts that I will be watercooling will be:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Socket AM2 65w

XFX Geforce 8600GT XXX edition

The 5200+ comes stock 2.6Ghz, but from what I have read it can be bumped up to 3.0 on air cooling with only a small increase in voltage, so 3.0 on water shouldnt be a problem, I dont plan on going past 3.0 tho.

The 8600GT xxx comes stock o'clocked, but im not a big gamer so I dont plan on pushing this card too hard, the only reason im getting it is because its on rebate right now and I want 1080p output.

With that said I plan on doing a cheap, but decent H20 setup. Here are the parts im considering:

Swiftech Apogee GT cpu block
Swiftech MCW-60 gpu block w/ ramsinks
Swiftech MCRES Micro reservoir

The only things I cannot decide on are the pump and the radiator. Im thinking a dual 120mm rad will do the trick. I dont want to spend alot on the rad, but i dont want to get stuck with one that doesnt remove the heat out of my loop effectively. I plan on mounting it externally with a rear fan bracket. Also, whats the best way to do the fan setup on the rad? Ive seen rads with 2 fans on each side, is this worth it or just overkill for my case?
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  1. Well, you seem to have an idea what your budget is going to center around so asking about the equipment is the next step.

    Choosing a CPU waterblock is going to elicit a number of responses from people who have their favorites. You owe it to yourself to research and develop your own opinion about this component because it should be able to travel with you for future upgrades. Most of the major CPU Waterblocks function within a respectable range of each other.

    Here's a writeup of the Koolance 330 CPU Waterblock that runs a comparison of the major CPU waterblocks (like the Koolance 330, Magicool, D-Tek Fuzion Switech Apeogee GTX and Storm). Hope that helps.

    CPU Waterblock Roundup

    Good choice of GPU waterblock - less restrictive than most and does the job quite well.

    As for pump, you really can't go wring with Swiftechs MCP 655 (Also known as the Laing DD5) or the MCP355. I've been using the same Swiftech 655 in the many variations of my cooling loops over the past 5 years and it still performs like new. It's one of the more powerful 12v pumps out there (317gph, 10+ ft of head).

    Now, since you don't plan on doing any heavy o'clocking, a dual 120 rad will probably do just fine for your purposes.
    What you are describing is a "push-pull" setup with the fans on a rad. It helps to maximize the airflow through the fins of a rad but it isn't for everyone. I have to use it because I am using a TEC Waterblock and it gives off ALOT more heat than an standard o'clocked CPU.

  2. so exactly how does a push-pull setup work? In your case are you pushing air from inside your case,across the rad , and pulling it out into open air, or are you pushing air across the rad and pulling it into the case? Since I dont plan on doing any major ocing can I get by with just 2 fans, if so how should I position them on the rad, pushing or pulling? Also, what type of rad should I use in my case, single pass, or dual pass? Is there any you would recommend for around $50?
  3. As you can see, my rad/fan setup is being held away from my case by a "radbox assembly" which provides the necessary clearance from the case to draw a good enough amount of air. One set of fans pushes the air through the rad and the other set assists by pulling the air - it allows for a greater volume of air to be moved than one set can achieve - thus, a little better perfomrance for the rad at removing heat. I've got 120mm screens on the fans that are pushing air through so that dust does not collect on the fan or in the fins of the rad. I do have to vacuum the screens about once a month though (for dust particles).

    You could probably get by with two fans but make sure that they have a decent cfm rating. It is easy enough to add two more fans if you see that int he future you will need them. That being the case, though, I would put the fans between the radboc assembly and the rad so that if you see that you have to add two more fans in the future, you won't have to take everything apart and can just add them without much trouble.

    In your case you wouldn't want to use single-pass rads. They will work better with the lower CFM fans but they aren't as effective as dual-pass rads. With the dual-pass you can use higher cfm fans and even take advantage of the "push-pull" configuration should you ever decide to.

    For around $50 - $60 you can get some decent performing rads like the Black Ice Xtreme 2 or the Swiftech MCR 220 Dual 120.
  4. wow thanks for the great explaination! I do have one more question tho, and its about additives for my loop. Distilled water + an additive is a safe and effective combo right? Im stuck on which additive to choose, there are so many out there! I dont need an uv reactive junk because I plan on running blue tubing to match my blue led fans ( I have a uv light but im taking it out of my case). I was thinking zerex racing coolant. what do you suggest?
  5. Well, in that department I have always gone a step further than just additives because of the potential for disaster in case of a leak. For the past 5 years I've been using PC ICE non-conductive coolant. It comes in a 32oz bottle for around $20. I can attest to its truth in advertising as there has been an occassion or two where a leak has sprung or I have spilled coolant on an active part and nothing has happened. Now using non-conductive coolants isn't for everyone because it is a bit more expensive but you just can't name a price on peace of mind.

    I've heard good things about Zyrex but on the various product descriptions I could find no place where it mentioned it's anti-algaecide properties. Coolermaster makes a decent product and so does Swiftech (Hydrx).
  6. from what you said, I might go with PC Ice, the non conductive part sounds very nice to me, that way I dont have to worry too much if I spring a leak!
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