i'm using the Thermaltake BigWater to cool an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9470 and 2 ATI Radeon 3870's. Its been working great and even with max overclocking, then systems temp remains well below air-cooled levels.
I bought the Video water blocks from Koolance. They're great quality and VERY easy to intsall, just expensive.
I thought about cooling the northbridge and southbridge chipsets, but I figured it would be too expensive for the payoff. Most performance motherboards are going to come with great chipset cooling already. The motherboard i chose was an ABIT Quad-GT
I would go with a t-line instead of a reservoir. Less hassle when filling and draining.
Use thick walled tubing for less kinking, and worm drive hose clamps. The plastic clamps aren't strong enough when you have high pressure pumps.
Yes, yes and yes. T-line is great, trust me. Get good tubing and the worm drive clamps...you will be happy you did. Zip ties and those junky plastic ones are a leak waiting to happen.
Do it yourself...don't get a kit. You will realize that once you get going, you will want this or that and most of those kits don't allow much upgrade due to heat load or pump ability.
CPU + northbridge, you can get away with a single 120mm with a GOOD fan; recommend a 2x120mm with good fans. You can add on a GPU (prob only one, though) with the same setup (2x120)...but also with GOOD fans. Think of adding either a second 120mm radiator or going with a 3x120 with good fans. Also, consider at least 3/8" ID tubing...1/2" would be nicer and would allow higher flow rates.
I have a DangerDen TDX on a Q6600, a DD northbridge block, a Swiftech MCW60 and a DD 12v pump. 2x120 BlackIce rad. and a 5.25 bay res. My q6600 never peaks above 45c @3.425 and the 8800gts 640mb runs at 715mhz, sits at about 43c at load. Idle, both sit at about 38/40c depending on room temp.
What crappy kits are you refering to APieceOfCheese?
Don't buy cheap worm drive hose clamps buy high quality compression fittings. Make sure you run the system for a few hours to work out the air bubbles and to check for leaks before you power up your computer.
The Koolance EXOS-2 LX is an excellent system, being outside of your case gives you plenty of room to run all your hoses inside of the case. As well as giving you the quick disconnects to remove it from your computer to help move it around. Once all those tubes are filled with coolent it can make for a heavy unit.
I looked at Thermaltakes watercooling kits before buying my Koolance system and read far too many reviews about them leaking and plastic parts breaking. Last thing I wanted to worry about was a coolent leak. Cirdecus is the first person I have heard from that actaully likes his Thermaltake unit.
Also you don't need a high pressure pump, you need a high flow pump. There is a difference. Would also recommend you get a flow meter.
I would assume he means those '5.25 bay all-in-one' kits. Ones that have the res/pump/heat exchanger in a single unit and small diameter tubing to a single CPU block. If the 'kit' is under $150, I question the quality. You can easily buy individual components for a little more for vastly better performance. Even those Swiftech kits are far better than a 'bay' kit.
43c at load, seems kinda high to me. With my Koolance system my X2 6400+ never tops out above 35c under load and idles at 25c. One system running from Koolance unit to CPU then to Memory down to GPU and then back to the Koolance unit. This and I game for hours on end and the 6400 is well know for being a hot cpu.
I will agree with you rubix anything under $150 would be questionable.
The kits I was talking about are the all-in-one bay kits and anything with cheapo-looking plastic parts.
Steel worm-drive hose clamps are way cheaper than compression fittings and work excellently. I bought 12 clamps for about $9 at the auto parts store. 12 1/2in compression fittings from koolance would cost $7 a fitting from frozencpu. 7x12 = $84 without shipping.
Basic physics. Assuming temperature is constant a higher flow pump creates a higher velocity stream of water. Which means when the stream of water is impeded by a waterblock or bend in the line it imparts a greater force (pressure) to the face of the block, hose, or fitting.
I think my TDX block is to blame for that...I have seen some better temps from Apogee blocks. I think the quad at 3.425 is pushing this block's thermal transfer ability a little. The GPU does seem a little warm at idle...maybe I am way off on it. I honestly haven't monitored its temps for a while now...they used to be pretty cool when the A/C was running, but that was nVidia's temps...33c or so. I have only been keeping track of the CPU with CoreTemp...it stays pretty consistent, but I'd like for it to come down. Fans are old as well...might be time to get some high-flow fans.
Worm clamps= cheap and have never let me down (yet) Plus, they come in 100's of sizes!
I have also learned, spend a few more bucks, get good tubing...it makes life easier. Yes, cheap-o tubing from the hardware store works, but it doesn't bend as well as flex tubing. Still, it all works the same.
I haven't watercooled my RAM at this point...but it doesn't seem the heatspreaders on my OCZ 1066 get hot anyway. They seem to be happy whatever (can't remember) FSB is set at.
Yes on the good tubing. I get a 10ft roll from Home Depot, Tygon brand, 1/2in inner dia. 3/4in outer dia. Nice and thick. No kinking. It's the only stuff I've used so there may be something better out there but this stuff works just fine for me.
Rubix, 43c load is just fine. If it's been a while since you cleaned your loop you might have a little algae buildup that is preventing the water from making good contact with the metal. Or maybe the ambient temp is higher. I have a tdx block and in the summer the load is around 40-42c on a 3600+ x2 at 3.2ghz 1.38vcore.
I'm pretty sure ambient is a little higher; my wife hates the cold, so she cranks the heat in the winter. I have been to a couple LANs where they have the A/C blasting and I see much better temps...so I'm not too concerned. It's been about 9 months since I have changed my coolant, so it's about time for a flush, anyway.
I hate to admit this, but I think I have crappy fans on my 2x120. Prob 1/2 my problem.
Yes I would question any of those kits you posted links to rubix and also would agree with APieceOfCheese on any kit using plastic parts.
I have seen automotive hose clamps break in the past but not in computer watercooling systems. The quality on the of the worm clamps also depends on who supplys them, I have see some strip before they get tight. But then I worked for years in a machine building enviroment and saw the benifits of compression fitings and like the re-usability of them and they look cleaner, but those all delt with pressures your never going to see in a watercooling system.
Also I use anti kinking springs on any tubing that may be questionable due to bending.
Alot of what you "might should" do will depend on your approach to o'clocking - especially when considering if you are going to add waterblocks for things like the northbridge or southbridge. I actually think that a sounthbridge waterblock is not necessary under any conditions really as the southbridge pretty much just deals with the raid/IDE/SATA aspects and while it may generate some heat, it will never be so much that a good heatsink and proper airflow in your case can't handle.
The only reason to add a northbridge waterblock, really, is if you aggressively o'clock. I mean, if you o'clock your CPU, GPU's, RAM and adjust your votages. The Northbridge, typically, controls memory functions like – a memory controller (for Intel Chipsets), a level 2 cache communicator and bridges the gap between the CPU and Ram – it also handles functions between the CPU and the graphics processor on the PCI, AGP and PCIe slots. Since this particular part is always busy it can generate quite a lot of heat. If you mildly o'clock than a decent HSF combo, some good cable management and airflow would suffice.
Now, if you don't o'clock at all than you could get by with a single rad - but, iun a two PCB video setup and a CPU - that rad needs to be a triple 120mm. Now, if you do any sort of o'clocking - even mildly - than you should consider that, in a single rad cooling solution, some components are going to have to deal with the heat they generate and the heat from the other components. So, if your CPU is first in line than the heat from it will compound with the heat from the first gpu. The second GPU will then have to deal with the heat from the CPU and the GPU before it. So, in this scenario you might consider a dual rad setup where the CPU gets one rad and the other is reserved for the dual PCB video configuration.
Well there are a lot of boards out on the market that to watercool the northbridge or southbridge you would also need to do something to cool the MOSFET's as well. Most new systems use the heatpipe system to cool all of these at once, to remove the heatpipe would leave all these area's to be addressed.
So, if your CPU is first in line than the heat from it will compound with the heat from the first gpu. The second GPU will then have to deal with the heat from the CPU and the GPU before it.
I have actually tried this and it makes minimal difference; maybe 1C if you run through your GPU first, then CPU ->NB. There is so much flow that your temps really don't manage to get very high to effect the next chip in the loop. The thermal capacity that the copper blocks pull off the chips vs. the thermal capacity that water can carry is quite impressive, which is why even under load, you don't see a large spike in temps. If anything, your entire system would rise 1-2C over time vs. 1 component being much hotter than the other. You are always going to be limited by your heat exchanger's (radiator) ability to expell the heat from the coolant anyway, which is why quality components perform much better.