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Wanting to Switch to Water Cooling

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  • Heatsinks
  • Water Cooling
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August 13, 2008 6:46:01 AM

Well after some thought and actualy having the money in hand im wanting to switch to water cooling. I plan on water cooling my CPU along with 2 8800gt ( and want something prefferably quiet and will cool a e8400 oced nicely. I want to try to run this all in my case (antec 900) considering my computer gets moved around weekly from house to house. Also what is a good non conductive liquid coolant to run in it. Any advice is appriciated

Edit: also would like to keep it around 200ish if posible, but i dont want to sacrifice quailty

More about : wanting switch water cooling

August 13, 2008 8:48:58 AM

Well, it's good to see another acolyte joining the liquid-cooling faithful....

However, the reality of it is that for $200, you are going to severely limit your options. Furthermore, with the quality of the equipment that you'll be getting to cover a CPU and 2 GPUs and keep it under budget means you will be doing little, if any, o'clocking. Its tough enough cooling 1 cpu and 1 gpu with equipment that would be superior to good air cooling components AND it cost less than $300.

This is the one great negative to watercooling - the initial investment is sizable when compared to convection (air) cooling. But, if you want to do it right (which really is the only sensible course) than you know the rules. Mind you, a properly put together cooling loop will produce results that air cooling could never touch but the cost is the nature of the beast.

So, am I correct in assuming that you use your rig for Lan parties or such?

A liquid cooling loop is going to add a few pounds.

Your desire is to keep all the equipment internal right? If that is the case than you're going to probably be limited to a single rad of, say, 2 x 120 for that Antec case. That being said, you should probably spring for the top-of-the-line rads like the Thermochil or Feser brands (and that will run you around $120 or so just for the rad). Honestly, you'll be spending most of that $200 JUST for the waterblocks and accompanying ramsinks (MCW60/Fuzion GFX 2 waterblock for each GPU will necessitate the need for ramsinks - fullbody waterblocks cost considerably more).

As for a good non-conductive coolant. I've been using PC-ICE for over 6 years now and it does as advertised.

Just trying to give you a picture of what you are going to be dealing with....
August 13, 2008 9:11:31 AM

just get all the thermalright heat sinks and noctua fans it will outperform the water cooling allow over clocking and it will be quieter
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a b K Overclocking
August 13, 2008 9:49:35 AM

Like phreejak said, $200 will not cut it for all the components you want to cover.
You can get a decent Swiftech kit for that amount but it will only cover the CPU.

If you want to cover both GPU's you will need to add a pair of GPU waterblocks, a couple sets of RAM sinks and probably another radiator.

It is quite a large investment but a properly setup water loop will keep your system cooler and quieter than air cooling could ever hope to.
a c 337 K Overclocking
August 13, 2008 1:20:50 PM

Quote:
just get all the thermalright heat sinks and noctua fans it will outperform the water cooling allow over clocking and it will be quieter


Really? Given identical hardware specs, I guarantee I could cool a system better than your heatsinks and fans only with a waterloop.
August 13, 2008 1:39:53 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Quote:
just get all the thermalright heat sinks and noctua fans it will outperform the water cooling allow over clocking and it will be quieter


Really? Given identical hardware specs, I guarantee I could cool a system better than your heatsinks and fans only with a waterloop.


Yes, I went from a Tuniq tower and a bunch of fans to an H20 Apex kit and dropped the CPU temp by almost 20C.


a c 337 K Overclocking
August 13, 2008 1:55:05 PM

Nice run you have there...I used that micro res for a while, but didn't like it all that well. I found that it was a pain to mount and I thought it created a lot of turbulence and gurgling. They would be really nice if they had another port at the top to combine with a t-line/fillport...I guess you can tee it right before the intake port, though.

And yes, I agree...you can always cool better than air with the proper water cooling components. It might cost more, but if you don't have the money, maybe you shouldn't complain. Stick to your heatsinks and fans...I will stay with my water, pumps and radiators.

And fans. :) 
August 13, 2008 6:49:11 PM

thanks so much for the info guys, great stuff. and yes preejak me and my friends do get together for small lan parties. with the SLI comment i should restate it id like to go SLI but currently only have 1 8800gt now is it possible to cool that + the CPU? also what exactly are the improvements froms air to liquid (in C)?
August 13, 2008 7:16:59 PM
August 13, 2008 7:19:42 PM

Why do you want do water cool your system?
If it's because of noise, think twice. Instead of the fan placed over your cpu, you'll have pump pushing coolant on your system.
Anyway, my suggestions are:

- tubing: go for swiftech's norprene 3/8"s tubbing. Forget about those ridiculous transparent tubing that shine when exposed to uv light. On top of beeing extremely ugly, they leak over time (if you don't believe me, type intel liquid cooling on google and check what Intel says).
- pump: choose an integrated system, where you have pump and reservoir in the same piece. My suggestion is Koolance's rp1000 system, that takes only one 5 1/4" bay.
- radiator: Koolance is the best again, but any aluminum radiator will do fine (yes, aluminum, not cooper like most people think).
- blocks: swiftech has some very good blocks for cpus. On your gpus, check koolance.
August 13, 2008 7:35:17 PM

the all on one pump/reservoir options are JUNK. the pumps are generally loud and dont push much in the way of gph.

the only thing you should buy from koolance is nothing.

for a pump, i recommend the swiftech mcp655. whisper quiet and it pushes a LOT of water.

as for blocks, i have an alphacool block for my cpu that i picked up for like 20 bucks (clearance sale) and it keeps my q6600 in the high 20's at idle, high 30's to low 40's at full load. my 2900xt has a cooler master block on it and never goes above 52 degrees.

my reservoir is a primochill 240mm rad with 2 thermaltake thunderblade fans. its COPPER and cools really well.

for tubing, i use 1/2" id. the line out of my rad has a y fitting. one side goes to my cpu, other goes to gpu, then the lines out of the blocks are joined together with another y fitting and into the reservoir.

oh, and its also very quiet. the loudest thing in my computer is my 2 thunderblade fans, but those are getting replaced soon anyway.
a c 337 K Overclocking
August 13, 2008 7:41:04 PM

Don't use any of those thermaltake or the coolermaster systems. I've never been a fan of those all-in-one bay systems, even if it says Koolance on the front. They make decent case-top systems, but I question their effectiveness. This pump does make use of a similar style to the MCP355, so it at least a better choice than the other thermaltake and coolermaster systems.

Copper, not aluminum. Yes, many are made of aluminum, but the best have copper fins and tanks.

I am pretty sure that if you use anything but the boxed fan for an Intel chip, you are essentially voiding the warranty, liquid cooling or air cooling aside. Intel can then claim that you used a device that they didn't design for their product.
August 14, 2008 11:17:21 AM

It's amazing to me that some folks who have never water cooled try to give expert opinion on it. I think it's fair to say that most water coolers have experience with air cooling also.

No doubt that a properly sized and installed WC systems can cool better than the top air components could. It WILL cost more. You also have to ask if the greater cooling translates into better performance. For the CPU, probably (could allow for a higher, more stable OC). Is it worth the extra cost? That's a personal decision.
a c 337 K Overclocking
August 14, 2008 2:01:48 PM

Most people that 'have' expert opinions are those who will tell you 'no, don't water will leak on everything' or 'don't waste your money' both of these are biased and incorrect statements, especially depending on their sources.

I've never had a leak or had anything 'get fried'
Yeah it costs more than air cooling, but its very effective, fun can allow you more headroom in OC.

If someone has money to spend on it, who is anyone else to tell them not to?
August 14, 2008 5:19:53 PM

^+1
3rd year of having watercooling, 2nd water rig (was babied into custom cooling from a freezone). No leaks, greats temps, lighter pocket and a BIG smile :sol: .
August 14, 2008 6:00:00 PM

Having never tried it myself, I have a question... :hello: 

The OP wants to cool an E8400 and 2 8800gt cards. Can you do this effectively with just one pump?

Could the highly rated ZALMAN Reserator XT BK Black Reserator do it?: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118032

Or would you need two pumps to do the CPU, Northbridge, and GPU(s)??

Thx. [:thegreatgrapeape:8]
August 14, 2008 6:05:47 PM

You would be highly stretched to add the NB as well, as most NB waterblocks a very restricting. However, any good laing pump can handle this.

I would say no to the ZALMAN reserator XT after seeing the head pressure is only 1.8m at 300LPH, with this setup another pump may help. not sure though if adding a better pump would 'force' the Zalmans pump and cause it to over heat or just aid in the process...
August 14, 2008 6:41:57 PM

DXRick, I am certain that one of the high-end pumps (and I am thinking of the MCP655/D5 Laing here) could power a cooling loop like the one you brought up. Back in the day I used my MCP655 to power a cooling loop that had a CPU waterblock (Apogee GT) and two 7900GTX (Danger Den Fullbody) waterblocks and it did fine then. Of course, that was the last time I ever used a fullbody waterblock on a main rig. Looking back, I would have done better with two MCW60s and ramsinks for the GPUs.
a c 337 K Overclocking
August 14, 2008 6:44:10 PM

Also using a Liang pump; mine is a Swiftech branded MCP655 version.

300 L/hr for that Zalman pump...that's pretty low.

Like Closed_deal mentioned, just investing in a great pump is a far better option. Even the small, MCW355 will do better than the pump in that Zalman.

The 300/400 L/hr pumps in Thermatakes and other 'bay/res/combo units' is the reason they perform sub-par. Would you put a Briggs and Stratton 5hp lawn mower engine in a Ferrari? No.
August 14, 2008 9:33:09 PM

galta said:
Why do you want do water cool your system?
If it's because of noise, think twice. Instead of the fan placed over your cpu, you'll have pump pushing coolant on your system.
Anyway, my suggestions are:

- tubing: go for swiftech's norprene 3/8"s tubbing. Forget about those ridiculous transparent tubing that shine when exposed to uv light. On top of beeing extremely ugly, they leak over time (if you don't believe me, type intel liquid cooling on google and check what Intel says).
- pump: choose an integrated system, where you have pump and reservoir in the same piece. My suggestion is Koolance's rp1000 system, that takes only one 5 1/4" bay.
- radiator: Koolance is the best again, but any aluminum radiator will do fine (yes, aluminum, not cooper like most people think).
- blocks: swiftech has some very good blocks for cpus. On your gpus, check koolance.


First off any tubing will leak over time. But better tubing such as Tygon or Masterkleer will take longer to leak than neoprene (which will age an crack fairly quickly when exposed to some coolants).
Secondly never get an integrated res/pump combo they are usually low perfomance pumps and those types of res's have a tendancy to crack and leak.
Thirdly never mix copper and aluminum in the same loop. You will end up with galvanic corrosion if you do so. When it comes to radiations get ones that are either brass or copper if you are going to use copper water blocks.
Finally there are some decent water block manufacturers out there of which Swiftech is one. Another one which makes very good water blocks for both cpu's and gpu's is Dangerden. Plus unlike Koolance which uses aluminum in most of thier block all of the Dangerden blocks are very high purity copper.

One good thing to remember is that the best temps are usually with pure de-ionized water, but it is still a good idea to use some biocide, and something similar to water wetter in the loop too.

Here are a few places you can buy watercooling parts from:
http://www.dangerden.com
http://www.petrastechshop.com
http://www.directron.com

-ouch1
August 15, 2008 5:45:08 PM

DXRick said:
Having never tried it myself, I have a question... :hello: 

The OP wants to cool an E8400 and 2 8800gt cards. Can you do this effectively with just one pump?

Could the highly rated ZALMAN Reserator XT BK Black Reserator do it?: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118032

Or would you need two pumps to do the CPU, Northbridge, and GPU(s)??

Thx. [:thegreatgrapeape:8]


I'm going to answer what I "Think" you may be asking. As stated, with a good pump it's not an issue. However, for a cpu and multiple GPUs many folks recommend dual loops - which requires two pumps (and rads, etc).

A good rule of thumb (I'm paraphrasing Marting of Matin's Liquid Labs) is that for performance WC'ing the major blocks - cpu, gpu - need 1.5 "sections" of radiator - with one "section" being a 120mm slice. For a CPU and two GPUs, that would be 4.5 sections. You'd need some combination of radiator(s) to equal 5x120mm (or more).

For the pump, you need one that can maintian a flow rate through your components at between 1-1.5 GPM (I'd want closer to the 1.5 Figure.) Less is bad and more doesn't add significantly to the cooling. It's okay to have a single loop in this situation if the pump cand flow 1.5 GPM or more and your have 5x120mm rad or more (a 220 and a 360/ a 480 and a 120/ two 360s, etc). Martin has a good Flow Rate Estimator spreadsheet on his website. That would let you know what you couls expect the flow rate to be with given pump(s), blocks, rads, and tubing lenghts:

http://www.martinsliquidlab.com/MartinsFlowRateEstimato...

Of course you could also go with two separate loops but you'd need a second pump, and 360 rad for the GPUs and a 220 rad for the CPU...put red fluid in one and blue in the other and it would look WAY cool!!!
August 15, 2008 6:18:52 PM

So, using water cooling for such a system would require two systems, one for the CPU and NB and another for the two GPUs. It would be expensive and make it difficult to transport the puter.

Might as well stick to air. :p 

Thx! [:mousemonkey]
August 15, 2008 9:25:29 PM

I didn't say it would "require" two systems. I said "you could". You will require lots of radiator space and it will cost more than air. But it will also cool better than air. But if air gets you what you want, thengo with air.
a c 337 K Overclocking
August 16, 2008 1:49:39 PM

^True, and to be honest, you could get by with a single 3x120 and do alright in most cases. A 3x120 and a 2x120 would be better or even 2x120s. I think you would be fine with a MCP655 pump in either of those settings, even with a CPU plus 2 GPU blocks...and even with a NB in there as well.
a c 337 K Overclocking
August 21, 2008 1:24:18 PM

Maybe a bigger pump...good lord...3600 L/hr (950 Gal/hr)...and A/C powered...you know it will have juice! Might be worth a A/C passthrough switch from your PSU or just use another cheap power strip to switch power on to the pump. Wow...that thing pushes some insane volumes of water.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2139/ex-pmp-45/Hydor_SELTZ_L_45_II_Water_Pump_950_GPH.html?tl=g30c107s698

I think I found a new pump...going to have to pick one up at some point... :) 
!