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How can I air-cool this rig?-Please help

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September 22, 2008 5:50:51 AM

Hi, so I've decided to air cool my setup, because people are telling me to watercool it, it will take $1000 or so. Here's the rig:

Not sure what Mobo yet, but it will probably be a 780i
Quad Core Q9550 2.83ghz (Plan to OC to around 3.3-3.4, nothing too big)
Triple GTX 280 OC edition in SLI (wont need to OC, comes OC'd.)
8GB DDR2-800 or 1066 RAM
300gb velociraptor 10k rpm HDD
1250w PSU

I understand that 3 GTX 280s can bake a cake, so that's why I ask this. The case I am getting will be the biggest I can get thats not over $400, which should be huge. So basically the main question is, what kind of air cooling set up would I need to keep all of this at a good temps? Like how many fans, which one, how powerful etc. I'd like it not to cause a fire when I run crysis on the best possible settings@2560x1600(yes, these GPUs can do it, and because I know somebody will ask, http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-280-sli-tripl...)

Thanks a ton :sol: 

Edit: If aircooling this is impossible, please tell me how I can watercool it and not pay ridiculous amounts of $. But I'd much, MUCH rather prefer air cooling. Noise isn't an issue, as long as it won't muffle out my surround sound.


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September 22, 2008 6:13:42 AM

UltimaSlayerVII said:
Thanks a ton :sol: 


Well bro, why buy 3 of those cards.
I am pretty sure one will satisfy your needs completely.
Waste of money imho.
Not that much gain that it rectifies the price of 3 cards.
More gain with the lesser strong cards, not with top cards.

For the cooling part you can co this air cooled.

Use a decent cpu cooler (I use Scythe Ninja), not the one out of the box and be sure it can be mounted in your box (width).

Just find a good cooled box.
Personally I use the Antec P900, bit noisy but very cool and the possibility of adding a side fan to cool the gpus.

My two cents.

SenseR.
September 22, 2008 3:31:06 PM

Get the Antec 1200 case and some air coolers for the video from Arctic Cooling.
For the CPU get the Arctic cooling Freezer 7 Pro.
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a c 86 K Overclocking
September 22, 2008 4:13:32 PM

I have to step in and say that 3 GTX280's are silly crazy. That said, you will need to buy aftermarket cooling for the 3 cards. The second and third card will not get enough air. You will have to find single slot coolers so you can SLI them, and then you have to still cool the mem on the back of the GPU's, cutting down on the availible space. I don't know of options for that.

So be sure you can even keep them cool before you buy 3 of them.
3 GTX280's is neat but a waste of money IMHO.
a c 86 K Overclocking
September 22, 2008 4:54:48 PM

I just looked all over and there is NO aftermarket cooler out for the card that will allow Tri-SLI. The only Air one on the market...almost released is the Thermalright one. And it's huge and will not allow anything over two cards to be used.

So, do it with stock cooling, crank the fans up and hope they don't thermal throttle.

Or... Go water. What about just water cooling the GPU's and go big air on the CPU? Save $250?
September 23, 2008 12:45:32 AM

Conumdrum said:
I just looked all over and there is NO aftermarket cooler out for the card that will allow Tri-SLI. The only Air one on the market...almost released is the Thermalright one. And it's huge and will not allow anything over two cards to be used.

So, do it with stock cooling, crank the fans up and hope they don't thermal throttle.

Or... Go water. What about just water cooling the GPU's and go big air on the CPU? Save $250?


People told me watercooling for this would cost over $1000... so I kind of HAVE TO go air cooling. First of all, does it really cost THAT much?

2nd, how many fans exactly would I need to cool this rig? Everyone is saying buy X fan or Y fan, but I know for a fact 1 fan will be about as useful as a drop of warm water in a boiling pot.
September 23, 2008 12:48:03 AM

UltimaSlayerVII said:
People told me watercooling for this would cost over $1000... so I kind of HAVE TO go air cooling. First of all, does it really cost THAT much?

2nd, how many fans exactly would I need to cool this rig? Everyone is saying buy X fan or Y fan, but I know for a fact 1 fan will be about as useful as a drop of warm water in a boiling pot.


Btw, theres also these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which look appealing, but that would mean $600 more in total, and plus, I dont think 3 can fit in a mobo...
a c 86 K Overclocking
September 23, 2008 2:14:23 AM

You still need a rad, pump, hoses, fans for those WC EVGA blocks. And I don't know if the blocks are any better than say a DD or XSPC block.

Sooo.... $160 rad, $80 pump, $25-40 hose, $20-50 fans, your still looking at a lotta money.
!