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Liquid Cooling Radiator placement?

  • Heatsinks
  • Water Cooling
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
January 9, 2009 12:19:06 PM

Hey, if anyone can give me some helpfull feedback on this- much appreciated!
I'm working on a custom liquid cooling system so I can start overclocking, and I just bought a Swiftech QP 2x120mm Radiator/Reservoir.
I attatched it to the back of my case as you can see in the pics. The only concern I have is that the top part, were the built in reservoir is is mounted somewhat in front of the P/S exhaust fan.

Is this a problem really or not? Its a 680W supply, but doesnt seem like a big affect to me.
Also whats the difference btween placing the pump before the radiator (as in pushing water through it) or after the radiator (as in sucking water from it)? All I have read is that it is beneficial to place it before because you want the coolest water (coming directly from the radiator) going to the components. However how much heat could a 12VDC pump actually add to the coolant that it is moving at such a swift pace?
Here are some more pics of my system. So far I was thinking just of cooling the CPU, ATI Card, and the NB/SB. I was thinking about cooling the HDDs but the affects (appx 3C) just doesnt seem worth it.
Anyways, thanks.

More about : liquid cooling radiator placement

a c 337 K Overclocking
January 9, 2009 12:37:09 PM

Don't cool your hard drives...just keep a fan running over them and you will be fine. Those gigabyte fans you have on there aren't going to push much air...I have some of those on my Aurora case...they don't push hardly any at all...they just look pretty. Get some better fans. You might want to think about getting some standoffs for your radiator so its not sitting right behind your PSU; they put off some decent heat which is going to heat the copper in your rad and cause an increase in temps in your loop. Pull your screws out of the rad, go to the hardware store and find some that are the same size, but longer. Then you should be able to find some spacers that are usually nylon or even metal that would work. Just make sure your screws are long enough...but not too long. 1/4" of stand off would make a decent difference. Or consider getting a radbox...they are kind of ugly though. I made my own standoffs with some skinny PVC tubing...I just sawed off the length I wanted.

If you are planning on cooling your GPU as well, you are going to need either a bigger rad (3x120mm) or add another rad. General rule of thumb is 1.5 x 120mm surface area per 'hot' component. 2x120mm surface area is even better.

You don't need to cool the all. If it has a heatsink on it...its fine., I wouldn't bother with it. I have mine on water, but its just my preference, I doubt it makes that much difference unless you are going for record OC. And based on the pics of your system, you might not get very good OC with 3 sticks of RAM...unless that is an i7 sysem.
January 9, 2009 12:58:56 PM

Yeah, I guess a 1/4 inch of extra spacing is a good way to better the problem. I was thinking of getting one of those Thermaltake 5.25" bay Radiators since I have 4 open bays to use. Does anyone know how well those work? Or maybe 2 or em if need be. I do have a forth stick of RAM, it is just out getting replaced under warranty and I am waiting for it in the mail. I guess the NB/SB isnt that big of a deal since its just a Foxconn P35a-s board and maybe I'll save that money for those wbs to get a better mobo. Also, any input on the pump placement would be helpful, unless it really doesnt matter.
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a c 337 K Overclocking
January 9, 2009 1:14:14 PM

I wouldn't recommend those TT bay rads. #1, they are TT, #2, you would only be exhausting the heat back into your case, #3, they are TT.

Pump placement isn't that big of get 2 sides, before a rad or right after. Either way you are pushing/pulling to the rad anyway. Its like a freight train in a circle that connects the front to the back. Its both pushing and pulling at the same time. I, personally, have mine right after my rads and pushing into my CPU block.

January 9, 2009 2:26:33 PM

Great info, thanks a bunch! Thanks for the pics of your set up too. How'd you do the cutouts and mounts for your two rads on the side? Looks nice. I am thinking I'll just mount another 2x120mm on the top inside and cut out the top of the case and put a grill over it, wopuld this need to put another reservoir above so the rad doesnt accumulate air bubbles? It would be sic to have your setup but have to maintain asthetic appearance (well asthetic in the eyes of the girlfriend), lol. Guess I'll trash the TT idea. Sorry, I have a lot of questions since this is my first liquid cooling system :-)
Also, is one of these swiftech pumps, think its like 300 lph, good enough to pump through both rads?
a c 337 K Overclocking
January 9, 2009 3:05:32 PM

That's the same pump I use...its basically a rebranded Liang can find them about anywhere that sells watercooling stuff. I would say that they are one of the most used pumps out there, especially if you have the room...they are pretty runs my setup fine. A lot of people use the Swiftech MicroRes

You could go that way or there are a few here:

I think you could find some other, generic bay res's if you look around some. As long as you do a good job priming the system (I recommend a T-line right before the pump...see my pic) you can do a pretty good job of keeping air out of the system. Just make sure you run the loop for several hours to A) make sure there aren't leaks and B) bleed the air. Also, look up how to jumper your PSU so that you can power your pump without booting up your system...
January 15, 2009 1:01:39 PM

Okay, so I've taken your advice and invested in some new 120mm fans that have like 75-85 cfm and 20-24db, hopefully these will work better. I also got some spaces to remount my radiator so it is not so close to the p/s exhaust. Anyways been searching forums for an answer to this question and figured I should just ask here. I bought another radiator and some fans and was planning on mounting it on the top of my case (inside of cousre, with a fan filter and neat little grill to put on the top so it looks nice) however I was thinking about it, and since my oterh radiator has the built in res, if this new one is mounted horizontally and higher than the one on the back, will this even work or will there be air in the top radiator unless I use a t-line to fill the system vice the plug on the res/rad combo on the backside? As for the T-line, what type of fitting/thingamabob do I use to plug off the end of that, and should I put a drain piece in or is that a waste of money? Thanks for all the help, should start seeing it coming together in the next few months!
a c 337 K Overclocking
January 15, 2009 2:27:51 PM

Just tilt your case forward and backward for a while during the priming and leak testing phase and it should help force bubbles out. I would find a couple of phone books or something for this, and place them under the front feet at first, the move them under the back feet...and repeat as needed. Also, tilting it back and forth toward the rad fittings helps the air move up and into the lines to move to the reservior area. A T-line right before your pump inlet is a good idea so you can feed the pump during filling...a funnel would be a good idea to help during this. :) 

How'd you do the cutouts and mounts for your two rads on the side?

I drilled mounting holes with standoffs.
February 4, 2009 1:06:25 PM

Okay, been awhile but I've almost got this show on the road, lol! Had one question for you though, before I start gutting and cutting my case. I got one of those Swiftech variable speed pumps like pic above, but already have 3/8" fittings on almost everything, so since that pump has 1/2" barbs, I can just use a reducer (3/8" conversion kit) and should be good right? Anyways, I'll be posting some more pics up after I install the other radiator assembly this weekend.
February 10, 2009 1:35:50 PM

Okay, got the new rad and fans installed, the rest of the suff will be here fedex by friday, but I am having trouble finding instructions on how to jumper this Swiftech MCP-655, the only thing I really see is to buy one of those ATX Power Jumpers for like 2 bucks. BUt then I gotta wait for that in the mail. Do you perhaps know of another method? or give me a hint where to find it?
February 10, 2009 1:42:17 PM

Here are some new pics of the radiator, and fan cutout I did. Ground a little too much on the bottom edge, but looks alright and serves its purpose! The other hole is for my DD fillport.

a c 86 K Overclocking
February 10, 2009 2:28:30 PM

Jumper any black wire to the green wire on the PSU connector, the PSU will turn on.
February 21, 2009 1:58:16 AM

Don't cool the HDD's. It'll take away a little from the rest of the system. But go ahead if you plan on overclocking your hard drives. :) 
a c 86 K Overclocking
February 21, 2009 2:06:05 AM

I overclock my hard drives and they float in a pool of liquid nitrogen encased in a box of unobtanium. It's that important. At least that's what the internet told me to do.

I also have 34 million bottlecaps saved, my preacher told me they are what heaven uses in the soda machines.
a c 337 K Overclocking
February 23, 2009 2:23:38 PM

LOL @ unobtainium. The of the most scientifically incorrect movies of all even contradicts itself. :)  Why is it that there is always a ship with a specific 'lever' that is designed in some self-sacrificing location?
a c 86 K Overclocking
February 23, 2009 3:23:26 PM

The best sci fi movie button was the self destruct sequence in Galaxy Quest. Since the TV show always was able to save the ship before the button was pushed, the aliens desinged it just like the TV show. Stopped at one second.
a c 337 K Overclocking
February 23, 2009 5:09:04 PM

I like on the movie "Snakes on a Plane" when he throws the snake in the microwave, there is a quick-cook button that says 'Snake'.
February 24, 2009 7:13:13 AM

i want to cut out some parts from my case also,

ps: u couldnt find ashtray could u
a c 337 K Overclocking
February 24, 2009 6:35:57 PM

^ Um...ok? You lost me...
a c 86 K Overclocking
February 25, 2009 3:39:34 AM

Cut out the hot parts.

Oh you mean cut holes in the case etc? There are some nice demos on how to do that on YTube.

Ashtray means the ashtray I guess. Translation error?
July 29, 2009 6:24:56 AM

I did see some people cut out the lower bays to mount 2*120 (and bigger) rads there, that's what I might be planning to do if the fans in the front manage to pull enough air.. Wouldn't that allow for a nice difference?
a b K Overclocking
July 29, 2009 4:09:50 PM

September 12, 2009 3:56:39 PM

I have been told that you should always place at least one of the radiator connectors up. Both in this case. Helps avoid having air accumulate inside the radiator.