Having spent a few weeks reading around and trying to figure out a basis for a new build I've come up with some questions...
The design is for a machine that will reside in the living room connected to the LCD TV, it's main function will be for playing films (HD), secondary will be gaming and photo editting (large 15MP RAW files). Due to it's location quietness and neatness is essential. Everything must be internal and look sleek and stylish!
Long term the design is aimed at keeping case, cooling and as long as possible PSU constant through several rebuilds over many years.
I've decided on liquid cooling to keep the noise level low rather than to allow big OCing.
LianLi V1110 case (black) - review
black ice GT stelth 420 radiator
laing d5 pump
Danger Den Dual 5 1/4" Bay Reservoir - pump and res to be mounted in top two 5.25 bays.
Blocks - I'll decide on these once I've decided on the hardware! Safe to say that a I7 processor, ausu P6T and GeForce 250/260 will be part of it.
OK then, questions:
1) Radiator mounting - the obvious place is along the top of the case - but I'd like to keep the res as the highest point of the system. I'm thinking of mounting this horizontally just above the PSU/HDD compartment of the case, using the lowest 5.25 bay for access to the rad. Any better ideas for a location?
2) Minimising fans/maximising number of blocks: I'd like to have no fans other than those in the rad, I'm not sure this is possible. I'm resigned to a PSU fan. Would it be enough to have blocks for CPU, GPU, NB and SB (and anything else connected by pipes), RAM and HDD - or is air movement still required through the case? Would the above set of blocks + rad + pump be an OK WC setup, or is more power/radiators required? Is it totally foolish not to have an incoming/exhaust fan on the case?
3) Not really connected to above questions - but I get the message that Koolance are to be avoided, but as yet I've not found a decent reason to why they are so bad. Their website is certainly the easiest to use!
I hope these questions are not annoying ones! I know that n00bs asking siple questions can be irritating but I have been reading around several sites and forums and these questions still remain.
I've spent the last 2 weeks or so reading around various forums and sites, thanks for the list you sent me - it included some new ones I hadn't seen as yet, unfortunately after reading those I still have the same questions. The reason my build is not finalised is that I have a budget to stick to, and want to finalise the long term parts of the setup (case, cooling and PSU) before choosing the short term parts (mobo, ram, cpu, gpu).
I don't wish to be annoying, but at the same time I do need some more help to progress with the build. If you don't want to help that is fine, but setting a time limit before any questions are answered seems a little arbitrary at best.
Okay, good, you have read up. Many don't I'll take a look at your post more after work tonight.
The rad you chose is an old modle and is a very poor performer. read up at Martins on rad testing and at xtreme systems. The DD res is kinda cheesy, been known to leak and not your best choice.
Only cool your CPU/GPU and maybe the NB. Ram and HD is silly, expensive and no performance gain is realized.
Yes you will need case air flow, and good case airflow no matter what.
Koolance has a decent CPU block, the 350 and decent GPU full cover blocks. Ohh and a okay Mobo block setup, but just for one Mobo type. They are getting it right slowly. Their pumps, rads are absolute crap. Dunno where you been reading reviews. Not where I hang out, it's in the links I provided.
Thanks for the reply Conum. Sorry - reread the last post of mine and it may have come across a bit arsey! Not my intention.
Right - I think I'm close to finalising the setup:
Case - Lian Li A20
heat exch - TFC XChanger 480ER
pump - laing d5
res - EK-BAY SPIN Reservoir
cpu - Swiftech Apogee GTZ CPU
graphics - EK FC260 GTX Full Cover
controller - Aqua Aquaero 4.00 USB
mobo N - EK-NB/SB 5
mosfet - EK Mosfet ASUS X58 KIT
Fans - Scythe Slipstream 1900
Still not sure how to mount such a large rad below the res on the A20. Definately going to have to be on the side of the case, perhaps removing the PCI fan from the case may give just enough room to mount horizontally. I'd like the rad to be as flush with the exterior as possible - I don't want it looking a botch job.
I plan to stick the res in the top 5.25 bay, with the pump in the HD/PSU area of the case, should ensure a nice head of water supplying the pump. Also think I'll go for the 3/8ID tubing.
On top of the above I'll have two exhaust fans in the case, with incoming air provided by the rad and a front fan supplying HDD. PSU will have it's stock cooling. Hopefully I'll be able to run all fans at a super slow speed.
On the blocks side of things, will I have too much impingment for my system? I plan to run them in two parrallel loops, CPU and NB blocks with a seperate GPU and mosfet loop. Also - looking at the asus p6t, there is a heat pipe running from the NB, hopefully the blocks I use will cover this - not managed to find a ready made block for the mobo as yet (I found one but it doesn't seem to be available anywhere).
The controller is a bit pricey - but if I'm spending £££ on a system I want to make sure it is properly monitored and safeguarded! Any ideas on better models?
^Good CPU block, pump, case. Imo, it's not worth it to spend money on the Northbridge , MOSFET cooling (most NB/MOSFETs are already passivly cooled, ant that should be enough), save that money and put it toward another rad,etc.
If you haven't already read the fan reviews over at SilentPC I highly recommend you do that (see: http://www.silentpcreview.com/ )
Also mind listing full specs of the PC? (ie CPU, board,etc). Also what tubing do you plan to use? Many overlook this and it can affect performance quite a bit.
Northbridge is fine to WC (I have a DD block if you are interested ), but like Shadow said, it's not necessary and the money spent is better used elsewhere. Don't waste your time with MOSFETS, RAM, etc...DDR2/DDR3 runs pretty cool as it is and your MOSFETS typically are cooled well enough with the coolers that come with them, as long as there is airflow for the coolers. (watercooling doesn't mean you don't need any fans). Remember, the more components, the more your flowrate will suffer, especially chipset or RAM blocks.
The full specs of the system are below, ordered from lowest to highest priced item.
OPTICAL NIL - using DVDRW I own already
SOUND NIL - mobo
CARD READER - Icy Box 5,25in 50-in-1 Multi Card Reader / Writer
WINDOWS - Vista 64bit home premium
HDD 1 - 1TB Western Digital WD1001FALS Caviar Black
HDD 2 - 1TB Western Digital WD1001FALS Caviar Black (only if within budget)
RAM - Corsair® 6GB DDR3 1600MHz 3x240 DIMM Unbuffered 8-8-8-24
POWER - OCZ EliteXStream 1000w Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Power Supply (I know it's overkill for the moment, but I want to keep this PSU for years and year!)
MOBO - ASUS P6T
GRAPHICS - BFG GTX 260 OC MAXCORE 896MB GDDR3 + space and power for another when needed.
CASE - see above
CPU - Intel i7 920 2.66Ghz LGA1366 Processor
COOLING - see above
I plan to use 3/8" tygon tubing. Not fussed about it looking nice as the case will be enclosed. Going to use compression fittings. Ditching the Mobo blocks makes sense now I realise I can't loose all non-rad case fans.
I only plan some very mild overclocking to squeeze a little more performance with a rock hard stable system.
How about mounting that rad on the side of the case?
Pretty solid setup. You know about the C0 and D0 stepping on the 920? Do your best to get a D0, even if you pay $20 more or so. It overclocks at lower volts much better.
I'd seen some of the pics on that link - some fairly impressively neat setups - I expect mine to look a whole lot messier (thus why I'm not using a windowed case!). The D0 is a given, definately worth the $20 - (or about 350000GBP, now roughly worth the same as a Zim dollar).
I hope I can get the whole lot for about 1500GBP (before sales tax)...