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Water Cooling Newbie, please help

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  • Heatsinks
  • Water Cooling
  • Computer
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
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June 13, 2009 6:48:40 AM

Hi, I just installed my first water cooling kit, the 3D Galaxy II, and am a bit dissapointed with the results. At first things seemed to be going great, CPU running at 40c (previous 50c), but after only an hour of running my computer it ramps up to 50c (previous 55c). I found these numbers using speedfan, and ran a computer game for an hour (computer not idle). I was really hoping to be able to overclock my processor by buying this kit, but it doesn't seem like I'm going to be able to pull that off. I was hoping I was doing something wrong and you all could lend your expertise in answering a few questions, or better yet, giving recomendations...

1) Whenever I was installing the waterblock I was having issues holding it in place and I'm unsure if I lost my good thermal paste coat. Is it safe to re-apply the thermal gel without draining the kit? I don't have a second supply of coolant to fill the kit with.

2) The radiator lies matched up with the exhaust fan on the back of my case. Is pushing hot air into the radiator something I want to be doing? Should I be removing that exhaust fan?

3) How important is room temperature for liquid cooling? Unfortunately my computer is situated in the hottest room in the house. I'd prefer not to move it, but definitely will if it will improve performance by a considerable amount.


I'm sure at this point you guys are wondering what my spec's are, so without further wait...

Gigabyte Triton 180 Case
AMD Phenom4 9950be CPU
nForce 720a Motherboard
GeForce GTX 260 GPU
Corsair ATX12V 520w Power Source
4 Kingston HyperX 1GB 240-pin DDR SDRAM DDR2 800


What can I do? I can't return the kit so I need to make best with what I got. Should I be looking into getting a case with better air flow? Should I upgrade the radiator? The only thing I need to be looking for is a copper radiator if I so wished to do that right? Anything that I'm not aware of?

Any help would be greatly appriciated, I'm rather new to this...

More about : water cooling newbie

June 14, 2009 8:54:36 PM

1. yes it is safe to remove the CPU block and reapply thermal compound, which one are you using?
2. Pushing warm air will hinder the performance of the radiator but it should only make a degree or 2 difference. You might consider modding an exhaust vent into the top of the case to allow hot air to escape.
3. Room temp makes a difference but the system you have is decent and should give you CPU temps of 5 to 10 degrees above ambient.

I looked at a review of the Galaxy system and they mentioned getting barely enough coolant. Is your system full? did you remove all the air? If you need more coolant you can just add some distilled water to what you have to top it off.
a b K Overclocking
June 14, 2009 9:17:57 PM

I like Aush's suggestions. All your components seem good except that motherboard, I am not familiar with it but doesn't sound like an overclocker.

What kind of northbridge/southbridge cooling? Cheap heatsink? This can have an effect on your cpu temp.

First I would try reseating the water block. Its a pain but it is the least expensive solution. I shouldn't think its necessary to drain, the water block is sealed and it shouldn't affect other components. May as well pick up another bottle or two of coolant solution, you're gonna need it anyway.

You should be getting lower temps, but don't be surprised if the cooling doesn't blow you away. Many of the top of the line air coolers still perform better than a lot of water cooling systems. I find mostly that my core temps benefit the most from water cooling, as opposed to ambient.
Also, look at your case cooling.
Anyway try to reseat and gl.
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June 14, 2009 9:38:43 PM

Reseating block with better Thermal Paste. That would be the first thing ill try.

If the Radiator is at the exhaust of the case, its sure that your temps are going to be higher by the temp of the inside of your case
a b K Overclocking
June 14, 2009 11:03:44 PM

@OP: One way or another, that kit is a cheap kit (...waiting for Conumdrum/rubix to chime in....).

Here are a few things wrong with this kit:
1. It uses a Copper CPU block and a Aluminium rad. This results in corrosion. This SHOULD NOT have been the case. The manufactures should have known better.

2. The pump and the rad are too small.

3. It's not much better than air cooling (stock cooling at that) to start with:
http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/gigabyte_3d_galaxyII_l...
I bet a TRUE 120, XIGMATEK S1283, V8, with a good fan would have been able to beat that kit. Load temps (at full fan speed pn the Galaxy) was only 11C cooler than stock. Putting in GPU cooling to that Galaxy kit is a joke.

=========
@OP: You could have built a very good loop for cooling the CPU for ~$220-250 that would also enable future upgrades(GPU cooling,etc). Assuming the price for that kit was $150 you would have only spent $50-60 more for a MUCH better product. Also, I'm getting the $220-250 range by using very good quality, top of the line stuff (ie GTZ, D5,etc). As for a kit that uses high quality parts: http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/swh2edukit.html
Swiftech Apex $260

June 15, 2009 2:07:15 AM

Shadow, I agree but at this point there isn't any use telling him what he could have done. That Swiftech kit is the first that would have come to mind though but I also think the pump in it is kind of weak if you want to start adding blocks to the loop. That said I did look at some reviews of the system and they all seemed pretty good with the exception that they give you very little coolant and installation is more complicated than it needs to be.
a c 337 K Overclocking
June 15, 2009 2:34:46 PM

Quote:
I just installed my first water cooling kit, the 3D Galaxy II, and am a bit dissapointed with the results.


This is exactly the reason we try to tell people to stay away from kits like these...very poor performers.

(Thanks Shadow, I usually try to provide introduction for you and Conumdrum if I see a reply coming in your near future, as well :)  )

A couple of questions to help you as much as we can...which isn't going to be much.

How big is the radiator that came with that kit? (typically, how many 120mm fans can fit on it?) This doesn't mean a giant rad is going to do well, there are many factors that influence how well a rad performs...and typically, those boxed sets have junky rads.

I am not sure why you continued with install if you encountered problems and were uncertain about the mount?? You can just pull the cooler off and reapply paste, but it's likely not the paste, but the actual mount of the cooler...unless you just applied wayyyyyyyyy too much paste.
a b K Overclocking
June 15, 2009 4:48:46 PM

^The rad is only 120mm.
Quote:
Radiator: Dimensions / 125 x 197 x 64 mm. Material / Aluminum.

http://www.directron.com/ghwiu02.html
AND it's ALUMINUM! Al + Cu = Galvanic corrosion if using distilled water. My guess is that's why the provided you with coolant. The coolant could also be hindering performance (due to anti corrosion stuff in it,etc).

Like Rubix said replacing rad would be the first step, then the block and then the pump in that order.
June 15, 2009 5:02:56 PM

its like replacing everything ;) 
a b K Overclocking
June 15, 2009 5:14:39 PM

^Yeah, more or less. Btw, what's the specs for your WCed system listed in the sig?
a c 337 K Overclocking
June 15, 2009 5:50:26 PM

Quote:
Like Rubix said replacing rad would be the first step, then the block and then the pump in that order


I recommend all the above at the same time, including tubing. :) 

"Hey, that means scrapping my entire Galaxy water loop!"

"Exactly".

There is no way in hell that water cooler is going to cool anything except maybe a chipset or something. Maybe an old P3 or single threaded P4...if you are lucky. Even those got somewhat hot.
a b K Overclocking
June 15, 2009 6:38:29 PM

^lol @ the P4. Some of those P4/PD "Presshot" are about as hot running (if not more) as an i7 when OCed.
a c 337 K Overclocking
June 15, 2009 6:44:36 PM

No joke...those old Dual core 8xx/9xxD P4's were hot, heaping piles of junk. The Core 2's made those look like chump change.
June 15, 2009 10:38:16 PM

Apogee GT - mcp655 - mcr 220 - mcres

Alone with the Q9550 its enough. I can let Prime run for hours and it never go far above 50. Gaming temp are 34-42 depand on the game.
June 16, 2009 7:00:47 PM

Just wanted to drop in and say thank you for all the feedback. Really kicking myself for not doing enough research. Anways, I'm now running at 45c (7c difference) due to the following changes...

I reset the cooling block using dynex's silver thermal compound, I realize its not the best, but its the only option locally. Would buying a top of the line paste online make a big difference? If so what would you recommend.

I moved the exhaust fan from the back of the case to the side. The temp in the case isn't much higher with the poor positioning. I can't help but feel like my case has poor air flow since the temp didn't change. I should probably upgrade to a larger, well ventilated case correct? I've spent more than I wanted to of my tax return, so I won't be picking this up right away, but I was looking around at a few coolmaster cases that looked appealing. Any thoughts on a cost efficient solution?

The other thing I did was crank the radiator fan up to max. I feel like I'm stuck in an air plane while playing on my computer, which to no one's suprise is incredibly annoying. When looking to upgrade my kit, what should I be upgrading first, the radiator? I can deal with the noise if I have to, but wouldn't mind getting rid of it. If I switch out the radiator to copper (to match the waterblock), will I get an additional cooling boost by using a normal cooling solution instead of the anti-corrosion solution supplied by Gigabyte?

This weekend when I have more spare time I figured I'd mess around with OC'ing my CPU slightly. My goal should be keeping a stable configuration under 50c correct?


Oh and I personally had enough cooling to fill my tank to the brim, but I could see issues if you were to use all of the tubing.
a c 337 K Overclocking
June 16, 2009 8:11:37 PM

You will see a difference with a larger radiator, yes. You start to run into problems whether or not that pump can push your coolant/water through it or have it burn up trying. Even if you keep the same flow rate, you should see a pretty good difference in temps by giving your coolant more surface area (and hopefully better fans) to cool your system down.

Of course, a better pump and block(s) will do even more to help out, but by then, hopefully that Gigabyte system is in a garage sale or better yet...the trash.
a b K Overclocking
June 16, 2009 8:15:36 PM

Quote:
When looking to upgrade my kit, what should I be upgrading first, the radiator?

Save yourself the money first and build a new loop from scratch.
Quote:
If I switch out the radiator to copper (to match the waterblock), will I get an additional cooling boost by using a normal cooling solution instead of the anti-corrosion solution supplied by Gigabyte?

May be. But I doubt it would be much (max up to 6C). The first thing to go would be the pump (after the rad), as it's only ~1.8 gallons per minute. Compare that to a D5 which provides ~5 gallons per minute.

Like I said before, save some money and build a new water cooling set up from scratch.
a c 337 K Overclocking
June 16, 2009 8:20:11 PM

^ Prob the best advice. Don't nickel and dime yourself trying to make the change piece by piece because you aren't going to see beneficial results with one component running with the original galaxy kit. Besides, that gives you time to research what you need, scope out the good WC selling sites and wait for sales on the components you want.
!