I have the Thermaltake Big Water radiator that uses a 120mm fan. I recently added a video card to the circulation which had the Q6600 processor in the line as well. Since I have very limited space in the case as well as on the outside (notably on the back of the case) I had the idea of simply cutting a hole on the top of the PC case and placing the radiator there. This would mean having it sit horizontal instead of its typical up right position. My question is would this pose any kind of problem for the circulation?
You are going to find that the TT bigwater isn't going to cool those components any better than decent air cooling. The TT isn't powerful enough of a pump/rad/block to cool those components. You will technically need a 2x120 rad for the CPU alone with potentially an additional rad for the video card, depending on model.
Well so far the PC has been running at a pretty good temperature with both these devices on it. The CPU (Intel Q6600) has been running between 105-110F according to the temperature probe. The video card runs a little hotter with an average of 115F. This is with full load when playing COD5. I did go ahead and placed the radiator on top the case and noticed a 3-5 degree change for both devices so thats pretty satisfying for me. Oh and I forgot to mention earlier that the only thing I still have from the old TT setup is the radiator. I've replaced the radiator fan, reservoir, CPU block, and pump for the system. This is the only reason the system is running good for me. DO NOT EVER GET ANYTHING ACRYLIC FROM THERMALTAKE!!! Almost everything they gave me was made of this crap and it all cracked within 6 months.
I run my radiator on top, works perfect. Only concern will be filling up the circuit with liquid, because your fill point when the case is standing up right will not be the highest point in the circut. So u'll have to flip/tilt the case around, or move parts after u fill them up, or...some other gravitational trick i don't know of...
^Yeah, a total pain to fill and purge air, since air rises in water (duh) and air will accumulate in your rad, which would lessen the ability to transfer heat from the coolant to the rad to the outside air...which is the entire point of the rad. That TT pump isn't nearly powerful enough to force the air out of the rad, so the bubbles will most likely sit there until you tilt the case in all directions, several times, during the fill/purge process. Good luck, see ya when the TT dies and you need a real WC solution.
Yeah the air bubble problem was a real pain. I had to tilt the case upside down just to force the air out. I don't however have an issue with filling with coolant since I have a fillport and a T-valve both mounted on the top of the case. I just jump the power supply to run the pump and insert the coolant through the fill port while the T-valve releases all the air. Since I have better pump than the old TT setup, I guess there really is no issue with flow then. Anybody got any opinions on the Exos system by any chance? I've been looking at those things for quite a while and I have heard great feedback on them.
No doubt it's important to run cool intake air through the radiator. And normally the vents on top of a case are to let rising hot air out not outside air in, no?
Seems then that you'd want the radiator on the back of the case pulling outside air in and then a fan on top of the case to draw pressure and pull hot air out. Maybe not a huge deal to blow cool air in the top and out the back. Either way, you certainly wouldn't want to exhaust warm air through the radiator though, eh?
My Antec SOLO case has washable air filters on the intake fans and they come in VERY handy. I can't say that I'd be too keen to put a radiator in my case intakes -OR- having a radiator behind dirty air filters. Add pump noise, maintenance and the chance of leaks into the picture and I'm skeptical of watercooling's overall advantages. Good luck to you though!
My only other question would be if it would be better off having the radiator draw air out of the case or in it while on the top of the case? Right now I usually see the temperature hovering around 115F on a full load with the air being drawn out of the case.