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Last response: in Overclocking
August 10, 2009 6:29:49 PM

I have looked through the forums and all over the internet but I wanted some opinions. If I wanted to watercool the GPU's and CPU what would be the basic setup and what parts would you use? My budget is 400$ cooling system.

Thanks in advance!

More about : water cooling

a b K Overclocking
August 10, 2009 6:32:17 PM

What components are you trying to cool?

Here is some info that i quoted from conundrum.

Conumdrum said:

CPU HS $65
GPU HS and air HS for vram and mosfets $95, full cover block, $100-$200
Radiator $60 min, up to $130
Pump $50 +
Resiviour $25
Hose, some barbs and clamps etc (min $25, more like $35)
Fans $15-30

I went top notch and spent close to $600 to cool my CPU and GPU.
First you gotta learn about WC. It's not like walking into Best Buy.
Spend a while (weeks is best for your sanity) at these links.
Look at the hundreds of loops close to your case and components in the stickies, read a couple 50 or so threads over the next week or so, you'll be on the ball to make the right choices and by then know how to put it together.
Not 'Roket Sience', but basic knowledge is required.
And you should spend a few hours on the listed sites reading threads. It's how we learn. Once the goodies show up on your doorstep your on your own.
For your benefit please spend a few days reading a LOT. At the busiest places for WC masters. Guys who have done it for YEARS at OC Forums and xtreme forums. It took me a while (I was OCing on air, aftermarket stuff, bios settings, best chipsets etc etc) to learn the language and the tricks to a easy install.

Don't expect miracles or SUPER DOOPER over clocks. What you will get is a quiet system that can handle OC to the max of your hardware IF you buy quality and buy smart. And minor maintenance too, a bonus for the water cooler.

Also while there please read on case mods etc. The radiators are not for small cases, pumps and hose routing, wire management and other things are important. Google your planned case and the word water-cooled in one line. You might get lucky. Look here too….
Edit: The next paragraph was from 2008. With the advent of the HOT i7 and bigger GPU's, it has changed. A 220 size MIN rad for an i7, you want big overclocks, better go 320 sized rad.

IF you just cool your CPU and your NB if you want, you can get by with a 120.2 sized radiator (RAD). And MAYBE fit in inside depending on your mod skillz. You want to cool your GPU too, you'll need a 120.3 sized rad, and it probably won't fit inside. The rear external rad really works great. No matter what your adding 10lbs to your PC.

Once you got an idea of what is good/bad then start getting your system for WC put together and we'll be glad to help.
Cleaning a loop, not a new loop: I do this once a year, I drain and refill at 6 months, the next time I do this……
Wash hands very well, getting rid of hand oils.
For pumps and blocks, fittings, clamps, acrylic res/block parts.... not hose, tear it to smallest pieces, put in a bowl, heat water up not to boiling add 10% vinegar, when hot, pour over parts. Rinse in 10 min or so. Put aside.
The bocks will probably have some black oxidation. Take the copper parts out of the pile of parts you took out of the water. Dry well and pour ketchup on them, and set aside. Only the copper parts need this.
Rad cleaning: fill with very almost boiling hot water. Let sit 10 minutes, drain half out and shake for 5 min. Repeat till liquid is clean.
All the pump, block, fittings, and clamps, inspect, get in the tiniest corners with a tooth brush. Kind of meditative, time consuming, you learn a lot about o-ring size, how it all feels. Run a rag using a coat hanger and dish soap through the tubing, rinse well.
Rinse all the parts and hose with distilled, dry then really dry with an air compressor (nice extra step to get rid of water spots). Don’t need to dry the inside of the hose.
Now on to the copper parts, they should have been soaking an hour or two. A toothbrush and ketchup should clean much of the oxidation. It probably won’t be like new, but pretty darn good. Rinse, dry, and blow the parts.
That’s it.
Benching software and such is very varied. I use these for each purpose:
These are pretty standard and used by many.
Monitoring the PC temps overall: HWmonitor aka hardware monitor
CPUZ for CPU info
GPUZ for GPU info
CPU only: RealTemp
GPU only: ATI Tool, I have a Nivida GTX280, so it works on Nvidia

Loading/benching tools:
CPU loaders: Prime95 and OCCT
GPU Loaders: ATI Tool and the best one is Furmark, nothing pushes the GPU harder right now.
Benching for overall graphics/gaming performance is 3DMark06
Guides Pretty up to date info and buying guide
 verclocking-and-cooling&Itemid=86" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> Another good guide What to do once all the stuff is in the door Many build logs on MANY cases, great learning tool.

My latest rig:

Forums Not a noob site, but great stickies My fav, good peeps, know their stuff, less hardcore [...] opic=20277 A GREAT Europe site Decent site

Tests on equipment, not reviews, truly scientific tests [...] n&ie=UTF-8 Info on rad testing More rad testing Host for Martins lab and some newer tests Test results, very technical


August 10, 2009 7:22:34 PM

CPU and GPU's
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a b K Overclocking
August 10, 2009 8:22:54 PM

can you specify WHAT cpu and gpu?
August 10, 2009 8:23:42 PM

Water Cooling = waste of time and opinion.
Kinda like those hub caps for your car that keep spinning after you stop.
a b K Overclocking
August 10, 2009 8:30:00 PM

I agree. I dont understand why some people spend so much on a WC setup when they could get negative temps with a phase change for the same price.
August 10, 2009 9:25:49 PM

i7 920 (I am using a Cogage True Spirit right now and have not done any overclocking)

GPU Was the main thing, sorry about not saying which ones:

EVGA GTX 260 Superclocked core 216 X2 (SLI)

This is a brand new system and have not done any overclocking but just want to go ahead and take care of everything in the beginning.
a b K Overclocking
August 10, 2009 9:41:57 PM

well read my post before and get some ideas of what you want.

We tend NOT to make peoples "shopping cart" here on toms but more educate you and prod you in the right direction.

So make a list of what you want and we will be happy to say what is good and what sucks.
August 10, 2009 9:52:12 PM

What did you cool your 9800 gx2 with on air, just stock?

I have a 9800 gx2 in my second rig.

I found this:

thermalright hr-03 gtx version

But I do not think it will work with having cards SLI'd (It will not fit?)
a b K Overclocking
August 10, 2009 10:07:20 PM

does that fit a gx2?

Ive been looking for a cooler that will fit it.
August 10, 2009 10:12:22 PM

I don't believe so, that is for the GTX Series. I have 2 GTX 260's in the main rig and a 9800 gx2 in the second rig. I was looking too because I was having overheating issues and a bunch of random issues. I RMA'd the card Thursday. The top DVI did not work, it would lose all settings when booting into windows, and I would have to do the startup process twice to get video. It never worked the first time so I had to shut down and restart and it would work. I did not overclock it or anything and its in aa antec 900 case so I dunno.
a b K Overclocking
August 10, 2009 10:22:01 PM

Those cards fill up with dust really easily.

Before i clean them out the card will idle at 85c

Then i open it up clean it all out blow the dust out replace the thermal paste and the card will idle at 55c.

I do that every 3 months.
August 10, 2009 10:28:08 PM

overshocked said:
Those cards fill up with dust really easily.

Before i clean them out the card will idle at 85c

Then i open it up clean it all out blow the dust out replace the thermal paste and the card will idle at 55c.

I do that every 3 months.

Ahh ok, I will just blow the cards out and see if that helps. Thanks a bunch man!

Water cooling was more a future question, as I am fine on Air right now.
August 11, 2009 12:12:24 AM

Not to long ago a buddy of mine was cooling his gpu with water had a leak ruined 2 4870x2's and i guess by removing the manufactures cooling solution voided his warrenty so thats something to keep in mind warrenty.. I would much rather the card burn up and me send it back for a new one
a c 466 K Overclocking
August 11, 2009 1:39:27 PM

eVGA will RMA any card as long as it has all retail cooling re-attached. I have sent back 2-3 cards that have died on me that had water blocks on them...not due to WC, but other things like lightning and PSU failure.