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Need Critiques for New LC Setup

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November 28, 2009 8:08:25 PM

My System:
CPU: i5-750
Mobo: Asus Maximus III Formula
GPU: HD 5970
Case: Coolermaster HAF 932
PSU: Corsair TX850
Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Overclocking:
Despite the capabilities of the motherboard, I do want this system to last for quite a few years, so I don't want to burn everything out by OCing too aggressively. I plan to do some moderate CPU overclocking up front (will stay under the max safe voltage: 1.4V). I will not OC the GPU up front (there will be no need to). Later, as software catches up, I will seek to OC both components more aggressively.

Anticipated LC Loop: Reservoir --> Pump --> 120.3 Radiator --> CPU ---> 120.2 Radiator ---> GPU --> REPEAT
Anticipated Thermal Load: 500W (600W after OCing the GPU)
Target ΔT: 10°C (I do not require an extreme level of cooling)
Noise Requirements: While playing media, would prefer the system to be as silent as possible. While gaming, who cares!

Proposed LC Setup:
Pump: DDC-3.2 with XSPC Top $100
Reservoir: Swiftech MCRES Micro Rev. 2 $26
CPU Block: Swiftech Apogee™ XT Extreme $90
Thermal Gel: ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 $8
GPU Block: A few full-coverage blocks are coming soon. Will budget ~$150 for this.

120.3 Radiator: Swiftech MCR320 $55
PWM Fan Splitter: Rosewill PWM 3-way Splitter $4
120.3 Fans: One Scythe Slipstream PWM & Two Scythe Slipstream 1200 RPM $29

120.2 Radiator: Swiftech MCR220-QP $40
PWM Fan Splitter: FrozenCPU Y-Splitter $7
120.2 Fans: Two Scythe Slipstream PWM $22
Thermal Sensor: Scythe Thermal Sensor Cable 4 Pack $5

Tubing: 10ft 7/16" Tygon R-3603 $30
Barbs: 4x Swiftech High-Flow Fitting (G 1/4" Thread, 1/2" OD) (Pack of 2) $20
----------------------------------------
$586

Looking at these charts from skinneelabs.com, I think the MCR320 gives me the best for my buck in terms of performance for the thermal load I am anticipating:



If extra cooling is needed, I can add another 120.2 or even a 120.1 radiator. Once again, my real goal is low noise for media playing, this is why I went with the expensive Noctua fans. I would like some input on a good fan controller to use. I don't need anything super fancy, but I would like something that I can just trottle down my radiator fans while playing media, etc...

More about : critiques setup

a b à CPUs
a c 86 K Overclocking
November 28, 2009 9:02:02 PM

You should be barely okay, think the fans should scale well. I'm not a big fan of that much heat on one 120x3 rad, maybe your milage will vary. Just have to see. It will run like that, how much of an overclock on the CPU and your VID will impact it somewhat.

You look at the XT block yet? Better temps by a few C over the GTZ. Better pump for noise is the DDC 3.2 with an XSPC top.
Still, a solid setup, should be decent.
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November 29, 2009 3:14:14 AM

Conumdrum said:
You should be barely okay, think the fans should scale well. I'm not a big fan of that much heat on one 120x3 rad, maybe your milage will vary. Just have to see. It will run like that, how much of an overclock on the CPU and your VID will impact it somewhat.

You look at the XT block yet? Better temps by a few C over the GTZ. Better pump for noise is the DDC 3.2 with an XSPC top.
Still, a solid setup, should be decent.


Thanks Conumdrum, I always appreciate your input.

One idea I've been considering is to use a secondary 120.2 radiator between the CPU and GPU, and then stick a pair of Scythe Ultra Kaze - 3000 RPM fans. For media playing, I would rely solely on the 120.3 radiator and the quiet Noctuas, and this should provide plenty of cooling at these lower power demands. The Noctuas at 900 RPM (which is still very quiet) will push more air than these Yate Loons at 1000 RPM (the second highest bar), and that SHOULD still be under 10°C:
.

When under load, I can max out the Noctua fans and then throttle the two Scythes as needed. With a pair of 3,000 RPM fans behind that radiator, I should be absolutely fine in the cooling department. What do you think about putting that radiator between the CPU and GPU?

^Now, the real icing on the cake would be to get a fan controller that can do all of this automatically. Then I would really be a pig in spit. Unfortunately, I'm having a little trouble figuring out the best way to accomplish this.

Thank you for the suggestions, I will look into those changes to the CPU block and pump.


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a b à CPUs
a c 86 K Overclocking
November 29, 2009 4:17:43 AM

Yep, turn off the 220 rad fans when not needed, good idea. Ya should be fine. There are fan controllers that do this very well, the Big NG and another I don't know the name. Over at XS they talk about these once and a while. Might find some good info there.

Your bios might be enough, just use CPU temps to trigger the fans on the 220 sized rad. And if you add a MCR 220, no need for a fancy better rad. And I dn't think you'll need those massive fans either. Good medium or HS fans would be enough. Look at Petras for the classic Yates.
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November 30, 2009 1:32:26 PM


Complete new build will be updated in OP

Conumdrum said:
Your bios might be enough, just use CPU temps to trigger the fans on the 220 sized rad. And if you add a MCR 220, no need for a fancy better rad. And I dn't think you'll need those massive fans either. Good medium or HS fans would be enough. Look at Petras for the classic Yates.


After reading through the mobo manual, here's what I've discovered:

  • The mobo has 8 PWM fan connectors. 1x CPU, 3x Chassis, 3x Optional, and 1x "PWR_FAN" (I can only assume this is for a supplementary PSU fan).
  • The BIOS has temperature monitors for the CPU, PCH, Motherboard, and the optional fan connectors have corresponding thermal sensors (1 sensor per fan). The BIOS also has "kill switches" linked to the PCH and Optional thermal sensors.
  • The CPU fan and the three chassis fans can be set to three different modes in the BIOS: Standard, Silent, and Turbo. Names are self-explanatory.
  • The PWR_FAN can only be set to a static "Duty Mode:" 40% - 100%
  • The three optional fans are controlled directly by their corresponding thermal sensors. There are two settings: "Low Speed Temp" (25-40 C) and "High Speed Temp" (60-90 C). No indication of what they mean by "Low Speed," or if this is a simple two-step control if the speed is gradually increased.
  • From the manual: "The fan connectors support cooling fans of 350 mA - 2000 mA (24W max) or a total of 1A - 7A (84W max) at +12V."

    So here's my new fan control strategy:

  • The three chassis fans in the HAF 932 will be controlled by the chassis fan connectors. BIOS set to "silent" mode. Hopefully these fans will be PWM, if not, I will just manually set them to a quiet setting.
  • The CPU connector will be attached to this Rosewill PWM 3-way splitter: one PWM end ---> Scythe Slip Stream 1300 RPM - PWM, two 3-Pin ends ---> Scythe SY1225SL12M "Slipstream" (1200 RPM). These fans are all quiet, so BIOS can be set accordingly to Silent or Standard depending on temps and noise, etc. This will be for the main 120.3 Radiator.
  • The OPT1 connector will be hooked into a PWM Y-Splitter and connected to two Scythe Slip Stream 1300 RPM - PWM fans. I will use these for the 120.2 radiator. The thermal sensor will be positioned to monitor GPU temp. I will play with the BIOS settings to see if they give satisfactory noise at the "Low Speed Temp" settings. If not, a simple on/off switch will solve that issue.


    Shadow703793 said:
    Usually if you have PWM fans and your motherboard supports it, you should be able to use SpeedFan to adjust temps automatically.

    You may want to take a look at this: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

    Thank you, I will definitely check out that utility. I did look at the NZXT Sentry LX, and it is a great controller; however, after reading up on the BIOS I think I will try to manage things with a cheaper solution and then resort to more expensive solutions as needed.
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    a b à CPUs
    a c 86 K Overclocking
    November 30, 2009 2:01:05 PM

    Look at the Mobo itself. If the fan connector is 4 pin, you NEED a PWM fan to control it. Usually just the CPU fan is PWM. The rest are probably 3 pin.

    You have enough fan connectors I think on the Mobo. You can usually set any fan to monitor any temp the mobo monitors. The Bios should be plenty.

    The wiring going all over your mobo to fans is gonna be a pain though. Fan controller and putting fans in parellel is so much easier. I got a 4 channel manual. 3 fans to a rad on one, another rad with 3 fans, one knob. Two fans to my mosfet fans on a knob, and one knob for one fan for my HDs.

    Only ones I ever have to adjust is my rad fans.

    Your bios won't monitor GPU temps.
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    November 30, 2009 2:03:12 PM

    Conumdrum said:
    Better pump for noise is the DDC 3.2 with an XSPC top.
    Still, a solid setup, should be decent.


    Have you been able to find any info on the DDC 3.25 pump? Any significant advantage that makes it worth the few extra bucks? If so, I can use that same top with it correct?
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    November 30, 2009 2:12:04 PM

    Conumdrum said:
    Look at the Mobo itself. If the fan connector is 4 pin, you NEED a PWM fan to control it. Usually just the CPU fan is PWM. The rest are probably 3 pin.

    You have enough fan connectors I think on the Mobo. You can usually set any fan to monitor any temp the mobo monitors. The Bios should be plenty.

    The wiring going all over your mobo to fans is gonna be a pain though. Fan controller and putting fans in parellel is so much easier. I got a 4 channel manual. 3 fans to a rad on one, another rad with 3 fans, one knob. Two fans to my mosfet fans on a knob, and one knob for one fan for my HDs.

    Only ones I ever have to adjust is my rad fans.

    Your bios won't monitor GPU temps.


    Mobo hasn't arrived in the mail yet, so I'm relying purely on the .PDF manual. From that, it appears they are all PWM fan connectors :D 


    The OPT_FAN connectors each have corresponding thermal sensor connectors. I will place a thermal sensor in a good spot to monitor the GPU (if possible). Any recommendations where to stick that thing?

    Yes, it is a lot of cables, but if I can get away with spending ~$16 on fan control, and have everything automatic, it will be worth it I think. The cables won't be too bad either. The CPU_FAN connector is near the top (near the radiator), and the OPT_FAN1 is near the back (close to the rear radiator). The molex power connector from the PSU to the top splitter is the only concern, but that's why God made Molex extensions :D 
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    a b à CPUs
    a c 86 K Overclocking
    December 1, 2009 12:33:36 AM

    Nice to see someone looking deep into what needs done. Your set then.

    For the GPU? I'd just use HW monitor to monitor temps. Put the sensor right on the back of the GPU or front wherever it gets hot. They are skinny and will need placed before you mount the GPU block... maybe. You'll have to play with where, but it depends on the GPU. Your smart enuff. As close to the GPU chip as possible, or on the VRM cuz they get hot too. Then you'll have to play with the temps and the bios to put the fan speed where ya want.

    The DDC3.25 isn't needed in your loop, it's just a bit more pumpage. The DDC 3.2 is plenty. If the same price, 3.25 yep.

    It's also why God made radio shack and heatshrink/solder.

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    a b à CPUs
    a c 86 K Overclocking
    December 1, 2009 12:35:05 AM

    You like my input? man you shoulda asked at OC forums. At least a few like me there. I'm not the best by a long shot...............
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