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A question about radiator setup

Last response: in Overclocking
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April 19, 2010 3:34:57 AM

I've done the best I can as a complete beginner to liquid cooling. But I still have a few questions that searching online hasn't answered satisfactorily. I'll try to make this concise.

Quick Specs:
Antec 300 Case
Sapphire Radeon 5850
Phenom2 X4 945 (95w tdp)
Gigabyte MA-790GPT-UD3H
Antec Trupower 750

Goals:
- Keep things reasonably quiet (hard to reference – maybe nothing over 30 db?)
- Overclock 5850 (close to 5870 performance)
- Add another 5850 or 5870 when prices are right or performance dictates.
- Add a waterblock to CPU (maybe sooner if it has trouble with 2x5800's)

Problem:
I need advice on the radiator setup

I could use a 360 or 420 (if I have the lingo right) mounted horizontally and off to the side of my case (like an awning) to provide plenty of air flow. Though, I don't know how to mount it outside of the case. I've seen the Swiftech Radbox and the Koolance Rad Bracket - I'm just not convinced those are stable or worth it.

Alternatively, I thought I could start with a single 140mm at the top of my case (for one GPU), then add a 120 to the back (for the 2nd GPU or CPU). Then, if that wasn't enough (for 2x gpu and 1x cpu) I could add another to the door of my case with extra tubing so I could still gently take it off (not certain how good I feel about that). The added benefit is that my case isn't growing in size.

Other parts I am considering:
- Heatkiller GPU-X^3
- EK-Supreme HF - Full Copper
- MCP655 Pump with Variable Speed
- Black Ice GT Stealth 120 and 140 (says it gets the same performance as the Extreme model)
- Yate Loon D12SL-12
- Yate Loon D14SL-14
- Danger Den Single 5.25” Bay Reservoir
- Silver KillCoils (If this is a gimmick, let me know)
- 1/2” Tubing (Need to look into this more)
- Y-Splitters to keep the water going into the blocks “fresh” instead of running from GPU to CPU/GPU.



Guides I've used to get me this far:
http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showpost.php?p=31...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/256607-29-watercoolin...
Various other Forum and Tips




Thank you for taking the time to read this and help out. Sorry if other threads covered this, I did search but there is a good chance I missed them.
a b K Overclocking
April 19, 2010 2:37:10 PM

Imo, the Antec 300 isn't the easiest case to work with for water cooling. Consider getting a larger case like a HAF922.

As for rad, you probably need a 220 for the 5850. A 140 should be fine for the Phenom II, but imo, I'd get a 220 or 240.

Also note, splitting up the flow reduces flow rates quite a bit. Not sure if that matters for the HK GPU block.

At any rate, cool the CPU first, then add the GPU if your stock GPU cooling is too loud/hot.

edit:
I wish every one else posting WCing questions take this as an example on HOW a FIRST WCing post should look like. Good job OP!
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April 19, 2010 3:58:45 PM

Quote:
Imo, the Antec 300 isn't the easiest case to work with for water cooling. Consider getting a larger case like a HAF922.

Hm... unfortunate, the case is brand new. Is there a DIY site for water cooling you'd recommend? I'm thinking maybe I could make a custom rad box as a seperate unit. I'd lose the all-in-one feature, but if I'm water cooling, I don't think I will be traveling much.

Quote:
As for rad, you probably need a 220 for the 5850. A 140 should be fine for the Phenom II, but imo, I'd get a 220 or 240.

wow, I guess I underestimated the heat output on these cards. Based on what I decide on about the case/DIY radbox above I'll see what I can do.

Quote:
Also note, splitting up the flow reduces flow rates quite a bit. Not sure if that matters for the HK GPU block.

Thats good to know, flow rate is an element I need to look into more. My other (more expensive option) is to do multiple loops... or maybe bounce between block and rad.All my expertise is based on my garden hose and the use of my thumb so my ideas are certain to be full of holes. :D 

Quote:
At any rate, cool the CPU first, then add the GPU if your stock GPU cooling is too loud/hot.

Another surprise for me. I got the impression that the GPU of today was hotter and more power intensive than CPU's. You would still opt for CPU then GPU cooling even on a gaming/internet surfing machine? I know some games really tax the CPU, but all in all I thought the GPU was the major limiting factor.



When I get home I'll look into a new case and maybe find a way to determine where my bottleneck may be in gaming (FYI: Trying to play a heavily modded Oblivion - getting 10 to 16 fps in cities but 40 to 60 fps outdoors). Maybe it would be wise to just pay the 300 for a crossfire 5850 and wait on the watercooling. Pity, I wanted to tinker! :bounce: 
And thanks for the compliment, Shadow. I tend to ramble and lose cohesiveness of my thoughts, so it's nice to hear that I occassionally can post properly. And thanks for the advice.
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a b K Overclocking
April 19, 2010 4:22:17 PM

Quote:
Is there a DIY site for water cooling you'd recommend? I'm thinking maybe I could make a custom rad box as a seperate unit. I'd lose the all-in-one feature, but if I'm water cooling, I don't think I will be traveling much.

Check out the case modding section at Bit tech. And water cooling section at overclockers.

Quote:

wow, I guess I underestimated the heat output on these cards. Based on what I decide on about the case/DIY radbox above I'll see what I can do

The rads you have selected are OK, but if you get a big rad now, you can continue to use it for the next few generations of power hungry cards/CPUs.

Quote:
Another surprise for me. I got the impression that the GPU of today was hotter and more power intensive than CPU's. You would still opt for CPU then GPU cooling even on a gaming/internet surfing machine? I know some games really tax the CPU, but all in all I thought the GPU was the major limiting factor.

Me? I personally run very CPU intensive stuff, so yeah I cool CPU first and OC the hell out of it. If this is a pure gaming rig, you are probably better off cooling the GPU. Also note, I have a good after market cooling on my GPU.
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a b K Overclocking
April 19, 2010 4:26:15 PM

Quote:

When I get home I'll look into a new case and maybe find a way to determine where my bottleneck may be in gaming (FYI: Trying to play a heavily modded Oblivion - getting 10 to 16 fps in cities but 40 to 60 fps outdoors). Maybe it would be wise to just pay the 300 for a crossfire 5850 and wait on the watercooling. Pity, I wanted to tinker!

Imo, try turning down the detail and/or OC the card. Also I personally would wait for a bit (6-7 months) for the 58xx prices to drop before doing CrossFire.
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April 19, 2010 8:28:25 PM


To be clear, the setup where I wanted to put a 140mm rad with one GPU, then a 120mm with the 2nd GPU then possibly another 120mm rad for the CPU would work, it just wouldn't have any head room for future cards and expansion? Or that setup really isn't optimal for the heat I'm putting into it and I'd be chancing my success?


I'll check out those sites and see what I can learn but from the sounds of it I may just do after market air coolers on the GPU's, and by a second GPU when the prices are better. I suspect that Oblivion modded will be the only game that will cause major problems for a while (I still need to play portal, the witcher, etc :??:  ) while I wait for a price drop.

Oh, as for your recommendation to turn down the settings... how dare you, sir! :-P
But I will try the air OC and maybe some optimizations I've been reading about.

Thanks, shadow, for all of your help, really appreciate it.
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a b K Overclocking
April 19, 2010 8:57:04 PM

Quote:

To be clear, the setup where I wanted to put a 140mm rad with one GPU, then a 120mm with the 2nd GPU then possibly another 120mm rad for the CPU would work, it just wouldn't have any head room for future cards and expansion?

Correct.
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a c 86 K Overclocking
April 19, 2010 8:59:19 PM

Please look in the sticky at the top and look at Martins and Skinnees pages.

This will help on determining GPU heatload. make sure you read the 5th page for temps under furmark loads.
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=635...

You were already at a top watercooling forum, OCF.

Another tidbit about flow rates. no one splits the flow.


never mind, your double posting at OCF already.

Dunno why you ask here honestly, Shadow's pretty good though, a bright spot at Toms for watercooling.
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April 19, 2010 10:09:30 PM

Ah, that is an excellent link. Thank you. I did attempt to find some of that information, sadly I must have given up too early thinking I wasn't looking in the right places.

I'll keep that tip in mind about the splitters. Seems like if I'm going to do a water cooled setup, I'm spending enough cash that I might as well do it right.

I posted here mainly because I signed up already for a previous question and I'm familiar with the site. That and I didn't want to register for a bunch of sites and plaster the internet with my question.



I'm not sure what you mean about me double posting at OCF. The only way I could see that happening is if I posted a few years back and forgot.

I didn't happen to see a sticky by Martins and Skinnees on this page or OCF. I will look again and see if I didn't miss it or misunderstand what you meant.
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a c 86 K Overclocking
April 20, 2010 12:37:02 AM

My mistake, it was for Andrew.

The sticky is at the top of this forum, watercooling read first, it's full of goodies.

This forum is rather weak on experianced watercoolers. Many more posts on other forums.

And that link has come and gone, about the GPU's something I found and kept the link for.
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April 20, 2010 12:28:25 PM

I browsed a bit on the forum last night. Very good information, I'll be sure to register soon (I also like the Bittech articles on watercooling, Shadow).

First I'm going to sketch out some ideas and see if I can mod this case for WC use. A dremel, duct tape and bubble gum are acceptable tools of the trade - correct? **sings the "One of these things is not like the other" song** :) 

I thank you both for your advice. It'll take me a bit longer to decide when I'll water cool, but I'm in a much better position to do it realistically now.



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a c 86 K Overclocking
April 20, 2010 3:49:02 PM

Thanks for understanding. It's not rocket science, but a wholly new animal.


The modding is up to you. There are many build logs in the forums in the 'read first' post at the top. You might even find your case and see how others have done it.

taking your time and having fun is what matters. better than ruining a mobo and a GPU because you didn't know some basic fact.
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