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Seeking Midtower Case Cooling Advice

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  • Heatsinks
  • Cases
  • Overclocking
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a b K Overclocking
May 17, 2010 11:22:22 PM

Greetings All,

I have been a system builder for about six years now; In total I have 5 builds under my belt. The purpose of this post is to help me decide on my next course of action regarding my next system build; I was thinking about using a WC loop for the CPU and video card(s). My intent is to use my existing case, a Lian Li v1000b, in this build if at all possible. This case has been a blast to own and most of the newer cases (even other Lian-Li) seem to lack the features I enjoy on this model.

New Hardware
Processor: I7-920 (minimal overclock if any)
Motherboard: Performance model, LGA 1366, triple channel memory, SLI supported
Video Cards: 1x GTX-470 or 480 for now, SLI in the future?
Memory: 6gb (3x2gb sticks) for now, Possibility of +6gb (12gb, 6x2gb total) in the future
Storage: 2tb (2x1tb) 7200 rpm, perhaps more in time.
Power Supply: 850-950 range (charts suggest 650w, single card or 870w, SLI)

Existing Hardware
Lian Li v1000b alumninum midtower case (tenative)


My Goal
I typically keep up with all the new technology and when reading about the new i7 chip and GTX-470/480 cards I am a bit worried about the heat they produce. I am thinking that a watercooling loop, combined with some new 120mm fans (delta w/ speed control perhaps) can keep temperatures reasonably low without me having to upgrade to a new case. The reason I suggest this is that watercooling seems to be the best way to manage heat with limited fan-mount real estate. The case I currently own has three 120mm fan mounts, one each on the front, side and rear. I can also manage to fit one more 120mm fan If I opt for a 3x5.25 drive to 120mm mount conversion kit.

What I've learned So Far
From the various posts and comments I've learned that for a non-SLI setup I'll be most likely looking for a 3x120mm radiator at the minimum. This would be possible only by using 3 individual radiators daisy-chained together in my situation. Is this equivilent to one single 3x120? I've read that stacking radiators is not typically suggested and it reduces the cooling efficiency of the second radiator. Even if this is the case, would it work for cooling a non-overclocked system low enough to not cause me any worries? Is SLI even worth considering in such a small case, or am I just blowing smoke into the wind?

The Ultimatum
Is my concept at all feasible? If I can manage to find a Lian-Li panel with a side window (since I do not want to ruin the original) would adding a 2x120mm (instead of one) on the side panel increase the odds of success? If not (regrettably), I suppose I will have to upgrade to a new full tower case and rework my budget accordingly. Water cooling would still be present most likely. Any suggestions on similar-quality replacements?




I realize that I've asked many open-ended questions that have most likely been asked many times before. I've read a few similar posts but they differ enough that I decided to post my own information in order to get greater clarification. I'm not asking for anyone to spend a great deal of time posting individual part suggestions but rather a general opinion/suggestion from someone who has attempted a similar project or from someone who knows a great deal about watercooling.

Thanks! I look forward to your replies.

More about : seeking midtower case cooling advice

a c 86 K Overclocking
May 17, 2010 11:52:43 PM

ssddx said:
Greetings All,

I have been a system builder for about six years now; In total I have 5 builds under my belt. The purpose of this post is to help me decide on my next course of action regarding my next system build; I was thinking about using a WC loop for the CPU and video card(s). My intent is to use my existing case, a Lian Li v1000b, in this build if at all possible. This case has been a blast to own and most of the newer cases (even other Lian-Li) seem to lack the features I enjoy on this model.

New Hardware
Processor: I7-920 (minimal overclock if any)
Motherboard: Performance model, LGA 1366, triple channel memory, SLI supported
Video Cards: 1x GTX-470 or 480 for now, SLI in the future?
Memory: 6gb (3x2gb sticks) for now, Possibility of +6gb (12gb, 6x2gb total) in the future
Storage: 2tb (2x1tb) 7200 rpm, perhaps more in time.
Power Supply: 850-950 range (charts suggest 650w, single card or 870w, SLI)

Existing Hardware
Lian Li v1000b alumninum midtower case (tenative)


My Goal
I typically keep up with all the new technology and when reading about the new i7 chip and GTX-470/480 cards I am a bit worried about the heat they produce. I am thinking that a watercooling loop, combined with some new 120mm fans (delta w/ speed control perhaps) can keep temperatures reasonably low without me having to upgrade to a new case. The reason I suggest this is that watercooling seems to be the best way to manage heat with limited fan-mount real estate. The case I currently own has three 120mm fan mounts, one each on the front, side and rear. I can also manage to fit one more 120mm fan If I opt for a 3x5.25 drive to 120mm mount conversion kit.

What I've learned So Far
From the various posts and comments I've learned that for a non-SLI setup I'll be most likely looking for a 3x120mm radiator at the minimum. This would be possible only by using 3 individual radiators daisy-chained together in my situation. Is this equivilent to one single 3x120? I've read that stacking radiators is not typically suggested and it reduces the cooling efficiency of the second radiator. Even if this is the case, would it work for cooling a non-overclocked system low enough to not cause me any worries? Is SLI even worth considering in such a small case, or am I just blowing smoke into the wind?

The Ultimatum
Is my concept at all feasible? If I can manage to find a Lian-Li panel with a side window (since I do not want to ruin the original) would adding a 2x120mm (instead of one) on the side panel increase the odds of success? If not (regrettably), I suppose I will have to upgrade to a new full tower case and rework my budget accordingly. Water cooling would still be present most likely. Any suggestions on similar-quality replacements?




I realize that I've asked many open-ended questions that have most likely been asked many times before. I've read a few similar posts but they differ enough that I decided to post my own information in order to get greater clarification. I'm not asking for anyone to spend a great deal of time posting individual part suggestions but rather a general opinion/suggestion from someone who has attempted a similar project or from someone who knows a great deal about watercooling.

Thanks! I look forward to your replies.


Well I'll give you a bit of advice of the rad size you need. This will ultimately decide your case. If all internal, make it big. or if you don't mind a radiator sticking out the back, then a mid tower will almost work.

The i7 920 needs at a minimum a 120x2 rad, for your needs that would be fine.
The 470 ( I just got two and waiting for the new waterblocks to be tested before deciding) will need a 120x2 for itself.

So you should get a case that can hold a 120x2 and a 120x3 if you plan to SLI. And if SLI, you will need to seperate them into TWO loops, completely seperate. So case space become a concern.

A link for something I just wrote, you'll have to understand DT Temps somewhat.
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=643...

And a bunch of other links you should also bookmark and the forum they are at is a great place to read many many posts.

WC is fun and neat, I think you understand it's more complicated.
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showpost.php?p=64893...
a b K Overclocking
May 18, 2010 2:14:28 AM

Thanks for the quick reply... just a little clarification please

Quote:
And if SLI, you will need to seperate them into TWO loops, completely seperate.


for one cpu and one gtx-470 I can use one continuous loop with 4x120 total rad space? Then, if i wanted to sli I would have to run one cpu loop with 2x120 and one gpu loop (two gtx-470s) with 3x120 total rad space? I think this is what you were implying.

--------------------

A few more questions came to mind after reading a few more of those links (I read those pages already and have been browsing similar topics for months now)

You mentioned about having a radiator hanging out the back.. this wouldnt be a problem at all. I understand that there are different grades of radiator and that such things as FPI and airflow can have a big impact on performance. Are your numbers based on a so-called performance model radiator such as the dangerden black ice gtx120 which claims +45% more cooling ability or on a more run of the mill type of radiator? Also, I have read another post on this forum with the suggestion to not back-to-back mount radiators... but would this be a viable option with propper airflow and static pressure?

I was thinking something along the lines of this, from front to back of case:
-flow-> [fan][rad][rear of case][rad][fan] -flow->
or
-flow-> [front of case][fan][rad][spacer][rad][fan] -flow->
Something of this nature would save me a tremendous amount of space since I have a few areas where I have depth but not height/width. Could using performance oriented parts outweigh the negatives of such a setup?

Another Idea: if your calculations were made to typical radiator specifications, could using 3 seperate performance radiators daisy chained with good airflow provide enough cooling capacity... or is it best to just stick with minimum specs and take any extra cooling as a benefit?

---------------------

Sorry for the barrage of questions, but sometimes its easier to learn from tailored answers than may-be-similar posts in other articles! As for the intent, I understand the cooling capacity a little better now, however, I'm now trying to fit this into a rather limited space.

Looking forward to your reply. ssddx.
a c 86 K Overclocking
May 18, 2010 4:22:42 AM

This is where I let you learn. I have given you a TON of links. You will be better off by reading EACH and EVRY one of the links I gave you, and bookmarking them as questions arise.

I do this a few times a week on Toms, and because of the last issue I give info and you can figure it out. You seem to be a smart guy. You have all you need.

And more involved WC forums than this one. Maybe I'll see you on another better forum in a few weeks once you understand more and have a great idea of what you need to do.

Ultimately, it's all up to you.

This kinda sums up my thoughts, was for another new guy, on a much much more informed forum.

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showpost.php?p=64893...

CYA in a week, try to refrain frm more questions till you read more, you save your time and our time.

!