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A little help with my first liquid cooling system, please

Last response: in Overclocking
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October 14, 2010 6:19:04 AM

Okay guys, I'm setting out to build my first gaming system. My mind is getting a little numb from reading all the specifications and all the various pros and cons comments about every part. Well, I've settled on most of the components, but need some help with adding liquid cooling, and I'm still open to any additional suggestions.

Lian Li PC-P80 Full Tower Case
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9 Motherboard
Intel Core i7-980 Extreme Edition (Gulftown) 3.33 GHz
Silverstone ST1500 1500W ATX Power Supply Unit
6 x 4Gb OCZ FLEX EX 240-pin Hybrid cooled DDR3 SDRAM 2133 MHz
2 x Corsair P256 SSD 256GB (for OS drive w/RAID)
2 x HP AW555A 2Tb Internal HDD (program/data drive w/RAID)
2 x Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD writer
4 x MSI N480GTX HydroGen GeForce GTX-480 1.5Gb (note: also liquid cooled)
2 x Samsung 24" B2430HD HD WideScreen LCD Monitor w/TV tuner & USB port & remote
Logitec G510 Black Game Keyboard
Saitek Cyborg R.A.T. Gaming Mouse
Creative Labs Arena Surround Gaming Headset
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Microsoft Office 2010 Professional

Okay, that much I've decided on, so what else do I need. I know I need to get the components for the liquid cooling system, if you noticed, the MoBo, the memory, and the Graphic cards are all liquid ready, just need to cover the CPU block, the radiator, the pump, whatever fittings might be needed and such. But, my lack of experience with liquid cooling leaves me a little leary of making the choices.

Help!

More about : liquid cooling system

a c 324 K Overclocking
October 14, 2010 2:17:13 PM

No to WC on your RAM...its pointless. And really, there isn't a good reason to WC your motherboard unless you are going for record overclocks.

It sounds like you have a lot to learn. Is there a reason you want to watercool? What are you going to do with the CPU and GPUs? Why are you running 4-way SLI? There are tons of reviews saying anything more than 3-way SLI with 480's is a waste of money and in many cases, causes your machine to run slower. Unless you are doing a ton of CUDA processing, I'd reconsider 4 of those cards, and at most get 3...even 2 in SLI will run just about anything on high.
October 14, 2010 9:15:08 PM

rubix_1011 said:
No to WC on your RAM...its pointless. And really, there isn't a good reason to WC your motherboard unless you are going for record overclocks.

It sounds like you have a lot to learn. Is there a reason you want to watercool? What are you going to do with the CPU and GPUs? Why are you running 4-way SLI? There are tons of reviews saying anything more than 3-way SLI with 480's is a waste of money and in many cases, causes your machine to run slower. Unless you are doing a ton of CUDA processing, I'd reconsider 4 of those cards, and at most get 3...even 2 in SLI will run just about anything on high.


Basically, you are right, I know nothing about over-clocking or water cooling, except what I've read in the past couple weeks. I'm tired of the safe systems built primarily for business use. Most powerful graphic system I've ever built was built for Autocad 9, so that was quite some time ago.

My last several systems have been straight off the shelf with no mods.

Since now I'm retired, I'm pushing for an extreme machine to play with.

From what I've read, you are right, 3-way SLI tends to outperform 4-way. But, you can gain performance by setting up a dedicated PhysX board. For the PhysX that is use so far today, a GT 260 would probably handle what is out there now, but having the GTX-480 leaves plenty of headroom for later developments which from some of the demos I've seen may not be all that far down the road. I'll look for the Price/Performance break point after I see just how far this can be pushed. But, I'm still in research mode. I might just build a couple of the $1000 & $2000 Best Configs that they show in other parts of the forums before I really get to building the main machine.
a c 324 K Overclocking
October 15, 2010 4:22:45 PM

Well, for what you are looking to build, it's going to be very pricey just for the components...let alone the WC loop(s). You could (and would almost have to) easily spend $1000 on watercooling components for a 4x SLI setup like that. Here is a decent rule of thumb concept I use:

For each CPU and GPU, you will need the equivalent of a 2x120 or 220 radiator.

Some perform better than others, here is a great place to determine radiator performance with various fans and RPM settings:

http://skinneelabs.com/radiators.html

Also, you'd likely want to consider having 2 separate loops; one for CPU only and the other GPU's only.

As for Physx, it really depends on what games/applications, as not all games really will utilize it. Also, nVidia cards will already utilize the built-in Physx processing (I think its GT200 cards and later) with single or SLI card configurations.

You are looking at a pretty pricey rig with all this hardware and cooling...good luck...
!