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On the right track?

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November 23, 2010 6:07:05 PM

I recently finished my first build and I've had so much fun I think I'm going to start over and switch to water. My origianal goal was to play most recent games at 2560 x 1440 with high settings on my 27" apple display.

Here is what I chose:
i7-950
Gygabyte UD3R
2 X GTX-460 in SLI
Intel SSD + a WD HDD
Thermaltake air cooler
Cooler Master 750W PSU
Antec 900 case

I chose these parts based partly on the $2000 hand-picked system here, partly on what Fry's had on their shelf and partly on not having a clue what I was doing - I was honestly surprised that it worked at all.

So now I have 4 big problems.

1. It sounds like a leaf blower after about 2 mins of gaming
2. Crysis is only really smooth on medium settings
3. Both video cards sit at about 99c while playing - even when the GPUs are running at ~60%
4. I'm bored now and want to work on something else

The crysis benchmark says it's getting about 45fps, but in reality it's in the 20s during a complex scene so I have to drop it to Medium. With the CPU OC'd to 3.8 GHz it gets another 5-8 FPS but is still not ideal and with the GTX-460s already that hot, I haven't even considered OC-ing them (the side of the case is open so I don't think its a case airflow issue). But the real problems are #1 (leaf blower) and #4 (bored) and I think water cooling may be a perfect solution to both. When I started this I didn't think I would care at all about what it looked like, but after researching water cooling and seeing all those glowing tubes, bubbles and bling, I'm starting to see myself hunched over a dremel tool very soon. My current thought is to rip it apart and build on either a turture rack, tecnofront, or banchetto bench-style acrylic case. I'm also having grand visions of big analog temperature guages and big metal knobs controlling fan speeds, but I'm getting way ahead of myself. First, I suppose I should determine if doing all of this will get me back to my original goal of 2560X1400 on high settings without forcing me to wear headphones to hear the dialog. I think about half of the excessive noise is coming from the PSU and half from the GPUs. The CPU is fine but if I'm going to add water I should definitely get the CPU in there just cause I can, but if that thermal paste I used is permanent I may be litterally stuck (I just used the stuff that came in the box). I'm also assuming that the PSU fan noise is because it just isn't up to the task and needs to be replaced, but I don't know.

So far it looks to me like Danger Den and Thermaltake have a pretty good selection of parts, frozencpu.com looks like a good place to get them and the black ice 360 radiator might be a good core to build from.

Does it sound like I'm on the right track?

I'm new here and really appreciate any tips.

More about : track

a c 190 K Overclocking
November 23, 2010 6:10:25 PM

You may find that putting the case side back on helps with both noise and airflow, then see if the cards are both still cooking, the temps will be the main issue behind bad fps I conjure
Moto
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a b K Overclocking
November 23, 2010 6:20:20 PM

It sounds like you need to do more research and concentrate less on the bling side of watercooling while doing it.
Thermaltake and watercooling combined equal a bad word I can't put here.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
November 23, 2010 6:29:10 PM

^+∞.

Please avoid Thermaltake, Zalman Reserator, CoolIT...and even the highly touted H50/H70 in most cases. (Sorry, I don't see either of those being beneficial over a good air cooler).

Quick test: Pull the side of your case, blow a house fan (on high) into the case...rerun your benchmarks and evaluate.

If your temps get better, you have an issue with airflow (which is odd with an Antec 900, but pics voice a 1000 words...maybe cable management?)

If your temps remain the same, you have issues with the coolers that need to be addressed.

Yes...watercooling is cool and fun...and at times a lot of bling. I've watercooled for about 8 years, and will continue to do so as long as it is beneficial or until something new and better replaces it for the cost. But, bling costs dough...piles of fluffy, gooey dough. And a LOT of knowing what you are doing. Please read the WC sticky at the top of this forum and as much as possible from here:

http://www.overclock.net/water-cooling/226970-water-cooling-essential-threads.html
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a b K Overclocking
November 23, 2010 7:03:02 PM

@ OP first you have to find out what's going on with your SLI set up ( update bios,drivers,check if the GPU's are in corrected PCI slots,etc) visit NVIDIA guys on this forum,than move to stickys
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November 29, 2010 3:45:18 PM

Thanks for all of the info - Especially which brands to avoid. I've decided that I'm going to move forward with water cooling if for no other reason than for the fun of it. I did as rubix suggested and blasted a big fan inside. This dropped the GPU temps by a few degrees. But now that I have everything out of the case I'm going to rerun all the benchmarks and sort out any problems I have before installing anything. I'll post the issues on the graphics forum once I get it all working again.

I'd like to keep a build log but this is probably not the right place for it, so I'll start a thread on another forum.

Here is a pic of what was in the previous case and where I have everything now.




So far I've ordered the banchetto 101 rack/bench/case and 2 MCR320 radiators. That's all I've purchased.

The D5 / MCP655 pump seems like a safe bet but I want to quietest one that will get the job done and I've only found testing for head pressure, flow rate, etc... The amount of information available on this subject is endless! You could research for months and not make a single decision.

Stuff I'm still researching:
Pumps - 1 is enough or is it better to do 2 independent loops and with which pump?
Can I get away with only one radiator? The wattage calculator http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine seems to indicate that I'll need 2 to cool both GPUs and the CPU and have the ability overclock.

I still need to work out the loop paths and pick tubing and fittings.

For blocks, I'm considering the Koolance 350 or the GTZ for the CPU and for the GPUs, I'm debating between a full-cover or a universal block with added sinks. The full cover blocks are a large percentage of the price of the card with no upgrade path. I'll keep researching - maybe there is is a universal block that will work with the 460s that I have and with an eventual upgrade to the next generation.
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Best solution

a c 324 K Overclocking
November 29, 2010 3:57:50 PM

1 pump is fine for a single loop...the MCP655 is powerful enough...and it isn't as loud as everyone makes it seem. I have case fans that make far more noise.

Yes, you'll definitely need 2 rads, unless you get 1 single huge one...which most people don't.

MCW80's are universal. I use the MCW60's (the prior version) and have had them on 5 different cards over the years.
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November 29, 2010 4:28:30 PM

you use the koolance cpu360s on video cards?
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a b K Overclocking
November 29, 2010 4:39:33 PM

NO there is no way you could,I only use it on my CPU chip
P.S. this torture racks sure look cool ..but if you own a cat or have kids and don't like to dust every other day stay away from them
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a c 324 K Overclocking
November 29, 2010 4:41:31 PM

Not that big of a PITA...you just have to run a bend over instead of straight through. To me, I'd rather spend a few minutes getting a good bend in the tubing instead of a few hundred bucks on full cover blocks every time I upgrade my system simply for the ease of a straight piece of tubing.
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a b K Overclocking
November 29, 2010 4:47:43 PM

I only mention full cover after reading OP post ,sounds like looks are very important to him,yes you right there is nothing wrong with universal blocks
EDIT;almost :na: 
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a c 324 K Overclocking
November 29, 2010 4:49:59 PM

Don't get me wrong...i'd use a set of EK or DD full cover blocks for my SLI GTX260's over the MCW60's anyday...to me it was more about being able to use the components from one config to another. I've only bought a single bracket for one...and RAMsinks, in the move from those 5 cards.

But yes, full cover blocks are very nice, cool well and are super smexy.
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a b K Overclocking
November 29, 2010 4:56:56 PM

Ordered EK580FC /SR1-140MM last night from frozen;)
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November 29, 2010 4:57:09 PM

Ahh. I misunderstood. I thought you were saying get the cpu360 instead of the MCW80. I have a cat and a 2-year-old, but it'll be in my office away from poking fingers.

What about the GPU-220 over the MCW80? I'm not doing a full cover block for sure now.
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a b K Overclocking
November 29, 2010 4:59:57 PM

corsair 700D was on sale (window included) 150$ shipped at micro center
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a c 324 K Overclocking
November 29, 2010 5:05:54 PM

Preference, mainly.

Honestly, I still avoid Koolance since the days when they were guilty of galvanic corrosion with their components. Most of this was due to them using crap aluminum radiators and some aluminum in other components directly in contact with the water loop.

I know they have some good blocks now, but I haven't needed to buy anything new for a while. Just make sure the blocks you choose are compatible with the hardware you are installing it on, or if you need an adapter...do some research and save yourself some headaches.

Personally, I'd buy the MCW80's over the GPU-220's, but that is simply my preference. I urge anyone to become an informed consumer to suit their own needs.
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November 29, 2010 5:14:14 PM

Hard to justify a $110 block on a $170 card! 1X360 and 2X220s ordered.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
November 29, 2010 5:20:51 PM

Right, that's my point.
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November 30, 2010 4:04:30 AM

Best answer selected by Neploon.
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November 30, 2010 6:34:41 PM

The bad news is that it appears that I have a bad motherboard. But the GOOD news is that someone saw the banchetto case and liked it so much that it's going to go in the lobby of an architect's office. So, purely by accident, I have corporate sponsorship to build a seriously blinged out overpowered PC that will probably only ever be used for surfing the internet. But that also means I have to actually finish it.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
November 30, 2010 6:36:58 PM

Very nice tech station; considering getting one of those myself.
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!