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Water Cooling on a Budget

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a b K Overclocking
January 21, 2011 4:18:47 PM

Hello everyone I am gonna go the way of water cooling. I was wondering which WC system would be the best purchase with only a $200.00 budget. I was looking into a larkooler system that is $199.00 on frozencpu's website yet this kit doesn't have any reviews and that leaves me feeling a little bit leary about buying it. The one big deal for me is that it has to be an all-in-one kit. Also, what is the best hose clamp type to use on WCing set-ups? What is the best non-conductive cooling media to use? Can I use Royal Purple Automobile Anti-Freeze as a substitute cooling liquid?

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a c 324 K Overclocking
January 21, 2011 4:48:42 PM

As a forum 'Regular', please refer to the stickies and other threads for some direction before blindly posting a question. This is a very common (and often STRICTLY enforced rule) on forum threads all over the world.

That being said, here is where you should start...(btw...just a few threads below this one...) Meaning...in the last day or so.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264266-29-water-cooling-details-maintenance
a b K Overclocking
January 21, 2011 5:06:37 PM

OK.....I will make sure this doesn't happen again...I guess I will go back to the way I learned to build PC's......by teaching myself and reading directions. BTW Rubix I ask three questions in that thread...Not just the generic which WCing set-up is best
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a c 324 K Overclocking
January 21, 2011 5:23:13 PM

Which thread are you referring to?

Sorry, it's just that these exact questions are asked almost every day, and just a quick scan of the stickies and other threads can often help lead to some information. There is a LOT of information and many, many questions can be answered from them.

I'll be blunt: the best way to learn is by reading and doing yourself...that being said, I try to post as many links as possible (including those posted as stickies on this forum) for people to read to help themselves understand what to ask/look for...just in case they forget to check there first.

I absolutely have no issues helping anyone, and in fact, quite enjoy it. But, I also ask that the person do their best to soak up as much knowledge as possible before asking the same questions asked by everyone else. Becoming an informed consumer prior to spending your own money is a trait that should happen more often. A complete stranger may have no more information than you at the time, and provide you with incorrect or misleading information.
a c 125 K Overclocking
January 21, 2011 8:05:27 PM

No such thing as non-conductive coolant, even distilled water (100% pure water) will become conductive over time. Pre-mixed coolants will likely stain your res and tubing, and will clog up your waterblocks so for those reasons I suggest you use distilled water + a silver killcoil or PHN_Nuke.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 21, 2011 8:54:45 PM

^Yeah...Rasa is about the only thing under $200 for CPU only I recommend.
a c 108 K Overclocking
January 21, 2011 9:14:58 PM

The best water cooling solution is a long cold shower.

An air cooler will do the job nicely, usually just as well. The $200 extra you would spend is better used on...

A faster cpu
A better graphics card
a SSD.
January 22, 2011 12:32:03 AM

water cooling's best temps are room temp plus ~2ºc

every time i have looked at water cooling i cant validate the extra $$$ for a few more hundred mhz and 10ºc cooler (mind you the motherboard and components STILL need cooling) or risk cooking them aka YOU STILL NEED FANS
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 22, 2011 9:55:52 PM

geofelt said:
The best water cooling solution is a long cold shower.

An air cooler will do the job nicely, usually just as well. The $200 extra you would spend is better used on...

A faster cpu
A better graphics card
a SSD.


I understand what you are saying, but everyone has the right to spend their money how they want. Perhaps buying bleeding edge performance components aren't high on his list...and he wants to explore the hobbyist side of watercooling instead.

I'll admit, I've spent a lot of cash on watercooling components over the years, but I haven't for a while. Most components can be used from build to build and blocks can often be reused with a bracket replacement in some cases. (minus full cover GPU blocks, of course).

It just depends...I'll knock no-one who does the research and understands the costs, mechanics and performance of watercooling and still wants to venture down that path. The folks I have trouble with are those who fail to educate themselves and those who don't water cool, yet attempt to educate others on the 'fails' of watercooling without much basis to work off of on their own.
January 23, 2011 1:27:20 AM

I'm a guy that runs water, and hear me say don't. My reasons?

Risk: lines can and do blow if built wrong. Pumps fail and become hard tell if somethings wrong.

Cost: the rasa kit is great, but after a taste you want more. Figure your want or maybe need compression fittings? Another $50 for a loop. Add a gpu and up another $100+. Your also want to add another rad to cool better. Cost flys faster than your wallet can say oww.

Get a nice air cooler. Unless your willing to commit around 400 to a nice set.

Prolimatech, silver arrow, archon, or a d-14 will all give results you want for less
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 24, 2011 12:54:10 PM

^Then you are doing it wrong.

Good pumps rarely fail, and when they do, you'll know it from your temps...if you are willing to pay $100's for watercooling, surely you can get free temp monitoring software that will shut down your box if there is a problem.

I've watercooled for over 8 years...and will continue to do so. The only thing that is a pain is that you can't just pull a video card and replace it within 2 minutes...you have to disassemble your entire loop...but I plan way ahead anyway...so I have it ready to go. Other than that, I love it and will continue.

To each his own; as long as whatever you choose works for you...good.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 24, 2011 3:11:35 PM

^Agreed.

Line blow...? I'm guessing if this happens, it's your own fault for not securing the tubing onto barbs or into compression fittings. A good sign you have too much resistance in your loop due to high-resistance blocks.

Pump fail...maybe a TT Bigwater, Zalman Reserator...etc. I've seen a ton of forums where those bombed out...but never really a Laing pump...
a b K Overclocking
January 26, 2011 11:29:02 AM

I am doing this just because it can be done. I like building nice stuff and to me. Water-cooling is nice. I have great air coolers already, hell right now its sitting at 3.6GHz@1.47v and idling its @8c above ambient and with 100% load on it, it reaches 30c above ambient or 57c thats running prime95 for like 8 hrs.. I like the novelity of water-cooling. If I had the know how I would design an ammonia refrigeration unit or perhaps freon for a system. As it is, I understand the pitfalls of liquid cooling on any electronics, however isn't that the appeal of knowing you done something proper. I have been looking at that RASA now for like 3 weeks, then I seen the new larkooler one on frozencpu it goes for $199.00 but it had no reviews so I was still leaning towards the rasa. As for fluid choice goes, I was wondering if you could use regular old 100% anti-freeze then maybe add some killcoil to it? Isn't there some type of really low viscosity oil that the pumps can handle? I seen a oil submerged system so thats why I asked. That was my longest reply ever sorry bout that folks

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a c 324 K Overclocking
January 26, 2011 1:35:30 PM
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The Rasa kit is great, I'd choose it over anything else for a beginner. If you are thinking of adding your GPU in it, I'd highly suggest the 3x120 model with some good fans in push/pull, or consider a different setup with a stronger pump and more radiator.

But for the money, the Rasa is the ONLY suggestion by watercoolers for newcomers.
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 27, 2011 7:14:34 PM

I agree. However, the only shortcoming that I can see the Rasa having is the res/pump combo. I personally haven't used or seen it, but it seems to be pretty good for the price.

I need to look up the lp/h and head pressure specs...
a c 324 K Overclocking
January 27, 2011 7:54:37 PM

I know it gets a lot of great user reviews on OCnet where I spend some time.

I recommend it to most people, when possible.
a b K Overclocking
January 27, 2011 9:43:35 PM

Best answer selected by lowjack989.
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