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Do I have enough radiators ? First time building a complete WC loop

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a b K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 2:46:51 AM

I first posted it in the System/New Build forums...sorry for the inconvenience

Hello,

I will soon start a new build, and was wondering if the cooling I had in mind was sufficient to liquid cool everything (CPU, GPUs, Memory and Motherboard). This is my first time liquid cooling a whole computer, but I've done my research (correctly, I hope !)

Here are the specs :

Case : Cooler Master HAF X (already owned)

Motherboard : Asus Rampage III Formula (already owned)

PSU : Corsair AX1200 (already owned)

Mouse : Saitek Cyborg R.A.T. 9 (already owned)

Keyboard : Logitech G19 (already owned)

Sound Card : Asus Xonar Xense

Fan Controller : Scythe Kaze Master Pro 6 channel

Memory : Corsair Dominator GT 12Gb (3x4Gb @ 2000MHz)

CPU : Haven't decided yet...I hesitate between the i7-960, 970 or 980X.

GPUs : A pair of the upcoming GTX 590s.

Monitor : Dell U3011

Speakers : Corsair SP2500

Boot drive : OCZ Vertex 3 (as soon as they're available, meanwhile, a Vertex 2 60Gb)

Storage : 4 Seagate Barracuda 3TB in RAID 1+0 (again, as soon as they're available, meanwhile, 1 Barracuda XT 2TB)

Here are the main cooling parts I had in mind (I'll be using 13mm -1/2"- ID tubing) :

Reservoir : https://www.koolance.com/water-cooling/product_info.php...

Pump (x2) : https://www.koolance.com/water-cooling/product_info.php...

24V Controller (x2) : https://www.koolance.com/water-cooling/product_info.php...

Pump Nozzle & Reservoir Base (x2) : https://www.koolance.com/water-cooling/product_info.php...

3x120mm Radiator : https://www.koolance.com/water-cooling/product_info.php...

1x120mm Radiator : https://www.koolance.com/water-cooling/product_info.php...

Both radiators will be in a push-pull configuration using 8 Scythe Gentle Typhoon fans : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the loop, this is the configuration I had in mind :

Reservoir->Pump->Reservoir->Pump->3x120mm Radiator->CPU->1x120mm Radiator->GPU1->GPU2->Motherboard->Memory

This loop is very similar to what I have in mind : http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/4720/seriespumpscomb...

Concerning the heat output :

If Koolance is to be trusted, the present configuration would allow a minimum of 1400w of heat dissipation (that is in a push configuration, with a delta of 25°C).
Knowing that the upcoming GTX 590 will have a TDP of maximum 450w (let's say 500, just to be sure), that an overclocked i7 has a TDP of maybe 250w (I'll put 300w to be sure), that a motherboard outputs 50w (I'll use 75w) and that the memory outputs 50w (Again, I'll use 75w).

500+500+300+75+75=1450w

Since I am going the be doing a push-pull configuration, as far as I can see, I should be okay (in theory, that is).

My question is, will I also be ok in practice ? Or do I need to revise/add some parts, etc. ?
Also, should I use fan shrouds on the radiators ? Would I see a temperature improvement ? Would I have the space needed to install them ?

Thank you for your advise and recommendations,
al360ex
March 15, 2011 4:55:53 AM

At a 25°C delta you're the same (if not worse) than air cooling. Most people would be unhappy with a 15°C delta. Similar sized radiators need 3000rpm Scythe Ultra Kaze fans to achieve 800W of heat dissipation with a 10° C delta. (via Skinne labs)

Short answer: yes you could do it, but everything will be have to be stock and very warm. You'll invest in a water cooling loop that will not outperform air or be any quieter either.

Rule of thumb: you want 1.5 to 2 120mm radiator spaces to a major heat source you want to cool. You have 5 of those sources planned.
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a b K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 5:38:23 AM

d0gr0ck said:
At a 25°C delta you're the same (if not worse) than air cooling. Most people would be unhappy with a 15°C delta. Similar sized radiators need 3000rpm Scythe Ultra Kaze fans to achieve 800W of heat dissipation with a 10° C delta. (via Skinne labs)

Short answer: yes you could do it, but everything will be have to be stock and very warm. You'll invest in a water cooling loop that will not outperform air or be any quieter either.

Rule of thumb: you want 1.5 to 2 120mm radiator spaces to a major heat source you want to cool. You have 5 of those sources planned.


How can 25°C delta be the same, or worse, than air cooling ? My ambient temp is 20-25°C. It would mean my components would not get past 45-50°C theoretically. And a max temp of 50 is quite superior to air cooling, no ? Unless I don't quite understand how the delta works, that's a possibility.

Also, don't forget that I'll be doing a push-pull configuration...it should make a certain difference.

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a c 330 K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 12:21:22 PM

@OP- you've done some research...you'll need to do more. If you had done enough, you'd realize it isn't necessary at all to cool your RAM or MB/NB/MOSFETS, etc.

Koolance makes some decent waterblocks and some decent industrial/commercial watercooling solutions for servers, etc...but they kind of fell out of the enthusiast eye when they had issues with corrosion several years ago. Not a good thing to use mixed metals such as aluminum and copper in your loops.

You still don't have enough radiator space for your configuration...even without the MB+RAM, etc. For your CPU/GPUs, you'll need at least a 2x120 for each CPU and GPU in the loop...i7's are monster heat producers and the newer nVidia cards are also known for putting out some heat.

You have the Haf-X...not sure if two, 3x120's will fit in there...you'd have to double check if you have the space; should be simple...just see if you have room for 3x 120mm fans in a row in 2 different places. Otherwise, you'll need to improvise on space. Why do you have 2 pumps listed? There isn't a need for what you want to cool, unless you plan on dual loops...which isn't necessary. I also don't see a CPU block or GPU blocks listed (guessing the GPU blocks will come when you decide what cards).

And what's with only using Koolance? I don't get people that get stuck on only using a single manufacturer for parts when there are better options out there. I have a ton of info in the links in my signature...give them a good amount of time reading.
Share
March 15, 2011 1:13:07 PM

Unless you plan to do some crazy clocks on your memory and mainboard, go ahead and take them out of the loop. You would just be adding impingement to your loop with no real benefit since they will actually do just as well with a HSF.

Your big heaters will be the CPU and the two GPUs. To be honest, you only need to put your reservoir in the loop once, and that is to provide you with an easy space to bleed air out of the loop and add fluid back into the loop if it should get low.

If there a specific reason why you are running two pumps? The pump you are looking at is a re-badged Lang D5 and it should have more than enough head to push the fluid through your loop. If you are looking for failover redundancy, then that is fine...just keep it on the shelf as a ready replacement if your primary pump should fail. Your pump dumps heat into the loop...trust me, at first I thought it was insignificant, but it will actually bring your loop up by at least 3-4 degrees C (found this out by running the loop without the computer on and noticed that the loop was gaining heat over ambient temperatures).

Here is how I would set up the loop:

Pump-->CPU-->1x120mm Rad-->GPU1-->GPU2-->3x120mm Rad-->Res-->Pump

Your GPUs will run hotter than your CPU, so you will want your biggest heat dump right after you have picked up heat from both GPUs and before you cool the CPU. You could replace that 1x120mm with a 2x120mm and give yourself a little extra cooling headroom if you wanted to. It's not really that much more expensive for the radiator and 2 more fans.

Copper, brass, nickel-plated copper and brass and most stainless steels have a low affinity, so you can mix and match loops with these metals. Absolutely DO NOT mix aluminum with any of these metals or you will be dealing with galvanic corrosion in your loop.

Good luck!
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a c 330 K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 1:19:57 PM

Loop order doesn't really matter in temps, but it can help a few degrees C here and there if you stagger rads between CPU/GPUs. Your temps should be within 5-8C at any single point in your loop if you have proper flow rates and enough radiators to remove heat.

At minimum, I'd say you need the 3x120 and replace the 1x120 with a 2x120... or another 3x120 would be superb. At very minimum, you'd want 1.5x 120mm of radiator per CPU and GPU in your loop...2x120 per is even better, especially once you start to overclock and bump your voltages.
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March 15, 2011 1:58:32 PM

As for the question about the fan shrouds...they are mostly useful if the fans you are using have a dead flow spot right behind the motor spindle. The good news is that the Gentle Typhoons really don't have one, so you don't need a shroud.

And while I usually would agree with rubix_1011 on loop order, I would have to say that the CPU is used to running at least 10 degrees C cooler than the GPUs, so it would make sense to put the CPU first in the loop right after the big radiator.
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a c 330 K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 2:08:17 PM

I understand that a CPU will usually will run cooler than GPUs in an air environment, but in a waterloop, where all water touches all components, there is equal heat saturation as the water reaches and runs at equilibrium. Yes, your GPUs might register warmer with a thermal probe or temp reporting, but the actual water temp should be very, very similar at any single point. The actual reporting of the temps reported for a CPU and GPU are for what is reported by the cores, not the temp of the water in the loop/block at that specific location. The flow is running too quickly for the fluctuations of CPU and GPU temps to make substantial difference to the reported core temperatures on the relative water flowing over the blocks at any given time. Dissipation of core temperatures into the waterblock is much more even and controlled; which is the intended design of waterblocks.

Just friendly debate...this is the basis for the 'loop order doesn't matter' findings by Martin and Skinnee and average loop delta findings. Not trying to stir the pot...simply providing food for thought.
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a b K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 3:52:12 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Koolance makes some decent waterblocks and some decent industrial/commercial watercooling solutions for servers, etc...but they kind of fell out of the enthusiast eye when they had issues with corrosion several years ago. Not a good thing to use mixed metals such as aluminum and copper in your loops.


I don't see any aluminium in the waterblocks I have chosen, it is all copper, brass, nickel, acetal and stainless steel. See below.

rubix_1011 said:
You still don't have enough radiator space for your configuration...even without the MB+RAM, etc. For your CPU/GPUs, you'll need at least a 2x120 for each CPU and GPU in the loop...i7's are monster heat producers and the newer nVidia cards are also known for putting out some heat. You have the Haf-X...not sure if two, 3x120's will fit in there...you'd have to double check if you have the space; should be simple...just see if you have room for 3x 120mm fans in a row in 2 different places. Otherwise, you'll need to improvise on space.


Yeah, I realised that after I posted this...Unfortunately, with two 12" video cards, I won't have the space to put a 240mm rad in front of the cards. So what I tought I'd do is put a 480mm rad at the back, in a configuration similar to this : http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/6206/dsc02868.jpg

This is the rad I had in mind : http://www.koolance.com/water-cooling/product_info.php?...

I've taken measurements, and it would fit, albeit with less than a centimeter between the floor and the radiator. Should I go with a 360mm, or simply put the 480mm one fan higher ? This way, I'd have 120mm of clearance at the bottom of my case. The only disadvantage is that I would see the rad sticking out of the top of my case, but that's a small price to pay.

rubix_1011 said:
Why do you have 2 pumps listed? There isn't a need for what you want to cool, unless you plan on dual loops...which isn't necessary.


It was for redundancy purposes, as well as to provide a better flow rate. But from what Houdsteeth said, two pumps would dump a lot of heat, for no real gain...But then, I had tought it would look better with the 2 pumps installed, as it would have been symmetric. If I install only one, the two sides of the reservoir won't look alike.

rubix_1011 said:
I also don't see a CPU block or GPU blocks listed (guessing the GPU blocks will come when you decide what cards).


Here are the parts I chose :

CPU-370
RAM-33
MB-ASR3F
As for the GPU waterblock, I'll take the one Koolance will make for the GTX 590.

rubix_1011 said:
And what's with only using Koolance? I don't get people that get stuck on only using a single manufacturer for parts when there are better options out there. I have a ton of info in the links in my signature...give them a good amount of time reading.


I tought it would minimize the brands in my case, so that it wouldn't look like a shopping mall...
If you think there are better parts out there, I'd be more than happy to know what they are.

For the radiators, I know that XSPC produces very good ones, but they only have less than 8FPI. With Koolance, I've got 30FPI, for about the same thickness. It means I have a better cooling potential with the Koolance ones. And since the fans I will use have a very decent static pressure, I'll be okay.

So I think I'll put a 360mm rad on top of my HAF X, a 120mm inside at the rear exhaust and a 480mm outside at the back. 1 meter's worth of radiators should be enough for my cooling, right ?

Thanks for your help !
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a c 330 K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 4:01:12 PM

Quote:
So I think I'll put a 360mm rad on top of my HAF X, a 120mm inside at the rear exhaust and a 480mm outside at the back. 1 meter's worth of radiators should be enough for my cooling, right ?


Yes, you will be good with that much rad space. You'd really only need two of the 360's for your setup if you wanted.

However, I am still not sure why you went with RAM and MB blocks...RAM blocks are useless as DDR2 and DDR3 run very cool as-is; cool even to the touch. Those blocks are highly restrictive and will lower your flow rates. MB blocks are also restrictive, but there can be some argument made for them...however, they really won't add much other than just looking pretty...you won't gain anything for overclocking.

Most watercooling components look fine when mixed and matched due to almost every brand having black acetal, nickel plated or plain copper...you can match most schemes with any brand.
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a b K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 4:20:25 PM

rubix_1011 said:
However, I am still not sure why you went with RAM and MB blocks...RAM blocks are useless as DDR2 and DDR3 run very cool as-is; cool even to the touch. Those blocks are highly restrictive and will lower your flow rates. MB blocks are also restrictive, but there can be some argument made for them...however, they really won't add much other than just looking pretty...you won't gain anything for overclocking.



Well, if I presently look at my current system, which is air-cooled, I have a rampage III formula with a i7 920 overclocked to 4.2GHz (200x21 @ 1.323v) and 9Gb of RAM (1Gb-2Gb-1Gb-2Gb-1Gb-2Gb) at 1600MHz, with a QPI of 1.330 and DRAM voltage at 1.667.

At idle, these are my temps, as indicated by Asus AI Suite :

Mobo : 24°C
ICH : 42°C
IOH : 50°C

And after 10 minutes of Intel Burn Test at maximum and Furmark :

Mobo : 26°C
ICH : 45°C
IOH : 54°C

So in your opinion, with those temps, I don't need a motherboard waterblock ? From what you've said, I already dropped the RAM blocks...
That would be nice...because I quite like the heat spreaders of the Rampage III Formula. Plus, it'd pay for the other radiators/fans I'll have to buy.
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a c 330 K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 4:29:04 PM

I'd say you don't need them. If you have good case airflow, that should be just fine. Rarely does anyone have issues with actual thermal limits being the ceiling for their overclocking; most often its user BIOS settings or actual hardware limitations. Most MB blocks actually do nothing much other than make the watercooling loop look really cool and add unneeded restriction.

For a first-time loop, go with the basics and see how it works for you. I've watercooled for 9 or so years and I only run CPU + GPUs in my loop. At one time I had a NB block, but mainly for show...it didn't really contribute to temps/overclocking, so I don't run one. Most MB's have active cooling (fan) on their NB or have good enough heatsinks to dissipate heat with good airflow.
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a b K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 4:32:02 PM

Best answer selected by al360ex.
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