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First Watercooling Attempt.

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a b K Overclocking
April 5, 2011 9:53:09 PM

I am looking to make a CPU only loop and have a few questions.

I have a mid tower case and an i7 950, with room only for 2 single 120mm rads inside (w/ no case mods).

If I pick up two 120mm slim Black Ice rads (this would be best for me as i would not have to do any external work), will that be enough to cool my CPU at a substantial overclock? If it will not be enough i will most likely pick up a 360mm rad mounted externally.

I am also curious as to whether or not a 750 lph (12.5 lpm) (3.3 gpm) pump/res combo fitting in 2 5.25" drive bay slots is enough for the 2 120mm setup or the one 360mm setup?

Finally, if i do spring for the 360 externally, are there any generally good ways to externally mount a radiator? I have a coolermaster storm scout case, and seeing as it has plateau-like bumps on either side of the case mounting could become an issue.

I will also likely be upgrading to include graphics cards, more rads, and potentially a 2 loop system in the future.

Any tips or suggestions are much appreciated!

More about : watercooling attempt

a c 325 K Overclocking
April 5, 2011 11:10:59 PM

Are you talking about the XSPC Rasa kit? That would do well for you, if that is what you are asking.

Black Ice rads are typically high FPI (fin per inch) rads that need high CFM/static pressure fans to optimize their full potential. There are other rads that are better suited for cheaper, lower CFM fans.

Are you talking about each 120mm rad mounted separately? Is there not room in the top for a single 2x120mm rad? If you are planning to go with GPUs + more rads later, you might consider a different case. Typically, you want to have at least 2x120 worth of radiator space per CPU and GPU. CPU+ 2 card SLI/Crossfire; you are looking at three 2x120mm rads or two 3x120mm rads just to keep it cool. Overclocking your CPU and GPUs? Might consider more or other radiator options (XSPC RX rads come to mind).

Don't need dual loops; there isn't really anything to gain from 2 separate loops. If you want/need 2 pumps, run them all in serial. CPU block is usually the most restrictive compared to GPU blocks and radiators. Skip RAM/NB/SB/MOSFETs- very restrictive blocks, very minor actual results.

Depending on your timeframe of running a bigger loop, you might consider starting with a better pump from the start. Can you provide links to what you are considering in your first post?

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a b K Overclocking
April 5, 2011 11:51:37 PM

Thanks for the quick response rubix. I did read about the high FPI of the Black Ice rads, and i have some fairly high CFM fans, although i do not know about static pressure. Are they independent of one another?

With regards to the mounting of the two rads, i would be mounting them separately. There is no room in the case for a single 2x120mm rad on the top, however i did find that there is a radbox that i could mount off the back of the case and fit a single 360mm rad off the back. The issue with that is the grate over the back fan is raised about 1/8th of an inch (rough estimate), do you think this would cause an issue with the mounting of the radbox?

Thanks for the info on the dual loops, and as further upgrades go i hadn't really seen the price of the VGA blocks, i dont see the watercooled graphics card coming anytime soon for me. So for now its the CPU.

----The rad i am considering if i am going to mount 2 120mm's seperately is...

Black Ice GT Stealth 120 X-Flow http://www.frozencpu.com/products/4082/ex-rad-82/Black_...

---The rad i am looking at if i can manage the radbox off the back would be...

Black Ice Xtreme III Radiator w/ Customizable Fittings http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2163/ex-rad-45/Black_...

---The radbox i am reffering to is the...

Swiftech MCB-120™ Revision 2 http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2156/ex-rad-35/Swifte...

---The CPU Block i was referring to in the last post is...

EK Supreme HF Universal CPU Liquid Cooling Block - Rev 2 http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10330/ex-blc-719/EK_S...

---The Pump/Res i was referring to is...

XSPC X2O 750 Dual 5.25” Bay Reservoir Pump http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10038/ex-res-161/XSPC...

---The case i have is...

Coolermaster Storm Scout http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


If you believe that a different pump/res, rad, or anything else would work better please let me know.
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 1:33:46 AM

You really don't want an x-flow rad...stick to dual pass. Crossflow rads have a port on opposite sides and only pass the water one-way. A dual pass rad is how most are made these days...water in one side...goes down, makes a u-turn and comes back to exit.

For what you are building with this, the Rasa kits are cheaper...and the Rasa CPU block is one of the very top performing blocks. The pump is very similar as well to the one you linked...not sure if it's the same model, or if your link is an upgraded version...?

If you are going to mount the rad on the back, you might reconsider using single 120 rads and do a 220 or 320 on the back. Radbox should give you clearance over your fan grille. If not, nylon spacers from a hardware store and appropriately sized bolts will also work. Make sure not to pierce the tubes of the rad with screws/bolts being too long. You can look at the fan/mount holes on a rad and easily see if they could potentially pierce a tube or not. You'll see what I mean when you get one. :) 
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 2:34:12 AM

Ok, so the 2 120mm idea is out if as long as i can manage the 360 (dual pass) with the radbox, and potentially some spacers for the radbox over the fan grille.

The radbox i linked can support a triple 120mm rad... thats why i would mount in the back initally, so that i could use the 360 instead of the single 120.

As far as the cooling system kit, I am a little concerned about the barbed fitters, as compression fittings seem to be safer? Also, the 1700 fans may be unnecessary for me, as i already have three 2000rpm coolermaster sickleflow fans that push 70 CFM (is that enough?). Maybe if i went for the kit, could i do a push pull on the triple 120mm rad? and if i could, would that provide any cooling performance increase?

The rad provided by the kit is also 8 FPI, seeing as i have 2000rpm fans with 70 CFM would i want to take advantage of a higher FPI rad?

I also am a little confused about the 7/16in tubing, would i still be able to use 1/2" compressions if i went with the kit and changed the fitters?

Also, would you know if the rad provided by the kit is the same as the XPSC RX360? the kit it states "RS360" and the price for the kit is substantially cheaper than just buying the pump/res and the rad seperately, despite that it comes with tubing, fitters, fans, etc.

I checked some comparison results between the Rasa block and other 1366 blocks and it did perform quite well against the much more expensive options e.g Heatkiller 3.0. However, the flow capacity of it was slightly lower, and if i were to ever upgrade my watercooling system would this have any negative effect?

The kit does seem to be a good deal (pending the quality of the rad), and the pump/res combo i linked is the same as in the kit. I dont mean to be nitpicky with the questions above, so sorry in advance if they seem thay way.
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:18:49 AM

The RS360 radiator is roughly half the thickness of the RX360 radiator. The RX360 is much better.
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 5:26:46 AM

You should just get a new case.That way it will just be way easier.And it's better for when you want to start doing the GPU's.
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 1:44:22 PM

Leaps is correct: RX line of rads is very thick compared to the RS series.

RX:


RS:


Also, the 7/16 over 1/2 really only applies to using barbs...it might not work as well with compression fittings since they work on a different principle. Using 7/16 over 1/2 would be if you didn't want to use clamps on barbs, where compressions don't even go this route. Compressions and barbs are simply preference...there isn't one better than the other. I've only used barbs and never had an issue...ever. It's mostly cosmetic when you get down to it.

Higher CFM fans usually net you a little better temps. You would be fine running 1 set of fans in either push or pull...if you ran push/pull you would see improved temps.

The flow of the Rasa block being lower isn't really a big concern. It would be the only real restriction in the loop since rads are very, very low restriction and GPU blocks are typically very decent flowing as well.
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 2:08:59 PM

So, would the RS360 potentially not perform well enough to get my i7 950 to 4.2 or 4.3 with safe temps around 1.35v and 1.375vcore?

If not, would another single 120mm rad mounted internally on the top of my case in push/pull provide any significant help in temp? If that would also not be enough, I could instead do a triple 120mm rad on top (external) with a slight case mod to get the tubings to go out of the case and be able to mount it correctly.

So would i see any change in temps if i use 1/2" ID instead of 7/16" ID? and get some clamps for the barbs for the 1/2"ID tubing.
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 2:17:04 PM

You would see better temps with that RX rad, but using the RS would work just fine...I wouldn't worry. In watercooling, more radiator is almost always better since they are very low restriction and will always help reduce the water temps closer to ambient.

Tubing size doesn't really make any difference in temps from 3/8", 7/16" or 1/2". I have a link in the sticky at the top of the forum that addresses this exact question if you want to see for yourself. If you want barbs, use barbs. If you want to use compressions, use them. It really is your call, but most people that use compression use the actual tubing size for the ID of the fittings...its easier that way. Using smaller ID tubing is usually reserved for people using barbs so they don't need clamps. This also means it takes more force to get the tubing onto the barbs...be careful not to break or crack anything in the process.
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 3:35:38 PM

So for my setup i am tentatively going with...

XSPC Kit
-RS360 Rad (push/pull)
-XPSC X20 750lph pump/res combo
-Rasa CPU Block
-3 1700RPM fans

1/2 tubing and clamps (for barbs that come with kit)
-and specific recommendations?
Black Ice Stealth 120 Rad (in push/pull) (Internal)

Swiftech MCB 120 Radbox (for the triple 120mm off the back of the case)

Are there any specific fluids that anyone recommends? I am struggling to see any significant difference between them, i am looking for best quality w/ least issues, conductivity, corrosion etc.

Also, will this setup likely keep a heavily OC'ed i7 cooler than say a prolimatech megahalems with high CFM fans in push/pull? (concerning load temps)
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 3:37:38 PM

Yes, it will keep it much cooler than the megahalems.Even the cheapest actual water cooling setups will perform better than the most expensive air coolers.
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 3:53:55 PM

Distilled water and biocide or killcoil...or both.

Skinnee did a breakdown of many popular coolants: http://skinneelabs.com/coolantfluid-roundup-thermal-performance/

Plain water wins...there are others within 1C in some cases, but you still run the risk of additives precipitating out of your loop at high CPU load temps for sustained periods.

You really wouldn't need the extra 120 BIX rad unless you are adding a GPU later...even then Black Ice isn't my first choice: XSPC, Thermochill or Swiftech would be.
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:03:12 PM

Hey juice, check this out...

XSPC Rasa RX360 kit

Includes the improved RX360 radiator with the same stuff as the RS360 kit. Unfortunately, it's out of stock at the moment, but it might be worth waiting for.
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:04:04 PM

^^ Ohhh...yeah. That's the stuff. Nice find.
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:04:29 PM

orangejuice789 said:
So for my setup i am tentatively going with...

XSPC Kit
-RS360 Rad (push/pull)
-XPSC X20 750lph pump/res combo
-Rasa CPU Block
-3 1700RPM fans
1/2 tubing and clamps (for barbs that come with kit)
-and specific recommendations?
Black Ice Stealth 120 Rad (in push/pull) (Internal)

Swiftech MCB 120 Radbox (for the triple 120mm off the back of the case)

Are there any specific fluids that anyone recommends? I am struggling to see any significant difference between them, i am looking for best quality w/ least issues, conductivity, corrosion etc.

Also, will this setup likely keep a heavily OC'ed i7 cooler than say a prolimatech megahalems with high CFM fans in push/pull? (concerning load temps)


No real need to buy another set of fans, I've had dozens of the CM fan's and have never seen them running at more than 1850 RPM's, they should do fine on an RS360.
http://martinsliquidlab.i4memory.com/XSPC-RS360-Radiato...

If you're only looking at cooling the cpu, why the extra rad ? The RS360 should do fine by itself.

Distilled water and a silvercoil or a few drops of PTNuke.


Edit; didn't think I was away from the desk that long
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:07:49 PM

Happens to me all the time. :) 

Add...I think CrazyPC is going out of business but reopening with another owner? There is a possibility they might not get any more of those RX360 kits in...
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:08:06 PM

Leaps-from-Shadows said:
Hey juice, check this out...

XSPC Rasa RX360 kit

Includes the improved RX360 radiator with the same stuff as the RS360 kit. Unfortunately, it's out of stock at the moment, but it might be worth waiting for.

They're going out of business, could be a long wait.

Damn rubix, slow down :) 
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:08:47 PM

...See what I mean...?
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:10:02 PM

Wow ... I didn't know that. Sucks, as that's the only place I found the RX360 in a kit.
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:18:25 PM

Someone needs to hand out some speeding tickets with how fast things are flying through this thread.

Good find @ Jab-tech. :) 
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a b K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:43:52 PM

@ Delluser1 - Those 1700 RPM fans are just the ones that come with the kit. I also already have 3 2000RPM sickleflow fans.

Also, thanks for the jab-tech link, that RX360 will keep me from wanting to buy a single internally mounted 120mm as well... for now.

@ rubix_1011 - So, i am assuming if i go with the killcoil, that will be put in my res. and if i go with PT_Nuke, would it be a few drops per liter?

@ leaps-from-shadows - Thanks for the link as well, would have been cheaper than jab-tech. :( 

So, the tentative setup now is...

-Rasa XSPC RX360 kit

-1/2 Tubing and clamps for barbs.

-Distilled water w/ Killcoil (in res?) or PT_Nuke.

I also realized i will need to put some big holes in the back of my case to get the tubing out to the external rad... any suggestions on what i should do to protect the tubes from the case holes?
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 6, 2011 4:54:20 PM

Killcoil is fine, if you want to use PTnuke, you'll only need 1-2 drops total.

You might be able to find some grommets for any holes you drill; this will prevent tubing from rubbing in the metal. Hardware stores or an electrical supply store should have them for pretty cheap.
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a b K Overclocking
April 8, 2011 11:48:11 PM

I ordered all of the parts I need (I think) and I will be looking to work on it next week in my spare time. so wish me luck! haha but i also have a few additional questions...

Will i need to keep any fans to run air through my case aside from a 120mm in the front pulling air in and a 140mm on top pulling air out? If so, why?

What benefit comes from having a larger res? Or for that matter would it be worth it to have 2?

I also watched some videos on filling the res, however i am still confused about when to stop... do you want to leave some air? or fill it entirely? If you do want to leave air, how much?

Thanks in advance for any answers.
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April 9, 2011 12:33:25 AM

I still have the included stock front intake and rear exhaust fans on my case, mostly cause you still need some air moving around the chipset heatsinks and an around the HDD cage to make everything happy. Relying on convection to move the air on those things isn't the greatest choice.

I leave about a finger width of air in my reservoir to avoid little geyser like "burps" coming out of my fill line when getting the air out.
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a b K Overclocking
April 9, 2011 1:28:55 AM

The fans you have in the front and back are fine.And yes you still need them to cool down the mobo and GPU.

Don't forget to leak test outside of the case once you get it all put together.12hrs is reccomended but 24hrs is best.

Good video for putting together a WC unit.I believe they are using the exact same parts you are expect for the Rad.

http://www.youtube.com/user/LavcoPriceTech#p/u/8/-nqyR3...
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a b K Overclocking
April 9, 2011 2:51:09 PM

purple stank said:


Don't forget to leak test outside of the case once you get it all put together.

Only works for internal installation, OP is externally mounting the rad.
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a b K Overclocking
April 9, 2011 4:28:56 PM

purple stank said:
The fans you have in the front and back are fine.And yes you still need them to cool down the mobo and GPU.

Don't forget to leak test outside of the case once you get it all put together.12hrs is reccomended but 24hrs is best.

Good video for putting together a WC unit.I believe they are using the exact same parts you are expect for the Rad.

http://www.youtube.com/user/LavcoPriceTech#p/u/8/-nqyR3...


wow ..why you post the video of two major noobs that don't know what they are doing ?
I could't stand watching 40% of the footage :pfff: 
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a b K Overclocking
April 9, 2011 4:32:47 PM

ortoklaz said:

I could't stand watching 40% of the footage :pfff: 

I only made it as far as the part where he thought the AMD backplate was for mounting the rad :lol: 
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a b K Overclocking
April 9, 2011 4:40:58 PM

Yeah and the funny thing is the same dude that post the vid. didn't know how to apply TIM
six months ago
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 9, 2011 5:50:54 PM

That video makes me cringe to think they are trying to teach other people how they did it. Completely backwards and they risk breaking a capacitor or pulling out a wire by trying to thread a radiator though 5.25 bays...retarded. You also run the risk of twisting the tubing and having it loosen a fitting by unscrewing it from the G1/4" port in some cases.

And no, a reservoir does not help your temps. Thus, 2 reservoirs or a larger one will not help your temps. They simply hold excess water and allow you a place to fill and maintain water levels and bleed excess air.
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a b K Overclocking
April 9, 2011 6:11:15 PM

Thanks for the info guys. also when i am mounting fans on my rad, i plan on having the air be pulled out of the case and from the 1" clearance between fans and case. and pushed away from the case... for instance-

(<-FAN<-)[RAD](<-FAN<-)[RADBOX][CASE] "<-" indicating the direction the fan is blowing.
(<-FAN<-)[RAD](<-FAN<-) 1"space [CASE]
(<-FAN<-)[RAD](<-FAN<-) 1"space [CASE]


Is this setup optimal or should the fans go the other way? the other way seems counteractive to me as my case fans support an "in-the-front-out-the-back" air flow through my case.

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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 9, 2011 6:22:04 PM

Not, that's typically how most would install a back rad with a radbox.
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a b K Overclocking
April 9, 2011 6:50:45 PM

rubix_1011 said:
That video makes me cringe to think they are trying to teach other people how they did it. Completely backwards and they risk breaking a capacitor or pulling out a wire by trying to thread a radiator though 5.25 bays...retarded. You also run the risk of twisting the tubing and having it loosen a fitting by unscrewing it from the G1/4" port in some cases.

And no, a reservoir does not help your temps. Thus, 2 reservoirs or a larger one will not help your temps. They simply hold excess water and allow you a place to fill and maintain water levels and bleed excess air.


not exactly..larger res can increase pump head pressure/flow rate/kill turbulence =some improvement in overall temps ,it's not much but it's there
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 10, 2011 12:21:02 AM

Turbulence is only seen in a res, elsewhere it's microscopic and considered impingement. Many res's come with some kind of baffling device; some do not. The exposed surface area of water in a reservoir (which are usually acrylic...not the best thermally conductive materials) it's very, very minimal. There were a few reservoirs a few years ago that were finned and supposed to act like a passive radiator, but I believe most were aluminum...galvanic corrosion is worse than low-thermal-conductivity acrylic.
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a b K Overclocking
April 10, 2011 1:23:17 AM

When will all the parts get there?Wednesday?
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a b K Overclocking
April 10, 2011 1:28:57 AM

rubix_1011 said:
Turbulence is only seen in a res, elsewhere it's microscopic and considered impingement. Many res's come with some kind of baffling device; some do not. The exposed surface area of water in a reservoir (which are usually acrylic...not the best thermally conductive materials) it's very, very minimal. There were a few reservoirs a few years ago that were finned and supposed to act like a passive radiator, but I believe most were aluminum...galvanic corrosion is worse than low-thermal-conductivity acrylic.


I was referring to small vs big res
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 11, 2011 1:03:02 AM

Right; still the res isn't the ideal place for heat watts to dissipate from. It does take place but on a lower level than in the radiator. The tubing might dissipate heat better than the actual res, to be honest.
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a b K Overclocking
April 11, 2011 2:25:13 PM

@ Purple Stank - The parts should all be in later today. (Monday)
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a b K Overclocking
April 11, 2011 3:40:47 PM

Post back later tonight when you have it all together.Don't foget to leak test first
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 11, 2011 3:59:28 PM

I think you should say 'tomorrow'. Any first time watercooling user should take plenty of time on their first build.

I would hope to not see any temps or updates until at least 8-12 hours of leak testing...this allows them to understand what needs to take place and gives plenty of room for error. Frying your hardware on your very first WC loop attempt is the best way to squash the enthusiasm a beginner has for a new technology.
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a b K Overclocking
April 11, 2011 4:26:05 PM

Well i meant later tonight as when he gets all of it together.How it looks and such.I know the benchmarks won't come for a day or 2.
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 11, 2011 4:30:48 PM

I'd rather have him err on the side of caution than to slap everything together in an excited flash of haste and have something simple cause a big problem. New folks should always take their time...there are important lessons to be learned with watercooling and the art of patience.
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a b K Overclocking
April 11, 2011 4:33:03 PM

I didn't put a time limit on it.I was just saying when he gets it all together.But i understand the nesscisity to take it slow on a first time anything.
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a b K Overclocking
April 11, 2011 4:34:56 PM

Did you get the RAD cage or are you using the single rad?I remember talking about it but it's not on your list.
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a b K Overclocking
April 12, 2011 2:17:12 PM

@ Purple Stank - I ended up just using spacers w/o threads instead of the radbox, it seems like a more sturdy setup for the 3x120mm with 6 fans attached in push pull. (gets a bit heavy.)


@Rubix - Luckily i dont believe i have damaged anything in an "excited flash of haste" yet haha but i appreciate both of your concerns. :) 

I have the water block in, along with the rad externally with all of the fans and the res/pump cleaned out and ready to use, I will most likely be getting all of the tubing and clamps in tonight and hopefully will be able to start leak testing... I may wait until tomorrow depending on how long it takes me to connect everything together.
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a c 325 K Overclocking
April 12, 2011 2:32:30 PM

Yeah, take your time. I was just saying don't throw it together without leak testing first.
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a b K Overclocking
April 13, 2011 2:36:45 AM

First off i would like to say thank you to everyone in this thread who was helpful in the forming of this project... As i have finished the building and leak testing aspect, i would like to display the build.

In order to get the off-the-back-external-rad to be mounted correctly and work properly as well, i used a knockout punch to put 2 holes in the top of my case at the appropriate distance apart and appropriate size to fit the 1 and 1/16 in OD grommets w/ 3/4 in ID. The grommets were used to protect the tubing i used... I mounted the rad on some long screws w/ washers on the inside of the case and 1 in. spacers w/o threads. This was a much more sturdy setup than the radbox appeared to offer.

The order in which my loop is setup is pump>rad>CPU block>res... The reason i chose this setup is in attempt to get the coolest possible water to the CPU first... After exiting the block, the warmer water from the CPU goes to the res where a small amount of heat dissipates, then goes through the pump and to the rad where the water cools the most and heads directly to the CPU... In theory this setup is optimal in the sense that the coolest water in the loop reaches the CPU first.


The setup in full...



The rad with push/pull fans...



The internally mounted Res/Pump combo...



Top of rad, clamps, tubing, grommets...



Spacers, and mount of the rad...



Tubing inside the case...



Grommets and lip on top of case that was a real pain in the arse to knockout punch through...



Case w/ lights...




Now onto my overclocking and temp results so far.... (I tried to take screenshots and post them but they are very blurry...will look for a fix tomorrow.)

My old air-cooling left me at a total of a 4.1 Ghz stable overclock on the i7 950 w/ a highest load temp of 89C (not good i know.) w/ a voltage of 1.375V

New Watercooling at a 4.305 Ghz stable overclock gives highest load temp of 70C and without Intel Burn Test I havent seen over 61C. w/ a Voltage of 1.424V

Idle temps dropped from 45C to between 33C and 37C, even with the .2 Ghz increase in frequency and a substantial increase in voltage.

I have reached 4.51 Ghz but not stable... still have a lot of OCing to do, will post more tomorrow if i make any progress.


Once again, Thanks everyone for the input... shoutout especially to Rubix.
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a b K Overclocking
April 13, 2011 2:42:47 AM

That looks f uck ing awsome.Nice job man.Those are some really good temps too.I realize eventually you will hit a wall with the old i7 950's.Really like how the Storm Scout has holes perfectly to mount a RAD on the back.My HAF 922 doesn't have the holes that far apart.
Can't wait to see the O.C.ing when you upgrade to a Sandy Bridge in the future.If your hitting 4.3ghz with an i7950 now,i bet it will be possible for you to hit 6ghz with a Sandy Bridge, no kidding.
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