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Looking for opinions on my water-cooling plan!

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December 2, 2011 10:42:17 AM

Hi there guys!
Well, I've got 2x GTX 570s that run hot, frequently overheating. Probably a result of them being factory overclocked and being placed next to each other due to the design of my motherboard. I've been unable to find any after-market coolers that won't make the card take up an extra slot, so I'm thinking at this point that water cooling would be my best choice for getting these two beasts a little less hot under the collar. I've also been overclocking my CPU (Intel i7 980 Extreme), but it seems to be limited by my self-contained water-cooling system. And hey, it's unlocked, so why not take it to it's full potential? :D 

OK, so the plan at the moment is a CPU, and 2x GPU water-cooling loop. My case actually has a little tray for a radiator, so I figure I should be putting it to use :D  To begin with, SAFETY IS JOB ONE! I want to make sure this this doesn't put water anywhere it shouldn't. Since my case doesn't have any windows on it, looks are not important, what's more important is that the system is rock solid and doesn't case trouble. Here's my thoughts on this based on research, feel free to add anything or correct me:

1) I won't be using coolant with dyes in it. I will only occasionally see the liquid, so I'd rather avoid the possibility of the dyes causing trouble.

2) I will be using a barb and worm clamp combination. At first, I was going to use compression fittings, but then I saw how they only *just* hold the tubes in place, and they apparently have a habit of occasionally coming loose. I figure a barb is better, since the tube is stretched out over the fitting, rather than just being held in place. And I figure if I add a worm clamp to the thin end of the barb, the tube won't be going anywhere! I was also considering using some of tubes that you heat up which tighten when they cool.

3) I won't be using waterblocks that have clear Perspex parts. I've seen a few examples of the Perspex cracking in a few spots and leaking. Now that I think about it, all the clear Perspex parts of some of the tools we use at work have cracks in them too, seems to be the nature of the beast :p 

4) The system will be tested outside of the case. Don't want to risk any parts getting wet, even if the system is off. ;)  As I mentioned, my case has a removable radiator tray, so I'm assuming installing the fully-built water loop shouldn't be much trouble.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on the basic safety of water-cooling, as to parts I was thinking:

XSPC Rasa 750 RS360 WaterCooling Kit - Seems to be a good kit for the price, though the kit only comes with a CPU block, so I'll need to add a few more parts. It comes with a three fan rad, which is the maximum size my case supports. I also like the res and pump are a combo, and it slots into a drive bay. How's the vibration on these things? As a long time aquarium owner, it's my experience that pumps like to vibrate themselves into just the right place where they can make annoying noises. Should I use silicon or something to dampen it? Also, would the design of this res cause problems with my case since it's drive bays are tool-less (i.e no screws holding it in)?

2x VGA water blocks - I'm thinking either the EK Full Cover VGA Block EK-FC570 GTX SE or the EK Full Cover VGA Block EK-FC580 DCII (Apparently my EVGA GTX 570 is compatible with the FC580 according to EK). They're almost the same price, what's the real difference between the two?

2x EK-FC Link Nvidia GeForce - I need these for SLI watercooling.

EK-FC Bridge Dual Serial 2-Slot - And one of these :p 

Tubing: I'm still not sure what size I should use. 3/4 maybe? But I think this choice will be influence by the following...

Anti-kink coils - I really want to use some of these, not just for safty's sake, but I think they also look cool! I've found an online store that has some in appealing colors, but there's only a limited number of sizes, which is why I think my choice in tube size will be influence by what anti-kink coils are available.

Fittings - I'm not sure! There's so many to choose from! As I've said, I'm probably go for a barb and worm clamp combo.

Fluid - I've been reading about pre-mix vs simple deionised water with additives. But I think I'll still choose a pre-mix, namely the EC6 Non-Conductive Coolant (Clear), mostly for it's claims of electrical non-conductivity. Yes, pure water is technically non-conductive, but the description on the product claims it's less electrically conductive than other coolants, which makes me think you can add ingredients that make coolant less electrically-conductive. I dunno, but it's not that expensive.

So that's the list of hardware I'm thinking. I'm looking to buy them from the following online Australian stores:

PC Case Gear - These guys seem to be the cheapest.
GA Mods - They have a better selection, but are more expensive. I'm thinking I'll only buy what I need from these guys.
The Kool Room - They also have a nice selection of products.
So what do you guys think?
a c 330 K Overclocking
December 2, 2011 12:37:27 PM

OK- lots to discuss here. Where to start...I'll address each numbered item you have listed.

1- No coolant. Dyes are ok. There are reasons we don't use premixes or coolants and there are a few examples in the watercooling sticky. In short, there have been many instances where coolants or premixes have precipitated out of the water under constant heat/load temps and collected and essentially 'gunked up' water blocks. You don't want this.

2- Barbs are clamps work well, it's what I've used. However, compression fittings are pretty good too...those that have issues with them usually just don't know what they are doing to begin with. They look really cool, but are rather expensive depending on your budget.

3- Perspex- is this a form acetal? In a quick Google search it looks like perspex is more closely related to acrylic rather than acetal...blocks with clear tops are typically a different form of acrylic or even acetal than I think you are thinking, but I could be wrong- I'm not a chemical engineer to give a lesson on plastics. :)  (I'm just a network/Windows/Linux Sr. Engineer) I haven't heard of these kinds of blocks leaking, and if they do, it's due to user error such as over-tightening fittings (can happen on any block or rad), using an incorrect o-ring for the block application or simply not seating the block top correctly after flushing.

(What number am I on...4?)

4- We usually suggest beginners test outside the case initially, but you'll also want to test with everything inside as well. Reason? Once you move the tubing, fittings, blocks, etc, there is a good chance that a fitting might come partially unscrewed as you twist tubing, tubing might become partially unseated in the same manner or you could even develop a crack in a block if you force tubing and a fitting as you bend or move stuff around (unlikely as blocks are very resilient, but just adding it as a worst-case scenario).

You mention a space for a radiator in your case, where is it and how big? You realize you will need more than the RX360 radiator from the Rasa kit? Likely need almost another one, in fact. Have you determined TDP for your loop yet? Have you read through the watercooling sticky?

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December 2, 2011 12:51:11 PM

Perspex, acrylic, it's all the same thing to me :p 

Thanks for the information! The size of the rad space in my case is, well, the size of the 3 fan rad in the XSPC kit :p  I'd already had a read of the sticky, but I'm still baffled when it comes to TDP, you're saying the rad from the XSPC kit won't be enough??
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Related resources
a c 330 K Overclocking
December 2, 2011 1:00:08 PM

GTX 570's have a TDP of 219 watts or so at stock speeds (you are going to run 2, so 2x that)
Your i7 980 has a TDP of 130 watts at stock speed.

This puts you at 568 watts total. If you overclock the CPU or GPUs, you'll be pushing more.

If you want to keep everything at stock speeds, the XSPC RX360 rad can handle around 550 watts or so, but with 2000 rpm fans. This would get you 'closer'. Also, you aren't running 100% load at all times, which is what we consider for TDP, but as most people will at least run intensive benchmarking for a portion of their usage, this is something to consider.

You also might consider going with a custom loop instead of the Rasa kit + blocks. I'm sure it would be fine, but if you are going to cool all that gear, a better pump with more head pressure and flow might be a decent idea. I know a lot of people do run setups similar to this, so it's up to you. If you have to go this route, go the Rasa RX360 kit instead of the RS360 kit...otherwise you'll definitely need more radiator. You could also consider a 120mm or 140mm rad in addition to either 360 rad...this would help you out.
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December 2, 2011 11:49:29 PM

Man, I was thinking since the single fan rad XSPC kit gives impressive results for cooling just the CPU, then the the three fan rad should be able to cool three things. Goes to show how things can surprise you!

Hmmm, the thicker RX kit might fit... But I guess what's also an option is replacing my outtake fan with a single fan rad. That way, I still get outtake, only with more rad power at the same time. Would a different pump be noiser than the one that comes with the XSPC one?
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December 3, 2011 1:36:08 AM

The pump that comes with the XSPC one is the X20 750. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

ALL pumps are noisy to begin with, since there are air bubbles roaming around everywhere. However, once you start having it settle in, the build becomes very silent. (Unless of course, you have some Delta fans not running on a controller, which I wouldn't expect you to do unless you plan on blasting your ears off.)

Also, to answer your question about the radiator, what is your case?
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December 3, 2011 1:45:50 AM

My case is an Alienware Area 51, quite big, and like I said, there's a removable tray for a three fan rad.
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December 3, 2011 1:52:02 AM

I dislike Alienware with a passion. No offence.

I don't have much experience with those cases. I'll research for you.
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December 3, 2011 2:16:35 AM

Thanks! Regardless of your opinions on the company itself, you'd have to admit they do make nice cases ;)  And I'm not just talking about appearance (stuff like mounting the HDDs vertically in their own chamber behind the motherboard with their own cooling system is a clever idea), but I'm fond of their design too :D 
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December 3, 2011 2:41:01 AM

They do make nice cases, I'll admit that. (Albeit some of the features aren't exactly "practical") But their Customer Support is..... Terrible. Haha.

Anyway, I couldn't find any solid threads or pictures about the Area 51. The fact that it's a 2000$ Premium and its geared towards people who don't have the patience to build a PC, not many people really want a WC it.

Could you perhaps list how many fan mounts there are?
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December 3, 2011 2:44:14 AM

Let's see, there's the rad tray that runs the length of the top of the case that looks like this:



There's also room for a 92mm rear fan:
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December 3, 2011 3:06:39 AM

I'm a bit worried about the "Lip" on some radiators, they might not fit in without modding.

For the 92mm Rear fan mount you can look at this

http://www.aquatuning.us/product_info.php/info/p1704_Ma...

Not the best, but if you want to over-rad this is the way to go.

(Unless of course you don't have any alternative ways to exhaust, then I strictly think you shouldn't do this.)

And for your 120x3

http://www.aquatuning.us/product_info.php/info/p8242_Aq...

(This is the absolute best radiator on the market so far.)

If you don't want the price premium, you could always go for a MCR320, RS360, or a RS260


For the 120mm fans get the GT-AP15

http://www.aquatuning.us/product_info.php/info/p6624_Sc...

(The fans are very cheap at this site, I personally am going to grab about 4-6 of them.)

I'm not sure about the 92mm fans, those are out of my expertise.
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December 3, 2011 3:21:14 AM

Ah, Australia. Thats perfect, everything is basically in stock over there. Here is the link for the Australian store.

http://www.aquatuning.us/index.php

You'll get about a 4-5C performance increase which is pretty substantial if your trying to get the best deltas.
Though if you are budgeting, get the RX360. Great performance for a great value.
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December 3, 2011 3:39:22 AM

Oh cool, there's an Australian version! A lot of the site seems to be in German, but anyway. Speaking of budgeting, it appears that the Aquacomputer airplex Revolution 420/360 G1/4 is actually CHEAPER than the RX360! $91.52 vs $117.64! Although, when it comes to review awards, the RX360 has two gold awards, while the Aquacomputer rad only has one silver, which makes me think the RX360 is better...

So where are we at now? I need to finalise what rad I should be using?

*EDIT* Turns out that the AUS version of Aqua Tuning is still based overseas, which means a long delivery time and killer shipping fees, so I think we'd best stick with the three sites I mentioned already :p 
PC Case Gear
GA Mods
The Kool Room
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December 3, 2011 12:43:22 PM

Aquacomputer is currently the best and most reliable company for watercooling equipment. They ARE pricey however.

Hmm. You could put in your zip code and they could calculate your shipping time.
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December 3, 2011 7:35:38 PM

Yeah, I've done that, and it's mighty expensive. :/  Besides, it seems like a lot of the stuff they sell can also be found among those three Australian websities I linked to ;) 
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December 5, 2011 8:01:06 AM

Already, back to water cooling then! Firstly, I need to sort out the radiator situation. According to skinneelabs, the best is the Thermochill PA120.3 15mm. All the Thermochill rad I can find in Australian stores are absurdly expensive (a good $200 for the rad alone!), so for the sake of my poor wallet, we need to move on! According to the chart on skinneelabs, that's the Aqua Computer AirPlex Revolution (as SushiDragon said). I've only been able to find one AUS online store that stocks them, and they're currently out of stock :(  I was able to find the Aqua Computer Airplex XT 360 at a different store, but being a smaller rad could make it worse then a different brand rad that's the same size as the full-size Aqua Airplex. Either way, even if that previous store had the AirPlex Revolution, I'm still looking at a good $231 for it, plus the CPU block and res pump combo that comes with the XSPC RX360 kit (I'm choosing the parts from the XSPC kit to get a baseline for the kit vs a fully custom build), while the XSPC kit is $202.

Not too sure where to go from here, do you think the AirPlex Revolution worth the extra scratch? Because it sure would be simpler to get the XSPC kit and just buy a few extra blocks! :p  Getting the temp of my water down seems to be my biggest problem, and that's definitely where a good rad would come in. Thoughts please?
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a c 330 K Overclocking
December 5, 2011 12:53:02 PM

I don't think you can find the TC PA rads anymore...they are no longer sold.

You need to assess how much heat in watts you will be producing and find radiators to address these needs. Buying a Rasa or Raystorm kit would be alright, but you want to run your GPUs as well...the X20 pump is decent, but not what I would choose to run a CPU+2 SLI loop with multiple rads. In watercooling, the 'best' and 5th place are really only separated by a few degress Celsius...so that is somewhat confusing and misleading to the majority of people out there.

What is your budget? What sites would be best suited ordering from so we can get you some ideas based on what is available to you?
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December 5, 2011 12:55:36 PM

Don't concern yourself with radiators too much. I just suggested it since it WAS in stock and it wasn't too expensive to upgrade from there. Radiators are the strongest part in your build.

Check the prices on these parts:

MCR320-Drive-R3
XSPC Raystorm Water Block

XSPC X20 Dual 5.25 Bay Pump/Reservoir

RS360 Radiator
RX360 Radiator
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a c 330 K Overclocking
December 5, 2011 12:58:35 PM

DDC pump and top/res or bay/res is the route I would go...but Swiftech Drive units are great.

I'd skip the X20 unless you are actually getting a Rasa or Raystorm kit. Pump is OK, but designed for beginner loops. Not to say it wouldn't work, because a lot of people run this in larger loops...just not something I personally would go for. A better pump can be had for marginally more.
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December 5, 2011 1:19:17 PM

rubix_1011 said:
I don't think you can find the TC PA rads anymore...they are no longer sold.

You need to assess how much heat in watts you will be producing and find radiators to address these needs. Buying a Rasa or Raystorm kit would be alright, but you want to run your GPUs as well...the X20 pump is decent, but not what I would choose to run a CPU+2 SLI loop with multiple rads. In watercooling, the 'best' and 5th place are really only separated by a few degress Celsius...so that is somewhat confusing and misleading to the majority of people out there.

What is your budget? What sites would be best suited ordering from so we can get you some ideas based on what is available to you?

So a good rad is indeed the key in bringing your temps down eh?

As to budget, I'm not looking to set world record breaking overclocks, so I don't want a gold-plated, a top shelf water cooling system ;)  My initial plan was the XSPC kit ($200) plus the extra bits it doesn't come with (say, $200 on top of that), so maybe a budget around there. I'd like to be able to run my CPU with a bit of an overclock (I've currently got it at 3.7 ghz with a little all-in-one water cooler and it's running with no issues, so I figure a proper water cooling system would let me take it over 4 ghz). And in the case of my GPUs, I'd like to be able to run them at at least their factory overclocks without them busting into flames ;)  I'll probably end up replacing these two parts within a few years, so water cooling with the concept of lowering temps to increase lifespan isn't the plan here.

Here's three Australian online stores with lots of water cooling gear, I've never used them, but the people on forums I was reading seem to think they're ok:
PC Case Gear
GA Mods
The Kool Room

SushiDragon said:
Don't concern yourself with radiators too much. I just suggested it since it WAS in stock and it wasn't too expensive to upgrade from there. Radiators are the strongest part in your build.

Check the prices on these parts:

MCR320-Drive-R3
XSPC Raystorm Water Block

XSPC X20 Dual 5.25 Bay Pump/Reservoir

RS360 Radiator
RX360 Radiator


MCR320-Drive-R3: $69.00 at PC Case Gear
XSPC Raystorm Water Block (I was actually interested in this one myself, it looks cool!): $77.50 at GA Mods
XSPC X20 Dual 5.25 Bay Pump/Reservoir: $63.50 at GA Mods
RS360 Radiator: $69.50 at GA Mods
RX360 Radiator: $109.00 at GA Mods

rubix_1011 said:
DDC pump and top/res or bay/res is the route I would go...but Swiftech Drive units are great.

I'd skip the X20 unless you are actually getting a Rasa or Raystorm kit. Pump is OK, but designed for beginner loops. Not to say it wouldn't work, because a lot of people run this in larger loops...just not something I personally would go for. A better pump can be had for marginally more.

I do like the idea of the pump and res being one unit though, one less thing to go wrong ;)  Plus, I don't need to drill any holes in my case to mount a pump, and there's the convenience of the whole thing sitting in the drive bay where I can check on it.

Speaking of pumps and res, is there any advantage to having a big res? I figured that with more water in your system, the overall temp of the water would be cooler since there's more of it.
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a c 330 K Overclocking
December 5, 2011 1:40:22 PM

Quote:
I'd like to be able to run my CPU with a bit of an overclock (I've currently got it at 3.7 ghz with a little all-in-one water cooler and it's running with no issues, so I figure a proper water cooling system would let me take it over 4 ghz)


Watercooling may or may not allow a better overclock than what you are seeing- it really depends if thermal is preventing you from reaching those speeds now or not. The biggest thing that holds back people from overclocking is typically how you are doing it and the hardware being used. These 2 account for at least around 95% of overclocking ceilings or failures.

Quote:
MCR320-Drive-R3: $69.00 at PC Case Gear


This is very, very likely without a pump. A normal MCR320 runs around $55-$60. Unless this is some kind of crazy cheap closeout sale, it is incredibly likely that it doesn't include a DDC pump.

Quote:
Speaking of pumps and res, is there any advantage to having a big res? I figured that with more water in your system, the overall temp of the water would be cooler since there's more of it.


Initially, this is somewhat true, but once the system reaches a working equilibrium, the amount of water in your res doesn't really make any difference. The only way this is possible is if the reservoir is large enough to allow natural convection to cool the water (we're speaking the size of a large rubber tote or larger) or the res is large and includes fins (like an external heatsink) to allow convection cooling. Most reservoirs are neither, so this won't be the case. You need to substantially increase the surface area that water is exposed to with a cooling interface medium (the tubes of a radiator are thin like they are for a reason) to allow water in the 1.0-1.5gpm flow to be cooled before returning to the rest of the loop once collected in the radiator tanks and then moved back into the tubing.

A larger capacity of water in your loop will simply allow cooler operating temperatures for an additional few minutes following a cold boot. If you were to let a loop with a small res idle for an hour, record the temps, and then replace the res with a larger one, at the end of the hour, both would have the same idle temps. However, your graph (if you made one) of each minute for the hour would slope slower for the larger res than for the smaller. End result- temps are the same either way.
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December 5, 2011 5:36:32 PM

(Raystorm is pricey in AU!)

If your budget is around 400$ You should be able to get a fairly good WC setup. I'm not sure if you could cool the GPUs however.

CPU Waterblock: Raystorm: 77.50
Pump: Laeing DDC-3.25: 104.50
Reservoir: XSPC Dual 5.25 Reservoir: 44.50
Radiator: RX360: 109.00

Total: 335.50
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That doesn't include the barbs/compressions, tubing, and whether or not your going to go into GPU cooling.

Anyway, so just to clarify, your budget is around 400-500$?
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a c 330 K Overclocking
December 5, 2011 5:51:30 PM

I think US $ AUS $ is almost 1:1 ...its like 1.00 USD =0.974534 AUD, so should be a good estimate. Only thing I am not sure on is price differences and shipping, but since he asked for AUS sites, thinking that might be a decent choice.


CPU + 2 GPU loop going to be difficult on $400...$500 is even tough unless you go Rasa RX360 kit+ 2 GPU blocks + RX240 additional rad.
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December 5, 2011 6:23:03 PM

Those are AU prices from his sites.

I think two GPU waterblocks are going to easily set him over his budget.
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December 5, 2011 10:22:15 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Watercooling may or may not allow a better overclock than what you are seeing- it really depends if thermal is preventing you from reaching those speeds now or not. The biggest thing that holds back people from overclocking is typically how you are doing it and the hardware being used. These 2 account for at least around 95% of overclocking ceilings or failures.


I was able to get it to 4ghz, but it ran a little on the warm side, so I backed off.

rubix_1011 said:
This is very, very likely without a pump. A normal MCR320 runs around $55-$60. Unless this is some kind of crazy cheap closeout sale, it is incredibly likely that it doesn't include a DDC pump.

Oh, I thought it was just a rad :p 

rubix_1011 said:
Initially, this is somewhat true, but once the system reaches a working equilibrium, the amount of water in your res doesn't really make any difference. The only way this is possible is if the reservoir is large enough to allow natural convection to cool the water (we're speaking the size of a large rubber tote or larger) or the res is large and includes fins (like an external heatsink) to allow convection cooling. Most reservoirs are neither, so this won't be the case. You need to substantially increase the surface area that water is exposed to with a cooling interface medium (the tubes of a radiator are thin like they are for a reason) to allow water in the 1.0-1.5gpm flow to be cooled before returning to the rest of the loop once collected in the radiator tanks and then moved back into the tubing.

A larger capacity of water in your loop will simply allow cooler operating temperatures for an additional few minutes following a cold boot. If you were to let a loop with a small res idle for an hour, record the temps, and then replace the res with a larger one, at the end of the hour, both would have the same idle temps. However, your graph (if you made one) of each minute for the hour would slope slower for the larger res than for the smaller. End result- temps are the same either way.

Ah OK, so the size of your res isn't really important, gotcha.

SushiDragon said:
(Raystorm is pricey in AU!)

If your budget is around 400$ You should be able to get a fairly good WC setup. I'm not sure if you could cool the GPUs however.

CPU Waterblock: Raystorm: 77.50
Pump: Laeing DDC-3.25: 104.50
Reservoir: XSPC Dual 5.25 Reservoir: 44.50
Radiator: RX360: 109.00

Total: 335.50
---

That doesn't include the barbs/compressions, tubing, and whether or not your going to go into GPU cooling.

Anyway, so just to clarify, your budget is around 400-500$?

Yeah, around that much. Looking around, most GPU blocks seem to be $100 or so. Speaking of GPU blocks, what's you guy's opinions on Aquacomputer's Aquagra FX GPU blocks? I like that they're fully made of metal, no plastic to crack. They sell a copper version and one made out of a silver metal (it says "copper" in the description, so maybe it's the same just with a different color).

rubix_1011 said:
I think US $ AUS $ is almost 1:1 ...its like 1.00 USD =0.974534 AUD, so should be a good estimate. Only thing I am not sure on is price differences and shipping, but since he asked for AUS sites, thinking that might be a decent choice.


CPU + 2 GPU loop going to be difficult on $400...$500 is even tough unless you go Rasa RX360 kit+ 2 GPU blocks + RX240 additional rad.

The AUD is currently at 1.0262 US. But the biggest thing with buying from an American store is shipping, the quote I got before was like $50 per KG! :o  AUS site would have much cheaper shipping ;) 

SushiDragon said:
Those are AU prices from his sites.

I think two GPU waterblocks are going to easily set him over his budget.

Yeah, the GPU blocks are probably gonna be the most expensive parts.
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December 5, 2011 10:43:55 PM

AquaGraFX are the best performing GPU waterblock according to Skinneelabs. I'm pretty sure both of them are made of copper, just one of them is nickel-plated.
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December 5, 2011 11:03:55 PM

Nice! From the looks of things, this waterblock will convert my GPUs into single slot cards, which would be nice since I'd now be able to use some of the PCI Ex slots that were being covered up. Do you know if they sell replacement brackets that convert a dual slot GTX 570 into a single slot?

Oh and also, the Laeing DDC-3.25pump you mentioned, does it fit inside the XSPC Dual 5.25 Reservoir?
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December 5, 2011 11:31:05 PM

Thats why I picked it. Just screw off the Laeing DDC pump's top and fit it inside the Reservoir. ;) 

What manufacturer made your 570? I know my 580 has a replacement PCI Bracket, but not all 570s are single slot.
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December 6, 2011 12:26:07 AM

Really? You can do that? That's pretty cool, makes the pump replaceable too!

I take it the pump you're talking about is THIS ONE and the res is THIS ONE?

Back to the rad again, I posted about this on the Alienware forums, and I was told
Quote:
The top chamber can hold 3x120mm fans but the best you can do is 3x single 120 rads and not a 240 or a 360 single rad. Reason being is you know how the radiators stick out a bit for the hose nozels? There's solid pieces of metal blocking the very left and right side of the chamber so the hose nozel has to face towards you (Alienware sets up their default 120 rad like that) you also need a 38mm thick 120mm fan for clearance purposes. I hope this helps.

Now I'm sure I've seen a post on the Alienware forums where a guy had successfully installed a 3 fan XSPC rad (he did say the thickness of the rad can be a problem), so it should be able to be done. If not, it sounds like the rad tray will need to be modded, assumingly because the part of the rad where the tubing is installed sticks out a bit.

*EDIT* Forgot to mention, my GTX 570s manufacturer is EVGA. Speaking of which, Aquacomputer says on their website
Quote:
Some GTX 580 cards (e. g. from EVGA) do not use a heatspreader for the GPU. Such a graphics card can not be used since the GPU will not have any contact to the cooling block!

I thought that EVGA's cards used the reference design? While my card is a 570 instead of a 580, does this mean this waterblock wouldn't be compatible?
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December 6, 2011 1:54:38 PM

No no, its just that some cards made by EVGA (And any other distribution company) are not reference designs. Check the model of the GTX 570 and we can help you.

And yes, those are the parts I'm talking about. You could go for the RS360 for clearance issues. Anyway since the rad box can only hold 38mm fans look at these:

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

Oh, and a question, do you care about how quiet your rig is?
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December 6, 2011 10:55:19 PM

The model of my 570s are:012-P3-1572-KR (EVGA GTX570 SuperClocked).

Yeah, according to the Alienware forums:
Quote:
You can use a tripple rad with thickness around 30 to 45cm. It's very important to note that if you use 38mm Fan, you ain't gonna need to do any mod to the cage.

It sounds like the RX360 will be too thick, probably gonna need to go the path of the RS360 like you said. I see XSPC have a new rad model, the EX360, know anything about it?

Interesting fans, are they "sought after" because they're powerful but quite or something like that?

As for quietness, I would like it to be reasonably quiet. At least, quieter than it is now with the fans turned up a bit to keep my GPUs cool. With a GPU waterblock, my noisy GPU fans will be gone, so that's a start :D  Don't mind a bit of fan noise, just so long as they're not spinning fast enough to reach that "whine" or "WOOSH!" stage.
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December 6, 2011 11:33:32 PM

I know what you mean, that sound is annoying as annoying will ever be. The San Ace has a low pitched "Hum" even at it's highest RPM. But mostly your only hearing the airflow coming from the fan. Put it on a fan controller and you got a very quiet and efficient build.

Yup, your card is reference. Here's the block you should go for:

http://www.thekoolroom.com/product/aquagrafx-gtx580-gtx...
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December 7, 2011 6:39:13 AM

Yep, that's the waterblock I was looking at, though I think the copper one looks nicer :D  Oooh, Aquacomputer also sell replacement brackets to turn the GTX 570 into a single slot card. Looks like I'll also need ONE OF THESE in order to get SLI working. Should I be connecting my two cards in parallel or series?

Okay, so where are we at? Will the RS360 (or the new EX360) do the job for the radiator? What should we be looking at next?
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December 7, 2011 10:59:27 AM

1946369,35,888359 said:
Yep, that's the waterblock I was looking at, though I think the copper one looks nicer :D  Oooh, Aquacomputer also sell replacement brackets to turn the GTX 570 into a single slot card. Looks like I'll also need ONE OF THESE in order to get SLI working. Should I be connecting my two cards in parallel or series?

Okay, so where are we at? Will the RS360 (or the new EX360) do the job for the radiator? What should we be looking at next?

You should go with the EK series. It will cool both your CPU and GPU. It does have a higher FPI but those San Aces aont have a problem with it.
[/quote]
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December 7, 2011 12:06:09 PM

Cool! But I can't seem to find stock of any San Ace fans!
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December 10, 2011 12:45:11 AM

Okay, so what would you suggest? Is there a good alternative to the San Ace fans from an Australian store, or would it be worth it to import some San Aces? They wouldn't be very heavy, so shipping won't be that expensive.
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December 16, 2011 7:56:54 AM

Bumping topic, since we're almost there! Need to work out the fan situation, are the San Ace fans worth importing, or are there similar fans available from Australian stores?
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a c 330 K Overclocking
December 16, 2011 12:46:17 PM

San Ace's are good, but you don't need to go with them, necessarily unless you are dead set on them. What other options are you considering?
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December 16, 2011 3:41:03 PM

Well, nothing at the moment, aside from the San Ace's based on SushiDragon's recommendation :p  What fans would you suggest? And what rad? The RS360 (or perhaps the new EX360)? One of EK's like SushiDragon suggested? Or something else entirely?
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a c 330 K Overclocking
December 16, 2011 3:56:02 PM

Quote:
The RS360 (or perhaps the new EX360)? One of EK's like SushiDragon suggested? Or something else entirely?


Yep. Any of these would be good options...just comes down to your preference and budget.
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December 17, 2011 12:51:09 AM

They're all in a similar price range:
EK­CoolStream RAD­XT (360) = $86.60
EX360 = $61.50
RS360 = $61.50

So I guess the question is which has more cooling power? They're all 360 rads, so I'm assuming they're all the same size?
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December 17, 2011 2:36:32 AM

The EX360 has more cooling power than the RS360, mainly because its a little bit thicker and it has a higher FPI density. The higher the FPI, the more cooling power it has. Same with thickness of the radiator. More surface area equals more cooling potential. However, the more FPI you have, you have to have more powerful fans which equals higher DBA.

For instance, a thin radiator with a low FPI density could use a low RPM fan which pushes low CFM and low static pressure, whereas a thick radiator with high density requires more space and very powerful fans, such as Deltas or San Aces, which are very, very, very, loud on their highest end fan.

Negative results occur when you try to use a high RPM fan on a low FPI radiator, or visa versa. Convection can only go so fast.
While a low RPM fan on a high FPI radiator will fail to push enough air through the fins and wont provide efficient cooling power.

My advice is to go with the EX360 since first of all, your going to have to use 35mm fans, which have a good amount of pushing power. Using a RS360 with low density FPI will inhibit performance.
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December 17, 2011 3:38:59 AM

Thanks for the into Sushi! I've been reading reviews on the EX360, and it seems to be a very good performer, and from the looks of things, does very well at low fan speeds. Which brings us back to fans, would powerful fans be recommended for the EX360? In that case, we'd probably have a limited choice of fans, as we need something with power, but also not loud. But if a slower fan is perfectly adequate, that would probably be a greater choice of fan, many of which should be available in Australia. Which would you recommend? Scythe Ultra Kaze? Koolance? Something else?

Here's those Australian online stores again:
PC Case Gear
GA Mods (they don't seem to have very many fans to choose from)
The Kool Room
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December 18, 2011 3:18:12 AM

You could get a Scythe Ultra Kaze and use a fan controller on it. It'd be quiet and you can turn it up and down depending on your CPU/GPU needs.
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December 18, 2011 3:40:51 AM

With the bay res, I won't have any room for a fan controller :p  Unless there's a software solution?
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December 22, 2011 9:28:22 AM

Okay, back to the fans, the Ultra Kaze seem pretty awesome, but they're suppose to be rather noisy. As SushiDragon said, I could slow them down with a fan controller, but with all drive bays taken up with a Blu-ray drive and a res, there's no room for one! So, should I:
1) Find some other way of slowing down some Ultra Kazes? (maybe it's possible to chain them all up to one of these (http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...)?
2) Choose a different fan?

Thanks!
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a c 330 K Overclocking
December 22, 2011 1:58:20 PM

I have 6 Ultra Kaze's and they get noisy. I'd suggest either the 1000 rpm or 2000 rpm versions...the 3000's are very loud, but they also move a ton of air. So, you can't really have your cake and eat it too when it comes to fans. Unless of course, you have a fan controller.
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December 22, 2011 9:35:47 PM

I was thinking the 1000 or 2000 versions too... But all the ones for sale are the 3000 version! What now? :\
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!