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New to Water Cooling - Need Help with Gaming PC

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June 19, 2012 5:10:23 PM

Hello Everyone,

I am reaching out to the community here for some assistance with liquid cooled systems. I am not new to building computers, however, when it comes to liquid cooled systems, I am a novice. I have been conducting a lot of research over the last several weeks, mainly on Distilled water with a Silver Coil/and or PTNuke vs. Pre-mixed coolant. Each has their pros and cons, which were argued very well. As being new to the liquid coolant world, I am still undecided with which cooling solution I should use.

The main points that have been argued are:

Distilled Water with Silver Coil/PTNuke


Pros:
  • No conductivity, but over time does become conductive
  • More efficient in cooling than pre-mixed solution by 1-5 degrees
  • Silver Coil/PTNuke is an antimicrobial and helps against growth of algae
  • Cheap

    Cons:
  • Does not help prevent corrosion

    Pre-mixed Solution

    Pros:

  • Helps protect against corrosion and growth of algae

    Cons:
  • Runs 1-5 degrees hotter than Distilled Water
  • High chance to clog blocks
  • Ability to cause corrosion if using mixed metals
  • More expensive

    It seems like a “no-brainer” to go with Distilled Water and Silver Coil/PTNuke. My only concern is my blocks are not protected against corrosion.

    I called Koolance to get their opinion on Distilled Water and Silver Coil/PTNuke; since my CPU, GPU, and RAM blocks are Koolance. Surprisingly, the gentleman confirmed the pros and cons for both, but has the concern about the potential corrosion with Distilled Water. In addition, to his concern with corrosion, he said that all brands of distilled water is different, so depending on which brand you buy the results will vary.

    He suggested the Koolance LIQ-702 Liquid Coolant Bottle, High-Performance, 700mL (Colorless), not because he works for Koolance, but because of the corrosion prevention additive, and the fact that they make their own distilled water in house (due to all other distilled water being different). He also pointed out that a lot of companies manufacture pre-mixed coolant, but do not conduct tests for the longevity of the system, which in turn gives companies that make a good quality coolant (and the hardware) a bad name.

    On a side note, I read somewhere that using Prestone Anitfreeze Coolant for you car is viable for PC cooling. I am not sure that I would want antifreeze in PC!

    I am open to all comments and suggestions that any of you may have to help assist me. If I happened to provide incorrect information above, please let me know. Below is my build, as it may help decide which coolant I should use:

    General Parts:
    Case: Mountain Mods Extended Ascension
    Motherboard: EVGA Z77 FTW
    Processor: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5 GHz
    Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM (PC3 12800)
    HDD: 2 x Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC
    1 x Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 1 TB SATA
    Media Drive: Samsung 22X DVD Burner
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 690
    Power Supply: OCZ Fatal1ty 1000W Individually-Sleeved Modular Gaming 80Plus Gold Power Supply
    Case Fan: 25 x CoolerMaster Fan R4-L2R-20AR-R1 120mm Sickle Flow 2000rpm LED Red BlackCurrent

    Water Cooling Items:
    1 x Koolance CPU-370SI Intel Liquid Cooling CPU Block - (No Fittings)
    1 x Koolance VID-NX690 GeForce VGA Liquid Cooling Block (No Fittings)
    1 x Koolance RAM-33 Water Block (No Fittings)
    1 x Koolance RP-452X2 Dual 5.25" Reservoir Rev 2.0 (Serial or Parallel) w/ Dual Alphacool VPP655 Variable Speed Pump Installed
    2 x Black Ice GTX Xtreme 360 Radiator – Black
    14 x XSPC G1/4" Thread 1/2" ID x 3/4" OD Low Profile Compression Fitting
    2 x Enzotech G1/4" Thread 90-Degree Rotary 1/2" ID x 3/4" OD Compression Fitting
    3 x Sliding 180-Degree U Connector (Memory)
    2 x Nozzle Single, Swivel/Lock Barb for ID 10mm (3/8in) (Memory)
    2 x PrimoChill PrimoFlex PRO LRT 10ft Tubing 1/2"ID 3/4"OD with 1/8" Wall
    1 x ArctiClean 1 & 2 (Thermal Material Remover and Surface Purifier) - 60ml Kit
    1 x Danger Den Premium Tube Cutter - Designed For 3/4" OD

    I am going to run a two-loop system. One loop for RAM and CPU. Second loop for GPU. I am still deciding on how to run the first loop.

    Pump/Reservoir -----> RAM -----> CPU -----> RAD -----> Pump/Reservoir
    The reason for this design is the RAM heat is going to be very minimal, so carrying it to the CPU should not effect it.

    Pump/Reservoir -----> CPU -----> RAM -----> RAD -----> Pump/Reservoir
    The reason for this design is the water is the coldest coming from the pump, so cooling the CPU would be beneficial (since Ivy Bridges run hotter than Sandy Bridge), but not sure if I want to transfer the heat to the RAM.

    Below are two pictures of my case. The radiators will mount vertically (not horizontal) in the front, due to the space available. One will be on the left, the second one on the right, and three CoolerMaster Fan R4-L2R-20AR-R1 120mm Sickle Flow 2000rpm LED Red BlackCurrent in the middle. The front and back of the case will be the intake for air, and the top will be the exhaust (since heat rises).




    Any thoughts for my loop design?

    Thanks in advance for all of your assistance with my build.



  • More about : water cooling gaming

    a c 190 K Overclocking
    June 19, 2012 5:31:04 PM

    nice to see you've done a lot of homework there man,
    I'd suggest contacting a moderator and having this put over in the W/c section of overclocking though

    Most of us avoid coolants, plain water with coils is the most popular and a lot use some algaecide like nuke, and yes, some even use antifreeze mixes :) 
    I prefer UV light and silver myself

    I'd wonder why you are cooling the ram though, its not essential these days as ram runs very cool, not to say you can't do it, just asking if you were doing it 'just cause I can' or not :) 
    Moto
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    June 19, 2012 5:40:47 PM

    Quote:
    nice to see you've done a lot of homework there man,
    I'd suggest contacting a moderator and having this put over in the W/c section of overclocking though

    Most of us avoid coolants, plain water with coils is the most popular and a lot use some algaecide like nuke, and yes, some even use antifreeze mixes :) 
    I prefer UV light and silver myself

    I'd wonder why you are cooling the ram though, its not essential these days as ram runs very cool, not to say you can't do it, just asking if you were doing it 'just cause I can' or not :) 
    Moto


    Thanks, Moto! I will see if I can get my post transferred.

    I was mainly going for the looks with cooling the RAM, but you have me questioning if I should return it. I suppose if I am not overclocking my RAM, I have no need for it. Which would save me about $140.00!
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    Related resources
    a c 324 K Overclocking
    June 19, 2012 7:40:28 PM

    This topic has been moved from the section Systems to section Overclocking by Rubix_1011
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    a b K Overclocking
    June 19, 2012 8:43:12 PM

    like the case I have been trying to get others to get that kind of cases for quite some time always recommend them for water cooling good choice!!
    I like the two loop idea myself, but I used different reasoning for the 2 loop system. that was restrictive parts on the loop so I removed all the restrictive parts and put them to the second loop and left the less restrictive parts on the main loop. take a look at page 5 on my build log to see the results of the testing I did for the different parts of the loop

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/page-274855_29_200.ht...
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    a b K Overclocking
    June 19, 2012 11:03:48 PM

    Tagging this for after dinner
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    June 19, 2012 11:38:04 PM

    I double checked on the metals for the radiators, CPU block, and GPU block. Here is what I found:

  • I looked on the manufactures website and in the features it has 'Custom MaxFin™ 25 micron Copper Splitter Fin'.
  • The Koolance CPU water block is Nickel-Plated Copper, Stainless Steel, POM Acetal, EPDM. Although, I wonder if I should have went with CPU-370 Water Block, Rev1.1 over the current one I bought CPU-370SI Water Block since it claims to have an optimized flow path minimize coolant restriction.
  • The Koolance GPU water block is Nickel-Plated Copper, Nickel-Plated Brass, Stainless Steel, POM Acetal, EPDM

    Since all three products have copper in them, then I should be fine using distilled water will the silver coil?

    I have also been recommend to use clear tubing to watch the water for any color changes and for reduced cooling temperatures. I bought and have red tubing to go with my red theme. I wonder if it would be in my best interest to return it and get clear tubing. Or does not it make a difference?

    What are your thoughts on my Cool Master SickleFlow 120 2000 R.P.M. Fans? I was recommend to get the Scythe Gentle Typhoons, but the specifications did not match or come close to the Cool Master SickleFlow.

    Cool Master SickleFlow
    120 mm - 2000 rpm: 0.35A - 19 dBA - 69.69 CFM

    Scythe Gentle Typhoon
    120 mm - 1,850 rpm: 0.083 A - 28 dBA - 98 m³/h - 57 CFM

    Did I miss interpret the specifications from the Scythe Gentle Typhoon?
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    a c 190 K Overclocking
    June 20, 2012 12:37:35 AM

    Short answer as on mobile, red tubing is fine, certainly preferable to
    clear tubing and dye,
    If you wanted to observe the water look into your reservoir or put a section of clear in the loop somewhere inconspicuous,
    *edit because my phone cannot spell :-)
    Moto
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    a b K Overclocking
    June 20, 2012 12:50:58 AM

    Very few parts nowadays are made from aluminum - it's gained a bad reputation from communities, and it doesn't sell well since communities that know what they're doing don't use aluminum (for many reasons - namely, it's not as good a heat conductor as aluminum). Aluminum + copper would be the only reason you'd need to have an anti-corrosion agent in the coolant. Distilled is fine since your parts are non-reactive.

    Use whatever color tubing you want. No need to specifically use clear tubing. I run solid white tubing and can see any coolant issues in my reservoir.

    Your numbers for the fans are correct, but they do not account for the effects of a radiator (these are just fans out in normal surroundings). Fans on a rad would have to push/pull air through the fins, which puts more stress on the fan. Therefore the key number for the fans is the static pressure, which is how well the fans will move the air (think RPMs = horsepower and static pressure = torque in cars; the torque is what gets off-roading vehicles through tough terrain).

    I'm betting the AP-15s have a higher static pressure than the Cooler Masters, and will perform better on a radiator.
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    June 20, 2012 1:46:32 AM

    Thanks boiler. I appreciate you feedback. Since none of my parts contain aluminum, I should have no problem using distilled water + silver coil.

    Below is a picture of my reservoir/pump. Would you recommend putting each silver coil in the reservoir (where I can monitor it), or should I put it in the tube?



    In regards to the fans, it makes more sense when you explain it that way. I need to buy six fans with high static pressure to pull the air through my radiator into my case, without putting more stress on fans.

    With that said, is there a specific fan with high static pressure that you or the community recommends?
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    June 20, 2012 2:03:16 AM

    One thing I did not consider is water cooling my motherboard chipset. However, from what I can find online, no company has made a motherboard chipset water block for the EVGA Z77 FTW, as the board is still new. I did hear on the EVGA forums that EK is in the process of making one. I still need to do my research to still if it would benefit me to water cool my chipset.
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    a c 324 K Overclocking
    June 20, 2012 2:31:44 AM

    It really depends on what you plan to do, or if you mainly wish to do it for the aesthetics of the build.
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    a b K Overclocking
    June 20, 2012 2:44:31 AM

    If you prefer quieter fans (and go for a low FPI rad), the AP-15s would be the ideal case. Personally, I wouldn't spend that much on fans unless I had a seemingly unlimited budget, so I went with the 4-for-$10 Cooler Master fans and they seem to be performing well. There's several good manufacturers of low-speed fans out there.

    If you have a high FPI rad, you'll want stronger fans. The Scythe Slipstreams are great (used the 1800RPM models prior to the CM fans), and the Ultra Kazes are very strong (keep in mind they are 38mm thick, not 25mm like most fans).
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    a c 324 K Overclocking
    June 20, 2012 4:32:28 AM

    Proud owner of 6x Ultra Kaze's. And to confirm, they are some beefy fans.
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    June 20, 2012 2:52:54 PM

    I like the aesthetics of the Cool Master SickleFlow Red LED Fan. However, I think I am going to get six fans with higher static pressure for my radiators.

    Hopefully I will receive the GTX 690 water block on Friday, so I can start the build on Saturday. :D 

    Also, I was able to cancel my order with Koolance for the RAM water blocks. I have no plans of overclocking the RAM; I saved $179.00. :bounce: 
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    a c 324 K Overclocking
    June 20, 2012 2:57:40 PM

    DDR2 and DDR3 doesn't need watercooling, even if you were to overclock.

    Quote:
    Hopefully I will receive the GTX 690 water block on Friday, so I can start the build on Saturday


    What card to you have? I know there has been some confusion with GTX 580's (and possibly other models as well) about the GPU having an IHS or no-IHS and requiring a specific block based on which design you have. You'll know immediately when you remove the stock cooler as to which design you have. I haven't heard of any IHS vs. no-IHS issues with 690's yet, but they are pretty new and not a lot of people have the $$$ to drop on them.
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    a b K Overclocking
    June 20, 2012 3:36:24 PM

    Don't know how I missed this, but I would consider using XSPC RX360s over the Black Ice GTX 360s. You'll have a low FPI count and can use significantly quieter fans, rather than be forced to use higher speed fans with the 20 FPI count of the BI GTXs.

    Somebody a while back had an RX360 + RX240 and cooled his 2x GTX580s + i7 and was hitting below 40C on the GPUs at load. Fantastic rads, and the lower noise is always a win.

    As for airflow, I would recommend the UFO over the Extended Ascension - it's a bit smaller and has fewer gaps/cutouts, which will guide the air better. Instead of having the front and rear as intakes, have them both going the same direction - the airflow will conflict if they're going against each other, and you don't want to impede airflow through the rads. Use a solid panel top, since that will prevent air from drifting upward and ruining your flow path.

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    a b K Overclocking
    June 20, 2012 3:37:30 PM

    You can do this with the bigger case as well, but again, you'd want all the fans on the bottom to flow in the same direction, with solid side and top panels. Think wind tunnel ;) 
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    June 20, 2012 4:47:04 PM

    rubix_1011 said:
    DDR2 and DDR3 doesn't need watercooling, even if you were to overclock.

    Quote:
    Hopefully I will receive the GTX 690 water block on Friday, so I can start the build on Saturday


    What card to you have? I know there has been some confusion with GTX 580's (and possibly other models as well) about the GPU having an IHS or no-IHS and requiring a specific block based on which design you have. You'll know immediately when you remove the stock cooler as to which design you have. I haven't heard of any IHS vs. no-IHS issues with 690's yet, but they are pretty new and not a lot of people have the $$$ to drop on them.



    I have the EVGA GTX 690. Yes they are expensive, which is why I only bought one at the moment. :) 
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    a c 324 K Overclocking
    June 20, 2012 4:51:24 PM

    I haven't seen any no-IHS blocks for 690's (yet), so hopefully you don't encounter this confusing issue.

    And yes, I understand your reasoning, but in all reality, you likely should only need one.
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    June 20, 2012 5:03:22 PM

    boiler1990 said:
    Don't know how I missed this, but I would consider using XSPC RX360s over the Black Ice GTX 360s. You'll have a low FPI count and can use significantly quieter fans, rather than be forced to use higher speed fans with the 20 FPI count of the BI GTXs.

    Somebody a while back had an RX360 + RX240 and cooled his 2x GTX580s + i7 and was hitting below 40C on the GPUs at load. Fantastic rads, and the lower noise is always a win.

    As for airflow, I would recommend the UFO over the Extended Ascension - it's a bit smaller and has fewer gaps/cutouts, which will guide the air better. Instead of having the front and rear as intakes, have them both going the same direction - the airflow will conflict if they're going against each other, and you don't want to impede airflow through the rads. Use a solid panel top, since that will prevent air from drifting upward and ruining your flow path.

    http://i1123.photobucket.com/albums/l554/bravokiloromeo/UFO.jpg


    Hmm, well I have already purchased and put together my Extended Ascension case. One of the main reasons I went with the Extended Ascension is for the room. I figured the extra room would allow for better cable management, less room for heat to build up, and more room to expand later; especially since I plan on eventually running quad 690's! :) 

    One thing that was pointed out to me earlier about the room in this case, is I am able to install the Yate 120mm x 38mm fans. From what I was told, they are better than the Cool Master Sickleflow, and are comparable to the Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15s at a lower cost. The Yate fans cost $6.99 x 26 = $181.74.

    The fan specs are:

    Technical data:

    Dimensions: 120x120x38mm
    Rated Voltage: 12V DC
    Voltage Range: 6.5V - 13.2V DC
    Speed: 1350 rpm +/- 10%
    Airflow: 41 CFM
    Noise level: 22dB(A) MAX 29dB(A)
    Corners: Open
    Bearing: Sleeve
    Connector: 3pin and 4pin Molex
    Frame and Fan Color: Black
    LEDS: None

    Would I still have conflicting air flow if 12 Yate 120x120x38mm Fans are sucking up the air that the front and rear fans are bringing in? I hope not, unless my theory of mapping out the airflow was incorrect. :??: 

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    a c 324 K Overclocking
    June 20, 2012 6:19:10 PM

    I love MM cases; looks very similar to my design plans I'm working on with some donor cases and new build:
    Quote:

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    June 20, 2012 10:34:32 PM

    A buddy from work recommended that I use two different types of fans with different static pressures. His reason is:
  • I am using radiators with higher FINs, so I want to use a fan with higher static pressure
  • To provide optimal cooling, the intake of air should be greater than the exhaust

    With my case he suggests:
  • The front 9 fans (which include my two radiators), and the back 5, should have higher static pressure to allow maximum air flow in
  • The top 12 fans should have lower static pressure, so the amount of air leaving is low.

    I am not sure if what he is suggesting is correct or accurate. However, if it is, below are the two fans I am thinking about:

    120mm Yate Loon D12SL-12 Red LED Case Fan - Clear (I still get to keep my red theme :) )

    Specifications:
    Model: D12SL-12
    Fan Size: 120mm x 120mm x 25mm
    Speed: 1250 +/- 10% RPM
    Airflow: 38.5 CFM
    Static Pressure: 0.8mm H2O (1.1mm H2O Max)
    Noise: 25.4 dBA
    Bearing: Sleeve
    Voltage: 12 V
    Current: .15 Amp Max
    Fan Life: 20,000 hours
    Connector: 3pin and 4pin pass-through connector

    Yate Loon 120mm x 38mm Fan - Low Speed (D12SL-12D)

    Specifications:
    Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 38 mm
    Nominal Voltage: 12 V DC
    Input Current: 0.30A Max
    Nominal speed: 1350 RPM
    Airflow: 48 CFM
    Noise level: 23 dBA
    Bearing Type: Sleeve
    Frame Style: Open Chassis
    Connector: Standard 3-Pin & Standard 4-Pin Pass-Through

    I tried reaching online the static pressure for the Yate Loon 120mm x 38mm Fans, but had no luck. :(  I will research some more after dinner.
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    a b K Overclocking
    June 21, 2012 12:41:54 AM

    Gonna get to this later when I have a computer available. Too much text for an iPad ;) 
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    a c 324 K Overclocking
    June 21, 2012 2:03:59 AM

    Your buddy might be somewhat right, but not enough to make a whole lot of difference. If you do happen to have fans of 2 different speeds and power, put the stronger fans as the 'push' and the slower/weaker fan as the 'pull'.
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    a b K Overclocking
    June 21, 2012 12:03:56 PM

    My brother was hogging my desktop last night playing his ArmA II Zombie mod, so I never got back to this.

    Quote:
    A buddy from work recommended that I use two different types of fans with different static pressures. His reason is:
  • I am using radiators with higher FINs, so I want to use a fan with higher static pressure
  • To provide optimal cooling, the intake of air should be greater than the exhaust

  • These are correct - you want to make sure you have as much air as possible moving through the rads since that's really what is cooling your components.

    Quote:
    With my case he suggests:
  • The front 9 fans (which include my two radiators), and the back 5, should have higher static pressure to allow maximum air flow in
  • The top 12 fans should have lower static pressure, so the amount of air leaving is low.

  • Doesn't really matter about the outtake fans as long as your rads are getting enough air through them.

    I personally would still have the air flowing from front to rear, since the case is short enough that you'll get conflicting airflow. It will definitely impede flow if you use strong fans in the rear as intakes. It isn't going to be the difference between working and failing, but it is more efficient. You may just have to experiment, because I could be completely wrong and it'll have no effect at all.
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    !