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CapeCora HF 1042 and my first attempt to build a loop

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January 17, 2013 7:29:05 AM

Hello there, this is my first post here. So lets see how it goes.

I want to watercool my system but I want to do it the silent way aka "no fans".
That's why I bought the Alphacool CapeCora HF 1042. It's big enough to do the job but it's completely made out of aluminum. :( 
So in order to not have my loop parts corrode away in no time, I wanted to ask if some of you could point out some compatible equipment.
Apparently nickel is less of a problem in a loop mixed with aluminum so i was looking into koolance parts. EK apparently has some trouble with their nickel parts.
I know I shouldn't mix different metals but I want this radiator as it seems to be the only one strong enough for passive cooling, so I have no choice.

The system is all 16/10 powered by a MagiCool Deep Quiet 700 + Aquatube reservoir, cooling an AMD 8350 and a GTX680.
I will be using a premixed coolant the CKC Cape Kelvin Catcher Clear from Alphacool as it seems to be recommended by them in combination with the CapeCora.

So I'm still missing a CPU block a GPU full-size block and the connections.

Hopefully you have some ideas.

Thanks and all the best,
Tim
a c 176 K Overclocking
January 17, 2013 7:36:18 AM



If you want to minimize corrosion as much as you can, you ideally want everything to be made of Copper, Bronze and Brass. Nickel would actually be the worst of the typical water-cooling metals to put in, except for maybe Silver.

EDIT: Image taken from Martins explanation of Galvanic Corrosion.
http://martinsliquidlab.org/2012/01/24/corrosion-explor...
January 17, 2013 8:12:15 AM

Hmmm, but what would be my options while staying with the aluminum radiator?
I looked into the MORA Pro 3 but it just doesn't cool as well passively as the CapeCora HF.
There must be something available, otherwise I don't really understand why Alphacool produces a mostly uselsess, because incompatible, radiator. :??: 

Damnit, here goes my unicorn.

Any ideas?

Best,
Tim
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January 17, 2013 8:23:47 AM

BTW.: The system is not going to be OCed
a c 176 K Overclocking
January 17, 2013 8:55:28 AM

I guess try and get components using metals as close to Aluminium on that graph as you can, as that will minimize the potential for corrosion. Use something like PtNuke instead of a kill-coil. Get some kind of Anti-Corrosive and add that to the loop, though most pre-mixes already have some.

Or, just build the loop as normal and replace the water a lot more often than a normal loop. Martins explanation seems to emphasize that the water becoming stagnant is a big factor, so replacing it fairly regularly would prevent a large buildup of metal in the water.

Or scrap the idea of passive cooling altogether and invest in some quiet fans, a solid case and sound-damping foam. The more radiator you have, the slower your fans can be. So going overkill on radiator space will probably help in your goal of silence.
Or even further, get some kind of external rad-box. that way you can place the fans and pump away from the system and yourself. Some modders have actually put their radboxes underneath their houses. Apparently its pretty quiet.
January 17, 2013 11:24:30 AM

F**K it. I'll sell the CapeCora. :p 

I'll get me a MO-RA3 450mmx450mm, which is made of copper.
An eVGA Hydro Copper with full copper cooler and a EK Supremacy full copper CPU waterblock.
I think brass barbs should be fine, right? I could find full copper ones.

BTW: Brass plated with nickel shouldn't be a big problem either, right?

Thanks for all the info and tips.
I guess otherwise I would have screwd my system pretty badly.

Ta,
Tim
January 17, 2013 11:27:20 AM

Sry, I meant "I couldn't find full copper ones."
a c 78 K Overclocking
January 17, 2013 2:56:00 PM

I'll only add to all the great responses chalkman has given!
1| You don't want mixed metals in your loop, Google/image search galavanic corrosion and you'll see how ugly they get - so you'll be worried running them in your loop... let alone live with it.
2| CapeCora's were on my list a long time ago(after seeing a mod by a German fellow) but realizing I'll want to hold onto my parts as long as serviceably possible, I walked out on that purchase! Another fail in terms of Aluminium and mixed metals was Zalman's reserator(v ??) that literally formed a gel with their recommended coolant and also was impossible to remove without damaging the block.
3| Speaking of which adding coolants or corrosion inhibitors impair your flow/liquids viscosity. Distilled being the most unrestrictive coolant to use, anything beyond them are thicker to use in your pump adding stress and ofc they add to the cost of your loops runtime. Did I mention your loop will suffer mainly due to you opting to buy a colored coolant as it cost just a few dollars more but looks awesome but in reality the coolants dye will break down over time and stick to the walls of your tube and lodge themselves in the restrictive parts of your loop aka the blocks.
4| I used Primochill Ice clear coolant on my H50 mod and I tore it apart 3 days ago and left the liquid standing in an Aluminium bowl - the thing started to smell after exposure to air in a ambient lit room...my 2 cents - coolants advertise that they inhibit bacterial growth, smelling bad after a few days means its inhibiting nothing!
5| You should pay the watercooling sticky a visit before you carry on to construct the loop and its arrangements/parts - located in my sig.
6| If barbs are in copper - copper plated "actually" they would be invisible to us if you chose colored tubing... even if you got clear tubing, you have tubing clamps that'd hide them.
7| Whats the Thermalright HR02/Nofen done wrong to not deserve your attention?

*I can't stress how important it is to read through the watercooling sticky*
January 17, 2013 8:55:30 PM

Hi there Lutfij, thanks for all the good tips and the hint with the sticky.

I'll definitely stick to one metal group after seeing those horrible pictures of corroded radiators and waterblocks. :??: 

Colored coolant is a no go for me as well. I want my system to be stable, safe and reliable under my table. :D  I'm not too fuzzed about bling, but if I can choose between reliable options and reliable bling, I might be tempted. :D 

I figured an extra reservoir can't be bad. The Magicool (pump) is built with in its own reservoir, but it’s a rather small one.

After looking closer, the MO-RA3 turned out not to be efficient enough to cool my parts passive. So the passive option seems to be out of the equation. But I'll still try to keep the noise down as much as possible with a set of super silent 140s

I was looking for full copper barbs to have the whole system as a full copper loop (to have as little corrosion as possible), but the only thing I found were copper colored ones made of brass. Like I said before, the system will be beneath the table, but if I find something nice... I might go with it :) 

The Thermalright looks HUGE. :)  I would go with something like this if I weren't on a mission to cool my graphics card as well.

One thing I'm still confused about is the radiator. Someone mentioned that I could get into trouble with condensation building up on the tubing if the radiator is an external one. Is that a real problem with 21° Celsius ambient temp? I've see some internal 360 ones which would fit my case but they are a lot smaller the MO-RA and would probably need faster spinning fans, which again would create more noise. But now that I come to think about it, the radiator review site from the sticky had a few 360s with slow spinning fans which could possibly do the trick. I've to investigate. ;) 

Thanks for all the help.
It's hugely appreciated.

Best,
Tim
a c 78 K Overclocking
January 17, 2013 9:20:54 PM

:)  Investigation is only part of the game :p  and you're already getting to your objectives...keep going!

Regarding ambient temps, you should determine your Delta's and ontop of that are you living with a room temp of 21 C all year round? Check out Ryan's subambient setup thread to understand the condensation point :)  but be prepared to be amazed!
^ located at the top of the section.
June 4, 2013 2:01:04 PM

I'm quite late to this conversation, not sure of the outcome.

I understand the issues of mixing metals, but honestly don't know what kind of time frame is involved for it to matter.
I do know that many other people - probably most people building water cooling systems - have mixed metal content and they are working fine.

My system is about two years old now:
- Aluminum Alphacool CapeCora rads (18 of them that I literally built the case out of)
- Nickel CPU water block on i7-2700k
- Copper EVGA GTX580

I have a dual pump pushing through the CPU, then GPU, then 24ft of radiator.
The PSU has a hybrid fan that only starts spinning under load. And I have two 140mm fans at the bottom of the case loping around at 400rpm.

The system is dead silent. Only when I max out everything to the fans spool up a bit faster, yet I have to know what to listen for to actually hear it.
GPU temps go from 28°C to 42°C, CPU never clears 70°C - these high temps are only from Prime95 and Furmark, otherwise, GPU above 35° and CPU above 55° is rare. Again, this is a dead silent system for normal operations (I've run it successfully without fans also), and only becomes audible with ear close under synthetic loads.

Pix and more details here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14...
!