Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Help building liquid cooled gaming machine

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 14, 2010 5:05:51 AM

Okay guys, I'm setting out to build my first gaming system. My mind is getting a little numb from reading all the specifications and all the various pros and cons comments about every part. Well, I've settled on most of the components, but need some help with adding liquid cooling, and I'm still open to any additional suggestions.

Lian Li PC-P80 Full Tower Case
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9 Motherboard
Intel Core i7-980 Extreme Edition (Gulftown) 3.33 GHz
6 x 4Gb OCZ FLEX EX 240-pin Hybrid cooled DDR3 SDRAM 2133 MHz
2 x Corsair P256 SSD 256GB (for OS drive w/RAID)
2 x HP AW555A 2Tb Internal HDD (program/data drive w/RAID)
2 x Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD writer
4 x MSI N480GTX HydroGen GeForce GTX-480 1.5Gb (note: also liquid cooled)
2 x Samsung 24" B2430HD HD WideScreen LCD Monitor w/TV tuner & USB port & remote
Logitec G510 Black Game Keyboard
Saitek Cyborg R.A.T. Gaming Mouse
Creative Labs Arena Surround Gaming Headset
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Microsoft Office 2010 Professional

Okay, that much I've decided on, so what else do I need. I know I need to get the components for the liquid cooling system, if you noticed, the MoBo, the memory, and the Graphic cards are all liquid ready, just need to cover the CPU block, the radiator, the pump, whatever fittings might be needed and such. But, my lack of experience with liquid cooling leaves me a little leary of making the choices.

Help!
a b 4 Gaming
October 14, 2010 5:26:03 AM

Where is the power supply ?>
m
0
l
Related resources
October 14, 2010 6:12:15 AM

Oops! Just forgot to include it as I was typing the info.

Silverstone ST1500 1500W Power Supply Unit Quad SLI ready.
m
0
l
October 14, 2010 6:16:20 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Well that is a lot of money you have put on that build...
I am not sure if it is worth it though...Check this article, it might interest you...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quad-sli-nvidia-sur...
As for the watercooling setup, you would get better responses in the Overclocking section of our forum...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quad-sli-nvidia-sur...


Well, I guess I should have been more specific for function, I agree that most of the time, 3-way SLI will outperform 4-way, which is how I would set up the graphics cards. So, why the 4th card? The 4th would be set as a dedicated PhysX card.

Anyway, I'm retired and if I don't spend my money on toys for myself, I still can't take it with me.
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
October 14, 2010 6:26:07 AM

^ For a dedicated PhysX, I dont think you would need a GTX 480...
m
0
l
October 14, 2010 7:33:37 AM

gkay09 said:
^ For a dedicated PhysX, I dont think you would need a GTX 480...

From what I've read at nvidia, it is best to keep the PhysX equal to the SLI boards though, but, even the GTX 260 would probably handle most of the PhysX capabilities currently out there.
m
0
l
October 14, 2010 5:40:42 PM

Wow... talk about massive over kill.
READ UP ON WCing BEFORE DOING ANYTHING!

Anyways as for basic specs:

Swifteh XT or EK Supreme HF

1x 360 rad for the CPU

2x 480 rads for the GPU. I have no idea what kind of heat 4x GTX480s puts out. Never seen any one run a set up like that.

2x MCP655

7x 120mm fans, Yate Loon, Slipstreams,etc.

1/" ID 10+ft of Primoflex LRT or Tygon.

2x Micro res or any other res you care for

Additional fittings depend on the rad and how you plan to set up the loop. Use compression fittings in any possible cases.


FYI: Do realize running RAID on the SSDs will not allow you to use TRIM. You are also wasting a $hit load of money. Your set up will be outdated when Sandy Bridge CPUs come out in a few months. Even the mid range "cheap" (Estimated at ~$250 at release) Sandy Bridge CPU can keep up with or beats the 980X: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...

There is also no point in getting WCing for the RAM. DDR3 already runs cool.

edit:
By the looks of those HP HDDs, it appears as if those are SAS, you can't use SAS drives with that motherboard and I don't see a 3rd party SAS controller. This is your drive, correct? http://www.provantage.com/hewlett-packard-hp-aw555a~7HE...
YOU CAN'T USE A SAS DRIVE AS A SATA DRIVE as the power/data connectors are different.

SAS vs SATA:

Top is SATA.

This seems like a build put together by some noob kid, simple mistakes and over priced. I think some one just went and looked up the most expensive components and put it together. Stop wasting our time. Build that PC first and then come back and post a pics of the rig. Then we'll talk about WCing it.
m
0
l
October 15, 2010 2:37:31 PM

Thanks for the info on the WC stuff, will look into it and see what I can find. Most of what I've found to read on liquid cooling has been confusing, so all the info I can gain between now and when I start building this in the spring will come in handy. As I said in the original post, the last time I build a machine was for an AutoCAD application back in the mid 90's. Ancient history in computing. Since then, my machines have all been off the shelf at Best Buy or some other box store, was too busy running my construction company to take time to build computers. Now, I'm retired and I just want to get back into, flying, skydiving and trying to push the envelope on my computer. Since I haven't build a machine in almost 20 years, I'll probably build a few of the $1000 & $2000 machines that they list in the "Best Config" section and give them to the kids and grandkids.

Most applications of the quad GPUs are running 4-way SLI and having the CPU handle the PhysX. But, from the benchmarks that I've seen, in most cases, 3-way SLI actually outperforms the 4-way. Ran into a couple of systems using just 2-way SLI and a dedicated PhysX GPU which actually outperformed the 3-way. So, I'm thinking to combine the two concepts. Run 3-way SLI and have a dedicated PhysX GPU. Might be a waste, but won't know till someone tries it. Worst case senario, if there is no increase in performance, I'll have a backup GPU if one dies.

Thanks for the heads up on the HDD. I must have overlooked the fact that it was SAS. Too bad I have to pass on the 6Gb/s throughput. In the long run I lose 50% of HDD performance but in most instances, HDD performance doesn't come into play, so the cost/benefit/performance point is exceeded by these drives. Okay, my mistake! So I switch out the HP drives for 2 x Western Digital RE4 WD2003FYYS 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives. Still plenty of room for whatever I decide to put on them.

Sandy Bridge will be nice if you want to build a system with just on-board graphics. Most of the performance enhancements in the Sandy Bridge processor are targeted in better graphics capabilities native to the CPU and targets more of the mobile computing market than does the i7. Sure, you save much by not having any graphics cards but you rule out the benefits of both SLI and CrossfireX depending on your preference. Now, Q4 of 2011 when the high end Sandys get released they may provide a platform where 4-way SLI might actually be able to outperform 3-way, but who knows. And, do you really believe the ~$250 hype of Intel on these processors, remember the hype on the i7 was the top of the line would be under ~$500 and there are still at least 4 versions of the i7 over $500 at newegg and 2 of those are right at $1000. And, Sandy will target using less expensive DDR2 RAM rather than DDR3, so I suspect there will be a performance loss due to the RAM. And, when Sandy Bridge comes out, even that technology will be outdated as soon as Ivy Bridge, Haswell and Roswell is released, so shall we all stop building systems until they get done developing better processors? No! We build with the best we can get/afford and move on. Build another whenever.

Also, I have to question just what you are talking about with DDR3 running cool. If DDR3 runs so cool why do most DDR3 modules have massive heat sinks or come with water jackets installed already? The OCZ RAM spec'd already comes with the water jacket and is recommended for OCing. And, yes, I need to learn a lot about over-clocking before I even start this build. But, March/April is still 5-6 months out and a lot might change in the interim, including the MoBo/CPU choice, these are the best available at this time.

Actually, what I was looking for, in most cases was the items with the highest performance ratings I could find with no regards to the price, since I am sitting on a nice retirement fund. Hence, my error with choosing a SAS drive rather than the SATA.

As far as the loss of the use of TRIM with the SSDs set-up with RAID, Intel already has a driver for most of it's boards to use TRIM with SSDs configured with RAID0 through RAID4, and most MoBo manufacturers are currently working on a driver for their boards, including Gigabyte. So, the TRIM option will be available soon by driver upgrade.
m
0
l
October 15, 2010 2:38:52 PM

BTW, the R.A.T. mouse has nothing to do with Specs, I just think it looks cool.
m
0
l
October 15, 2010 2:44:35 PM

gkay09 said:
^ For a dedicated PhysX, I dont think you would need a GTX 480...

From what I've learned the past couple days, even the 980x CPU can handle the currently used applications of PhysX out there, but no sense taxing the CPU with handling any graphics unless you have to.
m
0
l
October 15, 2010 5:06:31 PM

Hey guys,

I figure like this, I got about 6 months to learn as much as I can about liquid cooling and over-clocking. I can build a solid office desktop in a heartbeat. But, what the heck? I'm retired and looking to build an extreme PC basically just because I have both time and cash available.

As I've said in other posts, I will build a few of the Best Gaming Configs since I haven't been playing much with this stuff for 15+ years. So, other than off-the-shelf systems, I haven't bothered.

So, I'm reading everything I can find about Extreme gaming systems, over-clocking and liquid cooling. So, if I say something, or I choose a part that you see as in error, teach me, don't just say that is wrong or that it is stupid. Tell me why it is wrong. But, remember, I'm looking to build the most extreme machine possible with current tech, who knows what we will find tomorrow.

Oh! Thanks for the comments so far, they have resulted in a couple changes, like choosing HDDs that will actually work because someone noticed that the drives I has selected were SAS which won't work with the board I have selected. Thanks!

So, here is the liquid cooling parts that I've found so far, sorry, Shadow, I couldn't find everything you listed, but I think my subs will work, let me know. It is starting to look like I will need a separate case and PSU just to run the cooling, that's fine. What do you think?

Oh! in my mind, there is no such thing as OVERKILL!

Liquid cooling parts:

Swiftech APOGEE-XT Extreme Performance CPU Waterblock
3 x Swiftech MCP655 12 VDC Pump Liquid Cooling System
3 x Swiftech MCR320-QP Quiet Power radiator
9 x Thermaltake AF0026 Smart Blue LED 120mm Fan with Speed control knob
3 x Alphacool HF 38 Cape Cyclone 250
of course plenty of Tygon tubing plus fittings as needed.

Figure running 3 loops; 1 for CPU, MoBo and RAM, then 2 loops each handling 2 of the 480s. But, then again, I don't really know much about liquid cooling other than what I've read in the past 2 weeks. Teach me if I'm off-track.
m
0
l
October 15, 2010 9:37:36 PM

Quote:

Sandy Bridge will be nice if you want to build a system with just on-board graphics. Most of the performance enhancements in the Sandy Bridge processor are targeted in better graphics capabilities native to the CPU and targets more of the mobile computing market than does the i7. Sure, you save much by not having any graphics cards but you rule out the benefits of both SLI and CrossfireX depending on your preference. Now, Q4 of 2011 when the high end Sandys get released they may provide a platform where 4-way SLI might actually be able to outperform 3-way, but who knows. And, do you really believe the ~$250 hype of Intel on these processors, remember the hype on the i7 was the top of the line would be under ~$500 and there are still at least 4 versions of the i7 over $500 at newegg and 2 of those are right at $1000. And, Sandy will target using less expensive DDR2 RAM rather than DDR3, so I suspect there will be a performance loss due to the RAM. And, when Sandy Bridge comes out, even that technology will be outdated as soon as Ivy Bridge, Haswell and Roswell is released, so shall we all stop building systems until they get done developing better processors? No! We build with the best we can get/afford and move on. Build another whenever.

First, Sandy Bridge is DDR3.
Second, there are unlocked non-IGP based Sandy Bridge CPUs that are specifically targeted at OCing.
Third, if you are really bent on spending this much, you may as well get the EVGA SR2 and Dual CPUs.

Quote:
when Sandy Bridge comes out, even that technology will be outdated as soon as Ivy Bridge, Haswell and Roswell is released

Ivy and all other archs are years away. Sandy Bridge is only a few months away.

Seriously, I HIGHLY recommend you wait until SB hits. Your $1000 980X getting beaten by OCed Sandy Bridge CPUs would be pretty sad. Again, look at the AnandTech benchmarks for Sandy Bridge. The "mid" range ~$250-300 Sandy Bridge CPU beats or keeps up with the $1000 980X.


Quote:
I've seen, in most cases, 3-way SLI actually outperforms the 4-way.

That is correct. There are virtually no games that scale well with Quad SLI/QuadFire.

Quote:
Figure running 3 loops; 1 for CPU, MoBo and RAM,

You DO NOT need to WC the RAM or the NB for that matter esp. since most of the functions of the NB was moved to the CPU now.

WCing basics: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/256607-29-watercoolin...

Also, here are the 480 rads I was talking about, I my self run a single Black Ice 480 + i7 920: http://www.jab-tech.com/120mm-Quadruple-Radiators-c-267...
m
0
l
October 15, 2010 9:48:58 PM

I can't believe someone would spend so much on 4 GTX 480s/24GB of ram (which is basically pointless) but then use those crap monitors.
m
0
l
October 15, 2010 10:09:15 PM

sp12 said:
I can't believe someone would spend so much on 4 GTX 480s/24GB of ram (which is basically pointless) but then use those crap monitors.

Well, what monitors would you use? Thought about 3 of the Ostendo CRVDs, but figured I could pay for 75 hours of flying or 160 freefall jumps for less than that, both of which would put me much closer to base jumping training.
m
0
l
October 15, 2010 10:52:28 PM

Okay, from the Wikipedia, which we know is very fallible, the top end Sandy Bridge CPUs are Quad Core - 8 Thread machines running at 3.4 GHz native, non-overclocked and a Turbo-boost speed of 3.8 GHz with a Graphics clock speed of 850 MHz and Graphics turbo of 1350 MHz with 8 Mb shared L3 cache. The Gulftown is a Six Core - 12 thread CPU running at 3.33 GHz native, non-overclocked and a turbo speed of 3.6 GHz with a Graphics clock speed of 450 MHz and graphics turbo of 750 MHz

So, the i7-980X(Gulftown) sux on graphics compared to the i7-2600K(Sandy Bridge). But, I can't imagine a 3.4 GHz Quad Core 8 Thread CPU beating a 3.33 GHz Six Core 12 Thread CPU. Now, when the 3.8 GHz Six Core 8 Thread Sandy Bridge is released (Q42011) they may actually be competitive with the 980X, and when the 8 Core 12 thread versions come out (3Q2012) the 980X will surely be surpassed.

BTW, remember, the 980X was promised at less then $500 prior to release at $1000. And, at least 4 versions of the i7-9xx series are still over $500 and at least 2 at around $1000. Do you really believe Intel will bring in the Sandy Bridge in the $200 range. If they do, it will be a first for Intel. I love Intel processors, but in 42 years Intel has never released a chip at the price they predicted, generally, they come in at around twice the predicted price. So, the low level Sandy Bridge processors will probably come in around $500 on release.

Anyway, there are currently no motherboards available for the Sandy Bridge, at least none that I know of. Since SB is in development, there are probably a few MoBo's in development for them. But, at this time, discussion of building a system based on the Sandy Bridge architecture is a moot point because if I made the decision to build right now, it could not be done with a chip that does not exist except in some Intel labs.
m
0
l
October 15, 2010 11:27:32 PM

Well, a 3.1Ghz, no turbo, alpharevision, 6mb, quad SB already tops the 980 in games. You're forgetting SB will be a fair bit faster perclock compared to nahalem. In 3DSmax it's within 5% of the westmere hexacore, while being clocked a bit lower and having half the cache and 2/3rds the cores.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...

Anyhow, I would go for dell IPS or some sort of 120hz monitor.

Regardless of what you do, this system is megaoverkill for any sort of gaming application. I would split the cash and get one system now and one in 1-2 years.
m
0
l
October 16, 2010 12:09:18 AM

^ Exactly! That's what I've been telling the OP. The mid range SB beats a high end LGA1366! And Anand estimate that CPU used in the preview to be only about $250-300.

And huge +1 for the IPS LCDs. Didn't realize OP had cr@ppy TN LCDs. And +1 for spending the total cost of this rig divided in to 2 (new rig every other year should do).


Quote:
Do you really believe Intel will bring in the Sandy Bridge in the $200 range. If they do, it will be a first for Intel. I love Intel processors, but in 42 years Intel has never released a chip at the price they predicted, generally, they come in at around twice the predicted price. So, the low level Sandy Bridge processors will probably come in around $500 on release.

Umm.... the i7 920 was only about $300-350 at release on Newegg,etc.
If you don't believe me on the pricing, here is a review done in 2008 with the prices said in 2008 values: http://www.guru3d.com/article/intel-core-i7-920-and-965...
Quote:
Core i7 920 can be purchased for sub-300 USD. The wicked Core i7 965 Extreme will be priced at a hefty 999 USD. But quite honestly, after you put down that kind of cash at the teller .. the minute after installation you'll have forgotten that price. It rocks, and it rocks hard ... daddy gozta have this, it's a very good step forward in processor performance.

There is no reason to doubt a $250-$300 Sandy Bridge CPU at time of release.

And Sandy Bridge is the "main stream" line up meant to replace LGA1156 so yeah, prices will be lower than high end LGA1366. The replacement for LGA1366 (LGA2011) won't hit until about Q2/Q3.
m
0
l
October 16, 2010 2:18:08 AM

I may never see another upgrade.
m
0
l
October 16, 2010 2:23:41 AM

Conjecture, speculation, perhaps even a little wishful thinking. I really don't care about Socket 1155 or Socket 2011. They are not here today and when they get here, at least fairly easily available with proven MoBo's to install them in I may not be here.

I want the hottest, meanest, fastest, most powerful machine I can get NOW! Overclocked to be even faster. I want the ultimate, and who cares about the cost, I can't take it with me and my kids will blow it on drugs.
m
0
l
October 16, 2010 2:24:08 AM

Then get a whatever you want. Ultimately this is your build.

In my opinion (and most people would agree with me) computers move too fast to attempt to futureproof. Just 5 years ago we had single-core pentiums/the very start of dualies and 6600 ultras. The only thing futureproof is capital.

A system built 5 years ago for ~5000 dollars gets smashed by a current ~400 budget build, all while lacking any of the developments that have happened between then (SSDs, Sata, DX9.0C through DX11, DDR2/3). Computer components have very bad price/performance for enthusiast class products (the very highest end).

m
0
l
October 16, 2010 2:27:27 AM

I can blow my money on an ultimate machine and live 1 or 2 years. Or, I can spend my money on doctors and medicine and maybe live 3 years. I'd rather enjoy life as fully as possible and not deal with the side effects of the drugs.
m
0
l
October 16, 2010 2:36:17 AM

Then get a whatever you want. Ultimately this is your build.

I will say that the 24GB of ram/4th GTX 480 will not be able to help you in game. In fact, ram past 6GB is pretty pointless for games. The GTX series does not scale well past 3 cards, so the 4th card ends up being ~5% faster than 3 cards.

So, with the hundreds saved from that, take a fraction of it and take your parents or some friends out for dinner, invest in some stock for kids/friends/fun, make a donation to your favorite research institute/charity, take a trip somewhere, spend it on medical care, or just pocket it.

If you don't mind me asking on an entirely public forum, what do you have?
m
0
l
October 16, 2010 3:16:40 AM

Hmm. Interesting information found in that article. Intel plans to replace the 980X with a new 990x processor 1Q2011 probably at 3.46 GHz, and release a 970 and 980 @ 3.33 GHZ. Looks like the 980X will lose it's Extreme designation and come back around $600 ~ $700 and the 970 at $500 ~ $600 And, the i7-990 will take over at the $1000 mark and all are still socket1366 for at least the next year.

With me figuring that it will take me till early spring to gain enough information about liquid-cooling and over-clocking to start this build. And, since the 990X will use the same X58 chipset and socket1366, it may well be the processor I end up with because the price-point will be the same. And, it will probably be 2-3 years before mainstream systems even get close. But, the Extreme Enthusiasts will pass it in 6 mo or so, but that is true with all extreme builds, right?
m
0
l
October 16, 2010 6:48:06 PM

Quote:
And, it will probably be 2-3 years before mainstream systems even get close.

Define mainstream.

Quote:
With me figuring that it will take me till early spring to gain enough information about liquid-cooling and over-clocking to start this build.

If you don't plan to build it now WHY are you even considering the current CPUs!?!?!?
m
0
l
October 16, 2010 8:03:00 PM

I would stop discussing about CPUs because well the enire cpu world will look a whole lot different in spring and also whether you get an amazing cpu or an amazing cpu doesn'nt really matter because both will do the trick and only your wallet will suffer from the wrong choice and I think I can safely say that isn't your greatest concern.

From what I understand you just want an extreme system that's well as extreme as can be. If that's the case I think your focusing too much on raw power. Unless you want to get records in benchmarking it really won't get you anywhere.

I'd focus more on the things like extreme storage solutions, which could potentially eliminate loading If you spend enough money(and here the best is out of your budget range since were looking at around a 100 000 dollars for the biggest ram discs.) As I just hinted I would go with an as big as possible ram disc which is in case you didn't know transforming a part of your ram into a hard drive. Since 48gb is the maximum(on an sr-2 mobo which is I would get) I would aim for that you could store a few apps on that but it's more just the magnificence of virtually instant loading that's appealing than actual practicallity.

Then I'd also opt for the best physical discs. I'd start with 8 vertex 2 64gb drives running raid0 of a raid controller. And then meybe for your more important apps something like this http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ocz-ibis-hsdl-high-...

And then the esthetics of the build. Obviously your not going to be able to fit that entire setup in a regular case(besides those hideous MM cases) I would look into modding. A mod like this where the case is made larger for fitting extra parts whilst still looking amazing http://www.google.be/imgres?imgurl=http://images.bit-te...

m
0
l
October 16, 2010 8:07:18 PM

As a display solution I'd get one of those curved displays or if you don't like the price three dell 30" or if you don't like that price either :p  3 dell 24"

Also I think it was shadow who said WCing your ram and mobo is useless. I must disagree. Obviously it won't be really beneficial to performance, but when you go this high end(and overkil if you don't mind me saying) WC and OC are already pretty useless both are just there for coolness and bragging rights which is good and very understandable, but then I would'nt leave out the ram and mobo.
m
0
l
October 17, 2010 12:17:26 AM

Quote:

Also I think it was shadow who said WCing your ram and mobo is useless. I must disagree. Obviously it won't be really beneficial to performance, but when you go this high end(and overkil if you don't mind me saying) WC and OC are already pretty useless both are just there for coolness and bragging rights which is good and very understandable, but then I would leave out the ram and mobo.

No. Adding RAM WCing usually reduces your flow rates.
m
0
l
October 17, 2010 8:32:11 AM

Shadow703793 said:
Quote:

Also I think it was shadow who said WCing your ram and mobo is useless. I must disagree. Obviously it won't be really beneficial to performance, but when you go this high end(and overkil if you don't mind me saying) WC and OC are already pretty useless both are just there for coolness and bragging rights which is good and very understandable, but then I would leave out the ram and mobo.

No. Adding RAM WCing usually reduces your flow rates.

You could use the right splitters and connectors so your flow isn't bottlenecked somewhere I think it should be fine, if it's still a poblem however you could do a completely seperate system(small pump and small rad) for the mobo and ram.
m
0
l
October 17, 2010 10:53:45 PM

^ Again, splitting the flow with Y connectors,etc kills flow rates.
m
0
l
October 17, 2010 11:29:36 PM

I would tend to agree with both Shadow and Somebody. Fluid dynamics cannot be altered, any connector will result in some degree of flow restriction. So, we have to determine if flow restriction is within acceptable limits. What those limits would be, I don't know, additional research will have to be done. I do know that using the right fittings will result in the least flow restriction, ie, compression fittings will have less flow restriction than utilizing barbs and clamps.
m
0
l
October 17, 2010 11:34:47 PM

Perhaps a more important consideration is whether watercooling your ram/mobo actually has any benefit.

And, before you spend too much time on that, the answer is no. The difference between 2133/Cas6 and 1600/Cas 7 are fractions of a percent.
m
0
l
October 17, 2010 11:44:19 PM

Quote:
Perhaps a more important consideration is whether watercooling your ram/mobo actually has any benefit.

Exactly. It doesn't offer any benefits. Unless you are going under DICe,etc there really is NO POINT to WCing the RAM/MOSFETS/NB. And you would only go under DIce/LN2 is during a bench run.
m
0
l
October 18, 2010 5:46:08 AM

Well I thought we'd already concluded that watercooling ram/mobo is practically seen fairly pointless.

But then so is a Bugatti Veyron or a Mclaren F1. The world just isn't always about usefelness. Sometimes it's just about cool stuff and fun toys.
m
0
l
October 18, 2010 1:16:59 PM

Somebody_007 said:
Well I thought we'd already concluded that watercooling ram/mobo is practically seen fairly pointless.

But then so is a Bugatti Veyron or a Mclaren F1. The world just isn't always about usefelness. Sometimes it's just about cool stuff and fun toys.

I like your way of thinking, but that still doesn't clear up my question.

Am I wrong in my understanding about current RAM, ie. DDR3? Does this RAM run cooler than DDR2 or earlier? Why do the manufacturers of DDR3 usually include either a heatsink or liquid-cooling capabilities already on the memory module?

I just don't understand why the manufacturers would do this, unless it is just a marketing ploy to justify higher prices.

Also, if over-clocking the RAM generates sufficient heat to be of any detriment to performance at all? This is just for informational purposes.

Machines I've build in the past were for business purposes. And, I haven't built a machine in several years, I've just been buying off the shelf. So, I'm on the up-hill side of the learning curve.

Also, I've never over-clocked or liquid-cooled a machine before, so I've got a lot to learn. Yeah, this is just for fun, but I don't want to spend this kind of money and then have it not work. It would be terrible to have that Bugatti sitting in the yard because it doesn't run.

Here is another question that is kinda confusing me that has nothing to do with either over-clocking or liquid-cooling. Yesterday, I was reading an article on SLI and it kept talking about "single monitor" as if SLI can only run one monitor and if more than one monitor were used you lose the benefit of SLI. Is this true? Can SLI only run one monitor with the benefit of SLI, I had previously thought it was the outputs of the one board. Maybe this is wrong too. Can you clear up my confusion? I've been thinking of switching to a tri-monitor array pushing the rez to 5940 x 1200, but that would not work if SLI can only run one.
m
0
l
October 18, 2010 3:27:40 PM

First of all the ram:

I don't have a clue on ram temps, or the difference in temps between ddr2 and ddr3(although I'm pretty sure ddr2 is hotter as it uses more voltage). And about wether good cooling will ensure higher clocks well: As far as I'm concerned no-one really knows what safe ram temps are(and god knows how you can measure it apart from having those special crucial modules). So in this case when you want very high overclocks which isn't unlikely given you'll probably get very good modules you want to ensure temps are adequate and since there's no real way to know that(as far as I know anyways) having completely overkill cooling eliminates the worries of having to high temps and this hindering you from overclocking all the way.

But I can tell you that high end ram has always had fancy heatspreaders.
here is a kit of ddr2 dominators with a tripple fan mount included for cooling so fancy ram cooling isn't new. http://www.google.be/imgres?imgurl=http://www.pcstats.c...

and here is ddr3 ram without http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think the thing is just that now your looking at enthousiast system building you're looking at fast components with cooling to match whilst all of the shelf PCs exept for alienware and a few others use the cheapest components possible like slow ram with no heatspreaders. Also at this point in time ddr3 is still fairly high end(major exaguration here) the real budget systems still use ddr2 once ddr3 becomes mainstream you'll probably see more ddr3 ram without heatspreaders.

And your system will work at one point :p . Whatever obstacles you meet with enough wiggle room to replace a part if neccesary and enough will to overcome obstacles you will have a kickass machine. I would move incramentally though I wouldn't just build a modded watercooled system and hope it works. I'd build a good system overclock a bit and once you start getting comfortable with everything(I'm talking maybe a week orso not months or anything) then move to watercooling.

I don't know where you read that about SLI but it sounds kind of weird. What is possible is that sli performs better 3 screens and that's why they mention it. Because with nvidia SLI is required for 3 screen gaming because they use a special alternate frame system or something like that(sorry I'm not specific). So 3 screen performance may be better than single screen(considering the resolution increase of course. I could be miserably wrong though, but anyways 3screen gaming will definately work.
m
0
l
October 18, 2010 3:42:38 PM

^ Yup. DDR3 RAM runs pretty darn cool, even the 1.65v DDR3 1600 ones still run cooler than the 2.1v DDR2 1066 RAM.

Quote:
Why do the manufacturers of DDR3 usually include either a heatsink or liquid-cooling capabilities already on the memory module?

Heatsinks are used and is generally enough to deal with the heatload on DDR3. The WCed DDR3 are really aimed at people who are trying to break benchmark records.

As far as SLI goes, I'v only worked with single display. I have no idea how Dual/Tri display will work when gaming. Keep in mind the last time I SLIed was with 2x 9800GTs.
m
0
l
December 15, 2010 8:31:44 AM

clmanning said:
Hey guys,

I figure like this, I got about 6 months to learn as much as I can about liquid cooling and over-clocking. I can build a solid office desktop in a heartbeat. But, what the heck? I'm retired and looking to build an extreme PC basically just because I have both time and cash available.

As I've said in other posts, I will build a few of the Best Gaming Configs since I haven't been playing much with this stuff for 15+ years. So, other than off-the-shelf systems, I haven't bothered.

So, I'm reading everything I can find about Extreme gaming systems, over-clocking and liquid cooling. So, if I say something, or I choose a part that you see as in error, teach me, don't just say that is wrong or that it is stupid. Tell me why it is wrong. But, remember, I'm looking to build the most extreme machine possible with current tech, who knows what we will find tomorrow.

Oh! Thanks for the comments so far, they have resulted in a couple changes, like choosing HDDs that will actually work because someone noticed that the drives I has selected were SAS which won't work with the board I have selected. Thanks!

So, here is the liquid cooling parts that I've found so far, sorry, Shadow, I couldn't find everything you listed, but I think my subs will work, let me know. It is starting to look like I will need a separate case and PSU just to run the cooling, that's fine. What do you think?

Oh! in my mind, there is no such thing as OVERKILL!

Liquid cooling parts:

Swiftech APOGEE-XT Extreme Performance CPU Waterblock
3 x Swiftech MCP655 12 VDC Pump Liquid Cooling System
3 x Swiftech MCR320-QP Quiet Power radiator
9 x Thermaltake AF0026 Smart Blue LED 120mm Fan with Speed control knob
3 x Alphacool HF 38 Cape Cyclone 250
of course plenty of Tygon tubing plus fittings as needed.

Figure running 3 loops; 1 for CPU, MoBo and RAM, then 2 loops each handling 2 of the 480s. But, then again, I don't really know much about liquid cooling other than what I've read in the past 2 weeks. Teach me if I'm off-track.


OK
for water cooling, you dont neccessarily need more loops, that is just more stuff waiting to break down, u just need more liquid. try to keep them all in the same loop.
I am new to this thread, but i am a WC build expert. I have build over 60 different WC setups.
First off. I suggest 2, MAYBE 3 pumps, either 6 shrouded fans or 8 fans in a Push/pull config on a 4 fan radiator, possibly even 2 radiators. For as much as you are cooling, you will not need to cool the northbridge, it is a waste of a loop.

Do you know the total TDP of your system and the amount of heat it will generate? from what i was reading you will be dissipating about 1600w of heat. also curious as to why you are buying 4x graphics cards with only 2 monitors... just a bit of an overkill? just a thought.

Anyways. You will need some serious Radiators and reservoirs. EACH of the Graphics cards will need about 900mL of liquid (3 quarts). The memory doesnt generate Near the amount of heat as any other component about (2 cups). The proc will need around 2 quarts or 1/2 gallon of liquid to keep cool. This is assuming 75 degrees standard.

In total, you will need around 3 gallons of liquid to cool this system, also, when i cool i try to add around 10% extra. SO at say 3.5 gallons of coolant, at around 20 bucks/quart, you are looking at adding $280 in just coolant. You will need a fish tank to hold the liquid, they dont really make reservoirs that hold 3 gallons+.
Buying parts, check out Frozencpu.com they have all the parts you need, and the techs there can answer alot of questions for you.

As for tubing, i suggest a low velocity, high flow system. You will want 1/2 in tubing or 3/4 where you can find it. You will have a lot of resistance, but in low velocity system, you really dont have to worry about a lot of items in the loop.

Before you start on this monumental endeavor Lay out your system before u start putting blocks on hardware. Draw it on paper first. It may sound rediculous, but trust me, i draw every loop out i build. Label your tubing. and make sure you dont have pumps fighting each other.

If you arent really experienced in Overclocking, and you seem to have the resources, go buy a cheap computer with cheap components and try a cheap waterblock there. you really really really REALLY dont want to build a $3k system and burn it out on your first try without having any sort of experience. Build a cheap loop, around $100 on a POS computer, just so you are familiar with the idea.

oh by the way, watercooling is a really cool concept, but really not all that useful. it will keep temps down 15-20% but there is about 2000% more maintaince.

I would strongly suggest keeping the processor out of the loop to start, zalman make really good CPU fans that can keep temps town no matter what ur OC is, if you are trying to cut sound for the graphics cards, watercooling makes sense.

one quick question, are you trying to eliminate airflow inside the computer? have you considered a passively cooled system? no moving parts (except inside the HDD's) and if you have a seemingly endless budget, there are great passive systems for around $2k (which will be about $500 cheaper than the watercooling setup you are looking at)

Here is my initial cost breakdown if you are deadset on cooling the whole system:
CPU block:$80-90
GPU block (each):$140-150 (so $460-500)
Coolant: around $280
Radiator(s): about $240 (really depends on the setup)
Fans: (depending on fans, lets assume 12) at around $25 each (for nice large, low RPM fans [DO NOT GO CHEAP ON THE FANS]) so around $300
Pumps: $90-100 each, so $270-300 (assuming you have 3)
Fittings: about $10-15/pair and you will need around 10 pairs so another $100-150
Tubing: you will need around 20-25ft of tubing at around $1.49/ft so $30-37.50
Reservoir: 5 gallon fish tank (price unknown) lets just say $40
Radiator dust filters: $40-60 each (YES, they are important, unless you want to go through your radiators with a toothbrush every 3-4 months) lets say you will want 2, so $80-120
Aspirin to relieve headaches from building a massive first time water system and just getting info from a forum: $900000

SO with the exception of the aspirin:$1880-2550 (assuming 2 high end radiators with dust filters and 18 fans at $30 each)

so if you have the extra 2k to spend and really love troubleshooting have at it.

Im not trying to steer you away, just making you aware, that this is a VERY expensive and tedious hobby, and it is a hobby. Air cooling is much cheaper and can achieve very similar results (+-5%)

If/when you have any questions, I will begin to check this thread on a regular basis.
Try frozencpu.com (not a salesman or endorsed whatsoever, but i do a lot of shopping for parts, and they seem to be the one spot where they have everything I need.)
m
0
l
December 15, 2010 8:35:50 AM

clmanning said:
Hey guys,

I figure like this, I got about 6 months to learn as much as I can about liquid cooling and over-clocking. I can build a solid office desktop in a heartbeat. But, what the heck? I'm retired and looking to build an extreme PC basically just because I have both time and cash available.

As I've said in other posts, I will build a few of the Best Gaming Configs since I haven't been playing much with this stuff for 15+ years. So, other than off-the-shelf systems, I haven't bothered.

So, I'm reading everything I can find about Extreme gaming systems, over-clocking and liquid cooling. So, if I say something, or I choose a part that you see as in error, teach me, don't just say that is wrong or that it is stupid. Tell me why it is wrong. But, remember, I'm looking to build the most extreme machine possible with current tech, who knows what we will find tomorrow.

Oh! Thanks for the comments so far, they have resulted in a couple changes, like choosing HDDs that will actually work because someone noticed that the drives I has selected were SAS which won't work with the board I have selected. Thanks!

So, here is the liquid cooling parts that I've found so far, sorry, Shadow, I couldn't find everything you listed, but I think my subs will work, let me know. It is starting to look like I will need a separate case and PSU just to run the cooling, that's fine. What do you think?

Oh! in my mind, there is no such thing as OVERKILL!

Liquid cooling parts:

Swiftech APOGEE-XT Extreme Performance CPU Waterblock
3 x Swiftech MCP655 12 VDC Pump Liquid Cooling System
3 x Swiftech MCR320-QP Quiet Power radiator
9 x Thermaltake AF0026 Smart Blue LED 120mm Fan with Speed control knob
3 x Alphacool HF 38 Cape Cyclone 250
of course plenty of Tygon tubing plus fittings as needed.

Figure running 3 loops; 1 for CPU, MoBo and RAM, then 2 loops each handling 2 of the 480s. But, then again, I don't really know much about liquid cooling other than what I've read in the past 2 weeks. Teach me if I'm off-track.


OK
for water cooling, you dont neccessarily need more loops, that is just more stuff waiting to break down, u just need more liquid. try to keep them all in the same loop.
I am new to this thread, but i am a WC build expert. I have build over 60 different WC setups.
First off. I suggest 2, MAYBE 3 pumps, either 6 shrouded fans or 8 fans in a Push/pull config on a 4 fan radiator, possibly even 2 radiators. For as much as you are cooling, you will not need to cool the northbridge, it is a waste of a loop.

Do you know the total TDP of your system and the amount of heat it will generate? from what i was reading you will be dissipating about 1600w of heat. also curious as to why you are buying 4x graphics cards with only 2 monitors... just a bit of an overkill? just a thought.

Anyways. You will need some serious Radiators and reservoirs. EACH of the Graphics cards will need about 900mL of liquid (3 quarts). The memory doesnt generate Near the amount of heat as any other component about (2 cups). The proc will need around 2 quarts or 1/2 gallon of liquid to keep cool. This is assuming 75 degrees standard.

In total, you will need around 3 gallons of liquid to cool this system, also, when i cool i try to add around 10% extra. SO at say 3.5 gallons of coolant, at around 20 bucks/quart, you are looking at adding $280 in just coolant. You will need a fish tank to hold the liquid, they dont really make reservoirs that hold 3 gallons+.
Buying parts, check out Frozencpu.com they have all the parts you need, and the techs there can answer alot of questions for you.

As for tubing, i suggest a low velocity, high flow system. You will want 1/2 in tubing or 3/4 where you can find it. You will have a lot of resistance, but in low velocity system, you really dont have to worry about a lot of items in the loop.

Before you start on this monumental endeavor Lay out your system before u start putting blocks on hardware. Draw it on paper first. It may sound rediculous, but trust me, i draw every loop out i build. Label your tubing. and make sure you dont have pumps fighting each other.

If you arent really experienced in Overclocking, and you seem to have the resources, go buy a cheap computer with cheap components and try a cheap waterblock there. you really really really REALLY dont want to build a $3k system and burn it out on your first try without having any sort of experience. Build a cheap loop, around $100 on a POS computer, just so you are familiar with the idea.

oh by the way, watercooling is a really cool concept, but really not all that useful. it will keep temps down 15-20% but there is about 2000% more maintaince.

I would strongly suggest keeping the processor out of the loop to start, zalman make really good CPU fans that can keep temps town no matter what ur OC is, if you are trying to cut sound for the graphics cards, watercooling makes sense.

one quick question, are you trying to eliminate airflow inside the computer? have you considered a passively cooled system? no moving parts (except inside the HDD's) and if you have a seemingly endless budget, there are great passive systems for around $2k (which will be about $500 cheaper than the watercooling setup you are looking at)

Here is my initial cost breakdown if you are deadset on cooling the whole system:
CPU block:$80-90
GPU block (each):$140-150 (so $460-500)
Coolant: around $280
Radiator(s): about $240 (really depends on the setup)
Fans: (depending on fans, lets assume 12) at around $25 each (for nice large, low RPM fans [DO NOT GO CHEAP ON THE FANS]) so around $300
Pumps: $90-100 each, so $270-300 (assuming you have 3)
Fittings: about $10-15/pair and you will need around 10 pairs so another $100-150
Tubing: you will need around 20-25ft of tubing at around $1.49/ft so $30-37.50
Reservoir: 5 gallon fish tank (price unknown) lets just say $40
Radiator dust filters: $40-60 each (YES, they are important, unless you want to go through your radiators with a toothbrush every 3-4 months) lets say you will want 2, so $80-120
Aspirin to relieve headaches from building a massive first time water system and just getting info from a forum: $900000

SO with the exception of the aspirin:$1880-2550 (assuming 2 high end radiators with dust filters and 18 fans at $30 each)

so if you have the extra 2k to spend and really love troubleshooting have at it.

Im not trying to steer you away, just making you aware, that this is a VERY expensive and tedious hobby, and it is a hobby. Air cooling is much cheaper and can achieve very similar results (+-5%)

If/when you have any questions, I will begin to check this thread on a regular basis.
Try frozencpu.com (not a salesman or endorsed whatsoever, but i do a lot of shopping for parts, and they seem to be the one spot where they have everything I need.)
m
0
l
December 15, 2010 8:46:30 AM

clmanning said:
Okay guys, I'm setting out to build my first gaming system. My mind is getting a little numb from reading all the specifications and all the various pros and cons comments about every part. Well, I've settled on most of the components, but need some help with adding liquid cooling, and I'm still open to any additional suggestions.

Lian Li PC-P80 Full Tower Case
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9 Motherboard
Intel Core i7-980 Extreme Edition (Gulftown) 3.33 GHz
6 x 4Gb OCZ FLEX EX 240-pin Hybrid cooled DDR3 SDRAM 2133 MHz
2 x Corsair P256 SSD 256GB (for OS drive w/RAID)
2 x HP AW555A 2Tb Internal HDD (program/data drive w/RAID)
2 x Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD writer
4 x MSI N480GTX HydroGen GeForce GTX-480 1.5Gb (note: also liquid cooled)
2 x Samsung 24" B2430HD HD WideScreen LCD Monitor w/TV tuner & USB port & remote
Logitec G510 Black Game Keyboard
Saitek Cyborg R.A.T. Gaming Mouse
Creative Labs Arena Surround Gaming Headset
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Microsoft Office 2010 Professional

Okay, that much I've decided on, so what else do I need. I know I need to get the components for the liquid cooling system, if you noticed, the MoBo, the memory, and the Graphic cards are all liquid ready, just need to cover the CPU block, the radiator, the pump, whatever fittings might be needed and such. But, my lack of experience with liquid cooling leaves me a little leary of making the choices.

Help!


You later mention that you will add a 1500w PSU, will that be enough power for 4x OC 480's? just by themselves?? do you really need 4 high end GPU for 2 1080p resolution?? bit of an overkill dont you think? if you were doing 3 2550x1900 then maybe.
m
0
l
!