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Best cooling solution for my PC?

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June 19, 2011 5:59:51 AM

Hey everybody, I'm having a pretty decent gaming PC built for me next week. I'm a bit worried about the necessary cooling for my PC. Here's my rig:

Case: Cooler Master HAF X (2 200mm fans, 1 120mm fan)
Power Supply: Corsair Silent Pro Gold 1200W
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage III Extreme
CPU: Intel Core i7 960 (With Corsair Hydro H70 Liquid Cooling)
Hard Drives: 1 Corsair 120GB SSD, 1 WD Caviar Blue 1TB.
Memory: Kingston DDR3 12GB RAM 1600MHz.
Video Cards: 3x SLI ASUS ENGTX560 Ti (Overclocked)

The only thing I'm worried about is the video cards, I just don't know what to do to keep them cool. I've never even tried 2x SLI, so I'm pretty worried about 3x SLI. I anxiously await your expert advise :) 

More about : cooling solution

June 19, 2011 6:57:44 AM

Why the heck is there a 960 in there? That's overpriced, and the 2500K way outperforms it. If you haven't yet bought the parts, get that Sandy Bridge ASAP.
Unfortunately, I don't know much about SLI cooling. Just be careful with your cable management.
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June 19, 2011 7:00:10 AM

Well I couldn't find a proper 3x or 4x SLI supporting motherboard with an LGA 1155. So since they don't support the 2500k or the 2600k, I decided to resort to the 900 series :( 
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June 19, 2011 8:03:09 AM

You are much better off having a 2500k Rig with 2way sli,
You dont need 12Gb of ram for gaming
I get the impression money isn't an issue for you so why not go for a real water loop to cool it all?
I look at that build and just see someone who likes big numbers, if you want the best performing rig listen to the advice here
We're here to help you get the best Rig for the money, but if you want to essentially waste money on a weaker, hotter running, big numbers system we can't stop you ofc
:) 
Moto
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June 19, 2011 8:48:33 AM

Well I'm open to suggestions :)  Yes, money isn't a major issue for me. And other than gaming (Final Fantasy 14, very high graphics game), I will also be using a lot of 3DSMax and video renderring, I need the 12GB of RAM. I'm not certain I want the 3x SLI, but I'd like to have the option to add it in the future. Also, which water cooling system would you suggest I use? I couldn't find a decent one. And please do suggest any rigs that you think are good for me to run all my stuff on :) 
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June 19, 2011 9:01:10 AM

Ok, given your working on it as well, I'll concede the ram, even say up it to 16Gb if theres heavy editing/rendering going on,
which also makes me point you to the 2600k instead of the 2500k, hyperthreading etc etc, its worth the extra $100 to someone like you who will use it,
I'd suggest swapping the plate for a z68, and there are some boards that can do triple sli on that chipset, but they're about the $300 mark as far as I can see, I'll let you hunt one down you like,
but waterwise, I suggest you pm saint19, rubix or ortoklaz over in W/c and they will help you get the best loop for whatever you decide to build/have built
Moto
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June 19, 2011 9:15:26 AM

I see, thanks for your help :)  I'll pm right away!
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June 19, 2011 10:27:46 AM

Listen to Moto, this is what i would get if i was you, with your needs, i would also be interested to know that resolutions you will be working with?

YOUR REVISED PC

Silverstone Fortress FT02B-W v1.7, Black, Full Tower Aluminium Case wide Side Window + AP181 Fan


1200W Corsair Pro Gold AX1200, Modular, 80 PLUS Gold, 90% Eff', SLI/CrossFire, EPS 12V, 120mm Fan


Intel CPU Core i7 2600K Unlocked Sandy Bridge Quad Core Processor


Asus P8Z68-V PRO, Intel Z68, S 1155, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), DDR3 2200(OC), SATA 6Gb/s, RAID, ATX, HDMI


CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9 - 16GB (4x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance, PC3-12800


120GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD, 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s, SandForce 2281, Read 525MB/s, Write 500MB/s, 50K IOPS


2TB Seagate ST32000641AS Barracuda XT, SATA 6Gb/s, 7200rpm, 64MB Cache, 8.5ms, NCQ


Samsung SH-B123L/BSBP 12x BD-ROM & DVDRW Combo Player


1280MB MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr II/OC, 40nm, 4096MHz GDDR5, GPU 750MHz, Shader 1500MHz, 480 Cores x 2


Asus Xonar D2X Ultra Fidelity 7.1 Hi-Def PCI-Express Sound Card, Dolby/DTS/Cakewalk/Ableton Live/PM


Be Quiet! Dark Rock PRO BK016 CPU Cooler Socket LGA775/1155 /1156/ 1366 /AM2/ AM2+/ AM3/ 754/ 940


Windows 7 64bit.

I hope you have deep pockets, the 2 x GTX570 will serve you much better than 3 x 560ti, remember the more cards you have in SLI/Crossfire the higher your diminishing returns are.
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June 19, 2011 10:34:13 AM

Nice build Uther,
although I'm wondering where that soundcards going, the only pci slot available for it is above the first pcie16, and I dont think it'll have access to a rearslot :p 
I dont play with soundcards though so I may be wrong, just a forethought though
Moto
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June 19, 2011 10:39:00 AM

It goes in exactly that slot, and does have a rearslot, but i see where your coming from as on the pic it looks like its blocked by the onboard sound connections, but trust me its not, as i have here sat in front of me waiting for it little sons and daughters to be placed on her.
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June 19, 2011 10:44:49 AM

Groovy, all good then man, just the W/c side to get through then
you could start researching Op on some watercooling sites, just google watercooling in your country and start drooling :) 
Moto
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June 19, 2011 11:05:01 AM

Personaly i would not bother with water coolingas its to much money, to much hassle for not alot of reward, that is just my opinion of course (Opinions are like assholes, we all have one!). Its the reason i put the Silverstone Fortress FT02 in there because in my opinion its the best air cooled case money can buy, ooops there i go again with opinions, but it is alot of other peoples opinions too, and all my opinions are based on personal experience, as ive tried the water cooling lark, and i now have a FT02 Silverstone case mmmmm....

http://i536.photobucket.com/albums/ff324/Thruxton/IMAG0...
http://i536.photobucket.com/albums/ff324/Thruxton/IMAG0...
http://i536.photobucket.com/albums/ff324/Thruxton/IMAG0...
http://i536.photobucket.com/albums/ff324/Thruxton/IMAG0...
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June 19, 2011 11:12:01 AM

GOD PCs are addictive, i reckon crack would be cheaper, haha !
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June 19, 2011 11:26:30 AM

Okay I just did some diggin up and yeah this is all still within my price range. However, wouldn't you recommend at least Liquid Cooling for my processor (I do plan on overclocking it)? Something like Corsair Hydro series and such~ Oh and thanks for the suggested rig by the way :)  I don't see why I'd need a Blu Ray player though, everything I need is on DVD, and everything that's Blu Ray is available on torrents :)  It's no cost issue, I just don't see why I'd need it
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June 19, 2011 11:46:25 AM

I would say real water over the H50,
I refer to that kind of thing as fisher price watercooling hehe, there are air-coolers that beat its performance so if you want air go big, if you want water go for a proper loop, not an all in one system imo
Moto
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June 19, 2011 12:16:48 PM

I hear the H70 is a beast though. But then again, I'm no expert :s
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June 19, 2011 12:22:46 PM

It could do you with two fans in a pushpull,
but given the kind of person I think you are (no offence intended)
I think you'd feel a touch cheated by an all in one water solution,
you seem the kind of person to me who would love to show the big loops off and obviously a well planned waterloop will outperform any aircooler, although as Uther points out, good water isn't cheap, but imo, if your going wet, do it properly :) 
Moto
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June 19, 2011 12:26:50 PM

Hahaha, well I don't want a PC that I can show off. I just want one that'll perform near perfectly with no complaints. I've always underdone it in the past, now I want no excuses! And yeah I noticed the water systems are pretty steep. I will probably just go with a high-quality cpu fan :s My budget is around $2,500 preferably, $3,000 tops but I don't feel like going to 3k on this PC~
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June 19, 2011 12:35:16 PM

Omg I've been looking all over the place for a store that sells this Dark Rock CPU cooler, and nothin' :/ 
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June 19, 2011 12:36:54 PM

Then I'd say maybe the hyper 212, Noctua dh12 or 14, and thermaltakes silver arrow is an up and comer atm too, all topnotch air solutions,
and any of them should fit in the Fortress easily
Moto
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June 19, 2011 12:39:27 PM

Just got my H70.
Very easy to install. It has smaller head and bigger radiator than H50. It also comes with 2 fans (push pull configuration) by default. You can install 2nd fan on H50 but.......

I have 2 GTX 285 in SLI planing to get them in water loop. I have parts chosen. As some said they are not cheap but better go proper than buy twice.

There is good forum regarding water cooling systems http://forum.watercoolinguk.co.uk. I am complete newbie to WC (that is why I went for H70 instead of 2nd custom build loop) but guys there helped me grasp basics and helped me pick parts.....
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June 19, 2011 12:43:20 PM

Theres also some great W/c advice here on Toms, in the overclocking section,
friendly word Greg, some wont take links to other forums too well, not sure if its against terms and conditions etc, but its none too popular :p 
Moto
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June 19, 2011 12:53:43 PM

lol the Hyper 212 is like a third of the cost of the other two, you sure it's in their league? :p 
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June 19, 2011 1:00:52 PM

Yes I was thinking if i should post the link but i scanned about WC systems here (really quickly) and couldn't find any.

I do apologize if I offended anyone or misconducted myself.
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June 19, 2011 1:26:26 PM

The 212 was until recently the best aircooler out, very popular with clockers but it is slipping down the list now as better ones are released, maybe google 'H212 vs dh14vssilverarrow' or similar to find reviews where they're put up against each other,
and Greg, no worries man, as I said, some might take it bad, I personally dont, just a headsup is all mate,
Moto
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June 19, 2011 4:28:47 PM

OK watercooling heres the thing, i payed what ? £70 - £80 for a Corsair H70 which is on a Phenom 2 965 at stock settings it never exceeds 50C even on prime, now heres the proof of the pudding i have the Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro cost £60 fitted to a Phenom X6 1090t OCd to 4 ghz and guess what it never exceeds 52C even running prime.

The only way to get better results from watercooling so as it will outperform modern high end air coolers is to invest some serious cash at least for one of these
Corsair Hydro H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler = £100

even with this i bet theres not much difference in the results.

SO get this ! http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2011/04/02/be-quiet-da...

Also the reason why i reccomended the FT02 is that it offers amazing cooling ability for high end GPUs because of its bottom to top cooling design with 3 x 180mm fans blowing all hot air straight out of the top of the case. Or if you cant find it the Noctua DH14.
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June 19, 2011 4:48:14 PM

I really liked the FT02, the thing is it has very small graphics card space :(  11 inches. I'd have to remove the bottom fan, which would ruin the purpose of the FT02 for me, personally.
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June 19, 2011 4:50:16 PM

Oh and by the way, I recently watched a comparison between the Noctua DH14 and Thermalright Silver Arrow, the Thermalright cooled better by 1C to 2C :p 
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June 19, 2011 5:53:56 PM

Err no you would not, i have a GTX580 in mine with out moving anything, and theres still 3 inches of room below it, i also have the Triple slot cooler version - Asus GeForce GTX 580 DirectCU II 1536MB GDDR5, which is larger than most other GTX580



Here take a look

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June 19, 2011 6:49:56 PM

Hey Uther, I'm crossfiring two of the 6950 CuII's soon :p 
same size,same shroud :) 
if your case takes those, you can hide human bodies in there I reckon (well, parts of them at least :p )
Moto
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June 19, 2011 6:55:05 PM

Oh that's awesome Uther, from the vids I've seen and the specs online for the case, they said that it wasn't enough. But now I'm definitely getting it. It was either this or Lian Li, but this seems to be superior in cooling and quality of material :) 
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June 19, 2011 6:56:18 PM

Oh yeah same question as Moto, except I'm SLI-ing GTX570 :D 
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June 19, 2011 7:53:00 PM

Well you can fit 2 double slot cooler cards in there no problem, 2 triple slot coolers will go but its a bit of a squeeze on the last one, So yes 2 of those MSI GTX570 i posted above will go in as would the 580 MSI version without any hassle, but the Asus direct CU triple cooler cards are a defo more of a squeeze, it would men that on the 2nd one you would not have much room between it and the DVD drive but it will go i reckon you will have about 0.5 inch room left?

So come on what resolution are you guys playing at, as im playing at 2560x1440 on my Dell 27" and my single GTX580 demolishes all games at that res.
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June 19, 2011 11:52:04 PM

I'm on 1980x1050 on a 20" lcd, I dont have room for anymore monitors hehe, but the new cards will feed 12 monitors at up to 2560x1600 hahahaaaaa maniacal laugh ftw :-)
Moto
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June 20, 2011 1:35:22 AM

Well I haven't built my PC yet but I'm gonna be gaming at 2560x2048, hopefully :p 
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