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A few questions about temps, noises, and PWM pump control.

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March 20, 2013 9:38:44 PM

Hi there! It took me a year to finally get to the point where I feel pretty comfortable with the setup of my water-cooling system. However, I still have a few questions dangling in my head.

As usual, I will describe my loop first.

Swiftech MCP35x2->GTX570 @ 1.025v (triple in parallel)->i7-980 @ stock->Swiftech MCR320-XP (Pull @ 1200)->Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper 480mm (P&P @ 1200)->EK-Multioption RES X2 - 250 Basic



1. Delta T

I know it's almost a cliché to discuss delta T but I still want to because there is no comparison I can make. Under normal gaming (such as Crysis 3), the GPU temps can reach as high as 52 °C, given my room temp is around 25 °C, yielding a delta T of 27 °C. Considering the pump is in full speed, this temp is not intolerable for me but I expect it to be a bit lower. What do you guys think?

2. PWM Pump Control

So far I've been using the BIOS setting to control the CPU fan header to which the pump is connected, but the BIOS is so dumb that the pump speed is sometimes too high and sometimes too low. I've tried speed fan and ASUS FanXpert in Windows, but the funny thing is, as soon as I start these two softwares, the CPU temp reading (not core temps) immediately bumps up by 20 °C. Is there any other way to precisely control the PWM pump?

3. Reservoir Noise

As the pump speed goes up, water flows more vigorously in the reservoir, to a point which it makes more noises than the radiator fans, although it does not really form a vortex in the reservoir. I've heard some people suggest filling the reservoir completely but I'm not sure it's adequate to do so. Would a EK-ANTI Cyclon help to solve this problem? Or maybe a reservoir calming coil?

I appreciate all comments and opinions! Thanks!
a b K Overclocking
March 20, 2013 10:25:20 PM

1) Let’s fix the issues first than we will see
2)fan controller will stabilize the pump the pump does not need to change speed all the time find the best speed for full load and leave it there (usually full speed)
3) Yes and yes(fill the res it cant hurt)
a c 330 K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 8:32:27 AM

MCP35x can be PWM controlled, not certain on the MCP35x2 (dual pump config).

FrozenCPU:
Quote:
Two MCP35X pump motors:
-12VDC and PWM controlled, allowing variable speed control thru the motherboard from 1300 to 4500 rpm, and linked with Swiftech's PWM splitter cable for simultaneous pump speed adustments using only one PWM motherboard header.
Related resources
March 21, 2013 9:56:16 AM

rubix_1011 said:
MCP35x can be PWM controlled, not certain on the MCP35x2 (dual pump config).

FrozenCPU:
Quote:
Two MCP35X pump motors:
-12VDC and PWM controlled, allowing variable speed control thru the motherboard from 1300 to 4500 rpm, and linked with Swiftech's PWM splitter cable for simultaneous pump speed adustments using only one PWM motherboard header.


Yes the MCP35x2 can also be PWM controlled, but I don't know if there is any software that does the job. (SpeedFan and FanXpert do not work for me)
March 21, 2013 9:58:18 AM

toolmaker_03 said:
1) Let’s fix the issues first than we will see
2)fan controller will stabilize the pump the pump does not need to change speed all the time find the best speed for full load and leave it there (usually full speed)
3) Yes and yes(fill the res it cant hurt)


How do you control a PWM pump with a fan controller? Do you need a PWM fan controller? My fan controller is voltage-controlled.
a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 10:40:36 AM

Yea you would need a fan controller with the PWM option, mine has two ports that can be used for PWM fans.
a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 10:47:44 AM

For the sake of simplicity you should be able to turn off all the fan controls and the thermal controls within your BIOS and that should make the pump run full speed all the time.
a c 330 K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 11:17:34 AM

DDC pumps typically aren't very loud.

If you are concerned about delta yet concerned about pump flow regulation via PWM, you are fighting 2 battles on the same front. Flow rates directly impact delta, so lowering the flow increases your delta. It sounds like your noise issues are due to the reservoir not being completely full and possibly introducing air bubbles back into your loop via reservoir turbulence.

Personally, I would fill the res as full as possible and simply run the pumps at full speed from a molex.
March 21, 2013 11:25:00 AM

rubix_1011 said:
DDC pumps typically aren't very loud.

If you are concerned about delta yet concerned about pump flow regulation via PWM, you are fighting 2 battles on the same front. Flow rates directly impact delta, so lowering the flow increases your delta. It sounds like your noise issues are due to the reservoir not being completely full and possibly introducing air bubbles back into your loop via reservoir turbulence.

Personally, I would fill the res as full as possible and simply run the pumps at full speed from a molex.


MCP35x2 is powerful, but starts to make audible noise from 60% PWM. The delta T in my post is under 100% PWM setting. The noise also comes from reservoir turbulence. No air bubble is sucked back into the loop.

The reason I want to use the PWM control is that I want to link the pump speed with the loop temp. In that way the speed increases during gaming and decreases during idle. The pump noise will never be audible to me. All I want to know is if there is any software other than SpeedFan or FanXpert can do that.
a b K Overclocking
March 22, 2013 9:06:57 AM

Put some dish soap in your loop just a drop of dawn, or something similar, I use it when I'm trying to force air out of my system. It works by breaking the surface tension of water, and seriously one drop will do it, put the soap in first incase you over do it then fill the res to the top with water, also you may want to invest in a PWM fan controller/anti vortex product for your loop. Sometimes higher pump speeds can introduce more heat into the loop because of the heat of the pump its self, so it would be optimal to find the sweet spot between flow rate and pump heat with a controller.
a c 330 K Overclocking
March 22, 2013 9:54:48 AM

Delta seems high for what you are running, but the single 480 would be ok, but may be a bit over matched at full load.

GeForce GTX 570 : 480 SP, 320-bit, ~219W TDP (x3 at stock speeds)
i7 980 130w (stock speeds)

You're looking at 787w just at stock speeds for all your components at 100% load on a single 480 rad.
March 22, 2013 9:56:30 AM

hdeezie80 said:
Put some dish soap in your loop just a drop of dawn, or something similar, I use it when I'm trying to force air out of my system. It works by breaking the surface tension of water, and seriously one drop will do it, put the soap in first incase you over do it then fill the res to the top with water, also you may want to invest in a PWM fan controller/anti vortex product for your loop. Sometimes higher pump speeds can introduce more heat into the loop because of the heat of the pump its self, so it would be optimal to find the sweet spot between flow rate and pump heat with a controller.


Sounds reasonable. Any suggestions on PWM fan controller? I might need 6 channels if I connect the pump to the fan controller.
March 22, 2013 9:59:19 AM

rubix_1011 said:
Delta seems high for what you are running, but the single 480 would be ok, but may be a bit over matched at full load.

GeForce GTX 570 : 480 SP, 320-bit, ~219W TDP (x3 at stock speeds)
i7 980 130w (stock speeds)

You're looking at 787w just at stock speeds for all your components at 100% load on a single 480 rad.


It's actually a 60 mm 480 at the bottom with a 32 mm 320 on top.
a c 330 K Overclocking
March 22, 2013 10:35:34 AM

Ah, I wondered if that was actually a rad in the top. Your original loop order list didn't have it.
March 22, 2013 10:38:36 AM

rubix_1011 said:
Ah, I wondered if that was actually a rad in the top. Your original loop order list didn't have it.


Nope there wasn't. I added it in recently.
a b K Overclocking
March 23, 2013 7:51:10 AM

QuickShow said:
hdeezie80 said:
Put some dish soap in your loop just a drop of dawn, or something similar, I use it when I'm trying to force air out of my system. It works by breaking the surface tension of water, and seriously one drop will do it, put the soap in first incase you over do it then fill the res to the top with water, also you may want to invest in a PWM fan controller/anti vortex product for your loop. Sometimes higher pump speeds can introduce more heat into the loop because of the heat of the pump its self, so it would be optimal to find the sweet spot between flow rate and pump heat with a controller.


Sounds reasonable. Any suggestions on PWM fan controller? I might need 6 channels if I connect the pump to the fan controller.


Yeah that's the tricky part, finding a fan controller that uses 4 pin connectors and still retains PWM control, only one I can think of is the Tbalancer. On second thought you should try the dish soap first, I run a mcp655 at the 4th speed setting and it's virtually silent so if air bubbles really are the problem then that should take care of that as well. connect the pump to the motherboard and set the speed manually in bios, and just grab a calming coil for the res. If your looking for a fan controller for your non pwm fans though I went through a couple of them before I finally landed on the Lamptron FC-8 I would highly recommend lamptron products, stay away from cheap ones like aerocool they make your fans buzz at lower voltages which is really more annoying than listening to a fan at full blast.

EDIT: Sorry forgot you said you were having problems with the fan pump control via bios, this might be a good option Zalman PWM Mate
March 24, 2013 8:27:32 AM

hdeezie80 said:
QuickShow said:
hdeezie80 said:
Put some dish soap in your loop just a drop of dawn, or something similar, I use it when I'm trying to force air out of my system. It works by breaking the surface tension of water, and seriously one drop will do it, put the soap in first incase you over do it then fill the res to the top with water, also you may want to invest in a PWM fan controller/anti vortex product for your loop. Sometimes higher pump speeds can introduce more heat into the loop because of the heat of the pump its self, so it would be optimal to find the sweet spot between flow rate and pump heat with a controller.


Sounds reasonable. Any suggestions on PWM fan controller? I might need 6 channels if I connect the pump to the fan controller.


Yeah that's the tricky part, finding a fan controller that uses 4 pin connectors and still retains PWM control, only one I can think of is the Tbalancer. On second thought you should try the dish soap first, I run a mcp655 at the 4th speed setting and it's virtually silent so if air bubbles really are the problem then that should take care of that as well. connect the pump to the motherboard and set the speed manually in bios, and just grab a calming coil for the res. If your looking for a fan controller for your non pwm fans though I went through a couple of them before I finally landed on the Lamptron FC-8 I would highly recommend lamptron products, stay away from cheap ones like aerocool they make your fans buzz at lower voltages which is really more annoying than listening to a fan at full blast.

EDIT: Sorry forgot you said you were having problems with the fan pump control via bios, this might be a good option Zalman PWM Mate


I just added a drop of Dawn but unfortunately it didn't work. Does using Zalman PWM Mate mean I have to manually control the pump speed?
a b K Overclocking
March 24, 2013 10:39:22 AM

Yes the Zalman PWM mate has a knob to control the PWM signal, the Tbalancer is the only controller I know of that has PWM control and will let you change it through software, the best solution in my opinion is to run your pump at a constant speed I find that pump speed isn't 100% relevant to noise level, my pump will make less noise at the 4th setting than the 3rd and is more effective for cooling than running it at full blast. I would go with the zalman since its cheap and will give you manual analogue control of your pump speed, and if you want PWM functionality it is also programmable. You only need to set the speed once for one component so the Tbalancer would be a bit overkill in this case.

As for the reservoir you should definitely take rubix's first suggestion and get as much water in the reservoir as you possibly can, buy a syringe from Walgreen's they're pretty useful for adding or removing precise amounts of water. If its making noise after that than go for the calming coil.

how do you have your fans configured by the way I recently managed to drop my temps by about 5 C by revising my fan configuration.
March 31, 2013 9:13:20 AM

hdeezie80 said:
Yes the Zalman PWM mate has a knob to control the PWM signal, the Tbalancer is the only controller I know of that has PWM control and will let you change it through software, the best solution in my opinion is to run your pump at a constant speed I find that pump speed isn't 100% relevant to noise level, my pump will make less noise at the 4th setting than the 3rd and is more effective for cooling than running it at full blast. I would go with the zalman since its cheap and will give you manual analogue control of your pump speed, and if you want PWM functionality it is also programmable. You only need to set the speed once for one component so the Tbalancer would be a bit overkill in this case.

As for the reservoir you should definitely take rubix's first suggestion and get as much water in the reservoir as you possibly can, buy a syringe from Walgreen's they're pretty useful for adding or removing precise amounts of water. If its making noise after that than go for the calming coil.

how do you have your fans configured by the way I recently managed to drop my temps by about 5 C by revising my fan configuration.


I have 3 fans pulling air from outside from top of the case since my window is right above the case. The other 8 fans are in P&P at the bottom of the case.
a b K Overclocking
March 31, 2013 2:25:47 PM

Ok well if they are all intake than that will definitely build up heat inside your case generally for the best cooling you want more exhaust fans. Rads should pull in cool air. I found it best to have the top rad pulling in air with fans mounted on the bottom so they were also blowing air over the ram and vrms, then every non-radiator spot I mounted exhaust fans. so for me 2 200 mm exhaust, 2 intake radiator, 2 fans externally mounted radiator, 2 af 120's exhaust 1 intake. I think part of it too may be having 3 cards in serial, I usually max out about 40C on GPU but its also not drawing the heat of 2 other cards. Definitely run your pump at constant speed should help.
March 31, 2013 2:52:06 PM

hdeezie80 said:
Ok well if they are all intake than that will definitely build up heat inside your case generally for the best cooling you want more exhaust fans. Rads should pull in cool air. I found it best to have the top rad pulling in air with fans mounted on the bottom so they were also blowing air over the ram and vrms, then every non-radiator spot I mounted exhaust fans. so for me 2 200 mm exhaust, 2 intake radiator, 2 fans externally mounted radiator, 2 af 120's exhaust 1 intake. I think part of it too may be having 3 cards in serial, I usually max out about 40C on GPU but its also not drawing the heat of 2 other cards. Definitely run your pump at constant speed should help.


No and in fact non of them is intake fan now. The 3 120mms on top used to be pulling air in but dust accumulated very fast on the radiator. They are now pushing air out. The rear 140mm is also pushing air out. At the bottom 8 120mms are in P&P. The PSU cutout serves as a natural air intake. No fan is working against the thermal flow now.

Result of the new fan configuration is about 40~42 °C with Single GPU gaming in Resident Evil 6 (GPU1 in P0 99%, GPU2&3 in P8 <= 10%) which I think made some improvement. Pump is almost constantly @ 3300 RPM. (PWM-controlled by motherboard according to the CPU temp, but CPU temp is always under 50 °C therefore pump never ramps up)
April 12, 2013 9:46:43 PM

i am using the siftech dual extreme w/ that pump and can NOT get pwm control through my MB even with the special little 2 in 1 pump splitter they supply with the system... also, I have a ek dual bay spin res, i can fill it to the top? right now i can only run ONE pump due to turbulence inside my res... i thought about just filling it all the way, as right now it is the #1 source of noise... but it has a MAX fill line... i thought that may be on it for a reason... some insight on this would be amaaaazing... as to the PWM issue, i ordered a "pwm controller" from frozen cpu i will see how it works, because like i said before, none of my msi-z77a-g45 4pin headers work to control my pumps, though they DO control fans.

also, i always kinda thought the anti-cyclone stuff was "snake oil" the stuff is actually effective?
a b K Overclocking
April 13, 2013 10:04:05 AM

There is another reason that the pump never gets above that RPM with the Mobo fan header, and that is the amp restriction on that fan header. Most Mobo's can only handle 1 to 1.4 amps on the CPU fan header, with is more than enough for a fan, but a pump needs 2 to 3 amps to run at full speed. So if you are getting a fan controller for your pump, get a 35W per channel +, or get a actual pump controller. Koolance makes one, there not cheap but neither are the pumps.
April 13, 2013 10:22:51 AM

I guess that makes sense, accept for the fact that the pump is stuck at max rpm, that would be caused by lack of amperage also? I have ordered a high wattage fan controller, if it does not work i will return it for that koolance 24v dual pump controller... I was looking at a similar item on frozencpu, but it is an internal chip for fans/pumps that uses software, i would much rather have physical control... Also, does anyone know if the ek dual bay sin res can be filled 100% to reduce air production/turbulence?
a b K Overclocking
April 13, 2013 10:30:58 AM

of course it can be, but as a result there is no place for the added pressure that will occur in the res to go because the pump is connected right to it, replace the plastic plugs with metal plugs and it should be ok, and not leak.
April 13, 2013 10:47:15 AM

EK dual bay spin res comes with metal plugs... the reason why i want fill the res all the way is because i get a TON of air in my system with both pumps on other wise... but you make it sound like a catch 22... fill it up all the way to allow both pumps to work will actually end up in lower system performance due to no room for air in res...

but then again... im seeing about 1-3 degree drop with 2nd pump running with full res. to an average of 55 under massive load prime 95 maximum heat test
a b K Overclocking
April 13, 2013 10:55:43 AM

it is not that you need a place for air it only adds to the total system pressure in the reservoir itself creating the possibility for water to seep through the threads on plugs and fittings.
April 13, 2013 10:58:29 AM

ahhh ok! i understand now... had me confused for a second... also, i do have a special top plug with a tiny air hole in it that i am now using w/ the res 99% full... And hopefully by this time next week i will have a properly functioning physical controller for my pumps!
!