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Thread: Tempted by Water Cooling...

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    Tempted by Water Cooling...

    I've been looking around at watercooling for a while and I'm really tempted. I just need a little more convicing and guidance.

    Too be honest, I'm aware of the pre-built kits that the like Zalman make, but these a bit pricy for what they offer. I would prefer to make the kit myself. But I really need help in what componants are the best for my needs. I'd like to spend around £150, if thats way too low it maybe increased.

    See my system for my specs, I would like to cool the Cpu and Gpu.

    Any Help appricaited, thanks.

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    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    OKay first things first do you want an external system, internally mounted, or do you not care?

    By External I mean a complete setup outside the case with the tubing and blocks inside the main case, Internal is everything inside the case or you can have the radiator mounted externally.

    If you want a completely external system then have a look at the aquacomputer offerings they are significantly more than your budget though http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/...cat=126&page=1 and you will still need a CPU and GPU block on top of that.

    If you want an internally mounted kit (with the Rad inside or hanging off the back) then we can get it for a lot closer to your budget.

    Pump - DDC 3.2 with XSPC Res top - £65
    Radiator - Thermochill PA120.3 - £55
    CPU Block - Swiftech GTZ - £45
    GPU Block - XSPC Razor 4870 - £50

    You will also need fittings and tubing, what fittings you pick will determine what tubing you require.

    You have 2 options for fittings they are barbs and compression fittings, compression look better and remove the need for tube clips so come highly recommended however they are twice the price of a normal barb.

    So for the system above you would need 8 fittings, using barbs they would cost ~£12 (+ tube clamps) using compression fittings it would cost ~£30 (including 2x adapters for the radiator it uses G3/8 rather than G1/4 fittings)

    Tubing if using 1/2" barbs you can use 7/16" ID 5/8" OD tubing this costs ~£2 per metre, if using compression fittings you will need to use 1/2" ID 3/4" OD tubing which costs a bit more ~£2.40 per metre.

    Finally you will need some coolent either distilled water and some biocide or some pre-made solution like Feser One. Oh and some fans.

    Total cost will likely be closer to £200 than £150.

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    maxwilson (29-12-2008)

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    ek water blocks are also very good.

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    Well, whatever would be the most cost effective in terms of internal/external would be best.

    Would an intenal system require case modification? Would this be significant or quite simple and easy?

    Is setting up a watercooled system hard? Or is it just a case of being easy unless your stupid? lol

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    webby, what about a swiftech compact with extra gpu block?

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    The swiftech compact 220 with an extra GPU block will be a good starting point for sure the only potential downside is that it only has a double rad which will mean the temperatures are not as good as if a triple rad were used. Equally the pump is not as powerful as the ddc 3.2 (it is a DDC 3.1) and the CPU block is not as efficient as the current crop of CPU blocks. The weaker pump and CPU block will be less important than the rad being potentially undersized though.

    So in a similar vein to my original suggestion but closer to £200,

    Pump - DDC 3.2 (ultra) with XSPC Res top - £65
    CPU Block - XSPC Delta V3 - £30 (from Scan £35 everywhere else)
    GPU Block - XSPC Razor 4870 - £50
    Radiator - XSPC RS360 - £30
    Tubing - 7/16" 4m - £8
    Barbs - Highflow 1/2" barbs x8 - £10
    Hoseclips - £1 (from a market or hardware shop)
    Fluid - Feser One - £7

    If you are prepared to go for slightly less performance from the pump and CPU block then take the swiftech compact 220 as a starting point

    Kit - Swiftech Compact 220 - £120
    GPU - XSPC Razer 4870 - £50
    Tubing - 3/8" - £2
    Fittings - 3/8" Highflow Barbs x2 - £3

    Optional Extras
    Radiator 2 - XSPC RS360 - £30
    Tubing - 3/8" 1m - £2
    Fittings - 3/8" barbs x2 - £3

    I would put the triple rad on the back of the case using the rad box and have the double in the case at the front (in the drive bays) you could also do this using the Swiftech compact 120 (£80) and buy a radbox or some long screws for mounting the rad on the back.

    Incidentally if you are handy with a soldering iron you can convert the DDC3.1 to a DDC3.2 very easily but it will obviously void your warranty on the pump.

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwilson View Post
    Well, whatever would be the most cost effective in terms of internal/external would be best.

    Would an intenal system require case modification? Would this be significant or quite simple and easy?

    Is setting up a watercooled system hard? Or is it just a case of being easy unless your stupid? lol
    You'd most likely have to modify your case to internally mount it unless you got a case that has lots of room dedicated for watercooling

    Most cost effective would be exterior mounting. Using a Swiftech Radbox sorts that out but you need watercooling holes in your case for the tubing to pass in and out. It also has it's benefits of dumping the heat out of the case instead of inside or pulling the air from inside through it.

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    Thanks for the deatailed responses webby much appricated even though I do feel a bit outta my depth lol.

    Moogle how does that radbox work? Would be easy to attach to a 900? I think internal would be better, but I don't really think im up to it.
    Last edited by maxwilson; 30-12-2008 at 05:04 PM.

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwilson View Post
    Thanks for the deatailed responses webby much appricated even though I do feel a bit outta my depth lol.

    Moogle how does that radbox work? Would be easy to attach to a 900? I think internal would be better, but I do really think im up to it.
    Radbox (Specially the Swiftech one) attaches to your rear case fan and can be any size from 80-120mm. All you then do is attach the 2nd part of the radbox to one side of your radiator then slot it together and screw it tight.

    Here's an old pic of how I had it set up.

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    You can also use long screws and plastic spacers to achieve the same effect but the Rad box makes for a easy all in one guaranteed solution.

    As Moogle says as well having your radiator mounted outside the case means you dump all the heat from your components outside and use cool air for the cooling as well.

    If it was me and I was going to mount a rad on the back I would use the radbox and then pull air from the back of the rad towards the case. I wouldn't have a fan mounted on the back of the case and would rely on the big top fan to keep everything in there cool (with most of the heat being dumped out of the case you will not require as much airflow through the case as you would with air cooling)

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    is water cooling as risky as people say?

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    Depends how risky people say it is!

    But not not really very risky as long as you know what your doing take your time and leak test before installing it the biggest issue you would have after that is pump failure but with the decent pumps having MTBF of over 50,000 hours if it runs when you get it they are not likely to have much in the way of problems.

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    sat with air cooling i get 30 on idle, what will water typically give?? will components on mobo be damaged if liquid spills on it?`

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    Quote Originally Posted by vincent.m View Post
    is water cooling as risky as people say?
    Not really, as long as you do a leak test and tighten all barbs and tubes well it won't leak.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincent.m View Post
    sat with air cooling i get 30 on idle, what will water typically give?? will components on mobo be damaged if liquid spills on it?`
    You'll probably get 30 on idle or less. The thing it gives you is the load temperature. Ie overclock a bit, still 30 on idle. Overclock alot more, maybe 35. Then under load that temperature will still remain under the max for your CPU. It decreases GPU idle temps alot though as for bigger heat dissipation you'll see a bigger drop in the idle temp unless the stock GPU fan is pushing air like mad.

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    Why do you want to go to watercooling? You havent actually said.

    A lot of people think it gives better cooling which it can BUT it is VERY expensive to achieve lower lower temperatures than top end air cooling. Heatsinks these days are pretty good for a fraction of the cost (and less risky).

    Also don't be fooled into thinking it will be silent either, again top end watercooling systems tend to use alot of fans so unless you are prepared to spend £50 on fans it could get quite noisy.

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    Re: Tempted by Water Cooling...

    I was tempted by it Tbh Mac, You must've speced up some baskets in the likes of scan and ebuyer and thought maybe... lol.

    I was confused by tubing sizes and pumps and had no idea how much WC would cost or what the best parts are. I like a challenge and to improve my PC with new parts, who doesnt, this is a hardware forum after all.

    I also have a lot of money sitting in the bank at Barclays awesome 1% interest rate. Thanks to a few informative posts by the likes of webby (must've taken a while to type all that out, really appriciate it) I now know that if I decide that WC is for me then I know exactly what parts to buy and how to fit it externally and internally, Thanks Moogle for the Swiftech radbox idea.

    I've seen the temperature differences, and I'm aware that it isn't silent but I still think I would've bought it but I'm gonna stick with what I've got. If I had a better mobo then I would buy but my P5K doesnt really have enough overclock potential to warrant watercooling.

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