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Thread: Watercooling question to do with radiator size.

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    Watercooling question to do with radiator size.

    I have had a desire for a long time now to give watercooling a go even though I should probably spend said money on new components. My goal would be to run a very overclocked processor extremely quietly and just to run a graphics card quietly (not fussed about overclocking that).

    So basically I have two questions, if I had two seperate loops one for my cpu and one for gfx how big would the two radiators need to be for my stated aims and then I can decide on a case that will fit said radiators hehe.

    My processor is an x3 720BE and I know from reading up it is pretty difficult to get them past 3.7ghz, so to do it quietly I imagine would be a bit of challenge, I have pipe dreams of a x6 1090T as well in future so a radiator that could manage a decent overclock on that quietly as well for the future would be ideal. From my own reading I don't think I need more than a 240mm(120x2) rad for either cpu to achieve my goal ... is that correct?

    Now as for watercooling the gpu this is what I have no idea about. At the moment I have a HD4850 and I am thinking about maybe getting another one and running them in crossfire. How much radiator would I need to cool two HD4850s quietly at stock speeds with mediocre temps?

    Finally just out of interest more than anything else how much radiator would you need to just cool a nvidia 480GTX really quietly at stock voltages!?

    Also since I am asking so many questions how much radiator would you need for a single loop cooling a phenom II x3 and 2 HD4850s.

    Thanks for anyone that can answer any of these questions!

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    Re: Watercooling question to do with radiator size.

    I am no expert but i would agree at most you would probably only "need" a dual rad for a cpu.

    Graphics on the other hand get a lot hotter and dump a lot more heat / power into a cooling loop. You could probably get away with a GOOD thick dual rad but a triple would be much better for cooling the beast that is a gtx 480 if you want to use quiet fans especially, dual 4850's would also need a trple too i would imagine for the best results.
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    Re: Watercooling question to do with radiator size.

    That's a great answer thanks mac124. That knowledge makes planning my next upgrade alot easier.

    EDIT: What cases could fit a dual and a triple easily internally with minimal modification? The only one's I know of would be temjin07, ATCS 840, HAF x, Antec dark fleet?, Lian li a70 (if you got the top panel with 3 fan holes ... does anyone know where you can buy that?) ... 700D and 800D maybe!? any other obvious cases I am missing out?

    So in conclusion going for watercooling woudl cost me a small fortune because I would need a new expensive case plus two seperate loops to achieve what i want ... which = $$$
    Last edited by c.ruel; 23-09-2010 at 11:47 AM.

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    Re: Watercooling question to do with radiator size.

    Right, a dual radiator should be fine for a single cpu loop... the heat output isnt enough to require a triple rad but you could go that route if you wanted to since quietness is important than a triple rad will mean lower rpm on the fans thus being quieter with lower temps still.

    The 4850's are pretty low power cards so a dual rad would be fine and you could probably run two off a dual rad if your not doing overclocking .

    Yes watercooling isnt cheap, especially if you havent got a case to support it but if you really want to spend the money on it then you should be pleased with the results since its quiet cool and efficient.

    Radiators that id recommend are: Thermochill Pa 120.2 or the 120.3(last number is either 2 for dual or 3 for triple). Or the XSPC RX240 (dual rad) and the XSPC RX 360(triple), they do a slim line version iirc and its like RS240/360, doesnt perform aswell but if space is important these are perhaps worth looking at.



    Cases: Corsair 700/800D seem to be the watercooling favourite at the minute since a triple rad fits at the top and iirc the dual rad can fit at the bottom (someone correct me, albeit i do remember it supporting duals).
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    Re: Watercooling question to do with radiator size.

    tbh, it depends on the rad and fans you're using, but I think for a Phenom II X3 and a 4850, you'd only need a single 120mm rad each - neither has a particularly high heat dissapation (less than 150W each, I believe). e.g. an XSPC RX120 - this skinnee labs review will give you the low down, but basically with a 1000rpm fan it'll give you a water temperature 10deg above ambient for a 150W load. That would comfortable cool either your CPU or GPU. In fact, I'd recommend you have a browse of the skinneelabs reviews. Unfortunately they don't have any 120x2 reviews, but you should be able to get a reasonable impression of just how much heat a watercooling loop - even a single one - can dissipate. They recommend looking at the TDP of your components to estimate how much heat you'll be putting into the loop; they also point out that you'll be over-estimating your heat output if you do that, which is, frankly, no bad thing. A competent but unexceptional loop will give you a 10 degree water:ambient temperature difference, apparently!

    That said, even with a minimal water cooling loop (say, a single 120x2 for both the CPU and the GPU) you're going to be spending *a lot*. If you want the extra cooling provided by a 120x3 rad then you'll be spending even more as it's difficult to fit a 120x3 rad into a case: and I should know Decent quality air cooling is always going to be much cheaper.

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