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Thread: First water cooling project on a budget.

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    First water cooling project on a budget.

    Many of you shake your head when hearing the word budget, but bear with me. I dont know anything much about watercooling but im a fan of the idea 'Learn by doing'. Im taking the plunge into water cooling for my nice hot overclocked prescott (s478).

    I was considering a 'budget kit' like the coolriver or bigwater. Then i thought, i bet i could do better (seeing as i only want one block), and it would be more fun. So, on a whim, i bought a brand new Hydor L30 off ebay for £19 with postage. This is the pump im using, dont start slagging it off or suggesting eheims, this was cheap so this is what i have.

    My dad works for a company involved with silicon tubing so i will be getting unlimited free peristalsis tubing (basically Tygon) of any length, colour, thickness... Also i will build my own reservoir, so thats not an issue.

    I would like a dual 120mm radiator. first i thought id go for a heater core style radiator and make my own shroud. But im leaning towards this cosmetically damaged one. What do you think?

    Also on the same site i was looking at:
    DD Maze 3 478 Lucite 1/2" Chrome Fittings for £17.63
    or to splash out for:
    DD Maze 4 478 Lucite 1/2" Chrome Fittings for £25.85 (but i doubt this is worth the extra)
    More options would be good, i want to keep under £20 if possible, i know most blocks are £30, but if that is only 2-3 degrees better i probably wont be interested. But knowing nothing im open to all comments. That site only charges 1.99 for postage so getting as much as possible there is of great benefit.

    On that note, id rather not spend £10-15 each on fancy fans. I was wondering if 7 volting these ones would be ok.

    So this brings the following total:
    Pump £19.00
    Waterblock £17.63
    Radiator £26.97
    2xFans £ 9.98
    Postage £ 1.99

    Total £75.27 (same as a coolriver deluxe and postage)

    What do you reckon? Will this be any good? Worth £75 or will spending a small amount more help significantly? My original budget was £80 and i always overspend, so there is some leeway.

    Dont be too harsh if ive overlooked something or chosen somthing stupid. Thanks.
    Last edited by Scarlet Infidel; 22-05-2005 at 11:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Amateur photographer Hans Voralberg's Avatar
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    Go for a heatercore IMO. Less restrictive. For the fan cause they're @ 1700rpm i don't think they'll make much noise, and yes, why fancy fans.
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    The black heatercore with postage is £36.48 as opposed to £26.97 for the dented XSPC R120-D (assuming im buying from that site anyway otherwise £27.96 with postage). I doubt that its worth £9.51 extra in terms of cooling in my budget system, plus id have to make a shroud. So, am i right in thinking making my kit 13% more expensive with this radiator would only give a few percent better cooling?

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    As far as heater cores go, head down to your local scrap yard, ones from Novas are about 120mm, and will set you back very little, it isnt too difficult to put your own barbs on, assuming you have a blow torch. Take a couple of fans with you and just go through what they have. youll prb get your rad for about 15 quid that way (including solder + barbs from plumb center/b&q wherever)

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    Amateur photographer Hans Voralberg's Avatar
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    The difficult part is fitting the barbs on. But that's the cheapest way really. And it all come down to personal reference, if you like the XSPC rad and happy to pay, take it then.
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    • Butcher's system
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    I got my heatercore for a fiver second hand. It was 20 years old if a day back then and that was 4 years back, but it works just fine.

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    I originally thought about going the heatercore route via a scrap yard, but im feeling really lazy with this project and last time i went the man wasnt very co-operative. Im not dead set of that radiator, im just arguing for it to see how people argue back.

    This review shows it doing well with higher heat loads (ideal for a prescott) and a few degrees cooler than the well known HE120.2

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    21st century digital boy noah's Avatar
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    why not look for some sencond hand stuff? there's regularly stuff on here and bit-tech that would suit your needs.

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    ive had a quick look, i do intend to look further for second hand stuff though. The above are merely ideas so far as i wont be paid for another couple of weeks, by which point the radiators might have sold out anyway.

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    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    Well the pumps a good choice. Hydor > eheim
    For radiator, you can get heatercores really cheap. Get some alu sheet and its really easy to make a shroud.
    I would say go for that dented XSPC one. They have a resonably low FPI which makes them ideal for silent use where the fans dont have much static pressure.

    As for block, dont get the maze3, they are very old deigns. Maze4 is ok'ish but a TDX or RBX does not cost much more... and would give better performance here

    What graphics card are you using? do you use pc mainly for games?
    Watercooling and overclocking gpu would probably give more improvement (about 30% in 3dmark03/05) than you would get from the cpu, atleast with amd systems...

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    Thanks for the reply, i have a damaged 9700pro which runs underclocked as a result. I barely game at all and when i do its RTS, so id rather not put extra heat into the system or spend extra on a graphics card water block.

    What kind temperature difference would you expect a modern £30 block to give over that maze 3 then?

    Anyone have first hand experience with these fans?

    Also as a very side note, not to be taken seriously. If i got a maze 4 for example, what kind of radiator would be up to adding a 226w or so peltier in the future?

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    If this data is a fairly good guide it seems the maze 4 has stupidly low restriction. With my pump i should be able top handle blocks with a much higher pressure drop (though i dont know any exact maths). The RBX and TDX come off very well.

    Obviously this chart doesnt have the very latest and more obscure waterblocks, but its quite interesting to browse over.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by |SilentDeath|
    Well the pumps a good choice. Hydor > eheim
    Based on what?

    Eheims are good quality pumps, their main features are reliability and noise. If you're after a quiet pump that won't break then an eheim is ideal. If you're after maximum water flow or other things then they are not the best (though still good).

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    Theres no need for any sort of pump debates (not in my thread!) especially as thats the only item i have actually got so far.

    After a little searching, i have found the RBXfor a good price:

    DangerDen RBX (1/2") - P4 478 - *Clearance* (about 1/3 of the way down)

    I imagine once you remove the paypal surcharge and add postage itll be about £25, seems a great price for a good block. Should i go for it? Any more suggestions relating to waterblocks?

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    Amateur photographer Hans Voralberg's Avatar
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    Can't think of anything better. Go fot it
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    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butcher
    Based on what?

    Eheims are good quality pumps, their main features are reliability and noise. If you're after a quiet pump that won't break then an eheim is ideal. If you're after maximum water flow or other things then they are not the best (though still good).
    Firstly they (1250) cost £20 more than the L30 in any shop.

    In my experience they are as quiet and as reliable. If you have an l30 fail its most likely a problem with your setup for example restriction on the inlet/cavitation inside.

    The L30 also has a better suited flow/pressure curve for watercooling use, although its not really noticably better.

    Isnt the l30 smaller? and the mounting is also better..

    Theres no need for any sort of pump debates (not in my thread!) especially as thats the only item i have actually got so far.
    Sorry , I read that after

    You might find this usefull, and alot of the other stuff on there aswell.. and the forums..

    For the block you might want to get the TDX instead.Ive heard its easyer to mount and also 2 barbs is a lot easyer to setup than 3..
    Performance for them will be about the same.. read the review at procooling..
    Last edited by SilentDeath; 25-05-2005 at 12:47 AM.

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