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Thread: Water cooling

  1. #1
    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    Water cooling

    I am quite intrestined in building a rig (not for a while but planning has commensed) which uses water cooling for GPU, CPU and mabe probably the motherboards chipset.

    I would probably like to not buy a pre compiled set and so choose my own componants (i dont think ill be going down the custom parts route)

    Is a system like this practicle and would it require two 120MM fans on the reserovoir?

    Also how much would i be looking at for this system, under £200 would be nice.

    Also is it best to have the reservoir outside the case or inside? If so i guess i would need a large case such as the cooler master stacker, although outside sounds best to me, then i can have a lovely li lan 1000 case (which i also plan to get electro cromed if the price is right, just sent off for a quote)

    Im looking for a blend of temperature and noise however i will not be OC much probably (im not the kinda guy who is willing to burn out a CPU and im not much of a bencher!)

    Any guidence is greatly appreciated - where should i start looking/ researching???

    THANKS!
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  2. #2
    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    probably system cooling.com, but i can tell you what you want now:
    mcp655
    swiftech cpu block, either storm or apogee
    any gpu block you fancy
    any chipset block you fancy
    thermochill pa series rad in a suitable size, for reference my 3x120 with yate loon fans and the pump at halfway gets temps of about 44 on the cpu full load (prime on both cores and rthdribl)

  3. #3
    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    i recently built my first watercooled setup and it is a bit daunting at first but once you get the parts sorted, its just a case of taking your time and its pretty straight forward.

    a good place to start is here

    i too have the lian li v1000 case and i ended up putting the radiator on the back as its a triple and wouldnt fit inside. everything else fitted in snugly, but i had to move the psu out about 2 1/2 inches so the hoses didnt kink, but since fitting it all, i think i could re-route the hoses and avoid that.

    a dual rad will be ideal for your setup, if you have a look at the link above, youll see that the thermochill PA120.2 radiator is one of the best, and you can use silent low rpm fans with no decrease in your cooling.

    i used a swiftech radbox to fit the radiator to the back of the case (available from scan). looks neat and keep the radiator out of the way of the dvd-i cables, although you could use the frame off an old 120mm fan as a spacer.

    pump wise, lots of people swear by the laing/dangerden d5/swiftech mcp655 and thats what i got, its quiet on full speed, and you can adjust it down so its even quieter if you want to.

    i used 1/2" internal diameter clearflex tubing, and i used over 11 ft of it, but i did make things a bit longer just to be on the safe side as it was my first attempt

    i was advised to ditch the idea of a reservoir in favour of a t-line, and i have to say that this works really well and takes up less room.

    gpu blocks, i went for the dangerden maze 4 low profiles. these do a great job, but you will need to buy a set of bga ramsinks, i got some of the zalman ones from scan at about £6 for 8 (4 low profile and 4 high profile).

    cpu block, everyone said to get a swiftech storm, but i couldnt get hold of one, so i ended up getting a cooltechnica aquaxtreme mp-05 from http://www.extremeprometeia.com/ and it performs brilliantly, although i havent had any other blocks to compare it to myself, i am told that my temps are good for the heat ive got going into the loop.

    coolant, i got some xerex, ummm yeah tastes orrible

    i think thats about it

  4. #4
    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    As well as cooling the CPU, there are also waterblocks available for your northbridge chipset and your graphics card. However, it is generally recommended to not watercool your chipset, as these small waterblocks can restrict the flow of the water, not to mention making tubing a hassle. The chipset can be cooled just as well, if not better, with a MicroCool Northpole.
    Is that still true? If so mabe ill just passively cool that, leave it as it is (tiny fan) or install a proper HSF to it?

    Also being custom i guess it is easy to upgrade and change to suite new tech, ie the new mounting block of AM2 and will it fit all GPUs? Are they universal or what? - Well it seems there are universal GPU blocks which would seem best as i am likely to be upgrading my graphics soon but i will be using my trusty x800xt for a while.

    Also what about the reserviour, im guessing having one is better than just having it in the pipes? Im actually toying with the idea of making like a watercooling unit with temp read outs and everything. hmmmm
    Last edited by nvening; 10-03-2006 at 11:51 PM.
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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvening
    Is that still true? If so mabe ill just passively cool that, leave it as it is (tiny fan) or install a proper HSF to it?

    Also being custom i guess it is easy to upgrade and change to suite new tech, ie the new mounting block of AM2 and will it fit all GPUs? Are they universal or what?
    Most good companies will sell you adaptor plates for new mounts. AS far as cooling the nbridge goes, if you can live with it with a fan go for it. If youre cooling for silence though youll prob have very little case airflow, (i have probably about a nominal 30cfm most of the time) so i wouldnt trust a passive cooler if it were up to me

  6. #6
    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    well if you arent overclocking and you want quietness, then you could do it, but its finding one that will fit onto your motherboard without causing probs with the graphics card/s. from doing a bit of reading about this, it seems that a chipset block by its very size is restrictive and will bugger your flow up, so you will lose performance in the cooling of your cpu and gpu. im just looking at mine now and theres no way some 1/2 tubing is going to fit in there, so youll end up using smaller tubing which will also lower the cooling capabilities.

    there was something on dfi street and they were saying that the chipset is good for 75c, so you could easily run the stock fan down a few notches to make it quieter. i didnt bother with the chipset and its not been a problem.

    p.s. i keep seeing a pic of a modded zalman passive heatsink kicking about, you could try that.


  7. #7
    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    well apparently the collermaster one which has a heat pipe iirc and a little fan is silent anyway. hmmmmmmmmm lol

    Also, what do i get a reservior or not??
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  8. #8
    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    • herulach's system
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    Depends what case you want, if you can fit a resevoir easy then go for it, it makes fill/bleed a lot easier especially if you can get it at the top of the system, however, fitting one is quite hard, i had to use a t-line in my stacker

  9. #9
    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    Well i was thinking about construction an external unit to house the pump, radiator (and fans) and the reserviour and then have a nice little LCD on the front showing water temps etc and contolling the fans. Would it be possible to also measure system temps and any case fans i get, or would the distance be too far - it would go right next to the tower.

    Also i may as well make it a 1000ml reserviour or is there a disadvantage to the higher volume, and how to i work out the dimensions of a reserviour which holds 1000ml?
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  10. #10
    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Depends what shape your res is, but length x height x width, or pi*r*r*length. An external box might work, you could go for something like the mcubed fan balancer that kustompcs sell, and then use that software to control an LCD, TBH though, if you want something like that a vapochill unit might suit you better. External is just annoying, how do you plan on bleeding it? Quick disconnects are very expensive.

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    Not Very Senior Member RavenNight's Avatar
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    My Zalman passive northbridge heatsink is fantastic, its a good deal cooler than the stock asus one and its silent!
    AMD 3700+ San Diego @ 2.8GHz | Zalman CNPS 9500LED + Arctic Cooling MX-1 | Asus A8N-SLi Deluxe + Zalman Northbridge | 1024MB DDR RAM (2 x 512MB Corsair XMS Pro TwinX) | Leadtek nVidia 6600GT 128MB | Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Music | 2x80GB Hitachi Deskstar SATA-II (RAID 0) | Gigabyte 3D Aurora Case | Hiper Type-R 580W Modular | Enermax Ultimate Fan Controller| Microsoft Nautral 4000 | Logitech G5 + fUnc 1030| Ideazon Fang | SpeedLink Medusa 5.1 Surround Headset | Samsung SM913N 19" TFT | Compro DVB-T200

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    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    Mabe thats a bad idea then, i could go without a reserviour but could add one in the furure right? I could mount the radiator the top of the case - however what finish is the ThermoChill PA120.2? and what fixings are needed, will it sit my itself, bolts, or even sticky fixers?

    Then where would the pump go? It could go in the Cd drive area as i only use one drive, however i would probably want to put a fan conrtoller/temp monitor there as well when i have water cooling!

    Is there an order in which the system has to go?, ie i would think it would go pump, radiator, cpu, gpu, pump right?

    Also what sort of distances can there be between the radiator and the pump as if the pumb goes below the CD drives and the radiator on the top, then i would have to take the tubing out through the back through a pci slot and to the top.

    btw- my current plan is to fit it inside my silverstone tj05 howerver my plan is to purchase a li lan v1000 in the future so is it possible to build a system which will fit both of these systems?

    EDIT: IM a bit concerned when it comes to the passive heat sink weather i will have enough air flow. Also on the v1000 does the PSU need to be the 120mm fan on the bottom variety?
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  13. #13
    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    • herulach's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • i7 4790K
      • Memory:
      • 8GB Vengeance LP
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    I dont think the psu wil be an issue, both should work My recommendation for layout would be rad in teh top, with barbs at the power supply end, however, that does create some rather dodgy routing issues. You might actually be better off with a radbox in that case. As far as order goes it doesnt really matter, maybe only 1 or 2 degrees, go for whichever is easiest to run tube with.

    The only other mount mehtod i can think of is to just use the bottom cdrom bays, and put the pump in the top ones (itll take up at least 3, probably 4) but you could still fit a fan controller in there, as most arent that deep.

    The main issue i can see youhaveing is if you decide to go for thick (7/16" 1/2") tube, you might not have the thickness to put a bend in from chipset to gpu

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    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    I dont think ill water cool the chipset as it seems its not really a great idea and there are alternatives. Also do you get dual 120 faned radboxes?

    Also what are these routing issues you speak of?
    Last edited by nvening; 11-03-2006 at 04:27 PM.
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    • Butcher's system
      • Motherboard:
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    Reservoirs are good, only drawback is size. More water means less temperature fluctatuions, and reservoirs cut your bleed time during filling from hours to minutes. Also if you put the res right before the pump you decrease the net positive suction head of the system, which can improve flow somewhat (though temp gains are likely to be fairly marginal).

    Order of components is largely irrelevant. The only thing that's worth it is the reservoir being right before the pump as mentioned. Other than that you're best off with whatever order gives you the shortest tubing runs (without kinking). Typical temp difference between the hottest part of the loop and the coldest is goiung be be well below 1C, unless you have utterly crap flow.

  16. #16
    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    How about putting the pump here?



    Thats one of the HDD bays, and i would only ever use a maximum of two HDD and the pump gets some air flow there.
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