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WC Advice - is it worth it or should i just upgrade?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
as you can see from my specs, i am running dual ATI HD 5770's in CrossfireX but I am having some heat issues. under load, they are both hitting up to 75C and the ambient temps here are less than 18C... and summer is not even close. I think the proximity of the cards is just creating a mini oven between them.

I am contemplating going to WC for the CPU, and both GPU's for a couple of reasons:

1. less noise (GPU's under load annoy)
2. regulating temps is easier, regardless of ambient
3. thinking of making the jump to OC my gear
4. it just looks sexier
5. i am a tinkerer

is it worth it to go thru the effort to wc the 5770's? I have inspected them and they are the Reference PCB, so the EK-5770 would fit. I realize that the price might be more to wc them, rather than just jumping up to a newer single card setup... but i dont want to get too caught up in buying new gear every year. regardless, because of the other benefits I would prolly want to just WC the new card(s) anyway. my dual 5770 setup has not let me down yet in terms of output, and compare decently to a single newer card.

the wc seems like the perfect timing, as i am hoping to get into OC my gear so i can keep up with my workmates who just bought uber systems... and i have been jonesin for a new project to tinker with.

thanks for the help and sorry if this has been done to death, noob to the site still.
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post #2 of 12
"Worth" is something only you can decide.

If you are happy with your twin 5770's then go ahead and slap full cover blocks on them. If you are thinking of upgrading soon, why not look at a GPU only universal block? This would save money as they can be re-used on newer cards. The downside is that you need to put some heat sinks on the MOSFET / RAM, and ensure that there is decent airflow past them. This can be done with a single 120mm fan though, which will be quieter than the stock fans.

If you love tinkering then you will love WC'ing, it has given me more pleasure than anything else on my rig.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
well dollars spent on high end gear that actually works is money well spent. That being said, i am still moderately thrifty. Looking at some numbers, it seems like what I am looking for would be more expensive to cool both of the 5770's. here is my logic, so correct me if i am wrong:

1. I am attempting to keep all of my rad's inside my case, which leaves me the option of a 280 on top or a 240 in front... or both if necessary.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageG...omputer%20Case

2. cooling a cpu and gpu could be done on a single 240 or 280, but if i want to cool dual gpu's i should give them their own rad, right?
2a. if this is the case, how do i set up a one pump loop with dual rads?
3. price of extra gpu block + extra rad + extra hoses and fittings > price of new single gpu - selling old gpu's back on ebay

one last question - can i simply use the lian li case fans I currently have in place for attaching to the rad's or do i need specific ones? Currently my top two 140's are running at 1000rpm and my front 120's are at 1200 and 1000. The push quite a bit of air and are relatively silent.

Thanks again for the help.
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post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchgenius View Post
2. cooling a cpu and gpu could be done on a single 240 or 280, but if i want to cool dual gpu's i should give them their own rad, right?
Yes, you can cool a CPU and GPU on a single 240mm rad, but the temps won't be the best; 360mm+ is recommended for a CPU + GPU loop. I would go for both the 240 and 280 rads, they will give you the performance you will want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchgenius View Post
2a. if this is the case, how do i set up a one pump loop with dual rads?
Put everything in series. The loop order does not matter too much, so long as you go res > pump.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchgenius View Post
3. price of extra gpu block + extra rad + extra hoses and fittings > price of new single gpu - selling old gpu's back on ebay
That is always an option. Up to you really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchgenius View Post
one last question - can i simply use the lian li case fans I currently have in place for attaching to the rad's or do i need specific ones? Currently my top two 140's are running at 1000rpm and my front 120's are at 1200 and 1000. The push quite a bit of air and are relatively silent.
No reason why you can't use your current fans on rads. There are some fans that work better on rads than others, but for now the ones you have will do the job. You can always upgrade later if you feel the need to.
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post #5 of 12
IMO, it doesn't make sense to put a loop together for those cards. The money spent on blocks for them can go towards a single better card, which I'm sure you already know.

The resale value on used blocks is terrible and even more so on blocks for a generation or two old mid range cards. Not to mention that the cards value is low in itself. I don't know how well the 5770's perform, but I'd rather take a 6970 lightning or something over them. That card would hold value better than the pair of 5770s.
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post #6 of 12
It might be worth checking out the fans/heatsinks for dust, particularly if they were running cooler in the past. Mine used to load (Heaven) around the high 60s in 20ºC ambients when they were aircooled.
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post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikecdm View Post
IMO, it doesn't make sense to put a loop together for those cards. The money spent on blocks for them can go towards a single better card, which I'm sure you already know.

The resale value on used blocks is terrible and even more so on blocks for a generation or two old mid range cards. Not to mention that the cards value is low in itself. I don't know how well the 5770's perform, but I'd rather take a 6970 lightning or something over them. That card would hold value better than the pair of 5770s.
I agree with this. The blocks will cost the same amount as the cards themselves and when you come to selling them on, nobody will want them since nobody will want them water cooled (probably).

You're better off water cooling a more expensive card (or pair of cards) - have you thought about aftermarket air coolers with a quiet fan on?
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
this same question just came up recently at work, and the best i could explain it was "there are a myriad of reasons that I am looking to do this upgrade"

if it was just about cooler temps, i could go the cheap air route and solve it, but i am also looking to lower noise (as currently my Lian Li case is deathly quiet, the GPU's make most of the noise) and potentially increase performance (whether it be via OC or a new card) - where liquid cooling solves many of these issues... and like i said, it gives me a chance to screw around with some new toys.

admittedly, a lot of this may be attributed to an early-midlife crisis as every couple of years i feel the need to build and create something new from scratch. first it was paintball guns, then an electric guitar, then a mountain bike, and i have been a PC nut all along. WC is the next unconquered frontier.

as for the temps/noise of the current setup, I had read somewhere that it is one of the few flaws of crossfire. without a dedicated fan (or waterblock) serving up fresh air into the stacked units, you end up getting a heat bubble and therefore increased tiny fan speed... and eventually noise. when i first bought the second card, it was an effort to save some cash but also to see what the crossfirex technology was all about. now that i am a few generations behind though, perhaps moving to the front of the single card line is the best solution.

i guess i am a little greedy thinking i can get low temps, high performance, and silence.

Thanks all for the quick replies, the info helps as I am scanning the WC guides at work.
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post #9 of 12
You're right. Crossfire can cause increased fan speeds.

If you have the money for it and you're willing to do it, nobody's stopping you water cooling both of your cards. If it was my money, I'd wait a little, buy a better single-card solution and water cool that instead.

There's nothing stopping you water cooling your CPU for now for something to do, right? This way, you have the capital laid down in the form of pumps and radiators etc, then down the line when you want to water cool your GPU it won't cost you nearly as much in one go - all you'd need is a waterblock, a few extra fittings and a little more tube.
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post #10 of 12
My experience with water cooling is that its really not that quiet. Once I start trying to clock things higher, I end up turning up the speed on the fans. The end result is a bunch of fans on my rad going full speed. It performs a lot better than the air cooled cards, but it's not much quieter.

Buying aftermarket heatsinks for cards these days is almost no better than adding them to the loop. The tend to cost around $40-50 for an air cooler. A universal gpu block is about the same price.
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