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Intro and Water Cooling Question.

post #1 of 7
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Hey Guys, my name is James and for a while i've always been a lurker upon the overclock.net forums with my questions frequently being answered! So thanks for that! But now it is my turn for a question or five!

I recently (2 months ago) purchased the new Alienware Aurora R3, and I am thrilled with it. Specs are below! Before I go any further, I would just like to clarify that this is not a forum for bashing (ie. why spend that much money when you can build it your self for half price? etc), your comments towards my questions below would be greatly appreciate. That being said if its bothering you that much that you have to say something, feel free to PM me!

Motherboard: NFPR8 Swift

Intel Core i7-2600K (8MB Cache) Overclocked Turbo Boost to 4.1GHz

16GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz (4X4GB), 4 DIMMs

BD Combo, DVD+RW

Matte Stealth Black Alienware Aurora w/ 875W Multi-GPU Approved PSU

Dual 1GB ATI Radeon HD 6870

Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English

3x 1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache

Appologies for the image quality, I took it with my playbook as I was to lazy to pull out the camera.



















Any ways! On to the meat and potatoes of this post. As you can see from the pictures above the CPU is liquid cool but the 2 GPU's (AMD Radeon 6870's in CrossfireX) are not.

Right now the PC itself is performing great however the GPU's (In my opinion) are not performing to their full potential. I have a feeling this is due to the fact that they are sitting right on top of each other and the exhaust warm air from the top card is literally blowing onto the underside of the bottom card. Sometimes causing it to overheat and the pc will shut down under load. Obviously unacceptable for a PC of this value.

Now I would like to get the most out of this pc and was thinking of water cooling the GPU's. Now this obviously brings up a lot of question.

1) Do I have to purchase a whole new cooling unit, or can I extend 2 more loops onto the GPU's? (I think I said that correctly)

2) If i require a whole new water block, given the current set up where would i be able to put the radiator and fans? (If you need more pics of different angles, please let me know)

3) Do you guys have recommendations for GPU water blocks? at first glance Koolance seems like a good brand.

4) If I have to start the cooling system from scratch is it possible to get everything done on a $300-400 budget, if not less)

5) Are there any ready made kits (all-in-one) type deals that are out on the market?

6) Is extending water cooling onto these GPU's even a good option, or should I scrap these 6870's and get one GTX 580 or even 590 or even radeon 6990

The rest is up to you guys. I'm open for suggestion please let me know if I have missed anything or any other suggestions that you guys may have.

I have a decent understanding of my PC hardware components however my water cooling knowledge is definitely limited.

Thanks for all your help guys. Looking forward to hearing what you all have to say!
post #2 of 7
You wont be able to extend that unit, since it is sealed. I've seen people mod them, but it's not worth it imo.


As for setting up a loop for the GPUs, it's definitely possible. Personally I would look at getting a custom loop.

If you wanted an easy solution you could get a Rasa 750 RX360 kit and then buy 2 water blocks for your cards but you'd be at the limit of the pump and the radiators, so a custom loop would probably be more effective.



As for the cost, GPU card blocks aren't cheap, and you'll need to make sure those cards are reference design before buying blocks, or they wont fit.

I'll have a quick look at parts I would recommend and see what they coem to in costs...



Edit:

Yea, you're looking at $190 of just the graphics card waterblocks:

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12...70-Nickel.html

Pump is another $80:

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/51...8_120_GPH.html

Radiator another $95

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/85..._Radiator.html


On top of that you will want a reservoir, killcoil, distilled water, fittings and tubing.


And that's assuming you leave the current cooler on the CPU, I don't think you'll see any gains on the CPU without at least 4 120mm fans of radiator space, so you might as well save a few bucks on the CPU block, but you could potentially do it for around the $400 mark.
Edited by Crabid - 5/7/11 at 2:31pm
    
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post #3 of 7
whoa how much did that cost you?

And for water cooling your liking at around 200$ for a kit without gpu blocks. for a custom kit would cost you around 300-400$ plus each gpu block another 80-120 each block.
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post #4 of 7
Hey I was about to post something like that, I want to watercooler my GTX 480 but as you said not sure if I can mod my radiator or I have to buy other one.

Subscribed and looking forward on this topic
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by oipunx View Post
Hey I was about to post something like that, I want to watercooler my GTX 480 but as you said not sure if I can mod my radiator or I have to buy other one.

Subscribed and looking forward on this topic
If it's a single rad don't try, even if you managed it, it wouldn't dump the heat.

For the CPU and a single GPU though, a Rasa 750 RX360 kit + GPU block will perform fine.
Edited by Crabid - 5/7/11 at 3:15pm
    
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post #6 of 7
Yea, unfortunately those self-enclosed "water cooling" systems just don't compare to custom loops. They're simpler and easier, but they get outperformed by high-end air coolers and matched by some that are considered mid-level. The biggest problem of pre-packaged computers, in my personal opinion, is the difficulty of modding. A lot of stuff is either proprietary or just plain incompatible. I think it'd be a good idea to go custom next time
post #7 of 7
Agree and disagreeable about go custom =]
I was planning for a custom build but for the same specs I was just saving 120 bucks with no water cooling, high def. audio and good brand memory. As I get it 2nd hand ( but just 3 months old ) from a friend I couldn't get a better price even by building one my self.

Anyways thanks for the advice I'll look around for this kit you guys talking about, also I may say I don't really need to water cooler the GPU, it goes right and runs well but I'm planning to take off the GTX 260 and replace it for other GTX 480 if this is the case, then water cooler my GPU will be necessary, I guess =] REP!
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