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Should I get water cooling?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've been looking at water cooling for a bit now, and am thinking about getting it. I don't want it for the purpose of overclocking to extreme lengths. I would like to get 3.8-4.0GHz stable on my cpu, with no GPU overclocking. Memory I would like to get at 1800 9-9-9-24 (not too important). The water cooling would be for my sig rig. I know that my case is not very good for water cooling, so I would want to change the case. I also plan on adding an AMD Radeon HD 6950 before I actually get into water cooling. I am basically trying to plan my upgrade path for the next couple months . I may upgrade the cpu to an 8 core when those come out, if I do this I will probably drop the overclock down to 3.6-3.8GHz, depending on what the stock clocks and overclockability are.

I would like to optimize my cooling, while keeping the cost < $300 to do so. My current idle/load temps on my cpu are 20c/28c with an ambient of around 70F. Inside the case (at least I think the sensor labeled "motherboard" in aida64 is inside the case) it is 29c, maybe 32c under load. This is with my sig rig, at stock clocks with turbo turned off (due to the fact I haven't received the sig mobo yet and am stuck on an MSI 890GXM-G65, and don't want to take the chance in making my case into a pretty toaster).

I would like to keep things as aesthetically pleasing as possible, but I don't want to sacrifice a ton of performance to do so. I'm willing to sacrifice about 10-15% of the performance to get a more aesthetically pleasing case, etc. I will be putting a large side panel window into whatever case I do get (via a replacement side panel, or mod, whichever is easiest), if it doesn't already have one.

So here are my questions.

1.) (a)Should I get water cooling, (b)or would I be better off sticking with a better air cooled case and some air cooling upgrades? (I plan to get a new case either way)

1a.)

2.) What would be a good case for water cooling? I like the lanboy air, haf 932 advanced, and cm storm sniper, so whichever of those is the better option, or if there is a better option with a similar style?

3.) Would I want to go with a single loop, or dual loop, given my graphics card and cpu?

1b.)

1.) What would be a good case for air cooling? I like the lanboy air, haf 932 advanced, and cm storm sniper, so whichever of those is the better option, or if there is a better option with a similar style?

2.) What would be a better cpu cooler than what I currently have (or do I have a cooler that cools with the best of them? I know it's good, but is it *that* good?)

3.) What would be a good after market gpu cooler for the AMD Radeon HD 6950? Or is it even worth it if I'm not overclocking the GPU, and I have a good air cooled case?
Edited by trance.geek420 - 5/14/11 at 5:43pm
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post #2 of 17
A good water cooling case is the 800D however if you decide to go back to air cooling, it wouldnt be the best choice for air.

For under $300 you can get a watercooling kit from XSPC
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12...?tl=g30c83s137

Im not sure if they have blocks for your GPU though.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well in theory parts are mix-matchable, meaning I could get a block from a different manufacturer, and use it with the xspc kit. I'm contemplating between two options. Either setting it up as a dual loop, and getting the cpu and mosfet water cooled before I add the graphics cards, and adding the graphics card's and gpu cooling loop at the same time. Or setting it up as a single loop, and getting the graphics cards, then doing water cooling. I'm thinking I would want to go with a dual loop, but I have never set up a water cooling system, and this is actually the first high-end desktop I've owned (I have a ton of experience building/repairing pcs however, so much that my first job was the main tech in a computer repair shop at 17 years old with no certs, degrees, or otherwise, and I held it for 8 months before moving on to another path ).

I won't deny that the 800D is a nice case. However, it is too bland for my tastes. I like the mesh design, being able to see lit up fans, etc. I like my whole case to glow .
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post #4 of 17
From what I hear you can use a single loop to cool the CPU, Mobo, and 2 GPU's as long as you have enough radiator. Also, if you want to keep it under $300 it will be hard to do if you want to cool all that with one loop let alone 2 loops. Water cooling gets expensive fast.
post #5 of 17
Wait, i just re-read your temps.....you are saying that you get under 30c on load while having 60c ambient temps? I think you are doing it wrong, lol. if the air inside your case is 60c (which is really high) it would be near impossible to get a CPU temp half that. Or even anywhere under 60c. What are you using to get your temps?
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes I am aware that water cooling is quite expensive. I haven't actually priced the required parts to water cool my pc though, so all I have are guesstimates. I guess the main question is whether or not water cooling will give enough benefits for my situation to warrant the price. Ambient temperatures here during the summer are about 70-100F BTW, I'm not sure if that will factor into the decision to get water cooling or not. I've also decided that I'm going to stick with a single gpu (probably the 6950) instead of dual gpus, as the benefits of crossfire just aren't worth the price it would cost to get the other gpu, and water cool it.
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post #7 of 17
I can get you a WC setup for a decent price, assuming your sig rig is correct...1090t and Antec 900.

I can sell you a water block, two radiators, and fans for them all, barbs, and then all you need is tubing and a pump. I sold my 2nd pump already so sorry I can't include that.



You can mount the 240mm up front like so:


And the 120mm in the rear, like this:




Do it all nicely, and in the end you could wind up looking like this:



Credit goes to my buddy Fathertime27 for his build.
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Sorry my temps were mixed up. Ambient (outside the case, in the room), is 60-70F. The motherboard sensor reads between 29-32C and doesn't seem to be affected much by load.
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post #9 of 17
And here is some great trance for while you decide

http://www.livesets.us/markus_schulz...08-2011.shtml#
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post #10 of 17
Looking at your sig rig, there may be better ways to spend the cash on it. I love being under water, but say a new GPU or put it to something else that would speed it up would work just as well. Get a nice air cooler if you feel the need to upgrade and save the extra cash.
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