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First Steps Toward Water Cooling

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello there...
I'm thinking about getting myself into some water cooling action! Having never done this before, I clearly had some questions. After poking through the very full FAQ thread, most of my questions were answered (and even some I didn't know I had).

However, I have a more specific question regarding my case and radiators. I just recently picked up a HAF 922M case, and am curious what size radiator I could mount on the roof of that sucker. I see mounting points for two 120MM fans, so I'm assuming a radiator that mounts 2x120MM fans is probably the biggest I could fit up there, but I would like to make sure. Also, for those that have the case, is a thinner radiator needed? It seems like there is some decent space above the motherboard, but having never seen a radiator in person I figured I'd ask.

I also noticed that in one of the write-ups, the author stated that he felt that chipset cooling was a waste of time (in so many words), and I'm curious as to why that is. I imagine that if you are overclocking your northbridge, keeping it cool would be a very good thing. As it sits on my current board (which will be replaced before any super serial overclocking occurs), the northbridge is rather warm, boarding hot to the touch on it's small stock passive heatsink. I'd like to hear some opinions about liquid cooled chipsets.

Thanks for your time!
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post #2 of 8
I don't know about AMD boards, but, chipset cooling for intel i-core processors don't tend to have hot chipsets.

I imagine AMD are the same since intel stole the idea of putting parts of the FSP in the CPU from AMD in the first place but the best place to ask would be the AMD forums imo.



As for fitting the radiator, I don't know your case specifically, but I know people have had complaints about the clearance in the 932 so I imagine the 922 is similar.

A deep radiator is generally about 50mm deep, and fans are typically 25mm deep, though 38mm fans are about.

The best advice I could give in this case is to just take a ruler to the fittings.

Low profile radiators are thinner ofc, but the best place you will find information is the product specifications of radiators you are looking for.


First step though would be to see how much clearance you have, and remember, it doesn't matter if it overhangs your mobo a bit, even in the 800D with push pull on my rad it overhangs the mobo.

Just make sure it wont come into contact with anything that protrudes from the surface.



Edit:
Thought I should add... liquid cooling chipsets is generally only needed on very high OCs. 775 socket was a bit of an exception, since most boards cooked themselves without some fair additional cooling but for every day OC'ing I can't imagine you'll need it.

As mentioned before though, the AMD forums will know better than I will.
Edited by Crabid - 5/19/11 at 2:31pm
    
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response.

After some poking around, I was noticing that several XSPC items that I liked. I like the idea of having the pump and reservoir in one unit, and really like having them in the 5.25" drive bays up front.

After more poking around, I came across this kit. I'm sure none of the components are spectacular, but that waterblock was the one I was looking at anyway (and one of the few that support AMD), plus it might be a good way (and price) to get me started.

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...ducts_id=30187

How well do the thinner radiators perform? You can get the kit with a full thickness one for $170, would I see a huge gain in cooling ability? I'd like to build off of this kit, so some room to grow could be nice, I suppose.
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post #4 of 8
You've found a very popular kit...


The rad performance depends on the fan speed really.

the RX rads perform very well with low speed fans, so are ideal if silence is your aim. It will also perform well with high speed fans though which is why the RX is generally said to be worth the cost.

If you want to run with high speed fans though, the RS rads will apparently come close to the performance of the RX rads if not match them.

If you got Gentle Typhoon AP-15 fans, I don't think you would notice a change in performance between the radiators.


On top of that, by the sounds of it, you will probably be running a CPU only loop, any 240 rad I know of with some air flow will dump all that heat with ease.



If you plan on adding stuff to the loop, tread carefully with the rasa pump. It can take some extra parts; a GPU block or two, but don't push it, it isn't a pump designed for highly restrictive loops. The radiator and waterblock are among the best available on the market today however.


There's also been some question over the noise of the pump, some swear it is silent, mine is very noisy. I've heard somebody say they RMA'd the pump because it was noisy and got a quiet one back. But it'll be up to you to decide if that's worth it. In my experience though, XSPC are very helpful company when you contact them, so I doubt it would be a problem.
Edited by Crabid - 5/19/11 at 4:12pm
    
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post #5 of 8
Well, I don't know much about the 922. I have the 932 and can fit a somewhat thick radiator push/pull with no issues (the RX 360.) I'm certain I've seen at least a 240 in 922s.

The RASA kits are very popular around here. I recently started WCing as well, and put together a custom loop with EK and XSPC parts (Bitspower fittings, though). I really like the XSPC radiator, I think that it's a decent value for the cost. There are better ones out there, but...I dunno, I feel the XSPC stuff hits the price/performance ratio dead on.

I would start with the XSPC kit which you linked; however, maybe consider the thicker RX 240 kit. That's a good start for a CPU only loop. If you want to add-on later, you can externally mount another radiator or mod your case.
    
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
This is awesome information, thanks both of you.

The only thing keeping me from jumping to the RX240 kit is that it's a $40 price jump.

Although, I could get the RS360 kit for only $15 more. I saw pictures of a couple HAF cases that had what looked to be 360's in theirs. Would that be a similar performance gain from a RS240 to an RX240?

I guess what I would like to know is how much heat these things can dissipate. I do plan on adding GPU's later (no more than 2, and even then, only 5770's), but I don't know how much, when, or how this current set-up could change. I looked on the website and didn't see anything in regards to heat rating for any of the radiators.
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post #7 of 8
Performance difference? Well, I don't have the numbers between an RX and an RS. For a CPU only loop I'm sure an RS would be sufficient. But, for adding a GPU or running your fans at a lower RPM, the RX is better.

Just make sure you measure before you buy. Check what the clearance is between the top of the motherboard (or about 1mm above the top standoff hole) and the roof of the case. An RX series radiator is 58.5mm and an RS is 35mm. Fans are usually 25mm. So, you can then figure the amount of space you'll need for push, pull, or push/pull configurations.

Then, you'll be able to know for sure what radiators fit in there. And whether you can fit push/pull, or add shrouds. The other option is you can mount externally. Also, you can dremel the bottom HDD cage and drill the rivets and put a radiator down there.

One thing about the 360mm rads -- they will likely block a portion of your top 5.25" bays. They do on my HAF 932 -- but, I just use those bays for fan controllers which have very little depth.
    
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Based on what I've found, I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to make an RS240 work for now. The top of the case doesn't have much for clearance, so maybe I'll just add a second loop for the GPU(s) if/when I add them to watercooling.

Thanks for all of the information, was very helpful!
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