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Benefits of 2 Radiators VS 1

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm a complete noob to watercooling. I found this case: Fractal Design Arc. It Allows for two radiators (one on top and one on the side, a 240/360 and 240, respectively.) And just for clarification, would there be any cooling benefit of going 2x240 or 1x240 + 1x360, or just going with 1x360?
post #2 of 12
It depends entirely on what you're cooling.
More rads will help a little with temps but the big benefit comes in when 1 rad is having trouble coping with what you're cooling. Then adding one drastically improves load temps.
What are you looking to cool?
If it's just a processor then a 360 rad is enough.
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post #3 of 12
IF you have a 360 and add a 240 chances are youll drop a couple c's while doing so.

2 radiators are good for a setup with one cpu and 2 gpu's, where one 360 would not work as well.
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I was planning on cooling the cpu, nb, and gpu. A friend told me the more you add to a loop the more efficient the loop is. Would a 360 be sufficient for that, or would I need the 240?
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ca.j.stokes View Post
I was planning on cooling the cpu, nb, and gpu. A friend told me the more you add to a loop the more efficient the loop is. Would a 360 be sufficient for that, or would I need the 240?
Sure it'll be more "efficient" to an extent, but individual performance for each component will drop.
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post #6 of 12
I cooled an i3 540 at 4.6 and my 470 OC'd to 750 core on an MCR320 and it was okay, I'd have benefited from more rad though.
I've since dropped my i3 from the loop as the rad was getting very hot and was clearly struggling.
Don't bother with watercooling the PCH on your H55N, if it's anything like my h55-d2h it'll clock just fine and stay pretty cool with the stock heatsink.
In my opinion it's added restriction and heat for very little gain.

I'd probably go with (edit) at least a 120 as well as the 360 or go for slightly higher RPM fans than my own ones (1350RPM yates) if you want to be on the safe side.
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post #7 of 12
Quite a bit goes in to designing a water-cooling system. Most people just guess at how much rad they need, however there are smarter ways that can save you money. There are multiple variables to consider, such as what components you are going to use and your intended purpose. If it's a Sandy Bridge build with a mild overclock, then I wouldn't worry too much about adding a second rad. Those CPUs are very light on power compared to the first gen i7s. If you are adding a high end GPU like a 590 and overclocking it, then that will add a substantial heat load.

The next thing to consider is noise. I over-size my rads so I can slow the fans down, the result is a 990x oc'd to 4730 MHz running at 62*C fully loaded with much less noise. My GPUs are all oc'd and stay under 40* loaded. Now if you don't mind noise, there are fans that move 100+ cfm and that first rad will be able to cool all of your components.

Another thing to consider is which rad you plan to use. Skinnee labs has done reviews Rads, definitely take a look there and do some research, with a high-end Rad and faster fans one rad may be sufficient.
Edited by mike597 - 5/30/11 at 6:36am
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post #8 of 12
I've never set water cooling up before. However, from my research and from a bit of guesswork. I'd say you would be better of doing two loops. For example, instead of putting a 360 and a 240 on one loop. Use a 360 and a 240, with two loops. That will separate the components, so that your gpu(s) will not cause your cpu's temps to be higher than needed, and vice-versa. If you're going to have high end gpus (GTX 580, radeon hd 6850+, etc) then i would go with a dual loop. Personally i think gpus get hotter than cpus, so i would put the 240 on the cpu and the 360 on the gpu(s). But as i said i've never done water cooling so i may be wrong on that. I'm willing to bet a dual loop will beat a dual rad, single loop, every time.
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by trance.geek420 View Post
But as i said i've never done water cooling so i may be wrong on that. I'm willing to bet a dual loop will beat a dual rad, single loop, every time.
Before putting any money in on that bet, you may want to poke around on the net and see what the results of actual testing have been.
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post #10 of 12
I generally will always suggest as much radiator as possible. It may only amount to a couple of degrees depending on heat loads, but rads are one of the few components that will carry forward in future builds and going large on the rad/fan setup is what differentiates custom setups from all in one coolers.

Larger rad capacity also affords lower fan speed options, etc.

Fit whatever you can no matter the shape and just make sure they all get good cold fresh ambient air drawing into them.
    
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