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Making a switch

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I've kind of had my hand forced to switch to conventional water cooling. It's a bit of a story, so I hope you have some free time. I'll ask my important question first, though, before getting into the history of The Aquariumputer. I'm looking at going with the Koolance cpu-370 and ar-687 as well as the rp-401x2 single drive bay res. I'm also looking to get a new case. I was thinking the Lian-Li Dragon Lord PC-K60 or PC-K58WB. I really want a window, but I also like the fans at the top. Any other reasonably priced cases ($100 is upper limit, but slightly flexible) with cable managment that have a window and/or top fans? Also, I plan on running the system like this: pump > rad > cpu > gpu > res. Sound good?

So now it's story time. You now know about my submerged system, however, none of you know the... let's call it "adventure". Well this is the first system that I have built myself. I ended up cheaping out on the case because I was running into the upper limit of my budget at the time. Well I had initially started off air cooled, and with my case's crappy airflow, I was seeing temperatures that I was less than comfortable with, and had actually had a capacitor burst and catch fire. Fortunately no other components were harmed and I got a new mobo for free.

I had initially toyed with the idea of going to water cooling, but then I found a DIY kit for submerging the system in mineral oil. So I get that, and 3 hours after I get it up and running, I'm seeing temperatures in the upper 70°C, and almost touching 80°C. 30 seconds later, I hear a what sounds like a pond fountain, and look over to see oil POURING out a rather sizable crack in the side of the tank. I shut everything off and unplug everything faster than anyone has ever unplugged anything in history, and carry the 50lb tank (which was now probably closer to 40lb) to the bathroom, burning my hands as I go. My mother and I spent the next 2 hours cleaning up the oil out of the carpet as best as we could. Also, it was 1am when this happened. Turns out it was a bad pump, combined with overly restrictive quick-disconnects that caused around 0.1 to 0.2GPM with very little pressure to be circulated through the radiator.

So I got a new tank, new pump, and then I got a second pump, flow meter, and replaced the ~3 gallons of lost oil. I did some testing and found that the flow rates were slightly better with 2 pumps, but still not what it should be. So this was when I did a bit more testing and found the quick-disconnects to be overly restrictive. Ordered high-flow QDCs and that did the trick. The flow meter was now spinning like a toddler on Mountain Dew. This held strong for the past 9 months.

Last night, though, I noticed the tank was low on oil. I was thankful that I had put it in a plastic base that would catch any oil if a leak were to develop, because it had oil about 1/8" deep in it. I top off the oil to see if I can find the leak. I can't and the tank is a little low again in the morning. So I'm calling this adventure complete, and while I wouldn't call this experiment a success, I wouldn't classify it as a failure, either. I'm going to be using the 2 pumps, flow meter, and rad in the next build.
Edited by tippy25 - 7/28/11 at 7:51pm
Mr. Bubbles
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 Sapphire Radeon HD6870 8GB G.Skill DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x WD Caviar Black 1TB LG Blu-Ray burner Koolance CPU-370 & VID-AR687, Phobya 4x120mm rad Windows 7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
19" Acer X193W+BD Generic Logitech Corsair HX-750 Lian-Li Lancool PC-K62 
MouseAudio
Logitech MX Revolution Corsair SP2500 2.1 speakers 
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Mr. Bubbles
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 Sapphire Radeon HD6870 8GB G.Skill DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x WD Caviar Black 1TB LG Blu-Ray burner Koolance CPU-370 & VID-AR687, Phobya 4x120mm rad Windows 7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
19" Acer X193W+BD Generic Logitech Corsair HX-750 Lian-Li Lancool PC-K62 
MouseAudio
Logitech MX Revolution Corsair SP2500 2.1 speakers 
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post #2 of 4
are you planning on external mount the rad or internal ?
besides I'm curious about that oil cooled PC of yours, mind sharing pictures ?
Student's baby
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2500k @4.5 (tweaking) Asrock P67 Extreme 4 Gen3 EVGA GTX570 G.Skill ripjaws 8g 1600mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 SSD WD Black Asus dvd burner Custom Rasa RS240 kit +GT fans 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
W7 64bit ultimate Nec 21" Das ultimate silent Corsair HX750 
Case
CM 690 II advanced 
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Student's baby
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500k @4.5 (tweaking) Asrock P67 Extreme 4 Gen3 EVGA GTX570 G.Skill ripjaws 8g 1600mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 SSD WD Black Asus dvd burner Custom Rasa RS240 kit +GT fans 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
W7 64bit ultimate Nec 21" Das ultimate silent Corsair HX750 
Case
CM 690 II advanced 
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post #3 of 4
Oh god. That sounds like a greasy nightmare. I suppose you're throwing away your old pc?

Your parts list and loop order seem good tho.
Davs Jr.
(13 items)
 
  
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OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB Win 7 32-bit BenQ 24" VA LED Logitech Illuminated Keyboard 
PowerCase
Corsair Professional Series Gold CMPSU-1200AX Coolermaster HAF-X 
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Davs Jr.
(13 items)
 
  
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Intel Core i5 2500K Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 MSI GeForce GTX 570 1280 MB G.SKILL Ripjaws X 2x4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB Win 7 32-bit BenQ 24" VA LED Logitech Illuminated Keyboard 
PowerCase
Corsair Professional Series Gold CMPSU-1200AX Coolermaster HAF-X 
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm planning an external mount, as the radiator is 240x240x40mm. I do want to secure it to the case somehow, though. Here's some pics of The Aquariumputer after I finally got her stable:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

The black thing its sitting on/in is an old rubbermaid baseball equipment holder that my neighbor was throwing out that I reclaimed and repurposed as the home of The Aquariumputer. It served me well.

It was a very greasy nightmare. I finished emptying the tank and cleaning all the external things that got oil on them. I'll tackle the internals over the weekend. I'll probably be using some form of electronics cleaner. I've heard dishwashers and/or soap & water baths work well, but I've had enough bad luck and that just sounds like an unnecessary risk. I won't be throwing away the old components. They're still good, just completely covered in oil, which is a solvable problem. I'm not worried about saving the heatsinks, though. I was only using stock coolers anyway.

Also, I feel it's important to note that mineral oil will **** up O rings and cause them to expand. This is particularly a problem with quick-disconnects, as the rubber O rings will interfere with the closing of the QDCs and allow fluid to leak, and sometimes pour out. If you're using QDCs, only use them with water.
Mr. Bubbles
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 Sapphire Radeon HD6870 8GB G.Skill DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x WD Caviar Black 1TB LG Blu-Ray burner Koolance CPU-370 & VID-AR687, Phobya 4x120mm rad Windows 7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
19" Acer X193W+BD Generic Logitech Corsair HX-750 Lian-Li Lancool PC-K62 
MouseAudio
Logitech MX Revolution Corsair SP2500 2.1 speakers 
  hide details  
Reply
Mr. Bubbles
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 Sapphire Radeon HD6870 8GB G.Skill DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x WD Caviar Black 1TB LG Blu-Ray burner Koolance CPU-370 & VID-AR687, Phobya 4x120mm rad Windows 7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
19" Acer X193W+BD Generic Logitech Corsair HX-750 Lian-Li Lancool PC-K62 
MouseAudio
Logitech MX Revolution Corsair SP2500 2.1 speakers 
  hide details  
Reply
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