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Need help building first water cooled computer [using freitz template]

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
1. Most importantly what is your Budget?
I'm expecting the loop (pump/tubing/blocks/fans) to be around $1,000. The case/mobo/gpu/ram/ps/ssd will be around $2,500 (2x high end gpu, ivy bridge processor, 500gb of ssd's).
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2. What case are you using.
I have not picked a case out yet, but my #1 criteria is noise. I'd like to have as much radiator as possible with low noise fans (under 1,000rpm). I'm having a hard time identifying wide-fin radiators (which i assume would be better for lower airflow?). I don't care about the case looking nice and am open to external radiators (open-air slipstreams are quiet enough). I don't like the idea of a filing-cabinet sized 50 pound monster.
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3. What are you trying to cool and what hardware are you working with?
I'd like to purchase the cooling equipment in march so I can test it out, then get all computer hardware whenever ivy bridge processors are released. I'd like to watercool 2x high-end gpus crossfire, processor, and possibly ram/northbridge since ambient room temperature will sometimes be higher than ideal.
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4. Are you water-cooling to overclock or to run a stock?
Processor at 5ghz, ram with medium overclock, gpu's with slight overclock or at stock.
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5. What is your Water-cooling knowledge?
I have been reading these boards and watching youtube videos for a couple months, but have never built a loop. I would like to get as easy to assemble fittings/tubes/blocks as possible, even if that means overpaying.
Quote:
6. Are you looking for a custom loop, kit or a all in one water cooling system like what corsair and antec supply.
I'm open to a kit, but think a custom loop would be better given that I want radiators that work with low airflow.


Other notes:
I don't know anything about watercooling ram/northbridge, is that even common? I don't have mobo or ram picked out yet. I'd like to pick both of these out based on what has the easiest aftermarket cooling available.

I'm likely going to house the pump(s) in a noise proof box. Are there heat considerations for the pump when doing that, or are most pumps submerged? I will likely custom build the box since I have not seen aftermarket options. This machine will be used for games and will be set up in dual mirrored monitor mode. The second mirrored monitor signal will go to a second computer that will be streaming on Twitch (the second computer uses an independent ISP).

Anyone have a suggestion for pump, radiator, case, and gpu/blocks? GPU I'm leaning towards GTX 590/580/560 or 6990/7970/6870x2/5870x2 but it mostly depends on an efficient and easy to install water block (suggestions?) I'd sort of like to go for whatever the most common high-end hardware is just so I'll be able to ask questions and look up examples.
Edited by avaya - 2/23/12 at 2:15pm
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post #2 of 25
First off, I think your budget is way too low for what you want. In my sig rig, I spent about 1K on the cooling stuff (though I'm including my case in that), and you want to cool more than I do. There are a lot of small costs that can sneak in there, and it adds up pretty quickly. Think: $100 for each of the waterblocks (CPU and 2x GPU), plus about $200 for two large radiators, about $150 for numerous fans, then you've also got res, pump, and other accessories (like clamps and fittings) on top of that.

As far as getting a case with max cooling potential, look at the stuff from Mountain Mods. I have an Ascension Tower with 4x120 in the top and 3x120 in the front. I built my computer with a focus on low noise, so what I have is a good template for you: XPSC radiators with Gentle Typhoon fans attached to a fan controller.

Also, you really don't need to watercool RAM and northbridge. The costs far out way the benefits, if there really are any. To be honest, RAM OCing gives you miniscule performance improvements at best, and northbridge water cooling doesn't really help at all (though I must admit it looks cool). Put that money into better RAM to begin with, and you'll be making a much smarter investment.

If you are only doing a mild OC on your GPUs, then you really don't need to water cool them. High-end third party coolers installed by MSI and Asus run almost silent, except when you are in the middle of a gaming session, in which case the noise from the game will easily drown out what little noise they make.

In regards to housing the pump in a noise-proof enclosure: in my experience, a thick foam pad will function just as well as an enclosure. Then you don't have to worry about heat. Remember, pumps make noise because they vibrate, not because they are inherently noisy.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick2253 View Post

First off, I think your budget is way too low for what you want. In my sig rig, I spent about 1K on the cooling stuff (though I'm including my case in that), and you want to cool more than I do.
You are right, it will probably be more like $1,000. I modified the OP.
Quote:
As far as getting a case with max cooling potential, look at the stuff from Mountain Mods. I have an Ascension Tower with 4x120 in the top and 3x120 in the front. I built my computer with a focus on low noise, so what I have is a good template for you: XPSC radiators with Gentle Typhoon fans attached to a fan controller.
I have thought that case looks great but it seems like some of the stuff is hard to plan out. 15mm or 25mm fan backspacing? Do you have any pics of your machine?
Quote:
Also, you really don't need to watercool RAM and northbridge.
Thanks, I was wondering about this. I've had some northbridge overheating problems in the past but it's good to know it's not really needed.
Quote:
If you are only doing a mild OC on your GPUs, then you really don't need to water cool them. High-end third party coolers installed by MSI and Asus run almost silent, except when you are in the middle of a gaming session, in which case the noise from the game will easily drown out what little noise they make.
I'm hoping to be under 40db at load which air cooled cards currently can't do.
Quote:
In regards to housing the pump in a noise-proof enclosure: in my experience, a thick foam pad will function just as well as an enclosure. Then you don't have to worry about heat. Remember, pumps make noise because they vibrate, not because they are inherently noisy.
Hmm, okay that is good to know and will save me a lot of time.
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post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by avaya View Post

I have thought that case looks great but it seems like some of the stuff is hard to plan out. 15mm or 25mm fan backspacing? Do you have any pics of your machine?
I don't have any pictures online at the moment (there still in my camera). As far as the fan backspacing issue, that's because different radiators use different spacing. It's simply a matter of picking the right spacing for the right radiator. If memory serves, there were only a few Thermochill radiators that used the 25mm spacing. Most radiators (and the new thermochills) us 15mm.
Quote:
I'm hoping to be under 40db at load which air cooled cards currently can't do.
Why 40dB, and at what distance? Ambient in a quiet room is around 25-30dB, so if you're going for silent, you'll need to get lower than that. Also, it's misleading to say that something is 40db. Noise is a measurement at a physical location relative to other objects, not those objects. For example, at 1m, a jet produces some god-awful 100dB+. At 1km, that same jet produces probably 10dB or so.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Maybe you are right, just hard to believe an air-cooled rig could really get below 40db (at ~2 meters) with only air. I really like this mountain mod case and am in the planning phase.
Edited by avaya - 2/24/12 at 9:09am
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post #6 of 25
Using a decibel sound-level meter, at two meters my computer is less than ambient in my room, which varies between 25 and 27dBa. At 1 meter, my computer is just above ambient at 30-31 dBa.
post #7 of 25
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Originally Posted by Nick2253 View Post

Using a decibel sound-level meter, at two meters my computer is less than ambient in my room, which varies between 25 and 27dBa. At 1 meter, my computer is just above ambient at 30-31 dBa.

Are you serious? You need a $2,000+ sound meter to read anything below 30dB...
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post #8 of 25
1000$>?
A good loop could be had for way cheaper....

This is pretty much top of the line stuff alot could be had for cheaper this is just for details.
And before you knock them fans there about a smidge not as good at gentle typhoons in noise and static pressure.

338
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by avaya View Post

Are you serious? You need a $2,000+ sound meter to read anything below 30dB...

Yeah. My friend works for Nvidia doing their cooling designs, and bought one of their used units when they upgraded a few years back. He's obsessed with the whole "silent computing" business, and he wanted to see how loud my computer was. So we measured it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by solar0987 View Post

1000$>?
A good loop could be had for way cheaper....
This is pretty much top of the line stuff alot could be had for cheaper this is just for details.
And before you knock them fans there about a smidge not as good at gentle typhoons in noise and static pressure.

I don't see where the conflict is. I spent more because (1) I bought higher-end stuff all around, and (2) my $1k includes my MM case, like I said.
post #10 of 25
You have a lot of the same concerns I had when I started building. The Corsair 600T was the perfect fit for me. It's heavy, but is ~mid-tower sized with a good amount of space on the inside (you said you're open to external rads, but internal is prettier and keeps the noise a little lower). You can easily fit two radiators. I have four (here), but you can fit a 360 on the top and a 200 in front. I went with Akasa Viper fans (painted the visible ones white) because they're very quiet when the system is idle, but can spin pretty fast when necessary. My system cost me about $900.

Hope this helps.

EDIT: As you can see, I don't have the 2xGPU setup you'll have, but there is plenty of space to pull it off.
Edited by DrJns - 2/29/12 at 4:48pm
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