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Help Adding Water Cooling to an Existing Build

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I've had my current system since October 2010, and I've decided that it's time to upgrade it. One of the things I would like to upgrade is the cooling. My GPU gets extremely hot (it reached 90°C today while playing Skyrim on max with graphics mods before I panicked and hit the power button), and I can't afford buying a comparable GPU that produces less heat, so I would like to add water cooling instead.

I have never water cooled a system before, so I am completely lost when it comes to what to buy. I've been building computers for several years now and I feel that, given the correct parts, I could upgrade a computer with water cooling on my own, but I need help choosing the parts that would work best with my system. Here are the current specs:

Chassis: Cooler Master HAF X (all stock fans plus a Cooler Master R4-LUS-07AR-GP on top)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R
Processor: Intel Core i7-930
Video card: EVGA GeForce GTX 480 SuperClocked
Heatsink: Scythe SCMG-2100

Because I am on a budget, I would like to have just one loop that cools the CPU and GPU. If having the CPU and GPU on the same loop would be insufficient for countering the incredible heat produced by my GPU, I think I might only water cool the GPU unless a second loop would be inexpensive.

Geniuses of Overclock.net, could you grant me some of your vast water cooling wisdom, so that I don't end up melting my 480? smile.gif
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Boron
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post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nokurn View Post

Hi,
I've had my current system since October 2010, and I've decided that it's time to upgrade it. One of the things I would like to upgrade is the cooling. My GPU gets extremely hot (it reached 90°C today while playing Skyrim on max with graphics mods before I panicked and hit the power button), and I can't afford buying a comparable GPU that produces less heat, so I would like to add water cooling instead.
I have never water cooled a system before, so I am completely lost when it comes to what to buy. I've been building computers for several years now and I feel that, given the correct parts, I could upgrade a computer with water cooling on my own, but I need help choosing the parts that would work best with my system. Here are the current specs:
Chassis: Cooler Master HAF X (all stock fans plus a Cooler Master R4-LUS-07AR-GP on top)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R
Processor: Intel Core i7-930
Video card: EVGA GeForce GTX 480 SuperClocked
Heatsink: Scythe SCMG-2100
Because I am on a budget, I would like to have just one loop that cools the CPU and GPU. If having the CPU and GPU on the same loop would be insufficient for countering the incredible heat produced by my GPU, I think I might only water cool the GPU unless a second loop would be inexpensive.
Geniuses of Overclock.net, could you grant me some of your vast water cooling wisdom, so that I don't end up melting my 480? smile.gif

That temp is perfectly normal for that card. As long as you stay under 100C i would not be too worried. However, use EKs Cooling Configurator to check block compatibility for that card as I believe it is a non reference design.
post #3 of 7
Not that I want to steer you away from building a great WC setup...

But you can score a 7870 for about $350 and is on par/slightly better than the 480. I am certain you will spend more on a cpu+gpu loop.

Edit: way cooler and quieter! :-)
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmerwede View Post

Not that I want to steer you away from building a great WC setup...
But you can score a 7870 for about $350 and is on par/slightly better than the 480. I am certain you will spend more on a cpu+gpu loop.
Edit: way cooler and quieter! :-)

Surely not worth it. For $350 a card that performs "on par" with a GTX480 is not worth it. That card is great. I sold my pair for a pair of 6970s and they do not perform as well with low frame rates.

I cooled my GTX480 sli and i7 930 with a XSPC 360 and a swiftech mcr220. So you should be able to cool one card and the CPU with one big radiator or two smaller ones.

How high is your CPU clocked? If it is high, you will need more radiator.

As for parts, you should be able to find a GTX480 waterblock for less than 70 used. Make sure you get a full cover, it would be a pain cooling every little chip. Other than that, you need a pump, radiators, a reservoir and tubing and fittings.
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The acrylic beast
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post #5 of 7
Hi Nokurn,
I have had my swiftech system for a year now and am really happy with it. It comes with all parts necessary to set up a CPU WC system. If you add the water block for your GPU there should be enough tubing for everything. The H20-320 system will easily handle a CPU/GPU load. Some people believe an entirely custom built WC system is the only way to go and they do have advantages. I was originally considering a Corsair H100 system, but did not want to be stuck if I wanted to upgrade. With the Swiftech H20 Edge system I can expand my loop when I want to. I found the H100 too limited for my needs.

The first link below will tell you about your GPU waterblock needs and the second is from Swiftech if you want to look at their offerings. You don't have to buy from Swiftech other sites like frozenCPU resell for them.



http://www.coolingconfigurator.com/home

http://www.swiftech.com/H2O-x20-Edge-HD.aspx

Good Luck...thumb.gif
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi,

If the GTX 480 is designed to be run hot, I can't really justify the amount of money that water cooling it would cost, aside from eliminating the jet engine level noise that it produces at full tilt.

Thanks for the advice, everyone.
Boron
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Boron
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post #7 of 7
Well this is the "water cooling" section so people are going to recommend you exactly that..
tongue.gif

Unfortunately, the price of entry for water cooling is steep when you are starting from nothing, price of radiator, reservoir, pump, block, tubing, barbs.. It'll all add up very quickly, and if you are anything like most of us crazy OCN users, it never stops there, we keep going.. It's like a getting a fix, lol
biggrin.gif

You can check out the "kits" that many companies sells, EK, Rasa, Swiftech, just to name a few... tho most don't come with a GPU block and that alone cost anywhere from $70-$100 or more. If you can find one for 2nd hand, see if you can get pictures of what the block looks like inside and out, heard too many horror stories..

Anyways...

If you are looking for something that'll drop your 480 from 90c on full load to high 50s to low 60's, on a budget and Yea, it's a fan cooler, you can check this out..

Zalman VF3000F(GTX580/570/480)

The design is similar to that of the Gigabyte Windforce cooler or that of the MSI Lightning, all will produce similar results..
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