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QUESTION: Low space GPU loop (GTX 580 in a Lian Li PC-Q08)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm planning to make an SFF gaming rig and put all my storage off onto the house server.

Here's the important details(I just came back to it after a few months and am rewriting the whole thing... as you do...) :

Case: Lian Li PC-Q08
CPU: Core i5 2500 3.3GHz (stock speed - no OC)
VGA: nvidia... probably a 580 for price point at the moment (also just stock is all I require)

on top of that, it'll just have a DVD drive and single SSD (they fit in the top section, so it's totally viable to remove the 6x3.5" drive bays if needed)

So this is a pretty small case. I like that.

But I'm concerned that while the CPU will be fine (great airflow from front to top of case, especially with the drive bays gone), the GPU is likely to suffer as it doesn't get much benefit from that lovely internal airflow. The GPU is what I care about, obviously, since this is a gaming rig.

So I'm looking at options for water-cooling the 580 with the minimal space to spare.


I have a few ideas on what I'd do, and I'll share them, but let's just assume that money is no object, and that I'm not really interested in any mods beyond holes for screw mounts, and that the pump and reservoir will fit...

1) Would I get enough cooling from a 120mm radiator mounted on the top (exhaust) fan, which is going to be pulling CPU exhaust over it, to cool the video card?

2) Are there any 580 cards that are less than... say... 260mm long..?
I've got about 300mm space with a single 25mm fan in the front, but i could put a rad there as well, if the card was short enough, and that would mean fresh air... and depending on how much room is spare, possibly using one of my 32mm ultra kaze's..... and that'd probably be enough for a stock 580 right?

3) If either of the above would be okay... would I likely be able to put the CPU on this loop also?

4) if i found a short card, and had a rad on intake AND exhaust of this case (two rads)... could I put the CPU in there THEN?



So other than the rads, my thoughts are to use the removable 4x3.5" drive bay to house:

TOP OF BAY
1 Reservoir
2 Reservoir (single reservoir, taking up two 3.5" bays)
3 Pump Head
4 MCP355
BOTTOM OF BAY

and then if I need more pressure, have another MCP355 somewhere else in the case. pretty sure that would be possible to do..


yeah so I've seen some really cool systems in this case, but i have NO intention to do any modding... unless it's just drilling a hole to mount a pump/res/wherever.


If you have any experience cooling an nvidia GTX580, I'd especially love to hear how strong-a-pump and large-a-radiator will be required.

well if you've made it this far, thanks for reading smile.gif


again, not worried about cost, its space that's the problem. Won't be overclocking either, just running GPU-intensive games.


local ambient temps can reach mid 30's (Celsius) for a few months of the year.... I have no air-con :'(



Thanks all! smile.gif

-Sam
Edited by happysam - 4/22/12 at 5:01am
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post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
OK so more researching.

I don't actually use the DVD drive very much, so could get an external, freeing up the 5.25" bay for a reservoir.

this means the possibility of removing ALL of the 3.5" bays and mounting a pump elsewhere, freeing up much surface area of the 140mm front intake.

Discovered most 580's are about 10.5" long, or 26.7cm. that's given me about 3cm for a radiator on the 140mm intake. I'm currently considering this one.

will likely replace the case 140mm fan also.. thinking a Scythe Kaze Maru 2 at 800 or 1200 rpm

The length of the graphics card includes the stock fan... I wonder if any length reduction would happen when the fan & heatsink is removed to add the waterblock? shouldn't matter with the above rad anyway.


now... either a corsair hydro at top with a big ol' scythe ultra kaze 120mm exhausting (mount rad inside, kaze outside of case, or another rad and try to cool the CPU as well in this loop....


SO... the loop itself needs to cool:

Intel Core i5 2500K - 95W max. TDP
GTX 580 - 244W TDP

so about 350W TDP in two blocks

the loop atm:

Case Intake Rad
with this fan at 800rpm
Case Exhaust Rad
with this fan at 800rpm also

Reservoir in the 5.25" bay

waterblocks... still undecided.

Pump.. either one or two MCP35X


any advice is welcome, this is my first custom wc loop & I clearly have no idea what I'm doing.



now that the 3.5" bay is gone, what pump options do i have that will fit beside the vga card, or perhaps hanging from the 5.25" bay

well i guess the question is also: how big does the pump need to be... i think it would be possible to mount something by drilling through the HDD caddy and attaching it to the 'roof', and this would still be below the res, and hopefully not too shabby for internal airflow (since the drive bays are all removed).
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post #3 of 4
As you can ditch the internal DVD, this makes life easier.

For your reference, here is a modded PC-Q08 housing Asrock Z68M-ITX/HT + i7 2600K + GTX480 (reference length is 10.5'' = 267mm). Both CPU and GPU are watercooled by Thermochill PA120.2 and Swiftech MCR220 with a MCP35X (or variant) plus Bitspower mini tank.

400

400

So, depending on your needs and modding skill, you might adapt his ideas to suit your case.
(I think just one MCP35X will be enough (or more than enough) for your situation)

Source (with many more pictures and thermal numbers under idle+load):-
http://www.ctsmod.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2125
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply, wind! hadn't seen that one before, & the readings are indeed handy... didn't expect the CPU to be so hot tbh.

yeah my intention is not to mod as heavily as that. smile.gif

thanks for the advice re: pump - that's good to know.

It looks like i'll have plenty of options re: space for the pump if that's all i need. It's just going to be a game of finding where to put the pipes smile.gif


Thanks again!
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