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First time building. Need some advice.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello. This is only my second post here on OCN, but I've been doing a lot of research and reading through these forums these past few months. Thank you very much for all the valuable information I've been able to gather. When I successfully build my new computer, it'll be in no small part due to all your help.

I think it's important to mention I live in Brazil. What that means is high-end stuff is not always available and when it is, prices are 2 to 3 times those practiced in America. That said, I'm looking to build a system which will allow me to not have to upgrade anytime soon. Overkill would be the way to go for me, so I can maybe keep using the same system for 2-4 years without having too big performance issues whether while gaming or doing something else.

I'd probably be OK with a $2k system, but I'm the kind of guy who wants the best. If I'm spending money on this, than I might as well get the best (at the price of a computer, not a house). I want to be able to throw the most recent games at it and have as smooth an experience as possible. I also want to use it for some Illustrator, Photoshop, AutoCAD and some fashion design software my girlfriend uses.

I don't intend to use more than one monitor since they cost a lot here. The U3011 is ~$2.5k, so I'll probably just buy one U2713H model for around $1.4k.

This is roughly what I've ended up with:

Case: Corsair Obsidian 900D pre-ordered

Motherboard: TBD

Processor: TBD

Video Card: SLI GeForce GTX Titan

Sound Card: ASUS Xonar Essence STX purchased

SSD: 2x Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB purchased

HDD: Western Digital WD Black 2TB purchased

RAM: 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum 1600MHz (CL9) purchased

PSU: Corsair AX1200i

I had a couple friends bring a few parts for me from overseas and will have some more parts brought to me during the next few months, so this build will take a long time to be finished. Since the last couple parts may not be here until maybe August/September, I'm considering an IB-E processor and motherboard (which could be released on Q3, right?). And that's where my first question lies. Based on your experience, rumors and other information you guys might have, do you think it'd be worth it waiting for IB-E or should I just pull the trigger on RIVE and 3930k? What do you think the performance and price difference will be between the 3930k and its successor (4930k?)? Can I expect a top of the line motherboard and "4930k" processor to cost about the same as current models?

Overall, how do you feel about the system I have in mind?

I know I've started this thread on the Water Cooling forums and that's because most of my questions are about the loop I'm planning to build. I apologize if was supposed to post the previous paragraphs elsewhere, but I thought it'd be worse to have the same little story on two separate threads.

These are the parts I have in mind for the loop on the aforementioned system:

CPU Block: TBD (whatever is the best available at the time for IB-E, right now, I'd buy Koolance CPU-380i)

VGA Block: TBD (so far, either EK or Aquacomputer blocks)

Radiator: 2x Alphacool NexXxos XT45 480mm purchased

Radiator: 1x Alphacool NexXxos ST30 240mm purchased

Fans: 18x Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 purchased 8, 10 to go

Pump: TBD (Currently looking at the Swiftech MCP-655 Variable)

Reservoir: TBD

Tubing: Planning on using copper pipes

Liquid: Distilled Water

Radiator and Fan Configuration

1 480mm radiator in push-pull at the top, 1 480mm radiator in push-pull at the bottom, 1 240mm radiator in pull at the front. All of them pulling ambient air inside the case. Pushing air out would be one of the three front case fans, maybe 2 GT AP-15 at the bottom, on the opposite side of the rad, and the 140mm case fan at the rear. That gives a total of 18 fans pulling air in, and 2-4 fans pushing air out. Would you suggest any changes to this? Would I have enough radiator with fans at low RPM? How is the air flow looking like?
I might add a fan to the HDD cage, pushing air towards the rear, to help with air flow. Is that a good idea?

Pump and Reservoir

I'm still trying to figure out other components before I look much more into reservoir and pump.

With this many fans, I'm not sure I'll be able to build a silent system, but either way, I'd like to have it as silent as possible. The pump I've been looking at is the MCP-655 as I've read they're reliable and silent, but I admit I haven't read a lot on pumps yet. I believe one is enough for this loop, though. What do you guys think?

Since I'll most likely be using copper pipes and distilled water, I don't need a transparent reservoir. I also don't think I need more than one res, do I? Any recommendations on this?

Tubing and Fittings

Once I figure out everything else, I'll certainly read a lot more on this. But from what I've gathered so far, Bitspower Multi-Link fittings would get the job done with 12mm OD copper pipes. If I can't find the pipes locally, I'll probably imitate Corsair's build presented at CES and use extension fittings and crystal link tubes until I figure out what to do, though I like the looks of them too.

Fan Controller

I was considering having temperature sensors on each radiator's inlet and outlet to have the fans controlled based on the delta, but I figured it'd probably be too much for little improvement.
I've been since thinking of having temperature sensors only on each radiator' outlet, along with another one for the air inside the case. Fans would be controlled according to those temps, meaning I'd have 2 channels controlling 8 480 radiator fans each, 1 channel for the 2 fans on the 240 rad, and 1 or 2 channels for the exhaust fans. Do you think that much control is needed/welcome or would I be better off with only one water temperature probe with simple fan control? That's probably the deciding factor when choosing between an Aquaero 5 and the likes of a Lamptron FC5, isn't it?
If I purchase the Aquaero, do you recommend I use flow sensors, water level sensor, etc? And would any pump and reservoir work with them or would it be best to use Aquacomputer ones?
To connect the fans to the controller, is it possible to use hubs? I've only seen the Bitspower ones being used on a few of the Singularity Computer videos. They seem nice. I'd need 4 of them, if I were to use the configuration mentioned earlier, wouldn't I?

Cable Management

I want the system to look great and I plan to sleeve each wire with MDPC. I also want the wires to be of exact lengths, so I'll definitely have to shorten some as well as extend others. I think shortening will be somewhat easy. Extending, on the other hand is what's troubling me. Can I use 18 awg wires and replace whatever I need or should I use any different gauges for specific ones? Would I be OK as long as I pay attention to where each wire comes from and goes to?
I think this is it for now. I'm sure more questions will arise as I read your responses, but this is all I can remember right now. I'm sorry for the looooong post, but I figured it'd probably be better to post a big one than a bunch of short ones spread around.
I also apologize for my English. As you've probably noticed, it's not my native language.
Thank you very much if you've read this far. And if you have any suggestions regarding my build, even if they refer to stuff I already bought or didn't ask, they're much welcome.

Kind regards,

Midnite
post #2 of 16
I question if you are wasting money in some areas.

1.) A ASUS Xonar Essence STX will offer not improvements over onboard sound, unless you have a really high-end sound system. (I am assuming your are getting a very high-end motherboard).

2.) Some people on OCN might disagree with me. In my humble opinion, the GTX Titan is not worth the money. Cards that expensive do not age well, and depreciate in value very very fast. I feel it would be more value for your dollar to buy a Radeon HD 7970, and replace it in 2 years. Keep in mind that in 2 years that card will lose 50% of it's value. That being said, the Titan is still an amazing card and offers amazing performance! It is the best card you can buy. My only concern is the cost-to-peroformance ratio of the card.

3.) How on earth are you using 20x fans? The airflow is looking unpractical. You are very very far into the land of diminishing returns. After a point, increasing the airflow does not help you. The noise of 20 fans would be deafening, making it hard to watch movies or play games. Additionally, having 16 fans pulling air in, with 4 pulling air out would create a vacuum so strong it would hinder the fans ability to spin. You need to re-evaluate your plans for cooling.

I would use fans on one side of the radiator, not both. Lets re-evaluate your plan for how you want to use the fans, then we can change our plan for the fan controller.

I completely agree with your decision on SSD's, HDD's, CPU, and RAM. Unsure on PSU. I don't know much about pumps and fittings.

For cable management, you can easily replace the wire with longer wires. Gauge depends on ampacity. You can google "wire gauge ampacity" and a lot of links for charts will come up. I would keep it simple, and use the same gauge as what is in the existing power supply.
Edited by crimsontears809739 - 3/6/13 at 10:18am
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello.
Thank you so much for the response. I really appreciate it.

1. I need to buy new speakers and will probably purchase new headphones in the future. I decided to get the Xonar Essence STX because at first, I was considering the 3770k processor with ASUS MVE, which, IIRC has no onboard sound. I also wanted something good to maybe push some Sennheisers and/or an Audioengine 5+.

2. I agree the Titan does not have the greatest price/performance ratio. But my thinking is that, by buying the best current card, I'd be somewhat future proof as I can always add a third or fourth cards, without having to resell the current ones. I might wait for the 700 series rumored to be released in June, and then see what I really want to do, though from what I've been reading, we'll only see an increase in performance with Maxwell next year. The problem of getting a 7970 to upgrade later is that I don't always have people willing to bring these components from abroad, and if I have to purchase whatever I upgrade to here, I'd pay a lot (e.g. the 7970 Lightning costs ~$960, right now). thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif

3. According to martinsliquidlab and a few other sources, a radiator in push-pull is ~30% more effective. The idea is to have them in push-pull, with silent fans at low RPMs (600-800) for a silent solution, eliminating as much heat as possible. I don't ever want to run all the fans at full speed, but I'd have the option to if things get too hot. Do you really think I'd be better off with just push or pull on the rads?
I was initially considering having the top radiator as outtake too, but it'd end up reusing the warm air exhausted by the other rads. Maybe I could have the side radiator as outtake. The lower rad would probably have better access to the cooler air inside the case, and exhaust it, while the top and front rads would act as intakes. That'd give a total of 12-13 fans pulling air in, and 9-10 fans pushing out.

I'll look up wire gauge ampacity. I'll probably just do my best to use the same gauges as the provided ones. Though I've read a few times I should use thicker wires when extending, because of voltage drops.

Thank you for the help. I certainly have a lot to work on before I'm ready to actually build something. tongue.gif
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by midnite View Post

Hello.
According to martinsliquidlab and a few other sources, a radiator in push-pull is ~30% more effective. The idea is to have them in push-pull, with silent fans at low RPMs (600-800) for a silent solution, eliminating as much heat as possible. I don't ever want to run all the fans at full speed, but I'd have the option to if things get too hot. Do you really think I'd be better off with just push or pull on the rads?
I was initially considering having the top radiator as outtake too, but it'd end up reusing the warm air exhausted by the other rads. Maybe I could have the side radiator as outtake. The lower rad would probably have better access to the cooler air inside the case, and exhaust it, while the top and front rads would act as intakes. That'd give a total of 12-13 fans pulling air in, and 9-10 fans pushing out.

I'll look up wire gauge ampacity. I'll probably just do my best to use the same gauges as the provided ones. Though I've read a few times I should use thicker wires when extending, because of voltage drops.

Thank you for the help. I certainly have a lot to work on before I'm ready to actually build something. tongue.gif

I would like to say that I don't have a lot of experience with watercooling systems, but I have done a lot of experimenting with adding more fans to big-air systems.

In most cases I would typically agree that push pull is more effective, and would say go for a push pull set up. I might want to make an exception in your case. In some cases going to a push pull is 30% more effective, in other cases it might only make a 1 degree drop or less. I am not a water cooling expert, but I am skeptical that going push pull will make a noticeable difference for your setup.

Even with "silent" fans running on "low", running 20 -25 Scythe Gentle Typhoon fans is still going to be very loud. The noise is made by the blades pushing through the air. So,..we are talking 225 something rotating blades pushing air. Obviously, money is not a problem for you. So, you can always take off the fans at a later time if they are too loud.


I do happen to know a lot more about electricity than water cooling. I work with electronics for a living.

As for wire gauge ampacity, here is a good chart --> http://wiki.xtronics.com/index.php/Wire-Gauge_Ampacity. This is for single stranded wire. If you are using multi-stranded wire, you will have to calculate the surface area......or just use one gauge bigger than you need.

I wouldn't worry about voltage drops as long as you are not using super thin wire. Here is voltage drop calculator --> http://www.csgnetwork.com/voltagedropcalc.html. Even a 3 foot extension at 5 amps will have a 0.2 V drop with 18 gauge wire. If your voltage drop is more than 0.25 volts, I would start to be concerned.

Here is a list of voltage tolerances for ATX power supplies --> http://pcsupport.about.com/od/insidethepc/a/power-supply-voltage-tolerance.htm If the voltage drop pulls your power supply out of tolerance, it will stop working. As you can see, you would need some pretty big voltage drops.

thumb.gif

It's a pity your post did not get more replies. I am kind of surprised.
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post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello again.

Regarding the fans, maybe I'll just attempt to run everything with only the 8 fans I've purchased: 4 on each 480 rad, and the stock case fans (3 in front and 1 on the rear). If temperatures are low enough, I can just leave it at that. Thank you for pointing that out to me.
With said setup, I'd have a total of 12 fans (8x GT AP-15, 3x 120mm stock case fans, and 1x 140mm rear stock case fan). Having all 3 front fans as intake, as well as the top 4 radiator fans, would put me at 7 intake fans and 5 outtake ones (with a 140mm one). Do you think that'd provide a positive pressure to avoid collection of dust or should I have more intakes?

As for the wires, I haven't had much time to read on gauge ampacity, but from what I've read on other threads, it seems I should be fine extending wires with 18 awg ones, as long as they're not super long. I'll definitely read the links you posted when I can. Thank you for providing them and sorry I don't have a lot of time currently to read it all.

And yes, I was hoping to get a few more responses too. I know people don't like it when posts are just a bunch of disorganized words and sentences. I did my best to make it decent looking and fairly easy to read. Not sure if I succeeded, though. Maybe they don't like long posts. redface.gif

Thanks again for the help.
post #6 of 16
The point of push pull on builds this scale is not so much to increase performance (it does this too) as to get you the same performance with the fans turning at lower speeds and lower noise levels.

Your airflow plan is fine, the most important thing to avoid is recycling air from one rad to another. I would try to have the bottom rad separated from the top section so air came in one side and went straight out the other. Having more fans pushing air in than pulling air out is no problem at all ... the extra fans pushing in just increases the effectiveness of the fans pushing air out. The Actual airflow fans put through radiators is lower than in free air so even with twice the number pushing air into the case you would not have twice the air volume coming in as going out. Even if you did though it would still not matter, the fans that exhaust would just be supercharged, ie. they would not have to pull air into themselves. Fans also make less noise in free air than on rads so you can run the exhaust fans at higher speeds than the rad fans for the same noise level.
With that many fans and rads you could get away with lower speed and quieter fans but there is no reason not use the ones you have and just slow them down as needed.

I use an Aquaero and have never looked back. Once you have it properly set up it always gives you the best cooling / noise performance by continually analysing your air to water temperature Delta. Any other fan controller is just a glorified manual control
A Flow sensor is very useful, fill level sensor .. not so much.

The Bitspower fan power boards like in the Singularity builds are useless ... all they do is supply 12 volts. There are much more simple versions of the same type of thing that are much more useful for splitting signals from fan controllers to multiple fans.

As for the hardware and the more complicated build parts like solid pipes ... all that is just a matter of difficulty and time you want to commit to it.
Edited by Jakusonfire - 3/7/13 at 12:54pm
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
If I didn't misunderstand it, looking at Martin's data, the XT45 360mm, in push, dissipates, per 10ºC:
- 120W at 800RPM;
- 149W at 1000RPM;
- 204W at 1400RPM.

The GT AP-15 produces noise as follows:
- ~32dB at 800RPM;
- ~34dB at 1000RPM;
- ~38dB at 1400RPM.

According to the math provided here, 6 fans at 800RPM (32dB each) would produce 39.8dB total, while dissipating approximately 160W in push-pull (assuming a 30% performance increase). To dissipate the same amount of heat, just in push or pull, 3 fans would have to be at ~1100RPM, producing ~35dB each, for a total of 39.8dB as well.
With this in mind, and if the math is correct, I don't understand how push-pull would be beneficial, except for the fact that there's a lot more power to be used on the fans to reach performances a push or pull setup would not be able to at the highest speeds.
So when comparing push-pull at 800RPM with just push or pull at 1100RPM, noise levels would be the same, despite having double the amount of fans in push-pull. With 16 at 800 or 8 at 1100, noise level would be 44dB. That's loud, isn't it? Is there an alternative to build a more silent system?
I'm now even more undecided as to how many fans to use and which ones...
If you were to build a silent system, capable of confortably cooling CPU, 2 GPUs, and maybe motherboard (overclocked or not), would you go for the GT AP-15s or is there something better/more silent? AFAIK, the GTs are king regarding noise levels, though there seem to be a spike in noise levels when at 1400-1500RPM.

Regarding the fan power boards, can you suggest a better option than the Bitspower ones? I actually have no idea what makes a good or bad one.

And yes, the Aquaero seems to be hands down the most complete option when optimizing fan speed and temperatures. That is what I want, I'm just not sure if it'd be worth the money for a system like this. Besides flow sensor, how many temperatures should one monitor? Radiator outlets, inlets, just one for the water and one for the air, etc.
Also, if I were to have 8 AP-15 at low rpm in one channel of the Aquaero, would it get too hot? Do you recommend the waterblock for it?

Anyway, thanks a lot for the response. You guys have been very helpful.


EDIT: Forgot to mention. Yes, I'll probably have two fans on the opposite side of the bottom rad, pushing out the air coming in through the rad. Though, I'd only have 2 fans there, while having 4 or 8 on the rad, because the PSU would occupy the remaining space.
Edited by midnite - 3/7/13 at 5:39pm
post #8 of 16
I can tell you that it doesn't quite work like that. 100 quiet fans will never make a rock concert. 3 Fans on a radiator at 1100rpm do not make the same noise as 6 at 800. There is no way that 16, 800rpm fans are 8 times louder than 1 or however it works out with the Db system going from 32 to 44.
Truly silent watercooling is a bit of a myth without using giant external passive radiators or using very low speed fans and putting up with higher air/water delta's. Even with caselabs you will generate some noise but it is far, far less than stock air while also being far more effective. By using a case like the 900d, high quality rads and the Aquaero 5 it is easy to build up a system that is truly quite at idle and at load the noise can be very gentle.
There is a lot of argument about what fans to use for the best noise on radiators but I have seen far to much conflicting testing to be convinced any particular way. Any of the popular high quality fans will give you good results.

http://www.coolingtechnique.com/recensioni/74-ventole-rheobus/1125-recensione-noiseblocker-eloop-s-series.html?start=5
http://www.coolingtechnique.com/recensioni/74-ventole-rheobus/630-recensione-scythe-gentle-typhoon-ap-13-e-ap-14-.html?start=3
http://www.coolingtechnique.com/recensioni/74-ventole-rheobus/1058-recensione-corsair-air-serie-120-a-140mm.html?start=6
http://www.hardware.fr/articles/874-25/scythe-kf2-slipstream-glidestream-gentle-typhoon-test.html
http://www.hardware.fr/articles/874-12/corsair-af120-corsair-sp120-a1225m12s-test.html
http://www.hardware.fr/articles/874-19/noiseblocker-xl1-pl1-pl2-m12-s2-b12-1-b12-2-test.html

For fan splitter boards these are good http://www.au.aquatuning.com/product_info.php/info/p12359_Phobya-4Pin-Molex-to-6x-3Pin-Fan-Splitter-PCB.html

With the Aquaero the temps you monitor are completely up to you. I would tell most people to start out with a simple setup and with experience it can be added to. If you did want to run 8 fans on a channel the waterblock will definately be needed.
Edited by Jakusonfire - 3/7/13 at 11:10pm
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post #9 of 16
well i would say go with either with push or pull,keep things simple,even if the noise isnt as as low as you'd like,it'd still be manageable.my system makes 60-70 db noise at load,and i dunno,i have gotten adjusted to it tongue.gif.
but thats my preference,you may not be comfortable with such levels of noise,try to find out how much noise you can handle before you decide on this matter.
blackbeard
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blackbeard
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
fx 8120 biostar ta990fxe hd 5970 kingston hyperx blue 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
WD caviar green  antec kuhler h20 920 windows 8 pro x64 32" lg 1080p display  
PowerCaseAudio
corsair tx 750 CM elite 430 phillips hts5520  
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello.

The reason I was planning to use 16+ fans in push-pull was to, as mentioned by Jakusonfire, have as much performance as possible while keeping noise levels at a minimum. I'm not sure how much noise I would find disturbing, but I do find my current old computer annoying with just the VGA fan making noise.
If there are actually no problems runnning this many fans (noise and/or airflow), and it would indeed make for a more silent system, I would probably attempt it, as I don't really want to change the build too much, specially if using rigid pipes.

About the fan power splitters, do they connect to the Aquaero 5 directly? Is this a good one (if using 8 fans at once per Aquaero channel, this would probably be more fitting, wouldn't it?)?
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14665/ele-991/4-Pin_Power_Distribution_PCB_8xWay_Block_MMT-PCB-4-83.html?tl=g47c121s424

I like the looks of the Noiseblocker! Much better than the GTs! thumb.gif
I already have 8 GTs, so maybe I should just try them out and see what I think. Or even use 8 GTs on one rad and 8 NBs on another. Haha...

I have to go afk now, sorry for the quick response. Will elaborate more when I'm back.
Thank you guys!
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