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Question about water cooling in a rig.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
A few people have suggested that I do a water cooling system in my rig instead of a the air cooling.
I was wondering what the advantages of water cooling is and is it a hassle to set up?
Ive read through the water cooling for noobs thread and it seems quite simple but is the money+time worth it when I could just install a few fans?
I want opinions and suggestions if possible
thumbsupsmiley.png
post #2 of 5
If your asking will a 20% increase in cost result in a 20% increase in performance, the answer is no.

If ya asking with regard to the ALC type "all in one units" , personally, I see no value to them whatsoever. While the most expensive of them can just top the better air coolers (Phanteks PH-TC14-PE, Noctua DH-14 and Thermalright SIlver Arrow) which are 2/3 their price, they do it by 1 degree or so and do so at the expense of a 60dBA assault on the ears. Now if that doesn't bother you, then by all means, consider it. But for the additional expense and risk if having water inside ya expensive PC, doesn't seem like ya get a good return on ya investment.

Most enthusiast who are attracted to water cooling approach it like car enthusiasts .... it's all about "the tech" and the challenge of eeking out just a bit more performance, not necessarily faster clocks .....it's about silence ..... and it's about aesthetics. The more of those aspects ya find attractive, the more water cooling will make sense to you.

If you're a guy who feels a more expensive, functional and aesthetically pleasing case is not worth ya money and any old $75 case is for you, then you're probably not be bitten by the aesthetic aspect...... ya wear headphones while gaming, scratch the noise aspect.....if faster clocks don't necessarily translate into faster fps then ya not excited ? , then a good part of the performance aspect won't attract you also.

Whaddya got "in ya rig", that will help the community give ya advice more specific to your situation.
911 Carrera
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911 Carrera
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post #3 of 5
I am just past a year into my first water cooled computer. People talk about how much cooler the system internals are, and it't is true. However, I think the biggest advantage, is that it is much much more quiet. I didn't find the fans on my old system(s) annoying, or that loud, but the difference is astounding.

There are two additions to maintenance, but they are not nearly as troublesome as I had feared. I check the reservoir once a month, and top it off once in a great while, and replace the water occasionally. Draining and refilling only needs to be done every year or so if you are using distilled water with a biocide, and your loop is not mixed metal (e.g. all copper). Additionally, draining and refilling turns out to be not so bad, if you have strategically placed fill and drain points built in from the beginning.

My suggestions would be to do it just for the experience. For what it's worth here are some suggestions of what seemed to work for me:
  • Build air cooled version first to make sure your electronic components work.
  • When first testing your water cooling, use lots of paper towels and go slow.
  • Add water cooling in stages, first CPU, the GPU, etc.
  • Keep the metals in your loop to Copper and Brass to keep corrosion under control
  • Use distilled water, no need to get fancy, grocery store distilled water is fine.
  • Pay attention to the type of tubing you use, some tubing can leach considerable amounts of plasticizer, under certain conditions (cause is heavily debated). I used Tygon 2475 plasticizer free tubing hoping to dodge the whole issue.
  • Use a biocide designed for distilled water. I use PT Nuke Biocide.
  • Put in a drain line at the low point, and an easy fill point up high. It's not required, but it does makes maintenance really easy.
  • Water cool the graphics card. The lower fan noise is awesome.
  • If you use PWM fans and a PWM fan splitter (power from power supply, control signal from motherboard for multiple fans), you can control all your fans easily without having to add a fan controller to your build.

Edited by Mainsil - 11/23/13 at 5:30pm
Mainsil's Merlin
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Mainsil's Merlin
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post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major2309 View Post

A few people have suggested that I do a water cooling system in my rig instead of a the air cooling.
I was wondering what the advantages of water cooling is and is it a hassle to set up?
Ive read through the water cooling for noobs thread and it seems quite simple but is the money+time worth it when I could just install a few fans?
I want opinions and suggestions if possible
thumbsupsmiley.png

Noise is the biggest benefit. It costs a bunch, and the performance increase does not scale with the cost increase.

It's definitely really fun to do, but that's only if you're into PC modding as a hobby.

A handfull of tips before you get started.

Take the front panel off your PC, take a picture of it's internals. and start planning out your loop before you buy all the guts of your loop.

Stick to Primoflex Advanced LRT for your tubing, it's currently the best.

Use premixed coolant or a coolant concentrate for your first loop. It'll have all the corrosion protection, and anti-microbial additives you need, so you don't need to worry about adding them and keeping a neutral pH.

Use a D5 or DDC pump with a reservoir placed physically above it and NEVER run the pump while there's air in it.
The Laboratory
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The Laboratory
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post #5 of 5
Hadda run last night and do "daddy taxi" .... so got off work, had to pick him up.

-If ya going to WC....the most important decision to my mind is picking the right chassis.....not only for ya current but as well as ya future needs. If you start out with a CPU loop the Corsair 500R is a great choice .... If ta later wanna do tri-SLI, that ain't gonna work and you'll be wanting a 900D or maybe even a Case Labs. To my mind the best WC chassis available right now at a moderate price ($25) is the Phanteks Enthoo Primo.... holds 15 fans, up to 5 rads .... and the feature list is extensive....reservoir bracket, pre-drilled pump mount..... takes a lot of the DIY outta the equation.

It also comes with (5) $20 fans and a fan control PCB which gives ya PWM control of 11 fans without the expense of actually having to buy PWM fans.

-Do the math .... rules of thumb are just that. Calculate ya total TDP for items being cooled

CPU Processor: 60-150W
Video Card
Single GPU (low-end): 100W
Single GPU (mid-range): 150-250W
Single GPU (high-end): 200-350W
Motherboard
Chipset: 10-30W
Voltage Regulators: 5-20W
Memory: 2-5W per stick
Hard Drive (regular or SSD): 10-30W

You can use the Temp / PSU Calculator for the overclocked CPU (either one gives same answer)

http://www.extreme.outervision.com/tools.jsp
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

A good source of rad heat numbers is martinsliquidlab.org . In short, using the best rads in his tests with single fan in push ..... (based upon 60mm thick Alphacool)

Each 120mm of rad will get @ 50 watts of cooling at fan speed of 1000 rpm
Each 120mm of rad will get @ 63 watts of cooling at fan speed of 1250 rpm
Each 120mm of rad will get @ 70 watts of cooling at fan speed of 1400 rpm
Each 120mm of rad will get @ 90 watts of cooling at fan speed of 1800 rpm
Each 120mm of rad will get @ 109 watts of cooling at fan speed of 2200 rpm

Each 140mm of rad will get @ 69 watts of cooling at fan speed of 1000 rpm
Each 140mm of rad will get @ 85 watts of cooling at fan speed of 1250 rpm
Each 140mm of rad will get @ 95 watts of cooling at fan speed of 1400 rpm
Each 140mm of rad will get @ 122 watts of cooling at fan speed of 1800 rpm
Each 140mm of rad will get @ 179 watts of cooling at fan speed of 2200 rpm

Add 21% (possibly up to 30%) in push pull.

-pick a CPU WB that is best suited for your processor platform

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php%3f285753-CPU-water-blocks-roundup

-If you plan on water cooling ya GFX, make sure they make a block for your card before ya buy one..... reference cards are easy enough but I'd recommend the non-reference card for the custom PCBs and beefier VRM ....but not very vendor will make a card for this market and if it's old card, might be outta production.

-Kits are a nice introduction but they just about all contain bay reservoirs .... many don't like them cause they rattle and others have reported leaking seams which vendors have blamed on use if ethylene glycol on acrylic .... well not so much as the acrylic (tho microcracking has been reported) but the glue used in the seams. There's significant debate on whether this is 'real" or not but that kinda doesn't matter if vendor's warranty policy is voided because it prohibits such usage.

-Pumps are prolly the most difficult choice for most..... res mounted pump is convenient but for example Swiftech voids the warranty on pump if reservoir was attached. There's everything from the 35x2 which I could prolly use for my lawn sprinkler system down to pumps I wouldn't trust at all..... too much really to go into in a short post but the sticky has lotta info.

-If ya gonna buy a tube reservoir and fill from the top, make sure to get the optional multiport top and a fill tube
911 Carrera
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911 Carrera
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Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
2 x SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD256BW 2.5" 256GB (2 x Seagate ST2000DX001 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cach... Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blue Ray Writer 1 x Alphacool NexXxoS XT45-420 + 1 x Alphacool ... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
1 x Swiftech 35x2 w/ Heatsink and NB Fan EK -MultiOption RES X3 250 White Acetal Reservoir 5 x PH-F140SP_BK_BLED + 5 x PH-F140SP_BK E22 Rigid 10/12 Acrylic Tubing and Bitspower Ma... 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
2 x Reeven Six Eyes Fan Controller Windows 7 64 Bit Professional OEM ASUS VG248QE Black 23" 144 Hz Monitor Logitech G19s 920-004985 
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Seasonic X-1250 Phanteks Enthoo Primo Ultimate Chassis Asus RoG GX950 Laser Mouse  Logitech Z5500 
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