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First WC Loop - PWM Fans / Splitter PCBs and more!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys,

I'm going to put this here;

----tl;dr----Best fans for quiet watercooling set up and how to controll them without 5.25" fan controller?!


Anyhoo. Planning my first loop at the moment. Have it pretty much speced out but need help with the fans.

Vital statistics:

  • 3570k and R9 290 crossfire.
  • XSPC Raystorm and two EK FC gpu waterblocks.
  • EK-D5 Vario X-RES 140 pump/res combo.
  • Tubing will be acrylic, unsure about diameter and fittings, something like 1012mm ID/OD and Bitspower Black Sparkle.
  • Aplhacool XT45 360mm rad push/pull and ST30 240mm rad push config.
  • 8 SP120 quiet edition*

Now, how to control the fans? Before we get too into it, I will have no 5.25" bays so no option for 3rd party fan controllers.

Can I connect all fans to something like a Swiftech 8 way PWM fan controller PCB and have all fans PWM controlled by the CPU? The Swiftech PCB takes power from a molex connector so that should take the load off of the CPU fan header and eliminate the risk of the header burning a hole in the motherboard, correct?

But is it ok to have the fans PWM controlled my the CPU temps when there will be two GPUs in the loop as well? Will the GPUs suffer as a result as their load may be a lot higher than the CPUs.

Or is the fact the GPUs will be connected to a 45mm thick 360 rad and a 30mm thick 240 rad mean they are going to be substantially cooler regardless as long as the CPU is being cooled?


OR


I have an NZXT Phantom 410 with inbuilt fan controller. If I use something like a Molex powered Mod My Toys fan splitter PCB, can I regulate the voltage with the inbuilt fan controller in the case? This PCB is also power by molex so how could I use that in conjunction with the inbuilt fan controller? Realistically I would only need two steps, low and high.



FINALLY


About the fans. I've heard of problems with PWM SP120s when several are used, see quote:
Quote:
The reason not to use the Corsairs, is that they do not conform to the Intel PWM standard, and once you have more than a few of them on a mobo CPU header, they loose lower speed control, and with enough of them, they just ran at max no matter what the pulse width percentage is.

If not SP120s, what fan to use? I was also looking at eloquently named Noiseblocker Eloop B12-PS or the Alpenföhn Wing Boost Plus PWM.

Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Focused Flow PWM and the Sythe Gentle Typhoon AP15 (PWN version?) are regularly recommended but that will require painting them as I'm going for a black and white theme. So I'll do it if I have but would like to cut down the work load a bit as I'll be making all custom cables, an acrylic PSU cover, not to mention the acrylic loop and modding the bejeebus out of the Phantom 410 to get everything to fit in! smile.gif

Thanks for your help in advance!
Edited by Brian18741 - 3/22/14 at 2:13pm
post #2 of 26
Questions:
How much heat (in watts) will your CPU and GPUs be generating?
For those rads, what water flow and air flow do they need to dissipate that many watts?
What flow rate will your pump provide, considering the flow restriction of the rads, blocks, rez, and tubing?

8 fans on a motherboards fan buss will burn out the buss. But, if you catch all the blue smoke, and put it back in with the fans disconnected everything will be OK again.

You could use a fan controller that has sufficient wattage for the fans if you wanted. But a simple rheostat would be a lot easier and cheeper.

The Swiftech thingey will control all the fans based on CPU temp, But since the CPU may be working under different loads than your GPUs, depending on what program(s) your computer is running, controlling fan speed based on only CPU temp wouldn't be a good idea.
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FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
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My System
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
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2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
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post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

Questions:
How much heat (in watts) will your CPU and GPUs be generating?
For those rads, what water flow and air flow do they need to dissipate that many watts?
What flow rate will your pump provide, considering the flow restriction of the rads, blocks, rez, and tubing?

How do you calculate all of the above? The pump will be a Laing D5 Vario incorporated into the EK-D5 Vario X-Res 140 pump/res combo. CPU block wil be a XSPC Raystorm and the GPU blocks will also be EK whenever they release the WB for the Asus R9 290 DCU II. Tubing will be acrylic probably 13mm ID.



Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post


8 fans on a motherboards fan buss will burn out the buss. But, if you catch all the blue smoke, and put it back in with the fans disconnected everything will be OK again.

You could use a fan controller that has sufficient wattage for the fans if you wanted. But a simple rheostat would be a lot easier and cheeper.

When you say that 8 fans on th MB buss will burn it out, is that from pulling enough power to power 8 fans through said header? Will the molex powered PCB not take care of that? It's kind of a moot point anyway though as you also confirm that cooling the GPUs with fans PWM controlled by the CPU would not be the best idea.

As there is an inbuilt controller in my case already, I'm loath to add in another one purely for aesthetics.

This leads us back to is there anyway I could use the inbuilt fan controller to control the voltage going to one of those PCBs to turn up and down the fans as required?

:EDIT: also 5.25" bay fan controllers will not be an option as there will be no 5.25" bays! rolleyes.gif
Edited by Brian18741 - 3/21/14 at 7:13am
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian18741 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

Questions:
How much heat (in watts) will your CPU and GPUs be generating?
For those rads, what water flow and air flow do they need to dissipate that many watts?
What flow rate will your pump provide, considering the flow restriction of the rads, blocks, rez, and tubing?

How do you calculate all of the above?

You can assume that all the wattage used by the CPU and GPUs will be turned into heat as the do little real "work".
Find tests/reviews on the interwebs that will tell you about the wattage when overclocked.

As for rads and pumps, a good place to start is Martin's Liquid Lab. Here's an article on pump selection.
There are other reliable sources on the internet that do actual testing of WC components. I'm not going to find all of them that you need for you though.
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
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My System
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FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
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post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ok so heads officially melted looking at PSI and head(ft) charts and restrictions etc!

Seriously though, thanks for the tips, very helpful! Components wise from what I've read I think I should be OK. Those Alphacool rads I was looking at seem to be very well regarded on Martins Liquid Lads. The pump is reported to be quiet even at high speeds and the rads and blocks are not very restrictive.

The next trick is working out how to control all the fans!

Then I need to worry about tubing and fittings ........ the list goes on!
post #6 of 26
tubing is easy, kinda. tubing : primochill advanced lrt matching your fittings size in whatever color you want(or no color)
fitings, do you want compression or barbs with clamps or barbs with no claps?
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post #7 of 26
For fans, the best WC'ing fans are without any question the Gentle Typhoon fans (black and gray). Head and shoulder above the Corsair SP120 fans. But pricey.

To control your fans, I don't recommend PWM. It's not the best way to control your rad fans. I suggest the Lamptron CW611 to control both your fans and pump. If you have no front bays available, you could always keep it tucked away inside your case.

As PC-ill said, Primochill Advanced LRT.
And the best priced fittings are the Monsoon Free Center ones. But fittings are mostly an easthetic choice.
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post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pc-illiterate View Post

tubing is easy, kinda. tubing : primochill advanced lrt matching your fittings size in whatever color you want(or no color)
fitings, do you want compression or barbs with clamps or barbs with no claps?
Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

For fans, the best WC'ing fans are without any question the Gentle Typhoon fans (black and gray). Head and shoulder above the Corsair SP120 fans. But pricey.

To control your fans, I don't recommend PWM. It's not the best way to control your rad fans. I suggest the Lamptron CW611 to control both your fans and pump. If you have no front bays available, you could always keep it tucked away inside your case.

As PC-ill said, Primochill Advanced LRT.
And the best priced fittings are the Monsoon Free Center ones. But fittings are mostly an easthetic choice.

Thanks guys, tubes and fittings are probably the easier part. I'll be using copression fittings, something like Bitspower Black Sparkle.

Again I'm really stuck for space when it comes to 5.25" fan controllers.

What I might have to look into is running them all off the PCB power my Molex at 12v and using some sort of a/b resistor switch to flick them from 5v to 12v or something. I making this up on the fly so I don't know if an a/b resistor switch is even a thing or feasible. Can anyone enlighten me?
post #9 of 26
5v and 7v or 5v and 12v or 7v and 12v. very feasible

*EDIT* - pepe loves explaining how to set up switches for it lol.
Edited by pc-illiterate - 3/22/14 at 2:57pm
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post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm assuming (and am open to correction) that the 3 step controller built into the NZXT Phantom 410 runs the fans at 5v, 7v, 12v on low, medium and high settings respectively. If that's the case, I only use low and high. So if I could wire in a switch that went from 5v to 12v that would solve all my woes!

Pepe we're all counting on you now!
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