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Need help with my first $3500 ultra-quiet water-cooled 4 GPU system

post #1 of 13
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I live in an apartment where I get residential electricity rates ($0.27kWh.) I know that may people will argue against mining Litecoin and Dogecoin because it will take me at least 3 years to get a return on my investment at current coin prices and difficulty. This is true and I may never even get a return at current prices. The reason I’m going to take the risk is because I believe that the prices will go up to at least what they were before and probably will go even higher. If not then I will be in debt and stuck with an awesome gaming system.

I cannot have a computer with 4 GPU fans blowing at max while I’m sleeping. In fact I can’t stand any noise which is why water cooling my only option. I need some advice and input on the system I put together. Consider the following:
  • It must be as quiet as possible.

  • My breakers are rated at 20A but I doubt my wiring is rated at 20A

  • I do not care about all the fancy glowing fans, shiny tubing and green colored coolant. I want the water cooling system to be entirely inside my case where it is unseen and unheard. My case will not have a window.

  • I do not plan to overclock my CPU but I might as well add a water block to it. I do not care about getting my components to the lowest possible temperature. It does not matter to me if my GPU runs at 25C under max load or 40C as long as it runs stable and my system is quiet.

  • Reliability is very important to me. This will also be my primary desktop computer where I will go on Facebook and may stop mining for a bit to play Crysis 3. I want an Intel system because in my opinion AMD is budget hardware.

  • I plan to upgrade the GPUs when more efficient and faster ones are available.



I have chosen the following hardware:
The System:

Case:
Fractal Design Define XL R2 – I currently own the original Define XL and it is awesome. It is built like a tank, has sound insulation padding and a ton of space. The R2 has 9 expansion slots for my 4 GPUs and allows me to mount radiators inside on the front and top

PSUs:
2X Antec HCP-850 – Why two? These have a nice feature where you can hook up both PSUs together and one will power on the other. I don’t need a total of 1700W but if I spread the load and put two GPUs on their own PSU the PSU fans will spin quieter due to lower load. The other advantage is that I have some headroom for future upgrades. Normally I would go with SeaSonic but from what I head the antec PSUs are the quietest in their power class

Motherboard/CPU/RAM:
ASUS Z87-WS – I will have 8GB of ram and a 65W Core i5 that I do not plan on overclocking. I chose this motherboard because it has a hardware RAID controller, is made by Asus (I am a fanboy), is known to run well in 4-way CrossFire, and has a ton of features. Not sure if it’s really “server-class” but Asus has never let me down.

GPUs:
3X VisionTek CryoVenom R9 290 – These come with water blocks and should overclock very well. I’ll get 3 at first to measure the power consumption under full load and maybe then I’ll pop in a 4th one. I should be able to get 900kHs off of each one when overclocked.

The Cooling:


Cooling Fans:
4X Prolimatech PRO-USV14 140mm – I heard that these are optimal for cooling radiators and are quieter than the more expensive Silent Typhoons. They are also PWM fans but I probably won’t need this feature and will hook them up to the Fractal’s built in fan controller.

Radiators:
2X Swiftech MCRx40 – These are 140mm radiators that I will mount to the front and top of the case

CPU Water Block:
EK-Supreme LTX CSQ – Simple water block to keep my CPU cool even though I’m not overclocking. Will keep things quiet.

Pump:
Swiftech MCP655 – I heard that this is the quietest pump out there. I do not need PWM control because the GPU’s will always be running. My goal is to set it at the lowest possible speed that will keep my system cool under full load.

Reservoir:
Bitspower Water Tank Z-Multi 250 Inline – I’m not sure what difference a reservoir makes or what inline means. Is it possible to mount this vertically?



These are my concerns:
  1. Will this setup be sufficient to cool my system with the pump running on the lowest and quietest speed? Again, I need this thing to be as quiet as possible. Can anyone recommend a quieter pump?

  2. I know the rule of thumb is that you use one cooling space (space for 140MM fan) on a radiator for each device. I will have 4 GPU’s and a CPU. Is it pushing it if I throw a 65W Core i5 into the 4 cooling space system?

  3. What effect does reservoir size have on the cooling system? Is the one I picked out unnecessarily big?

  4. I heard that it does not matter how well the water blocks work since they all remove so much heat that the overclocking capability will be limited by the amount of voltage the device you are overclocking can handle. Is that true?

  5. How does radiator size affect the system? I heard that the depth of a radiator makes very little difference and the thinner they are the quieter they are.

  6. This system will run on the lowest fan and pump speed. Will this be enough to keep it cool?

  7. Do I need a particle filter in line with the system or should I just put mesh into the resivour and clean it out eventually if there are any particles.

  8. Is water the best coolant to use?

  9. What fittings and tubing should I use? Again, aesthetics don’t matter I just need them to be reliable.

  10. Is there some kind of sensor I can install that will shut down my system if it starts overheating if the pump fails?

  11. Am I missing anything?


Thanks for all your help!
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurskKnyaz View Post

[*]Will this setup be sufficient to cool my system with the pump running on the lowest and quietest speed? Again, I need this thing to be as quiet as possible. Can anyone recommend a quieter pump?

D5 pumps are the most quiet ones. For sound decoupling I recommend the pump not be attached to the reservoir. And get a Shoggy Sandwich to put the pump on.
Quote:
I know the rule of thumb is that you use one cooling space (space for 140MM fan) on a radiator for each device. I will have 4 GPU’s and a CPU. Is it pushing it if I throw a 65W Core i5 into the 4 cooling space system?

Your post is not clear on.the amount of raddage you are planing. You want two 140.2 rads? Or two 140.1 rads?
I think you should consider a 120.3 or 140.3 externally mounted on top of those rads. Maybe with the use of this bracket at the back of your case.
Quote:
What effect does reservoir size have on the cooling system? Is the one I picked out unnecessarily big?

The reservoir provides no cooling at all. It just looks good and makes it easier to fill and bleed your loop. Unless you are going to get a 45 gallon drum as a reservoir, the size of it is irrelevent. In fact, you can just install a fill port and not install a reservoir at all.
Quote:
I heard that it does not matter how well the water blocks work since they all remove so much heat that the overclocking capability will be limited by the amount of voltage the device you are overclocking can handle. Is that true?

To OC your cards, I recommend the EK full GPU blocks for best performance. The EK blocks are very good at cooling your card's voltage regulator.
WCing your cards will certainly allow you to OC them more than on air. No questions about that.
Quote:
How does radiator size affect the system? I heard that the depth of a radiator makes very little difference and the thinner they are the quieter they are.

Thinner low fpi radiators are better suited for slow speed fans. I recommend the Alphacool full copper rads.
Just go with the thickest rads you can fit while keeping room for push/pull for the best possible performance.
Quote:
This system will run on the lowest fan and pump speed. Will this be enough to keep it cool?

I think 2x 140.2 in push/pull will definately cool more quietly than air cooling. But not for my definition of 'silent'
Quote:
Do I need a particle filter in line with the system or should I just put mesh into the resivour and clean it out eventually if there are any particles.

A filter in your loop????
I recommend you use only distilled water with bare copper blocks.
If you don't run any plating in your loop, and nothing exotic, there is no need for coolant filtering.
Quote:
Is water the best coolant to use?

Yes. Distilled with a biocide like PT Nuke or X1 is all you really need.
Quote:
What fittings and tubing should I use? Again, aesthetics don’t matter I just need them to be reliable.

Monsoon free center fittings look to be the most affordable. And they work. Pick any tubing you fancy. I think the most trouble free is the Primochill Advanced LRT.
Quote:
Is there some kind of sensor I can install that will shut down my system if it starts overheating if the pump fails?

Your mobo is already built with overheating throttling and shut down fail safes.
However, you can plug your pump's rpm signal into your cpu_fan header. So if your pump stops running, the mobo will spit out a fan read error and shut down.

Have you looked at Caselabs water cooling cases?

My STH10 allows me to install 3x 140.4 and 1x 140.2 all in push/pull for a total of 140.14 of raddage. That kind of setup would be whisper quiet for you, even with everything OC'ed on a warm day. But that is definately an enthusiast (reads insane) setup.

Cheers cheers.gif
Edited by PepeLapiu - 3/21/14 at 11:12pm
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post #3 of 13
The problem is that with that much power and heat having it all enclosed and quiet at the same time will be quite difficult.
In general, you can have very quiet, small size, low temps, but only two of those at the one time. If it was just a gaming rig and you were not too fussed about water temp them it would be fine but mining is a very intensive use. With low speed fans and only small rad space your water temps will be quite high. If the PC itself is kept at low ambient temps then that is not a big problem but if the ambients will sometimes be higher then water temp could start to approach the max recommended for tubing, pumps and some other bits.

As an option, as Pepe touched on, radiators work much better mounted externally as even slow fan speeds then have very little resistance to overcome compared to moving all the air through grills and the case itself.

If it were me. I would think about a single very large external rad mounted with very low ( -1000rpm) speed fans. Thats not to say your idea will not work fine.
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post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurskKnyaz View Post

Cooling Fans:
4X Prolimatech PRO-USV14 140mm – I heard that these are optimal for cooling radiators and are quieter than the more expensive Silent Typhoons. They are also PWM fans but I probably won’t need this feature and will hook them up to the Fractal’s built in fan controller.

You have fans more quiet than GT fans? I strongly doubth that.
Besides, those are 140mm while GT's are 120mm.

And I would not use anything but PWM to control PWM fans. They really don't like being voltage controlled.

I suggest 3 wire fans plugged into a CW611 controller for both your fans and your pump. Pricey but worth it for any WC'ed rig.
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post #5 of 13
Might want to look into some of this for some serious sound dampening. I have some in my case and it quieted it down quite a bit. Also when you are filling the loop put some dish soap(I used Dawn) in the water, it helps lubricate the pump and keeps it quiet. It's also effective as a biocide, but I'd still put silver coils in the res. I have that res actually, I'll get pics of it tomorrow to show you how I have it setup but it's extremely helpful sometimes.thumb.gif
post #6 of 13
I don't recommend silver.
With all the galvanic corrosion problems, there is no need to add more dissimilar metals in your loop when other biocides are available.

And just a drop of dish soap does the trick. Tho I would recommend first trying to bleed for 2-3 days without it. And if you still find there are more bubbles trapped in.your loop, add just a drop of it. It will break the surface tension of the water and loosen up the tiny clingy bubbles from inside your loop.

As for dish soap lubricating the pump, that's the first time I hear that.

Also, I like plexi covers for my blocks. Not for easthetic value as those will all be facing down anyway. But a plexi cover makes it a lot easier to inspect your blocks without tearing down the whole loop.
Edited by PepeLapiu - 3/22/14 at 12:34am
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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurskKnyaz View Post

I live in an apartment where I get residential electricity rates ($0.27kWh.)

Where do you live? In Italy we pay 0.87€ per KWh, 1.2$.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
New York
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
The reservoir provides no cooling at all. It just looks good and makes it easier to fill and bleed your loop. Unless you are going to get a 45 gallon drum as a reservoir, the size of it is irrelevent. In fact, you can just install a fill port and not install a reservoir at all.

What about having more coolant in the system due to a larger reservoir? Does increasing the volume of coolant circulating through the system have an affect on temperature?
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurskKnyaz View Post

What about having more coolant in the system due to a larger reservoir? Does increasing the volume of coolant circulating through the system have an affect on temperature?

It won't make a difference unless you are prepared to get a 45 gallon drum as a reservoir. The diffetence between 1 liter and 5 liters will not be measureable.
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