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Basic Q's on Water Cooling..

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am looking to get a water cooling setup for my computer. However, there are many factors that will lead up to me making the decision to do so. Since water cooling can generally be expensive, compared to air, I want to make sure I understand what I am getting into here.

In essence, this is an Air cooling vs Water cooling thread. Hopefully, if the discussion is very fruitful in here, I'll combine it all into an article (with credit given where due).

My Main Goals: Allow me to keep my CPU/RAM/GPU overclocks. Reduce overall system noise, as the Antec 900 on High is loud. Have a setup that is friendly for upgrades that will likely happen every 1.5 years.

1. In a 3 Fan Rad box setup, with the radiator placed on the outside of the case, and the pump inside... how does the noise created compare to an air cooling setup with a big HSF (ie Tuniq tower 120) and a case with 3x120mm +1x200mm top fans (ie Antec 900)?

What about if you factor in air vs water cooled o/c'ed SLI GPUs (with fans set to full)?

If you can please, be as detailed as possible, as this is my main concern.

2. How upgrade proof and future proof is a 'good' water cooling setup. For example, with air cooling with a Tuniq tower, one can just upgrade the brackets as new processor types come out. If the fan breaks, or gets warn... it's cheap to replace.

However, with a water setup, I assume the main difference will be having to purchase new blocks. Aside from that,

3. Are there cases that are much better for clean water cooling setups? The Antec 900 is already quite crowded, so I am considering ebaying it or donating to my younger brother, in place for another case.

4. Is the noise/price/overclock/performance worth it for GPU water cooling? In other words, does water cooling make a big difference in GPU noise reduction. Does it allow for 'significantly' more GPU overclocking headroom? etc.

I really appreciate the help.
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehdi View Post
I am looking to get a water cooling setup for my computer. However, there are many factors that will lead up to me making the decision to do so. Since water cooling can generally be expensive, compared to air, I want to make sure I understand what I am getting into here.

In essence, this is an Air cooling vs Water cooling thread. Hopefully, if the discussion is very fruitful in here, I'll combine it all into an article (with credit given where due).

My Main Goals: Allow me to keep my CPU/RAM/GPU overclocks. Reduce overall system noise, as the Antec 900 on High is loud. Have a setup that is friendly for upgrades that will likely happen every 1.5 years.

1. In a 3 Fan Rad box setup, with the radiator placed on the outside of the case, and the pump inside... how does the noise created compare to an air cooling setup with a big HSF (ie Tuniq tower 120) and a case with 3x120mm +1x200mm top fans (ie Antec 900)?

What about if you factor in air vs water cooled o/c'ed SLI GPUs (with fans set to full)?

If you can please, be as detailed as possible, as this is my main concern.

2. How upgrade proof and future proof is a 'good' water cooling setup. For example, with air cooling with a Tuniq tower, one can just upgrade the brackets as new processor types come out. If the fan breaks, or gets warn... it's cheap to replace.

However, with a water setup, I assume the main difference will be having to purchase new blocks. Aside from that,

3. Are there cases that are much better for clean water cooling setups? The Antec 900 is already quite crowded, so I am considering ebaying it or donating to my younger brother, in place for another case.

4. Is the noise/price/overclock/performance worth it for GPU water cooling? In other words, does water cooling make a big difference in GPU noise reduction. Does it allow for 'significantly' more GPU overclocking headroom? etc.

I really appreciate the help.
1. it depends on the air cooler and the watercooling setup. you can get really nice yate loons or scythe s-flex and they arnt very loud at all. even the high cfm ones.
2. it's just as future proof as air cooling. they make certain blocks for certain sockets. just for diff cooling.
3. the loads of Lian Li cases look great. they have tons of room and look scweet with liquid cooling setups.
4. With watercooling you will be able to squeeze a bit more performance out of your GPU, and would be a lot more quiet compared to video card stock coolers
Xavier i7
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Xavier i7
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post #3 of 7
1. I would not advise going watercooling if you like to upgrade a lot. It simply isn't necessary with the likes of 45nm because it will never have the voltage going through it to justify watercooling.

However if you do want to get into then why not I did just for a laugh and for the experience.

A good watercooling set up should never really need to be upgraded unless you are un-happy with your temperatures. Personally i don't see the point in upgrading a WB every time a new one comes out that is 1C cooler. Whats the point. The only thing you will really need to change is the GPU block if you like to upgrade GPU's every month.

A good decent setup will last a long time!

As for noise, it depends on what kind of radiator you get and whether they like high or low cfm. With my rad and 3 x Xilence Red Wings pushing 50-60CFM each at 19DBa i don't even hear them.

Sure i can hear a slight wizz, but it is practically silent. The onyl thing i can hear is the fan on my GPU. So WC will only make things quieter. So yes you will see a noise reduction if you cool the GPU as well. But bear in mind a GPU creates a lot more heat! So if you was to do that and still want to maintain silence i would run 2 radiators. (A lot of people have been over this and with a good pump it will not affect your cooling what so ever, it will just make it better)

As for cases i don't know. It depends what you like the CM Stackers are bloody huge if you can justify the price tag

EDIT: Also another thing, i can't even hear my pump at all. And i mean it is seriously silent. The only noise from a pump really is the vibration, but for some you can buy a jelly pad for it to sit on (some Laing pumps over heat on them though )

But you could always built a little mount for it to sit on, it will take about 2 hours + a little bit of square bar and some welding But mine is silent non the less.

The only maintenance involved is people like to flush the system out and replace the coolant about every 3 months. Not a lot to ask for really, would take just as long if not longer to give a system a good dust.
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Smallville
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post #4 of 7
1. Noise is almost completely dependant on the fans you use, as it is the case with aircooling.
2. You can also buy different mounting plates for most non-universal blocks. It seems as though the new Nehalem socket 1366 will use the same mounting holes as the current socket 775 though, so all current 775 compatible waterblocks should be compatible with that socket as well.
3. Yes. If you want an all-internal LCS, your best bet would be a case with a full length row of 5.25" Drive bays in front, like the CM Stacker, or the new (and superior to ever other case out there) Lian Li ArmorSuit PC-P80 (should take even a 480 GTX). The radiator is then placed in front of the case, taking in cool air. Some cases can also take rads in the bottom (Silverstone TJ07; takes even a 480 GTX) or the top (CM Cosmos).
4. Watercooling the GPU allows for volt-mods, which, yes, do increase OC'ability significantly, while the noise will be, again, dependant on the fans used on the radiator. Integrating the GPU in the CPU loop, it wont be significantly more expensive than a Thermalright aircooler, that is, if your radiator can handle the added heatload. (3x120mm or 4x120mm highly recommended)
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChielScape View Post
1. Noise is almost completely dependant on the fans you use, as it is the case with aircooling.
2. You can also buy different mounting plates for most non-universal blocks. It seems as though the new Nehalem socket 1366 will use the same mounting holes as the current socket 775 though, so all current 775 compatible waterblocks should be compatible with that socket as well.
3. Yes. If you want an all-internal LCS, your best bet would be a case with a full length row of 5.25" Drive bays in front, like the CM Stacker, or the new (and superior to ever other case out there) Lian Li ArmorSuit PC-P80 (should take even a 480 GTX). The radiator is then placed in front of the case, taking in cool air. Some cases can also take rads in the bottom (Silverstone TJ07; takes even a 480 GTX) or the top (CM Cosmos).
4. Watercooling the GPU allows for volt-mods, which, yes, do increase OC'ability significantly, while the noise will be, again, dependant on the fans used on the radiator. Integrating the GPU in the CPU loop, it wont be significantly more expensive than a Thermalright aircooler, that is, if your radiator can handle the added heatload. (3x120mm or 4x120mm highly recommended)
Oh man, I'm so excited now I might have to buy that case, and do this up. Can a 480 GTX handle SLI'ed GPUs?
post #6 of 7
a 480GTX handles everything. including Skulltrail or a Tri-SLI setup including CPU(s) AND GPU(s) though in those 2 cases you will be pushing it, and temps will not be as ming blowingly awesome as on systems with no more than 1 CPU/GPU in the loop, but thats obvious.
post #7 of 7
Heres some stuff you might like to read...Take you time and look over all your options before you start buying parts and it may save you a little $$$$...I'll leave you my cleaning and set-up PDF also, its just basic stuff, its how I do mine...Be sure to read all the stickies here to there is a wealth of info in it....

...Water Cooling - In English

...Assembling your Custom Watercooling Setup

...Bleeding my WC setup..

...Poll: Push or pull configuration for Radiators

...Part 1- Temp's with and with-out shrouds

...How To: Make any Sized shroud in 2 minutes

...How To: Build A Performance Shroud

...D-Tek Fuzion install tip! (Or why you should clean new blocks)

...Shroud Build Guide (No 56k)

...PC Water Coolant Chemistry - Part I

...PC Water Coolant Chemistry - Part II

...Cooling - An In-Depth Look

...How To: Clean out a D-Tek Fuzion CPU Block

...D-Tek FuZion Washer Made Easy.

...How To: Prep and Fit a GPU Block
My System
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My System
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2x Seagate 160 Perp. RD-1 2x Asus Vista Premium Corsair HX 620 
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Open Bench 
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