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jumping on the watercooling bandwagon

post #1 of 7
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Hello. I am finally getting a watercooler. But, i am unsure what to get. i could go the noob way and get a Zalman Reserator XT, but i know that is not the best option for the cost. I can spend around $300 - $400. What would you suggest. Should i just get the XT, or build it piece by piece? The system is the one in my sig.

Do they have blocks for the 9800gx2 yet?
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post #2 of 7
I think they might, I forget where I saw them. But that thing is goign to cost.
    
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post #3 of 7
Its better to build piece by piece.

You need a CPU block, A rad, A pump, A res, Maybe GPU block if they make them yet.

My favorite sites would be these

Dangerden
Swiftech

I would Prefer DANGERDEN. They are the Ferrari OF WC. IMO
post #4 of 7
Well, you're in Ft. Lauderdale, so the best option for you would be Performance-PCs.com. Not the cheapest price-wise...but if you order shipping as UPS Ground, it gets there the next day. Guaranteed. They're just up the coast from us, and they've got great customer service. However, they do not have the DTek Fuzion block, but they have the "FluidXP+ Vortex" or something similar (forget the actual name of it..). I asked them about carrying the Fuzion, and they told me that was the exact same block, just a different color. Whatever...
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post #5 of 7
I would do a custom loop. Go pro, and get your parts seperate, and build it yourself, this way you know what you have. I would go with two custom loops. One for your Processor, and the other dedicated to your GPU. Then you can "Y" the two loops together or have a dual reseviour, and maybe a second pump. This is just me, but thats what I think. I just bought the following and spend well over $400 with shipping, but this is from two seperate websites so shipping kicked me twice

One Loop for now. This will replace my Thermaltake paper weight...

Black Ice 360 Radiator

MCP655 12v (Laing D5 Vario) Pump

D-tek Fusion water block

Masterkleer Tubing 7/16" ID 5/8" OD

PrimoChill Anti-Kink Coils 5/8"- Silver

1/2" Fittings for all

Danger Den Dual 5 1/2 Bay Reservoirs

Panaflo 120mm Ultra - FBA12G12U1-1BX (X3) 3 more next week

Clamps (X10)
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post #6 of 7
First, assess your skill level! Some parts are basically an engineer it yourself solution. This includes pump, radiator, and reservoir mounting (unless using a bay reservoir). Depending on were the reservoir is mounted, system bleeding is not engineered in. (a major over sight IMHO).

Second, assess your objectives. Are you reducing temps for overclocking? Eliminating fans for silence? Trying to reduce temperature to gain a higher OC? Just think it will look cool?

Third, determine what you want to water cool. Your motherboard has a ridiculously noisy and ineffective chipset cooling arrangement. Your video card is new and doesn't have many (any?) water cooling options. You didn't say if your CPU was a G0 or B3, however you did say 3600Mhz on 'stock' cooling, so it is probably a G0. And probably way too hot on an stability test.

You are probably going to want to start with the CPU and northbridge; the 780i northbridge requiring a special water block.

There are no easy solutions to the radiator mount unless using a custom (and huge) water cooling case. Even then, few handle the desired fan/shroud/radiator combinations.

The simplest is a kit...I started with a Swiftech H20 220 Compact. Even then the fans are not ideal, there is no shroud, the hoses are terrible.the radiator mounts much too close to the case for good airflow and to clear video cables. However, you have no component mounting issues.

After that kit, which eliminates the need to mount a pump (built into the CPU block) or reservoir (built in to the radiator), kits and components are pretty similar. And nearly all the kits will be very similar:
  • One of two pumps: a Laing D5 (also sold as a Swiftech MCP655) and a Laing DDC3.2 (also sold as a Swiftech MCP355). The DDC3.2 requires an aftermarket top for good performance. Based on testing, the XSPC tops, available for $20-50 depending on model, have a clear and significant edge. If getting a D5, a favorite of many, there is the normal multi-speed model and a $10 cheaper fixed (on level 4 of 5) speed model. The variable speed is preferable.
  • There are a huge selection of radiators ranging from $50 to nearly $200. Unless you are going for the lowest temps, there are few differences between them; there are people with successful systems on nearly any radiator. The HW Labs and Thermochill brands have models that are the most expensive and appeal to those seeking the best result. However, a $50-60 BIX or MCR320 have many people with good results. There is only one four fan radiator. It is difficult to fit because of size (over 20" long). There is no reason to use a 2 fan radiator over a 3 fan radiator unless your mounting position won't fit the 3 fan. A 1 fan will be total inadequate for your CPU.
  • There are many good and bad CPU water blocks. The D-tek Fuzion is inexpensive ($60 at many sites) and probably the best currently available. The EK Supreme, Swiftech Apogee GTX, and some others (Thermalright, XSPC Delta X20) have also posted good test results. The difference between a good and bad block can be 5-10C or more in core temps. In any case, if your water block doesn't come with a backing plate, get a mounting kit that includes one. It is impossible to get adequate clamping force (from my own experience) without one. That clamping force forces the thermal grease into surface irregularities and causes slight surface deformations increasing the contact area.
  • There are several acceptable hoses. I have bought at least 4 different types now. I would have to say the Tygon is the most flexible, reducing stress on fittings. However, the Masterkleer is close, and 1/4 the price. But we aren't talking much here...$10 vs $25.
  • You should consider a northbridge cooling setup for an EVGA or XFX 780i board. EK and Viper John both make northbridge cooling blocks. You will need some solution for the MOSFETs; Viper John includes heat sinks, however his block is nearly twice as expensive. The southbridge is usually cooled with a fan. It seems the Evercool VC-RE, originally designed for a VGA card, works best.
  • Hose barbs, hose clamps (there is a tight fit on the D-tek Fuzion top). reservoir vs. T-line/fillport are discussed in other threads extensively if sometimes inconclusively.

What did I do? I spent $140 on the Swiftech H20 220 Compact, then about $50 on other stuff (clear hoses and worm clamps, 2 38mm Panaflo fans, miscellaneous screws and spacers to mount everything and make a shroud (with duct tape).

Then, after getting it to work and having a better understanding of the issues, I've invested another $500 or so on really an entirely new cooling solution using better and more extreme components. It is sitting in pieces on my counter...waiting for some time (maybe in a week or two).
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Number 1
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post #7 of 7
Hey Mmansueto,

Do not bother with the Reserator XT. If you are going to "Truly" jumping on the band wagon you need to get a kick butt, Custom Setup. Which can be done within your price range...

Here are some suggestions to look at,


CPU Block: D-TEK FuZion 1/2" - $61.99

GPU Block: Not Sure if they have blocks out for the 9800GX2

Radiator: HW Labs Black Ice GTX 360 - $124.95

Reservoir: Swiftech Micro Res - $19.95

Pump: Laing D5 Vario MCP655 - $84.99

Hose: 1/2"ID 3/4" OD Masterkleer Clear PVC - $0.75 per foot.

Clamps: Stainless steel Worm Drive Hose Clamps - $1.00 Per 1 clamp.

Coolant: UV Reactive Pentosin G11 Coolant (Blue) - $4.50 per bottle + PT_NUKE - $2.50

Fans: 3x or 6x 120mm x 38mm Panaflo - $11.99 per fan

Total:

Around $340.00

Note: You can probably use a different rad for a lower price, and will still be efficient with your rig....

    
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