Hi Crew! You have been informally enlisted to help me cool my advanced flight sim cockpit. I am not quite an overclocker yet but I think I have been having screen hangs/freezes/lock-ups (requiring a hard reset) due to overheating and am now wanting to re-engineer my PC (soon to be 2) for an 8 monitor flight simulator. I currently have one well built PC with three 20" inch widescreen monitors and an overhead projector for an 8ft diagonal front view.
I live in San Diego and it has been running fine for months now while my indoor house temp has been between 65-75 and then the past few days it has been about 85-90 here, thus our summer heatwaves are beginning. My desk digital thermometer is reading 85 right now indoors. Needless to say after running the sim with all 4 screens up today I got a lock-up after about 30 minutes of flight. I can only assume this is a heat issue and am now writing this from my laptop. Ugghhh, the server is too hot!
Tower -Thermaltake Xaser III
Power - BFG 1,000 watt PSU
Mobo - Gigabyte Quad Royal (has 4 pci-e 2-16x and 2-8x)
Chip - Pentium D 3.4ghz (emt64 enabled)
RAM - 4 gigs OCZ Gold
OS - Windows XP Pro X64
Drives - 2 x 250gb SATA-2 7200rpm Maxtor (In a RAID stripe array)
Video Cards 2 x BFG 7900 GTX 512MB (using all 4 outputs for 4 monitors)
I plan on building a duplicate system for the other 4 monitors and wish to build a water-cooling system that can support both CPU chips and all 4 video cards rather than have 2 independent systems. Placing the cooler in its own large case is fine and that would sit it the middle between the 2 pc's.
Lastly, I may want to switch motherboards. I bought the Gigabyte Quad Royal because it is the first motherboard to ever have 4 PCI-E slots. It was a rare find and was pretty hard to get. However the 2 x16 slots are right next to each other such that if I had both video cards in the 2x16 slots they would be sandwiched right against one another and thus the top one would not get any proper airflow. Therefore I have the top one in the #1 PCI-E 8x slot to space them and unfortunately this causes both cards to only run at 8x (even though card 2 is in the #3 16x slot) Likewise, if I actually put in all 4 cards then all 4 would run at 8x each (all sandwiched together) and as tested to date I think this would tax my CPU too much anyway, and would obviously not work with just standard airflow as no air could circulate to their fans properly. This why I am just going to build a second identical machine and wish to water cool them both. In the end I want 2 identical machines each running 2 video cards at full x16 capability and get them thinking they are vacationing in Alaska.
The end goal is for each system to display 4 monitors each and I want a single cooling system that pipes into the 2 PCs. Base on all this I'd like to have people recommend cooling solutions, capable motherboards, and large table-top or rack mount cases as I also plan to go with rack mount cases for the 2 computers as this will fit better in my cockpit set-up. The cooler case would however need to remain a vertical tower style. The rack mount PCs will go in front of the pilot and co-pilots knees respectively with the cooler case set in the middle behind the throttle quadrant.
Lastly, yes I am a real pilot, I just have a very twisted simulator habit! I'd be happy to send pictures of my set-up to anyone willing to lend advice!
Thanks all - firstname.lastname@example.org
Edited by SimSamurai - 11/23/13 at 1:47pm