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watercooling setup in an antec p180 case. Other questions too.

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
hey guys

i am considering buying a watercooling system - either the switfech H20-220-APEX ULTRA + or the asetek waterchill Xtreme CPU/VGA/Chipset Cooling Kit - Triple 120mm Radiator.

My question is, what is the usual setup with these kits? Is the radiator usually left outside the case and the pump goes inside the case? bearing in mind that i have an Antec p180 case, can anyone think of any problems i may have installing one of these kits? I dont want to buy the kit and then end up having to modify my case a lot because it wont fit. If anyone has any pics of their setup in a p180 case, can you post here please. From the pics of other setups i have looked at, the systems seem pretty 'chunky'. I'm worried that i wont have enough room to get the system in.

My other question is to do with the setup of the cooling system. Is it as easy as 1) set it up 2) do a leak test 3) get it in the PC and off you go?

Are there any kind of issues i should know about before going ahead? Like shouldi use anti-algae solutions, special fluids etc. Is it actually water that goes in the system or a special kind of cooling liquid? can you not use anti-freeze like the stuff used in a car!!!!!

any help will be great. Regards Jonathan

ps here is a pic of my case, just so you can see if i might have problems. The black box inside the case will be removed as it holds a fan to cool the VGA - but i wont need that if i have watercooling.

    
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post #2 of 32
You will definitely be doing some mods to the case interior--to start with you will probly remove the lowest drive cage in the front to make room for the pump.


If you are planning on an interior rad you should consider removing the lower fan as well, turning it sideways and making holes for cross ventilation--use a 120mmm rad truned sidewayswith at least one 120mm fan--that will give you both an iteranl rad and a "rad box" or shroud (swhich really helps vs just using a fan)

You could also mount the rad in the lower fron compartment, with a fan in front of it and a simple partition and side panel blowhole to keep the warm air out of the case. But since the warm air is just feeding the PSU (and it is only about 88 r 90 degrees) you could just letit flow from front to back in the lower compatment.

Use Deionised water and water wetter if you like or even premixed antifreeze (it glows under UV a little). I use regular old zerex premixed and nothing else for over 6 months now with no algae or other crudulation.

You should avoid regular water as it is loaed with chlorine, flouride, ammonia and all kinds of minerals that will leave a residue after a while and effect the copper bits.

De-ionised (from the autoparts) is the way to go (that's what is used in premix antifreeze)--it is sold for refilling batteries and such.

If you do not want to mod the case then youshould consider making an external rad box. simply construct or purchase a simple shroud (or two) and mount to the fan--a push/pull arrangement is the best. I use a cheapo universal auto transmission cooler ($20) and it works great (46C under load at 4.2 ghx OC) but a lot of us use the Bonneville heater core or a specialized PC rad such as the Black Ice Le rads.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me and good luck.
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post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberDruid
You will definitely be doing some mods to the case interior--to start with you will probly remove the lowest drive cage in the front to make room for the pump.


If you are planning on an interior rad you should consider removing the lower fan as well, turning it sideways and making holes for cross ventilation--use a 120mmm rad truned sidewayswith at least one 120mm fan--that will give you both an iteranl rad and a "rad box" or shroud (swhich really helps vs just using a fan)

You could also mount the rad in the lower fron compartment, with a fan in front of it and a simple partition and side panel blowhole to keep the warm air out of the case. But since the warm air is just feeding the PSU (and it is only about 88 r 90 degrees) you could just letit flow from front to back in the lower compatment.

Use Deionised water and water wetter if you like or even premixed antifreeze (it glows under UV a little). I use regular old zerex premixed and nothing else for over 6 months now with no algae or other crudulation.

You should avoid regular water as it is loaed with chlorine, flouride, ammonia and all kinds of minerals that will leave a residue after a while and effect the copper bits.

De-ionised (from the autoparts) is the way to go (that's what is used in premix antifreeze)--it is sold for refilling batteries and such.

If you do not want to mod the case then youshould consider making an external rad box. simply construct or purchase a simple shroud (or two) and mount to the fan--a push/pull arrangement is the best. I use a cheapo universal auto transmission cooler ($20) and it works great (46C under load at 4.2 ghx OC) but a lot of us use the Bonneville heater core or a specialized PC rad such as the Black Ice Le rads.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me and good luck.
cool thanks for the ideas. Problem is i have a HDD in that bottom drive cage. and i have no room up in the top for it.

I cant really see a watercooling system fitting in there :-(

I could get one of those compartment adpaters which lets you put a 3.5 inch drive in a 5 inch drive - as i have a 5 inch drive spare. I could then remove the lower drive cage. This might not help though, as in the lower compartment the fan has changed position. I had to move it back as my new PSU is around half an inch longer than my previous one, so the fan no longer fits where it used to:



this may stop me from routing the tubing through the gap which leads into the main compartment from the lower compartment, as the fan now sits directly below the gap and is restricting me from routing things through that gap.

any ideas of what i can do?
    
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post #4 of 32
The swiftech is MUCH better. Better quality and performance. I still think you should go custom. You will have to cut a whole in your case for the radiator, which will mount on the outside of your case on the 120mm exhaust fan place on your case.
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post #5 of 32
Hey JP,

I have the P180 too. It's a wonderful case, with many nice silence and airflow features but, as your photo shows, it's cramped for a premium water cooling setup.

You're alternatives, as I see them are:
  1. Go with something compact but lower performance--the BigWater SE made for a very clean install in mine but, particularly due to it's single 12cm^2 radiator, doesn't cool as well as a premium kit or custom rig.
  2. Mod the heck out of your case to shoehorn in a premium rig--big rad, big pump, big tubes, etc. Lots of work, and probably an ongoing pain whenever you want to work inside your case.
  3. As CyberDruid recommended, go with an external solution. You could do just rad outside, or completely external.

Given what you've said, maybe #3 is best for you. I'd suggest a double-size rad at the minimum, if you're cooling CPU and GPU. The Swiftech kits come with a nifty bracket for hanging a rad off the back of your case. You could squeeze a full-size pump inside, either at the bottom of the main compartment, or in the lower compartment (and snake the tubes up into the main compartment and out the back).

That might give you the best of both worlds, if compactness and silence are important to you--everything would be attached to your case, the rad would be out of sight at the back, and the pump would be inside and quieted by the P180's damping. Nice. Perhaps a tad cramped, but not bad.

Or you could go with a completely external solution--pump, fans and rad in a separate box, and just run the tubes into your case. This would be more bulky to move, but would make installation a snap.

Hope this helps, and feel free to ask more.
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post #6 of 32
Man i could do wonders with that case.
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post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by lohoutlaw
Man i could do wonders with that case.
I bet you could. What would you do?

For myself, I want too keep all the drive cages--I keep my main drives in the lower compartment (which keeps them quiet and their heat out of the main compartment). And I use the upper compartment for my backup drives--I pull the cage out between backups, and keep the drives in a separate location for safety.

And the side panels and top are made of double-layer aluminum and plastic for inertness. I'm loathe to tear them up.
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post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeville
Hey JP,

I have the P180 too. It's a wonderful case, with many nice silence and airflow features but, as your photo shows, it's cramped for a premium water cooling setup.

You're alternatives, as I see them are:
  1. Go with something compact but lower performance--the BigWater SE made for a very clean install in mine but, particularly due to it's single 12cm^2 radiator, doesn't cool as well as a premium kit or custom rig.
  2. Mod the heck out of your case to shoehorn in a premium rig--big rad, big pump, big tubes, etc. Lots of work, and probably an ongoing pain whenever you want to work inside your case.
  3. As CyberDruid recommended, go with an external solution. You could do just rad outside, or completely external.

Given what you've said, maybe #3 is best for you. I'd suggest a double-size rad at the minimum, if you're cooling CPU and GPU. The Swiftech kits come with a nifty bracket for hanging a rad off the back of your case. You could squeeze a full-size pump inside, either at the bottom of the main compartment, or in the lower compartment (and snake the tubes up into the main compartment and out the back).

That might give you the best of both worlds, if compactness and silence are important to you--everything would be attached to your case, the rad would be out of sight at the back, and the pump would be inside and quieted by the P180's damping. Nice. Perhaps a tad cramped, but not bad.

Or you could go with a completely external solution--pump, fans and rad in a separate box, and just run the tubes into your case. This would be more bulky to move, but would make installation a snap.

Hope this helps, and feel free to ask more.
wicked suggestions. Thank you. I think part of its gonna have to be outside the case. I have a few weeks to decide what to do anyway cos i need to save up yet. Think i will go with the Swiftech option, the Ultra + is just as expensive as the asetek waterchill though.
Any other suggestions guys???
    
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post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lohoutlaw
Man i could do wonders with that case.
yeah what would ya do with it!
    
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post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
i have modded my case now to this:



i have moved all hard drives to the lower HDD cage, and removed the top one so that the water pump can fit in there. Any other suggestions?
    
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