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difference between 1/2" od tubing and 3/8" od tubing?

post #1 of 4
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preformance: big or little difference? benchmarks?
    
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post #2 of 4
You mean OD, or ID?

Depends on the application. No easy answers. Larger ID means less retriction for a given length, but also more cost and less convenience.

Large ID would be more beneficial with weak pumps and longer runs. The data I've seen shows that performance improves quickly as flow increases up to around 1GPM, and only marginally at rates higher than that. So it's a question of what needs to be done to get around 1GPM in a given application--larger tubes? Burlier pump?

Those who want the best performance possible, regardless of cost or convenience will go with the largest ID possible. I'm surprised no one has used firehose yet, or have they?
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post #3 of 4
There are always these Big Bore Brutes
  
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post #4 of 4
Its not just the tubing size but the blocks that you put in the loop with the tubing.

If you get a 1/2" (ID) system, you want less restrictive blocks that allow just a ton of flow to the radiator. This seems to work the best: bigger tubing, higher flow. (laminar flow)

If you get a 3/8" (ID) system, you are probably best suited to getting a jet impingement system. This system is based on the idea of turbulant flow. This means that though there is less actual water going through the blocks, the water is pushed and splattered extra wildly against the blocks to make sure no 'dead spots' of water water exist on the block (this cansometimes happen in high flow loops,but the sheer amount of water that goes through the loop makes up for it). Thus, smaller diameter, high pump head, lower flow, restrictive blocks (Storm CPU block by Swiftech).

Essentially, as long as you stick with one or the other and don't try and mix them, you should get just about equal results. However, some work better for some people than others. I have a 1/2" ID system because I think the water blocks work out better for my system with a high flow system. I also have a huge case that can fit all the junk inside. But some people want thinner tubes for a smaller case. *Shrug* Its pretty much up to you for which loop you want to build. Good luck!

Here is some more information on the different flow methodologies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laminar_flow
    
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