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Question regarding radiator choice

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello people, going to venture in to water cooling and have been busy the last few days reading up on the various parts and going through all the resources I could find.. needless to say there's a lot
But Skinnee's/Martins water cooling site and forums like OCN and XS have been really helpful.

Its going to be a cpu only loop at the moment and I will be cooling a phenom II X4 965, which I am looking to oc to upto 4-4.2 G(hopefully). Using the psu calculator it translates into roughly 214 to 220 W

I have decided on the following core parts

CPU block: EK HF Full Nickel cpu block
Question: Why is it more expensive than the copper block. Isn't copper supposed to be a better conductor of heat?

Pump: Swiftech MCP655
Question: I read that the MCP655 is a great pump and highly recommended, but considering that I will add more water blocks and possibly more rads in future.. will trading the flow rate and going for higher head of the MCP355 be better ? Or should I pay 20 bucks more to get the 35x which will give me more head than 655 and more flow than 355.

Tubing: I have more or less decided to go for the 7/16" Tygon clear tubing (this one) as I read somewhere that these give better sealing than 1/2".. but if some one gives me a good reason to think its a bad choice and recommends something else I would gladly switch.

Now the big question I have is the radiator.

I have decided to go for a three fan radiator as I believe it will give me more headroom for expansion. I have a CM 690 and I will be modding the top to mount the radiator. Would prefer not to mount anything externally with a radbox.

I have chosen to go either for the MCP320 or the GTX360.
I feel that the RX360 does not perform better enough than the MCP320 to pay around 35-40 bucks more, but am not so sure about the GTX 360.

It gets pretty hot during the summer over here, often exceed 40C/104F. The test data I have gone through are mostly in much lower ambients. Will the better air-water delta performance per heat load of the GTX give me any noticeable advantage over the swiftech?

Going for swiftech will let me go around 64$ cheaper as I will pair them with the 1850 rpm gentle typhoons, and I will pair the gtx with the 3000 rpm ones. But I can bear the extra cost if it gives me an extra edge over my high ambients.

Sure it needs high speed fans, but I can control them using a fan controller to turn em down when not needed and bump em up at other times.

Is there any other component I selected where I can save (cpu block maybe ?)

Thanks for going through the overly long first post.. any inputs will be appreciated.

And if you think I made any wrong assumptions anywhere, please correct me.
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tirthankar View Post
Hello people, going to venture in to water cooling and have been busy the last few days reading up on the various parts and going through all the resources I could find.. needless to say there's a lot
But Skinnee's/Martins water cooling site and forums like OCN and XS have been really helpful.

Its going to be a cpu only loop at the moment and I will be cooling a phenom II X4 965, which I am looking to oc to upto 4-4.2 G(hopefully). Using the psu calculator it translates into roughly 214 to 220 W

I have decided on the following core parts

CPU block: EK HF Full Nickel cpu block
Question: Why is it more expensive than the copper block. Isn't copper supposed to be a better conductor of heat?

Pump: Swiftech MCP655
Question: I read that the MCP655 is a great pump and highly recommended, but considering that I will add more water blocks and possibly more rads in future.. will trading the flow rate and going for higher head of the MCP355 be better ? Or should I pay 20 bucks more to get the 35x which will give me more head than 655 and more flow than 355.

Tubing: I have more or less decided to go for the 7/16" Tygon clear tubing (this one) as I read somewhere that these give better sealing than 1/2".. but if some one gives me a good reason to think its a bad choice and recommends something else I would gladly switch.

Now the big question I have is the radiator.

I have decided to go for a three fan radiator as I believe it will give me more headroom for expansion. I have a CM 690 and I will be modding the top to mount the radiator. Would prefer not to mount anything externally with a radbox.

I have chosen to go either for the MCP320 or the GTX360.
I feel that the RX360 does not perform better enough than the MCP320 to pay around 35-40 bucks more, but am not so sure about the GTX 360.

It gets pretty hot during the summer over here, often exceed 40C/104F. The test data I have gone through are mostly in much lower ambients. Will the better air-water delta performance per heat load of the GTX give me any noticeable advantage over the swiftech?

Going for swiftech will let me go around 64$ cheaper as I will pair them with the 1850 rpm gentle typhoons, and I will pair the gtx with the 3000 rpm ones. But I can bear the extra cost if it gives me an extra edge over my high ambients.

Sure it needs high speed fans, but I can control them using a fan controller to turn em down when not needed and bump em up at other times.

Is there any other component I selected where I can save (cpu block maybe ?)

Thanks for going through the overly long first post.. any inputs will be appreciated.

And if you think I made any wrong assumptions anywhere, please correct me.
The nickel block is more expensive because the manufacturer has to go through the extra step of nickel plating the block, thus raising the cost.

7/16 tubing is a perfect choice for 1/2 inch barbs.

I would look into the XSPC RX360 rad. Its a great performer and fairly cheap.
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post #3 of 10
Nickel plating prevent oxidize with air, where copper oxidize with air.

For low restriction loop you don't need a lot of head pressure, MCP655 will be more than enough for most setup. MCP35X is an excellent choice with PWM control, but since you cooling the cpu only I don't see you need such powerful pump. One thing you should know is that once you get around 1.5GPM anything above that get minimal return.

The Black Ice GTX360 definitely have an edge vs MCR320 with high speed fan, however the noise level will be much higher.
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post #4 of 10
Nickel plating the copper increases the resistance to corrosion and adds cost so the price is higher.

If you want to save money on the CPU block you should look at the Rasa. It has performance that is near the EK for 1/3rd less cost.

The 655 is a re-branded Laing D5. It has great flow but not as much head as the 355 or 35x. Unless you are adding a lot more blocks and rads either will work just fine. Martin's testing shows that > 1 GPH is the key. Less and the cooling suffers, more than 1GPH doesn't provide any significant improvement in cooling. So your target should be to slightly exceed 1 GPH for whatever loop you have. I have the EK block, EK GPU block, 360 rad and 120 rad with several 45 and two 90 fittings and still get 1.45 GPH from my 655-b. I would use cost as a gauge here as you really can't go wrong with either. I will say the 35x has been known to be noisy and consume more power so I wouldn't go that way unless you really need the extra performance for the extra cost.

For your Rad, you are correct that the swiftech is the best bang for the buck, but the GTX will have somewhat better performance. Either will be more than enough for CPU only loop and should be able to cool to 2C delta depending on fans (or you can go slow fans for silent). You won't notice any difference with your CPU only loop. When you add GPU's then you will see the GTX can cool better again depending on fans and speed.

You mention it gets hot where you are. Realize that the ambient air temp has the biggest impact on performance. So if you don't have A/C in your house then expect your rig to get really hot. If on the other hand you cool the room the rig is in to 20c, expect either rad to give you great performance even in hot summers.

7/16 on 1/2 barbs is very safe but you can achieve the same with good hose clamps if you don't want the extra effort. 7/16 is a great blend of thin tube with great flow characteristics. I went from 1/2 ID to 7/16 ID and it had no noticeable impact on my temps or flow.
post #5 of 10
I would recommend these swiftech radiators. Not only are they cheap, but they perform extremely close to the bigger name radiators, such as the RX series from XSPC.


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post #6 of 10
I was really impressed with my swiftech 320qp
I did lots of comparisons, spent lots of money to find out just what skinneelabs did
dollar for dollar its hard to beat swiftech

sometimes cheaper is ok and when it comes to swiftech this holds true
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for your replies people.. especially RatDog for the nice write up and pointing me to rasa. It really looks pretty tempting, though a bit ugly .

The performance is almost too good to be true.. apogee xt/rasa and just .1 deg behind ek supreme hf in the 22 wateblocks shootout

So you guys are saying that I have nothing to lose other than looks if I go for the rasa... right?

Regarding radiator choice, I summarize that going for the gtx is not going to give me any extra advantage with respect to the high ambients, and for a cpu only loop I'll notice no difference between the swifty and the gtx.

Only there is not much room in my case, its gonna be tough to add another rad when I get my gpu.

What's the minimum rad size you will recommend if I get the swifty now and add another rad when I start cooling the gpu?

Thanks again, and rep+ to all..
post #8 of 10
rasa is a nice block if you want to save 25-30.00 over the hf ek get the rasa you cant go wrong

as for rad size, if your case can fit a 360mm rad get the swiftech 320qp rad and that should do your cpu and gpu later
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you every one...

Have decided on this shopping list.. let me know what you think..

Rad: Swiftech MCR320

CPU Block: EK Supreme HF Full Nickel (The rasa is really good for the price.. but looks so meh . Also I am sure the EK is worth the money, isn't it ? You must be thinking I am confused, and you are right )

Pump: MCP355 with XSPC Top

Res: This one

Tubing: Tygon 7/16" ID 5/8 OD clear

Fittings: DD Fat Boy with these clamps.

I was thinking of the Scythe GT 1850 for fans, but they seem to be out of stock everywhere. I have got some S-Flex G's with me. How good do you think they will be?

Also is there any truth in the legend that hose clamps can cut in to tubing and cause leaks?
post #10 of 10
I imagine the metal clamps could cut into the tubing, but its unlikely, and you would have to tighten them down ALOT. This is the list I would get if I were you-

Radiator: Swiftech MCR320 Same as you had. Great performer!

CPU Block: EK-Supreme HF, XSPC Rasa, or the Enzotech Sapphrie rev. A. All have performance that is nearly identical. The charts below show this. The Enzotech isnt on there, but it has the highest flow rate of the 3, and practically the same temps +/- 1C, and is cheaper (although OOS at newegg, was $35)



Pump: MCP-355 with its XSPC Reservoir top is what I use. Takes up less space and pump performance is increased.

Tubing: I would get either black or white tubing, but you want 7/16ID / 5/8 OD for sure if you also want 1/2" barbs, and at about 10ft of it. You can also go this route and not use clamps if you want. Thats what I am doing.

Fittings: your DD Fatboys are fine in this area.

Clamps: I would get some of These Lamptron Elites if you have the cash, they look great. Otherwise, just get some of these plastic clamps, as they also work well.

Fans: Dont forget the fans! Get either 3 or 6 of These Gentle Typhoon 1850s. They are great fans!

Hope I helped you out there! Any questions, feel free to ask.
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