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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just built my water cooling setup a few weeks ago and I'm wondering if this is working alright, or perhaps I'm just confused about what is considered "normal" with Delta T temperatures in idle or load. I'll drop a few pictures below here of the setup in the spoiler section.

Current specs are:

Fractal Design Define 7 XL
Ryzen 3900X @ 0.1v undervolt
MSI RTX 3080 SuprimX 10G
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master
2 x 16GB DDR4 3600 MHz @CL16 G.Skill memory
EK water blocks and EK G2 PWM pump with reservoir
Alphacool XT45 360mm U-flow and 420mm X-flow radiators
6 x Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM and 6 x Arctic P14 PST PWM fans
Aquacomputer Octo controller + Highflow LT

My room temperature is always a minimum of 23C and I'm seeing an idle water temp of about 5C delta T in idle. At load (gaming) it hits about 13-14C Delta T above ambient with a fan speed of approximate 1000 RPM on both set of fans. I tried with 1200 RPM but it didn't really make a difference. Pump speed is 40% at idle, and 80% at load.

I'm just wondering if this setup is... stupid? Basically I'm reusing the hot air coming from the front radiator going out the top (and some at the back), but I wonder if that top 360mm radiator even does anything. I tried turning the backfan around so it pushed cold air into the case, but that made the chipset hotter than normal (above 60C) and the fan started to run which is kinda whiny :)

Loose thought: Would a 420mm or 480mm radiator in the top, and a 240mm in the bottom and no radiator in the front with 3x140mm fans pushing cold air in been a better choice for lower temps? I'm just curious if anyone tested something similar in this case.

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I'm just wondering if this setup is... stupid? Basically I'm reusing the hot air coming from the front radiator going out the top (and some at the back), but I wonder if that top 360mm radiator even does anything. I tried turning the backfan around so it pushed cold air into the case, but that made the chipset hotter than normal (above 60C) and the fan started to run which is kinda whiny :)
Wouldn't make more sense to feed all the rads with cool outside air rather than recycled?
I run three rads, Top, front and bottom but all as intake in push config.
I removed all restrictions in rear case IO panel (PCIE covers etc) and run a 140mm exhaust
It might be worth a try.
 
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Beat me to it. All intake or all exhaust is really the way to go. Both have downsides. All intake drives your case temp up (I'm not sure how much). All exhaust defeats any filtering the case may provide. I did all exhaust because I was concerned with VRAM temps on my 3090. If I get an actively cooled back plate at some point, I may try all intake. It might make your chipset fan unhappy again though.

13-14C delta isn't terrible, but given the rad area you have, and both in push/pull, it really should be a bit better. Most likely because you're feeding warm air to the top rad. You can always turn the fans off on it for a while to see how much it's helping. In fact you can do both one at a time just to see how effective each is. I've done that with mine.

Edit: but don't expect flipping the fans around to all intake/exhaust to make a huge difference. Probably won't drop the delta any lower than 10C is my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Beat me to it. All intake or all exhaust is really the way to go. Both have downsides. All intake drives your case temp up (I'm not sure how much). All exhaust defeats any filtering the case may provide. I did all exhaust because I was concerned with VRAM temps on my 3090. If I get an actively cooled back plate at some point, I may try all intake. It might make your chipset fan unhappy again though.

13-14C delta isn't terrible, but given the rad area you have, and both in push/pull, it really should be a bit better. Most likely because you're feeding warm air to the top rad. You can always turn the fans off on it for a while to see how much it's helping. In fact you can do both one at a time just to see how effective each is. I've done that with mine.
Now that's an idea I really didn't think of. So you're saying put some load on the system, turn off top fans and notice the difference. It it's small, say 1-3 degrees, I know my setup is counterproductive :)
 

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meh. its not great, but it isn't horrible either. I have two 3090s in seperate PCs. One is in a heavily air restricted server rack with a single 360 radiator that is also shared with the CPU. delta_T over ambient is 12C mostly after a long play session. The other is on a MORA-3 open air loop in push pull with a delta of about 3C. 40C water temps is not going to melt or warp plastic bits, but it also isn't the best case scenario either. Go ALL intake and you will stop pissing hot air all over your other radiator and probably drop temps.
 
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Wouldn't make more sense to feed all the rads with cool outside air rather than recycled?
I run three rads, Top, front and bottom but all as intake in push config.
I removed all restrictions in rear case IO panel (PCIE covers etc) and run a 140mm exhaust
It might be worth a try.
I tried that but it super heated inside my case which was heating the radiators from the outside
 

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I did all exhaust because I was concerned with VRAM temps on my 3090.
I thought that is why you have a rear fan exhaust to remove the heat created by the VRAM?

13-14C delta isn't terrible, but given the rad area you have, and both in push/pull, it really should be a bit better.
Agree with you.
I would have expected around 10c
His Delta T is like 9c/10c higher than mine, of course i have more cooling capacity and that's the reason why is lower but as we already said his could be better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the tips so far. I think I'll aim for my initial idea of using a 480mm rad in top as exhaust, a 240mm at the bottom as intake, and 3 x140mm intake fans in the front without a radiator to mix the air good. The reason: my HDD's get really hot when soaking warm air inside the case, with my current setup they already reach about 45C. Imagine when it gets really warm in the summer and my room temperature hits 30C, the HDD's will go over 50C and that's not ideal. This way I can place the HDD's on trays right in front of the cold air intake.
 

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Hi there

I have run in Enthoo Primo 3*GPUs setup(GTX1080Ti with 2113MHz, GTX1080 with 2164MHz and GTX1080 with 2113MHz) with 360mm radiator on top and 240mm 60mm radiator on bottom with 5960x OC to 4.7GHz and my delta in gaming usually has been in 5-6°C and in rendering temperatures wouldn't break 36-38°C on all GPUs and water delta T would raise to 8°C

2490080


Personally I always run bottom radiator fans as intake and top one as exhaust and this does work for me

Are you running any kind of filter on top or bottom? Currently running Caselabs M8 with pedestal with 4*360mm radiators plus MO-ra3 360mm and two RTX 3090 GamingPro's and my water delta T won't break 3-4°C on load like in gaming or rendering and HDD's temperatures currently in 22-23°C are under 30°C and I'm running 12*HDD's in total

Hope this help

Thanks, Jura

Df7rEJH.jpg Df7rEJH.jpg
 

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I only run a single 360 rad, but I have tried both intake and exhaust. When I had the radiator pulling air into the case (radiator intake + 3 case fans intake + 3 case fans exhaust), my water temp was about 2c lower, but everything else in my case was worryingly hot. With my current config (6 case fans intake, radiator exhaust), the water is slightly warmer, but my RAM, VRMs, M.2s, and chipset are much happier.

If there's a way to configure your system so that the radiators are all exhaust, yet still keep positive case pressure, that's what I would try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi there

I have run in Enthoo Primo 3*GPUs setup(GTX1080Ti with 2113MHz, GTX1080 with 2164MHz and GTX1080 with 2113MHz) with 360mm radiator on top and 240mm 60mm radiator on bottom with 5960x OC to 4.7GHz and my delta in gaming usually has been in 5-6°C and in rendering temperatures wouldn't break 36-38°C on all GPUs and water delta T would raise to 8°C

View attachment 2490080

Personally I always run bottom radiator fans as intake and top one as exhaust and this does work for me

Are you running any kind of filter on top or bottom? Currently running Caselabs M8 with pedestal with 4*360mm radiators plus MO-ra3 360mm and two RTX 3090 GamingPro's and my water delta T won't break 3-4°C on load like in gaming or rendering and HDD's temperatures currently in 22-23°C are under 30°C and I'm running 12*HDD's in total

Hope this help

Thanks, Jura

View attachment 2490080 View attachment 2490080
Nice build dude! I once had that case but unfortunately mine had a severe case of resonance that just wouldn't go away. But I can see you built it basically as I'm considering, to find the best of both worlds so I don't murder my HDD's in the long process :)
 

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Wouldn't make more sense to feed all the rads with cool outside air rather than recycled?
I run three rads, Top, front and bottom but all as intake in push config.
I removed all restrictions in rear case IO panel (PCIE covers etc) and run a 140mm exhaust
It might be worth a try.
Second this. Also agree with above comments, your delta temps aren't terrible but generally you want water delta temps between 5 and 10*C over ambient.
 

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Ditto on the cool air in and additional fans as exhaust or if you can push in enough cool air to satisfy the exhaust needs. Pumping warm air from one rad up and through another will still cool somewhat but cool air to all does the best job. My Delta Idle is 6C idle and tops out at 8C under heavy load. I could get the idle lower but fans are controlled on a curve with aquaero using liquid temp as a reference with a min of 28C (minimum fan speed for 28 an under) and max of 32C where fans will slowly ramp to full speed at 32C. They seldom make full speed but If Im really loaded on a 10980XE and 2x 2080Tis it will get pretty close. Real question is whats your delta on the liquid cooled devices? My GPUs max out at 8C delta where my CPU will hit 40C delta and sometimes a little more. Right now at Idle GPU delta is 1.8C and CPU is 7.2C.

Either way my liquid temp never passes 32C. Right now liquid temp is 28C with fans at 40% and ambient at 24C.
 

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I've actually had better luck with the radiators functioning as exhaust in my build. When I set my 280mm and 420mm rads as intake, the warmed air from the rads is dumped inside the case, which is exhausted true, but just replaced by more warmed air. This caused the ambient air temp in the case to rise under load, which in turn passively rewarms the coolant as all the lines and reservoir are all internal.

When I set my rads to exhaust, and the rear fan and third radiator slot as intake. While the air in the case is warmed by DRAM and NMVE drives, the ambient termperature inside was lower in this config and so was coolant temp and overall system performance. Now I do have fewer passively cooled components, as both the motherboard VRMs and GPU backplate are active in my system.

So right now, you are using ambient air to cool on radiator and dumping it inside the case, where it is used by the second radiator, reducing it's efficiency.

If you go with double intake, now both radiators will be cooled with ambient air, but all the warmed air will be jettisoned into the case. This will raise the temps of anything cooled passively and will also passively heat your coolant in the tubing and radiators. You'll also have some positive pressure that will reduce airflow over the radiators.

If you go with double exhaust, both radiators will use air that has been passively heated by your other components, but jettison all warmed air out. This would probably be best provided you can rapidly bring ambient air into the case. You will need to use both the rear fan and the bottom fan slots in this case as intakes if you want to try this out, otherwise you won't be able to bring enough ambient air into the case.

There are definitely trades offs to each, and which is best can depend on your particular setup. But in my experience, mixing intake/exhaust at the radiator level hasn't ever won out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm actually pondering if it's possible to place a 360mm radiator at the bottom of the Fractal Design Define 7 XL case using a Corsair SF750 PSU. I currently have a HX1000 with custom sleeved cables, but those can be reused on the SF750. It's going to be a tight fit.

So the plan is still having a bottom radiator as intake, a top radiator as exhaust, and front fans blowing cold air in to mix with the warm air. I think this is the best option for my HDD's, motherboard and it's components
 

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For what it's worth on the HDD near rad topic,
Both my previous setup a FIREBALL FX9590 @ 5117MHz for 2 yrs and current 2700X @ 4250/4430MHz have had up to 8 HDD's located just 3/4" behind my front rad for years now.
In my case even when running extended stress tests (which I do often) HDD temps never rise more than a couple degrees (34 - 37c) and are never greatly influenced.
Again, all 3 of my rads are push/intake with GT AP15's setup with a conservative mobo fan curve.

Even warm air while moving will still cool. You may have to move it a little faster which I do.
Those that see a temp increase should be looking into improving case air flow to rid the case of hot air rather than retain it.
 

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I've actually had better luck with the radiators functioning as exhaust in my build. When I set my 280mm and 420mm rads as intake, the warmed air from the rads is dumped inside the case, which is exhausted true, but just replaced by more warmed air. This caused the ambient air temp in the case to rise under load, which in turn passively rewarms the coolant as all the lines and reservoir are all internal.

When I set my rads to exhaust, and the rear fan and third radiator slot as intake. While the air in the case is warmed by DRAM and NMVE drives, the ambient termperature inside was lower in this config and so was coolant temp and overall system performance. Now I do have fewer passively cooled components, as both the motherboard VRMs and GPU backplate are active in my system.

So right now, you are using ambient air to cool on radiator and dumping it inside the case, where it is used by the second radiator, reducing it's efficiency.

If you go with double intake, now both radiators will be cooled with ambient air, but all the warmed air will be jettisoned into the case. This will raise the temps of anything cooled passively and will also passively heat your coolant in the tubing and radiators. You'll also have some positive pressure that will reduce airflow over the radiators.

If you go with double exhaust, both radiators will use air that has been passively heated by your other components, but jettison all warmed air out. This would probably be best provided you can rapidly bring ambient air into the case. You will need to use both the rear fan and the bottom fan slots in this case as intakes if you want to try this out, otherwise you won't be able to bring enough ambient air into the case.

There are definitely trades offs to each, and which is best can depend on your particular setup. But in my experience, mixing intake/exhaust at the radiator level hasn't ever won out.
If they are all exhaust and you have adequate fresh air intake that works too. Point was you don’t want to dump hot air in from one rad then pull it out though another. When I was in boat of waiting for GPU blocks the heat dumped in case from air cooling and getting sucked through my rads exhausting actually made the temp go up in the loop with little to no load on CPU. Loop temp is less with the blocks added later. Ran with front glass off until I got my blocks.
 

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It will work either way, the nail was hit on the head above. It's about being able to either bring enough ambient air in or being able to expel heated air. Unfortunately a lot of modern cases have a crap build for using with water cooling. They may have mounts for rads but are useless for expelling air.
 
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