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Old 03-28-2005, 11:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Water Cooling

Gah, I keep flip flopping my purchase decisions the longer I wait and now I'm (realistically) considering using water cooling for my CPU and GPU rather than air cooling.

However, after seeing Nubius' results with the Bigwater versus the Tornado, and after doing a bit of reading, I've been getting the same message that most watercooling kits are basically starter kits and offer pretty poor results, considering their pricetags.

Also, having no experience with water cooling and setting it up and picking out the right stuff, I have a couple of questions before I go about my research.

Is water cooling really worth it or would I be better off with just air cooling? I'm not particularily concerned with noise but having the computer in question 5 feet from my pillow does make a strong case. :P

Are they pretty easy to install? I'm pretty confident I'd have no trouble with it but the whole water factor does make me a bit nervous with something I've never handled before.

And a couple of recommendations would be nice. Basically what I'd need to go about effectively cooling a CPU and GPU. Keeping it under 300USD would be nice too.

edit - and I've just realized this is so much more appropriate for the overclocking forum...
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Old 03-29-2005, 12:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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the only way watercooling is better is if you get a good exspensive one. other than that aircooling is best unles you wanna spend 250$ on like an aquarius III or someting.
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Old 03-29-2005, 01:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Even the aquarius can easily be outperformed.

I've been hanging out at xtremesystems a lot gaara so I basically know whats the hot items among water cooling.

Is it worth it? If you get the right parts it sure as hell is. Not only will it of course be a lot quieter, you will most definitely get better temps. I have indeed set the bar high with the SLK-900A in my particular system, but I believe if I had done more research I could have beat it.

My tornado currently will let my CPU get up to anywhere between 42-45C full load depending on how how it is in the room.. This being at 1.9vcore

Is it easy to set up? You betcha....the key of course is doing a 24 hour leak test and being PATIENT most of all. Check and double check your connections. Use the right liquid (generally distilled water with some Zerex which can be found at places like autozone) can heighten your chances of your components still working even after a leak. Distilled water (as you may know) is non electrically conductive because all the crap that isn't water has been taken out. Zerex basically will preven rust, corrosion, algae, and bacteria from forming in your solution.

You'd want about 90% distilled water and 10% of zerex for a good balance.

Danger Den TDX Block
302 "Weapon Core" (Weapon is the name of the guy who mods a 2-302 1977 bonneville heatercore, yes when I say 1977 b-ville I mean one from a car hehe. He mods them with slightly bigger barbs than the normal biggest tubing which is 1/2" tubing. This provides more flow obviously through the core. He also custom CNC's the shrouds for two 120mm fans. You'd just go to xtremesystems.org and PM him for pricing and shipping info )
A Danger Den D4 pump or some people suggest the AquaXtreme 50Z because they say it's quieter, but just like amd vs intel theres people who will say the D4 is better others will say the 50z.

Some Tygon 1/2" tubing.
Already informed you about the water solution.
Few clamps
Build or buy your own reservoir OR you can get a T-line. Just like it sounds the hose splits into a "T" shape and thats basically your reservoir. Danger den sells 'Fill Ports' which can connect to the top of your case for easy filling of the T line. Takes a little bit longer to bleed the system (letting it run and get the bubbles out) but can save on room in your case obviously.

Maze4 GPU Block.

BTW For both block tops I suggest you go brass. Acetal can crack over time from heat expansion and then cooling down when you turn it off.

To Recap:

Danger Den TDX CPU block
MAZE4 GPU Block
Tygon 1/2" Tubing
Danger Den D4 pump (also called swiftech MCP650)
Reservoir
Radiator or Weapons heatercore

That bundle will be about $250, if you go for a regular smaller radiator it'll be about $225 but you'd get much better performance than weapons.

The GPU will decrease MASSIVELY in temps. It's not uncommon to see a 20C+ decrease in temperatures allowing for lovely overclocks.

Let me know if you need more info cause I may of left out something.

I will probably be going that route I listed above myself, but I've decided to get the 6800GT through the step up program instead of WC so that way I can get the MAZE4 that'll fit the 6800GT

Good luck
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Old 03-29-2005, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Awesome post Nubius, that basically answered everything in every way I could have ever wanted. I spent my morning class looking around xtremesystems and dangerden and my knowledge of watercooling has tripled.

It seems that most places agree that prepackaged kits aren't much good and you'd get better performance cheaper by assembling your own and I think I'm going to go the dangerden route, I've actually started picking out a couple parts.

This looks like a worthwhile investment anyways as I can transfer the pump , radiator and reservoir to future systems and just replace the GPU/CPU blocks.

I also think I'm gonna take a leaf out of your book and start frequenting xtremesystems as the info I took in there in such a short time is just WHOA. :P

So I'm VERY greatful for that awesome post on your behalf, answered all my questions more than I had ever hoped, hopefully we can run some benchies once I've gotten it all figured out.
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Old 03-29-2005, 04:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No problem

They had an 'easter egg hunt' a couple days ago. Fugger hid an image in a post somewhere within xtremesystems lol. Winner would get a DFI Ultra-D nforce4 motherboard an 1gb of OCZ PC3200 VX sticks. I wanted it so bad. It took forever for someone to find it. He hid it in a world record from like 2002 blah!

I think one of the admins will be olding a contest for a cascade unit Chilly1 made! That'd be nice.

I got about 300 posts there. Anywhere from overclocking to modded BIOS's, to volt mods, to water and air cooling I feel like a complete noob there haha. Tech-forums is great for learning the basics but xtremesystem is a great place for learning everything else beyond that. So many talented and smart people there it's freakin amazing.
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Old 03-29-2005, 05:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Neat, I figure I'll join there but mostly just read for a while and pick up on stuff, I do want to enter the workforce with something along these lines so I figure learning as much as I can as early as I can always serves as a benefit.

Ah, one more question before I forget. What's the power consumption of the pumps? I'm not particularily worried as I'm aiming for a 520 watt PSU but I'm a lunatic when it comes to everything, I have to make sure everything will work troublefree. :P

Ahhh, and reservoir size, I know that the bigger the reservoir the more time water has before it gets pumped through again, any idea as to what would be a good sized reservoir?
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