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CPU/GPU Cooling - Air Or Water?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by feetpiece, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. feetpiece

    feetpiece Unforgiven

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    So my recent purchase of a new vid/card and the mysterious death of my MB have got my long dormant interest in PC building peaked. I picked up a Refurb MSI board and started playing with their CoreCenter, OC'ing my P4 2.4C. She'll run happily at 2700MHZ but anything beyond that causes a system crash. My temps range from 25C to 42C depending on what I'm doing and was wondering what you guy's thought. I've got a Thermalright SP-94 sitting on top of my Proc with a crappy 80mm fan which I plan on replacing anyway.
     
  2. RaiderRodney

    RaiderRodney Just Win Baby

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    Same processor that I have...same OC as well. What kind of case do you have? Need good airflow even when you aren't oc'n. I went from the OEM case to an Antec and dropped about 4-5 degrees. Everything seems to run better since then. And what kind of memory? Memory is very important when oc'n. I have 1.5 gig but it is crappy PC2100 which I think limits me badly on my OC :( Think I will get OCZ when I upgrade.

    It may just be me but I will most likely never use water cooling. I realize that if you are extra careful that you would be fine...but things do go bad. When a fan goes out is one thing...but if you have a water leak :upeyes:

    Excellent choice on the Thermalright SP-94...it will be my next cooler when I build ;) I have an Artic Cooler on mine atm.

    I would stick with air, make sure you got good airflow, think about getting some good oc'n memory if you don't have it already. Just my opinion though.
     

  3. RaiderRodney

    RaiderRodney Just Win Baby

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    What video card did you go with? You gonna get an afterarket cooler for it as well?

    I picked up and Artic Silencer for my X800Pro and makes a world of difference oc'n it ;)
     
  4. feetpiece

    feetpiece Unforgiven

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    RaiderRodney, thanks for the reply - I've got 512MB(256X2) of HyperX DDR400 in a Lian-Li case. I'd just ordered an FX-5500 but was going to return it to pick up an NX-6600 when my old MB died for some mysterious reason.

    I really don't need a water cooling system, I'm just curious as to the benefits. Noise reduction is about the only real plus I can find given my set-up w/o going to a Full ATX Tower - mines a mid.
     
  5. RaiderRodney

    RaiderRodney Just Win Baby

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    Dang....I love Lian-Li cases as well. You have excellent taste :supergrin:

    Well...never used water, but, of coarse lower temps would be the advantage. Cost, risk, and level of difficulty would be the downside. Not sure if you would get that big of a noise improvement because most water-cooled systems I have seen still have case fans, PS fans, graphic card fans, etc.
     
  6. feetpiece

    feetpiece Unforgiven

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    Thanks, I've had her for about 4.5 years and think it was well worth the $100. I'm looking at the water cooling as more of a could I do it thing rather than out of necessity. While it is doable in my current case it would probably w/o better if I had a bigger one.
    I really like the idea of a large external radiator with a decent pump for passive/quiet cooling.


    In the short term I'll get a couple of good variable fans and dress up the cables in my case until I can afford to go all out.
     
  7. Alex_Knight

    Alex_Knight

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    Water cool your CPU and GPU, and do active (air) on the chip sets. That's the easiest and most effective if you don't OC your box.

    You should be able to acheive 40c and below easily, keeping in mind that water cooling is only as good as your ambient temperature.

    Get the good stuff. DangerDen blocks for both the CPU and GPU. Go all 1/2 tubing.

    A pump rated at 5 feet of head should be plenty, and use a heater core for your radiator.

    I'll post pics soon of my recent water cooled 4800+ system.

    All 1/2 tygon, CPU/GPU/Chipset and I'm considering swapping out my PSU or modding my PSU for water as well.

    PM Bro if you have any questions on setting this up.
     
  8. feetpiece

    feetpiece Unforgiven

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    Alex, thanks for the reply - I was begining to wonder if you were gonna show up!

    I've been, as I often do, reading as much as possible on the subject. At first I was considering one of those stand alone kits by Thermaltake and such but the more I read the more I'm interested in putting the puzzle together myself.

    I really like the idea of mounting an external radiator like the Innovatek Konvekt-O-Matic on the side of my case with their Innovatek Konvektor MAXI Booster Kit . This would, in theory allow me to passively/quietly cool the system until I started heating things up.

    On the other hand I also like the idea of having a Danger Den Dual 80mm Radiator fill in the stock front fans and keep the entire thing internal. The problem with that is where to cram the pump and resevoir while maintaining good airflow through the case.

    I'm still a ways off from starting this and may get a Lian Li PC-65B to replace my PC-7 which has less room.
     
  9. Alex_Knight

    Alex_Knight

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    Hey Bro,

    Those are good things to keep in mind.

    One important thing to remember is to provide adequate airflow over your hard drives. So whether or not you use a Lian Li case with a drive cage or one where the drive cage sits on the bottom in front of a 120 mm fan, keep in mind your space requirements for your pump and radiators as well as ventilation for the hard drives.

    Having everything internal is great for mobility. With that said, and like you pointed out, you run out of space really fast.
    I would lean towards the external radiator. Heck, mount it on top of or on the side of your case. There are guys that just leave the radiator and fans leaning on the desk or on the floor next to the PC case. lol

    This is a great little pump that doesn't take up much space.
    [​IMG]
    Danger Den CSP-MAG 12 Volt Pump

    I used this one in my last build.
    [​IMG]
    12V DD-D5

    A couple things to keep in mind / suggestions.

    1. Use a reservoir. It makes bleeding the system easier.

    2. The pumps appear noisy until you fully bleed the system. Once all the air is out of the circut, you have quiet goodness. :supergrin:

    3. Install a fill port on the top of your case. I'll get you some picks of my last build so you can see what it looks like. Give me a day or two.

    4. Use 1/2 tubing. Yeah, the smaller stuff is easier to work with, but your looking for truly effective cooling, and mass quantities of water is the way to go.

    5. Use a radiator that suppors 2 - 120 mm fans. I've done a single before and ended up switching to DoubleWide. :supergrin: I'll get you a picture of the single setup as well so you can see what it looks like.


    The blocks I used.

    [​IMG]
    RBX CPU Block for AMD

    [​IMG]
    NV 78 GPU and ram block.

    [​IMG]
    Chipset block for the ASUS A8N motherboard.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Res and fill port. Pick a color. :supergrin:


    Talk to you soon.
     
  10. feetpiece

    feetpiece Unforgiven

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    Alex, what about using an external radiator as a resevoir in conjunction to a fanned radiator?

    Kinda like this:

    [​IMG]

    How much fluid is requierd for decent performance?
     
  11. Alex_Knight

    Alex_Knight

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    You only need enough coolant to fill your water circut.

    Mine uses just under a quart. :)


    Cool case btw. External radiator mounted on that will look cool.
     
  12. Alex_Knight

    Alex_Knight

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    OK, First pic is showing a fill port. Yes, I drilled a hole in a $250 Lian Li.

    :laughabove: :laughabove: :laughabove:

    [​IMG]
    You can see the reservior below the fill port.



    The Reservoir and Graphics cards:
    [​IMG]

    Pump / Hoses / Wires / LOL

    [​IMG]
    I didn't have a shot of the radiator, but it's below a tray on the bottom side of the PC Case.


    This box is acutally taken apart at the moment. I'm doing a lot of clean up on it.


    SLi performance is awesome.
     
  13. Alex_Knight

    Alex_Knight

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    PM me if you have any questions. :)
     
  14. feetpiece

    feetpiece Unforgiven

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    Alex, thanks for the pic's - looks crouded in there;)

    PM will arrive shortly:cool:
     
  15. Alex_Knight

    Alex_Knight

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    Yeah, it's a little crowded.

    It won't look that bad when I'm finished with it. :)