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Old July 16, 2009, 07:55 AM
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Default Watercooling Questions...

Hey i just had some questions about how to go about to setup my future wc'd rig. I read the guides on here and overclocking.net.

1. What are the general cost to set up a solid watercooling rig? i'm assuming between $300-700. Where should most the money be put towards? Are there any major manufacturers that i should keep a close eye on?

2. For pumps, I know that Low Flow = High Head Pressure and vice-versa. What is a good ratio or range (if any for that matter) that i should keep in mind when picking the right pump?

3. Any specific anti-corrosives that people use? Is there any sort of particular concentration that i should look for?
Also, when mixing the anti-corrosive with the distilled/de-ionized water, on overclocking.net they stated that there should be 95% water/ 5% addative per gallon/litre of water (though that was back in 2004). Do the same rules still apply or is there a range that would be sufficient enough to protect my setup?

4. For tubing, is Tygon worth the premium compared to clearflex or any other vinyl tubing? Will there be a significant temperature change depending on the tubing used?
In terms of the ID of the tubing, could i use 15/32" tubing (if there is such a thing) or would that be pushing it and that i would i just be better of to go with 3/8" or 1/2" tubing?

5. For clamps, are their any that are more superior than others in terms of sealence and longevity? (between plastic/nylon, worm drive, and spring clamps) Has anyone had issues with the worm drive cutting into the tubing causing leaks?

6. Are relay switches manditory?

7. T-line or Resevoir? What do you guys use/have used and why? I am aware that bleeding T-line setups do take a bit longer.

8. In regards to the prep before buidling, on xtremesystems they suggested that to get a clean setup that you should:
Quote:
1. Flush the radiator with distilled water. I suggest getting 2-3 2.5gallon jugs and just start pouring about 2.5-3gallons of distilled through the rad.
2. Pour Distilled or De-Ionized water into radiator. - Pour until full, drain and repeat. Shaking the radiator when it is half full of water will help. Repeat this 3-5 times.
3. Following the same procedure as in step 2, repeat with vinegar.
4. Fill the radiator with vinegar, and let it sit for appx. 1 hour.
5.Flush the radiator, following the procedure of step 2. Repeat Step 3 as well.
6.Repeat Step 4.
7.Repeat Step 2.
Is 2-3 2.5gallon jugs of water REALLY neccessary?

9. Is a filter necessary or is it more of a personal preferance?


Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old July 16, 2009, 08:03 AM
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On i'm sure i'll get a few questions about this...
YES I will be gaming. YES I will be overclocking. YES I am willing to go through the headache of setting it up.
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Old July 16, 2009, 08:47 AM
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Are you only planning on cooling your CPU?

If so, get a freezone elite or a boreas(if you have 500bucks) and save the hassle, plus get better temps (imo)
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Old July 16, 2009, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRG06 View Post
1. What are the general cost to set up a solid watercooling rig? i'm assuming between $300-700. Where should most the money be put towards? Are there any major manufacturers that i should keep a close eye on?
Your price range is right assuming you are cooling your CPU and GPU only. Your blocks will cost you a lot, but remember, all the fittings/tubing and other misc. things add up like crazy, so buget wisely. With my rads and blocks in my setup, the LC costs are roughly $1000.

As for manufacturers, avoid ThermalTake and Koolance like the plague.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRG06 View Post
2. For pumps, I know that Low Flow = High Head Pressure and vice-versa. What is a good ratio or range (if any for that matter) that i should keep in mind when picking the right pump?
Don't over-comlpicate this selection, as you really don't have much to choose from to begin with. A swiftech 355 or 655 with a custom top will be more than enough for your setup...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRG06 View Post
3. Any specific anti-corrosives that people use? Is there any sort of particular concentration that i should look for?
Forget anti-corrosives, you should run distilled water with silver coil rather than any additive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRG06 View Post
4. For tubing, is Tygon worth the premium compared to clearflex or any other vinyl tubing? Will there be a significant temperature change depending on the tubing used?
In terms of the ID of the tubing, could i use 15/32" tubing (if there is such a thing) or would that be pushing it and that i would i just be better of to go with 3/8" or 1/2" tubing?
I've only ever run Tygon, if you're worried about a premium for tubing, then you can't afford to go with water... cost difference is minimal. I do recommend opaque tubing though, helps prevent nasties from growing in the aqua :)

3/8 vs 1/2 ID should be based on your setup... if you are running some tight bends and/or have limitted room in your case, go for the 3/8ID w/ 5/8OD -- if you have the realestate and a simple loop, go 1/2ID.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRG06 View Post
5. For clamps, are their any that are more superior than others in terms of sealence and longevity? (between plastic/nylon, worm drive, and spring clamps) Has anyone had issues with the worm drive cutting into the tubing causing leaks?
Compression fittings or bust! :) Way cleaner, and easier to install (pricey though).

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRG06 View Post
6. Are relay switches manditory?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRG06 View Post
7. T-line or Resevoir? What do you guys use/have used and why? I am aware that bleeding T-line setups do take a bit longer.
I vote reservoir, cleaner and easier to manage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRG06 View Post
8. In regards to the prep before buidling, on xtremesystems they suggested that to get a clean setup that you should:
...

The vinegar idea is stupid, actually, #8 as a whole is retarded.

Pour hot distilled water into your rad, shake the bitch, and drain it... repeat until the water comes out clean a couple times. You'll see little bits in the water on the first several flushes, so just keep going until it's spotless.

I used 8 litres to clean my 3 rads (2x120, 1x240), flushing each roughly 7/8 times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRG06 View Post
9. Is a filter necessary or is it more of a personal preferance?
Preference, I wouldn't bother.


My keys to a successful loop are simple: Keep the tubing routes as short as possible and don't believe everything you read, especially on XS. :)

G'luck.
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Last edited by Liu Kang; July 16, 2009 at 09:49 AM.
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Old July 16, 2009, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
1. What are the general cost to set up a solid watercooling rig? i'm assuming between $300-700. Where should most the money be put towards? Are there any major manufacturers that i should keep a close eye on?
The noteable ones to stay away from are Thermaltake and Innovatek, and anyone else who's components which see aluminum in contact with water.
Quote:
2. For pumps, I know that Low Flow = High Head Pressure and vice-versa. What is a good ratio or range (if any for that matter) that i should keep in mind when picking the right pump?
There isn't actually any particular ratio, but the behaviour of the majority of watercooling systems care far more about the head pressure than the maximum flow, so you should be paying more attention to that. There is a fairly small selection of pumps that virtually everyone is using these days (at least, in N.America), and the best candidates available right now include the Laing DDC and D5 pumps (some are rebranded for other companies), and the Danger Den CPX-Pro pump.
Quote:
3. Any specific anti-corrosives that people use? Is there any sort of particular concentration that i should look for? Also, when mixing the anti-corrosive with the distilled/de-ionized water, on overclocking.net they stated that there should be 95% water/ 5% addative per gallon/litre of water (though that was back in 2004). Do the same rules still apply or is there a range that would be sufficient enough to protect my setup?
If your system doesn't have any aluminum in contact with the coolant, corrosion should be a non-issue, making an anti-corrosive unnecessary. Copper, brass, bronze, nickel, stainless steel, silver and gold are all safe. However, you'll want something to prevent algae build-up.
Quote:
4. For tubing, is Tygon worth the premium compared to clearflex or any other vinyl tubing? Will there be a significant temperature change depending on the tubing used?
In terms of the ID of the tubing, could i use 15/32" tubing (if there is such a thing) or would that be pushing it and that i would i just be better of to go with 3/8" or 1/2" tubing?
You'll see very little difference in temperatures, based on the tubing. 1/2" will offer minimal flow restriction, although you honestly don't give up very much with 7/16" or 3/8" tubing (the other common sizes), and they can be much easier to route inside a case. The specialized tubing's main advantages are that they can make tighter bends without kinking. Tygon is good, but there are a number of other options there, such as the offerings from Primochill and Feser. The former is notable in that it's anti-microbial, which addresses the last concern in #3, without any other additives. Regardless, stay away from hardware store vinyl tubing, which is stiff, bends very poorly, and has a lot of memory.
Quote:
5. For clamps, are their any that are more superior than others in terms of sealence and longevity? (between plastic/nylon, worm drive, and spring clamps) Has anyone had issues with the worm drive cutting into the tubing causing leaks?
If you cut into a tube with worm drives, you messed up pretty bad. It's not impossible, but you have to torque it pretty seriously. Springs clamps can work, but the wire types CAN cut into tubing, and the band style may or may not apply enough pressure. Plastic ones work, but I personally find them a royal pain to get off without destroying the clamp.
Quote:
6. Are relay switches manditory?
Not needed at all, unless you have a component in your system that isn't powered by the computer's PSU.
Quote:
7. T-line or Resevoir? What do you guys use/have used and why? I am aware that bleeding T-line setups do take a bit longer.
That's basically it. Bleeding ease and time, and appearance. A T-line will offer slightly more flow, but there really isn't a huge difference between the two. If you're extremely tight for space, a t-line might help there. But otherwise, I'd definitely suggest a reservoir.
Quote:
8. In regards to the prep before buidling, on xtremesystems they suggested that to get a clean setup that you should:

Is 2-3 2.5gallon jugs of water REALLY neccessary?
You should flush all your components out, and I'd personally suggest opening the cooling blocks to ensure that there aren't any bits of rubber gasket stuck in the pins, which happens occasionally. But the vast majority of horror stories of endless flushes come from the Thermochill line of radiators which are horrible for coming with unflushed flux in them. The radiators from other companies such as Swiftech, Hardware Labs, Feser, XSPC, etc seem to be just fine. Fill them with distilled water, let it sit for an hour or two, then dump it out into a pail. Hold the pail up to the light and see if you can see any visible flakes in the water. If so, repeat. If not, you're fine.
Quote:
9. Is a filter necessary or is it more of a personal preferance?
If you need a filter at all, something's wrong. All it does is create restriction, and there shouldn't be anything for it to catch in the first place.

Hope that covers all the questions.
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Old July 16, 2009, 01:34 PM
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They summed it up fairly well, the only thing I would add is a note about tubing, I have used almost every brand of tubing but am by no means all knowing, this is just my experience with each type for your reference:

Primochill - My personal favourite, very bendable, doesn't kink overly and is fairly cheap. The colours(barring the black which looks more of a dusky grey) are also fairly nice.
Feser - Pretty good, more selection for colours but all the tubing I have used of theirs has been somewhat rigid in comparison with Primochill/Tygon. Feser red is also not the best I have every seen but again: this varies from lot to lot.
Tygon - Still fairly good, pretty much the best imo for clear tubing in terms of clarity, also very very soft and bendable but it clouds like a motherf!@#er. Smaller sizes I found have less bend radius(I run 3/8-1/2)
Masterkleer - Cheap and good bend radius but not very clear at all imo.

Given a choice I would go with the Feser, simply because Dazmode has it available dirt cheap in his store in a lot of sizes and a lot of colours, can't really go wrong.


With respects to producers to look out for, Thermaltake is trash, just pass it right by. Koolance has some serious quality control issues but otherwise their products ARE a decent option if the look strikes you.
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Old July 16, 2009, 01:52 PM
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for cleaning radiators, i dont see why you cant just rince it with normal tap water a few times untill there are no visible chunks in the water, then rincing it once or twice to get rid of 'tap water residue'. Thats how glassware are cleaned in chem labs and its not like tap water is going to destroy your radiator.
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Old July 16, 2009, 02:11 PM
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Hey thanks for the reply guys. Really appreciate it.
So the general gist that i'm getting is that i shouldn't cheap out on anything unless i want to suffer the consequence.
As MpG stated in regards to preventing algae growth, how much should be added per litre. Should i still follow the 95% water/5% algae killer. Or will just a few drops be good enough?
Thanks for clearing up the confusion around the cleaning process. I really didn't feel like having to sanitize the whole damn thing.
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Old July 16, 2009, 02:14 PM
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My experience in watercooling is quite small but there is a bit of my experience:

I really like compression fitting, they are durable, reliable and I never got a leak with it.

You could use distilled water or non-conductive liquid, it depend on your leak tolerence.
I know people that got really complex watercooling systems and they prefer to have non-conductive coolant. There people are looking more for silent PC than performance.

Other use distilled one for beter performance

And other mix them ^^

Make your choice for your need and have fun!
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Old July 16, 2009, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRG06 View Post
As MpG stated in regards to preventing algae growth, how much should be added per litre. Should i still follow the 95% water/5% algae killer. Or will just a few drops be good enough?
You'll have to look at the instructions for whatever product you use, but be careful not to overdose. Many algaecide's will make your water more acidic, which isn't a good thing. Many of them only require a single drop or two per litre, especially the ones with copper-based active ingredients.
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