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Old December 14, 2010, 03:07 PM
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Default Lots of questions!

Alright, well, I'm a bit new here at HWC, but I'm quite active over on the NCIX forums under the name Jonathon.

I've decided that in the new year, I'll be water cooling. I've done a lot of research over the past month, which has lead me to get a couple components already. I do however, have some questions for the HWC water cooling community.

I'm running an i5 750 right now, along with a GTX 470. The plan is to move to an i7 870, due to slightly better multi threaded performance, and I do like "playing around" with things like virtualization and video encoding. Having those extra threads should help a fair bit. I picked up a few used components over the past few days, namely an MCP355 w/ EK x-top revision 2, some Bitspower true silver 1/2" barbs, and a TFC X-changer 360. The rest of my components will be purchased in January, unless I come across any good deals in the time being.

My planned purchase for January will be an EK Supreme LT water block, tubing, and a reservoir of some sort, along with some hose clamps.

All of my components are currently residing in a HAF 932, and I do hope to keep it that way for now. I also have 6x Noctua NF-P12s that I plan on mounting to the radiator in push/pull. So, onto the questions...

1. For the Supreme LT, would it be wiser to get the nickel plated version, or just stick with the copper?

2. Would the Feser 360 handle the heat load of a 4+GHz i7 870 AND a GTX 470 with a full cover block?

3. Tubing. Suggestions on brands, and since I'm using 1/2" barbs, I would assume 1/2" tubing, but I've read of better fits and whatnot with smaller tubing. Would 7/16" or 3/8" work better? I'd also like to keep the tubing black or white. It'll go with the P55 FTW.

4. Would push/pull Noctuas perform alright on the radiator, or should I shop for different fans? I'd like to keep sound to a minimum, or at least keep the sound signature as close to what it is now as possible.

5. How would one mount push/pull fans on a radiator? From what I can tell, the radiator only comes with enough screws for 3 fans. Would there be a specific place to order them, or would I be able to obtain compatible screws from a hardware store?

6. Reservoir suggestions? I'd like to keep the loop as clean looking as possible.

7. Angled fittings. Is it alright to use one or two right angle adapters in a loop, or would it cut flow too much?

8. Mounting for the MCP355. I have read that it does produce a fair bit of heat. What would be the best way to mount this while keeping vibrations to a minimum?

Thanks a lot in advance, I just want to make sure everything goes smoothly for my first loop.
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Old December 14, 2010, 04:04 PM
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1. Nickel plated should help prevent corrosion (so it looks better) but really shouldn't effect performance at all.

2. No worries there.

3. I like Primoflex ProLRT. I run 3/8" ID 5/8" OD. It's fairly flexible and doesn't kink.

4. Which model of Noctuas? NF-P12s? Otherwise I'd suggest the Gentle Typhoons.

5. Should be able to get more screws at any local hardware store. They may not be phillips though. For example I have hex-bolts for my fans. Just pay attention to the thread type of the radiator and the length (don't want to puncture anything).

7. I don't see any concern. I have some in my loop. 45's are more ideal than 90's though if you can make it work.

6+8. XSPC - Performance PC Cooling Nice compact solution IMO. I have the older model which is a shared-reservoir, dual-pump design. Leak free thus far.
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Old December 14, 2010, 04:45 PM
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1. Whichever is cheaper honestly, or whichever you like in terms of aesthetics

2. Yes the feser can do that easily

3. There's no better fit with different tubing, just easier to organize at times. But with the popularity of giant cases these days, it's all up to user preference. There are some that prefer using 3/8 on 1/2 barbs that you don't need clips to secure (since the tubings are so tight on there). In terms of brands..I've used both primochill LRT and Feser. They are both quite good

4. Noctuas would do, but I recommend something like Gelid Wing12 for better performance

5. Essentially find or buy another set of screws for 3 fans. and bolt them on the other side. You could go to home hardware stores for the Feser screws, since I remember they were M3 threaded. Just make sure you find the right length for your fans and don't penetrate the channels.

6. Utilitarian: Swiftech Micro Res. midground: EK Tube res (choose a size). Highend: FrozenQ Liquid Fusion res. Liquid cooling reservoirs

7. You could use a couple of right angles without killing flow. Try not to use them too much, and considering 45 degree adapters when you can.

8. Slap some foam on the bottom (neoprene or whatever), then screw it to the case as you usually would. 355 doesn't produce a significant amount of heat.
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Old December 14, 2010, 05:35 PM
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1. Copper is a significantly better conductor of heat than nickel. That being said, the "nickel" waterblocks are generally copper with a thin layer of nickel on the outside to give it the chrome appearance. The layer of nickel is so thin that it really doesn't make a noticeable difference. That being said, I know it is more money, but the Supreme HF is a much better block than the LT. Check out the reviews on Skinee labs Skinnee Labs | EK Supreme HF

2. Yes.

3. I like the Primochill Primoflex Pro LRT as it bends well and has built in anti microbial properties. Oh, and it's UV active! NCIX.com - Buy Primochill Primoflex Pro LRT UV Red 1/2IN ID 3/4IN OD Tubing (10 Feet) - PFLEXP10-34-R In Canada.4. Noctuas are great. Check out this chart on Skinnee labs. Once you are over 1400 rpm ish with your fans, the decrease in temperature is really marginal. I run 1000RPM fans on my rads for a nice quiet PC. Skinnee Labs | Triple Radiator Comparison V2

5. You can get them at a local hardware store. The TFC Xchanger apparently uses M3(metric) screws, whereas most radiators use 6-32(Imperial). Just take a screw down to the hardware store and they will match it for you.

6. You need to decide if you want a Bay mounted reservoir, or a tube style reservoir. Then you can make a choice. In a 932, I think a bay mounted res might be easier...

7. 45s, Ts, and 90s are fine. a 90* in 1/2" tubing is approximately the same restriction as 20" of straight tubing, so a few of them won't hurt a thing. Most of the restriction will come from your waterblocks.

8. Either a pump/reservoir combo unit, or some double sided foam tape. You can generally find it at a hardware store for sealing around doors and windows and such, or in the tape section.
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Old December 14, 2010, 06:00 PM
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1. Nickle is a cosmetic upgrade. Enless you're doing something unwise like putting aluminum in the water, in which case it may help protect against corrosion. But you're not putting aluminum in your loop, right?

2&4. Radiator performance is strongly determined by fans, but if you fill that triple with P12's, you shouldn't have any trouble at all with that heatload.

3. You can drop down to 7/16" ID tubing and get it on with elbow grease, but 3/8" is more trouble than it's worth when you've got 1/2" fitting. Neither size is an excuse to go without clamps, I should add.

5. Most screw sizes can be had at a hardware store, although sometimes you need to go to a big one that can afford to stock less common sizes. Double-check any screws you buy, to make sure they're not going to hit one of the radiator tubes.

6. Depends a lot on how everything's laid out. Flexible (and reasonably priced) stand-alone reservoirs include Swiftech's MicroRes and EK's tube-style reservoirs.

7. Angled adaptors aren't big issues for flow until you've start going nuts with them. If you need a couple to get the tubing routed, no worries.

8. The MCP355's isn't particularly hot (pulls ~18W of power) but it sheds an above-average percentage of that heat into the air (instead of into the water). Ideally, you'd have a small amount of case airflow going over the pump, but it's not essential. The important thing is to not mount it on anything rubbery or gel-like that could seal off the bottom surface entirely. Porous foam and layers of felt are both good options for vibration isolation, I've found. Another option, depending on your layout, is to suspend it from the inlet tubing from a reservoir.
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Old December 14, 2010, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for the help guys.
Although the MCP355 does currently have a very nice top on it, unless I can think of another way to achieve the clean look I want, I'll probably be going with JD's suggestion for a res/pump mount. It seems pretty clean. I'm going to consider the EK Supreme HK block once January rolls around, depending on funds. I'll also probably chuck a full cover block for the 470 onto the order as well. Since I can't seem to find anything other than Swiftech 7/16th, I'll probably go with the 1/2" Primochill tubing in black. I should only need a single 90 degree fitting, and two 45 degrees as well, from what I have sketched out. How's this plan look anyway? (Mind my pro MS Paint skills and awesome camera phone. )

http://i1102.photobucket.com/albums/.../thesketch.jpg

My goal is a clean looking loop with short runs.
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Old December 14, 2010, 08:58 PM
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You probably won't need the 45 on the GPU or the 90 on the reservoir. Depends on the tubing I suppose, but those bends should be feasible. No harm in having them on-hand though just in case.

Also just for reference, the reservoir is about half the length of the bay. That's why I'm saying tubing alone may suffice.
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Old December 14, 2010, 10:27 PM
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I can't see those 45's being necessary, unless there's a clearance issue between the rad and a bay device. The 90 probably isn't needed either.

Another routing option would be res/bay >> CPU >> Radiator (turned around with ports at back of case) >> GPU >> res/bay. The change in loop order is largely meaningless, as the water isn't going to vary by more 1-2 degrees in any part of the loop, even at absolute maximum burn. And you definitely wouldn't need any elbows to pull it off.
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Old December 14, 2010, 10:50 PM
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The idea behind the fittings was more of a cosmetic thing. Although, with adding in that full cover block for the 470, I don't think it'd be wise to grab them yet... Maybe I'll pick them up if I decide to go to compression fittings down the road.

I don't have a very large window, so I really shouldn't be worrying about cosmetics anyway.

Thanks for the input guys.
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Old January 1, 2011, 11:55 PM
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New question!

On video card blocks, does the hole you use for inlet/outlet matter, or are they pretty much interchangeable?
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