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Unread 08-28-2007, 06:58 PM   #1
Cooling Neophyte
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Stateside
Posts: 17
New setup (sanity check)

Been reading up on the current state-o-things in order to figure out a good rig to put together.

So far, I have the following hardware:

Case: Antec 182
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad
Motherboard: ASUS P5N32E-SLI
CPU: Intel E6850
RAM: Corsair CM2X1024-8500C5D
Storage: Dual 150 GiB SATA HDDs
Optical: Ye Ole DVD+-RW/CD-+R drive. Nothing fancy.

The Antec case may prove a bit cramped, but I am not adverse to taking a Dremmel or other tools to it. Hanging a radiator outside is not out of the question - the case is more cramped than I thought, though on the back it does have two rubber-edged holes for the hoses.

The system's goal is to be a gaming rig. While the motherboard is quite capable of supporting dual video cards, I am not going there just yet. The video card choice currently teeters between the ATI HD 2900XT and the nVidia 8800GTS (640MiB RAM edition).
Despite it being a gaming rig, overclocking, if/when done, will be rather tame. Edit: eVGA only makes nVidia-based cards. Since eVGA is the only company which honors the warranty after one swaps the cooling components, the 8800GTS starts looking more attractive.

Being that this will be a gaming box, I can tolerate a certain level of noise with the max at 28 dBA. While this is not the dead-silent standard set by some members of this board, I feel I can live with that, although if based on advice and other factors, I end up with a box that runs 4C warmer but 2dBA quieter, I will have no hesitation making that trade off (proviso that the temperatures are within thermal limits of the components).

The "usual" suspects in WC: Koolance, ThermoChill (rads only), DangerDen, SwifTech, Innovatek, Asetek, PolarFlo, and Zalman. There are others, but things are more complicated by what is available in the U.S. versus Europe.

Per, ThermoChill radiators seems like a very viable option in the 2 or even 3-fan variety (PA120.2 and PA120.3) since they are optimized for low CFM fans and low CFM means less noise.

So, a proposed system would have to cool:

1) CPU
2) GPU (with possible capacity for two?)

I feel the case fans at their lowest setting (producing, according to the spec, 25dBA-o-noise) will provide sufficient airflow to move the air around the case and cool the heatpipe-based chipset of the motherboard as well as the already-heatspread-RAM DIMMs. I could be quite wrong about the RAM, though.

Please bear in mind that a) I'm a newbie (yeah, that one wasn't blatantly obvious) to the WC scene, and b) these are just ideas - I've bought no cooling hardware.

What complicates things a bit is the future-proofing I'd like to do in that if/when I go with a dual GPU setup, I'd like to cool it with a minimum of redesign. This may be a silly goal and I can easily be persuaded to abandon it.

Pump: SwifTech's MCP350 or 355 with their combination of head and flow rates seem to be quite favorably reviewed and they do not appear to dump a bunch of heat back into the loop.

Tubing: Tygon 1/2 ID with SwifTech's SmartCoils or similar

Hose Clamps: Worm drive. I might even go get some larger diameter tubing, cut it up and use them as a layer of protection between the clamp itself and the hose, allowing me to clamp things down reasonably well and not bite into the hose itself.

CPU WaterBlock: Danger Den's Copper TDX or RDX, SwifTech's Apogee GT (or even GTX + Copper housing for greater thermal capacity of the WB). Currently, of what is available in the U.S., the Apogee GTX is the leader.
ExodusFlow Altauna (tested by MadShrimps), while not available in the U.S., seems to be quite highly rated.

GPU WaterBlock: Depends on the video card. The choice of the card does have a minor dependency of which one can be cooled better. DangerDen makes one for the 8800GTS. Claims to be SLI-ready, which is a plus. DD also claims to have a nice block for the ATI card, with crossfire compatibility. SwifTech's solution will require a separate memory waterblock which is less than ideal. However, indicates that the MCW-60 does outperform the DD solution - possibly because RAM is air-cooled. One wonders what would be the net effect of using the MCW-60 + the RAM waterblock. In the same article, it is clear that in the SLI mode and waterblocks in series, the second card will get some seriously warmer (+10C) coolant. Perhaps running the waterblocks in parallel is a better solution?

Cooling Liquid: MCT-5 (

Others ThermalTake's CL-W0033 LCD temp probe?

Overall, it seems that SwifTech's products, albeit pricey, are consistently reviewed to be one of the best (taking into account the availability issue).

Comments? Suggestions? Ridicule? All is welcome, including where to RTFM.

Last edited by ulairi; 08-28-2007 at 07:11 PM.
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