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General Liquid/Water Cooling Discussion For discussion about Full Cooling System kits, or general cooling topics. Keep specific cooling items like pumps, radiators, etc... in their specific forums.

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Unread 05-04-2007, 09:05 AM   #1
kinghong1970
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Default Taking the plunge into watercooling...

hey guys, i am sure you heard tons and tons of intro from newbies like myself, going for water cooling for the first time...

well, i figured i just take the plunge and try it out first and then pray to God that it works.

it seems that there is a un-discovered universe of watercooling suppliers, materials and information. in regard to this, i've yet to successfully launch a rocket so i hope that i can learn from you pro's without testing your patience...

as a starter set, i purchased a Swiftech H20-120 GT Premium Kit. i have to admit, my decision was based on some friendly recommendations but more due to my lack of knowledge of better individual parts.

plus, i've dedicated my bro's computer as the offical first water cooled system (guinea pig/victim) by me...

just a couple of questions i have are as follows:

1) vendors:
i am in USA and i've been told to go look at some of these vendors in the future...
Petra's Tech Shop, SVC.com, SidewinderComputers, FrozenCPU... are there any other vendors you can recommed?

2) biocide
is it highly recommended that i use a form of biocide such as this? http://www.petrastechshop.com/pepcobi1.html
or even the swiftech provided one such as this?http://www.frozencpu.com/products/21...tml?tl=g30c103
or by using distilled water or any form of coolants such as http://www.frozencpu.com/products/55...tml?tl=g30c103
work for me?

3) coolants
i am not sure here... the advertisements tell how good it is that you use THEIR coolants... some vendors void their warranty if you mix coolants... i on the other hand, pls be a tad understanding here, choose coolants based on color... i have purchased a red coolant i linked above, strictly based on aesthetics... any opinions?

4) tubes
3/8 ID, 1/4 ID, 1/2 ID... well, i am partial to 3/8" ID and please note, at the moment, i am doing this as a hobby and will not go into OC'ing in the near future... is 3/8" ID sufficient?

5) pumps
yes, i have read about certain standards and head pressure pumps need to have... my watercooling loop is just to one CPU and not going into GPU or chipset atm. and for simplicity's sake, i hope the kit has appropriate pump for my needs. in future, what are key aspects of pumps i should be looking out for?

6) radiators & cooling blocks
there is a ton of reading to do here... and i am told to stay away from Aluminum... hence i should try to stay with cooper/brass on all my parts, correct?

8) cooling blocks
i see some advertisements show off how shiny their blocks are polished... i also remember a term called "lapping" where you take hobby grade sand/polish papers and create your own shinny surface... the Swiftech Apogee does not have such a shine... how important is it? or has thermal paste advanced so much that it is not as essential?

sorry for asking too many questions.
as you can see, i am very excited and motivated to try this.

as soon as my bro's system "lives" then i want to venture off into the next step...

thank you in advance for your patience.

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Unread 05-04-2007, 11:20 AM   #2
JamesAvery22
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into watercooling...

1) vendors:
I second the ones you already listed. I'm not really partial to any vendor. Actually I really don't care. Just make sure they have good ratings on resellerratings.com, others have bought from them in the past, and they actually have what you want. There are a lot of little shops that randomly have popular items. Not fair to make a list when you can't include all those

2) biocide:
The kit you bought comes with swifty's coolant. IIRC, someone else please back me up, thats an all in one package. Glycol + algicide or whatever. You don't need anything else. If you were using distilled + antifreeze then you should add some iodine.

3) coolants:
blood red looks kool Personally I'd never buy "pc water cooling" coolant. Waste of money IMHO. Plenty of different colors of AF. I'd rather use propylene glycol as opposed to ethanol. Propylene is the "environment safe" kind with pretty pictures of dogs and birds on the bottle. Course I've never found non-green

4) tubes:
What kind of tubing you should use depends on a lot of things. What components you have(all 3/8"?), how much space you have to work with(very crammed micro-atx?), how much do you want to spend, etc. 3/8" is generally fine. Sure there will be some lone scenario where a guy's pump just dies at some specific pressure and the added resistance 3/8" ID tubing gives over 1/2" kills it. But with the mcp355 you have IWWAI. In terms of brand look for tygon r3603. r3600 I think is the black stuff which looks pretty kool.

5) pumps:
There is a huge thread on pumps here written by the master, Cathar. To make a very long and involved story short the mcp355 is a great pump. Even with a CPU, GPU, NB block that pump would be fine. If you are bored look up the mod to the MCP350/DDC pump(same casing as the MCP355/DDC+) to increase the inlet size.

6) radiators & cooling blocks:
Having all copper/brass parts simplifies things. Contrary to what people usually blurt out having an Al rad or block is fine. That just requires you to be anal on coolant. Namely the ratio of glycol to water has to be higher. I ran a copper block and a copper rad on a PC for a year plus, just had 20% AF and 20% distilled and it was fine.
Unless you are looking for a weird rad(huge car rad/oil cooler or zalmans reserator) its pretty rare to find an aluminum rad that you can actually use dimensions wise.
As for block performance you can sift through this forum. Tons of great reviews. Theres even a interactive performance graph on procooling.com that lists a lot of popular blocks.

8) cooling blocks:
DO NOT LAP YOUR SWIFTECH BLOCK!!! The reflective quality of blocks means 0. Its a good guesstimator but what you should be concerned with is how flat it is. Swiftech's machining is top notch. I don't think anyone makes blocks as flat as they do.
If you make your own blocks or heatsinks for other stuff read up on lapping. Again, with lapping your goal is to make the surface very flat, not shinny.

Definitely feel free to ask any questions at all.
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Last edited by JamesAvery22; 05-04-2007 at 11:27 AM.
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Unread 05-04-2007, 11:37 AM   #3
Brians256
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into watercooling...

1) I use manufacturer websites such as http://www.dangerden.com, http://www.swiftnets.com/, and http://www.cooltechnica.com/. Then, I use local stores like http://www.enuinc.com and http://www.iguanamicro.com for misc cooling parts.

2) I don't use biocide by itself. I just use a high percentage of antifreeze. It works well to reduce biological growth and galvanic corrosion. I use 1/3 antifreeze because I'm willing to trade off performance for maintenance. I didn't change my coolant for 4 years and the parts were still squeaky clean.

3) Coolants... see #2.

4) I use 1/2" tubing just because I have it and it seems to work well. I'd probably switch to 3/8" tubing now if I didn't have a boatload of 1/2" tubing, fittings and parts already. With the newer pump Laing DDC, it has enough pressure to deal well with 3/8" tubing.

5) Pumps. I wouldn't buy anything but the Laing DDC. Swiftech uses another part number for it: MPC 350/355. It is fairly quiet, high pressure, and (most important!) reliable.

6) Radiators. I wouldn't buy anything but the PA160, at this point. It happens to work well and if paired with a single Late-Loon 120mm fan, it is quiet. You can get great performance with that pairing.

7) .... you can't count? lol

8) Cooling block. The blocks from the major manufacturers are all GoodEnough(tm) at this point. Cooltechnica, Dangerden and Swiftech all make good blocks. I don't trust anyone else though. Lapping is a touchy subject. Just remember that flat is what you want. Shiny is meaningless. A bowling ball is shiny. The above manufacturers have well done bases. A flat but non-shiny base may actually be better, as you get micro-pits for the conductive particles in the thermal paste to settle into (but don't quote me on that). Just remember: flat is king. Swiftech, Dangerden and Cooltechnica all make excellent blocks. The kind of paste you get is mostly irrelevant unless you are quibbling over 0.1C variations. I've seen a review that used TOOTHPASTE and it worked ok (it wouldn't in the long-run as the water evaporated, so this is why you use real thermal paste).
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Unread 05-04-2007, 11:47 AM   #4
kinghong1970
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into watercooling...

Thanks JamesAvery for your reply...

1) thanks a bunch on the linkies for vendors.

2 &3) as for Swiftech's biocide... yes i am aware it comes with it... but i really want red flowing through... like the blood that flows thru my computer...

i just placed an order from Petra for Petra'sTech "PT_Nuke" Concentrated Biocide (10mL), hope it dont really mess with the colors.

as for the red coolant, i just received it from FrozenCPU and it's ok... they gave me a little syringe of red dyestuff and a bottle of clear coolant... when mixed, instead of looking like blood, i got fruit punch...

i am thinking of getting another syringe of dyestuff to make it a tad darker...

by now, you pro's are prolly going....

as for using AF, automotive AF works? these comes pretty much in blue or green but... in case i dont go the blood route...

4) as for tubes, yes, i made sure all my stuff came with 3/8" ID barbs. it is a ATX case with decent amount of room, tho i'd much prefer to have the radiator mounted inside, i will prolly have it mounted on the outside.

the swiftech kits comes with the MCP 350 iirc... hope it's still cool with the 3/8" ID tubing, and plus, it is only cooling the CPU atm.

5) thanks, i will read the thread by Cathar... i already started putting together the parts of MY build... and got the correct pumt in place... that'll be a diff thread...

6) well, i am still a WC virgin so i will try to keep things simple and try to stay all brass/copper...tho i really like how Koolance tucks away the radiators on their kits...

7) dangit! i knew i forgot something...

8) ok, lol, no lapping the blocks... and i dug up my old hobby sanding strips... LMAO...

thanks again!
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Unread 05-07-2007, 02:51 PM   #5
Brians256
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into watercooling...

Tips that will save your computer when first doing water cooling:

1) Always use hose clamps

2) Run your water loop from an external power supply (you can use an old AT (not ATX) PSU jumpered to be on) for 3-4 hours at least. Try for 24 hours of test.

3) Test for leakage by wiggling things with some force. If it doesn't stay dry after you've pushed on the tubes, you need better clamps.

4) Have a reservoir that is partially sealed or at least has a decent amount of air space. This will provide replacement fluid as time goes on and H20 evaporates through the tubing walls (yes it does happen). If it is not sealed or has a pint-sized or better volume of air, it will help when the system volume fluctuates with temperature and the prior mentioned evaporation. Heat makes the volume go up, and evap causes it to go down. High volume causes pressure and thus causes hoses to pop off. Low volume can actually cause tubes to flatten out like a straw on your too-thick milkshake. The first problem causes coolant leaks and the second causes the coolant to stop flowing.
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Unread 05-08-2007, 09:01 AM   #6
kinghong1970
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into watercooling...

It’s Aliiiiiiive!

The parts are as follows:
Asus Stryker Extreme
Intel Core2 Extreme QX6700 or was it the 6800?
4GB Corsair something…
I re-used his old HDDs, Video and Case.

As for the watercooling kit (being an utter noobie), I got the Swiftech kit with the 3/8” ID tubing and a single radiator with 120mm fan.

When I received the kit, I realized that the case is not the best size. First of all, I did purchase a updated PSU but the case is too small for it. And also, I had to remove one of the 2 HDD cages in order to sqeeze in a radiator, fan, pump assembly.

I got the radiator to mount but the only way I was able to do this was by making the radiator barbs come out on the side, not top or bottom…. I wonder if this is ok…



Some of the difficulties I had was the Sata cables. The ones that came with the MB are too short and so I could not hide them behind the MB tray. (for my baby, I got longer ones on order so I can go crazy with the drill and knock-out tool… )




The tube routing is according to what the instructions says…
CPU out --> RES in --> RES out --> PUMP in --> PUMP out --> RAD in (upper barb)--> RAD out (lower barb) --> CPU in
Wonder if this is done right?



I purchased a flow meter and some other gadgets but I did not have much room to put it in so eh…
Well, after numerous drilling, assembly, disassembly, drilling, etc etc etc… I got the thing put together, tested it, and runs…

Only problem I have now is that I wanted to have red blood flowing through the computer…. I bought red coolant…
(yea yea, I know, distilled water and hydrix works fine, right? Well, I went for the colored look…)
But after putting in the dye, instead of red blood, I got watermelon Koolaid because when you look thru 3/8” of liquid, you loose the deep red look…



Well, I guess my bro has to be happy with his Watermelon-Koolaid-Cooled machine…
Got my parts on order now… will post my stuff as soon as I get it made.

some additional pics...

pump area... i think i lucked out... the case had so many holes on it that i did not have to drill to fix the pump to the bottom of my case...


tried cleaning up the back area and re-routing all the cables... i need to drill more holes and now i got my Knock-out too so }


btw, God Bless the man who created plastic ties... Love Em!

the back side of the Stryker Extreme...

looks cool... but honestly... eh...
i like the EL lighting and the LCD but i am not going to be looking at it all the time...

i am going to WC my AMD system for now and not spend money on the Core2Extreme for the time being...

comments? crit? suggestions?

and thank you very much for all your advices and hints...
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Unread 05-11-2007, 11:55 AM   #7
Brians256
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into watercooling...

Most important questions (in order of importance):

1) Any leaks?
2) Are you getting good temps?
3) Is it quiet?

Quote:
I got the radiator to mount but the only way I was able to do this was by making the radiator barbs come out on the side, not top or bottom…. I wonder if this is ok…
Yes, as long as you can get all the air out of the radiator. The only reason to have the barbs on top is to get the air out of the radiator header and to keep it out. Air pockets in the radiator impede it from releasing the heat in the coolant coming from your CPU.

Quote:
The tube routing is according to what the instructions says…
CPU out --> RES in --> RES out --> PUMP in --> PUMP out --> RAD in (upper barb)--> RAD out (lower barb) --> CPU in
Wonder if this is done right?
Yes. You want the rad to feed the "just cooled" coolant directly to the component which is most important to keep cool. In multiple component cooling systems, it is typically more important to keep your CPU cool than your GPU or hard drive. So, you run the loop from your rad to the GPU and then hard drive. However, the actual difference in temperature from one order to the next really is not all the big. The coolant should remain about the same temperature throughout the whole loop as long as the flow rate is decent. You may see differences in coolant temperature of maybe 1-4C. Usually it will be 1-2C. A bigger difference is the air cooling strategy, as water cooling systems still use air to eventually dump the heat.

One thing I do suggest is to NOT screw your pump directly into the case. Use some sort of cushion to acoustically decouple the pump. Otherwise, you've just turned your case into a speaker box to transmit all that vibration energy as noise (at the resonant frequency of your computer case). Use soft materials to absorb that energy instead of a hard mounting system. Suspend it with elastic bands from your local sewing shop if you can manage it. Don't use rubber bands as they break down quickly, dropping your pump and possibly causing a leak from the jolt of that sudden drop.
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Unread 05-11-2007, 11:56 AM   #8
Brians256
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into watercooling...

BTW, the Swiftech kit is a good one.
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Unread 05-11-2007, 12:15 PM   #9
kinghong1970
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into watercooling...

Quote:
1) Any leaks?
i can proudly say... nope...
i had to hold myself back on the clamps a bit... the conan in me was thinking "stronger is better" but then i read about how some times it can cause damage by applying too much pressure on the clamps? especially the metal screw worm drive kind...

Quote:
2) Are you getting good temps?
i saw it go up at a steady rate till bout 29/30C ish and got nervous so i shut it down for the time being...

Quote:
3) Is it quiet?
yes it is... and very pleasing to see the now "Cherry-KoolAid" run thru the computer...

Quote:
Yes, as long as you can get all the air out of the radiator. The only reason to have the barbs on top is to get the air out of the radiator header and to keep it out. Air pockets in the radiator impede it from releasing the heat in the coolant coming from your CPU.
hmm, input at top barb and output at bottom barb should purge the air out eventually or should i place the computer on it's side (hence barb is up) to purge air out?

and bout the pump... yea, i kinda thought it would create quite a bit of vibration and furthermore, Lian-Li cases have quite a bit of moving/rattling parts in the case...
the swiftech kit came with a 1/4" neoprene padding that i used to glue to bottom of pump then to bottom of case.

thanks again for your feedbacks, comments and advice!
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Unread 05-12-2007, 07:20 AM   #10
billbartuska
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into watercooling...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinghong1970
the conan in me was thinking "stronger is better" but then i read about how some times it can cause damage by applying too much pressure on the clamps? especially the metal screw worm drive kind...

i saw it go up at a steady rate till bout 29/30C ish and got nervous so i shut it down for the time being...

hmm, input at top barb and output at bottom barb should purge the air out eventually or should i place the computer on it's side (hence barb is up) to purge air out?
Stronger is better. Stainless steel worm clamps are the best. I never heard of anyone cracking a barb. CoolSleves are....well, cool, but useless, unless you are having kinking problems (reroute) or collapse from suction. (you may need something on the pump inlet where there is the most suction).

29/30*C temp of what? Under what conditions (load? idle?). What are you using to monitor temps? Try CoreTep and a heavy load (CPUBurn-In, OCCT etc.). If you have Nvidia video, NvTempLogger works well.

Gravity will tend to make the air move upwards. If the water flow is downward it will just take longer to bleed the air out, unless the air gets trapped, then you have to do the tipping/shaking thing to get it all out. If you don't get all the air out of the blocks/rad there will be dead spots where there is no cooling.
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Unread 05-14-2007, 01:56 PM   #11
Spaceraver
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into watercooling...

id say input at bottom barb, air rises upwards, so naturally having coolant in at the bottom forces the air out at the top..
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