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PSU Watercooling a 1000 Watt PSU

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by O O 7, 7 Dec 2008.

  1. O O 7

    O O 7 New Member

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    Hi
    I trust you're doing good.

    For the last few weeks, I have been reading many technical articles and reviews, as I wish to build a new gaming PC to replace my laptop (I am waiting for the bit-tech 2008 Hardware Awards).

    I think I will be going for a Thermaltake Kandalf LCS case (all-in-one watercooled case). My system requires a 1000 Watt PSU (with future upgrades in mind).

    The problem is that all the 1000 Watt PSUs are relatively noisy at over 50% power output. Since I'm going for a "silent" watercooling system, I though I might as well watercool the PSU!

    I have not seen any watercooled PSUs out there.
    It seems that I have to modify one, but I don't know where to put the waterblock. It doesn't seem right to just put it on the fins of the heatsink.

    Any solutions? Or are there any "silent" 1000 Watt PSUs out there?

    What do you think?

    Kind Regards.
    OO7.
     
  2. DaveVader

    DaveVader Fast Action Response Team

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    DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go for a ThermalTake "LCS" watercooling system, they are an epic fail! Not advised by most with watercooling knowledge.

    Also, 1000watt PSU?! What kind of system are you putting in there? Must be awesomely powerful! Specs please :D
     
  3. sheninat0r

    sheninat0r What's a Dremel?

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    I don't think you require a kilowatt PSU... Unless you're going for a heavily overclocked C2Q or similar with 3 or 4 graphics cards plus RAID and a multi-pump watercooling system, you don't need 1000W of power. Even with future upgrades in mind, that probably won't happen. The trend now is smaller and more efficient; think 4870 vs. 2900/X1900 and Conroe vs. P4. A top-of-the-line [but not extravagant] system today would probably run fine on 750W or less, no problem.

    Either way, watercooling a PSU usually isn't done and I doubt you'd find a watercoolable unit anywhere, unless you want to start bending/soldering copper pipes around the heatsinks already in the PSU.

    Quiet PSUs are another story altogether. Lots of PSUs with big fans come pretty quiet out of the box, and fans can be swapped for quieter ones if you don't mind losing your warranty.

    Also, Dave is right about the LCS. In fact, if you're going to watercool I would avoid Thermaltake altogether as they have a horrible reputation.
     
  4. O O 7

    O O 7 New Member

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    That's very unusual DaveVader.

    Most of the reviews I read about the Kandalf LCS case gave it an award. Some reported temperatures up to 19 degrees lower than fan cooling.

    If you are thinking of the Armor+ with the Bigwater, then maybe you are right.

    May I kindly ask that you please provide a review or a link about the disadvantages of the Thermaltake LCS cases (especially Kandalf)?

    I actually made a suggestion that bit-tech should review this case. See what Richard said:
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=1877935#post1877935

    As for the specs, well I am looking for a flexible and upgradeable gaming system. I haven't decided the parts yet as I am waiting for the 2008 Awards, but here is the general idea:

    Q6600 or a Wolfdale Duo - there are news of E5000 series Wolfdale processors coming in Jan09 for less than $100 (extraordinary value for money). A $74 Pentium E5300 clocked at 2.6GHz and an $84 Pentium E5400 clocked at 2.7GHz. So we should get them for under £50 !?

    Mobo: something similar to the bit-tech recommended Gigabyte EP31-DS3L or Asus P5Q-E (but with Crossfire capabilities).

    Corsair XMS2 4GB kit

    4870 1Gb or 4850 (depends on value to performance).

    2x 500 Gb HDDs in RAID mode (Yep! 1 Tb at twice the speed!)

    I'm thinking of Antec P182 together with a Noctua NH-U12P for a top quality silent PC (as recommended by bit-tech). But as the Kandalf LCS would cost nearly the same, I am also considering it.

    This PC will be connected to a 42-50" 1080p Plasma for a "gaming cinema".

    You are probably asking:
    Ok, not bad, but why 1000 Watt PSU?

    The answer:
    I will be overclocking everything I can (CPU, RAM, GFX maybe the mobo?) - which is why I'm so interested in the Kandalf LCS.

    Also, I want to keep the system open to future expansions, such as putting in a 4870x2 (or later releases) in crossfire. The 4870x2 eats up about 350 Watts alone. Put it in CF, Overclock it, and there is the answer! 1KWatt PSU!

    What do you think?
    OO7
     
  5. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    I am going to have to agree with the others and say that a 1000watt is overkill. My system (in my sig) is only using around 50% of my psu's power most of the time.

    Fair enough if you are going to have a pretty massive overclock on a qaud core and a 4870x2 then yes get a 1000watt. But get that when the time comes, get a power supply for the system you will be getting, don't get a pentium dual core if you can help it. You may be saving a few $ but the performance compared to core2duos is very poor.

    If you are gaming in 1080p, go for the 4870 1gb rather than the 4850, it will handle games that bit better at the higher res

    If you assume your system is going to be a nice wolfy core2duo, 4gb of ram, a 4870 1gb, and 2 x 500gbs and whatever mobo, you are going to do well with a 500-600watt psu, corsair do some great ones.

    Just think a 1000watt power supply may be "future proof" but if you don't upgrade your hardware enough to need it for 2 years, then it may be considered pretty inefficient in 2 years time, and when the time comes that it is going to be stretching its legs then the warranty is going to have 1 or 3 years left, rather than 3 or 5 if you bought it at the time of the new build.

    Also to answer your first question, if you really want a 1000watt psu, I would stay away from watercooling it, a leak onto your mobo is one thing, but a leak in a psu is a whole different story. Yes the coolant is non conductive, but any impurities on the materials and inside the power supply are not, and when they mix it can become as bad as tap water.

    If you are serious about cooling it as silently as possible you could try an oil filled psu, thats electrically inert. Hopefully ones of the bit tech guys can jump in and recommend a reasonably quiet 1000watter
     
  6. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

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    might be purely for effieincy? the PC might only need 500W constant output, but peak efficiency is at 50% of the PSU's maximum rated wattage
     
  7. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Watercooling a PSU would be extremely difficult, if anything a PSU has a large number of components jumbled about all generating heat. Unlike a nice little CPU or GPU chip, there's no way you could build a waterblock to cool it all. A generous breeze for a fan is the most effective you'll get.

    One thing about your 1000W - if the PSU can deliver that, then most of the time it should be running at low loads and generating low heat (relatively). With temperature control, it should remain quiet.

    Get something with good reviews for noise, but don't feel restricted to a 1000W model. I spent a lot of money on my 850W PSU and I don't use half that power.
     
  8. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    Yes but mine is running at about 50% and wouldn't be much different from his. So a 1000watt psu would be running at more like 25%.

    Ninja edit: anyway says you with a system pretty similar to one of the configurations he specced, one of the highest power usage ones might I add and you are using a 630watt. :p
     
  9. DaveVader

    DaveVader Fast Action Response Team

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    I provided a link showing the failure of a Thermaltake liquid cooling system and could probably post more from that forum alone. The Kandalf, however you look at it, is still a case with a Thermaltake "LCS" inside and so will perform like one. Many people report a cracked waterblock with TTake systems and the pump wouldn't be able to handle extra stuff within the loop. They also mix aluminium and copper within the same loop which is what caused the corrosion in the provided link

    I mean I can find you experiences of the Kandalf but I say if you are serious about watercooling, get a custom setup. If not, stick to a good air cooler.

    ninja edit: the PC spec in my sig is running on a 550watt PSU and has no issues, the 2900 is a power hungry card aswell.
     
  10. O O 7

    O O 7 New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies guys.

    Ok so I don't need 1000 Watt unless I get the 4870x2 (or better) within 2 years (which seems likely).
    Assuming that I get a quad-core, would a 550 Watt PSU run at 50% (which is quiet and efficient) for my system? Bear in mind that I'm running heavy OC as well.

    Thanks Matticus for pointing out that the dual-core processors are not as good as dual-core. They are off my list now.

    As for the note on 4870 1 Gb for 1080p gaming, I'm thinking the 4850 is better value than the 4870. This is mainly because they both run all games at 1920x1080 (for TV), and both have HDMI cable. The performance difference is not huge either. At 1920x1200 running COD 4:
    4850 57 fps
    4870 69 fps

    The only problem is with crysis at 1920x1200 at very high graphics:
    4850 14.9 fps average - as low as 13 fps
    4870 18.5 fps average - as low as 15 fps
    4870x2 24.6 fps average - as low as 17 fps

    I'm told that the human eye works at 25 fps... so anything above that won't matter too much. As for Crysis, all these cards work at less than the desired 25 fps (4870x2 is the arguable exception). As for price:
    4850 £120
    4870 (1Gb) £205
    4870x2 £380.

    On performance, the 4870 is about 20% better than 4850 - for about 80% extra price. So it seems the best value for money gfx card atm is the 4850 (according to bit-tech as well). This is why I'm thinking of doing CrossFire just when 4850 becomes a wee bit old for the latest games. It seems to me as the "logical" thing to do.

    What do you guys suggest?
    OO7
     
  11. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    You have a point about crysis, but if you just knock it back to high then you should be good. It still looks great on high, and really its not that great of a game. So don't break the bank just to play it on very high :p

    If I was buying a card today I would go for the 4850 myself. Your CF in future idea is good, I would also do something similar.

    As for the Q6600, what would you consider a heavy overclock?
     
  12. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

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    Where the hell have you found that? I've found one for £115 at Novatech, next cheapest is a tenner more :s
     
  13. O O 7

    O O 7 New Member

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    Thanks for the link Dave. I will definitely put this into consideration.

    The only reason I'm interested in the Kandalf is because of it's radiator because:

    - It's at the front of the case and not inside it. This means that it will release the heat very easily - outside the chassis not inside.
    - It's a big radiator (all along the front panel), i.e more surface area, i.e much better for cooling.
    - It has 3 radiator fans, which is welcome.
    - The 3 fans might also blow some air into the case through the front (meaning the HDDs would get some air).
    - Compared to a good air-cooled case (with cooler), it would almost match the price, but do up to 20 degrees better! This goes well with my OC plans! It seems to be excellent value for money.
    - Also, it is quiet. Thermaltake say it is less than 20 decibels (although all the reviews I read say it is quiet, there is one guy who says it is loud at 40 decibels !?). The problem is you can't reduce the case fan speeds (they are at 1300, one is 1800) - unless you get a fan speed controller unit.

    Take a look at the Thermaltake web-site for the Kandalf LCS:
    http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1161&ID=1413

    Also, here is a "video" review:
    http://www.3dgameman.com/content/view/7890/103/

    I'm really not interested in how the Kandalf looks, or that it has LEDs - only performance counts with me. Taking the advice from unhappy users of LCS, especially with the link from Dave, I suppose I could either use a different waterblock, or get a custume WC system (without radiator) to use with this case. Of course changing the case is also an option.

    A heavy OC on the Q6600 would probably be 3.5+ Ghz. Well I can also put it this way: if I'm getting 20 degrees better cooling, I'm still going to push it to the 60-65 degrees on load. This would be done with the BIOS multiplier set on AUTO - so in idle it would run at around 2.9 Ghz, producing normal heat, and on Load, it would go 3.6+ Ghz (automatically). Why keep it at 3.6+ constantly when the OC process can be partially automated?

    As for the 4850, I actually found it for £110 on google "shopping":
    http://www.comwales.com/eshop/product.php?productid=73234
    http://www.google.co.uk/products/ca...cid=15012914699970380191&scoring=p#ps-sellers

    I would probably OC it to 850+ with a good WC system.

    I think a 1000 Watt PSU running at 30-50% would produce much less noise than a 550 Watt running at 70-100%. Right?

    What are your thoughts?
    OO7
     
  14. DaveVader

    DaveVader Fast Action Response Team

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    You don't need a 1000watt PSU, the 4870x2 doesn't need as much power as you probably think, the "heavily overclocked" Q6600 isn't going to consume an extra 500watts, the Corsair HX520 or HX620 will give you more than enough power!

    As for your idea of getting a new waterblock and keeping the Thermaltake rad, that will still produce problems. Granted the new waterblock probably wont crack, but you will still have a mix of aluminium (the radiator) and copper (the block) which causes corrosion which is shown in provided link.
    How much are you willing to spend on the case and cooling? A custom kit doesn't have to set you back an extortionate amount and will work very well!
     
  15. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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  16. O O 7

    O O 7 New Member

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    Pity. Wonder why that might be...

    Pity also, that Thermaltake made their radiators with Aluminium.

    I would like to spend about £150 for Chassis + WC... (though I'm flexible on it).
    I would very much prefer a good quality all-in-one watercooled case, but it seems out of my range.

    I could get a WC kit, but it probably won't be very good either. xbit Labs have compared 16 WC kits here:
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/16watercooling_33.html

    Looks like the Gigabyte 3D Galaxy GH-WIU01 is the best value for money kit. But just compare that reservoir to the one on the Kandalf LCS... sigh.
     
  17. sheninat0r

    sheninat0r What's a Dremel?

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    If you want a kit, Petra's sells some unbranded kits made with popular watercooling stuff in a lot of different configurations. clickity click

    Of course, if you're going to use one of those it'll be pretty much the same as making your own loop minus picking parts. I highly recommend just making your own loop, as performance will most likely be better than your TT case and you won't mix metals.
     
  18. O O 7

    O O 7 New Member

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  19. DaveVader

    DaveVader Fast Action Response Team

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  20. O O 7

    O O 7 New Member

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    Thanks Dave. I appreciate the help.

    Which do you think would perform better?

    The Kandalf LCS (with an Aluminium waterblock)
    or
    The setup you recommended?
     
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