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Build Advice Watercooling my rig, and i need help badly!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by xxhellspawnedxx, 5 Jan 2010.

  1. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    First of all, can I suggest you read the sticky? It really has got an awful lot of excellent advice in it (and I'm not just saying it because I wrote big chunks of it ;))

    Secondly, if you want to fit this all in one case you're better off with a single loop. It is possible to get better performance by running the graphics cards in a second loop (graphics cards tend to be happier running hot than CPUs, so need less cooling) but you'll end up needing an enormous area with access to fresh air to cool both radiators. If you have that, great, but remember you're going to need an enormous case.

    Virtually all the special "watercooling fluids" on sale are in fact water with small amounts of antifreeze as an anti-corrosion additive and an biocide added, and actually perform slightly worse than water. The anti-corrosion is not needed if you pick the materials exposed to water carefully - I've been running a loop with only copper, plastic and brass exposed to water for 5 years now, with no anti-corrosion additive and no corrosion at all. The biocide is needed however - the nice warm water in your loop will otherwise start to sprout all sorts of interesting bacteria if you don't add it, and they will gunk up the system.
    Deionised water (normally safe if you pour it all over your computer) is available cheaply for topping up car batteries from most places selling car parts, etc. - you can use tap water, but this is slightly more of a risk if you spill it on your PC.

    At this point, I suggest you start looking at cases suitable for fitting a 3 x 120mm radiator, and start planning from there.

    For comparison I'm currently cooling a Core i7-920 plus a single Radeon 4870 with a single Thermochill PA.160 (an oversized single 120mm fan radiator), and a single thermally controlled low noise fan. Limited overclocking headroom as is, but virtually silent - my central heating is louder, and the boiler is on the other side of the house!
     
  2. xxhellspawnedxx

    xxhellspawnedxx New Member

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    Ah, forgot to read the sticky, worst! :wallbash:

    Anyhow, since it didn't say anything about fittings, i'd like to ask:
    http://www.aquatuning.co.uk/product...tting-straight-G1-4--black-nickel-plated.html
    These fittings doesn't require any clamps, right? You put the tube over the slightly barbed side, screw on the separate ring-thingey over the tubing, and it makes an airtight seal, right? And the side that goes into waterblocks and other modules in the loop is just screwed in to make the seal, nice and simple?

    Also, i wondered, will one length of the tubing i linked below be enough for the entire loop? Will there be some spare even, just if i manage to muck it up and make a piece to long, or so? Kinda stupid that they didn't list the length of the tubing.

    Anyhow, below's my shopping list so far, make sure to give me a heads up if i've mucked something up (something which doesnt fit with the rest) or if i've missed something out, alright? :)

    1x XSPC RS360 Black Triple Radiator
    1x Koolance Radiator Montage Halterung (why german names in a british shop?)
    3x Bitspower UV Fan - Green
    1x Zalman multi fan speed controller zm-fmc1
    2x EK water blocks EK-FC4870 CF
    1x Ek Water Blocks EK-Supreme LT
    1x XSPC Laing DDC Reservoir
    1x Laing DDC-pump 12v DDC1t
    1x Thermochill EC-6 UV Neon Green
    1x ClearFlex60 tubing 19/13mm clear
    10x 19/13mm screw-on fitting straight G1/4'

    Or, in short:
    10 Fittings
    A length of tubing
    A pump
    A reservoir
    A 3x120mm radiator with 3 fans and a fan controller
    A radiator mounting
    2 GPU waterblocks
    1 CPU waterblock
    A bottle of coolant

    Anything vital missing?
     
  3. xxhellspawnedxx

    xxhellspawnedxx New Member

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    Oh, and Aquatuning seems like they don't do international orders. Any tips for a decent international webshop selling these things?
     
  4. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    I transport my rig full of water everywhere, as its sealed. also a 120.3 will knock the flow rate down, then your asking to pass water around 3 blocks, plus a reservoir. oh well, guess a single pump could manage that, depending on where you mount the radiator and how high.
     
  5. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    Burnout - The position of the radiator won't make any difference in a closed loop - the water is flowing down just as much as it is up. What it may very well do however is give you trouble getting the bubbles out!

    xxHellSpawnedxx - I usually seem to use about a metre of tubing when I plumb my system, probably a bit more the first time I did it. Those fittings will be fine - I tend to use barbs with a jubilee clip myself, but that's just personal preference. Making sure they're screwed in properly and the O-rings are all there makes a far bigger difference than the type you chose.
    I've bought stuff from ChilledPC and Coolercases before with no issues (although this is of course no guarantee that you'll be fine), and ChilledPC seem to ship internationally.
     
  6. xxhellspawnedxx

    xxhellspawnedxx New Member

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    ChilledPC seems good too, yeah, thanks! :thumb:

    They didn't have the pump/res combo i was recommended here though, could you recommend another pump and reservoir from what they supply?

    Also, the fittings on all of the ones i've had a look at seems to be barbed ones. Is there a way to convert these fittings into a more secure one, compression fittings for example?
     
  7. bagman

    bagman Well-Known Member

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  8. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    If you're worried about security of tubing on barbs, then get undersized tubing (e.g. 1/2" barbs, 7/16" tubing). Something of a pain to get on and off, but very secure. Hose clips also make the tubing very secure, and if you do both you practically have to cut the tubing off to remove it.
     
  9. xxhellspawnedxx

    xxhellspawnedxx New Member

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    Guess i'll go buy some clamps then. I dont have any experience, but the few comparissons i've read about fittings all agreed the weakest link in the chain was, usually, barbed fittings (making the tubes crack and so on).
     
  10. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    Tubes cracking????? Wierd, I've never heard of that or seen any evidence they might. Were they using cheap PVC tubing or something? I've used Tygon and Clearflex, and neither of these are even any stiffer after several years in my system, let along brittle or prone to cracking...

    It is possible to crack some waterblocks if you tighten a barb up too much, but that's down to the pipe thread rather than the barb - most barbs nowadays are O-ring sealed, and so won't have this problem. The same would apply to any other type of fitting (compression fittings, etc.).
     
  11. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    Ive been thinking about water cooling my cpu but I cant help wondering how safe it is having water in a computer
     
  12. xxhellspawnedxx

    xxhellspawnedxx New Member

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    @Bumsrush - Do it right and it will be a blessing. Do a cock-up job with it and your computer will be ****ed. Its as simple as that, really. All it comes down to is doing your research properly, so that you'll know how to assemble your system and avoid mishaps.

    @pdf27 - that may well have been the case, PVC tubing that is.

    Another question i just thought of asking: Is it important to have ones' Res at the top of the system? To avoid bubbles getting trapped in the system, i mean. Cause the reservoir isn't supposed to be filled up completely, right, and the system wont be under constant pressure?
     
  13. bagman

    bagman Well-Known Member

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    it is completely safe as long as you don't mess up the leak testing part that is probably the most crucal part of the whole process

    if i can do it when i was 15 years old than any one can
     
  14. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    Ummm.... theoretically it's possible to put the reservoir anywhere (a siphon after all has liquid above the starting level). In practice however if the reservoir or T-line isn't at or near the highest point in the system then getting the air out can be a complete nightmare.
     
  15. xxhellspawnedxx

    xxhellspawnedxx New Member

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    So, in my case (hehe), where do i put the pump/reservoir?
    https://www.uberclok.com/store/images/D/antec902-2.jpg
    As you can see here, my case isnt exactly large, with lots of open spaces :/ It is possible for me to empty the lower harddrive bay (Right now i have my harddrives spread out over the two bays, to give them some breathing room), but thats pretty much the only space i can find inside the case to put it in.
    Furthermore, do i screw it down to the floor of the case, or just let it stand there, hoping that gravity will be enough to keep it standing? If not, how do i mount it? Are there screwholes at the bottom of the case, or do i need to make em myself?
     
  16. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    If you've got a res on it then you probably need to bolt it down, for which you would have to make the holes yourself. Can you do a sort of MS Paint image of where you plan to put everything? That would make it easier to understand...

    Oh, and if you bolt a pump down it tends to be audible - they do vibrate quite a lot, so mine is just sitting on a foam pad, held in place by the tubing.
     
  17. xxhellspawnedxx

    xxhellspawnedxx New Member

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    [​IMG]
    Fugly out-of-perspective-and-proportion PS montage hooooo! This was pretty much what i planned: The reservoir attached to the back of the casing, and if space allows (havent taken the time to measure it yet) the Reservoir and pump in the lower drive bay. The pump most certainly will fit there, the question is if the res will. If it wont, im not sure where to place it :S It probably wont fit in between the drive bay frame and the PSU as the PSU is quite deep, and takes up most of the open space in the bottom of the case.

    The order of things would be as the picture shows: Res -> Pump -> Cpu -> Gpu1 -> Gpu2 -> Rad -> Res
     
  18. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    Couple of ideas....

    1) If you can, put the radiator the other way up - right now you're going to get air bubbles stuck in the top, and while this isn't a major problem the glugging noises will probably get very irritating over time. If the barbs are at the top the air has got an easy way out.
    2) Can you move the hard drives up a space? That gives you room for a bayres underneath all the electronics (I've never been brave enough to put a reservoir above my data storage, which seeing as I once had a reservoir crack open on me is probably a good thing!). That in turn means you can put the pump pretty much anywhere.
    3) Think about your tubing. In real life it is a LOT thicker, and really doesn't like being bent (too sharp and you get kinks which totally kill your flow).
    4) Swap the in/out barbs over on one of those GPU coolers so as to get rid of that S-turn between the two cards - you'll never actually get the tube to bend like that, and even if you did it would be a complete flow killer. As a general rule, minimise number of turns and if you do have to make a turn make it as gentle as possible. If you can combine this with reduced tubing lengths, great, but concentrate on making the turns gentle.

    I'll post a photo of how my system is plumbed when I get home to give you some idea...
     
  19. bagman

    bagman Well-Known Member

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    it dosen't matter that your rad is that way up as you can take the rad off the back and turn it round to let the bubbles out then put it back on again but make sure that you leave some extra tubing so you can move you rad around abit so you can still move your pc around easily
     
  20. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    I was stating about flow rates, a 120.3 really drops the flow rate of the close system when compared to a 120.1, that is obvious i know. The combined components of the system will put a lot of load on the pump, also it dose matter where the rad is placed, as i mentioned not too high. The head or maximum pressure the pump can generate can affect the loops performance greatly.

    Flow rate suffers if there are a lot of 90 degree turns in the loop, when flow rate suffers the maximum height a component can be is then reduced. So mounting a 120.3 in the roof of the case or on top, with the pump in the base of the case, you could say there is a 1m height difference, then take into account the 90 degree turns with in the loop, every block, the rad and res, even the pump.

    That's asking a lot of such a small pump. If mosfet blocks were to be added along with motherboard chipset then i would strongly suggest dual pumps in series.
     

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