Water Cooling Questions:

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by Wavelabs, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Wavelabs

    Wavelabs New Member

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    Hi,

    ok, I am extremely new to water cooling.
    Meaning I have never done it in my life.

    Here are some reasons why I did not do it.

    A. - I was always and still am afraid of water leaking and having my entire gear damaged.
    and then all my money would be waisted and I would be hating myself.

    B. - Short curcuiting the system some how, maybe a small leak or something.
    then computer box catching on fire and then apartment catching on fire due to short from water.

    C. - Not certain of how the water cooling works and wondering if I have to fill the container,
    with special cooling liquid every single day and spend more money then I have to.

    D. - Maybe forget to fill the container and burn my system out.


    Has anyone been in a water colling disaster or lost their entire system because of it.?

    Is it dangerous ?

    Does it need massive maintenance ?

    Is it annoying or gives too much headaches ?





    So can experienced water cooling people please teach me and thing or two about this.
    I would love to know more.
    I seen a picture here in the forum of a few water cooling devices I fell in love with.
    I seen a pic with a really tall blue container with tubes coming from it.
    It looks simple, but I don't know.
    But loved the blue metalic tower. - looks like it can hold enough coolant.
    If it works like that.

    And wonder if I can cool down my system.

    I dont over clock, but I love my games and also have my system on 24-7.
    I play mostly Halo, Egosoft's X3 Terran Conflict, Eve-Online, Racing Games,
    and waiting for Jumpgate Evolution to start that.

    So was just thinking about putting it in for once.

    You know, do something fresh and new I never have done before.


    I am all ears.
    :duh:
     
  2. e v o

    e v o New Member

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    I am by no means an expert, but have been watercooling for a few years now. I will try to address your concerns.

    A: This is always a concern, that's why you should leak test your loop outside of your case (not connected to an pc components, etc.) for 24 hours. I have lost one video card when I first started because I was stupid and did not leak test, it was an X800XL.

    B: Not anymore likely than without watercooling (catching on fire part)

    C: You do not have to fill it everyday, some people like to change it out every few months to prevent buildup. I use a simple mix of distilled water and engine coolant.

    D: You just have to make sure your pump is on etc.

    It's a great project if you have some spare time and the results can be great. Noise level is usually decreased, which is the main reason I decided to do this. Temperatures are decreased resulting in a higher overclock. The maintenance done is a bit more than normal air cooling as you may want to change the water now and then.
    Headaches or problems may be that it's a huge pain to upgrade as you must buy different blocks for new sockets or video cards and you have to drain and refill, so you should pick a somewhat future proof system. You will have to spend money on parts and it can add up quickly. A new case may be needed depending on the size of your current one etc.
    I too leave my system on 24/7 and have had good results. You should weight the pros and cons and decide. It's not as complicated as it seems, but it is definitely an undertaking. If you have a somewhat older system, I would hold off on watercooling until you upgrade. There are some great guides, just google them!

    Good Luck
     
  3. OldBuzzard

    OldBuzzard DH's oldest Geek

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    I bought my first water cooling system in FEB 2003. It was a Koolance EXOS. I'm currently using a Koolance EXOS2, and my #1 son is has been using a Koolance PC-2 case for the last 3 years.

    Both of out systems run 24/7, and we have NEVER had a leakage problem, not has any component in out swatercooling systems failed.

    As for your concerns expressed in A and B, there are a couple of non-conductive coolants available that you could use to alleviate that fear.

    You don't have to fill the system every day. You will have to 'top it' off periodically, but for me it's in the order of every couple of months.

    Yes, you do/should use a 'special coolant', but they aren't all that expensive. I can get a 600ml bottle of Koolances fluid for around 15.00. That enough to completely fill my system with some left over for later 'topping off'. The coolants usually have some anit-freeze and an alge inhibiter in them. It's best to use what ever coolant the maker specifies.

    I have gone as long as 2 years without draining and re-filling my system. I generally drain and re-fill any time I do a major upgrade.

    As for 'burning up your system', it's really no different that air-cooling. Your BIOS should shut down your system if the CPU gets too hot anyway. However, with the EXOS, it also monitors the CPU temp, and it will shut down my system if the BIOS doesn't.

    If anything, I have less maintance. I don't have to worry about periodiaclly blowing out the dust from the HSF on my CPU and Video Card, and the rest of my case is a lot less dusty, since I don't need so many fans to get all of the hot air out of the case. Most of it goes out to the EXOS, so the internal case temperature stays 'cool' without the need for extra NOISY fans.

    I'm not one to do a lot of over-clocking either. I do have my 4800+ bumped up to 2.625Ghz from it's stock 2.5 so it's nothing massive. It's just a setting in my BIOS that I took advantage of.

    I really went to water cooling to have a quite system, not for better cooling and higher overclocking.
     
  4. MooN*FiRE

    MooN*FiRE Pandemonium Fortress

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    I was nervous about using watercooling also but for this cpu I have now I had to go with it since it puts out so much heat, the heatsinks I used for it failed and it kept overheating and kept shutting the system down. So I went out and got a zalman watercooling setup kit. It was pretty easy and you can learn alot from the process. You should be careful but not so careful where its makes you think twice about it. It's pretty funny about testing the watercooling outside the case.
    I actually hooked up the watercooling and the heatsink to the cpu on the mobo(Removable mobo tray standing up ;)) and then leaked tested it but didn't install a videocard or a soundcard at this point in case it did leak. All the connections were great. I triple checked the connections to make sure they were tight enough. I let the watercooler run for 5 to 10 minutes after bleeding the air. After my last mobo (Asus P4C800 Deluxe) blew a gasket I had to transfer over everything to my current board. It was a fun experience, all I did was remove the W/C heatsink from the CPU and wrap over my mobo tray and proceeded from there.
    In the end I would recommend watercooling over a regular heatsink. it takes more time to setup and test but in the end its worth it. Just get a quality watercooling unit that proves it lowers tempts.

    *I forgot to add I use distilled water for my zalman and some waterwetter.

    *e v o and OldBuzzard summed up what I was thinking also.

    Good to be nervous about watercooling it keeps you on your toes, but don't let it sway your decision making. You will learn something exciting and will be able to do it in the future with later builds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  5. Cow_160483

    Cow_160483 HH's only cow moooooo...

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    check this review out ! water cooling has come a long way;)
     
  6. Lowfat

    Lowfat Xtreme

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    The only time you need to use a special coolant is with Koolance, because they use a mixture of aluminum and copper. Well maybe with Thermaltake as well. But with most higher end equipement straight distilled water and a few drops of a biocide is all you need. Almost all non-conductive liquids are a joke. And really don't work any better than water.
     
  7. Wavelabs

    Wavelabs New Member

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    Ok, but I have a few questions on that unit.

    A. - Where do you put the coolant liquid.

    B. - How big is the container.?

    C. - Where does it fill at.?



    Also for everyone,

    What are the best units for me ?
    I was looking at these units here:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I was thinking with these units shown pictured above, to modify my
    CM-690 Case, by taking off the original CM690 top part of the case, and replacing it with this unit.
    To fully modify my CM-690 Case.


    Also I was looking at this as it looks similar to one ive seen here in the forum
    in the section where people show off their gear.
    and there was a member that has this unit, but in metalic Blue.
    here is the picture:
    [​IMG]


    ALSO: I wanted to know what it on top of this CPU.
    This really nice Metal Unit. What Is It. ?
    Pictured Below:

    [​IMG]

    Pictured Below is a unit I like and was describing:
    [​IMG]


    And Below is another Idea I have, that I want to do:
    Pictured Below: But only one reserve unit instead of 3.

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]



    I am even contemplating on doing a DUAL AMD Phenom II X4 940 computer.
    in one computer. - Like those dual CPU Motherboards Ive been looking at,
    but cant seem to find one for Core i7 and AMD Phenom II X4 940 chipsets.

    I would like to build something nice, but still contemplating on it,
    since computer hardware parts change and upgrade every 5 minutes.......lol

    But I do want to build something that I would be proud of.

    I am upgrading one computer, which is my AMD, to newer parts.

    And I am also building a new computer with all Intelcore i7 parts.

    So in the end I will have 2 computers.
    1. - Intel Core i7 - 920
    2. - AMD AM3 Phenom II X4 940



    REMINDER:
    If you see several questions posted in different parts of the forum,
    its because I am building and upgrading 2 computers.
    and reading sections on the forum and grabing idea's for the final product builds.
    Also, tryong to keep on topic of the posts.


    :w00t::duh::w00t:
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  8. Lowfat

    Lowfat Xtreme

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    Because dual processor i7's not P2's exist yet. In all seriousness, you aren't ready for watercooling. Either grab an all-enclosed unit like the Domino ALC or go with air cooling. Most kits are poor performers and aren't much better than air. If you are set on WC then go to some forums that have a significantly higher enthusiast user base (like Xtremesystems, ocforums). There is only 3-4 people on this site that have done watercooling. There are hundreds on these other sites. Read the stickes and lurk the forums for a few months. Then ask questions on how to proceed. Just jumping in to water cooling is prelude to disaster. And one more thing, if you can't afford to loose hardware due to a mistake, then WC isn't for you.
     
  9. OldBuzzard

    OldBuzzard DH's oldest Geek

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    Lowfat...there are a hell of a lot more than 3 or 4 people that water cool. Low performance? Not much betrer than air? You have obviously never water cooled, and have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

    My 'poorly performing' watercooling system keeps my 3870 X2 in the mid 50c range under load. It's never even see 60C. I could probably inprive that if I increased my tubing size to 10mm from the current 6mm. My 4800+ stays in the high 30's under load. That's with the fans on the EXOS2 set at 3 which is damned near inpossible to hear unless you put your ear right next to it. You might be able to find air cooled solutions that will equal that, but you can damned sure bet the your next door neighbor will know you have it beause of the noise it would produce.

    Wavelabs...that Koolance EXOS would be a very good choice. Expecially for someone new to water cooling. The EXOS being external can be used for your next system, and isn't dependent on finding enough room in your current case to place it. You won't always be using the same case, and that gives you a lot more flexability in case choice.

    Also, Koolance has been around for a LONG time and while they may not be that absolute best for preformance, they aren't shabby, and are reliable as anything on the market. Another good thing about Koolance is that all of their components are designed to work with each other. They use all COMPRESSION FITTINGS, which make connecting everything very easy, and pretty much foolproof. They aren't cheap, but they work well, and are a good place to start.
     
  10. Lowfat

    Lowfat Xtreme

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    Yes I've watercooled before. Built a good dozen or so systems that have been WC'ed. Almost every system I've done since 2003 with the exception of 1-2 have been watercooled. Ranging from sub $100 budget/used single 120mm radiators to dual loop (2 pumps, 2 radiators, 2 videocards, cpu). I don't know more than 3-4 active users on these boards that have watercooled. Me, you, ChasMinionX, and maybe 1-2 others.

    For the first time in ~ 5 years I went with an air cooled main rig instead of a watercooled one. Mostly because the cost-to-performance isn't that good as it use to be. With CPU coolers like Thermalright Ultra-120 or an Xigmatek HDT-1283, W/C isn't needed to keep it cool and quiet. Even with videocards, the Palit Sonic 4870's cooler would remain under 65C while maintaining quiet.

    The thread starter says he doesn't overclock which is its bigger benefit. Yes they are also meant to be quiet. But a TRUE and 2 Nexus D12SL-12 (which are one of the quiest fan you can buy) easily will keep my i7-920 @ stock clocks under 50C (actual core temp).
     
  11. Wavelabs

    Wavelabs New Member

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    I am going to be using " CoolerMaster CM-690 " Case.

    I have yet to find a better case for my needs.
    I like it also because the drives can be accessed from the side instead of the inside of case.
    Also, because you don't need any screws to rack any Hard Drives or CD/DVD drives.
    Its a simpe rack Snap-In.

    I need to cool my CPU because it gets hot in my case, even with 6 fans running at full speed - "120mm fans".
    So, this is one of my main reasons why.

    Also, im going to be shopping for Ballbearing Alluminum Fans,
    because these stupid plastic fans keep dying on me.
    So some friends informed me to go with Ballbearing Fans, as they last longer.


    ALSO:
    I would like to still know what this is..??
    The thing on top of the CPU....


    [​IMG]

    :duh:
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009

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