Another water cooling thread

By Trillionsin · 56 replies
Feb 28, 2011
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  1. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    As routine maintenance on the systems I put together for customers, I would as a matter of course give everything a good visual inspection. Every year for systems with a high cycling rate (gaming) I would lift the CPU block, clean off the old TIM and reapply new thermal grease. While the block is out of the system, I usually as a matter of course, disassemble the CPU block and (very carefully) flush out the cooling channels in the block and then reassemble. If the O-ring is not elastic (showing signs of stiffness or brittleness) then it needs to be replaced.
    Depending on the cooling parameters the owner is experiencing I might also change the jet plate in the block (You should have 3 or 4 alternate jet plates with the EK block, including a blank should you wish to machine you own).
    The water channels (in the EK), or microfin block (other blocks including my Apogee) can quite easily become clogged over time due to deposits that sediment out from even the purest coolant (worse when some ready-to-use coolants are used).
    So, your maintenance regime will probably fall into one of three categories:
    1. None. Fill and forget. A surprising number of people who build a system never change anything unless a core system component is upgraded. Not necessarily a recipe for disaster, but cooling efficiency will drop away over time. More so if the radiator isn't cleaned regularly.
    2. Routine loop flush. Probably the most common form of maintenance. Drain the loop, fill with distilled water and run (system obviously doesn't need to be running), drain and repeat if desired. Refill with new coolant, replace antibacterial/anticorrosive if used, bleed. Good to go.
    3. CPU block teardown, check for signs of brittleness/discolouration in tubing (not a problem with Tygon in general unless the system is getting a lot of UV (Sun) exposure), check fittings and drain/flush/replace coolant.

    How involved you want to get is entirely up to you. When making suggestions on your loop I factored in that not everyone adheres to a fastidious regime of tinkering/tweaking etc., hence pointing you towards a low-maintenance EK block, and virtually no maintenance Tygon tubing and fittings.
  2. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,595   +257

    I see, and I've seen this before in other water tight products now that you mention it.

    I was totally clueless on myself for this. Which one would I want to use? I am a big gamer and I'm getting my OC around 4.4Ghz as well as a slight OC on my graphics.

    For the rest of this, you are actually making it sound easier the more you explain. I will probably fit in between the 2 and 3 category you listed. I tend to my PC a lot, considering its a major hobby of mine.

    When you do things, you want to do them right and sometimes that costs a little extra money.

    A personal story of mine when building this system:
    I was posting here as well as another forum not so directly aimed for public help. I was asking for help and I was posting about all the parts I was listing and the video cards I was considering buying and any advice on them. More than one of them actually were treating me very bad, saying I was a ******* for buying 10" of tubing all the way to saying that as soon as I spend all this money on a water cooling system that my PC will be out of date and I will have to upgrade anyways... and that I was trying to be "cool" in posting pics of my PC and all the parts that I was "supposedly" buying. I heard all kinds of things that were hard for me to believe... but you helped set most of that straight

    Anyways.. that story is quite fragmented and I'm not sure what the point of me typing this out was except that they were jealous and could not afford nice parts for their PC and had to go the cheap route, so their advice was somewhat poor purhaps. I dont visit that forum anymore. :)
  3. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,595   +257

    Also, what temps would you say I should be getting with this system? Room temp around 26 degrees Celcius (I think)

    Also, how would you rate my system on overall? 1 - 10, 10 being the highest.

    Be completely honest, you did provide a major part in this liquid cooling system build. ;)
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    With the system in "new" condition, a normal/heavy gaming load would probably be in the order of 40-45°C (normal) to 50-55°C (heavy/stress test). A lot would depend on what kind of Vcore (CPU), MCH core (chipset voltage-since you're oc'ing the RAM), Vcore/VDDC (Graphics) are running, the fan rotational speed and the relative humidity -since the latter is a big determinate on the radiators cooling efficiency.

    I am loathe to "rank" a system. But from expected cooling ability and expandibility I would say a 7. Where 1 is a Tt 760i Bigwater, a 9 is something like this, this (or this) and a 10 is a full-on WC system (watercool specific chassis, pro level pumps etc.)

    (@red1776...Hey G, check this one out !!!)
  5. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,595   +257

    Thanks for your opinions.

    On a stress test I seem to be getting around 57°C - 60°C

    GPU gets around 53°C - 55°C during a furmark burn-in test, but CPU raises to 62°C - 63°C

    These tests were taken with CPU @ 4.22GHz (38%)
    GPU @ 845MHz (6%)

    Please dont miss this.

    After a few more minutes these temps increased to CPU @ 64°C - 65°C GPU @ 56°C - 57°C
    Seems pretty steady at that right now.
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    The temps don't seem to bad considering that they are at 100% usage.
    A lot will depend on the Vcore of the CPU, although the temps seem ok since you're dissipating 450+ watts of heat. I would also check that the rear of the chassis has access to adequate airflow. Having the chassis close to a wall or the corner of a room will seriously hinder the rad's cooling ability- remember it cannot take most of it's air from directly in front (since the chassis is in the way) and if it's pulling in relatively still air then a portion of that will be PSU exhaust.
    I would assume if you are running close to 1.4v vCore then your temps won't differ too much from the chart/review below. CPU's aren't created equal so 4.22GHz can be gotten at a variety of voltages/. Likewise memory controller hub even if the RAM is running at stock voltage (1.6-1.65v I assume).

    The single slot jet plate will offer the best cooling. Most HF's ship with Number 3 plate (as indicated in the pic), or sometimes Number 2 plate already fitted since these cater for virtually any watercool loop.
    Here's Xtremesystems testing of the relative jet plates. As you can see, plate number one (single slot) offers the best cooling. The test setup appears to be of moderate flow similar to your loop. As you can also see the temp difference is not huge...but my motto is, if the performance is free then why not use it.
  7. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,595   +257

    Thanks, I never posted back?

    I must have typed it out and never hit Post.

    I am going to change this jet plate after a bit of time, hopefully I will think of a few other reasons to disassemble everything again and drain other than just to change the jet plate. :)

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