New WaterCooling Help.

By Foxracer15 ยท 37 replies
Jun 10, 2006
  1. Hey guys I'm looking into getting a water cooling system to cool down my Prescott 3.0. With the stock cooler it gets around 68c on load! Thats just too hot. Any suggestions on good systems that can support OCing for a later cpu upgrades ( I dont plan on ocing my prescott just wanna cool it down). My price rage is about 100-150.

    I was lookng at the Thermaltake Big Water SE as a possiblity any suggestions?
  2. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    I would never recommend any pre-made water cooling system, there's nothing good quality for the price range that you're looking at.

    I would recommend that you assemble your own system (buy parts separately), you can make your own using much much better quality parts, have better cooling, and all for less money. if you buy a kit you have to assemble it anyways, so there's really no extra work as far as the installation goes. (by the way, you more than enough money to make your own good quality setup)

    the thermaltake model that you linked will do ok, but it's nothing special. and from the newegg reviews people have said that the pumps are garbage and it's hard to get rid of air bubbles with the liquid it comes with.
  3. Foxracer15

    Foxracer15 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Alright thanks a lot. ;)

    Could you possible help me with the picking of parts for the custom watercooling kit? Or give me a link to a good website? :confused:
  4. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    A good pump would be one you can aquire at an aquarium shop lol.
    Also, you might want to hop down to the local scrapyard and get yourself a heatercore. Those work excellently as a radiator for your watercooling setup, and costs almost nothing. Try to choose a copper one, but even if its not, it'll work. Might need some tinkering with to fit your tubes tho. you'd need some 3/8" tubes, you might get those at the place you get the pump, or maybe the local hardware store.

    From there, its just getting some waterblocks. Swiftech and dangerden makes some pretty good blocks. For the CPU, I'd recommend Swiftech Storm, or Apogee. I'm quoting off my head (these are the ones I'll be getting), so you'd need to google for an idea of price.

    GPU cooling, you'd be interested in a DangerDen Maze4. Great, low key waterblock. Works even if you don't have too much space (in SLI setups for example). Pick up some copper RAMsinks for the video RAM, its not worth watercooling those.

    Same goes for NB, no point watercooling that, but if you insist, there's the swiftech NB waterblock which is pretty good.

    Don't bother watercooling your HDDs, RAMs, optical drives, etc. I'd recommend getting a passive HDD cooler/enclosure. I suppose I'm starting to bring you out of your budget here, but its something you might want to consider. Those passive coolers will cool your HDD and reduce the noise it produces. One good thing about watercooling is the quietness of the whole setup, so you might as well be complete.

    To be even more complete, get a quiet PSU. After doing all this, and you can still hear your comp, you must have some sensitive hearing.
  5. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    in newegg, I can only find the Apogee, the Storm is relatively recent, and cools slightly better. Apogee is still very recommended.

    I can't find the DangerDen Maze4 in newegg neither.

    I forgot to mention as well that the radiator will need fans, but all you're interested in is some airflow, so you'll just need to get a couple of 120mm low speed fans.
  6. Foxracer15

    Foxracer15 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Alright thanks a lot guys. :D :D :D
  7. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    I wouldn't recommend using an old heatercore from a junkyark. would you want an old junk part in your PC?? I wouldn't.

    Just buy a 120mm or 80mm radiator (depending on your case) thats made for PC watercooling, it will be brand new and look alot nicer :) you will not have to modify anything and it will mount to your cases existing fan mounts. then if you wish, you simply mount a fan on the other side.

    Like CMH suggested, you can just buy an aquarium pump. that's all I've ever used. you don't need anything huge. my only suggestion would be that you mount the pump as close to the CPU waterblock as you can, and use as little bends as possible.

    I use a dangerden waterblock (its a socket A waterblock that I modified for socket-939). i used to use a simple homeade waterblock, the dangerden block only gave me a 2-3 degrees celcius improvement, not a big difference. just buy whatever waterblock you like, they'll all work good.

    whatever you choose, you should go with 1/2' tubing size for everything. you ultimately want high flow, not high pressure. small tubing like 1/4" or 3/8" make the water move faster (higher pressure). you want more water to hit the waterblock, not faster water.

    chances are the tubing that you find in a hardware store or aquarium shop will be too stiff to use. stiff tubing will put too much pressure on the CPU waterblock (by pushing in one side and pulling on another). I bought my danger den tubing at a computer store (microcenter). you want tygon, masterclear, clearflex, or dangerden tubing. they are very flexible, thick walled tubes that allow tight bends without kinking.
  8. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    you can use whatever you want. but here are some guidelines to help. I couldn't suggest anything that I haven't used myself because I don't know the pros and cons for each one.

    I'll use my current system as an example for you...

    1. PUMP - Mini-Jet 606 ($10). very small, lightweight, and quiet pump. its flow rate is 160GPH and it only uses 6 watts. I have mine mounted sideways about 2 inches from the CPU waterblock, the 1/2' output pumps water directly into the waterblock. I had to modify it to make it an inline pump because they come submersible only, but that's easy to do.

    I had also used the Via Aqua 1300 (360GPH), it worked good but it was too big, loud, heavy, and used too much power. my temps are actually better with the minijet simply because if the placement of the pump

    2. RADIATOR - generic 120mm steel radiator with aluminum fins ($15) 1/2" barbs.

    I had also used 2 other kinds ("snake" pipe kind 120mm, and all copper 80mm) they all yielded the same general temps.

    3. WATERBLOCK - DangerDen RBX socket A waterblock ($40) I made an acrylic bracket to adapt it to a socket-939 CPU. DangerDen makes very nice waterblocks (some are even in the $20 range, but they aren't as pretty :))

    I had also used 2 blocks that I made myself out of scrap aluminum. they worked almost as good as my dangerden block (about a 2-3c difference, nothing major). bottom line, don't waste a ton of money on an expensive water block, they all work good, even simple ones.

    4. RESERVOIR - DangerDen 5.25" bay reservoir ($30) - a reservoir is not necessary but it is benificial, and it's just plain cool to see the water moving from the front of your case :))

    I also used a standard 4" plastic sealed electrical junction box as a reservoir as well. it works the same and fits underneath the floppy drive bays. i had the

    5. TUBING - 1/2" ID (3/4" OD) UV blue vinyl tubing ($2 per foot) - very nice tubing. easy to cut, easy to bend, doesn't kink, and doesn't put harmful pressure on the components.

    6. FAN - generic 120mm LED blue fan - a fan is not necessary (depending on where the radiator is mounted) but is benificial.
  9. Foxracer15

    Foxracer15 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Again thank you for the info, it's been awsome!

    Where did you get your radiator from?

    Also is there any certain order your supposed to put things together? or does it matter?

    I think I might just put the radiator outside of the case because my case (Aspire X-Navigator) can't fit a Double 120 radiator and I want a double because I plan to cool my gpu in the future. Do you think it will be fine outside of the case or would you recommend me just getting a single 120 radiator?

    My case-
  10. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    i bought the radiator (as well as almost everything else) on Ebay, but you can buy them from many other places online.

    a single 120mm radiator will work just as good as a double. the double has more surface area, but the flow is reduced by the extra height/distance that the water must travel inside the larger radiator, thus cancelling the benifit unless you have a big pump to overcome the loss (big pump = loud, heavy, and power hungry). if you insist on a larger than single 120mm radiator make sure that you mount it horizontally to minimize the height that the water must travel.

    the reason i suggest mounting it to a fan mount location is to keep the tubing as short as possible. the longer the tube, the more you cut the flow down. I have my radiator mounted on top of my case, but I used to have it on the rear fan mount (right below the PSU), mounting it there is easy, just drill 2 holes where the barbs need to go through the case. this way the radiator is outside the case, but your tubing is short (the best of both worlds) and it allows you to access your case via the side panel without having to remove any components.

    yes there is a certain order it should go. RESERVOIR ---> PUMP ---> WATERBLOCK(S) ---> RADIATOR ---> BACK TO RESERVOIR

    the best way to watercool multiple components is to run independant water circuits, but if you do cool more than one component with a single circuit you should always start with the CPU waterblock first because it heats up the most and is less heat tolerant that the northbridge or video card.

    remember that every component you add cuts down the flow. long lengths of tubing and high heights also can cut down flow considerably. how much it will cut down will all depend on your specific system components and where/how they are installed.
  11. Foxracer15

    Foxracer15 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51


    Ya I think I'll just mount a single 120 radiator on the outside back of my case like you said. When I mount the 120mm fan onto the radiator do I want to fan to blow through the radiator and into the case? Or do I want the fan to suck air through the radiator and into my room?

    Does that make sense if not ill try to clarify.

    I was planning on getting the Swiftech MCP655 pump but I think I'll just get the MiniJet like you have since it cost almost nothing. But would it be possible to post a pic. of your setup so I can see how you mounted the pump? Or just explain it to me if you don't have a picture.

    Thanks again you've been awsome.
  12. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    that swiftech is a very nice pump (it's better than the minijet and would not require any modification to use it inline). aside from the price, that's an awesome pump.

    i only cool my CPU with the minijet606, i have a minijet404 on a separate circuit to cool the vid card and northbridge (although i havent installed the vid card/northbride water cooling setup yet in my newer machine).

    since you want to cool multiple components you may want a more powerful pump. the minijet works ok in my system because my tubes to and from the pump are only 2 inches long with no bends or corners to go through.

    if you are handy with tools or don't mind experimenting with case mods you could build something like I did, pictured below[​IMG] [​IMG]
    as seen in the pic, an aluminum 'L' bracket holds the pump at the waterblock and reservoir height to minimize the tube lengths (you can't get much shorter than that!)
  13. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Putting in junk in your system? I am insulted at the thought that a car's heatercore will perform any worse than a radiator designed for watercooling use. Most of the time it'll be larger than any radiators you can get on the market for watercooling, and so far, any extreme overclocker will tell you car heatercores are the way to go (unless you're willing to spend top bux for a HUUGE radiator, but then you can spend top bux to get top of the line, pre-modded heatercores that perform twice as well).

    The drawback is the need for some modding before you can use it since the inlet/outlets are usually not for computer use, but this hasn't stopped too many people.

    Also the fact that its large.

    Remember that you're watercooling a few components, and this may generate more heat than your single-fan radiator can dissipate. On top of that, you're cooling a Prescott :D. I'd recommend at least a double fan radiator.

    Edit: I forgot to comment on the "correct" way to line up your watercooling system. There is only 1 real rule: reservoir goes before pump. Everything else can come in any order, and it wouldn't affect anything else by more than 1C. Using this info, I'd connect the stuff up in such a way as to reduce the amount of tubing you'd end up using.

    Also, people have done tests and found that connecting the GPU before CPU doesn't increase the CPU temps by any significant amount, and vice versa. Nor does connecting radiator before, between or after a particular component will reduce temps for that component.

    Hope this helps.
  14. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    who said that it will perform worse?

    maybe "extreme overclockers" would want them, but how many extreme overclockers do you know??? 99% are just average overclockers.

    you don't need to have to lowest temps on earth, you just need to be in the saftey margin.

    there is no need for anything more than a single fan radiator, the water itself doesn't get hot enough to need it. you can run your CPU at full load for hours and stick your finger in the water, it will not be hot (trust me, i've done it)

    i use a single fan steel radiator (not the best heat dissipator) with a tiny 160GPH 6W pump (not the most powerful) and my venice 3000+ is overclocked from 1.8GHz to almost 2.5GHz and my CPU temp is 32c via speedfan and 28c via temp probe (probe always reads lower because its on the heat spreader, not the core itself). my ambient room temp is 27c. so you see my temps pretty much match the ambient room temp, which is the best you can expect on plain water cooling (BTW, not that it matters, but I'm using plain old tap water).
  15. Foxracer15

    Foxracer15 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Nice setup

    Thanks a lot for the pics KingCody that should help me later on when i install my stuff. And i think i might get a car radiator and spend a little time modding it. That way i will have more money to spend on the swiftec pump.

    I want a double 120 radiator but there is no way it will fit in my case so I might just have to go with a single 120....

    Thnaks again both of you for your time. Big help.

    Is that 1/2in. tubing in your compy Cody?
    Do you guys think that getting a reservoir is worth the $20?

    Edit: Whoa you just posted a new one right as i was typing this one me. lol
    Ya I'll probly just get a single 120 radiator and mount it on the back of my case.

    Nice temps.
  16. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    the blue tubing is 1/2"

    although it's not needed, you can fit a double radiator if you mount it on the side panel of your case (this will requre a lot of cutting). if you go that route, make sure you mount it horizontally to minimize height.

    yes a reservoir is worth buying. it will help keep your temps more consistent and it will bleed itself for you, besides it looks cool (after all, that's the real reason we watercool ;))

    if you want a heatercore, buy a new one, don't use old junk. go to an autoparts store and describe what size you want and get the cheapest one you can find.
  17. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    by the way fox, if you want something easy and cheap to build, try this out. it's a submersible minijet606 inside a $3 plastic electrical box (which serves as a reservoir). its very cheap and easy to make and it's still quite effective (use 3/8" tubing and a small waterblock for best performance)
  18. Foxracer15

    Foxracer15 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    I don't know about that last idea it looks a little scetchy especially for a noob to water cooling like my self. I'm sure it works fine but it may be a little to advanced for a nubbins.
    Edit: Here is what I currently am thinking about getting (all from

    CPU waterblock:
    Radiator: Custom single 120 from Autozone.

    Do you this a floppy reservoir will be good/big enough or should i go with a bigger bay one?
  19. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    i've never browsed that site before, they have pretty good prices :)

    1. i like that pump
    2. the CPU block looks nice.
    3. that's great tubing, though you don't need 10 feet!, but better safe than sorry
    4. I wouldn't use plastic clamps, they can break easy. I only use metal worm gear clamps
    5. personally i would go with a 5.25" bay resi instead, but that's just personal preference. it won't make any difference as far as performance goes. its its like the bay resi that I have, the barbs that it come with won't seal very good, so use a couple layers of teflon thread seal tape.

    looks good! :D

    by the way, about those last pics.. I was only suggesting it because it's extremely simple to make, and costs very little. it's not advanced at all, and would let you experiment with different water cooling configurations before spending alot of money on a nice rig :) just an idea. i used that exact setup for years on my athlonXPs.
  20. Foxracer15

    Foxracer15 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    :grinthumb Alright thanks.

    I'll probly get some metal clamps like you said but i think I'll just stick with the floppy drive reservoir sine it's an extra $10 for the cs drive one. I dunno maybe I'll try the electircal setup box.

    Also do u know if you can get a radiator from autozone that will fit a single 120mm fan or are they all really big, like the size of the dual 120s?
  21. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    i doubt that you could get any small radiator from autozone that allows a 120mm fan to be mounted to it. car radiators are very large and are designed for big hoses, not small PC tubing.

    you may be able to find small car heatercores, again these are designed for large car hoses, not small PC tubing. you would have to reduce the openings which could be a pain.

    oil coolers and transmission coolers are often small enough for PC cooling use, and many times use small tubing (such as 1/2") which is a plus. however they do not cool as well (i used one on my first water cooling rig. they are the least restricive to flow, but do not cool as well either)

    If you are interested in using car cooling parts, be my guest. i have never don't it myself so I can't say if it will work any better or not.

    made-for-PC radiators/heatercores are the best looking and easiest to install.

    if you think they're too expensive, look around you can get them cheaper than voyearmods sells them for, like this one here :)

    you may want to keep an eye out on ebay, you can find some really great deals on water cooling parts, check this one out for example
  22. Foxracer15

    Foxracer15 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    Ya I think I may just go for a radiator that's made for watercooling. Because your right i cheaked out the modding procedure and it looks like a pain. I'll probly get that $20 you gave me a link to. ;)

    Thanks for all your help I'll let you know if I have any futher questions but I'm going ot go ahead and order my stuff.

    I'll try and post some pics when I get it all installed.

    Eventually when I can save up enought money I plan to get the Pentium D 805 and OC it like crazy!

    Thanks again for all your help It's been awsome! I'm soooo glad I didn't go with the Thermaltake Big Water....
  23. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I'm not too sure what the smallest ones are, I know there are heatercores that fit 2x120mm fans perfectly (Pontiac Bonneville 87?), but most will be larger. I've seen some that'll fit 4x120mm fans. Not that you need that much cooling, but if you get one of those (and mount it outside the case) you probably don't need fans.
  24. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    yeah, it's a well priced unit. just in case you didn't notice, it says "scratch and dent sale", so don't be surprised if some of the fins are bent or somthing. i doubt that it would affect it's performance at all, just letting you know.

    also, I'm not sue if it comes with any hardware to mount it. they sell a fan shroud for mounting a 120mm fan on it (otherwise you have to screw the fan into the radiator fins).
  25. Team Scream

    Team Scream TS Rookie

    Just thought I would throw in my suggestions here for comp@nies to look at,
    FoxRacer if you are in southern cali, then look here, these guys are fantastic and super knowledgeable.Sharka Computers

    Here is a killer deal on a radiator/fan for $20.00 CHECK THIS OUT
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