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 Post subject: my new watercooled setup
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 7:06 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
I finally took the plunge. Over the course of the past 24 hours I've made the transition into watercooling territory.

To cut a long story short, here are some pics:

Image

Image

Image

The last one shows how I cut the corner off a pci bracket to allow for the pump's power cable.

The cpu waterblock is a swiftech mcw5002. Want my opinion? DO NOT GET THIS BLOCK. The mounting mechanism is pathetic and you can actually wiggle the block when it's "fully on". The pressure that the hosing places on this block is (i think) actually causing the block to lift off the cpu core. Pathetic. Stay away from it. Performance (in my system, at least) is also woefully pathetic.

The gpu waterblock is a swiftech mcw50 with 1/2" ID -> 1/2" OD fittings. Nice block. The ID->OD fittings work really well and make installing/configuring tubing really easy because it's one less thing to tighten. Recommended.

The rad is a 2nd (3rd?) -hand black ice extreme. Drilled 4 new fan mounting holes 4-5mm right/left of the original ones so that when the fan (a stock bqe 120mm) is mounted to it, the near sides of the fan and radiator sit flush. This lets the side panel be put back on. (the rad would stick out otherwise). If I could be bothered to mod the case to fit a heatercore, I would have gone with that, but I couldn't, so this was my next best option I think.

The pump is an eheim 1048. A lot of vibration from this fan but is otherwise silent. It'll probably outlast most of the other stuff in the computer. You need good clamps (like the worm gear ones I have) to secure the tubing to the pump's barbs otherwise they leak instantly. More than enough flow rate. Highly recommended.

Well.. what can I say? Definitely not a complete success story. All up it cost me over $400 which would have been much better spent on other things.

At least it looks cool :) the green colour is due to the Nulon Ultra Cool radiator additive I used in conjunction with distilled water. It's also UV reactive, which is a nice touch.

Thoughts? Opinions? Comments?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 10:16 pm 
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Thanks for posting, chylld! I'm not quite ready to make that step myself, but it shouldn't be too far off. I definitely appreciate seeing something more than a banal my-new-WC-rig-rocks post. So, what kind of temps are you talking about?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2004 10:45 pm 
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Let's just say I've throttled it back to stock speed and it's idling at 58C.

FIFTY-BLOODY-EIGHT-C.

Main reason why it's that high is cos I just ran a prime95 test, during which the cpu reached 62C. The water must be trapping all of that heat.

There are three main weaknesses to my system:

1) CPU waterblock. As I said above, pathetic.
2) Radiator. Such a small rad with a low-airflow fan isn't exactly going to work wonders.
3) Case airflow. something i thought I didn't have to take into consideration but apparently I do.

I guess.. on the upside, the system also sounds cool :) It's actually significantly noisier than when the system was aircooled, but it makes funny gurgling noises every now and then :)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:14 am 
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Nice system, I also think very lowly of the MCW5002 block. It's mounting mechanism is just okay on the P4 and terrible on Athlons...

A WB that screwed through the MB would be much better. A RBX or WW would be great for a Athlon, plus it has good mounting mechanism.

How hard was it to drill those holes? That's the only thing keeping me from WC my 3700AMB, though I may just buy a Sonata since its holes seem to have enough clearance. I know it isn't the best for airflow, but something just draws me towards it.

Anyways, nice job. I like the color of the water, it does look like a very tight fit though...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:33 am 
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yeh an rbx or ww would be good. cascade would be even better :)

drilling the holes in the rad's shroud was a piece of cake, to be honest. i did put a spare pci bracket between the radiator fins and shroud while i was drilling though, to avoid going through and drilling away at the fins...

it is indeed a very tight fit! i assembled everything inside the case and then pulled everything out (easy enough) and leaktested the system (there were a couple of leaks, again the mcw5002 was to blame) (aaargh) but i couldn't figure out how on earth to get everything back in. not only is it heavier with all that fluid in it, but the stiffness of the tubing kept me forcing 5 things into place with only 2 hands.

i ended up draining the system into a bucket, and putting it in piece by piece again and just filled it up while it was inside.

next time i go watercooling, i'm going to get that german innovatek stuff or even the asetek waterchill stuff.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 1:35 am 
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Yeah, my next setup is gonna be Innovatek. Performance seems decent, esp with the low flow and smaller tubing, but it'll be much easier to route the tubing in a tight case. 1/2 ID is big stuff....

Also the quality seems extremely high, so we'll see how that goes, unless I manage to find a Cascade as well, I wish though...!


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 Post subject: Re: my new watercooled setup
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 1:45 am 
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chylld wrote:
I guess.. on the upside, the system also sounds cool :) It's actually significantly noisier than when the system was aircooled, but it makes funny gurgling noises every now and then :)

You made me laugh. :lol: Honestly, I think we should have a Silent Watercooling forum here. Experience like yours shows that it's not quite as straightforward as one might think.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 1:58 am 
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If you're getting that hot, I've got to wonder about your mounting. Procooling did a comparative test involving the 5000-A (effectively a 5002) and even at half a gallon a minute they were only getting temperature differences of 13 deg C or so between the coolant and the chip. Unless your coolant is red hot (which I doubt) this suggests you've got a dodgy mounting.
http://forums.procooling.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=8941


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:08 am 
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Inexplicable: glad i made you laugh :) interesting point is, cathar's last block (the cascade) is actually an audible cpu waterblock. i.e. you can hear it when water is flowing through it. That is the kinda sound you really want to hear, more than anything :) (except for maybe the odd *gabloop*)

pdf27: i asked around and lots of people reckoned the mounting was the problem, so i mounted numerous times. checked that i had the correct orientation (softer spring on cambox side), reapplied as5 a few of the times as well. no difference.

one thing i did learn from remounting the cpu waterblock is that i can unmount it without removing any of the other components. should make things easier when i upgrade my cpu waterblock :) (unless i have to remove the motherboard... UGH)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:04 am 
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Have you tried measuring the temperature of the coolant in the reservoir? I'm just thinking that those two hard drives must be putting out quite a bit of heat in the vicinity. I know my two Maxtors do. I guess it would be best to have the reservoir outside the case, but if you want to keep everything inside you might want to consider placing it at the back of the case where it's cooler (would need a flatter container, though).

I have absolutely NO experience with watercooling, so please take this for the n00b advice it's worth. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:12 am 
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I just checked it, the hard drive cage is actually COLD. and this is the only thing in contact with the res. It was a good point though.

One thing to note is, the water in the res is quite warm - warmer to the touch than any of the tubing and even the rad (weird).


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:18 am 
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Sounds like there's only one possible source of the problem left...the radiator. You said it's a 2nd or even 3rd hand piece...maybe it has lots of hm...what's the name...you know, layers of stuff built up from the water on the inside. Like chalk or algae.

Things like these severely impair the cooling efficiency of any radiator. I don't know if there's an easy way of getting rid of the stuff, but i'm sure there must be some strong liquid around that could do the trick. :wink:

Best thing would be to try with another radiator if that's at all possible...otherwise you could try and speed up the radiator fan to the max and see if it makes any noticeable difference. Also try turning the fan off completely.

I recently had a similar problem with my own wc-setup, and after trying the above fan speed-tests with no apparent effect, I took the fan off the radiator and (to my amazement) found a thick layer of dust that covered the whole radiator. I could lift it off in one piece, hehe. After that, my temperatures dropped ten degrees. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:20 am 
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Hmmm chylld im sorry to hear your temps are bad, i want to help though and i think i can help you alot here...

Firstly the bad temps i can tell you are not from that waterblock. I think its the gpu waterblock, it adds alot of unessary heat to the system and cpu temps suffer a LOT from it. I say this because i built a setup for a friend that should have given MUCH better temps than mine with all the equipment he had which was all top notch stuff but the only difference being is that he had a gpu block, his temperatures were quite bad and i was very surprised.

If you dont mind experimenting and have lots of spare bits of odd tubing, try the setup again but passively air cool your radeon if you can. Im looking to get a radeon 9600xt and im sure you know i have watercooling - im planning on getting the zalman passive cooler with it too NOT a waterblock.

Also, if you have a temp probe, drop it into the water in your res, it'll help alot with diagnosis. You'll be able to see if it really is the processor waterblock. *If* i remember correctly the water temp difference between processor temp should be around 13-15 deg c in my system. If there is a much larger difference then it is your proccy wb being bad.

Also what tubing is that? Looks like tygon or clearflex? If it isnt tygon or clearflex i strongly reccomend you buy some (pricey but worth it). That will help eliminate problems with the tubing lifting off the waterblock.

The black ice extreme is a reasonably good rad so should be able to effectively cool a processor easily. with 1/2 decent temperatures on a silent setup.

And dont worry that its noisier, at first my watercooling setup was really noisy and i never believed that it could ever be quieter than a good air cooled setup, now i believe otherwise and my water setup is probably one of the quietest around.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:36 am 
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chylld, I realise I'm suggesting the 'Bleedin' obvious, and have no doubt that you've checked it several times but your rad looks like a prime candidate for an air lock.

Can you remove it briefly from the case and rotate it to 'put' the inlet/outlet at the top?

This is where you tell me there's a bleed nipple at the top of the rad and you've checked it... 23 times :oops:


Umm... just reread this and must appologise for the awefull and accidental 'bleedin' non joke at the begining :oops:

What are you temps if it's been idling for 1/2HR or so?

Want to go WC myself (Already bought the 1480 :roll: you should have seen the girl in the shops face,
"What size tank is it for?"
"Err.. it's not for a tank"
"If you can tell me what its for I can help you much more easily"

"Err.. It's to be part of a water cooling system for my comp."

"Pardon!!" She said as she looked round the shop for back up from other assistances when this nutter attacks her. :oops: )

Good to hear (or not :roll: ) your pleased with the pump.

Do keep us updated on your progress.

Just a thought, but your tubing and res are plastic, so cannot dissipate heat like a rad, why's your rad cool? it should feel the warmest. Yes/no?

Sounds like an airlock the more I think about it. But then I know nothing about WC from experience with comps only cars and bikes but it's similar.

Good luck.


Pete


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 6:19 am 
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The gurgling noises you hear are probably air bubbles entering the pump.
Depending on your setup it can take a long time for those to bleed.
In my system bleeding takes ~3days (but I use a T-line instead of a Res).
A couple of things to check : Touch the radiator , does it feel hot? If it does , then your radiator(or fan) is not up to the task.
Also touch the blocks , if they feel hot then your coolant is too hot or your waterflow is too low.
To clean the radiator I used hydrochloric acid. You half-fill the rad then seal barbs and shake for a few minutes and empty. Repeat until no dirt comes out. Then you do it one more time but with a mixture of water and baking soda (to neutralise the acid). Finally you flush it with water.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 1:47 pm 
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Fruktsallad: I cleaned the inside of the radiator with soda water. filled it up and let it sit, then rinsed it out with distilled water. repeated. hardly any gunk came out.

as soon as the temperatures settle, i'll try turning the fan off completely - should be an interesting experiment :)

the rad did have a lot of dust in between the fins, i took a vacuum cleaner to it and it's pretty much clear now.

Seal: Yeh that's what i thought - gpu temps contributing to the cpu temps which makes perfect sense. Compounding that problem is my opinion that the gpu gets MUCH hotter than the cpu.

i don't have a temp probe, but after a while the water in the res does get quite warm indeed.

the tubing is 1/2" ID clearflex 60. it's good, high quality tubing but it's just too stiff to work with imo (no idea how i managed to do what i've done).

i think the rad isn't the problem, it's the airflow through the rad. i have the stock bqe 120mm sucking through the rad and it doesn't do a helluva lot :)

thanks for the encouragement :) i'll see this one through to the end dammit.

peteamer: thanks for the suggestion, but space-wise it's so cramped in there that i can't afford to affix it in any orientation other than that i have it in already.

i too was expecting the rad to feel the warmest but most of the time it stays surprisingly cool. the tubing right in front of the rad (cpu->gpu) is also surprisingly cool. i guess i am getting airflow through the rad.

love the story about the girl at the shop :) who knows u 2 might get together one day :D

apocalypse80: the gurgling noises happen when airbubbles enter the res. if i tilt the computer then a few bubbles go from the rad to the res and go *gablurop*. personally, i want to keep this sound as long as possible cos it's just the most awesome sound i've ever heard from my computer. :)

i just touched everything, and for some reason everything is cool/cold! !? cpu is now idling at 48.

i'll note your tips on radiator cleaning though, seems like good advice. i've asked for help on this before but people usually debate as to which acid is the best to use, without actually talking about how to use it.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:00 pm 
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nice. btw a good tip when installing tubing, get a cup of hot water - almost boiling and dip the tube in, it'll become all nice and soft and bendy and easy to install.

Oh yeah i forgot one more thing thats important, when you fill your system up, its very important to run the system and turn the radiator all around different angles to get the large air bubbles out of it, otherwise they'll permanently stay there in the top of the res. which will be bad for temps. You'll be surprised hpow much air gets stuck in there.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:15 pm 
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ok things are going better today, the temp flattens out at 48c now (down 3c from yesterday, probably due to the lower ambient)

i turned the radiator fan off, and this is what i got. you can also see the temp climb upon bootup:

Image

seal: i would have done that but the problem was that it's too much of a pain to assemble everything outside the system and then put it all back in. i can only hold so many things with 2 hands :(


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:41 pm 
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From what you say I can see no other explanation than bad mounting of the cpu block.
Try pushing the cpu block with your finger (gently) in different parts , with the pc in full load , you should see an improvement in temps within a few seconds.

BTW with a similar size rad (but in the lower-front of the case) , 2x120mm fans in push-pull (@7V = 1k rpm) , Eheim 1250 and homemade waterblocks on cpu & nb , I get load temps of 20° over ambient while pushing 120W through the proc.

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CPU & NB Watercooled by 11 , Eheim , Thermochill


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:06 pm 
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i tried pushing on the cpu block but it didn't do anything for the temps.

oh well.. i guess it was quite a bit of wishful thinking with the positioning and size of the rad and weakness of the fan.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:21 pm 
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chylld - I'm in no way an expert in watercooling but I have used a Maze 4 peltier system with a BIX rad for a science fair project. The air that you mentioned being in the rad is most likely the cause of high cpu temps, so keep on tilting the case until you don't get any more 'gabloop' sounds despite the fact that you love them so much.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:11 pm 
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i tilted it, but i think the problem is that the bubbles are getting sucked back into the pump anyway.

i have a bigger problem at the moment - i just realised my res is leaking.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 6:59 pm 
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chylld wrote:
i tilted it, but i think the problem is that the bubbles are getting sucked back into the pump anyway.


I have a similar setup to yours, with the same radiator in the same orientation (but mine is outside the case with the 120mm blowing case air through it). I agree with the other posters that a likely culprit is air in the radiator. I suggest you keep tilting it back and forth until all the bubbles bleed into the top of your reservoir.

When I bled my system, I made the hoses to the pump/reservoir long enough so I could tilt the whole case with one hand onto its back and hold the pump/reservoir level with the other hand. Air bubbles came out for several minutes, especially since only some of them escaped at the top of the reservoir and others went back into the system. My radiator is definitely warm, so your cold one supports the air block theory.

I second the recommendation for Innovatek parts. I haven't worried about leaks since my first minute of leak testing.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:52 pm 
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I think I've found the reason behind my high temps.

It's because my CPU core is cracked along the bottom edge.

()#$&(@&#%&^(*&^%)&$^#)@&$^#

As a result this thing is now idling at 56C.

The core was cracked by the mcw5002 cpu waterblock.

This has been a totally horrid experience for me. After spending $500, I'm left with a cracked cpu core, higher maintenance, higher temperatures, etc etc. not to mention the amount of time i've wasted on setting it up. God forbid should the need to remove my motherboard arise.

I don't have the money now for a new cpu + waterblock so I'm just stuck with this pathetic nonsense until I get a job.

Should've just gotten a waterchill.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2004 3:17 am 
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There is a lot of air in the reservoir and it looks from the photos as if there are air bubbles in the res water.
Add more water so that there is no air pocket in the res, that way no air will get sucked into the pump., hence no air pocket in the Rad.
A smaller, less powerful pump / bigger res would also help but that needs $ + effort.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2004 4:21 am 
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good point. i'll fill it up with more fluid later.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2004 4:56 pm 
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chylld dont be dissapointed, just look upon it as teething problems, at first i did have alot of problems but you need a good few weeks to get used to watercooling and how it behaves etc...

Im assuming when you say cracked core, you mean its chipped a little on the edges, my old chip was like that but you dont get any temperature degredation from it (or very very little). If i had read the posts earlier i would have strongly reccomended against pushing the sides of the waterblock as this is what probably chipped the core. You idling at 56 deg c is definately not to do with the small chip, you will find that with watecooling, ambient temperatures GREATLY affect cpu temperatures, twice as much as it does with air cooling.

... and waterchill would have given you MUCH worse temperatures, smaller radiator, smaller pump, worse waterblock.

I'd say just stick with it for now and give it 2 or 3 days for everything to settle and see how it progresses, then give us an update, this is more a chance to let the thermal paste settle and to get all of the tiny air bubbles out of the system.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:18 pm 
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I agree with the other comments, I think you have a major air block in the rad, which is causing the bulk of the high temps. 'Galoomph noises' may be cool, but they indicate air in the system which is really bad for your cooling.

It would be MUCH better if you could flip the rad 180* so that the I/O fittings are at the top, not the bottom. I also think you would do better if the hoses were a bit longer so they weren't putting as much flex load on the blocks.

You might well be sucking air back into the system from the res (looks like it from the pix) I would reccomend putting some kind of 'vortex breaker' in the top of the res to keep air bubbles from pulling through it. One simple thing for this is one of those poly plastic pot scrubbers that looks like a plastic brillo pad. Also keep the res as full as you can.

I don't think it's possible if you want to keep everything inside the case, but you would really benefit from a fan shroud. What I would probably do is take the fan out of the case, put the rad against the case wall (giving more room for the hoses) and mount the fan on an inch or two thick shroud sticking out the back of the case.

Speaking of fans, what are you currently using? If it's one of the thin fans, going to a 38mm thick model will considerably improve your airflow, as the 38's have less problem with flow restrictions.

Good luck

Gooserider

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:17 am 
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i've since filled the res up with more coolant and the galoomph noises have disappeared. i miss them :( there's still a good probability that air is trapped in the top of the rad, and flipping the rad 180* would help, but it's just too much work. i've decided that when i have the money and time, i'm going to replace the bix with a BA heatercore and probably have it outside the case or at the top front.

the 'vortex' you're seeing in the res is actually just the case switch/led cables.

the fan i'm using is the stock bqe. it's a 25mm fan specified at 37 cfm so it is indeed an underperformer. when i get my BA i'll probably mount 2 panaflo L's under it with a 3cm shroud. how i'll fit that .. i dunno :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:28 am 
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I realise this will sound stupid as soon as I re-read it, but what about turning the rad just 90 degs to put the outlet (nearest the mobo?) at/near the 'top'?

or even put the case on it's side?
The res could 'hang' out of the open side of the case with no ill effects provided the top (of res)was at the top?

Just a thought :?

Good Luck and keep keeping us informed.

I for one am intrigued as to the reason for your highish temps. :?

Pete

Edit: Any back-ups on this would be appreciated... or other ideas to help chylld 8). Come on chaps !!!!


Last edited by peteamer on Sat Feb 21, 2004 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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