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 Post subject: Need for Watercooling forum section?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:23 pm 
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I know this has been brought up before, but.. can we have a seperate forum section dedicated to quiet watercooling?

It seems to me that watercooling is certainly different enough from air cooling-- at least as different as VGA cooling is from CPU cooling-- to warrant its own forum section.

Sarching for watercooling posts in the past has been kind of a PITA because the posts are mixed in a variety of sections.

I suspect that watercooling will become more and more prevalent over the next few years, as people upgrade to faster/hotter processors. There's certainly no end in sight to the "increase in wattage" and "decrease in die size" phenomenon for CPUs; the prospect of silently cooling a teeny-tiny processor die dissipating 150w is definitely disheartening on air alone.*

The SPCR forums have such a great signal/noise ratio, and I'd like to see that continue with better categorization. Thoughts? Opinions?

* Yes, there is the other school of thought here. Eg, that high performance and silence are mutually exclusive-- one should build a silent box using slower or quiet-optimized parts rather than shoehorning silence onto the most highly overclocked and overvolted PC they can build. To a certain extent, I agree, but I think there is a "have our cake and eat it too" solution, and watercooling has to figure prominently in that scenario over the next few years..


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:24 am 
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I agree to some extent with Wumpus that a watercooling forum section seems appropriate. There is another thread started almost simultanesously that calls for a water cooling section, so I suggest we stay clear of this thread to keep the discussion in one thread (the other thread has more posts).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:01 am 
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I like my thread better :D.

But seriously-- can we get input from MikeC on this? Anyone? Class? Bueller... bueller.. bueller..


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:10 am 
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There's been a few threads about this topic in the "Feedback" forums. Search around in there and see what the management position was last time this came up.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:17 am 
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http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=8143

Nothing from MikeC in there...

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=6014

Nothing relevant to having a forum section in there.. I did however find this cringe-inducing joke:
Quote:
I'm wet (ha ha) with anticipation


I can't find a "management position" on this in the feedback forum.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:08 pm 
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I'll PM MikeC to see what's his position on this.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:11 pm 
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wumpus wrote:
http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=8143

Nothing from MikeC in there...

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=6014

Nothing relevant to having a forum section in there.. I did however find this cringe-inducing joke:
Quote:
I'm wet (ha ha) with anticipation


I can't find a "management position" on this in the feedback forum.


Hmm, not speaking for MikeC, but maybe his silence on this matter speaks volumes.....

(You know, something like "maybe if I ignore all those watercooling zealots, they'll go away...") :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:15 pm 
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Well, I think having a seperate forum section is hardly zealotry.. it's just more logical.. "hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!"

Thanks for following up, guys.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 4:22 pm 
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Well, maybe Ralf is correct, or maybe I managed to piss off Mikec (if I did, sorry, I didn't mean to). But he declined to respond to my PM. If anyone else wants to risk life and limb :-) and ask him again, go ahead.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 8:27 pm 
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I'd love a Watercooling forum.

I don't see why it couldn't hurt... but I'm sure mgmt has their reasons....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 8:54 pm 
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It's not that I am ignoring you wild & wet guys... :D

Just trying to find time to do everything w/o messing up. The thing is to populate this forum, ie, pulling together the various threads on WC to now and moving them to the new forum. If someone wants to do that work & make a post here, it'll be easier to get that forum started on the right foot. It does not have to be a complete list, but a reasonable one.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:59 pm 
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Obviously, you all got your wish. :)

I've moved over all the posts I could find about WC in the cooling section. I am sure there are more elsewhere...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 5:42 am 
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MikeC wrote:
I've moved over all the posts I could find about WC in the cooling section. I am sure there are more elsewhere...

I wouldn't worry too much. Anything of great importance will be discussed again and this time, in the appropriate forum. Hell, I would have just as soon started the new forum and not bother moving ANY old posts over. Just let the forum grow naturally.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:33 am 
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MikeC wrote:
Obviously, you all got your wish. :)

Thanks, Mike!

Now we need someone to post a recommended list of quiet pumps, efficient waterblocks, radiators, general tips and guidelines, etc. and create a couple of stickys, if not a full fledged article. I'd volunteer except I know almost nothing of water cooling except for what I learnt from other members here.

Let's see... to get started, there's the Eheim 1048 has been mentioned very favorably. I even found a German web site that describes how to repair it after it starts getting noisy (using teflon tape). Miker and various others mentioned Tygon tubing (3/8" ID). Some has experimented with using automobile heater blocks as passive (or low air flow) radiators. And of course there's the Zalman reserator.

And in the spirit of April Fool's Day, I have this idea where you custom build a case where the top and side panels (and possibly base) is a reservoir / radiator. I think the water will have dampening / noise absorption qualities as well. I know sound travels better through water, but having an air / foam insulation / metal / water / metal barrier should prove to be an effective barrier for noise insulation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 2:50 pm 
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Thank you MikeC.:!:

"It's a good thing."Martha Stewart

Nowhere_man. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 2:56 pm 
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AWESOME! Thank you MikeC et al!

As I've said before, these forums have an incredibly high signal to noise ratio, and this makes it even better.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:06 pm 
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lenny wrote:
And in the spirit of April Fool's Day, I have this idea where you custom build a case where the top and side panels (and possibly base) is a reservoir / radiator. I think the water will have dampening / noise absorption qualities as well. I know sound travels better through water, but having an air / foam insulation / metal / water / metal barrier should prove to be an effective barrier for noise insulation.


Sound travels better through water than it does through air, but I'm pretty sure it travels through metal better than it does through water. Your water-sandwich idea might damp a little noise.

The foam on the inside would be mandatory to insulate the inside of the case from the water-sandwich radiator. Without it, you'd be radiating 1/2 of your heat back into the case.

It would be easier to build a case with a grid of copper tubing soldered (JB Welded?) to the outside of the case than it would be to create a watertight double walled case that lets you circulate the water. You could probably design it to have a cool industrial look. I'm not sure how well it would radiate, though, since you need lots of surface area to transfer the heat from the water to the air.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:56 pm 
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Quote:
It would be easier to build a case with a grid of copper tubing soldered (JB Welded?) to the outside of the case


I've seen that done, looks cool, doesn't cool well. If I can find it again I'll post a link just for S & G's.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 4:36 pm 
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By use of some 1/4 or 3/8" polycarb you can indeed create a res in the side panel of a case, it's been done.

Lain-Li even sold a factory "fish bowl" window/side panel, and may still do so. In the case of Lain Li it was just for show, not as a res, but add a couple of barbs and it could have been. They even provided a little air pump and some plastic fake fish and plants + some gravel on the bottom of course.

I've no idea what the effect on noise of the res or fish tank type mods was however. But it can and has been done, just not involving the whole case.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 4:52 pm 
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lenny wrote:
MikeC wrote:
Obviously, you all got your wish. :)

Thanks, Mike!

Now we need someone to post a recommended list of quiet pumps, efficient waterblocks, radiators, general tips and guidelines, etc. and create a couple of stickys, if not a full fledged article. quote]

I'm very new here, but I do know watercooling reasonably well. I can write a post which I'll put up in this thread as to how a water loop for lowest noise MIGHT be designed. I say might be, as I've not done one, I use water for boosting performance, without a insane amount of noise. But I do know many of the differant pumps in use and at least 3 that would serve well for this use. But a water loop needs to be planned as a whole for best results. Buying a quiet pump, and a quiet fan(s) is all fine and good, but the remainder must also be choosen with this goal in mind in order to get your best cooling for the money expended.

I came hear to learn more about sound/noise control than I know, so beyond the water loop, it's up to you guys.

Nuff said I'll post some ideas, up to you fellas as to if you want to make any other use beyond this thread. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:30 pm 
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For a low noise, but with cooling equal or greater than most high end air coolers, here is how I'd set up a water loop.

PUMPS

I know of 3 that can serve in this capacity well. Ehiem 1046 & 1048, both are almost silent, and mounted on Sorbothane I'd bet they would be just that. Most who use them on a pad of whatever foam at hand report good results, so Sorbothane would be even better.

The only down side of the 1048 pump is size, there are a number of smaller units on the market. But if the water loop is in a separete case this is no issue at all really, full sized cases should take it without much issue, and in mid sized cases can be worked with by good layout planning & case selection. Has enough flow rate for cooling that will beat the high end air systems if it's combined with the right rad and water block(s). This is a good choice for anyone looking for low noise, with a modest O/C. And for anyone wanting to have his cake and eat it to, a use of strong fans on the rad while benching would allow this pump to deliver a pretty nice O/C for your benching run, then put the low noise fans back on the rad. Or use a reobus to set fan speed as needed with fan that give acceptabel noise levels when at 7v, while offering performance at 12v.

Down side for the 1046 is more it's modest flow rate. This pump will NOT drive a really high end performance system. But is the lowest noise of these 3 pumps, so it may prove populer for this use. Also slightly smaller than the 1048.

Hydor L20 also another low noise pump, it has a flow rate equal to the Ehiem 1048, but is also smaller. This pump should have a close look from anyone who wants to cool in a mid sized case. This pump should be the first choice for anyone try'n to shoehorn a water rig into a small form factor case. Every thing said about the Ehiem 1048 would also apply here, so I won't repeat it.

Down side: This pump WILL transmit more vibration to a case if it's not isolated from doing so than the Ehiem pumps. Foam or sorbothane should handle it without a problem.

All the above pumps can use both 3/8" ID or 1/2" ID hose size. All of these pumps are AC powered, but with a Criticool PCI card of other options to do the same thing they can be connected to come on with the computer when ever the system is powered up. I do not think it's a very good idea to have the pump on a separete switch. YOU may never forget, but someone else may.........not good.

REASONABLY LOW NOISE with higher performance.

I'm going to list the Swiftech MCP 600 here. This pump will outperform all 3 of the above pumps hands down. It is also small in size so will be very easy to locate like the Hydor L20, although it's a bit larger. This pump has a closed impellor unlike the other 3 which gives this pump it's very real performance advantage. This is a 12v pump so is powered with your PSU which is a big plus. You don't need to do anything except plug and play with this pump. The 600 offers DOUBLE the head rate of the L20 or 1048 so you can depend a good deal more flow, most of all in a multi block system. Can use 3/8" ID or 1/2" ID lines.

Down side: The 600 has ball bearings which do cause it to have a bit more noise than the first 3 pumps. Isolated well in a case with sound foam I doubt it would be heard. In a case without sound foam, you'll hear it, but would be well worth the compromise, to me, for the much higher performance.

So as not to run foul of any size limits on posts I'll cover the next area in a separte post.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:54 pm 
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RADS !

Rads can be split into two catagorys: A) heater cores & B) custom "made for water cooling" radiators. Each catagory has it's fans for differant reasons.

Heater cores offer very good cooling, at modest cost. For a in case solution the chevette heater core is the most often used. The chevette core is just the right size to take a 120mm fan, yet fit in tighter spaces than most other cores.

Where space isn't as much of a issue a larger core like the one from a 69-72 chevy pick up would be my first choice. This core offers just enough area to allow dual 120mm fans per side if desired. The biggest advantage of this core however is that it is a single pass type, unlike most others which are dual pass designs. The single pass design offers 70% lower resistence to flow than does a dual pass of the same size. A large core like this also offers much lower resistence to air flow at a given cfm than does the smaller chevette core, which is VERY important when low pressure - low noise fans are used, as they will be in this application. If you have the room for it this is the rad to have, both for performance systems and low noise systems, it just does a great job of cooling.

The custom "made for water cooling" rads of best design are the Thermochill and Black Ice designs. Both companys offer rads sized for both single and dual 120mm fans, Thermochill even offers a rad that is long enough to handle 3 120mm fans per side. These rads offer good cooling and come with built in small stand offs for the fan to attach to and act as a very small shroud. They also can be attached to the case with the same hole patterns as used for the fans as both companys products have these stand off shrouds on both sides, just for this reason.

The Thermochill rads offer two further features. 1) a bleed valve for removal of air from the rad. There are other ways to do this, that are not hard to do, but it's a nice feature anyway, just for ease of use. 2) Threaded sockets for barbs of YOUR choice, this is a very nice feature to have. The rads can be ordered painted in a few differant colors, for a few dollars more of course.

Down side: Cost is a LOT higher than a heater core, and a bit higher than the Black Ice Extreme rads.

The Black Ice rads can be ordered in a couple differant matallic colors & even chrome & gold metalic finishes. They are very sharp lookers.

Downside: Fixed inlet & outlet barbs instead of the threaded ports of the Thermochill, they also lack the bleeder valve.

Down side: Cost almost as much as a Thermochill, yet lack two good features the Thermochill offers it's customers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 6:12 pm 
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RAD FANS

The choice of fans for the water cooling loops rad are always a compromise of sorts. The more air flow you have the better to maintian temps at the lowest possbile level, but this generates a higher noise level. The lowest noise fans available are also the worest for good cooling.

The pressure rate of fans is the a often overlooked area when setting up a cooling loop. Higher pressue is always a advantage.

120 x 38mm fans offer, on average better pressure than the 25mm thick fans do.

120x 25mm fans can be had in lower noise models than the 38mm thick ones.

120mm fans run a very wide range of pressure and cfm rates. Chose your fans to meet you noise level goals.

The lowest noise level fans such as Evercool, Panaflo L types, Noiseblocker's or Papst's fans will need a some what larger rad if they are to offer really top shelf cooling. The large single pass rad mentioned in the rad post would be the best choice. 2 Papst 56cfm fans set up in a push pull on that single pass rad would still offer good cooling, even with the Papst at slightly reduced voltage, and at 9v should be very quiet. Will still press the air cooling guys to match it's results if matched up well with other components.

Shrouds are not really hard to make & are about mandatory for low noise fans reduced output of air. Shrouds help to insure max. benifit of the air available.


Last edited by Blackeagle on Sat Apr 03, 2004 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 6:33 pm 
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CPU Waterblocks

There are dozens of these blocks from differant makers on the market today. But which are the best for a low noise system? Wrong question!

Which is best in a low to moderate FLOW system? Right qusetion!

The best block on the market that is pretty easy to get hold of is the D-Tek White Water designed and created by Cathar. This blocks narrow series of channels is extremly capable at low flow levels. It would be my first choice.

Beyond the White Water here are two other CPU blocks that would offer good performance in a low to modest flow system.

Silverprop Evolution
RBX

Please note that all of these blocks can be purchased with brass or plexi tops to avoid issues with corrosion risks.

This is a short list, but the number of blocks that offer pretty high levels of cooling at low flow & also contain no aluminum are few. I'm SURE there are others, most of all European ones, but these three are a good strating point.

GPU blocks

There are several from differant makers such as Danger Den, D-Tek and Silverprop. And all will get the job done. Here again try to avoid aluminum in a system if possible.

My personal choice here would be one called the Fusion by Silverprop, but D-Tek's and Danger Den will also do credable cooling. My preferance is due in large part to the highly polished brass tops of the Silverprop. And the Fusion is a micro channel block much like the CPU blocks I listed.

NB blocks,

Again D-Tek, Danger Den and Silverprop are the 3 block makers I'll bring to your attention.

While all 3 companys offer blocks with no aluminum, the Danger Den Z-block is noticably higher in resistence to flow. The D-Tek is a good one to look at here as it's the lowest in flow resistence, and the NB does not need as good a cooling as the two main chips in the system do. Silverprops entry is once again a micro channel design with a brass top model available, but in this case the micro channels are a bit of overkill for use in a rig intended for low noise, or even a fairly good O/C system. The Fusion would be my first choice for a extreme O/C rig where max FSB is required.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 6:43 pm 
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Now which of these parts would I use in a low noise planned rig?

PUMP => Swiftech MCP 600, I'd stand a small bit of extra noise here for what this pumps much higher head rate can do for the loop.

Rad & fans=> Chevy single pass pick up core with dual Panaflo L1As in a push pull configuration, or a single Panaflo pulling, and a reobus for ease of fan control. A shroud(s) for the rad and it's fan(s) would be mandatory.

Evercool 120mm fans would be another choice in fan(s) here. Papst or Noiseblocker 120mm fans would be the top choices for low noise, at the cost of reduced cooling.

CPU block => White Water

GPU block => Fusion

NB => D-Tek's NB block

For lines I'd use 1/2" ID Tygon & copper fittings such as long sweep 90's or 45 degree elbows.

With 3 blocks and a rad in the loop the Swiftech 600 would do a lot to keep flow at higher levels.

Some would add a res to this list, others would use a T with just a bleed/fill line. Both work.

This water loop WILL thrash most air coolers, no matter the fan selected. And even the SP94/97 with a tornado fan would not beat it by much, if at all. I'd bet on the water rig as best, but with low powered fan(s) I'm not positive.

There are many cases that can be used for water cooling. But for me, and this loop, I'd take a Antec full tower case set up with both intake and outlet 120mm fans. The intake fan would be my rad fan. The exhaust fan would be run at very low rpm's as the PSU fan would also be exhausting some of the intaken air, and with the resistence of the rad and a inlet filter, the front intake of air will not be real high, a second fan in push=>pull would help this a lot, at the cost of a bit more noise however. With some sound deadening foam added to the case this should be one very quiet system.

I hope some of the info in this set of posts is found to be helpfull to the members here. I'm sure a top shelf expert on low noise water cooling would offer other options than I have, but these are a good starting point.


Last edited by Blackeagle on Mon Apr 05, 2004 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 12:15 am 
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That's a lot of information! Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 5:37 pm 
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lenny wrote:
That's a lot of information! Thanks!


Ty, ty I'm glad you like it.

Just remember I know performance water cooling well, I'm still pretty knew to thinking about ways to reduce noise.

My fan selection is the best I know of for low noise. But it's the area most open to better solutions in the above.

I think most water coolers would agree with my rad and block selections pretty well.

My pump selection isn't bad the first 3 are very quiet pumps, 4th is not loud exactly but not as quiet so it's a compromise pump, but I'd bet there are others I don't know of as I've focused in the past on high performance pumps, without much regard for noise.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 2:00 am 
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It's definately a good start. Part of the problem is that there is really very little information out there on silent watercooling - apart from a few members here such as Seal I'm not aware of any instances of people designing a watercooling system from the ground up primarily for silence.

Just to flag up one potential problem, the air resisitance of a radiator/heatercore is likely to be higher than most fans are designed for. This may well lead to them operation off-design, and so fans that are very quiet normally may be less so, while others may do better.

I'm planning to build a watercooled PC in 6-12 months time or so, and as a result am hanging around here and ProCooling to pick up some ideas. Current plan is a D-Tek WW for the CPU, flow being split to GPU or NB/HDD. Cooled by probably a Thermochill 120.1 with the air in at the front and vented out the bottom of the case with the fan mounted on the bottom (for slightly better noise damping - the fan noise will hit the carpet). Pump is likely to be an Eheim 1048, and the res will probably be an Aquatube or Tank-o-matic depending on the case.
Main questions left are what fan to use (some form of 120mm - I may buy one of each of the top candidates and experiment, selling them off on eBay afterwards. If so I'll write it up for here), how to control the fan (I'd like some form of automatic thermal control depending on water temp - I may just build my own circuit to do it) and what case to use. I really want an aluminium one (for the "it's so shiny" factor ;)), but most of them aren't all that nice. The Coolermaster ATCS-110 is really nice, but hugely expensive and hard to find.


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 9:32 pm 
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I have to say that I'm very impressed with Blackeagle's writeups above. I think that portion should be put into a new thread and stickified.

I'm writing up a list of watercooling fears right now and BlackEagle's posts have made me cross off one of the fears ("What radiators are out there that don't require me to hunt for car parts?").

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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 8:33 am 
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For beginners:

Swiftech MCP 600 is not anywhere near silent by SilentPC standards.

Far from the Eheims' IMHO.

Just FYI, in case you are after silence and not highest cooling performance.


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