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 Post subject: Is watercooling noob-proof?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 1
All hail, Caesars of the electrolyte.

I'm considering my first total PC overhaul in 4 years and have been wondering if water-cooling could help my circumstances.

We live on a farm, and it's almost impossible to create a dust-free environment. My PCs have always had more dust on them than your average roadie, and big fans in big numbers with big dust clouds every 6 months has been the norm.
Were I to do away with the fans on the CPU and GPU, I'm sure there'd be less dust settling down, and the possibilities for overclocking in the future become less scary.

If I was to water-cool a PC now, though, does it have to be very expensive?.

I'd most likely be looking for a Q6600 on some sort of X38 mobo for the future possibilities, with an HD3870 or 8800GT.
One new SATA DVD drive for now, with one old ATA hdd and one new SATA hdd for Vista-bashing.

I'd probably only want the CPU and GPU water-cooled, although the GPU might be going too far, as the hdd and dvd drives don't usually create problems, and my main concern is not so much for noise as for cooling.

So I've had a look around and read a lot of the threads here and there is no mention of 'all-in-one' kits. Is this because they are a bit too noisy for those who pursue truly noise-free gaming PCs?

I've seen a Gigabyte kit of pump, rad with fan, tubes, coolant and CPU block(albeit with a fan on top too) for £60. This is the same price as most of the highly-regarded pumps here, so is it a case of 'pay peanuts, get monkeys'?.

Is an external radiator with a fan relatively effective in cooling a CPU?.

Are such kits likely to be much noisier than 4 80mm fans and a PSU?

What's the minimum acceptible budget I should be aiming for to get safe temperatures if I go for a record in Bioshock?.

Thanks in advance.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:23 pm
Posts: 167
The simpler solution IMO is to put a (large?) intake fan on your next build, and have a dust filter in front of that. Then only the filter would get dusty.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:32 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Dunedin, NZ
In my opinion if your looking for a high overclock while keeping low temps then Water Cooling may be for you. The one thing that stop me from going into water is a the price of a good kit.

Most "all in one" kits only preform on par or a little better than top end air coolers and the few good kits that easily out perform the top air coolers cost $350-$400USD while my top end air CPU + GPU coolers cost me $150USD.

I run my Q6600 @ 3.6Ghz using my thermalright Ultra120 extreme which keeps it under 55C load, stock cooler @ 2.4Ghz hit 68C load and my 8800GTS 512mb with Arctic cooling Accelero S1 Rev 2 with a 120mm fan zip tied to it and it keeps load under 50C.

I don't know what Gigabyte kit you are talking about, if we knew we could help you further but just on the fact it cost 60 I would say it is a POS.

Also what case do you currently have, going water just because of a bit of dust seems a bit excessive, some $2 dust filters that you can fix on the front of the fan can solve that.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:49 pm
Posts: 336
Location: Upper left hand corner, USA
If you are still going to have fans in the case (e.g. cooling CPU and GPU with water, but cooling northbridge, southbridge, VRMs and power supply with air), then don't think you will get much advantage over the dust.
(Still slurping it into the case.)

Might as well just air cool the whole business, and get a good air filter.

You might look at some of Bluefront's posts for air filters and designs.
He has some nice systems using air filters from car ventilation systems.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:50 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:35 pm
Posts: 808
Location: Greece
I agree that as long as you have a couple of case fans (to cool the motherboard and hard disks) you lose the advantage of watercooling when it comes to dust.

It would make sense to cool cpu/vga and chipset with water so you that you don`t have to deal with fans in the case at all. You could only use a couple of fans on an external radiator which should be easy to clean. This is a costly and elaborate option which still requires maintenance (looking for leaks and changing coolant).

Alternatively you could built a positive pressure case with a filter behind each intake fan. The positive air pressure inside the case should prevent dust from entering through panel gaps etc.. It too can be elaborate as most cases are designed for negative pressure (1 intake vs 2 exhausts, rear & psu) but still simpler and cheaper than an advance water cooling solution.

My PCs: Workstation : HTPC in a CD player case : Custom Mini ITX projects

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:40 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:44 pm
Posts: 56
Even when watercooling the entire chipset (northbridge, southbridge, mosfets, cpu) and the RAM, GPU and HD, there are still parts of the mobo that would run hot and would require at least a little airflow.

Unless you're overclocking, I wouldn't really bother with watercooling just for the cooling it gives. Spend the money on creating a dust free environment for the computers with big dust filters.

That said, if you're looking at it from more than just a practical view, and are itching to try out watercooling, go nuts. :) But it's not noob-proof.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:01 am
Posts: 299
Location: Vancouver Wa USA
Nothing is noob proof. As soon as they think they have designed something noob proof, someone else designs a more powerful noob.

I have real dust problems, and the filters on my Solo/Sonatas do pretty well. I was thinking how to do even better, then saw Bluefront's designs which were along the lines I was just starting to think about, and he had it already done. (Nicely done, and some touches I had not considered.) Let me second the suggestion to search for examples of his systems.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:14 am 
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Posts: 2804
Location: New York City zzzz
portability aside, the reserator systems (with the exception of the XT one) really kick anything elses ass for time spent and dollars spent.

after going for them, I just never built my own thing again. 2008 things are running COOLER not hotter. vid cards run hotter on load, but any water setup handles a single card with ease.

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