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 Post subject: replacing the pump, keeping the blocks and radiator
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 2
Location: New York City
Hi all,

I need a good pump, and probably a reservoir. I have a bunch of components that use 3/8 OD" tube. Ideas?

Background: I've been watercooling for a few years now. I've never custom assembled a set-up before; I simply got the Evercool WC-202 a few years ago and it had everything I needed so I've been happy. I'm new so they won't let me post links but I'm sure you can find it with a google search of evercool, or read below.

So, my kit has a fairly small pump/reservoir/radiator in a 5.25 drive, a CPU block, GPU block, a 2nd radiator with a fan that attaches to the pump via a three-prong plug, and tubes which I'm pretty sure are 3/8" OD. They attach with what look like proprietary screw mounts and o-rings, but those could come off and I'd just have regular tubes.

Anyway, after several years of good operation, the pump seems to have died; filling the reservoir doesn't work, tilting it 90 degrees and pinching the out-tube to remove bubbles (which has always worked in the past, and is recommended by the manufacturer) doesn't work either. I could probably order and install a replacement pump, but for a similar price I could probably upgrade. So what are your thoughts?

Considerations:

- I don't overclock much, or really at all. Mostly I'm interested in a quiet rig, which the WC-202 has given me. As long as the water is flowing through the system, my parts haven't melted and I get to tell my friends about my "thirsty" computer.

- I would like to salvage as much of the current set-up as possible, as it seems silly to junk a bunch of good equipment. "Good" is defined here as working and sufficient, as opposed to "best on the market," which I don't need. I could even remove the main reservoir/radiator and use it as such. I do, however, put a premium on parts that will last. There's no point in buying a $50 dollar pump every six months when a $100 pump will last two years (or whatever).

- The 2nd radiator fan is a bit noisy at full speed, which is what I get when I plug it into the motherboard directly. Are there any kits that let you control the speed of the radiator fan using a three-prong plug? Alternately, I could take the fan right off and replace it with some other item.

- What are the considerations for attaching other kits to these tubes? I know that the Thermaltake Aquabay M5 (which uses a p500 pump), for instance, has connectors for either 3/8 or 1/2 tube... that should work, right? Can I use mostly 3/8" components if the tubes running between the M5 pump and reservoir are 1/2"?

- I like having control over the unit, and information about temperature and flow, via the faceplate. Pulling out the machine from the desk to check on flow, or to refill it, would be less than optimal.

I'm looking at that M5, because it has a nifty faceplate and everything else I need... but I've heard mixed things about the pump. I could get the M6, which is the M5 minus the pump, and then another pump (maybe a Swiftech mcp655 or 355?), but I have no idea where to begin. Thanks!

EDIT: Spec corrections.


Last edited by ilta on Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:54 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 2
Location: New York City
Oh, and I should add that I have 2 5.25 bays available; 3 if I take out the second CD drive that I never use anyway.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 1:15 am
Posts: 278
Location: Sydney, Australia
The 2 most common pumps recommended are the MCP655 and MCP355 (they are available under several brands).

The MCP355 comes with 3/8 barbs I think, however it is not speed variable, and is probably noisy (although there is a slower MCP350 variant which might be okay).

I have the MCP655, which is variable speed and can be made pretty quiet. It comes stock with 1/2" barbs, however you can buy an after-market top for it, which then allows whatever barbs you like.

I would strongly recommend you avoid kits. I have never heard anything good about them. One thing you need to be careful about is mixing aluminium and copper -- you will get galvanic corrosion (even if you use anti-freeze, although that will slow it down). And many kits use aluminium parts. Not sure about the kit you have specifically, but just a word of warning.

The only kits I would suggest, are basically just the normal bits grouped together by the vendor, like this:
http://www.petrastechshop.com/pecoba.html

Given a 'kit' like above (or a similar collection of parts), yes, fan speed control is fully available (assuming your motherboard can do it) via 3 pin plugs. Obviously some kind of fan controller can also help with this if your motherboard is deficient!

Flow rate is not really useful information, and typically flow meters of any kind add restriction (and hence reduce flow). The important information is really the heat of your components (ie CPU), which the motherboard/CPU usually provide anyway. If your flow stops, you will know about it! :)

Refilling is not something that should happen very often at all, assuming no leaks. However, bay res's are available if you want to be able to check the water level at a glance.

You can get something like the Typhoon III bay res, which mounts the pumps in the rear, however, I am not sure how well that will separate the pump noise from the case. I personally have my pump suspended with elastic to avoid it vibrating the case.

Most parts (pumps aside) have standard G1/4 thread connectors, which any barb size can then be screwed into, so you can keep the tube size consistent.

I personally use a silverstone CMD01 to monitor temps (both water and air), and I think it works extremely well. Can be picked up from amazon for $16 and you do not need an ESA motherboard to run it.

Hope this helps. Have a look at what is available at a retailer like I linked above (or sidewinders, both of which I have had excellent service from), and ask away.


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