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radodrill

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Everything posted by radodrill

  1. As an avid watercooler I've noticed quite a few threads asking what to get etc; so here's some information for those who are considering H2O cooling but aren't quite sure what to get and/or to give people an overview of what watercooling is all about. Why watercooling? We all know that many electronic components (particularly CPUs/GPUs) produce a lot of thermal energy (heat); this must in some way be dissipated to the ambient air; this is traditionally achieved through a combination of fans/heatsinks, the heatsinks serving to provide a larger contact area with the air to increase the amount of heat that can be transferred while the fans create air movement to result in a more efficient heat transfer process. In more recent years (relatively speaking) we've seen the advent of chips with higher thermal loads, requiring larger heatsinks and more airflow. For this reason we've seen a lot more (and larger) heatpipe coolers on the market as they have significantly more surface area than the stock coolers; these coolers are often very heavy/bulky and can get in the way in the case and in some cases stress the motherboard in such a way that it could cause damage to the motherboard. Watercooling then becomes a very viable option since water is very good at absorbing heat and can do so with a very low temperature change for a given amount of heat. The fact that water is a fluid makes it possible to physically move the heat away from the source and transfer the water to a more convenient location for dissipating the heat, namely the radiator. Since the radiator does not have to be physically attached to the heat source (only by means of tubing for the water to flow through), the surface area for heat transfer can be significantly larger than what could be achieved with a sink mounted on top of the CPU. This allows a lot more heat to be more effectively transferred from the CPU to the ambient air and thus also allow for lower idle and (more importantly) load temps than what can be obtained by means of air cooling. What brands to consider/avoid One word of warning for newbs is to avoid cheap kits from companies such as Koolance, Zalman and Thermaltake; they are crap and at best offer the same performance of a good heatpipe cooler. This can be attributed to poor block/radiator design making them less effective at transferring the heat to/from the water. Another reason to avoid these companies is that they generally use aluminum in their block tops and/or radiators, which can lead to galvanic corrosion between the copper in the bases of the blocks and the aluminum. The companies I consider to produce the best watercooling components are DangerDen, EK-Waterblocks, D-Tek, Swiftech, Thermochill, Hardware Labs, and LIANG. Only current exception is the Swiftech Apogee GTX CPU waterblock and the Swiftech Stealth VGA waterblock as they have aluminum tops; however, for the Apogee GTX a replacement copper top is available. Component type/selection Generally watercooling the chipset doesn't really provide much of a gain. The only situation where watercooling really becomes a valid option is when doing extreme overclocking. Radiator selection is based on what you're planning on cooling, I generally recommend at least a 240mm rad (120mm are more for CPU only, 360mm+ for CPU and SLIed/X-fired GPUs); you can easily hang it from the rear of the case with a Swiftech RADbox or gutted 120mm fan. For low speed fans the Swiftech radiators perform a bit better than the HW labs GTS series; but if you can afford it, the Thermochill PA series are supposed to be the best available. Currently the D-Tek Fuzion is considered to be the best CPU waterblock on the market, other good choices are the Swiftech Apogee GT and the DD TDX. For GPU cooling you can either mount a core only waterblock and use heatsinks on the RAM/Vregs or use a full-cover waterblock that actively cools the core, RAM, and Vregs. Using a full-cover block is usually a bit more expensive than a block + sinks; however, with many newer graphics cards the price difference isn't as much since the cards require a lot more sinks than previous cards. If you plan on going the full-cover route, I'd probably recommend going with EK-waterblocks as they're a bit less expensive than the DangerDen blocks (and from what I hear also perform better). For core only blocks I'd recommend the Swiftech MCW-60, DangerDen Maze4 or DangerDen Maze5. The two pumps I'd recommend are the LIANG D5 (aka Swiftech MCP655) or the LIANG DDC with Petra's Tech top (available from www.petrastechshop.com ) For tubing I generally use 1/2" ID, but if you need to make tighter bends, the best is to use 7/16" ID tubing on 1/2" barbs. I personally just use zip-ties rather than hose clamps on the fittings. To fill the system there are two options; either to use a reservoir or a T-Line. Whichever you use it should be right before the pump in the loop order; this is to keep the pump flooded during the filling process (can be damaged if run dry). In some cases the reservoir is easier for filling the loop while the T-Line requires significantly less less space; but when it comes down to it it's just a matter of preference. For cooling fluids I just use Distilled water + Biocide (algaecide), but the Pentosin would also be a viable choice; IMHO the pre-mixed coolants are a waste of money Places to shop Petra's Tech Shop - has very competitive prices and ships worldwide (orders outside the US are completed via email), also offers preconfigured "kits" consisting of quality components; the two owners are very knowledgeable and also very much interested in customer satisfaction DangerDen - Web store for the waterblock manufacturer, also offers "kits" comprised of their products Jab-Tech - Also offers competitive pricing and a broad selection of components Swiftech - Wed store for Swiftech, also offers pre-made kits Performance PCs - Good selection and decent pricing Xoxide - decent selection but somewhat more expensive FrozenCPU - good selection but somewhat more expensive Sidewinder Computers - good selection and prices, ships worldwide SVC - prices are comparable to Jab-Tech and Petra's Tech Shop For those of you familiar with other resellers worth mentioning, pleas let me know and I'll gladly add them to the list.
  2. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    The mounting would likely be a problem; you could use a core only GPU block as well as RAM-sinks If it's all copper and brass then you're fine; corrosion is primarily an issue when you have aluminum in the loop. I just use a few drops of Biocide (PT Nuke) to to prevent algae and/or microbial growth; some people also use some sterling silver as a Biocide.
  3. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    I'm not too fond of Asetek; and to be honest, I don't really like kits and IMHO the only "kits" worth buying are the bundles from Petra's Tech or DangerDen. The most important thing in the loop order is that te res/T-line is right before the pump inlet to keep the pump flooded while filling/bleeding. Often the radiator is placed right before the CPU block as this ensures the best CPU temps. The iandh RAMsinks are supposed to be quite good and should be very sufficient for cooling the RAM.
  4. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    different chipsets use different placement of the retention holes (and sometimes MB manufactures use hole placements that differ from the reference design) so you have to make sure that the chipset block is either universal or includes the correct hold-down plate for your chipset. The differences in different models of the Maze4 block are only in the top (the tops can also be purchased separately) so just chose the model that best describes the chipset used my your board. DD and EK do not seem to make full-cover blocks for the 9800GT; but both make blocks for the 9800GTX and 9800GX2
  5. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    I'd avoid Coolermaster WC components. I guess I didn't add Newegg to the list because about the only decent quality WC they sell are packaged kits made by Swiftech; so not nearly the same selection or the ability to cherry-pick components as with other stores catering to watercoolers. For the most part watercooling the RAM does not offer any tangible performance gains and merely adds restriction to the loop. Also, a lot of the RAM blocks that are on the market are aluminum, which is just one more reason to avoid tham as that's just asking for galvanic corrosion.
  6. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    I guess some people like the case itself because it's "designed" for watercooling; but I do not think it's cost effective to buy it just to turn around and replace their crappy WC with quality gear. Perhaps TT should offer the case without their WC stuff pre-installed
  7. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    I would not use aluminum for any component in my cooling loop. When Copper/Brass and Aluminum components are used in the same loop, it leads to galvanic corrosion; even the use of corrosion inhibitors will not prevent this, it merely slows down the process.
  8. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    Currently Petra's Tech has the D4 pump on sale for $29.95 I'm not sure if you'd want to go full-cover on the GPUs or not; for core only I'd suggest the Swiftech MCW-60 with RAMsinks (Swiftech makes a pack with all the sinks for the 8800GTX). I personally like the look of the full-cover blocks (they also allow cleaner tube routing) and either the EK blocks or the DangerDen blocks would be a good choice; I hear that the EK block has a slight performance advantage over the DD block. FWIW, I'm currently running a pair of DD 8800GTX blocks and they do an excellent job of cooling the cards (idle temps dropped 20C). You should probably be fine with a 240mm radiator; but if you have the room, I personally would probably step up to a 360mm rad.
  9. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    "Non-conductive" coolants aren't all they're cracked up to be; if it drops onto a component with some dust on it the dust will go into solution in the coolant and make the coolant conductive. The same is true for water; pure distilled water is not conductive, but as soon as impurities get in it it becomes conductive. The best thing to do is to be sure that all the tube to barb connections are secure and if necessary use a bit of Teflon tape on the threads of the barbs to make sure they seal correctly. If you take those precautions you shouldn't have any leaks unless you puncture a radiator with a screw.
  10. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    The primary difference is a redesigned hold-down/retention mechanism. Also, the top is somewhat different and there may be a minor performance boost. Either one is fine for a Q9450; just be sure the radiator is able to extract the heat of the CPU from the water (I would never recommend less than a 240mm rad).
  11. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    I don't think there's a major performance difference (pull might have a slight advantage) so in realiy it comes down to space and how it fits best; if you fave enough room, you could even have a push & pull configuration with fans on each side.
  12. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    Those fans should be OK; just I'd suggest using a shroud between the fans and the rad
  13. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    Typically the all in one H2O kits perform about the same as a good heatpipe cooler; I personally would rather opt for a Swiftech H2O-220 before purchasing a product from a company I hadn't heard of before, particularly since Swiftech is know for producing quality components that perform quite well.
  14. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    A fridge may or may not be able to handle the thermal load of the components in a cooling loop; they are primarily designed to maintain a setpoint temperature. Condensation on the tubing is only an issue if the temp on the outside surface of the tubing exposed to the air is lower than the ambient wet-bulb temperature or dew-point (based on the ambient room temperature and relative humidity). The easiest way of protecting against condensation is to put some tube/pipe insulation around the tubing.
  15. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    Part of the reason why it takes longer to bleed may be due to the actual reservopir design. It looks like you used to have the Swiftech Micro Res; in that res the baffle was designed to aid in separating the air bubbles out of the main flow of fluid to speed up the bleeding process. There shouldn't really be any issues with having the rad on top of the case; it does sometimes help to move the case around a bit to help the bubbles purge through to the res. The other alternative, which may or may not help, would be to hang the RAD on the rear of the case instead of on top.
  16. radodrill

    Watercooling Information & Suggestions

    Sorry I didn't reply sooner; just joined the staff of another forum so that's kept me busy. Anyways, D-Tek Fuzion V2 - $64.99 LAING D5 Vario aka Swiftech MCP-655 - $84.99 Swiftech Micro Res - $19.95 (major differences between reservoirs is size/style but no real functional differences) Thermochill PA 120.2 - $119.95 or Black Ice GTX 240 - $99.95 or Swiftech MCR-220 - $46.99 7/16" ID MasterKleer - $0.59/ft or 1/2" ID Feser Tube UV Red, Blue, Green - $2.75/ft -- you'll most likely need ~10ft Biocide - $2.75 Hose Clamps - $0.60 ea 1 per barb = 8; I personally just use zip ties.
  17. radodrill

    Mozilla

    may even be that the site is remembering who you are based on your IP; most sites/forums have the remember me box unchecked by default, but some have it checked (AFAIK OCC has it checked by default)
  18. radodrill

    Laing D5-vario 38/830 N

    just get a regular D5 and thread it yourself with a 1/2" die or contact LAING directly and ask them where to get it and/or if they can send you the top with threaded ends that you can mount on an existing pump
  19. radodrill

    $50 For Whoever Fixes My Problem

    I'm with A_G; trying it out on a clean install of Windows will really narrow down the cause of the problems.
  20. radodrill

    Going Water Cooling Need Advice

    I can't see much of anything in those pics.
  21. radodrill

    New Egg Sucks Chode

    I think newegg's inventory system is more advanced than that and tracks inventory on the shelves as well as the number of those in stock that are reserved (i.e. order already placed); but problems could occur if someone entered the wrong number of incoming items when they get a shipment or if two people happen to place an order for the last available item at the same time.
  22. radodrill

    Going Water Cooling Need Advice

    Another good read here: http://forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php?showtopic=80390 In my opinion the best pumps are the LIAND D5 and the LIANG DDC with Petra's Tech Top (other custom tops may be on par with the Petra's tech but I'm not sure). The custom top increases both the pressure head and flowrate and bring's it's performance about on par with the D5 Regarding the blocks; the internal desing is critical in terms of heat transfer effectiveness as well as pressure drop across it (the lower the pressure drop the better). the D-Tek Fuzion is the best on the market, but other top performers are the DangerDen TDX, EK Supreme, and Swiftech Apogee GT.
  23. radodrill

    New Egg Sucks Chode

    So you registered here just to rant about how you think you got screwed by newegg. Bear in mind that Newegg has such a large volume of sales that potentially more people would be trying to order a given item than what they have in stock, and this could result in a problem if 2 people submitted an order at the exact same instant. In the few instances where there were problems with an order I placed from them they always went above and beyond to resolve the situation; they even once refunded the amount of a rebate I was supposed to receive when the manufacturer didn't want to honor the rebate. I've been very satisfied with their service [off topic]just wish they'd go back to FedEx as they're primary carrier[/off topic] and their customer service has been exceptional. With the amount of orders they have to process, there are bound to be a few issues here and there; you just seem to have been one of the unlucky ones, but from my perspective (and yes I did read the whole conversation) they went out of their way to try to straighten things out for you.
  24. radodrill

    Going Water Cooling Need Advice

    the antec 1200 looks like a pretty decent case; and check out my earlier post with a good H2O setup w/ links.
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