water cooling

Discussion in 'Overclocking and Cooling' started by Psi*, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Westport, CT
    Considering my rant about water cooling ... drum roll ... I am considering water cooling.:rolleyes:

    My only currently water cooled machine sits here shut off due to failing HDD. The system is 6 or more years old, I think. It has dual Athlons, so what does that tell you? It has been water cooled & OC-ed from the get-go. It also has Windows 2000 installed and I have absolutely no idea where that disk is ... I moved recently.:cool:

    I also need a computer consistent with the hardware that is now supported. I am sooo tired of hearing, "we only test on Intel Xeon computers.":mad::mad: My current fast power house is dual Opteron 290s e/w 16 GB RAM.

    Guts replacing, hopefully that is not considered too graphic, maybe this should be a NC17 rating? But, that is the plan. Reuse the case, it is full size & easy to work in. Of course with the failed drive the only other things that will be kept are fans .... hmmm, the DVD drive is IDE so it depends on whether the new mobo has IDE. For my use, the DVD is only necessary for installs and there isn't much of that for a machine like this. Although the video card may be able to be re-used for a while.

    To the serious stuff, I will be building around an i7 975 & 12 GB RAM. It will most likely be aggressively overclocked. If not overclocked, then I do need maximum number crunch power. This CPU consistently is at the top SPEC benchmarks and is recognized to be essentially a Xeon ... W3580.

    Video performance is not so much of a concern as is compatibility. It will start with Windows XP 64. I suspect that Windows 7 will be necessary in about a year because of pressure from developers of the software that I use.:( The video card may need to be updated in that time, but I don't mind waiting to see how drivers fall out with the new OS.

    The water cooling has been a good system despite the time consuming occasional maintenance(s).:p It has dual fans puffing thru the rear mounted radiator, so CPU heat is completely expelled. It does have a side panel fan & front mount & they are pretty quiet. I am thinking that since any video card will not be too taxxed that the RAM & chipset will be air cooled adequately.

    So, now I am looking for a new CPU cooling block. What seems to float to the top (that reminds me of a bad joke) is the Heatkiller 3.0. I will keep the pump & radiator because they are high flow and those items get a little pricey. Therefore worth keeping.

    I know that there are few WC-ers/OC-ers out there that have looked around at the WC options as well as thought about the amount of heat coming off any i7. I'm just looking for opinions ... and I know that there are plenty of those ... flame me or not. I'm cool.:cool:
     
  2. gibbersome

    gibbersome Coastermaker

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    Flamed! :D

    The Heatkiller 3.0 seems to be the best cooler and the best value. I can't see you going wrong with it.

    If you want the cheaper Core2Quad's, a socket 775 could work as well if you're willing drill holes in the Heatkiller.


    I was going to suggest the Apogee GTZ, but the HK has it beat.
    http://www.overclock.net/water-cooling/490270-my-apogee-gtz-vs-heatkiller-v3.html
     
  3. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Haha, after reading that other rant, I never expected to see a thread like this merely a week later ;-)

    I am not familiar with water-cooling at all, so I can't very-well recommend anything, but that HK 3.0 looks to be a clear winner. I need to commend whoever made those graphs as well... they look fantastic (I've never been happy with the graphs on our site, heh).

    As for the Core i7-975, that's a good choice, but if you are going to be overclocking, you might want to consider something a little less expensive... even something like a Core i7-920. It's about 1/4th of the price, and Kougar has his overclocked stable to 4.0GHz+ on water. It of course depends on just how important those extra few MHz are for you though. The Core i7-975 hasn't exactly been known to be the ultimate overclocking chip, so I'd recommend considering a smaller model.
     
  4. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    Ha! Yes, I thought I might hear something about that. There is a "stored" rant about failing PSUs that may spill out sometime soon ... stay tuned. I recently replaced the 2nd OCZ 650 watt PSU in 6 months ... they are about 3 years old. The Frozen CPU Ultimate LCD Power Supply Tester is my friend.

    While I was in the machine I cleaned the CPU HSF. It was another Noctua 12U with 2 fans. The drives & the mother board did not have to removed. Nor did I pull the heatsink off, but getting the spring clips off & back on was a total PITA. I used a half can of compressed air & the vac. This didn't look THAT bad, but there was still a cloud of dust AND I still couldn't get it as clean as I wanted. Couldn't find the tube of Arctic which why I didn't remove the heatsink.

    So I am all :mad: about air cooling now. Not much was going to happen w/o removing the fans ... water cooling maintenance is still more work. But this last WC-ed system I have has lasted a long time and its failure is just a very old drive ... and it was running W2K so I was ready for any excuse. to reuse the case. And, now I am thinking about the WC system :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  5. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    I will admit that this is a struggle (imagine the angel (a "1") on one side yelling my ear & the little devil (a "0") on the other). For what mwave sells the i7 920s for, I could buy 3 (eventually if necessary) to get one that overclocks really quite well ... one would think.:rolleyes::confused:

    Damn you Kougar! Waving fist in air ... of course he is not dead, so whatever the heck direction he is from Westport, CT


    Newegg sells it for $279.99 :eek:
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  6. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Heh, I was considering replying to your WC rant thread when I had time to make useful replies to a few points, but I guess I need not now. :D

    More seriously though... those watercooling results you link to are very interesting indeed. As Techgage doesn't review such stuff I can safely link to http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=getarticle&articID=959 ;) The results in this test are very similar to those in the forum thread ya linked to, the Heatkiller seems to take the cake in both. Neither group tests the new Swiftech XT block, which is claimed to offer 3°F better temps over the GTZ... considering the different in the heatkiller 3.0 and GTX is only 2.4°F, it may or may not be able to beat it. (Swiftech claims it will, but such data does depend on the pump used, etc) The various versions of the Watercool HK are going to make it tricky, as ANY version of that block is hard to find and its the more expensive version of the block that has the best temp results. It pays to read the fine print. ;)

    If you are really serious about buying a Core i7 975... then if you can wait 6 months you might wish to do so. Intel should be launching hex-core Gulftown's within the first quarter of next year for the usual Extreme price tag. I'm not sure what speed it will start at, but they appear to be extremely overclockable thanks to the 32nm process size. A 6 core 12 thread machine should last you for quite a long time... I can't say if Intel will have any models priced below $800, but I'd be surprised if they did given AMD"s inability to compete against them.


    At any rate, if you use a reservoir, distilled water, the proper amount of algaecide, and a stable color additive the loop should not need maintenance for well over a year beyond a vac/cleaning of the radiator & fans every 4-6 months. It's just another reason I use a reservoir, because I don't need to top off the water and the loop will bleed itself of air as it runs/cycles on and off. I estimate a large bay reservoir could last two years in a leak-free system, unless the tubing used was extremely porous or something odd like that. (Water will naturally evaporate through the plastic tubing over time, that's unavoidable)

    Usually the problem is people use additives that break down in the loop, causing the muck buildup... I've also seen color dyes break down in the heat and also muck up loops. Personally all I use anymore is distilled water + pond or pool dye for color + a pond algaecide safe on fish... just an eyedropper of the stuff is beyond overkill for a loop but it's far cheaper than any additives you'd buy from a watercooling website. ;)

    Whatever the case, watercooling tends to cost a bit more and takes more work to set up, but I find works out over the long run since a triple 120 or triple 140mm radiator has so much surface area that a little dust buildup won't noticeably affect performance. That's versus cleaning out the heatsink assembly of a GPU every 2 months else the peak GPU temps start to go up very quickly....

    What sort of pump and radiator do you use? A 4GHz Core i7 starts to get pretty warm pretty fast, and although I have a GTX 260 sharing the same loop the temps wouldn't drop much without it, LinX can peg the cores at 78-83c with the fans low enough to stay quiet as it is, which is one of the few reasons I don't run 4.3GHz with slightly more volts.
     
  7. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    HEATKILLER® CPU Rev3.0 1366 is now available. I had the site send a "back in stock" email & received that yesterday. I didn't actually expect to hear anything for a few weeks. I have never done business with much less heard of Sidewinder before but resellerratings made them look pretty good. Not being able to find the "best" block or a lesser rating would have made the decision of *not* going WC simple ... so I'll go water for the i7 9xx build.:D

    "back in stock" email features for web sites is very nice. Several have them, but not all.

    So, I immediately have a question about the fittings for the block. Of course I have to figure out what size tubing the old Athlon system has, but poking around the Sidewinder web site I find fittings galore. Ugh! More studying about little widgets. When I put the WC together a few years ago it was very difficult to find anything & you took what you could find.

    I am pretty certain that I have 3/8" tubing so I'll probably go with that. There is the notion about using 1/2" at the block with reducers at the other ends. The idea is to have a little more fluid volume in the system and less flow resistance.

    Everything is Swiftech. Although it has all been up dated except the reservoir.
     
  8. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    Noticing the core temps ... I wonder what your water temperature gets to with the cores at 83c?

    The Sidewinder tubing specs for lab grade tubing show a max operating temp of 74c. Well, that is at 10 PSI ... I don't think these systems get anywhere near that although I don't have any feeling for it either.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  9. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    I'm not sure what my water temps are as I don't have an accurate way to measure those. I can say that the GPU heats up the loop far more than the CPU does, even with this overclock. Which is to be expected since the GPU has a much higher thermal output.... the radiator exhaust goes from only marginally warm with the CPU maxed, to full heater mode with the GPU maxed.

    Did find one review... all the results are just within a point or five of one another for the most part. But after looking at the review and mounting mechanism I'd stick with the XT if I was in need of a new block. Link I can't justify spending $80 for a 5c improvement in my temps though. :D

    Don't worry about the tube heat rating, just be aware if the water is hot the tubes will go very soft... what may have been kink free when cold might develop kinks when hot, and vice-versa. As far as fittings goes, most people prefer the least restrictive or the high flow fittings. Compression fittings are the most secure and leak free if done right, but many blocks don't have enough room for them. Personally I stick to fittings with three ridges on them as those only leak if I pull on the tubing excessively. And regarding the loop psi, the fittings would leak long before that number was reached, if not fail outright.

    If most of the system can be converted to 1/2OD tubing then I'd say go for it. You don't want to use to many reducers, even one will negate much of the advantage gained from 1/2OD tubing. They also add unnecessary points of failure and places for leaks to occur.

    If you need WaterCooling bits, I tend to shop at Jab-tech first but Petra's is also a good one.
     
  10. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    thanks Kougar & timely find for the link about the Apogee XT review. I have no problem staying with Swiftech anyway. I am still trying to figure out what the "+" indicates with the XT+.

    The system currently has 3/8" tubing with plastic press fits. I got this as a kit at the time as it all made sense as a tested & compatible system. The tubing is old & needs replacing so I'll up it all to 1/2" & barbed connections.

    I have 2 pumps with the one from the other WC system I built at the time. I have briefly thought about adding the 2nd pump to the system with the CPU block in between & the radiator after. With 1/2" tubing I have decided to hold the 2nd pump for a 2nd loop (GPU) or to a 2010 system build.

    I won't put too much load on the GPU with minimal chance to game on this i7 machine. When it is running full out it is the CPU that will be pegged with the CRT blanked. When this machine gets cycled out ... then ... it will game and then ...

    I also prefer Jab-tech, but have bought a few things from Petras.
     
  11. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    In case I'm missing it completely, what CPU did you settle on Psi*? It's too bad that the hexa-core processors will be out within the next six months (or so that's the plan). To be honest, if you CAN hold off at all, I'd recommend going with a Core i7-920 for the time-being, and when the hexa-cores come out, upgrade for the ultimate in multi-threading performance. All X58 motherboards will be able to use these Gulftown chips, so you'd be upgrading the CPU and that's it.
     
  12. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    I have not ordered it yet ... blasted customers are interrupting me all of the time. :) And, I have a short trip this week & long next week which are not conducive to computer building.

    You make a very compelling argument. It is certainly easier to set aside a $250 chip than a $1000 chip. A hexa-core system would certainly make me the envy of my customers.:D All corporate types & would put me 1/2 year ahead of them which is never a bad idea.

    About when I will be ordering ... I would like to get it all together before I start on next week's trip, but egg's delivery will probably be too fast.:rolleyes: Wonder how often they get that complaint. So I will probably wait until 11/10. Past experience says to order the CPU & RAM last as they are easily returned then & are the simple install. Since I am swaying toward WC I allowing a couple of days :rolleyes::rolleyes:getting that back together.
     
  13. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, to be honest, how I was looking at it is that if you're willing to spend $1,000 for a new CPU, then perhaps you wouldn't mind spending $1,250 total in order to get a great CPU now, and a "best" CPU within the next six months. Once the hexa-cores come out, you could pick up the highest-end version (I assume there will be only one model to choose from at first, but I might be wrong). Plus, the Core i7-920 isn't going to be "wasted"... you could either sell it, or recomission it for use in your home PC or another work machine.
     
  14. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    I agree with the logic & think that is what I will do. :cool::techgage::cool: I had not realized that 32 nm CPUs were so close. I also find it interesting that I cannot find anything on the Intel web site about gulftown. I see it in the "public roadmap" listed once, but no information ... technical or otherwise. I was hoping to see information in their own words.

    Compatibility with current x58 chipsets is what interests me. Filtering that down further, I am thinking about finding the least expensive, most compatible, and most over clockable motherboard (in that order). As we discussed before, I am not really interested in getting a motherboard loaded with features I don't care about. There will be plenty of excess features anyway; in other words, are all Asus P6Ts created equal with the more expensive ones just having more i/o options?
     
  15. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Intel never posts detailed information about upcoming products on its website. In some cases, the press room will have some, but even that is rarely detailed. The best thing you could do is just load up a search engine and seek information you need out. We haven't had much information up to this point, but again, that's because not too much information is available.

    http://techgage.com/news/intels_gulftown_to_use_native_hexa-core_design

    The most important thing to keep in mind is that Gulftown won't be much different than current Core i7's. It will still have HyperThreading, so the OS will see 12 threads, and it will also be based on a 32nm process. That means its power consumption could be on par with current high-end quad-cores, and temperatures hopefully will be around the same as well (I'm just assuming based on simple logic).
     
  16. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    I think your logic is reasonable.
     
  17. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Both the Heatkiller and the XT have + versions, if you carefully read the review the + is where he modified the block using a bit of extra silicone to increase performance... it's the photos with the grey stuff in it. ;) Personally I ignored all the + results since I'm not that hardcore, I'd rather lose half a degree of performance and not have to worry about my mod causing problems later down the road.
     
  18. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    @Kougar Probably smart ignoring the + results. Tests like these are not documented well enough for reproducibility. Reproducibility is the test of any experiment.

    I wonder if there is a Xeon equivalent to the hexa-cores?
     
  19. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Well I'm all for creative engineering that works! But really... 1/2 of a single degree? It's not worth the cost in silicone to me, let alone the risk of me ruining my own block or the water pump. But, it is always interesting to see how designs can be further improved... it depends on the user to figure out how far they want to take it. :)

    Xeon 5600 models will supposedly be Gulftowns. ;)
     
  20. Psi*

    Psi* Tech Monkey

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    I agree & I am glad that you commented & reminded me about that 1/2 degree ... ple-e-e-ease.:rolleyes: As well as the lack of mention of curing time.:rolleyes: That gets into psuedo-science and just knowing when to quit while you are ahead!:p

    Thanks for the Xeon 5600 ... I swear I googled but maybe I got distracted.
     

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