1. Win some Crucial goodies in OCAU's Christmas Treasure Hunt!
    Dismiss Notice

W/C Loop Fan + Case Fan Refresh/Upgrade

Discussion in 'Extreme and Water Cooling' started by downforce, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. downforce

    downforce Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,200
    Location:
    Thornlie, WA
    Hi expert guys + gals,

    It's been a looonggg time since I messed with my loop (like 4yrs), and besides the odd clean out and top-up of water + purifier, I haven't touched it, nor kept abreast of what's going on. Except now it's all in dire need of some TLC. One of the three Scythe radiator fans has stopped, the one of fan controller channels has stopped, and the RAM cooler is squeaking very loudly. I haven't actually drained it in >2yrs now so that's probably overdue.

    So I'm looking at refreshing the entire cooling solution to get the "best value of money" possible way forward. The specs are in my signature, for the PC [INDIE]. As I am so out of the loop (#boomtish), I was wondering what the best way to do this is these days?

    So my questions/thought/ramblings are:

    • What are "the" fans to use for a 360mm radiator these days? I couldn't seem to find more Scythe, but found the Nidec ones?
    • What's the best way/device to get a fan controller for the pump, rad fans, case fans, preferably with some kind of software control?
    • If I'm trying to minimise outlay, would this be a good time to replace (sell) my custom loop with a AOI kit?
      • I'm only cooling the CPU and it doesn't really run that hot anyway, the GPU is the hottest by far and that's still air cooled.
      • The 5.25" res I have is a major PITA as I want to get a smaller case and cases with double 5.25" bays seem to be getting harder to get?
    • If I look an AOI, which would be recommended?
      • 240/280mm or 360mm is OK, I guess 240 would be more compatible with more cases?
    At a minimum I need to replace the fan controller and the stopped fan. Not LED control required.

    Apologises for the brain dump and please be nice, I know a lot of this information is available and I'll be doing my own research too over the coming weeks and look to do it over Xmas/New Year when I have time off. But really, just tell me what to do :yesmaam:.

    Thanks!
     
  2. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    Forth, TAS
    Welcome back mate.

    I still reckon the Typhoons are the best fan I've come across for 120mm radiators, but fuck paying $50 a piece for them any more. Common good performers are Noctua, EK Vardar, Corsair ML. Off-the-RADAR good choices are Phanteks, Cougar Vortex, BitFenix Spectre Pro.

    If you want software control over the lot, the only real option for custom gear is AquaComputer - and that's not a budget solution. A good AiO may be the better pick if you truly need to muck around with more than fan speed. Later motherboards can do a fair bit as the amperage rating on fan/pump headers is much better now, but I'm guessing your D5 is a bit older, and won't support PWM control anyway. That means you're at least up for an AC smart pump and an Aquero - $$$.

    If it was my money:

    - Sell the old kit (there's $50 in your pump, $50 in your radiator, $30 in your block, $10-20 a pop in your working GTs and probably $30 in your fittings combined) and pick up a good AiO (Corsair, Cryorig I have experience with - Cryorig very good, Corsair very good but too loud, fine after a fan change). With no drive to wet the GPU and seemingly no OC (correct for a Xeon, yeah?), your custom gear is wasted and it will only need more care as it gets older.If the allure of the custom setup is gone mate, strip it out while it'll still get you some coin.

    OR

    - You've got a more-than-serviceable backbone, just needs a bit of refining. Replace the fans, replace the hardware controller (software's fine, but controlling off something meaningful - like coolant temp - can get tricky and expensive), and grab yourself a tube res. Knock the bayres on the head, plumb your existing pump into the bottom of your res, drain, flush and replace coolant - Robert's your father's brother. You'd do that for under a couple of hundred, fan choice notwithstanding.

    All depends on whether the custom gear still holds the allure mate, choices either way :thumbup:
     
    im late likes this.
  3. im late

    im late Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Canning Vale WA 6155
    I use an old corsair link commander to control my pwm pump, and all my pwm Corsair mag lev fans. Not the best Controller solution out there, but I bought the controller used for $50 and the free software does the job fine without bugs.

    I mirror juzz86's fan comments above.

    Also, a decent flush and rad fin clean of the rad and replace the fans with whatever your budget allows and you should be fine for another few years.

    Is your pump pwm? If not, considor selling that used and then buying a used pwm one, or just buy a new pwm one for less than $100.

    Hey even the nzxt controller with cam software is not too bad.

    Both give decent enough software control.

    For example,with my mag levs I idle at 500rpm on zero load, set through software control. The controller can fine tune the pump rpm curve as well.
     
  4. im late

    im late Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Canning Vale WA 6155
    But yeah, even a decent Noctua air cooler will cool your Xeon fine and you can just do away with water all-together (juzz86 makes good points above).
     
  5. OP
    OP
    downforce

    downforce Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,200
    Location:
    Thornlie, WA
    First off, thanks guys for the awesome replies. This was exactly what I was looking for, help me consolidate my patchy (read: crap and out of date) knowledge.

    $35 from Amazon is OK, although probably still prefer to pay less for 1 fan!

    Had a look, wayyyy too $$$ to get going. For this option, I'd go for a high end AIO kit.

    This is actually looking very tempting .....

    Correct! Although this system is starting to get a bit long in the tooth, but I think my days of O/C are behind me. I tend to need more RAM and fast Disk IO these days (thanks work!)

    The level of maintenance + time required + l33t factor vs time available and care factor = no, not really :D

    I saw those but didn't really know if they were any good, but it seems they'll do what I want and are definitely in my price range.

    Nope! And again, for $100 I'd rather spend $200 on an AIO.

    Hrmmm I do have a Noctua NH-D15 sitting on an barely used PC but but but then it's not watercooled and I can't be one of the cool kids!
     
    juzz86 likes this.
  6. im late

    im late Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Canning Vale WA 6155
    My build is under my desk so I can't even see it! :lol:

    I water cool for this reason:

    GPU Air - 68 degrees when gaming....
    GPU Water - 26 degrees when gaming....

    CPU Air - 75 degrees when gaming....
    CPU Water - 36 degrees when gaming....

    I would rather my $800 video card is at 26 degrees instead of 68 degrees.
     
    juzz86 likes this.
  7. OP
    OP
    downforce

    downforce Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,200
    Location:
    Thornlie, WA
    Yeah good point, my office gets quite warm in summer so keeping it cooler is worth it, although still not going to W/C the GPU. Just way too hard and can't do "sneaky" GFX upgrades, although unlikely I'll upgrade from the 1070 anytime soon. I usually run about one or two gens behind.
     
  8. im late

    im late Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Canning Vale WA 6155
    The heat while be there weather you use air or water. Can't escape that I'm afraid... :lol:

    I do it to keep the core temps down. My room still gets hot after a while with all that heat escaping the radiator fins.
     
    juzz86 likes this.
  9. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    Forth, TAS
    Good posts fellas. Just catching up :thumbup:

    Ambient is a really good consideration. If you see high-30s over summer, it mightn't be such a bad idea to revive the custom loop - a good AiO will go close, but glycol doesn't transfer heat as well as water, and most manufacturers tend to mix metals and as such use a glycol-based coolant, so they do run a tad warmer. Is it worth worrying about? Only if you're on the razors-edge temp-wise anyway!

    I often gloss over this because Tassie :p

    In the real world, my loop (420 rad, D5, 7700K, 980Ti, mobo VRM) is good for 35C load coolant temperatures (that's all I monitor [after commissioning]) at a room temperature of about 26C - which gives me a load core temp of about 55C on the CPU and 45C on the GPU. Both idle at ambient. Fans (NZXT Aer RGB - don't recommend) are on a hardware controller for silence - about 50% duty. Good balance between noise (I don't use headphones) and temps. Finding a case to fit the 420 was the bigger struggle :p

    CPU-only, you'll do better than that :thumbup:
     
  10. OP
    OP
    downforce

    downforce Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,200
    Location:
    Thornlie, WA
    So whilst working hard, I did some Googling ... I was really liking the look of the Corsair H100i PRO + Corsair Commander PRO which comes out about ~$250 new, haven't looked 2nd hand yet. Plus I am a bit of a Corsair fan-boi.

    Except found the Cryorig A40 Ultimate for <$130 delivered from Newegg. That seems a much better deal than $160-180 for the H100i PRO, although I'm guessing I'll lose the synergy with Corsair Link? If that's the case, I'd probably go for the NZXT Grid+ V3 which comes out to <$200 in total, excluding what I'd get from selling my current gear.

    The only thing I'm wondering is how much am I going to 'lose' by going from a 360mm custom loop to a 240 AIO? The jump to 360 AIO is pretty big and then it would be more cost efficient to just fix up my current loop (controller + fans), hell could even include a new res in that!
     
  11. im late

    im late Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Canning Vale WA 6155
    If it was me I would just buy some new fans (or find used ones for next to no cost), find a used pwm D5 and link controller (not hard to source), then service and flush everything, put back together, leave it for another few years, sell off the non-pwm pump for some coin back(or just keep as a spare pump).
     
  12. OP
    OP
    downforce

    downforce Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,200
    Location:
    Thornlie, WA
    Ummmm ok, stupid question, been hunting for a PWM pump and now I think I might have one.

    If I have the 2 pin "fan plug" cable + molex power, that's PWM, right? If so, great, because that's what I have. ATM I have it plugged into my CPU FAN header plug.

    I'll have a physical look tonight and see if I can see a model number/code. I forgot how much there is to all this W/C malarky and it's kinda fun getting my head around it again.
     
  13. im late

    im late Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Canning Vale WA 6155
    2 pin fan header plus molex for power = not pwm

    4 pin fan header plus molex for power = pwm model
     
    juzz86 likes this.
  14. im late

    im late Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Canning Vale WA 6155
    non pwm = has a physical dial at the bottom of the pump to adjust pump rotation speed.

    Pwm model = can be bios or software controlled.
     
    juzz86 likes this.
  15. im late

    im late Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Canning Vale WA 6155
    Benchers and record chasers prefer non pwm as they do not want bloaty software to affect thier scores.

    Lazy sods like me like to adjust the pump via a click of a mouse button.
     
  16. akromatic

    akromatic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    benchers and record chasers would just run things maxed out anyway for the best results. but you can still get hardware pwm controllers.

    I used a noctua one for filling and bleeding out my loop better
     
  17. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    Forth, TAS
    Just clarifying, this is true unless you've got an original D5 or a D5 Strong - they don't have manual speed control. Only the Vario gets that :thumbup:

    Points on fan header pinouts, everything else bang on champ :Pirate:
     
  18. OP
    OP
    downforce

    downforce Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,200
    Location:
    Thornlie, WA
    Well, I should I have looked at my own Systems page, it's the MCP655-B, and is at least 8yrs old so definitely isn't a PWM version, just has the tachometer output .... SO MUCH READING!!!

    Sooooo,what's the advantage of a PWM pump?? Is it purely to adjust flow for noise or does it improve cooling as well? From my reading, the MCP655-B is fixed speed at speed 4 (out of 5?). I'm guessing being PWM will be mainly to reduce flow? If it's purely for noise, then don't care, it's currently quiet enough, well except the squeaky fans! If it's to adjust based on heat, it doesn't bother me that it's running as it is, I mean it's been like that this long.

    I know this is a bit of a brain-fart, I mean brain-dump here, but you guys are giving awesome feedback and really helping!

    I'm sold on the idea of either the Corsair Commander PRO or NZXT Grid (probably Corsair), in fact, might grab one after work today from MSY.
     
  19. juzz86

    juzz86 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    Forth, TAS
    PWM is a control method for regulating voltage. I'm no sparky mate, so I'll leave the technical explanation to a better qualified person. There's plenty of reading on it.

    What do you gain? Generally finer-grained control over a somewhat wider range of speeds than direct voltage control (the 'old' way).

    I use the same 655B pump as you in my rig - and about the same vintage. I run it flat out because it's quiet enough - but not every D5 is the same, and the Vario I have is a bit of a dog - it's a whole different pump at '4'.

    Generally, if the pump noise doesn't worry you mate - run it flat out. You'll get the longest life from them if they're on and at a constant speed continuously - it's the stop/start that kills most pumps and wears bearings quicker. Soft-starting and other fancy shit can help, but not so much at this scale :tongue:

    I run NZXT Grids and Hues myself - aside from not being able to control their own original Aer fans below about 50%, the controllers themselves are fine (I've since removed the Grids and gone back to hardware control). The software is nice for tying everything together, but the layout goes for minimalist and is a little annoying to find shit in as a result:

    Home Screen:
    [​IMG]

    Lighting Sync and Control:
    [​IMG]

    Lighting Customise:
    [​IMG]

    Notice how the window is a little bit small - you either get this size, a tiny one, or a full page - it's not flexible. Just needs a bit of polish though - it does do the job.
     
    im late likes this.
  20. OP
    OP
    downforce

    downforce Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,200
    Location:
    Thornlie, WA
    Alrighty! Apologise for going quiet, that time of year.

    I decided to get the Corsair Commander PRO, replaced old with that and the "dead" fans started working! Hurrah! So no need to replace my Scythe GTs.

    The crappy RAM cooler fan has lost its bearings and was making all the noise so I've ripped that out.

    I'm kinda disappointed with the Corsair Link software though. I installed nzxt cam without the controller and liked the output but Link doesn't give you an easy way to view current state and/or dynamically change it. It's pretty clunky software IMO, unless I'm missing something. Ideally I'd love for it to recognise when I'm gaming for example and switch to Performance mode but otherwise use quiet, maybe I'm dreaming.

    Next week I'll have a look a the best way to cool the motherboard now that little RAM fan isn't blowing.
     

Share This Page