Watercooling Collective Sticky

Discussion in 'Extreme and Water Cooling' started by zeropluszero, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    6,040
    Location:
    3132
    So. You want to watercool a component in your computer.
    This thread is designed to give a break to the constant starting of new threads, with questions that can easily be answered by spending 5 minutes reading a little more.

    There are many reasons why a person chooses to watercool components of their computer. Typical reasons are;
    • Lower temps for better overclocking - this is an overclocking forum after all.
    • Quieter computing
    • Aesthetics

    This thread also is geared in mind for Australian members looking to buy locally, which saves money on shipping, as well as helping smaller businesses.
    Stores operating in Australia, selling quality watercooling components are;

    These stores stock quality products from manufacturers such as;
    • EK waterblocks
    • Bitspower
    • XSPC
    • Swiftech
    • Primochill
    • Koolance
    • Laing
    • Thermochill
    • Dtek
    • Hardware Labs
    • Heatkiller

    It's important that you select the right parts for your watercooled setup in the first place, and to help select the right parts for different needs, the below lists show selections based on testing from reviewers, for a common CPU only watercooling loop.

    Extreme Performance/No Budget/Deaf
    CPU Block: Aqua Computer Kryos XT
    Radiator: Thermochill/Hardware Labs
    Pump - Dual DDC with EK Top
    Fans: Sanyo Denki/Delta/Sunon etc
    Tubing: Primoflex LRT
    Fittings: Compression fittings
    Reservoir: EK Cylinder Style

    Midrange Cost vs Most Performance
    CPU Block: EK Supreme HF
    Radiator: XSPC RX
    Pump: DDC with XSPC Bay Res
    Fans: Scythe Gentle Typhoons
    Tubing: Primoflex LRT
    Fittings: Barbs or Compression fittings
    Reservoir: XSPC Bay Res

    Low Budget
    CPU Block - EK Supreme LT
    Radiator - Swiftech
    Pump - EK DCP4.0
    Fans - Yate Loons
    Tubing - Primoflex LRT
    Fittings - Barbs
    Reservoir - Swiftech Microres

    Quiet Vs Most Performance
    CPU Block - EK Supreme HF
    Radiator - XSPX RX
    Pump - D5
    Fans - Noctua P12's/ 1150rpm Gentle Typhoons
    Tubing - Primoflex LRT
    Fittings - Barbs
    Reservoir - Any, as long as it is fully bled of air, and topped up fully.

    when including graphics cards and chipsets into loops, EK is the typical choice for full cover waterblocks, as they have a large range, and are available at the most stores. Koolance, Swiftech, XSPC, Bitspower and Heatkiller also make selected waterblocks, but are generally harder to find in stock in Australia.

    CPU Waterblocks:
    A wide range of waterblocks are available for cooling parts of your computer, CPU, Graphics cards, Motherboards, RAM, Hard Drives, and even power supplies can be watercooled. For the purpose of this sticky, we'll be concentrating on the most common part to have watercooled, the CPU.
    CPU waterblocks available from EK, Swiftech, Koolance, DangerDen, Radiical, DTek, Heatkiller and XSPC are all designed to remove heat from your CPU as efficiently as possible. This typically involves a flat piece of copper, with varied cuts along its surface to create surface area and turbulence at the point closest to the CPU. Modern waterblocks typically use long thin cuts in the copper, or pins extending from the copper to create the surface area and turbulence to transfer heat from the CPU to the water, as well as plates to create bows in the waterblocks to provide better contact with the CPU's IHS.
    The current leaderboard for CPU waterblocks on the 1366 platform that are available in Australia is:
    • Aqua Computer Kryos XT
    • EK Supreme HF - Full Copper
    • EK Supreme HF
    • Swiftech Apogee XT
    • Heatkiller 3.0
    • Swiftech Apogee GTZ SE
    • EK Supreme
    • Swiftech Apogee GTZ
    • EK Supreme LT

    Pumps:
    There are 3 major choices for Pump models available in Australia.
    The Laing DDC - aka Swiftech MCP355
    The Laing D5 - aka Swiftech MCP655
    and the lesser known EK DCP series.

    Each of these models has differing specifications which may lead you to choose one over the other, little information on the DCP series is available unfortunately, and principally people choose either the D5 or DDC.
    Out of the box, the DDC offers a higher head pressure than the D5, and the D5 offers a higher flow rate. the DDC is also natively compatible with 3/8"ID tubing, and the D5 with the more common 1/2"ID tubing.
    Many users change out the Tops of their pumps for custom models available from EK, XSPC, Bitspower and Koolance. these are designed to improve performance and allow wider range of fittings to be used with the pumps, or to attach directly to a reservoir. A point of note are that a DDC with a top has a much improved flow rate, while retaining its high head pressure.
    Many users feel that the D5 is quieter than the DDC, and some models of D5 include a small dial at the rear of the pump to slow down the speed and therefore noise volume, much of the noise from a DDC is caused through vibration into the case the pump is mounted to, and foam or silicone matting is recommended to prevent the vibration.

    Radiators:
    Radiators from many brands are available in Australia, each with their own performance data.
    EK - Proven to be disappointing performers, however are quite cheap.
    Swiftech - moderate performance, again, quite cheap.
    XSPC - Two principle models, the RS and RX series. RS are cheaper and older designs, and are bested by the RX series, which while being quite cheap, are also the best performing rads with lower speed (and therefore quieter) fans, when the same fans are used on other tested radiators.
    Thermochill - More expensive, solidly built and higher performing radiators. offer very high flow, and use G3/8" threads for fittings. G3/8"-G1/4" converters are available from Bitspower to convert these radiators to the much more common G1/4" threading.
    Hardware Labs - newer radiators, proving to be solid performers, while not being as expensive as Thermochill models, and offered in a range of sizes, including newer models compatible with 140mm fans.
    newer radiators are also available for use with 140mm fans, though these are less common, as the standard fan size is still 120mm, 140mm fans are preferable as they push more air at lower speeds (and therefore quieter), the other problem with 140mm radiators is the lack of choice of good 140mm fans, but this is a matter of time.

    Fans:
    Fan choice is important, as the type of fan and radiator can provide more of a performance difference than you might think. It is important to remember that in watercooling, the idea is to exchange as much heat from the radiator into the air from the radiator as possible, fans designed for pushing air through a heatsink are better than fans designed for pushing air with nothing blocking its airflow, such as a case fan. A short list of fans more suited to radiator use are below;
    • Scythe Gentle Typhoon
    • Scythe S-Flex
    • Noctua "P" fans
    • Scythe UltraKaze
    • Noiseblocker BlackSilent Pro
    • Noiseblocker Multiframes
    • Yate Loon

    Fans not well suited for radiator use and better left for exhausting air from cases are;
    • Scythe Slipstream
    • Noctua "S" fans
    • Enermax Cluster/Magma/Apollish
    • Scythe Kaze Jyu
    • Nexus Silent
    • Coolermaster Silent/Longlife
    • Xigmatek models

    Tubing:
    Almost any tubing can be used in a watercooling set up, though most users prefer to purchase tubing designated for watercooling when purchasing the rest of their kit. well known brands of tubing are Tygon, Primochill, Feser (aka Danger Den), Swiftech, and MasterKleer.
    Swiftech is regarded as being quite "hard" and more susceptible to kinking, though it is cheap, and would be tough to recommend, when Feser/Dangerden, Masterkleer and Primochill are not much more expensive per metre, and significantly easier to work with.
    Tygon has issues with Plasticiser leech, Plasticiser, a chemical in the tubing causes the normally clear Tygon to "cloud" or turn cloudy in color. This wont cause any harm to your loop or components, its simply an aesthetics issue.
    MasterKleer is regarded as being similar to Tygon, but with less plasticiser content.
    Feser (aka Danger Den) tubing is similar to Tygon in bendability, but is availible in more colors.
    Primochill LRT is the newest tubing from Primochill, and is highly regarded, being easier to bend than Tygon, cheaper, and available in a broad range of sizes and colors.

    Tubing sizes:
    When talking about tubing, most users will refer to their tubing as being 3/8" (9.5mm), 7/16"(11mm) or 1/2"(12.7mm), this is refering to the Internal Diameter of the tubing. when choosing appropriate compression fittings, one will need to pay close attention to both the Internal and Outer diameter of their tubing.

    Click to view full size!

    Popular sizes are;
    1/2" ID 3/4" OD - the most common fitting and tubing size.
    7/16"ID 5/8" OD - commonly used with 1/2" fittings, the tubing forms a very tight fit and may be run without anything else holding the tubing on.
    3/8" ID 5/8" OD - thinner tubing, less prone to kinking
    3/8" ID 1/2" OD - thinnest tubing available, but the thin walls may cause it to be easier to kink on tighter bends.


    Reservoirs:
    Reservoirs exist to hold water than feeds into the pump, and to remove air bubbles (known as "bleeding the air"). When purchasing a reservoir, any model will do, the choice is really down to what you like the look of or what will fit into your case the easiest.
    common models are;
    • Cylinder style models - such as EK Multioptions, Iandh Stealth's, Phoyba, and Koolance. Significantly easier to bleed than bay models
    • Bay reservoirs - models are available from XSPC, Bitspower, and EK. Can be hard to bleed
    • Bay/Pump Combo - these models combine reservoirs with pumps and pump tops to make an all-in-one model. very useful if you are short on space in your case, some of these can be notoriously hard to bleed.
    • Other - such as Swiftech's Microres (comes with a variety of mounting options, as well as being very easy to bleed) and XSPC's DDC/D5 Res Top series (good all-in-one units)
    again, any model is fine, the choice is yours.

    Fittings:
    A huge range of fittings are available for connecting your parts to your tubing and other parts. Manufacturers such as Bitspower, Swiftech, Enzotech, Koolance, EK, Thermochill, Phobya, Aqua computer, Alphacool, and Primochill all offer a large range of fittings from simple barbs to complicated Quick Disconnects and "Snake style" rotary fittings.
    Fittings can be simple, your loop may only need a set of barbs for each component and you're off and running, those who prefer a little eye-candy in their loops often turn to the extensive range of fittings available from Bitspower, though some of these products can have a hefty price tag.

    too large to cover, here are some simple explanations of major parts;
    Barbs - the most common method of securing tubing to components, tubing simply slides over the barb and is held in place with either worm drives, cable ties or clips. some users even buy tubing too small for the barb fitting and run nothing to secure the tubing (typically 1/2" barbs with 7/16"ID tubing)
    Compression Fittings - the alternative to barbs, compression fittings are a two part fitting, involving a screw in part similar to a barb, and a metal ring. the metal ring is pushed onto the tubing, then the tubing over the barb. the ring is then screwed around the barb, holding the tubing in place. Compression fittings are widely preferred to barbs as they look nicer, and provide better hold on the tubing. The drawback is that they are significantly more expensive.
    Angled fittings - angled fittings are for bending the line of the tubing to point it in a different direction (perhaps around another component). Rotary angled fittings are preferable, as once they are screwed in, they can be spun where you need them.

    A word on G1/4"
    When referring to G1/4" this refers to the threading size on fittings and components. G1/4" is the standard, and almost all fittings are G1/4", with the exception of certain Aqua Computer parts, and Thermochill Radiators. When purchasing a Thermochill radiator, be aware that the G3/8" threading is not compatible with most fittings. Thermochill and Bitspower make barbs and converters for G3/8" threading which can convert the radiator to more common G1/4".


    Coolants, Dyes and other Additives:

    All watercooled systems must obviously include a liquid that is passed around in the loop, typically, this is a variant of Distilled or De-mineralised water, and it sometimes includes one of many different additives, for different reasons.
    Watercooling manufacturers often have a line up of colored fluid that can be purchased, typically containing Ethylene Glycol, a chemical that gives the liquid anti-freeze properties.
    It should be noted that Ethylene Glycol is poisonous, and care should be taken if you chose to include a coolant that uses it, there is also many reports of Ethylene Glycol "eating" the glue used to hold together acrylic reservoirs, such as in the case of the Primochill Typhoon. Many reservoir manufacturers note that warranty is void if the reservoir is used with a coolant containing Ethylene Glycol. Ethylene Glycol along with dyes are also reported to "gunk up" waterblocks, with time and temperature.
    A watercooling system in Australia isnt too likely to need the properties of an anti-freeze additive, unless for instance your computer is in a garage in a colder area during winter, as such, its hard to recommend the need to add anti freeze to your watercooling loop.

    Anti Corrosives are also available and sometimes included in pre-mixed coolants, unless you are using an aluminium component (such as a radiator) and a copper component (typically waterblocks) you are unlikely to see any signs of the galvanic corrosion that is generally a thing of the past in modern computer watercooling. Brass (radiators), Steel, Copper and Nickel are all fine to use in a loop. Be wary of products from Thermaltake, Zalman and Coolermaster, these manufacturers continue to make waterblocks and radiators containing aluminium and copper components.

    Recommendations on additives to your liquid?
    • Distilled or Demineralised water - commonly found in Supermarkets with the household ironing and cleaning supplies, or automotive stores
    • 99.99% Pure Silver - Silver when used in contact with water, emits Silver ions, which are proven to have anti bacterial properties. Silver ions emitted are microscopic and run no risk at all of clogging waterblocks, pumps or radiators, and will kill any algae or bacteria that can grow in a watercooling loop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  2. Copie

    Copie Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    13,480
    Location:
    Newcastle
    The noise blocker multi frames are designed for rads, even more so then the black silent pro's
     
  3. OP
    OP
    zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    6,040
    Location:
    3132
    Including noiseblockers and some recommendations on 140mm fans, as well as a section on coolant additives is on the update list.
     
  4. Acesi7

    Acesi7 Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,149
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Awesome thread! Very handy

    But yeah, you need to switch the multi frames and the black silent's pro's around.

    Multiframes - Rads :thumbup:
     
  5. sambo135

    sambo135 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Sydney
    wat about a section on:
    -types of liquid
    -addictives
    -dye
    and the importants of 99.99% silver?
     
  6. Little Man

    Little Man Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    4,601
    Location:
    3147
    Use silver.
    Don't use additives, dyes or coolants.
    Only distilled.

    That's all you need to know ;)
     
  7. Heatpipe

    Heatpipe Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,581
    This is OCAU not AA
     
  8. Sneaky Beaver

    Sneaky Beaver (Banned or Deleted)

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Rowville, Vic
    Awesome work, a good read and very nice guide to beginners looking at watercooling :thumbup:
     
  9. OP
    OP
    zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    6,040
    Location:
    3132
    It will be addressed tonight. I'm trying my best not to let my personal opinion take over, but I don't know how I can contain my hatred of all additives.
     
  10. AlastairT

    AlastairT Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    443
    Location:
    Adelaide
    You've listed the Nexus Silent series as unsuitable for radiator use, with the Yate Loon's listed as suitable, despite them being identical (more or less)?

    That aside, great work.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    6,040
    Location:
    3132
    I've owned both, i didnt find the Nexus to push anywhere near the air a Yate does.
     
  12. AlastairT

    AlastairT Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    443
    Location:
    Adelaide
    At a guess, I would say you had a higher RPM Yate.

    That's probably also something you may want to consider.

    **Edit

    A quick bit of research tells me the low speed Yate Loon runs at 1300rpm, while the Nexus Silent runs at 1000. That would probably have something to do with it, my bad.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  13. Winy000

    Winy000 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Sydney
    Well also because usually the fans that work best will have great static pressure, I'm assuming the yate loons have better static pressure than the nexus ones

    EDIT: Would also like to bring to your attention that the Scythe UltraKaze are on both of the lists
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  14. AlastairT

    AlastairT Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    443
    Location:
    Adelaide
    The fan shape is identical.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    6,040
    Location:
    3132
    Nexus were much thinner.
     
  16. AlastairT

    AlastairT Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    443
    Location:
    Adelaide
  17. Copie

    Copie Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    13,480
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Nope.

    Both are 25mm
     
  18. -Cypher-

    -Cypher- (Banned or Deleted)

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    930
    Location:
    Adelaide
    The White Bladed Real Silents are Yate loon D12SL-12 with better quality control, nicer packaging and a resistor to lower speed. They make very good radiator fans if you're after something whisper quiet, the fin design etc is identical to it's Yate Loon equivilent.

    Sure GTs are nice, but people that want truly quiet fans will avoid them as the lower speed variants exhibit bearing noise (as all ball bearing will) and the 1850 model won't undervolt to low enough speeds for true quiet PC enthusiasts. Horses for Courses.
     
  19. MorgzMods

    MorgzMods Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Messages:
    728
    Location:
    Brisbane
    If were looking for somebody to totally talk us through what's needed would here be the place to post?

    The info is helpful, but i'm new to water cooling and i've got no idea what fittings would be needed to cool at least the cpu.
    e.g, i picked out the EK-Supreme LT AMD CPU block, what fittings are needed with that?

    And i'm right in assuming that the water pumps into the rad, then out of it, as that's where it's cooled? then continues through the loop.


    Anybody have the time to explain the basics to me?
     
  20. Copie

    Copie Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    13,480
    Location:
    Newcastle
    You do what everyone else did before you, research yourself.

    Google is an invaluable tool, also reading the numerous build threads in here helps etc.
     

Share This Page