Liquid CPU cooling, is cool!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by juise, May 31, 2012.

  1. juise

    juise TFW2005 Token Negro

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    I was bored so I installed my Antec h20 620 liquid cooling system, HOT DAMN is it impressive!

    My main computer is a i7-2600k Hackintosh. The OEM intel fan was barely adequate, and I always meant to replace it, but I wasn't in a hurry to do it either. I was in Best Buy a few weeks ago and saw this setup for $69. I had $25 in rewards so I figured what the hell, I'll get it. Having done absolutely no research on the product, I didn't know that it required a 120mm fan to be mounted somewhere in the case. Needless to say my computer has no such fan port. I initially thought I'd make the hole in the top of my case and mount it there. As it turns out a 5.25" hole drill kit was $50! I'm not spending $50 to drill a hole, so the cooling kit sat on a shelf waiting to be returned. Last night I decided to see what I could do with the kit. I ended up installing the radiator & fan in the 5.25" bays, which surprisingly fits like a glove. End result 53c with the case closed, 100% CPU load on all cores @ 4.2GHz (can do more but believe it or not over clocking in OS X isn't easy) with stock voltage. Not to shabby for something that isn't even installed properly!

    SPECs for those of you that care
    Motherboard: GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
    CPU: i7-2600k @ 4.2Ghz
    Video Card: Nvidia GTX560 (SLI)
    Hard Drive: Corsair Force 3 SSD 120GB
    Memory: 16GB Corsair DDR3-1600
    Sound: M-Audio Fast Track Pro
    OS: OS X Lion 10.7.4

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan OFFICIAL MMM REP

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    Doesn't covering up the main fan like that kinda defeat the purpose?
     
  3. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran

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    You should probably perforate those 5.25" front panels.
     
  4. juise

    juise TFW2005 Token Negro

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    You would think that there would be an airflow problem but there surprisingly isn't. It takes very little air to cool the liquid in the system.

    Another shocker is the ambient system temp has dropped too! I suspect it's because there isn't a giant, hot, heatsink radiating hot air into the case.

    Personally as long as I stay under 60c at full load over clocked to 4.2 I'm more then happy. So far the highest temp I've ever had on any core is 53c with everything closed up running Cinebench CPU tests..
     
  5. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Let me know when the liquid you're using is helium.
     
  6. Autobus Prime

    Autobus Prime Transit Former

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    j:

    Shrapnel was helping you, of course. :) 

    If you ever want to move the fan there, you can scribe a line and cut the hole with a nibbler tool, which has a thousand hacktastic future uses, too. :hookday 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibbler

    (The 'punch type' tool Wiki mentions is what I would call a nibbler; that's probably the type you'd want. Hand-squeezed is fine.)
     
  7. Boardwise

    Boardwise There are no strings on me Super Mod

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    Yes it would.
    If it is for exhaust air then the panels are blocking that from being expelled from the system. Sure a small amount might get out through the gaps, but the rest is going to end up in the case.

    If it is for supply air, then there is not an adequate air flow into the system.

    I'm a Building Services Engineer. I deal with fans and air flows. Same principle applies to computer fans.
     
  8. juise

    juise TFW2005 Token Negro

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    Thats why I'm not trying to expel the air with the fan out the front of the case. The fan is instead moving air in, across the radiator, into the case, and that air is being expelled by the case exhaust fan, and power supply fan. With that said the ambient case temp is still lower then it was with the OEM heatsink and fan radiating heat into the case.

    I understand this is not the optimal setup, but bear in mind this is liquid cooling, not air cooling. The air in this setup is a tertiary component. It takes much less air to get the job done here, my temps are the proof, and there is no ignoring that! There is only a 3 degree Celsius difference between running with the case open and it closed at 100% CPU load. The worse of which is 20 degrees Celsius cooler then the stock cooler!

    Will better airflow make it cooler, YES. Is the modifications needed to make that happen worth a gain 3c in cooling when I'm already 20c cooler, NO!
     
  9. Gordon_4

    Gordon_4 The Big Engine

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    I must be an old fuddy duddy but I've never been able to get my head around the idea of using water cooling in a PC, I just have this recurring nightmare about a pipe splitting and ZAP, there goes my PC :p 
     
  10. Tyrant

    Tyrant Zombie

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    I honestly hope your liquid cooling works better than ours did. We had to have our PC rebuilt three times due to issues with either the pump, hoses or corrosion until we finally found a technician willing and able to just remove the system entirely and replace it with a standard fan set up (which was not cheap). It doesn't look nearly as impressive as it did (it's got a see-through side window with internal LED blue lights and all the hoses were neon yellow which looked really awesome against the lighting), but it's never been more stable.

    Mind you, we got this machine when liquid cooling was still relatively new so I'm betting they've improved things since. I hope you get many long and reliable years out of yours.
     
  11. Autobus Prime

    Autobus Prime Transit Former

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    j:

    Hmm...well, the fan has to pull air from somewhere, but the beauty panel is a bit spaced-out from the case, right? So if the air is flowing in, through the big fan, then the air is being pulled in through the lower vents, then up past the power switches to the fan. Of course you're making the air turn 90 degrees and slow down suddenly into a big duct increase, so there is indeed some flow restriction. Perforating the panels would ease this. They sell nifty perforated panel at the hardware store that might work. :) 

    Now, here's one thing - the cool air is picking up the heat from that radiator, resulting in warm air that flows through the case. Remember, cooling systems don't destroy heat, they just move it. Your CPU is cooler because the water can carry off a lot of heat quickly, and your ambient case temp is cooler wherever the ambient temp sensor is, which is probably good. However, you've still got the same amount of heat coming off the CPU, and since you're blowing the warm air through the case, you may still have the same amount of heat in there at any given time...depending on how the airflow may have changed, with the different fan.

    What this means is, while your CPU is measuring cooler, you might actually be warming some components more, high up, where the fan is blowing air. You may well have more than a 3 degree increase up there, so be careful. Got any thermocouples handy? :)  It would probably be better to have warm air blowing out, but you'd have to fiddle a bit to arrange this, perhaps, with those two fans being in the way.
     
  12. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    Distilled water has absolutely zero conductivity.

    Water is only typically conductive due to the various dissolved salts and minerals in its naturally encountered forms.
     
  13. Gordon_4

    Gordon_4 The Big Engine

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    Like I said, old fuddy duddy, I just hear the word 'water' and my brain goes 'Nope, no sale'.

    Problem is the way components are going, I might have to make the leap with my next upgrade......fortunately my case won't require much, if any, modification.

    Silverstone Raven RV01 FTW.
     
  14. juise

    juise TFW2005 Token Negro

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    These systems are supposed to be using non-conductive liquids like distilled water, but I never want to find out first hand! :) 

    That's a terrible story. I hate hearing about early adopters getting shafted. ALthough in your case it sounds like it may have been a bit of an experiment for the builder as well. Glad to hear you did finally get it sorted out.



    Wow, everyone seems to know whats going on in my computer but me it would seem.

    All temps were taken after CPU benchmarking the machine for 20 minutes with the case on and everything closed up. I stopped the benchmark, opened the case, and took the pictures as fast as possible.

    Ambient case temp
    [​IMG]

    CPU
    [​IMG]

    Radiator
    [​IMG]

    GPU 1(at idle)
    [​IMG]

    Ambient case temp 20 minutes later completely open at idle!
    [​IMG]


    Now what does all this mean?

    Is the radiator in the most efficient place possible? Absolutely not!

    Will changing the position and airflow of the radiator greatly reduce the temps? Absolutely not, this has been tested, and there is only a 3 degrees Celsius difference between having the case open and closed.

    Is the air passing over the radiator into the case contributing heat to the ambient case temp? Absolutely not! In fact the air coming from the radiator is actually COOLING the overall air temp. Ambient temp 29.1c, Radiator temp 25.5c.

    Where is the heat coming from? The CPU & GPUs. As is the case in any computer regardless of the cooling setup. The difference here is that the heat is being disbursed over a much larger area via much more efficient materials resulting in overall drastically lower temps. Remember the idle GPU temp is higher then the Radiator temp just seconds after a 100% CPU load for 20 minutes!

    From the very first post I stated that location of the radiator wasn't the most efficient. BUT any design engineer will tell you 100% efficiency does not equal 100% performance. It's all about balancing efficiency and performance. In some cases (like this one), the gap between the two has a very minor effect on performance. IE Sometimes 60% efficiency equals 90% of the performance so it makes no sense to try and gain the extra 40% efficiency just for the 10% of performance gain.

    All of you have made many valid points, but I already took them into consideration and accounted for them when making the choices I did in this setup. The completely open ambient temp proves that I was right. The biggest gain I could possibly see is 3 degrees Celsius (and thats being generous). The only way I could get a bigger then 3c increase would be to pipe colder then room temp air into the case. I've been building and over clocking PC's since 1992! I've never lost a board, GPU, CPU, or any other hardware from thermal management. Hell my SL2QG still works! Props if you know what that is without Google! I made this post because after 20 years building computers I finally played with water cooling and the effects where far better then expected, and the requirements to make it work effectively are far less stringent then air cooling. I just wanted to share the experience.

    I enjoy the conversation from everyone and will be willing to try minor changes that haven't already been covered just for the sake of curiosity.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  15. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    If he's using any sort of metallic components in contact with the water supply it will not stay distilled very long.

    If he wanted to he could use cooking oil and a different pump system.
     
  16. Starscream600

    Starscream600 Certified Virtual Pilot

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    Your water bill's gonna shoot right up dude. My cooling method is to just leave the case open while I use the PC.
     
  17. cobra zartan

    cobra zartan Think's He's a Detective.

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    Bah self contained system. I build real liquid cooling machines at work :)  Few pictures of some old builds.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Starscream600

    Starscream600 Certified Virtual Pilot

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    That's computron's evil twin. :lol  Seriously tho, it's like a lab inside of that PC.
     
  19. juise

    juise TFW2005 Token Negro

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    Those are some pretty mean setups! Because of stories like Tyrants I always just stayed away from liquid cooling. I'd love to find a setup that would handle the SLI cards for a decent price.
     
  20. Autobus Prime

    Autobus Prime Transit Former

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    Ah, temperature data, I like it!

    j:

    Well, the truth is, I am a design engineer, and yeah, you're making a good point. Increasing efficiency takes increased effort, and if 20% of the effort gets you 80% of the potential return, yeah, going farther might not even be needed.

    So you do have a good point. On the other hand, it seems like a person is going past the 80/20 principle when he gets into liquid cooling and overclocking, so I was having a little think-out-loud about the system from a different perspective, more of a hot-rodder perspective. The next step after putting a cooling system in is to hop everything up to see how far it will go, right? :) 

    I haven't done anything with liquid-cooling desktop PCs, but one of the nice features of a setup like that, it seems to me, is that you could get the heat completely out of the case...though with so much room in that case, this might not matter at all, no matter how far you overclock things.

    Looking at the temperatures you've got, you do seem to be distributing the heat a lot more evenly. Either that, or the fan's got a higher airflow rate than the factory fan did, and your lower case temp is coming from the increased flow through the case.

    Keep us updated with this, it's an interesting project. :) 
     

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