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Old 04-27-2012, 07:09 AM   #1
Cyberwarrior
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New WC build

Hi folks,
In a couple of weeks I'll be getting my new system, which I'll be WCing, as is my current system.
Thing is, I already ( some while back) purchased a Thermaltake Kandalf LCS ( built-in watercooling system. Now I know, TT is about a bad as it gets with regards to WCing, but as I already have the case ( it's absolutely gorgeous!) it"ll have to do as base. In case you don't know this one, it featurs a P500 pump ( 500liter/hour pump), 3/8 tubing, 120.3 alunium radiator. The waterblock that came with it isn't socket 2011 compliant, so I'm going to get an EK Supreme HF cpu block as well as an EK-FC7970-en for the Gigabyte Radeon HD7970 that's going in. And EK compression fittings.
Now, reason for this post is, just because I have thermaltake components, doesn't mean I have to stick with them. I can't toss out everything all at once due to limitations, so what would be the best place to compensate the shortcoming of a thermaltake build?
The radiator will have to stay as it's built into the front door.


So, what's best to toss out first.
Pump, which one? ( Along with reservoir as they are a 1-piece build.
Tubing? ( Tygon?)
Additional radiator, which one?


fwiw, the build is:
Asrock X79 Extreme 9
I7 3820
Gigabyte Radeon 7970 Ghz ed.
G-Skill 4x4Gb ddr3 - 2133 11
XFX 850W modular PSU

I'm not changing the build, my mind is set, I know the 3820 isn't the best choice for overclocking or not even gaming, which is what I'll be doing mostly but I have my reasons...


Thanks for any replies!
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:46 PM   #2
musicfan
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Hi Cyberwarrior,

Welcome to EOCF water-forum!!! Here is my opinion...

Since you already have a water-cooling system, let's take a look. You may want to link to parts in future posts so we get them correct but here was my best guess.

The Thermaltake Kandalf LCS entered the market around 2006? Here is a review. It has a 500 liter/hour pump, 3/8" ID tubing, and 120.3 Aluminum radiator with 1300 rpm fans according to the Thermaltake website. I can't find a head pressure on the pump but XSPC makes a fairly popular 750 l/h pump so that gives us a rough idea [of how to rate your pump quality].

Your choice of low restriction EK HF water-blocks is wise because that is less work for your pump.

Your CPU has a tdp of 130 W and VGA is about 210 W or higher. Perhaps your maximum heat load at stock is about 350 Watts but likely less [because some heat escapes to air so is not cooled by the blocks].

There is no heat load chart for your radiator so we do not know the cooling capacity. If you read the Parts Guide sticky for radiators and go to the 2012 testing from Martinm, we can pick an average radiator for 1400 rpm fans like the XSPC RS 120.3 as an example. It can cool about 188 Watts with 3 fans in push with a delta T of 10C. Even if your rad is "average" by 2012 standards, you will be unlikely to be able to cool 300 to 350 Watts unless you get very fast (loud) fans. The links to Martin's testing are in the sticky.

It looks unlikely you can add push/pull to that front radiator because of space limits. That would be choice #1 if it was easy. Or if you were willing to get a fan controller so you don't go deaf, you could simply get faster fans. The next step after that may be to add another rad like the RS 120.3 You could hang it off the back. Maybe you could put good fans like Scythe Gentle Typhoons on the rads. 1850 rpm on a controller would be ideal. Then you could add another pump anywhere in the loop to get more flow. A Laing OEM DDC - even a used older model - would work for that. I know you said the tubing is all 3/8" ID but I read somewhere it gets smaller near the rad - down to 1/4"? Maybe that was an old version but you want at least 3/8" ID tubing everywhere to improve flow.

Once you get the EK blocks, adequate rads, enough fans to ventilate the rads, and enough pumping power to keep you over .6 to .7 gpm - or 1 gpm if you can afford it - you should be able to go back to doing things as you did with your old system. But now you get some extra cooling and extra pumping.

If some of this is confusing, you may want to read the Beginning Guide sticky, especially on heat load and cooling. And you may want to read the relevant Parts Guide sticky parts including fans, fan controllers, pumps, radiators and so on.

Please feel free to ask questions. Good luck.

add: I have a few more minutes now. What I did was take what you have and add to it as long as it is all 3/8" ID. Most water-cooling gear can easily be used in serial. So if the old pump doesn't push enough water, you can add another pump of any model anywhere in the loop to raise pressure and flow. You can leave the old pump alone if it is part of the reservoir system or you already have it installed. The only negative is that sometimes a powerful pump may collapse thin wall-tubing at the inlet in which case use 3/8"ID and 5/8"OD instead of 1/2" OD. But two pumps in serial are fine. And the same is true with radiators or blocks. You likely have Aluminum water-tubes in the Thermaltake radiator instead of more desirable copper. This means you are "mixing metals" since your blocks are likely copper or Nickel-plated copper and any newer rad will likely have copper water-tubes. This increases risk of corrosion so you will likely want to run either the Thermaltake or the EK brand coolant, whichever keeps your block warranty. Keep adding components in serial as needed until you can afford to get rid of all the Aluminum, which likely means all the Thermaltake brand. Then you can consider using distilled or DI water and a biocide, which will be far cheaper than proprietary coolant.

What were you cooling with the Thermaltake system? Were the load temps OK? That might give us an idea of how much the Thermaltake can cool even without a heat load chart.

Last edited by musicfan : 04-27-2012 at 02:41 PM. Reason: grammar [edits] add:
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:09 AM   #3
Cyberwarrior
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Wow, great message, thanks.

I've had the thermaltake still in the box in the attic since I bought it like 3 years ago and even then it was nearly out of stock everywhere. I just totally digged its concept and looks. After that I just never got round to buying my next system ( you know what it's like, 2 new kids, mortgage, wife, renovations,...) so it's still brand new.
Until now ( now don't laugh) I've been running a P4 ( northwood) 3.2ht and a AGP Radeon 3850, both overclocked as much as allowed (3.9 ghz) on a Reserator 2 cooling the northbridge, cpu and gpu, all Zalman waterblocks. The eheim pump (300l/h) did die on me once and to get to it was hell, I had to tear apart the entire unit. Got a replacement for ~20$ in an aquarium shop and she's been running happy eversince. It'll get a next life on a htpc.
I got the reserator simply because above all else I wanted silence and better than air cooling. I had a X1900 Pro before and its fan drove me nuts. The fanless reserator fitted the purpose and it does look cool next to the tower.
It worked great except on really hot days, i'd have to decrease cpu overclocks to 3.6. Low spec though it is, it runs Far Cry 2 @1920/1200 high detail. Crysis was a big nono though and now I want to get into Skyrim ( ultra modded ultra detailed), Deus ex HR and soon Diablo 3 and I got the cash.
So this system is a much overdue upgrade.

Back to the next build;
As for tubing I think I'm stuck with the 1/4 tubing to the rad, so with that constraint and limit in thermal dissapation values of the rad you estimate I should maybe consider setting up a seperate loop for the 7970. I'm fairly certain that with time, to keep up with increasing game complexity, I'll go crossfire so a seperate loop does make sense, right?
How much does an average loop cost, not counting the waterblock? So pump, tubing, rad (120.3 of 120.4) and reservoir cost. It doesn't have to be cutting edge, but it has to be able to keep 2 OC'ed 7970s cool, also on hot days.
I've also been considering using pwm controlled fans so the system makes less noise when sitting idle but it seems this isn't as straightforward as it sounds? ( I read another thread here, got rather complicated)

Last edited by Cyberwarrior : 04-28-2012 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
cmdprompt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberwarrior View Post

Back to the next build;
As for tubing I think I'm stuck with the 1/4 tubing to the rad...
I wouldn't put anything else on the same loop with 1/4 tubing so (for me) a separate loop would be in order or figure out a way to ditch the small tubing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberwarrior View Post
How much does an average loop cost, not counting the waterblock? So pump, tubing, rad (120.3 of 120.4) and reservoir cost. It doesn't have to be cutting edge, but it has to be able to keep 2 OC'ed 7970s cool, also on hot days.
I've also been considering using pwm controlled fans so the system makes less noise when sitting idle but it seems this isn't as straightforward as it sounds? ( I read another thread here, got rather complicated)

I don't think there is an average cost. Best to determine what you want to accomplish and what your goals are and then price things out... and then make adjustments. $120 and up, and up and up. If you are just looking to cool and don't care about aesthetics or noise - the lower end. If you are looking for "quiet art" then much (much) more fittings, controller, etc.

Taking the stickies from memory + a little google-foo, 2 X 7970's == ~500W TDP, overclock them and I would add 200W for a total of 700W. Each 1 X 120 fan can cool between 100-150W (for a reasonable deltaT) depending on the rad and how fast a fan you are willing to run (noise) and how much $ you are willing to spend. That would be 6-7X120, or you can skip the overclock on the cards and 4x120 will probably be adequate, again dependent upon the fans... or accept a higher deltaT and overclock with the 4X120 or... or... or... you get the picture.

Net-net, If you really care about getting the result you want, I would encourage you to read the stickies and then read them again... and... again. You won't be the first Pick a Rad in your budget, look at it's charts at a given CFM\RPM and an acceptable noise level (listen to Martin's fan video's) and go from there to figure out how much rad you need. I spent months doing research before my current monster and I've done this before (and I'm OCD)... honestly, half the fun is in the planning.

PWM works well for many. You can accomplish something similar with voltage control and a fairly inexpensive controller and have a greater selection of fans.

Aluminum and copper\nickel don't mix so I would highly encourage you to follow Musicfan's advise and run the coolant in that loop... otherwise you will be in the unenviable position of being the next person to post really intriguing pictures of rotting components that we will all go "Ugg... glad that isn't me."

By the way... welcome to EOCF!
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
musicfan
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Good post cmdprompt.

OP, we recommend the Beginning and latest Parts Guide stickies because they are vetted, edited, updated and the links work. If something doesn't make sense to you, please ask. But if you understand the basics, then it's easier to discuss custom.

It's hard to know what the "average loop costs" in 2012 because it's hard to define average but your first loop is a kit and you don't seem adverse to that. Here's an idea. What would you think of using another kit for your second loop?

The second loop could have the rad hanging on the back unless you can think of a better place. The cheapest way (that would work) would be a XSPC 750 kit with a RX 360 rad (one of the best 120.3's one can buy). That's about $200 US. You could use the XSPC CPU block instead of the EK and save the cost of the EK Supreme HF while losing no performance. That plus one EK 7970 block (about $100 US) would put you in the range of $300 for your second loop. That and a fan controller like cmdprompt mentions to control the stock XSPC fans would work great to start the second loop. No problems with noise or cooling yet (unless you get a bad pump, which XSPC is good about replacing). If you can fit a dual 5.25" bay drive, this may be attractive to get you started.

But...when you add the second VGA in that loop, you will need to re-assess everything, especially fans and PSU. How much you are willing to pay for silence versus just wearing gaming headphones? You could do a lot of cooling with high-speed fans on fan controllers. But if you can post-pone needing that second VGA card for a while with a kit, perhaps you will have more ? Will that work?

Another idea is some sort of "outboard radiator housing" like Phobya or Danger Den makes. If you love your case, you can put the water-cooling gear outside the case and run the tubing inside to the blocks.

I don't know that case at all but maybe there is some way to mod the case if you are willing to strip it down to its frame and do some cutting and drilling. We are going to have to put these new parts somewhere.

Like cmdprompt says, it takes a while to read but there is no rush. Those video fan tests by Martinm210 are actually fun and educational. He just released another test. Take your time. Ask questions. We are happy to help.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:31 AM   #6
indyrocker
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For tubing sizes I am quite partial 7/16" id tubing it has just enough flex while still keeping the flow rate up! Was there a reason why you were going to go with of felt you had to go with 1/4" tubing? most fittings have 3/8" id to them as I recall and the g 1/4 on the rad would refer to the threading standard used for the fittings. Just some food for thought.
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