Understanding & Mastering Water Cooling

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles' started by Dashken, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Very soon. Hang in there! :thumb:
  2. Dashken

    Dashken Administrator!

    The article has just been updated. This will be a complete release. :wave:

    Ever wondered about water cooling your PC? Well, wonder no more. AlmostThere will show you everything you need to know about water cooling.


    Link : Understanding & Mastering Water Cooling
  3. ncbrandt

    ncbrandt Newbie

    water vs air

    Hi everybody,

    I'm new here and was reading this great article about watercooling. I'm just wondering since I'm running a E6400 and people claim to run it at 3,4GHz with aircooling like the Scythe Infinity.

    I would like to use watercooling, only i have very little cash to spend. I would like watercooling like the Zalman ZM-WB3 or the WB4, but how does it compare to the Scythe aircooler?? It only has to perform the same or maybe slightly better.

    The Danger Den named in the article is not readily available here in the Netherlands. And when it is available it is very expensive.

    I found this article "http://www.overclockers.com/articles373/wbsum.asp" about waterblocks, but none of the articles I found compare the cheaper waterblocks with the high end aircooling or aircooling in general.

    I just don't know what to do, maybe I should go for the aircooling but I also want to cool my VGA card, which gets really hot even without overclocking. And the CPU and GPU waterblocks from Zalman are very affordable. WHAT TO DO WHAT TO DO ??? :)

    Thanks in advance for replies.

  4. Papercut

    Papercut Newbie

    Hi Nick, and welcome to Tech ARP :wave:
    I'm from the pro-aircooling crowd so you'll probably hear different opinions from some of the other guys here, but here's my $0.02...since you have a limited budget, I suggest sticking to air cooling. Low-end watercooling does not really offer much over high-end air cooling solutions these days, and your budget probably does not allow for high-performance water cooling components (DIY/modded solutions excluded). Zalman is generally not a name associated with performance water cooling anyway.

    It's a different story for air cooling though. For your GPU, I highly recommend the Zalman VF900. It may be a little bit pricey but it's definitely the best GPU cooler I've used. The Thermalright HR-03 also looks like a great performance heatsink.

    Hope this gives you some food for thought :thumb:
  5. ncbrandt

    ncbrandt Newbie

    But how would the VF 900 compare to a waterblock on my GPU?? Maybe only watercooling on my GPU?? because my GPU gets really hot and i would really like to OC it. So I think I will need the best cooling for it.

    At the moment i'm overclocking my CPU with stock cooling. At the moment running at 3,2 GHz with prime95 "55C for the tortured core and 52C for the idle one. I think quite nice results.

  6. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    From your post, you don't seem to understand how watercooling actually works. It's more than just waterblocks. You need radiator, pump to cool and circulate the water.
  7. ncbrandt

    ncbrandt Newbie

    I think you understood me wrong?? I do understand how it works, but just for the sake of me not having to explain the whole article again before I ask a question I just referred to the waterblocks. Because the waterblocks are the only thing I cant get from somewhere for cheap. The rest of the installation I think will be no problem for me to get.

    So my question remains maybe only watercooling for my GPU?? because my CPU seems to be running quite cool with stock cooling. And if I get an aftermarket one like the Scythe Mine. I think I can clock it higher than the 3,3 GHz i'n currently running it at.

    But if the Zalman waterblock performs like the Scythe Mine I could just as well install watercooling on my CPU.

  8. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Radiator, pumps are just as equally important as the waterblock. I'm personally using a Zalman block, but I have huge radiator.


    You can't expect the Zalman block to perform well if you only have a tiny radiator, do you?
  9. ncbrandt

    ncbrandt Newbie

    Well I want to get a radiator from the junkyard I will be looking for one with the flat tubing as described in the article. I want to have one that can fit at least 4 120mm fans and 8 stacked if necessary. I think this would suffice??

    Are you satisfied with your Zalman Waterblock?? And do you have any info on what the temperature was on your GPU with the stock cooling and now with the zalman block???

  10. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    I'm using Zalman CPU block. I don't think GPU requires water cooling though.
  11. ncbrandt

    ncbrandt Newbie

    That's just the thing, it's running very hot even without OCing it. Are the aftermarket aircoolers that good that I can OC it?? Because at the moment my 7900GT is running at 82C when using the 3d test from ATI Tool, and this is just at standard clock speed. I hear this card can do a nice OC but I think I'm gonna need VERY good cooling.

  12. Olle P

    Olle P Newbie

    I think a lot depends on your computer case.
    With a good airflow in the lower regions of it air cooling should get you a long way.

    Check out what I used earlier:
    A Zalman HP80 cooler on the graphics card.

    To really cool it down I had a 12 cm Titan fan mounted in the side door.

    That worked really well! (And I didn't even run the fan at full speed...)

  13. Max_87

    Max_87 huehuehue

    If you are looking for an aircooling solution for your 7900GT, you can consider Thermalright HR-03 :mrgreen: Easily the best GPU heatsink out here :thumb:

    If that is still not enough, you can always mod a high end CPU heatsink to fit on your card :mrgreen:
  14. empire23

    empire23 BRB. Attacking Russia

    Need to WC my shit kicking overbearingly loud GX2, just imagine the noise i was getting my Artic Cooling Accelero and now move on to this beast.......ugggghhhh.
  15. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    How do you watercool GX2?
  16. ncbrandt

    ncbrandt Newbie

    So from what I understand, is that everyone say just do aircooling??

  17. Max_87

    Max_87 huehuehue

    Our point is, if you intend to go for a low budget watercooler, might as well just forget about it, because any high-end aircoolers out there will outperform this kind of watercoolers. :mrgreen:

    So, exactly how much do you plan on spending for a watercooling system?
  18. Papercut

    Papercut Newbie

    I think Swiftech sell a spacer kit that widens and supports the gap between the two PCBs, so then you can use your waterblock(s) of choice.

    Just to give you an idea, the VF900 dropped my X1800 load temperatures by 20ºC compared to the stock cooler. And the X1800 cooler is not exactly a very poor design either.

    However, I also agree with Olle P's comment:
    82ºC load temp seems a bit high, especially considering that you're in a temperate country. Perhaps you could share with us your case and airflow configuration?
  19. PsYkHoTiK

    PsYkHoTiK Admin nerd

    I have a VF900 on my 7900GT and it idles ~30-40C. Its a really good cooler. But there may be better ones (like the one max recommended.) It basically depends on what your needs are. My CPU is Watercooled but I don't really need to WC my 7900GT (the hassle of unmounting it paired with the need of a more powerful pump + bigger radiator kinda put me off... :p )

    If the water cooling solution can't best air cooling then I really wouldn't bother.
  20. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, I know. I'm quite a Swiftech fan myself, as you can see with my watercooling setup. That's the only way to watercool GX2 without self modding, honestly, and it's going to cost 2 bombs.

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