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  1. #1
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    Question Lots of cooling questions on new rig

    Hello,

    I'm in the process of designing a new rig to replace my current rather stone age setup. I'm not an overclocker, but I've been getting a great deal of info from this and some of the other OC forums. This board has been one of the most informative, and I want to start by thanking all those who've made it such a great resource.

    My needs are a bit different from what I've seen most expressing, so my system (which I've mostly figured out) will seem a bit odd, but has been chosen to meet my needs. (a multi user Linux workstation/server) The design is based in large part on ESR's 'Ultimate Linux Box' and the recomendations from the authors of O'Reilly's 'PC Hardware in a Nutshell'.

    It isn't why I'm writing, but comments on the hardware are welcome.

    I am planning on a full tower case, with a Tyan Thunder K7X or K7X Pro mobo, (dual Athlon, with the fastest Athlon MP's that are reasonably priced)1 Gig of RAM. Probably staying with the embedded video (4mb ATI Rage) An IDE DVD multi format burner (Probably Sony DRU 500A) and a seperate DVD/CD reader. Hard drives will be Seagate SCSI U160 10 or 15K Cheetahs.

    Audio is a bit up in the air. I don't want to go Creative, as I've seen lots of reports of odd problems with their stuff under Linux. I don't want anything fancy, as I don't do much audio. I've heard lots of reccomendations for the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, but that seems overkill.

    Even though I'm not going to OC the system, I've been convinced that I need to watercool if I don't want to listen to a jet engine. Since I think my existing P-200 is overly noisy, it was a no-brainer to decide to go hydraulic.

    Now for my questions...

    I'm planning to make my own waterblocks, both to save money and for the learning experience. Ditto most of the rest of the plumbing, and my questions relate to that. I've read many of the posts and articles here and elsewhere and haven't found answers to the following. I would be grateful for either answers or pointers to additional references.

    1. What is the best way to route the plumbing for a dual processor board? I don't think it would be good to go from one CPU to the other, so should I branch the feeds? If so, what is the best way to build a manifold so that both CPU's will get about the same amount of water? I also see a few other things I might want to cool (Drives, other chips, etc.) but probably with a smaller line. Should I have additional branches for them, or put them in line with the CPU's?

    1A. What size should I look for in a rad given the two CPU's and hot drives? I'm thinking in terms of a hanging heater core off the back of the case, with the system fans blowing out through it Is this a good plan? Currently I'm guessing on needing about 6" x 9" with two fans going through it based on using something twice as big as I see being used on single CPU systems.

    2. I've gotten the Cooling Manual from the AMD website, but haven't had much luck figuring out all the dimensions for the WB's. I would like to use the 4 bolt method of attaching the WB, but I may have to use clips as I don't know if the Tyan mobo's have the holes (I can't see them in the board pictures, and the manuals don't say either way). Assuming I use clips, what are the dimensions of the base, and how does that relate to where the clip pressure point is supposed to be? If I can use the 4 bolt method, what is the spacing on the holes, and how do they relate to the base?

    3. Judging from the pictures in the manuals, the Tyan mobo only has one chip with a heat sink on it (Possibly the Northbridge?) and that has no fan. How likely is that chip to need extra cooling? Would it work to just jam appropriate size copper tubing in between the fins, or should I make another real WB for it?

    4. What is the optimal placement for thermocouples to monitor the system? Can anyone suggest a good monitor setup with LOTS of inputs for one display? (I've seen a thing called Digital Doctor which claims to have 8 inputs, is this a good unit, or is there something better?)

    5. How about cooling the hard drives? I can see making a flat plate WB for the cover side, but how does one cool the controller board side (or is that needed if the cover side is cooled? I'm not sure what gets hot on a hard drive) How about the DVD burner, will that need cooling?

    6. Ideally, I'd like to end up with no more fans than the Power supply, one or two on the radiator, and possibly a couple to pressurize the case. Is that reasonable, or am I being over ambitious?

    Sorry for being so long winded, but I wanted to get it all out. Thanks in advance for any and all help.

    Gooserider (atorrey at cybercom dot net)

  2. #2
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    I don't have a dualie, but I would think you'd want to branch the lines with a t fitting. Other components in line after the CPUs.

    Heater core is going to be your best bet. Since you're not OCing, the chevette core should be just fine. Search = tons of info on it. Probably should pass cool air through it, rather than air already heated and blown out with the exhaust fans.

    For the sound card, check the Linux distro you're going to use and pick the card with the best support. Linux is still really behind in the hardware support area.

    WB dimensions - I would probably just buy the board you're going to use and measure the sockets since you're sort of limited for dualie AMD setups anyway.

    Cooling hard drives, best hombrewed setup I've seen:

    http://www.zerofanzone.co.uk/default.asp

    I have a OCd 1700xp and run only the radiator fan and power supply fans, so it is indeed possible.

    Fewer q's in the future are going to be easier to answer

  3. #3
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    N.Billerica, MA
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    Chief_Wiggum: I don't have a dualie, but I would think you'd want to branch the lines with a t fitting. Other components in line after the CPUs.
    I've actually been getting into quite a discussion on this over on ProCooling. Seems there is disagreement on this subject. The concensus is test the components each way to see which gives you the maximum flow through each CPU block. If one is using a reasonably decent pump, there will be less than ONE degree difference between the CPU's if they are in series, so the deciding issue is which setup maximizes flow. Of course it looks like I can afford to be a bit sloppy with my flow now, I just picked up an Iwaki MD20 pump off e-bay, so my pump is officially overkill...
    Heater core is going to be your best bet. Since you're not OCing, the chevette core should be just fine. Search = tons of info on it. Probably should pass cool air through it, rather than air already heated and blown out with the exhaust fans.
    The impression I've gotten is that bigger is better, so I looked in the heatercore database for the biggest one I can mount on my case, looks like FedCo # 2-422 is my best bet, 10.75" x 6.125" x 2.5", dual pass, 3/4" in, 5/8" out; 45.60 at leakycar. I gather it's for a GM, but not sure which one. There are actually several in that size range, but that number is slightly less $ for some reason. I suppose I could put the rad on the input side of the case, but then I'd be blowing pre-heated air through the rest of the PC. I'd rather blow exhaust air through the rad and then get rid of it. However I'm now going to think about it some more, as it might solve some other issues.
    For the sound card, check the Linux distro you're going to use and pick the card with the best support. Linux is still really behind in the hardware support area.
    Good idea, though all the modern distro's are similiar in their support level. (One of the wonders of Open Source )
    WB dimensions - I would probably just buy the board you're going to use and measure the sockets since you're sort of limited for dualie AMD setups anyway.
    True. I have to do a clip-on, as the mobo I'm getting doesn't have the bolt holes, so I'm going to work with the specs in the AMD technical documentation. Biggest challenges will be keeping the weight low enough and coming up with a reasonable clip design.
    Cooling hard drives, best hombrewed setup I've seen: http://www.zerofanzone.co.uk/default.asp I have a OCd 1700xp and run only the radiator fan and power supply fans, so it is indeed possible.
    I agree, I've been looking at alot of Bladerunner's projects, he definitely knows his stuff.
    Fewer q's in the future are going to be easier to answer
    True I was a bit lengthy, I have a tendency to be that way.... However the project is starting to come together. This week I'm planning to start cutting copper on my blocks, and move my main focus from research to getting parts.

    Gooserider

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