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Water cooling for under $200

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Old 11-24-08, 07:36 AM Thread Starter   #1
TheThermaltaker
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Water cooling for under $200


After factoring in the costs of a TRUE black or copper and fans it seems like water cooling might be a better option for not much more. If I went with water cooling I'd start out with the CPU only, then move up to the graphics card later on. I'm looking for something quiet. I don't need complete silence, but I'd like something quiet as I've been getting into the whole quiet PC thing recently. Actually, I'm installing a bunch of quiet fans to replace the noisy Armor stock fans and am loading the case up with sound dampening this week. I'd like to eventually take my Q9300 up to 3.6ghz or even higher if temps allow, so I need some performance. I've never dealt with water cooling before so I'm pretty lost on what to get and how to do it. As for installation I'll be asking plenty of questions, but it doesn't sound that hard to do if I plan it right and read a lot more about it. My setup is (as of this week when everything gets in):

GTX260 OCX (the one with 216 shaders)
Q9300 at 3.4ghz
DFI Lanparty DK P35
Thermaltake Armor case

I'm doing some big orders from Xoxide, Newegg, and TigerDirect later today so I can get any combination of things from them. I'm okay with ordering from Frozen CPU as well. What would you guys recommend? I'd like to spend under $200, $150 if possible. I just don't want any crap that will cool my system improperly and cause problems.

Last edited by TheThermaltaker; 11-24-08 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 11-24-08, 09:42 AM   #2
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http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/swh2edukit.html

its not under 200 but i heard it is pretty darn good starting point. I'll let you know how good it is in about a week.

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Old 11-24-08, 09:46 AM   #3
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You can try the swiftech h20-220 compact cooler here at newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835108105

pretty good fore the price. Pump and CPU block are one unit so it keeps things neater and easier to setup. Plus the kit gives you plenty of t fittings and all that other junk to expand the system down the road like you want to.

You can see my review on that page, the one by slb785

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Old 11-24-08, 12:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slb785 View Post
You can try the swiftech h20-220 compact cooler here at newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835108105

pretty good fore the price. Pump and CPU block are one unit so it keeps things neater and easier to setup. Plus the kit gives you plenty of t fittings and all that other junk to expand the system down the road like you want to.

You can see my review on that page, the one by slb785
That setup isn't strong enough to do the CPU/GPU, and it's a pretty weak CPU only loop. You' need a bigger rad and pump, plus a GPU block right off the bat, at least $150 MORE to even get close to cool the CPU/GPU.

You can't cool a CPU/GPU in any quality way (meaning poor temps) for under $200 unless you buy used stuff.

Rad $50 min
Pump $70 Min
CPU block $50 min
GPU and HS for RAM etc $80
Hose, res, clamps, fittings, fans $50

Pretty much $300, and I think I low balled some prices by $10 each.

This one is almost enough. It was linked above. Still not enough rad and needs GPU cooling. You could get a 120x1 rad to add to the loop and a GPU block. Don't forget you will need HS for the exposed chips unless you go full cover GPU block, adding another $40 or so to the GPU block.
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/swh2edukit.html

I won't recommend anything less than capable to anyone, we want happy setups for new folks, not disappointments.




Sorry, just can't do it.

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Last edited by Conumdrum; 11-24-08 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 11-24-08, 01:02 PM   #5
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I would try an piece together a used system. That's what I'm doing and its saving me tons of money.
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Old 11-24-08, 02:14 PM   #6
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What Conumdrum said is pretty much true if you want to cool more than a processor by itself. But it is still a good starting point for getting into watercooling and I just found the kit linked from NCIX.com in another post for a great price, $100.08 plus shipping. That kind of price changes things a bit. The Apogee Drive pump/waterblock can be upgraded with an XSPC top and be made into a pretty darn good pump and you can then buy a premium waterblock such as a GTZ later on down the road. And you can always add another rad to your setup later when you put your gpu in the loop. There is nothing wrong with that kit and the rad has a built in res in it's top tank so it makes getting a separate res unnecessary later on if you are adding another rad to the loop. And that kit is actually cheaper than the Cu TRUE if you include a fan (or fans) cost in the equation.

I just checked what shipping would cost on that kit to my house and it would be around $16 Fedex saver.
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Old 11-24-08, 02:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conumdrum View Post
That setup isn't strong enough to do the CPU/GPU, and it's a pretty weak CPU only loop. You' need a bigger rad and pump, plus a GPU block right off the bat, at least $150 MORE to even get close to cool the CPU/GPU.

Sorry, just can't do it.
You might be better off either waiting until you save up a little more $$$ (while you study WCing a little more), or go with high end air cooling now.

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Old 11-24-08, 05:40 PM Thread Starter   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddocktor View Post
What Conumdrum said is pretty much true if you want to cool more than a processor by itself. But it is still a good starting point for getting into watercooling and I just found the kit linked from NCIX.com in another post for a great price, $100.08 plus shipping. That kind of price changes things a bit. The Apogee Drive pump/waterblock can be upgraded with an XSPC top and be made into a pretty darn good pump and you can then buy a premium waterblock such as a GTZ later on down the road. And you can always add another rad to your setup later when you put your gpu in the loop. There is nothing wrong with that kit and the rad has a built in res in it's top tank so it makes getting a separate res unnecessary later on if you are adding another rad to the loop. And that kit is actually cheaper than the Cu TRUE if you include a fan (or fans) cost in the equation.

I just checked what shipping would cost on that kit to my house and it would be around $16 Fedex saver.
That sounds like a good kit. I've read against going with kits on the forum, is that just with higher priced kits? And do you think this would efficiently cool a Q9300 overclocked to 3.6ghz? Since it's that cheap there's a lot of room in there for additional things. So what do you think I should upgrade?
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Old 11-24-08, 11:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conumdrum View Post
That setup isn't strong enough to do the CPU/GPU, and it's a pretty weak CPU only loop. You' need a bigger rad and pump, plus a GPU block right off the bat, at least $150 MORE to even get close to cool the CPU/GPU.
I would challenge the quality of the parts as the Apogee drive is a MCP 350 that is easily modable to a 355. Both are two of the most popular water pumps around. The Swiftech radiator is quality as well. It is more than enough to keep a maxxed out C2D or even a well OC'd quad under control. It's not gonna keep a well OC'd quad and hot azz GPU cold but I think it would challenge aircooling temps on both. Personally, i'd add another 220 rad in the loop or change the 220 to a 320 when you add the GPU though.

Axis
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Old 11-25-08, 02:45 AM Thread Starter   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axis01 View Post
I would challenge the quality of the parts as the Apogee drive is a MCP 350 that is easily modable to a 355. Both are two of the most popular water pumps around. The Swiftech radiator is quality as well. It is more than enough to keep a maxxed out C2D or even a well OC'd quad under control. It's not gonna keep a well OC'd quad and hot azz GPU cold but I think it would challenge aircooling temps on both. Personally, i'd add another 220 rad in the loop or change the 220 to a 320 when you add the GPU though.

Axis
I'm thinking of shelling out the extra cash for individual parts instead of a pre-configured kit. I'm just not sure what and how much of different things I'd need. I'm looking at the GTZ CPU block, triple radiator, 655 pump, and rev. 2 tank, but as for tubing, clamps, etc. I'm confused. For an Armor case, what else do I need and how much tubing should I get? Also, is it worth it to cool my chipset, because my northbridge isn't that hot, but it's starting to alarm me at 450mhz. What waterblock would you recommend for a DFI Lanparty DK P35? And would I want to split the tubing or run the CPU and chipset through the same line?

If there are any other parts you guys recommend instead please tell me, water cooling is far from being my expertise.

Last edited by TheThermaltaker; 11-25-08 at 03:55 AM.
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Old 11-25-08, 03:56 AM Thread Starter   #11
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I forgot to mention. Would I need a Radbox to mount the radiator to the back of my case or can I go without it?
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Old 11-25-08, 04:44 AM   #12
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I needed 3m tubing for my Armor with CPU and dual GPUs. Still have left overs, but there's always the danger of mis-cutting something or accidentally piecing the tube.

To mount the tripple rad outside the case I ripped out the fan part of 2 old and loud 120mm fans and used that as a radbox. Works perfectly fine and neatly directs the air out of the case. I can snap a pic if you like.

You don't really need a NB block IMO. Too expensive, too restrictive. Just add a ~80mm fan above the NB to spot cool it
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Old 11-25-08, 05:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axis01 View Post
I would challenge the quality of the parts as the Apogee drive is a MCP 350 that is easily modable to a 355. Both are two of the most popular water pumps around. The Swiftech radiator is quality as well. It is more than enough to keep a maxxed out C2D or even a well OC'd quad under control. It's not gonna keep a well OC'd quad and hot azz GPU cold but I think it would challenge aircooling temps on both. Personally, i'd add another 220 rad in the loop or change the 220 to a 320 when you add the GPU though.

Axis
Agreed, good point. Not saying it's bad parts. It's a good pump and basic rad. Not all are comfortable soldering inside of a pump. But if he wants to UG later, he wastes money needing new hose, pump top, rad, clamps, etc etc. Might as well do it right the first time.

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Old 11-25-08, 05:31 AM   #14
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Well, don't need the rad box. If you have a hardware store down the street, you can get 2-3' of aluminum bar, bend it to make standoffs. Easy to drill too. Start using Google and looking here and at xtreme systems for your case and how others have put a rad out the back externally. It's VERY common.

Hose. Get 10ft, you will probably have 1-2' extra. I like 1/2" ID. Tygon is a good brand. Masterclear is cheaper, kinks easier, but okay. Fesser has colored hose in many colors and even UV hose, very nice looking. Danger Den is just one that carries it.

Clamps. Many choices. Compression fittings are really nice, expensive though. I use good quality barbs, a few brands to choose from. The thread is stated like G1/4, it's not the hose size, it's just the thread pattern. Clamps again. If you go barbs, please use hose clamps untill you have been through a few rebuilds before changing to cable ties etc. Better safe than sorry, water on a $300 GPU is not a pretty thing.

Your rad can easily handle a NB cooler. I don't have your board, but using the search function here and Google and vendor sites etc you'll figure it out. And yes, it could use some cooling in most cases. Still a Antec spot cooler would give you extra airflow, and it's pretty cool looking. So yea, your NB would thank you if ya went WC on the NB but it's really not needed.

Last thing..... You trying for quiet as a key goal? If so look at the Thermochill and Feser rads. They are able to pull lots of heat at lower fan speeds. You pay out the nose for them tho. If thats too much, please get the MCR320. Also a nice rad with a bit faster fans. Don't get a BIX, unless you like loud fans.

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Old 11-26-08, 04:53 AM Thread Starter   #15
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So how does this sound?

Reservoir: Swiftech Micro Rev 2

Pump: Swiftech 655

Radiator: Swiftech MCR320

CPU Water Block: Swiftech GTZ

Clamps: I was thinking of these, but I'm not sure if they're better than worm drive clamps. What would you go with?

Tubing: 10 feet of either the Tygon or the Primoflex, wrapped with this. The Primoflex looks cooler, but if the Tygon is better I'll go with it. and is 80" of the coil enough?

As for coolant, how does distilled water with this blue UV dye and Zerex sound?

If there's anything you'd guys recommend adding or changing please tell me. Am I going to want to buy some extra barbs? And how much Zerex should I add to the water? Also, the noobiest question that I can't seem to find anywhere on the net... How do I know when it's full?

Last edited by TheThermaltaker; 11-26-08 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 11-26-08, 05:00 AM Thread Starter   #16
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Also, would 3 Yate Loon low speed fans sufficiently cool the radiator or should I go with the medium speed ones?
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Old 11-26-08, 05:29 AM Thread Starter   #17
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I've been thinking, since it would be major work to re-do everything when it comes time to add the graphics card to the loop I might as well do it now. Should I go with a heatsink for the mosfet or another waterblock? And would a MCW60 (with GTX200 adapter) with a GTX200 Heatsink be a good idea?
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Old 11-26-08, 06:45 AM   #18
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You could save some money by going with t-line instead of res.

For cheap tubing, you may want durelene. Kinda stiff though.

For a good seal, use oversized barbs + high quality metal clamps. So you may want 7/16"ID, 11/16"OD tubes over 12mm barbs. As for clamps, go to http://www.mcmaster.com/ and search for "53175K". It should be under catalog page 251. Either that or "Type 430 Stainless Steel Nonperforated Worm-Drive Hose and Tube Clamps" under catalog page 249.

Right now, you did not oc much thus a slow yl should be alright. But I suggest getting D12ML from petra tech shop and undervolt it. A good fan controller is sunbeam. In that way, you have the option to speed it up for some extreme overclocking. Do note, however, that the sunbeam controller does not have a voltage or RPM readings.

For your GPU block, you could go with MCW60 + those small swiftech (mc21/14) or enzotech ram sinks. Otherwise, you may go with this large hs: http://www.petrastechshop.com/dgfx2cofge26.html. I doubt it will make much difference either way. Just suggesting an alternative.


Last edited by Blazing fire; 11-26-08 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 11-26-08, 10:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheThermaltaker View Post
Also, would 3 Yate Loon low speed fans sufficiently cool the radiator or should I go with the medium speed ones?
It's like this.........
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Old 11-26-08, 10:14 AM Thread Starter   #20
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Since when are Yate Loons bad?
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