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1/2" vs. 3/8"

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Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
I was looking at the new Swifty block and it takes 3/8" ID tubing. Id there that much of a performance difference to using 1/2" ID? 3/8" is less prone to folding over on itself on sharp turns I THINK, and most of the flow restriction comes from the radiator and waterblock than the tubing right? Would it be better to use the 1/2" ID adapters from swiftech or a 1/2"-3/8" adapter at the radiator inlets? Or wait and see if Swiftech makes a 1/2" barbed version?
 

Cathar

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
Location
Melbourne, Australia
There's not a lot of difference as long as the tubing lengths are kept low. The weak pumps that we all use in our computer water-coolings fare poorly at pushing flow through great lengths of narrow tubing. This is where 1/2" tubing shines, being much better over greater distances.

You will see lower flow rates with 3/8" tubing, but the question remains of if those lower flow rates will produce a difference that you can actually notice, and the answer to that is "probably not".
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
well, my water cooling rig is totally contained, with about a total of no more than 2 feet of tubing, all 1/2" ID. It's just that as a matter of convenience 3/8" is nicer, but 1/2" is nice also, if the water hardware can take it. I was thinking for a future system.
 

SkiFletch

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2002
Location
Crotchfester (aka rochester), NY
either one is not all that much different than the other. the real important thing I like to tell people is that you want to stick with a tube and fitting size that is the SAME for all components so you dont need to mess with other things...
 

Sniperboy

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2002
Location
Omaha, NE/Ithaca, NY
It's easier and less expensive not to use them and, for example if you were using 1/2" and you wanted to use a 3/8" waterblock, it would defeat the purpose of 1/2" tubing and reduce flow.
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
You're not making sense. The adapters would help if you wanted to use 1/2" in a 3/8" block, but it's better to have the block made for it as well.
 

Warlord2

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2001
Location
Bakersfield,CA
well you can always change out the barbs on the block to 1/2" and do a all 1/2" system (what I recommend). Sniperboy is right when saying it would defeat the perpose because the water is always going to be going as faster as the smallest point will let it.

the temp difference isnt much at all untell you want to get rid of like 120watt of heat from the cpu or are using a pelts or are cooling multiple chips. oh yeah the smaller the ID the smaller the pump you will need and visa versa.
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
I don't plan to use pelts in the future. Too little gain for too much power consumption.

Can you shance out the plastic fittings on the MCW5000? Are they threaded in place or expoxied?
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Ok, here's another question. What I consider insignificant is any temperature difference below 1C. Is the difference between 1/2" and 3/8" over about 2 feet of tubing above or below that?
 

DodgeViper

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2001
Location
WILDCAT COUNTRY
Considering most if not all water blocks come in 1/2" OD barbs and most pumps are setup with 1/2" OD barbs and heater cores are 1/2" OD barbs, but the ID of this barbs are 3/8”. I had 1/2" ID tubing and went to 3/8" ID tubing. I really did not see a difference. By stretching 3/8" ID tubing over the 1/2" OD fittings has allowed my system to be technically a complete 3/8" ID system including the channels inside the block. Not to mention I do not use any clamps at all. Reason: I had to boil water to get the Tygon soft enough to push over the barbs. Am I concern that the hoses will come off? No, they will not pull off, to get any of the tubing off you have to use a razorblade and cut the tubing off.

You will find that bending 3/8” x 1/8” wall tubing will be easier and you will have a nice tight fit that will not leak. I had tried ear clamps, hose clamps and never really felt that the system was leak proof. I always had to add water, but never could find any water leaking. I think if there was a leak it was small and the water was evaporating. Now that I have a sealed system I have yet to add any water. Just my 2 cents.
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Thanks. Whether I use 3/8" or 1/2" in my next system remains to be seen, depending on the number of waterblocks and waterblock barb sizes. If it's more convenient to use 3/8", then I will. I used 1/2" in my current system because it was easy to do, especially since I had control over the pump barbs and res, and the option of 1/2" barbs on my radiator.