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High watercooling temps.

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Senior Member
Feb 15, 2001
Harford, WI.
I recently took off my watercooling setup to inspect everything to see why the temps were so high. It ran consistently around the mid to high 50's Celsius (according to the Asus probe). This same setup kept my PIII 800 @ 960 at 1 to 2c over ambient temps. Why is it running so hot with this T-Bird 1.2 gig? I know it had good contact with the cpu. When I took the block off you could read the printing from the core on the waterblock. I had some Radio Shack paste on it as well.
My setup is a Rio 200 inline pump, 12" x 5" x 34" Radiator, Aluminum waterblock (originally designed for a PIII). I had to put 90 degree adaptors to the block to use it though. But the flow rate still seems good. The water flows right over the core so I would think that it would carry the heat away pretty good. I made sure there was no air in the system.

Any idea's or do you think the probe is just off. I've had no stability problems even with the probe measuring temps as high as 65c @ times.
Your Tbird outputs 3 times more waste heat than your previous CPU, the P3. A WC rig is just like a HSF, it has a C/W, and thus runs well with your P3 but may be overloaded with a farty Tbird. You can't realistically expect the same performance from your WC as before. It's like expecting your car to do the same 1 to 60mph in 10sec whether you have 1 guy in it or 5 guys in it. Time to upgrade your WC: get a 'better' waterblock, use bigger hosing and nipples, use a more powerful pump, get a bigger radiator/bong, whatever.
A bigger radiator? Sounds like he's already using one from a Mack truck!
Flash (Aug 03, 2001 10:05 a.m.):
A bigger radiator? Sounds like he's already using one from a Mack truck!

Yeah, I didn't notice the ...x 34" !!!

Anyhow, what I'm trying to say is that you need to improve upon some bottleneck in your rig to get it to run to the Tbird's standard. Radiator's not the bottleneck. Confirmed.
Your pump might be too small to give you a good flow of water through the system. You may need to try a larger pump. You've got a good sized radiator and probably a good amount of hose so there's a lot of water to move there. A larger pump may bring your temps down. I'm guessing that the water is getting super saturated with heat and is having a hard time getting rid of it. IE- the water is siting in the waterblock for too long thus not cooling as well as it could. See if you can't barrow a larger pump or if you have the money buy one. I'm guessing somewhere around 300 to 400 gph for your setup.
I had a very similar problem. I had taken the block off several times, put it on again, still my watercooled temps were not much better than an aftermarket HSF.
..., but the last time I took it off I lapped it, used AS2, and very, very meticulously put everything back together, now this next part is I think what did the most:

I tightened the clamping device much harder than I ever had before. Obviously you need to be very careful, as I had no way to gauge the amount of pressure I just kept on tightening until it felt right. Now you guys are gonna really think I'm crazzy, but after I did all of this, with the block under full pressure I ever-so-gently turned the block slightly and then turned it back, and when I say turned I mean a few centimeters. My system cooling dropped from around 130f to just over 101f under a full load.

This is what worked for me, so please be carefull, as what I did can not be healthy for the chip ;)
I usually give em a little twist to try and squeeze out a little more goop and get a tighter fit , BE CAREFUL though , I hav eknocked the corners off of more than a few chips doing it
I usually give em a little twist to try and squeeze out a little more goop and get a tighter fit , BE CAREFUL though , I hav eknocked the corners off of more than a few chips doing it
Sorry guys for the little typo in my first post. It should sat 3\4", Not 34 inches.
Also I know I should'nt expect the same results from the T-Bird I got with the PIII, Thats just calm and sense. I only mentioned the PIII results cause it just shows the watercooling system I have does perform fairly good. But I would think that if the block could'nt handle the heat it would get hot. And it stays pretty cool. Same with the radiator It doesnt get hot either. As far as the pump not having enough flow rate wouldnt either the radiator or waterblock get hot then too, due to the water getting over saturated with heat?
I think I'll try remounting it all and giving it a little twist to make sure everthing is good and snug and get the extra thermal paste out. Sounds like that has worked for some of you guys.

Thanks for the reply's guys.
your pump's max output is only 163 gph and I really don't feel that is enough for your setup man, id suggest at least 260
I ran a 150gph pump for a while and finaly got a new 350 and my temps didnt change a bet

this is through a DD cube and a maze 2 and about 3 feet of hose
Your system will stabilize when the ability of the radiator to rid the water of heat is matched by the heat being input. Since you are using an inline pump without a reservoir, that point will be reached much sooner. Increasing the volume of water by adding a reservoir will add to the capacity of the system to absorb heat, and will spread that heat over a greater volume of water.

Increasing the airflow over the radiator will also help to an extent. I also have a 12x5 radiator (Hayden trans cooler-dual 120's drawing through it) and I generally run a few degrees C over ambient. I am using a C2 though, so I would expect that my 2-3C would translate to probably 8-10C for you. Your T-Bird has a MUCH higher heat output (double the P3), and you need to adjust the thermal capacity of your cooling system to suit it.

To see if what I am saying is true, try setting up a container with a quart to a half-gallon of water and run it between your radiator and your pump. You should see your temps stabilize at a lower level.

Thanks Newbie_Doo. Now that seems to make a little more sense to me. Not enough water in the system to keep cool. I'll try throwing reservoir into the system and see if the results are better.

As far as more air flow over the radiator. I've got a 120mm fan and a 92mm fan on it now. I think the airflow is pretty good there.

Thanks again.
Some comments:

Aluminum waterblocks will not perform as well as copper; OK for PIII, maybe not so good for T-Bird.

Pressure is a big factor - killem1x1's comments are right on. The best mounting system uses either 2 or 3 socket lugs or the 4 holes on AMD mobos.

Make sure that the mounting clip keeps the waterblock absolutely flat on the CPU - it does not take much offset to skew temps high.

What is your intake temp at the radiator and what is ambient? Every degree over room temp is a degree added to the CPU.

Finally, I assume you are using an anti-corrosive in the water. With an Al block and copper radiator, corrosion builds very fast and the Al block's performance will suffer.
My rad is aluminum as well. I have no copper in my system at all. Actually I made my own mount for the block. I cut a piece of steel and drilled holes in each end. Then ran bolts up thru two of four holes surrounding the cpu (in opposite corners). Then the piece of steel goes onto the bolts and the nuts to tighten it down on each bolt. So the piece of steel runs diagonally across the waterblock. Which if tightened the same should give even pressure across the whole block. I'm a little scared to keep tightening the nuts. I'm afraid I'll crack the core. But like I mentioned earlier. I could see the whole impression of the core on the block. Could even read all the code letter for letter on the block as well, clear as it is written on the core. So I think there was sufficient pressure there.

I don't really have any means of measuring my water temps going into and out of the radiator at the moment. Money a little tight these days. So I gotta make due with what I got for now.

I appreciate all the suggestions.
Warlord2 (Aug 04, 2001 01:37 a.m.):
I ran a 150gph pump for a while and finaly got a new 350 and my temps didnt change a bet

this is through a DD cube and a maze 2 and about 3 feet of hose

i was running a 150gph and upped to a 295gph and my temps went down 5c, im running 1/4 inch line though
I think maybe I'll check into a bigger pump and maybe a copper Waterblock. If I come into some cash I would'nt mind getting a DD Maze 2. That would be great. We'll have to wait and see.
If you go with a copper block, be sure to take precautions against galvanic corrosion. This is a larger concern with systems containing one or more metals, especially copper and aluminum. Watter Wetter, a little ethlyene glycol, and using distilled water may help you, but even with the distilled water, particles of aluminum and copper wear into the water making it conductive in no time, so be sure to use some type of additive.
Actually there have been a lot of people using aluminum and copper in there systems. All you need to do is add a little Anti-Freeze to the mix and that will prevent any corrosion. Also from what I've read the metals have to be very close to each other if not touching for the corrosion to happen that fast. Other wise it's very, very, slow occuring. But the use of Anti-Freeze should prevent this from occuring at all.