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Radiator sizeing?

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Valk

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2002
Curious... I have been looking at different heatercores and design for modern water coolign systems that are internally possitioned.
Ultimatly, I want a water unit that is completly self contained within my case.. on the other hand, My super lanboy is designed in such a way that will make that extremely difficult without massive mods using tools i do not have...

So i think i want to take a brief look at external setups. I got to see my first water system in person while i was back in victoria. it was a heatercore from an old boat motor with a ghetto duct tape shroud and some cheap 120 mm fan. it was pretty external to his case in a closet.
his setup was nice though, the closet door closed and his monitor cables and everything came through the wall to his desk. noise level was supurb.

I have a nice looking case with a window, I dont want my tower to be unseen but i could possibly build a water system in a closet as well and hide it from view.

with this in mind, how does radiator size come into it?
IF i get a really powerful pump, could i not use a radiator a little larger, say from a mac truck to cool my loop?
basicly, if a radiator gets too big, does it compromise cooling perfomence?
the beautiful part of a water system such as this, would be that i could use absolutly massive fans that run at low speed, so i would not be able to hear them at all.

oh well. i want some serious suggestsions. I want to have a setup this summer. I might ahve to use a copper tube rad or a BIX for my setup, but i would like to minimize that cost. i know a heater core is going to outperfom it and its a lot cheaper. im just concerned about overall size of the heat exchanger. everything else will fit my case no problem... and there are not that many options for where i can put the heat exchanger.

http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=255488
this thread shows pics of my setup. the window is nearly the full size of the case. help me vetrens ^^
 

Graystar

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Location
Brooklyn, NY
You already have the fan in place for this type of setup:

wcsystem.jpg

wcfans.jpg


The hose routing looks crazy because it's a dual processor board. But the radiator placement works great and I didn't have to modify the case except to cut the hole for the fan. I have the fan blowing cool air into the case.
 
OP
Valk

Valk

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2002
I was thinking about that. but the placement and build of the window is of concern. its huge and would chip or crack if i tried to cut it. another thingi could try to do is find a rad that would fit in place of the window. but the drive bays come into the equation and prevent this.

I think perhaps the best way to achieve it is to simply drill out the rivits holding the drive cage in place and remove it. tehre ilots of space there for a single fan rad.

Im not sure though. whether i want to have a push/pull fan blowing into my case with all that heat. would i be able to blow the air out the bottom front of my case and simply put a side mounted 120 mm blowhole to feed the system?
I would still keep the 120 mm antec in the back for case exaust, while using a 120 mm evercool or somthing in the side moving 80 cfm.

why are most of these setups using push and pull fans that exaust into the case?
 

Graystar

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Valk said:
I was thinking about that. but the placement and build of the window is of concern. its huge and would chip or crack if i tried to cut it.

Why do you need to cut anything? Looks like you have a fan in just the right spot already.

The reason you can blow air into the case is that the radiator doesn't produce that much heat. Certainly not the same as the hot air coming from an air cooler. The other components in the care aren't as heat sensitive as the CPU and will be fine as long as you have a couple fans moving air out.

Something else you might be able to do...if you put your CD drive in the bottom drive bay instead of the top, you should have room to cut a hole for a fan and install a Black Ice Extreme radiator in there. If you put one of the fans on the outside of the case (like my setup) then you should be able to get the push/pull config you want.
 

rogerdugans

Linux challenged Senior, not that it stops me...
Joined
Dec 28, 2001
Location
Corner of No and Where
The radiator is one of the limiting factors in a system: only so much heat can be dissipated, eventually. Depending on just how heavily you overclock and increase core voltage this may become an issue, or not. ;)

My general rule of thumb is to use a heater core that is as large as I can fit in the case to help avoid this ever becoming an issue for me.
I found a 6x12 core for my big full tower that easily fits two 120mm fans per side.
Chevette cores are almost the standard for pc water cooling: fit a 120mm per side and many of the more popular commercially available rads are simply similar cores pre-modded with barbs.
Price of a commercial core (pre-modded): around $40 USD
Price of a chevette heater core: around $25 USD

Barbs and maybe a paint job is what you get for the extra money..........and note that many of the heater cores can be used without adding barbs: tube stretching or simply cutting off the swaged end of the connections on the core is often sufficient.

As far as a radiator being TOO large- I am sure there is a point where the law of diminishing returns will kick in and get you little or no improvement for the extra size and cost. Where that point is I have no idea. ;)
You do need to consider just how large the rad will be when selecting a pump however- too small a pump with a big rad will NOT improve temps and may in fact be detrimental.

Push/pull rads in front:
Most common because it is relatively easy and very effective.
All the heat produced by the cpu is still in the case when done with the most common configuration (rad fans intake from front and exhaust in the case) but the radiator uses the coolest air available to keep temps down. Other components usually are less of a concern and at worst are in the same type of heat that an air cooled system has.

Pehaps the single most effective design is the sideways mount with rad air never entering the case: intake on one side, exhaust on the other; this would require modding your window though......

My opinion:
If you go internal I would say to move the hdd up and remove the drive cage for a place to put the radiator/fan assembly. It might be a tight squeeze to get a rad with two fans/shrouds in there so you might have to choose between smaller, less effective shrouds and using just a single fan/shroud on one side. Tough call on which is more effective- opinions vary! ;)

External mounting:
I have done this myself and had some success...but!
Longer tubes add restriction and decrease cooling system performance with a given pump. When all the components are inside the case, it can be tough to see length of tubing cause a change but when you add say, 10 feet (5' each way) you WILL see a difference. How much depends on more factors than I can quantify!

After all my mad-scientist experiments, I am pretty much running all internal now (except for one rig that I simply have not yet completed!) because I find it to be effective and far more convenient most of the time.

I do have another external experiment in mind for the future, someday though....;)

I hope some of that helps a bit.....
 
OP
Valk

Valk

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2002
That actully helps a great deal. You answered a lot of questions that were pressing so i can go into this with a more informed outlook.
I have given some thought to those black ice Pro or extreme radiators as the mod level to my case is very little. Frankly, I dont want to cut TOO many holes into this lanboy.
I would not be opposed to cutting out the drive cage and slapping my rad there though. and why i would need two fans *push/pull* i dont see where one well shrouded pull would probably do the job well enough, ne?
Well, black ice certainly provides a convenient meathod to get rid of the heat, but i will be throwing a great amount of heat into this loop. My overclocked 2100+ at 2.5+ and a 450+ mhz 9800 are going to expel a lot of heat.
Is it possible to get BIX rads without paint? somehow i dont imagine the paint job is helping the matter too much. more to the point, assume i just baught one as is, could i bathe it in solvent to get rid of the paint?
hmm so much to think about. guess ill just have to keep looking at what other people are doing and continue plotting evil against my poor poor super lanboy. the drive cage is held in place by like 5 rivets. this is easily undone ;) and i might as well get rid of that 3 1/2" bay while im at it. bleh then i have to decide, res or t-line. what pump. and should i be using a rbx/maze 4 combo on this? how much cfm.

getting gitty.