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One man’s journey into watercooling – Rich Tanner

Hello, my name is Tanman and I’m a….. Water-aholic. Yes, I’m addicted to water (cooling). Just a little background info about Tanman: I’m a perfectionist who loves to tinker. My motto is: if I haven’t modified it, I just haven’t found the time yet.

My water addiction all started about one year ago while pricing some desktop PCs for work. I was looking through a Tiger Direct catalog when what did I see, but a Koolance water cooled system. I know, I know, all you “hard core” water coolers out there just smacked your heads, but wait it gets better.

Water cooling?!!! I knew it existed, but not in a “catalog” form. Looking back, that was the point where my head went “click” and it was all I could think about. Being as one track minded as I am, I spent the next 3 days finding a “good deal” on a Koolance case. Lucky for me, Koolance was running a sale on the PC2-C mid-tower case (Yes, that gray and white very plastic looking one.)

Kool

Pic courtesy of Koolance.

In a week or so I had my Systamax AMD 2100+ (Palomino) computer WATER COOLED! So there it was, ugly as the day is long, but running Kool…so NOW what? OC it baby! I’m sure most of the watercoolers out there started OCing before they water cooled, but not me.

Hello my name is Tanman and I’m an OC-aholic. But that’s another story, I’ll stick to water for now. Needless to say, I was new to OC and didn’t have much to work with in terms of mobo or chip, but it was watercooled!

My need for info led me here to this WONDERFUL site. All the info in the forums here has been like a bible to me. THANK you all that post! Now, armed with lots of info and a need for speed, I went on a spending spree.

Fast forward 2-3 weeks:

My new Koolance case was now filled with some performance parts:

  • 420 watt power supply
  • AMD T-Bird 2600
  • Abit NF7-s mobo
  • ATI 9700 vid card (Fic board)
  • 512 MB Ultra extreme pc3200 400 MHz CL2 memory

Not too bad if I do say so myself. Top speed with that setup was: 2.363 (posted in CPU data base – the “mod” was mounting a 120 mm fan on top of one of the 80 mm Koolance fans.) Some might be happy with results like that, considering this was only 60 days into my OC addiction, but not me. There were too many of you above me in that CPU database list.

Fast forward about 6-8 weeks:

Once again, I would like to kiss the feet of all who post here in the forum – without the information I’ve gathered here, I would probably be buying a Dell, dude. Thankfully, you all saved me from “stock” computing.

The tinker in me figured that the Koolance just wasn’t kutting it, so another spending spree was in order. Since I had just finished making my Koolance case look cool (black and metallic blue paint job with blue laser LEDs and a window installed to show it all off), I was going to have to keep the case and work around the Koolance setup.

Case Blue

Case

Well, it’s another month or so into my water/OC addiction and the parts list looks like this now: I’ve mounted pieces of an old P 75 MHz heat sink on the southbridge, some of the same on those little plastic looking boxes in the upper left side of my mobo (I don’t know what they do but they sure got HOT!!)

System

I took the 120 mm fan off the case, got rid of the Koolance CPU block and installed the new Koolance COPPER North Bridge and GPU water blocks (who says Koolance is good for nothing 😉 There’s a second loop for the CPU now (this is where it gets good) which consists of….drum roll please…..

  • At the pumping position, putting out a mere 350 GPH but with a 10’6″ head, the pump of choice…the Danner Mag 3!
  • Playing the roll of Tubing, is everybody’s favorite….1/2″
  • Cooling down all this high power is….. HWLabs Black Ice Xtreme II Radiator!!

Now we all know even the best radiator isn’t jack without some fan power, so there ain’t no slouches here… not 1, not 2, but 4, yes count them 4, 120 mm 130 cfm fans mounted in an air tight, silicone sealed, hand made shroud, 1.5″ off radiator in a push/pull style (Announcer pants for breath…)

Anyone who goes big knows you need to keep some in reserve just in case, So in reservoir, we have the clear acrylic Bay Reservoir.

Now it all comes down to this…our first string CPU block (Koolance 200 gold with 1/4″ tube and 2 mouse sized pumps) just wasn’t cooling it, so I brought in the back-up: the one, the only….White Water!!!!!!!! (DTech poly top).
{mospagebreak}

Rich Tanner

Well, there you have it, one year and many, MANY hundreds of dollars later, my rig:

Koolance 1

Case 1

Case 2

Case 3

Case 4

Case 5

So far the water case is just a prototype – I made to see how much space I needed. I was just too impatient to see it work once I had the proto together that I decided to hold off on the “final” case design and installed the proto. Even 2 days after I have it together, my mind is already redesigning it as I type.

OK, let’s talk some numbers now. Just how Kool is my new rig? Well, first off I’ll describe my temp setup.

I have a thermal monitor mounted NEXT to the chip die. That worked OK on my old block, but I’m having some trouble with the White Water block and the monitor, so these numbers may be a little off. But with the Koolance block running at 2.03v @ 2473 MHz, my monitor read 49.2C idle 56.2C load (Prime 95) and the PC health screen in setup said 65C or so (load).

As of right now as I type, I’m running at 2.1v @ 2577 MHz. Monitor reads 31.4C idle, load 35.3C. 42C (PC health), load 52C (PC health). Needless to say, I’m blown away! Now all I want to do is read up on memory settings – I haven’t tinked them yet. Once I “fix” them and get to 200+ FSB (196 now), I’ll post my new speed in the CPU database. BTW: I’m naming my water setup “Over the Top” or “Over-Kill” hehe 😉

PS: Good thing there is a drought – I NEED to pay off the Visa!!

PPS: Note to DTech WW buyers: You’d better hope the 3rd batch gets a better lapping job. Before I hand lapped to 1500 grit, the base of my WW had ridges that not only COULD you feel with your nail, but ridges so deep I could FILE my nail on IT!

PPPS: Ghetto fans RULE!! Yes, that’s a 120 mm (AC!!!) fan crammed around the power wires! A “Good Will” find.

Rich Tanner

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