Newbie seeking help from Veteran Water Coolers

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heyguyslol
Water Pistol Grunt
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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:59 pm

Newbie seeking help from Veteran Water Coolers

Postby heyguyslol » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:04 am

Hello,
I’m posting here to get advice and answers about water cooling from experienced vets. I have zero experience with water cooling but I have watched over the years many videos such as Linus Tech tips amongst many others on how to build a water cooling system and I have read many how to guides.

So with that in mind I have compiled a list of questions that I’m hoping some of you veterans don’t mind answering followed by my current plan for implementing such a system for my video card. FYI, I am not a benchmarking enthusiast, meaning I don’t care about measuring my dick size/bank account to get the highest 3DMark score. My interest is simply too be able to run ultra-settings on long term gaming sessions, while maintaining 60fps, with good quite cooling.

Here are my starter questions:

1. What are some recommended websites for purchasing good quality water cooling parts? I’m looking to purchase good quality parts that if put together correctly will not corrode or leak.

2. What kind of maintenance is required for a water cooling setup? For example do I need to regularly flush out the entire system every so often? If so how often?

3. What kind of life expectancy am I looking at for the parts in a water cooling build? Such as water pump, rad, reservoir, ect. 1, 2, 3, 4 years? (My system utilization per week averages at about 40-60 hours per week.)

4. What brand/type of thermal paste do you recommend for water cooling a video card? I’ve heard there are different types and some work better than others.

5. What are the chances of my water cooling solution setup leaking after I run a 24-48 hour test. Meaning if I set it up and test it for 24-48 hours and it does not leak what are the chances of it starting to leak at a later time after long term use?

6. What size tubing is recommended for water cooling a video card?

10mm (3/8") internal diameter, 13mm (1/2") external diameter
Or
6mm (1/4") internal diameter, 10mm (3/8") external diameter


Here is my system:
CPU: Intel i7-4770K @ stock
FAN: Corsair H80i
MOBO: ASUS Impact VI Mini ITX
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 16GB 2x8GB DDR 1600mhz
VCARD: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Classified K|NGP|N Edition (ASIC: 74%)
PSU: Corsair HX1050 1050-watt
SSD: Corsair Force GT 180GB
HDD: WD VelociRaptor 10,000rpm 300GB
CASE: Cooler Master HAF Stacker 915F
UPS: CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD PFC Sinewave UPS 1500VA 900W

Here is what I am currently planning but obviously is subject to change based on the feedback and advice I get from you veterans. Atm I plan to keep my cpu at stock clock speeds but I may at a later time consider overclocking it and using a real water cooling solution as opposed to my current Corsair H80i.

Anyways my inquiry about water cooling in my system is primarily aimed at my video card. I currently live in south Texas and we get very long and hot summers with 100°F temps and my indoor temps run around 80°F daytime and 75°F nighttime.
According to the EVGA reps I’ve spoken to they have all recommended to try to keep this video card at no higher than 76°C for stable long term game play sessions. They did say the card can go higher on temps but to never exceed 95°C but ideally try to keep it at or below 76°C.

Currently with my stock video card air cooler my temps run at around 70°C at 100% fan speed (but keep in mind that it’s still very cool here in Texas atm so ambient temps are running at about 70°F.) These temps are temps that I’m getting from running Tomb Raider 2013 at full ultra-settings and is currently the most video card intensive game that I’m currently running.

The game runs fine and stable with the present setup. Of course I do have the option of lowering the graphic settings which will of course lower my temps but that is not why I bought this card. I expect to be able to run the card at full ultra-settings and maintain on average 60fps for long gaming sessions and while I am able to do this now I do not like having to run my fan curve at 100% to maintain 70°C, mainly because of the noise.

As far as some of my other games the temps do run much better usually around 60-65°C. Btw I do realize that the card I’m using is designed for LN2 but as many others have said that even if you are not into LN2 benchmarking this card it is still one of the best 780Ti cards available for gaming. Ideally it’s a given that anyone owning this card at the very least should be liquid cooling it.

Anyways once summer hits I’m thinking my current temps on the card are going to also increase. Now I know some may say that my current pc case is a bit small but I’ve researched just about every mini-ITX case available and the current case I’m using appears to provide the best air flow that will allow me to fit my current video card without having to resort to a full mid tower case. When I run my system all my other temps are great very low but the video card I think could stand to be a bit cooler which is one reason why I’m considering water cooling it and of course to open up more headroom for overclocking.

I dunno if any of you know who JJ the Asus rep is but he has done a few videos on overclocking/water cooling and he has recommended a water cooling solution setup called the EX2-1055 (Exos-2.5) Liquid Cooling System, Aluminum Rev1.1

Found here: http://koolance.com/ex2-1055-exos-2.5-l ... m-aluminum

My interest in this water system setup is because I like the fact that the rad, pump, and reservoir are in an All-in-One type of setup, which appears to make things much simpler for someone like me who doesn’t want to have all the water cooling components as separate individual components (I do realize this system is a bit more expensive than building a separate component setup).

This would allow me to install quick release hose adapters from the unit to my video card which would allow me to easily disconnect the unit and do any kind of movement/maintenance to my system and then easily reconnect it back up.
I also realize that this system does not use a copper based rad which I’ve read is the best type of rad for optimal cooling but I’m not what is known as an enthusiast so going with a copper rad I do not feel is necessary for my needs.

However, the concerns I have about purchasing this unit is the life expectancy in regards to the pump and whether or not the pump can be replaced if and when it dies.

Also if any of you know of another All-in-One system such as this that will provide similar cooling results but at a cheaper price please feel free to let me know.

Any answers, feedback, and advice that any of you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Izerous
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:34 am
Location: Edmonton, Canada

Re: Newbie seeking help from Veteran Water Coolers

Postby Izerous » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:35 pm

Note: to cut down on size I rephrase/summed up some quoted sections.

heyguyslol wrote:1. What are some recommended websites for purchasing good quality water cooling parts? I’m looking to purchase good quality parts that if put together correctly will not corrode or leak.

Your site of choice is greatly going to depend on where you live. I find being in Canada that the customs fees for individual orders directly from Koolance can really hurt but if I use their Canadian resellers I quite often save on overall cost. Almost every piece in my loops are Koolance parts except a few bits and pieces here and there because of how well they have treated me over the years and the quality of the products.

heyguyslol wrote:2. What kind of maintenance is required for a water cooling setup? For example do I need to regularly flush out the entire system every so often? If so how often?

Flush out new parts, and flush out either on liquid changes or 1-2 years unless your using that aurora stuff that requires like every 3 months to be flushed. I typically use tap water for the flushes with a bit of vinegar mixed in (lightly) and run it through for quite a while. When done that phase then flush out the tap water with distilled water.



heyguyslol wrote:3. What kind of life expectancy am I looking at for the parts in a water cooling build? Such as water pump, rad, reservoir, ect. 1, 2, 3, 4 years? (My system utilization per week averages at about 40-60 hours per week.)

Some parts last longer than others. I had a RP-1000 and the res cracked after 2.5 years, after 5 years (having replaced the res) it was still ok. I have yet to have a pump fail on me but I have had the control boards (if applicable) powering the pumps fails after a couple years of use. Strait fitting are less prone to failure than swivel fittings just simply because there is less to fail/less to leak etc.


heyguyslol wrote:4. What brand/type of thermal paste do you recommend for water cooling a video card? I’ve heard there are different types and some work better than others.

There are far too many to count. I have been building computer for many years and AS5 WAS THE ONE AND ONLY for a long time that anyone would use. And I continued to use it until last year when I tried Arctic MX-4 paste. To be honest I get WORSE temperatures with the MX-4 not by much but still to be noted. The only reason I'm using it over AS5 now is that it isn't electronically conductive.


heyguyslol wrote:5. What are the chances of my water cooling solution setup leaking after I run a 24-48 hour test. Meaning if I set it up and test it for 24-48 hours and it does not leak what are the chances of it starting to leak at a later time after long term use?

If you leak test it properly like that, tilting etc checking fittings to make sure they are not loose and what not and leaks found afterwards are typically an assembly issue or critical part failure.


heyguyslol wrote:6. What size tubing is recommended for water cooling a video card?

10mm ID/13mm OD is pretty much the standard. it is almost the equivalent to flow as 3x6mmID tubes.


heyguyslol wrote: ...Video Card Temperatures/EXOS etc...

Liquid cooling will always help with temperatures, would would be surprised the kind of delta temperatures you can get. The EXOS is a good unit and with only a CPU and GPU in the loop it will be more than sufficient for both. The self contained units are also a great place to start learning about full out loops and not just premade kits like corsair.

heyguyslol wrote: However, the concerns I have about purchasing this unit is the life expectancy in regards to the pump and whether or not the pump can be replaced if and when it dies.

Yes but if the pump dies within 5 years I'd be surprised, the res is more likely to fail due to over tightening.


heyguyslol wrote: copper vs aluminum

The difference in performance is negligible for the most part. The main reason most people stick with copper is because copper+aluminum touching each other via liquid = bad. Some companies do not plate their copper components so the cross contamination can occur with an aluminum radiator. If copper was that much better you wouldn't see aluminum radiators in race cars. And with older manufacturing of copper radiators it being copper was actually a handicap, because the copper fins were not attached via copper but a solder to the copper piping. Meaning on paper yes copper is better but that non-copper solder canceled the advantage. Manufacturing of aluminum based radiators didn't have the same problem. I'm not sure if this still holds true today.
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