Future Project! Cooling a Server System in a HAF 932 Case

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Water Pistol Grunt
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Future Project! Cooling a Server System in a HAF 932 Case

Postby BIF » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:36 am


If the budget can withstand it, then sometime around the year-end holidays I would like to build a new Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Although it is definitely overkill, I am thinking of a dual-Zeon based workstation/server with 64 GB of RAM.

This system will run Windows 7 (64 bit), Cubase 64 bit, Sonar 64 bit, and numerous instrument, orchestral, vocal, and other plugins. I already have a great HAF 932 case that has worked very well for my current but aging quad-core system.

I won't overclock.
I want water cooling mostly for the quiet because howling fans are fatigue inducing muse killers.
I don't play a lot of video games, but I like lots of big monitors. :geek:
A side hobby is graphic rendering, which is CPU intensive. Very side. Someday I would like to resume that, but for now the music is the thing for me.

My pie-in-the-sky configuration is something like this:

  • Intel Zeon 6-core processors (2)
  • Server Motherboard supporting at least 96 GB of DDR3 RAM plus SATA III
  • 48 GB or 64 GB of RAM (motherboard should support up to 96 GB of RAM for future growth)
  • Medium-to-high-end ATI Graphics card (1 to start, maybe eventually 2)
  • UAD-2 PCI-E "Quad" DSP card (it's basically 4 processors on a card that provide effects such as reverb, delay, and more)
  • HDD - Minimum 2, maximum 3; all SATA III (one drive will be removable for backups).
  • SSD - None for now but should support 4 or more for future repository for extensive orchestra sample libraries such as the EastWest/Quantum Leap libraries.
  • Not planning to use RAID at this time, but I want the motherboard to support it natively if possible.


Q1 - What type of Koolance design would be best for two 6-core CPUs, two or more GPUs, and two or more spinning hard drives (the ones permanently mounted in the case)?

----Q1a - Should I consider a dual-pump system with dual reservoirs?
----Q1b - If using dual pumps and dual reservoirs, would I then also need two radiators? If so, how would I mount such a configuration in a HAF 932 case?

Q2 - Most ATI and Nvdia graphic cards come with heatsink/fans already assembled/attached. What's the feasibility of removing this in favor of liquid cooling? Is it even worth the bother these days?

Q3 - Is it truly necessary to consider cooling the chipset, hard drives, or other components?

I'm sure I'll have other questions, but this should be a good start...

Fire Hydrant Gunner
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Re: Future Project! Cooling a Server System in a HAF 932 Ca

Postby Ace0751 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:24 pm

This does sound like overkill just for a DAW. But nothing is overkill especially keeping it just for audio only, I will try to answer your questions the best I can to my knowledge.

A1 - The best block would be the CPU-370 rev 1.1 for the CPUs cause I think the xeons your talking about are 2011 sockets. For the GPUs it depends on what kind of GPUs you plan on getting, koolance makes certain blocks for the cards and others you will just have to pick up a GPU block that you put on the core of the card. So I would look for a GPU that koolance makes a block for (ex. Sapphire 7970). Its really not necessary to buy cooling blocks for the HDDs as they reduce flow in the loop plus a couple fans will do the trick not going full blast.

A1a - I would do a dual res/pump system or if you want and have the money to shell out do two separate systems. What I mean about that and this is what I have currently going with my build is pick up a pump and res combo and then pick up an external system like the exos. Or if money is not an option you should try this out http://koolance.com/erm-3k3uc-liquid-co ... tem-copper.
A1b - For what I said above and if you go with the dual loop, you would have to put the radiators on top but only problem is you needs fans to have the warm exit out so your system will not be completely quiet but there are some companies out there that make good quiet fans. Like you said your not intending any gaming just music so you have a wide selection of fans. If you go with 2 systems you would only need one radiator for the res/pump combo system cause the exos has a radiator of its own and it does the job well to.

A2 - Like I said before some ATI cards have full blocks from koolance and the other cards you will need to just buy a GPU block that will go on the core and that's it but i think just doing that will cause problems with the VRAM on the card. So I would get a card that will have a full block on it so you won't run into any problems. Before even taking the cards apart I would see how the cards react to the programs you run. If your programs have a lot of demand in graphics I would go ahead and pick up the blocks if not just leave them the way it is. But would recommend cooling them for longer life since you will not be overclocking. If you have any questions on dissembling the card let me know I will help with that.

A3 - It is not necessary to cool the hard drives, RAM, or the chipset but if I would have to cool one I would cool the chipset just because it will last longer with the motherboard.

I hope this info helps for a start and yes if you have more questions like how to setup a loop let us know and hopefully someone will answer a lot sooner than a month lol.
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Water Pistol Grunt
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Re: Future Project! Cooling a Server System in a HAF 932 Ca

Postby BIF » Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:28 pm

LOL, first reply in a month, first bounceback three months after that!

Anyway, my plans have changed quite a bit since my original post. I'm no longer planning to build a server, but instead a single 6-core CPU system with a dual GPU (single card). I am doing some folding now, and would like to fold more with the new system. Folding can be very rough on components because it will use 100% of capacity if you let it.

i7 3930 6-core CPU
Geforce GTX690 dual GPU

For cooling planning purposes, that's 3 devices total.

Should I do this in one loop or two?

All six bays of my HAF-932 case are already occupied as follows:
DVD burner
Multi-Card Reader
NZXT 2-bay fan controller
3-in-2 hot swappable external hard drive bay

With the rebuild, I am thinking of upgrading both the DVD burner and card reader to external devices. I am also thinking of moving the hard drives into the case. And with a custom water loop, I may no longer need the fan controller. So I guess I have some flexibility for reservoir and/or a Koolance pump/fan controller.

The EXOS looks interesting. Can anybody tell me if the EXOS will fit on the top of a CoolerMaster HAF 932 case? It appears that there's a resting place for such a cooler just behind the plastic top/front shroud (with the built-in tray for holding usb sticks and th like).

Another alternative would be to attach a 3X (or 4X?) fan radiator to the underside of the top of the case. My power supply is on the bottom of the case, so there's plenty of room up top.

Which pump would be a good choice for a 3-device loop? I'm thinking of the 450 for a single loop, and two of them for a dual loop.

For reservoirs, I'm thinking of the 2-height dual 5.25" bay res because the pumps can attach right to the reservoir. The HAF 932 case has a lot of room inside, but I sort of like the bay reservoirs because they can conserve space. On the other hand, two smallish 60mm or 80mm cylinder reservoirs would not take up that much room inside my case.

What would be recommended for a controller...for either a single loop or a dual loop?

Lots of questions. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Future Project! Cooling a Server System in a HAF 932 Ca

Postby Izerous » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:35 am

To cool you intended CPU and GPU a PMP-400 (high pressure), PMP-450 (High Flow), PMP-500 (high pressure + high flow) will all suffice in a single loop. This means you could even get away with something like the RP-1005 or RP-1200 (not the RP-985) if you want a single bay unit to conserve more space since they are a single PMP-400 + res + controller built into a single bay unit.

So a RP-1200 + a large rad (3.120) should be able to cool the system with powerful enough fans for 24/7 folding however you might find adding an extra radiator or a 4.120 rad if it will fit will allow you to use slower fans speeds thus making it quieter.
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