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K-Sci

First Time Water Cooling - Opinions Desired

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Posted · Original PosterOP

As and engineer, I've learned that drawing on the experience of others is a good way to avoid expensive (or embarrassing) mistakes. Thus, I'm asking for opinions on three proposed loop layouts, two using hard tubing, and one using soft The attached images are constructed from online part images, this is not the actual computer.

 

The tubing selections are:

  • Bitspower Pre-bent 90-Degree Brass Hard Tubing OD16MM Silver - Length 220x300MM (2 layouts)
  • PrimoFlex LRT 7/16 ID x 5/8 OD bloodshed red (one layout

Major Components shown

  • Lian Li 011D XL case - Case Image is from Lian Li
  • Asus Rampage VI Extreme Encore (E-ATX) (ASUS board image was superimposed on case image with screw holes aligned)
  • Radiator EK-CoolStream XE 360 Triple 3x120mm x 60mm
  • Above radiator is sandwiched between six 120mm x 25mm high-SP fans. The stack-up is 110mm or 4-1/3"  mounted on the case side as shown in the images.
  • Swiftech MCP355 Pump
  • Block Swiftech Apogee SKF "Heirloom Series" - superimposed on case image

Major Components not shown

  • Graphics card - Generic, to be upgraded to a water cooled card at a future time once I've worked out the first loop.

The top radiator and fan are placeholders for a future un-selected GPU water loop to be added down the road. All metal components are copper and nickel, which are galvanically compatible. The vertical extenders are not always determined because I need actual hardware to determine the length of the risers. Sometimes text "Extender" is used as a placeholder.  There is a through-hole fill port at the top, and a push-pull drain stop at the bottom.  The hard tubing fittings are all Bitspower, with the exception of an  EK-AF Angled 2 x 45 G1/4 Fitting atop the pump. The brass tubing is pre-bent.  I used a high pressure pump (up to 20mm H2O) because the Swiftech block is known to have a high resistance. A flow meter is located next to the reservoir.

 

A flaw I noticed while posing is that the tubing could interfere with a long graphics card if carelessly placed.  Any advise offered or improvements for better function or appearance will be greatly appreciated.  Also, which layout do you like most (or hate)?

Thanks in advance.

 

K-Sci

 

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picture 2 is your best bet. good on you for including fill and drain ports. 

 

why are you using 6 fans for the Rad? you really only need 3 in Pull flow. sandwhiching fans does not give you enough benefit for the cost or space it takes. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thank you, VD, for your reply. :)

 

Aesthetically, at least in these mock-ups, I agree that #2 is better-looking, but I have reservations about the appearance of the bulky extenders used as risers from the CPU. #1 allows the tubing to come off the CPU without the bulky fittings. I looked into what it would take to bend nickel-plated brass or copper, but decided that it was a bad idea (tm). Owing to the problem with nickel plating cracking and flaking when bent, I'd have to buy equipment to electro-plate bare copper tubing after bending if I wanted to have more than one bend.

 

I think you're right about not needing 6 fans for cooling, especially with a 60mm 3x120mm radiator that is a top performer in benchmark testing, despite a relatively low low 16fpi count.  In the end, I want a high cooling capacity in a case that is very quiet. So one reason is experimentation. The noise from fans increases with the square of the RPM, so I'd like to conduct an experiment to see if six fans at lower RPM in a push-pull stack-up may allow for lower RPM, and potentially be quieter than push or pull alone.

 

K-Sci

 

 

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33 minutes ago, K-Sci said:

 

 

 

The bends look much better IMO so if you can go for that, straight tubing runs that run in diagonals are very hard to make not look "lazy" for hard tubing.

 

It seems like you've pasted in a Koolance Flowmeter, I used one of those for a while, but it actually made an unbelievably annoying sound so took it out. I think flowmeters are probably nice peace of mind, but in reality you only need to check once whether you have enough L/min flow, and then from there onwards is just an annoying gimmick,

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, For Science! said:

The bends look much better IMO so if you can go for that, straight tubing runs that run in diagonals are very hard to make not look "lazy" for hard tubing.

 

It seems like you've pasted in a Koolance Flowmeter, I used one of those for a while, but it actually made an unbelievably annoying sound so took it out. I think flowmeters are probably nice peace of mind, but in reality you only need to check once whether you have enough L/min flow, and then from there onwards is just an annoying gimmick,

You're right, that is a Koolance Flowmeter, I just received it, and since is is still not opened, based on your advice and your reasoning it, it is going back.

 

Do you see a thermal sensor as being just about as useless?

 

-Keith

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1 hour ago, K-Sci said:

You're right, that is a Koolance Flowmeter, I just received it, and since is is still not opened, based on your advice and your reasoning it, it is going back.

 

Do you see a thermal sensor as being just about as useless?

 

-Keith

Thermal sensors (2-pin) I find to actually be supremely useful, especially if you have a 2-pin sensor header on the motherboard. On Asus boards, you tend to find a T_SENSOR1 header (or something like that) where you can plug 2-pin thermal sensors into the board directly. This is super duper useful (in my opinion) since it can actually be used as a temperature source to control fan speed directly. This is in reality the only way to control fan speed by fluid temperature without the need of 3rd party fan control hubs or software control. As I use Linux as a secondary OS, it is paramount that fan speed control is localized in an OS agnostic manner (i.e. not using things like speedfan or AI suite).

 

By having a temperature sensor plumbed in and plugged into the motherboard, chassis fans (all non-CPU_FAN headers) can be connected to T_SENSOR1 as a temperature source. So I have all my fans connected to various CHA_FAN headers around the motherboards (on average, something like 3 fans per header, using splitters) and they have a fan curve attached to them that looks something like (<40 degrees = 400 rpm, <50 degrees = 1000 rpm, 55 degrees + = max rpm). This is based on the logic that the pump's life time would be affected close to the 60 degree fluid temperature mark. This also means there are no spikes in temperature (thanks to water) meaning that the fan ramping is gradual, and also is non-sensitive to whether it is the CPU or GPU that is producing the heatload.

 

So in summary, I think a temperature sensor is a must have for a custom loop if your motherboard supports it. If it doesn't, something like an Aquaero is the next best option. It is actually probably better in terms of functionality, but since its a couple of hundreds more monies you have to sink in, I prefer not to have to buy it if I don't need to.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

For Science,

Your advice looks good, and in addition to the built-in chip thermal monitoring there are two places to plug in thermal sensors on the MB on the MB and three more on the ASUS Fan E pander card that came with the MB.

 

How are you adding thermal sensors to monitor fluid temperatures? Are you using an in-tube sensor, such as this one or just insulating a sensor on the surface of the tubing (accepting the lag).

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8 hours ago, K-Sci said:

For Science,

Your advice looks good, and in addition to the built-in chip thermal monitoring there are two places to plug in thermal sensors on the MB on the MB and three more on the ASUS Fan E pander card that came with the MB.

 

How are you adding thermal sensors to monitor fluid temperatures? Are you using an in-tube sensor, such as this one or just insulating a sensor on the surface of the tubing (accepting the lag).

Yes, i use a inline temperature sensor in my current build, ive also used stop plug style sensors in my reservoirs in the past too. Both work fine.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

FS,

 

Thanks for the tips.

 

I bought a couple inline sensors, one for each of the water block risers (input and output) so I could assess the effectiveness of both the radiator and water block. If I add a flow meter, I'll be able to calculate the power of the transport. :)

 

P  = V * CV * ΔT

 

Where

P = power (Watts = Joule/second)

V = volumetric flow rate in liters per second (=kg/s for water)

CV = specific heat of water (4181.6 J/(kg-K)

ΔT = temperature drop Kelvin

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