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This is how I clean my watercooled rig

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Tilitoon, Mar 25, 2012. | Replies: 18 | Views: 1482

  1. Tilitoon

    Tilitoon IncGamers Member

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    This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    Last time I created a thread in the Off-Topic section explaining how I managed to revive my video card (GTX 8800 GTX SLI) in my XPS M1730 laptop and it seems a few people liked it so I though I would post a video showing off another geeky computer related thread.

    This time I have a video for you, explaining how I clean my waterblocks and radiators in my water-cooled rig. Here you go :
    [video=youtube;9usr0SF_j_U]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9usr0SF_j_U&hd=1[/video]
     
  2. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    I use air cooled, just to avoid this . But nice
    :D
     
  3. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    I'm with Bob on this one; I've always been too much of a Luddite to trust water cooled (which is pretty silly, considering that I've worked IT for at least half my life). The potential of a catastrophic failure just bothers me far too much, particularly with the tubing or clamps. Then again, I hate "all in one" devices because when one component breaks the whole thing often winds up in the tip.

    Obviously I understand the rationale for doing this - but what's the interval? Is there any additive that prevents needing this sort of cleaning on a regular basis?
     
  4. TurbulentTurtle

    TurbulentTurtle IncGamers Member

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    I'd like to have a fully water-cooled system like that, but I am way too lazy to have to clean it out and maintain it every once in a while. Nothing I do sets my temps up all that high anyway, overall temps are like 30-35C on idle and GPU is ~50-60C when gaming at highest settings.
     
  5. Tilitoon

    Tilitoon IncGamers Member

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    The parts are actually a lot more resilient to water than we would think. As long as the system is not running, you can spill water everywhere, quickly clean up the mess, let it dry (do not use hair dryer as it generates static), and it'll work fine. Distilled water pretty much doesn't conduct electricity either, so again, not too risky, unless you don't test your loop and let it run while you are away and there is a major leak.

    I'd say about once a year.

    Some people use mixtures already prepared for this (mainly from Feser) but I don't like them since they add too much stuff in it and sometimes it tends to clug the blocks (especially with the dyes). So I use distilled water + PT Nuke (Concentrated Biocide), this prevents algae formation. My blocks are still in perfect condition, this seems to be the best way to do it.

    But I did it because I've been wanted to do watercooling for a while now and it's a great challenge. You won't save any money or time doing it though, it's purely a hobby. My temps are good, especially on the GPUs : about 50 degrees on full load (remember this is a 5970, dual GPUs) which would normally ramp up to over 85 degrees with the original cooler, this is not a new generation 28nm video card.


     
  6. korialstraz

    korialstraz IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    Nice video! Also nice to hear it's only once a year-ish cleaning. I've heard people say around 3-6 months or so in between. But that might be with dyes and all that extra crap in there.

    But you're using regular tap water in the video to clean the blocks, but do you flush out the system with a round of distilled water as well before you fill it up and add the concentrated biocide?


    I've been wanting to do watercooling for some time now. Main reason is the only parts that needs to be changed is the blocks, and that is mainly the GPU I think, unless you go to a different socket type for the next upgrade.

    The main reason though is temps, as I want to overclock my current CPU, although it'd probably be cheaper to get a good air cooler instead as that is the only part that is really starting to give out on me atm. But also of course for the personal challange, and to reduce noise levels. ^_^
     
  7. Tilitoon

    Tilitoon IncGamers Member

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    Yea you should flush everything with distilled water.
    You can start by watercooling CPU only, it'll be a piece of cake to setup and usually the block can be reused for next upgrades. There are kits available that contains everything that you need. In Canada there is an online retailer : DazMode which has one starting from $149.99 (Rasa 750 RS240).
     
  8. korialstraz

    korialstraz IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    Yea I won't have the budget for making such an upgrade atm. It'd be tons of fun though!

    One day though... one day. ^_^

    Btw do you have any preference in terms of grands for the blocks and pumps etc? I've heard of a couple good brands, but would be fun to hear your thoughts on it.
     
  9. Tilitoon

    Tilitoon IncGamers Member

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    There are not that many choices to be honest. For the blocks (GPU / CPU / Motherboard), EK are pretty good. I suggest choosing acetal over plexi as it is way too easy to over tighten fittings and break a microscopic piece of the threads. And when you are dealing with water, even a tiny leak is a major problem.

    For the CPU block, the Apogee is a good choice, there is also the Heatkiller which is the king in term of performance (although by a very small margin).

    For the radiators : Thermochill, Feser, Swiftech...

    For the pumps it's MPC350 / MPC355 if you want small form factor, or MCP655 for best performance / quietness.

    Then you can choose either compression fittings or barbs. I prefer compression because they are prettier / they are easy to install / uninstall and there are so many kind so you can do pretty much what you want (90 degrees, 45 degrees, rotation, crosses, Ys, splits, spacers, etc... Bitspower are the best.

    Then you need to choose your tubing (size: ID / OD, color, phosphorescent or not). Brand : Primochill.

    For the fans, if you have high density radiator fins you want a fan with a high static pressure, otherwise if the radiator has low density fins you want high CFM (airflow).
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  10. korialstraz

    korialstraz IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    Wow thanks! :D

    I'll have to bookmark this and remember to look it up again whenever I seriously start planing the watercooling somewhere down the road. :D

    One last question though. Any preference as to using high or low pressure loops? I guess I could just get the answer from googling the blocks and pumps you've recomended, but kinda early morning here so I'll ask instead. >_>
     
  11. Tilitoon

    Tilitoon IncGamers Member

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    My best advice would be not to bother with anything performance related in your first build. Especially if you are only going to watercool only the CPU or the CPU + one GPU, simply choose one pump you like the best. The most important factor to influence the model type will probably be the space available in your case and the reservoir you want to use with it (combo pump + res). The same logic applies to radiators / blocks, don't bother too much at looking at the restriction of these parts and more on how you are going to fit these in the case. The heat dissipation you get when going to water cooling is already insanely good so as long as your pump is working fine, it'll do the trick.


     
  12. korialstraz

    korialstraz IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    Space I can't imagine being an issue having an Antec 1200 case, also I only have 1 GPU anyway, so it'd be watercooled CPU and GPU. Also I like to read up and inform myself on what I purchase before actually getting it, to make sure what I buy fits my needs (as well as my case). Also I'm pretty sure doing a watercool build won't be that hard, as I've been around computers since 2000, done education/worked within the IT field since 2007, and built several computers from scratch, done repairs on stationary and laptops as well as basic repairs on printers (not trying to brag, just give you a basic idea as to my knowledge). So overall kinda tech savvy, and the actual putting together of parts should be a walk in the park. But getting the right components in a first time watercooled build is what will be at least half the fun! :D

    Edit: Just realized I used the word "also" a lot in this post. >_> I blame it on staying awake for 36~ hours or so.


     
  13. Tilitoon

    Tilitoon IncGamers Member

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    So what are your computer parts ? CPU / GPU mainly.

    The problem is not always the actual space in the case, but rather the layout. You always want your pump under the reservoir, you can't fit radiators everywhere, you need enough clearance for the res + fan + space to route the tubes in and out. Fitting all of these in the case while maintaining a clean look and without using too much wacky fitting adapters is a challenge. Unless you put your rad outside of the case, which is an option with the Antec 1200. Took me at least 3 months of intensive research to figure out how I would go about doing mine. Though I must say I didn't go for the easiest project (I have a motherboard waterblock) and I also wanted a second video card which I finaly removed from the build since it was causing too much headaches. That is why I have 2 radiators, and... as you may or may not know, there are no bottom intakes for a 2x120 radiator in the Corsair 800D so I had to mod the case... Anyway, yes it is wise to do your research beforehand if you want to save yourself a lot of troubles.
     
  14. korialstraz

    korialstraz IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    Case: Antec 1200
    MB: Asus P5Q3
    GPU: GTX 580
    CPU: Intel C2D E8500 3.16 GHz
    PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W
    Sound card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum
    1x 128G SSD
    1x 1TB HDD
    2x 2TB HDD

    I'm most likely going to change out the sound card at some point, or just try using my on-board sound card to get some extra space inside the case. Also I want to switch out the power supply for a modular one to remove as many cables from the backside door of my case. That should clear up a lot of extra space for tubing.

    Edit: Quite obvious why the pump goes under the reservoir, so removed that question. Now time to wake up properly before I post more stupid stuff. xD
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  15. Tilitoon

    Tilitoon IncGamers Member

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  16. korialstraz

    korialstraz IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    That looks very sexy! *drools*

    Too bad my economy atm won't allow for a watercool build. Slowly saving up some money though. =D
     
  17. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    I always wanted to do a big fish tank based media center with Mineral oil.



    But like Split a tank with a glass wall and put water and Fish in the front.


    I have a old 70's Oak & wicker accented 27 Gal. Tank and stand with drawers under etc that would work well to hold everything.

    I would not pay for that sound-card unless forced to as a package and would Trash it not sell it ASAP.
    Creative makes Crippleware not Sound Hardware.
    I boycotted them a long time ago.
    **** me once shame on U.


     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  18. korialstraz

    korialstraz IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    I've actually not really had any issues with this card, and the sound quality is ok for my use. Then again I'm not an audiophile, so not that picky on the quality. =P

    Also the RCA sockets worked very well to route sound from my xbox through my pc speakers. ;)


     
  19. TurbulentTurtle

    TurbulentTurtle IncGamers Member

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    Re: This is how I clean my watercooled rig

    Split it into 3: fish in one third, computer in one, and some sort of terrarium in the other with spiders or whatever in it.
    Call it the Bio-PC and watch dem honeys roll in by the truckload.



     

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