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Hardware and water cooling advice

r3volt21r3volt21 Member UncommonPosts: 97

Hi guys just after a bit of advice I am currently running an amd phenom 2 quad core 3.2g L3 cache 4g corsair 1600 ram, evga gtx 460, I have slightly oc my gpu to 800/1600/2000 i have been a little un happy with performance on some newer games recently with my frame rates dropping to an unacceptable lvl.

      I am looking into buying another gtx460 run in sli and oc them a little more then i have now and thinking about water cooling so i can oc my cpu aswell, I didnt really want to buy another cpu untill all the sandybridge intel models are out and hopefully drops the price on some of the amd 6 cores.

     I have never setup a water cooling system before and just wanted to know if i can buy a setup complete that has both cpu and gpu attachments as most I have seen are cpu only and any recomended brands, also If any US members know of any online US stores that will ship to australia as australian prices are way over US prices.

      I know the gtx460's are a little behind now I just want to get as much out of them as possible and get it running right on water and look at upgrading cpu/mb/gpu's later on this year.

     Also are the ssd drives worth the price I am looking at gettting a 120g one as i only have and old wd 7,500rpm drive which is possibly holding me back a little aswell.

Thanks in advance,

                                 r3volt

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    You might want to look into the price of waterblocks and a liquid cooling system before you get too serious about water cooling video cards.  That's a lot more involved, and a lot more expensive, than the cheap liquid cooling systems for processors that really don't work any better than comparably priced air cooling systems.  If you've got a GTX 460, it's probably out of your budget.

  • r3volt21r3volt21 Member UncommonPosts: 97

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    You might want to look into the price of waterblocks and a liquid cooling system before you get too serious about water cooling video cards.  That's a lot more involved, and a lot more expensive, than the cheap liquid cooling systems for processors that really don't work any better than comparably priced air cooling systems.  If you've got a GTX 460, it's probably out of your budget.

    I was prepared to pay around $400-$500 for a good cooling system only reason i still want to run 2 gtx460's I dont want to invest to much money on 580's or a new cpu with new models coming later on this year and the cooling system could be transfered over. no real budget for upgrades atm just dont want to waste alot on something i will replace again soon anyway.

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    I use a Corsair H50 to cool of my CPU, cost about 90 bucks and are easy to install and require no work after it is installed, a perfect way to keep the CPU cool.

    But water systems that cools both CPU and GPU are rather messy and leaks are not uncommon. You will need to refill it at times...  Particularly the cheaper systems, can't really recommend them. 

    I think the best way is to reduce the other stuff that gives of heat instead. A H50 will get the CPU core very low and a SSD will take away the heat from the Harddrive (put your old HD as an external E-SATA drive), then increase the fan speed of the card with Riva tuner, as long as your memory on the GFX card have a heatsink as well you should be able to clock it up fine, and the SSD will improve your performance with gaming as well.

    Water cooling is great as long as it works but leaks are fatal for a computer. A closed system works fine but I havn't seen any good that works for both CPU and GPU.

    I am not sure if you could mod a H50 for GPU or not.

    The H50 works BTW better than my old enourmos custom fan, and it is quite as well.

  • neorandomneorandom Member Posts: 1,681

    the current massive hit to your performance is the 4 gigs of ram, update to 8 or 12 and youll speed the fps back up

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    Originally posted by neorandom

    the current massive hit to your performance is the 4 gigs of ram, update to 8 or 12 and youll speed the fps back up

    Not really if he does't have toomuch junk running in the background. 8Gb is great if you have the computer full with programs but no MMO uses that much memeroy, not even if you count in the OS.

    A SSD is a lot better improvement and will also lower the temperature in the case.

  • ErstokErstok Member Posts: 523

    Liquid cooling is a waste of money and only idiots buy it, same ones who use over 4gigs of ram for software and games that at max use 2 to 4 gigs.

    image
    When did you start playing "old school" MMO's. World Of Warcraft?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,094

    Low end CPU water coolers like the Corsair H50 offer about the same performance as high end air coolers, and at about the same price.

    Liquid cooling video cards has its place, but it's the sort of thing that someone with a $3000 budget can maybe think about.  I don't think liquid cooling a GTX 460 makes a bit of sense, especially if you're planning on replacing the card reasonably soon.

  • r3volt21r3volt21 Member UncommonPosts: 97

    thanks loke and quizzicle given me a bit to think about I dont want to liquid cool the gpu's if leakage could be a prob, quiz only reason i wanted to liquid the 460's is to use them as practise so to speak as i have never tried it before and would use same cooling with diff attachment for newer cards that way if i fried a 460 wouldnt be as bad as frying a new 580, Loke nothing runs in background pc is kept free of useless draining software and ram rarely goes over 70% while gaming.  For now I think i will throw in the second 460 at the same speed this one is at then look into how far i can actually puch my cpu (it is getting a bit dated now). Then look at what cooling I need $95 sounds pretty cheap will grab one if i need to or a better air cooler may be sufficiant depending how far I can reliably push my cpu.

    Thanks guys

  • theyalllietheyalllie Member Posts: 229

    If possible look at monitoring your temps. CPUID HW monitor is free and works good enough to test the CPU, and, in my case, does fine on the Grphics card as well.

    if these are acceptable levels, your performance loss may be elsewhere. Or even if they are a bit high, perhaps a cleaning, is in order.

    Maintenance, such as defragging ( for Hard Drives), keeping cookies cleaned, performing regular scans, managing restore points, etc, can add up, along with keeping fans and heatsinks clean, to give what may seem like a big performance boost, but really is just getting the OS running smoothly.

    You may do all of this, allready.

    I also mention one other thing, it isn't a bad idea to reformat once in a while.

    If you dont do these things, you may want to start, see what happens. Saving the coin on something, that may or may not address your problem, doesn't seem as good an option as, actually finding the problem(s), and addressing it(them).

    Could be cooling is the sollution, as you say, your seeing this in the newer games.

    At any rate, best of luck.

    PS check case fans to see they are working, and airflow isn't obstructed.

    I have heard memory modules can get freaky, and cause performance loss, never had that happen, so I have never used tools like memtest, to check them, perhaps someone else can chime in on the validity of this thought.

  • tuzalovtuzalov Member Posts: 183

    I wouldn't bother with Liquid cooling it's a pain in the ass if you must Swiftech makes complete systems with pumps in the rad housing,I would personaly go with a Peltier cooler or even a V10 for the cpu but Peltiers are without a doubt the best cooling system out there you can keep your cpu in single digits and the new ones eliminate any condensation or frost lol yes frost they can get negative temps.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,060

    I have water cooled for several years now, I can share a bit of my experience.

    There are the pre-packaged CPU coolers, like the Corsair Hydro series. These only work with the CPU, and for just the sake of CPU cooling, do about as good as a high end air cooler. The only real benefit they have over an air cooler is that they exhaust the heat directly outside the case without the need for side vents or additional cooling fans, whereas almost every air cooler out there vents to the inside of the case, and you then have to rely on case ventilation to pull that heat to the outside. As far as water cooling goes, you aren't really getting your feet wet, so to speak, as they are not expandable or alterable in any fashion. You won't see outstanding extreme overclocks with these rigs, but you will get lower case temperatures.

    A full blown water cooling system will include 3 basic parts - a water block (to pull heat from the components into the liquid), a radiator (to dump the heat out of the liquid), and the pump (to move the liquid from the block to the radiator). Once you have those basic 3 things, you can mix and match them, expand them, and do whatever you want with them. A water cooling system can be as simple as a small setup that barely exceeds the capacity of the Corsair H50 to something heavy duty enough to cool a small block car engine. That is where you can start to do crazy things, but it's not without risk.

    There are small prepackaged systems, like the Koolance EXOS or Zalman Reserator systems. These are good kits to get started with, as they include just about everything you need to build a modular water cooling system. Many enthusiast sites sell water cooling parts component by component. If you are really adventurous, it's possible to build a water cooling rig with parts all purchased from Home Depot.

    "Coolant" can be anything from just pure distilled water, to an antifreeze mix, to specially mixed non-conductive coolant available at specialist shops. Do not use tap water, do not use bleach or ammonia, etc. You don't want things to grow in the coolant, and you don't want to use something that will react or weaken your components (mostly copper and aluminum).

    Now, watercooling is a huge hassle to install (correctly), and makes it quite difficult to juggle around parts (you can't just plug and unplug it from the power like you can a fan). Leaks do happen - usually because you cross-threaded a fitting, or didn't drain the system all the way before trying to monkey with a waterblock or something. And coolant on a motherboard usually means it's totally dead (unless you run the non-conductive expensive coolant).

    Once installed, water cooling setups are fairly maintenance free. Every now and then you need to top off the coolant (maybe once a year or two provided you have no leaks, typical loss from evaporation). Adding a new component it just a matter of hooking up the tygon hose and making sure your radiator is big enough to handle the additional load. Water is an amazing thermal conductor, and even a small (120mm) radiator can handle upwards of 400W of heat dissipation, and you can directly control where this heat is exhausted. If you ever plan on running 3 or 4-way SLI, video water blocks are just about the only way to get 4xPCI2.0 to fit inside of an ATX case, as they can usually make a dual-slot card fit inside of a single slot.

    Now, is this all warranted for a gaming rig? Probably not. It is expensive, although a decent rig you can carry forward most of the components through many computers. You can do some neat tricks, such as near-silent setups, but you won't get incredible overclocks just by water cooling alone (now if you stick the radiator in a mini-fridge, or in a cooler with Dry Ice, then that's a different story, and you can get ~amazing~ cooling that way). It makes it a pain in the rear if you frequently play with your hardware. And a leak can be disastrous. I find it a fun hobby and an interesting conversation piece, but I have to admit it isn't very practical for a gaming rig.

    Water blocks do exist for the GTX460 ( http://www.koolance.com/water-cooling/product_info.php?product_id=1063 ), and you can find some of the higher end cards with waterblocks pre-installed. As far as the pre-configured kits, most of them include the tygon/pump/radiator and you add your own water blocks (some will include a generic CPU block).

  • darknssdarknss Member Posts: 24

    Originally posted by Erstok

    Liquid cooling is a waste of money and only idiots buy it, same ones who use over 4gigs of ram for software and games that at max use 2 to 4 gigs.

     

    You are talking about 32-bit OS now. ;p

    If you run 64-bit with 4gb ram it would be too little. 6gb is pretty nice on a 64-bit OS, that means if you play a 32-bit game it can adrress a full 4gb ram and the OS and other background progmrams running have 2gb ram.

    But some people are dual boxing or triple boxing in MMO's, so they really need more ram. :)

  • tuzalovtuzalov Member Posts: 183

    Originally posted by darknss

    Originally posted by Erstok

    Liquid cooling is a waste of money and only idiots buy it, same ones who use over 4gigs of ram for software and games that at max use 2 to 4 gigs.

     

    You are talking about 32-bit OS now. ;p

    If you run 64-bit with 4gb ram it would be too little. 6gb is pretty nice on a 64-bit OS, that means if you play a 32-bit game it can adrress a full 4gb ram and the OS and other background progmrams running have 2gb ram.

    But some people are dual boxing or triple boxing in MMO's, so they really need more ram. :)

    And a good chunk run multi displays I use 3  T26HD's I also do alot of autoCAD so the more memory the better its always better to have to much then not enough.

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