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Water Cooling - Buyers Guide
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Preachergeek
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Default Water Cooling - Buyers Guide - 02-07-2007, 18:28 | posts: 1,650 | Location: London, England

I have seen a few threads recently, asking for suggestions and advice on what water cooling components they should buy, so I thought that I would make a general guide for anyone who needs idea on what they should/should not buy...I would also like to point out that all of what I know has come from gurus on these pages so thanks to them, and also that I have a limited knowledge of h20 cooling, so feel free to correct, criticize or ignore anything I say that you don't agree with.

First off I think I should explain a bit about different water cooling philosophies. There are basically two schools of thought on how water cooling systems should be set up, those that focus on high flow and those that focus on low flow. High flow systems have powerful pumps and wide tubing, whilst low flow has small tubing and weak pumps. The advantages of low flow are that you won't need expensive pumps, and the tubing is easier to deal with. However high flow systems provide better cooling so long as your pump can deal, so in this guide Iíll focus on set ups that use 1/2" ID tubing, as I feel it's the way most of you gurus should be aiming to go.

So you've decided to water cool to pc. You now need to decide whether to get a pre configured kit, or a custom selection of kits from different manufacturers. The main advantage of pre configured kits is added confidence that all of what you've bought will work together, and it also sometimes proves cheaper than buying everything separately. In this little guide Iíll first look a few decent pre selected kits, and then move on to custom parts to choose from...

Pre selected kit...

I have decided to reorganize this section into 3 categories. They are to be based on price and Iíll try to highlight a few good kits within each price range. As always thereís room for suggestions here, and if you know of any exact kits (please donít just suggest a manufacturer as itís taking hours searching up the performance of every kit from a certain manufacturer) that will perform well within a certain group please inform me and Iíll add them.

Can I also say right from the offset that as I explained before I reorganized this section, I do not consider low end water cooling kits a good idea for 99% of the users that buy them, as the cooling they offer is only similar to high end air coolers, and often worse whilst costing 3 to 4 times more than them. This is due mostly to the fact that a huge proportion of cooling performance depends on the heat dissipation that is possible. This is where the advantage of h20 comes in, as the water acts a fantastic conductor to transfer the heat to radiators which have a great surface area for heat dissipation. However if the radiator only includes a 120mm or smaller radiator the surface area for thermal dissipation will be no bigger than the larger hsfís thus the reason performance is similar. (I hope I explained that ok.) For those considering the kitís Iím about to post in the £60-£110 section may I suggest that you strongly consider high end air cooling, such as the Tuniq Tower (£40) or the Arctic Cooler Freezer Pro (£15), as it may well perform just as well without the hassles of water, and also that you consider your reasoning for going on water. In the words of XS MaxxxRacer "Crappy water will just leave you unsatisfied and angry, kind of like a cheap hooker."

Having said all that there are a few where one of these kits is a decent idea. Ok so on with the guideÖ

£0 - £110

1. Gigabyte 3d Galaxy - £70

A great looking, relatively easy to assemble kit from Gigabyte. It features all youíll need to cool your CPU, including a 120mm fan radiator and a CPU block with added fan for mosfet cooling. Ok so this is a £70 kit, and we all know it isnít going to perform that well. However it does succeed in cooling down your CPUs as well if not better than high end air cooling, and it looks very nice if youíre into the colour blue. One thing I donít like about this is that all of the parts are of the same quality, making future improvements harder to decide upon. These also a Galaxy 2 out btw, which is slightly better performing, however considering it costs £40 more I donít believe it to be worth the extra. Please correct me if Iím wrong. Oh and one last thing i'd like to mention yet again is that if you're considering buying this please look at your motives for doing so, as it won't cool better than hsfs like the Tuniq tower, but costs much more.

2. Swiftech H20-80 Micro CPU - £100

This kit was suggested to me in this thread by Copey, and I can honestly say itís worth a mention. The kit includes Apogee Waterblock, MCP350 12Volts DC pump, MCR80-QP radiator with 80x80x25mm fan (28dBA), MCRES Micro reservoir. Ok, as youíll later see, if you donít already know, there are many fantastic components in there, components so good I recommend them for top of the line kits in the ďcustom section.Ē The 80mm radiator is itís obvious weak point, and although it cools excellently with low load, when your overclocked p4s and c2ds come out itís not going to be able to handle the heat as well as very high end air. What I really like about this kit, is that if you replace that radiator with, or just add a new radiator such as a Thermochill PA to the loop, you suddenly have a high end water cooling kit right there. So in theory the reason this kit is recommended above other kits like the Corsair COOL which perform similiarly, is because of it's nice and simple upgrade path to a mid/high end kit. However if you don't plan on upgrading your kit ever, then you might as well go with a good HSF.

£110 - £160

1.Swiftech H20-220 Apex Ultra - £150

One of the best kits around for cooling your cpu, and is a decent price as well. This kit includes the Apogee GT CPU Water-block, MCR220 Radiator with fans and MCB-120 R2 "Radbox", MCP655 pump, MCRES Micro Reservoir, tubingís, Smartcoils, Hydrx coolant, and various noise reduction accessories. These are all fantastic products recommended in the custom section. This will pretty much cool down any cpu that you can throw at it. A great overall kit for cpu cooling.

2. Reserator 1 - £123 or £170 for version 2.

The Reserator is aimed at those wanting absolute silence, and should therefore not be considered a competitor with the others in this section. Itís simply not fair to compete a passive kit to an active one. This kit contains ZM-WB2 Gold cpu block, Reserator V1 radiator + pump + reservoir combo, Clip Support (ZM-CS2), Flow Indicator, and can have a VGA Water Block ZM-GWB1 as an added extra. This kit can cool pretty much any user CPU, without too much trouble. It may not be able to cool a Kentsfield or overclocked c2ds but if you wanted to cool them down youíd go for a different kit. If youíre after silence consider. I wouldnít recommend the added vga cooler though, as I believe it will struggle to dissipate all the heat effectively enough to handle a cpu and a VGA card.

3. Petra'sTech CoolKit Elite Ė $250 (about £140 roughly)

Now I donít know about the availability of these kits in Europe or places other than America but WOWZERS what a kit. I mean this is a custom kit picked out by the experts at PetraTech and features D-TEK FuZion cpu block, Laing DDC-2 Pump w/Petra'sTech DDCT-01, Swiftech MCR220-QP Dual 120mm Radiator amongst other very high end components. These are amazing specs and this kit will just about outperform the Swiftech kit, whilst costing less. This is just one of many custom kits found hereÖ

http://www.petrastechshop.com/wacoki.html

(Thanks for the link Wombat778)

We may be returning with 1 or 2 more kits from there laterÖ

4. Coolit Freezone - $320 (??)

This is an all in one, cpu cooling kit from the experts at Coolit. It does not work in a way normal kits work, in that it has no radiator but features 6 TECs in the reservoir. This means in theory sub ambient temperatures. From the reviews i've read it looks like this kit cools the cooler running chips (single core athlons ect...) exceptionally, but struggles when running hot chips. Added to the fact that it'd be damn near impossible for most people to upgrade it's performance it's not a great idea for those considering quad cores, or highly overclocked cpus. But for those who have cool running cpus this will give you fantastic temperatures.

£160+

These are the ultimate performance water cooling kits. Really at this price they should cool more than just the CPU block, and should offer nice performance even when cooling multiple components.

1. Alphacool Xtreme Pro 360 - £190

This nice kit features...

Copper NexXxoS XP CPU waterblock, Laing DDC pump with Alphacool Attachment and Tank mod, 360mm NexXxoS Xtreme II Radiator with triple 120x25mm, includes Tec-Protect-Plus 500ml water additive.

Looking initially it looks good. It features a triple 120mm radiator, and a highly powerful DDC pump with modded top. (You'll see that's good later if you don't already know.) The cpu block isn't as good as the Apogee gt, and it comes without gpu or chipset blocks, so factor in the added cost of these. Added to the fact that it's harder to install (larger ect...) I would have to recommend that unless you already have good blocks lying around there are other slightly better choices for the cash...

2. Swiftech H20-220 Apex Ultra+ - £210

Basically the same as the Ultra kit but with the added MCW60 gpu block and all the ram cooling youíll need (except for the g80 series, see below) and also the MCW30 Chipset water-block. The same things apply for this kit as for the Ultra, great performance, great cooling, and very nice for the price. Thereís little bad I can say about this kit.

Btw if you have a g80 card you'll need to get the "g80 adaptor kit", along with a set heatsinks for the ram, as seen here...
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/mcg80adkitfo.html
http://www.petrastechshop.com/swmcsmccokit.html

For more info on the Swiftech H20-220 Apex Ultra+ please look here...
http://www.swiftnets.com/products/H20-220-APEX-plus.asp

3. Petra'sTech CoolKit SLI Elite - $379.99 (about £210)

Now this is what Iím talking about, and damn are you Americans lucky to have kits like these lying around. (Do PetraTech ship overseas?) Anyways this amazing kit featuresÖ

D-TEK FuZion Universal CPU Waterblock, Swiftech MCW60 GPU Water blocks (w/Swiftech MC14 BGA RAM-sinks,) Laing DDC-2 Pump w/Petra'sTech DDCT-01 Delrin Top, Swiftech MCR320-QP Triple 120mm Radiator and other very high quality components.

I mean performance really doesnít come much better than this and this monster kit is about the same price as the Swiftech kit! My advice is that if you can actually get hold of one these kits, and can fit a triple radiator in your case, then this will cool anything you can throw at it.

4. Asetek WaterChill Xternal Water Cooling - £250

This is an all external, completely preassembled watercooling kit. It comes with very nice looking blocks for the cpu, gpu and chipset, and an all in one pump, 2x120mm radiator and reservoir (look it up if you want the names ) It's pretty much a plug and play watercooling system, requiring you only to mount it, mount blocks, and connect the hosing. It performs well, but not in the same league as the Swiftech or Petra kits we've just seen, and the price is completely ott imo. I personally don't like this kit, but if you're after good results for the minimum amount of labour then you should look this up.

A few more kits will be added after Iíve had more time for research. I know the lists a little small atm and Iím missing the best kits from guys like Danger Den, Asetek and others, but more will be added soon.. The kits Iíve mentioned are good choices for a target buyer so please donít hesitate to buy one if youíre interested.


The custom Kit


Some of this may be pretty much cut and pasted from other threads Iíve posted, so bear with me on it...

Pump

1. Laing D5 (e.g. Swiftech MCP655 12 VDC Pump)
This is a great quiet pump, with a power adjuster.

2. Laing DDC (e.g. MCP355) - A great performing, very small pump. It performs even better with a custom top, and when fitted with one, outperforms the D5. There's more info on that here...

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=118650

This offers better performance that the D5, but after factoring in extra costs is more expensive. For the top performance it still beats the D5.

3. Iwaki MD-20 Aquarium Water pump - Based off of the certain calculations this pump offers better performance than any pump in the world. It is designed for fish tanks but has been widely adopted by the pc community due to its low heat output of 14.5-20 watts, whilst still being more powerful than 2 Laing D5s put together. The ultimate pump for the experts.

Radiator

1. Thermocill PA - It's the best radiator out atm. It cools very well and isn't too restrictive. Get the largest one you can fit in you case, with suitable fans to accompany it. It works amazingly with high cfm fans, but even with quiet fans it's still the best radiator out.

2. Swiftech MCR220-QP - These position themselves directly in the middle in terms of performance between the Thermochill and the HWLABS rads. A nice looking radiator that offers a good balance between price and performance.

3. Black Ice Xtreme - Very good performance with high-power axial fan. Trouble is the Thermochill and MCR are still better. Slightly cheaper now though which is a plus. Still hard to recommend a suitable time to buy one.

4. Black Ice Pro 2/3 - For those that cannot afford the Thermochill. Performs far worse that the PAs but is much cheaper. Works decently with low cfm fans.

5. Black Ice GT Stealth - Good performance with high or low cfm fans. Decent price but there's still better vfm out there. Also the fins are very thin and easy to break or bend.

6. Heatercore - These are generally not designed for pcs, but offer many advantages that pc radiators do not. For a start they are incredibly dense giving them a larger surface area than most pc radiators, and they are also far cheaper. A shroud + high cfm fans are recommended when using heatercores. Two popular cores that are used are...
1. 86 Chevette Heater Core - This is about 6x6" cooling area, and 2inches thick. The cost is around $18.95 to $28.95 i believe.
2. 89 Camaro Heater Core is another commonly used one. It cools better but is larger with a 7x7" cooling area, and 2inches of thickness. It costs around $18.95.
Of course the possible choices are almost endless.

Using heatercores requires certain knowledge of modding greater than that required to use pc radiators, but using them it's entirely possible to get the maximum performance for the minimum amount of money.

If you have no idea how you're going to externally mount your radiator, i suggest you consider buying a Swiftech Radbox, which allows you to mount any radiator to a 120mm fan mount.

Shrouds are also a great idea. These raise the fans about an inch above the radiator and eliminate the "dead spot" found where the fans motor is. They should nock a few degrees off of anyoneís Lupe.

CPU block

There are two main types of cpu blocks atm. Those that are very restrictive on the water, and use technologies such as "jets" which offer great cooling when used with a powerful pump, but will lower the flow rate for other components, lowering there cooling performance, a good example of this type of block is the Swiftech Storm. There are also very unrestrictive blocks such as the Swiftech Apogee which cool very well, but don't restrict so much water. Anyways you have four main choices...

1. Swiftech Apogee / Apogee gt - Offers very good cooling performance with v low water resistance. The gt is similar to the Apogee, but designed specially for quad cores. They will be a great choice for multi block systems as they're low in resistance and are cheap.

2. Swiftech Storm - Offers better cooling for dual or single cored processors, but is slightly worse for quad/octo cores than the Apogee. Also is much more restrictive on water flow, and is more expensive. It will require a more powerful pump to be effective. For those considering a multiblock system there are better buys.

3. AquaXtreme MP-05 Pro CPU - V good but also expensive and hard to find. Offers a compromise in terms of water restiction between the Apogee and Storm.

4. D-Tek Fuzion - A very well constructed block designed for quad core Kentsfield. Itís generally considered to be a a bit better than the Apogee gt when cooling quad cores, and similiar when cooling dual cores as well. Is a great choice for those cooling quad cores, and it has a low water resistance as well. A great block for the price and probably the best option for a proportion of buyers.

5. Apogee GTX - The latest offering from Swiftech, it is a great block that matches almost exactly the Fuzion in terms of cooling on both quad and dual cores. It isn't v restrictive and looks fantastic.

6. Swiftech MCW6500-T - A brand new TEC block that's just been released. If you aren't a bit hardcore then I wouldn't bother with this block. It combines a built in 226Watt pelt, which should cool to below 0C with few problems. This block really means business! It's an all in one solution which means it won't have to assemble too much. TECs are advanced products and if you're new to them, and considering them may I suggest you read the following guides as a starting point...

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...ad.php?t=38367
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=175948

GPU block

I strongly believe that people shouldn't bother with blocks that cool both the ram and gpu. They are usually 2.5x times the cost and cool less effectively, as the water is dissipated about more. They are also more restrictive. For this reason Iím going to recommend...

1. Swiftech MCW 60 - V Good cooling, relatively low restriction. (Remember if you have a g80 you'll need an adaptor kit. See what i said earlier.)

2. D-Tek FuZion GFX GPU Waterblock - Very nice block that pretty much gives the best performance for cooling your nvidia 6,7 or 8 series card, or pretty much any ati x1xxx cards. A nice block with performance which is better than that of the Swiftech or DD.

3. Danger Den Maze 4 block - Good overall block. Just below performance to the Swiftech MCW 60 and MP-1. It comes with a choice of Chrome or acetal/delrin tops.

4. EK 8800GTX/gts GPU Water cooling Block - For cooling the 8800 using a gpu only block becomes more difficult due to the extra heat output from mosfets and 12 rams ect... For this reason i'm going to recommend this lovely full block (don't comment) from EK. It won't cool as well as the other three, but after reading a few things (such as the EKs relatively cheap price)i feel it offers a more neat solution for those so inclined. They make blocks for the 8800gts and gtx but these will not work with any other card. It should also be mentioned that these are about 40% cheaper than similarly performing danger den blocks.

nb
For those who want to cool their g80s ram when not using a full cover block, this just became available and it looks like a nice solution...

http://www.petrastechshop.com/dgfxun88e5.html

I hear it'll be available at chilled PC UK soon for all those from the UK.

Chipset blocks

1. Swiftech MCW30 universal chipset block - Good block, easy to fit. Has very little water resistance.

2. Silverprop Nexus SX/LX - Has better cooling than the MCW30, but is almost 2x the price, and is much more restrictive. Still a nice block if you've got plenty of spare pump power.

Reservoir &/Or T line

The purpose of a radiator/t line is to remove air bubbles from the piping, and also ease the process of adding the fluid to the system in the first place. I like a reservoir, but for high performance a T line is better. Anyways here are a few good rerservoirs recommended by fellow gurus...

I suggest that in general people go for reservoirs that fit in nicely in there case. Got a free cd drive? Feel free to buy a cd drive reservoir. That flexibility is one of the advantages of a custom kit. Here are a few good choices...

1. EK MultiOption Tube reservoir - A very aesthetically pleasing, tube style reservoir.

2. Swiftech micro res - Great small reservoir. Suitable for those in need of space.

3. XSPC Passive Aluminium Reservoir - Good tube style reservoir that acts as a passive radiator.

Tubing

There are a few good main types of tubing around atm. The first, and generally considered to be the best is Tygon r3603 tubing. This is completely unreactive, bends easy and avoids kinking. The second is Clearflex tubing which is much cheaper, is harder to bend but is still good enough for most peoples use. Masterkleer tubing is also great tubing that's available for a lower price than tygon, however it should be noted it's not really very clear, and for aesthetics the Tygon rules.

Fluids
I generally don't like the use of "non conductive" coolants, as they're never non conductive and have worse cooling performance than plain old distilled water. So in general I'd recommend...

92-95% Distilled Water mixed with 5-8% Zerex/Valvoline Racing super coolant. Or if you can't find that Swiftech Hydrix is also a great alternative additive.

Fittings

You'll need jubilee clips and barbs. The barbs should convert to 1/2" ID tubing if you're following my example, and i like the nickel danger den barbs.

WHAT NOT TO BUY

OK, so i've now seen about 10 threads in recent weeks with "problems" that would be easily prevented if they had read what i'm about to write. OK, there are many watercooling kits that perform ****E. Anything with a single radiator you should be concerned about as it will cool no better than a cpu block that fits 120mm fans. But in general the biggest problem i've seen is caused by...

1. Thermaltake all in one kits (TT BigWater SE, TT BigWater 735ect..) - I mean I have seen literally dozens of people buy these kits, hook up their c2ds and gpus and be like "why are my temps at 50/60/90 degrees. Is my pump broken?" And i'm like "no! You just bought a f'ing bad kit. IT CAN'T HANDLE THE HEAT." (Then i feel bad) Besides the fact that it uses a pointlessly small and bad 120mm radiator, they are of bad quality and i've seen many posts in which they leak. Even the ones that use 3x120mm fans perform worse than the kit's i've already mentioned.

So to summarise in general avoid Thermaltake water cooling as it's BAD. (There may be one or two exceptions but overall it's pretty shoddy. I don't mean to upset or be unpleasant to the people who have TT kit's but Iím just trying to save people buying from problems. )

2. (Accurately Suggested by Morbias) - XSPC Pumps - These are very bad pumps. They do not offer good performance and as Morbias says "The impeller shaft is made from a poor quality plastic which wears down and will see your pump start eating itself within 4 months of use." Avoid at your own peril gurus.

3. Fluid XP - I need to do more research into this, but the dangers of fluid xp seem more evident every time i research it. It is said to leave green residue in the block lowering performance, and is ridiculously expensive. Added to the fact that it's not non conductive means i'd have to recommend people stay away from it.

Other Sources

I suggest if you're new to h20 cooling you read these guides...

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...ad.php?t=54331
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=119699
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=96668

Reputable h20 dealers

UK

www.specialtech.co.uk - Good selection, great service.
www.vadim.co.uk - Good website, nice goods, nothing bad to say.
www.scan.co.uk - Limited selection, great service.
www.tekheads.co.uk - Huge selection of certain items. Fairly reputable.
http://www.coolercases.co.uk/
http://www.chillblast.com/
http://www.watercoolingshop.com/
http://www.thecoolingshop.com/
http://www.candccentral.co.uk/
http://www.overclock.co.uk/
http://www.watercoolinguk.co.uk/
http://store.over-clock.com/
http://www.leftclicks.co.uk/
http://www.rigbits.co.uk/
US

http://www.petrastechshop.com/
http://www.jab-tech.com/
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...ca8818c485c226
http://www.svc.com/
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/

Worldwide

www.frozencpu.com
www.chillblast.com
(Thanks gurus for the additions)

I will add more dealers from the UK and other places when people recommend them to me.

I think that's everything. I hope this guide helps someone. So long as 1 person learns one thing i'll be more than happy.

Please feel free to post opinions (positive or negative) on what you've read and correct me on any mistakes. Apologies for any spelling errors.

Last edited by Preachergeek; 05-24-2007 at 13:50.
   
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maxfly
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Default 02-07-2007, 21:04 | posts: 6,346 | Location: Glass City

nice job Preacher!its nice to see a guru compiling some solid info on wcing components.ive got some suggestions of course
for a res i would suggest the swiftech micro res or one of the alphacool res tops.those are both very good choices.ill pm ya the links etc...just wanted to give ya some props while i can!
   
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Default 02-07-2007, 21:37 | posts: 1,650 | Location: London, England

Thanks Maxfly. There's still a lot of stuff missing that i want to change eventially, but i'm not really sure how to organize it yet. I'll add those reservoirs shortly.
   
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Default 02-07-2007, 22:15 | posts: 4,072 | Location: -

Good Guide, helped me understand a bit more and filled in the gaps.
   
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ScoobyDooby
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Default 02-07-2007, 22:42 | posts: 5,347 | Location: BC, Canada

Yes this is a great guide.. I haven't yet made the jump to water cooling, but I do hope to get there once the bank account balences out again. Definitely some good info. I do have one relatable question though..

in terms of ease of setting up, purchasing, availability, and durability (please god no leaks), would a full system like the exos from koolance, or the swiftech solution be more advisable then taking different parts and putting them together?? What about price? Which is cheaper?? Basically, which would give you the best cooling/value for the least dollars??

PS. STICKY THIS SHEET!
   
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Preachergeek
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Default 02-07-2007, 22:59 | posts: 1,650 | Location: London, England

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyDooby View Post
Yes this is a great guide.. I haven't yet made the jump to water cooling, but I do hope to get there once the bank account balences out again. Definitely some good info. I do have one relatable question though..

in terms of ease of setting up, purchasing, availability, and durability (please god no leaks), would a full system like the exos from koolance, or the swiftech solution be more advisable then taking different parts and putting them together?? What about price? Which is cheaper?? Basically, which would give you the best cooling/value for the least dollars??

PS. STICKY THIS SHEET!
In terms of setting up, a customised kit shouldn't be any harder to set up than most pre selected kit. The reason for this is that you can specially choose components that fit easily into your case. For example you chould choose a drive bay reservoir if you ran out of room to fit a reservoir elsewhere, whereas if you have a pre selected kits you don't have a choice. This is only taking into account enthuisiast kits though. If we look at kit's like Corsairs Nauticulus (or whatever it's called,) it's already assembled and is ludicrously easy to install. The problem with these kits is that they don't cool very well, and hardly ever perform better than high end air cooling.

If you're worried purchasing and availability then i'd say the kits are the way to go, i mean when i ordered the watercooling kit for my upcoming rig i had to order from Vadim, Overclockersuk and Specialtech to get all the kit i wanted, and even then i had issues getting the cpu block of my choice, whereas i could have had it much sooner had i just bought a kit. Buying a full kit also means you don't have to worry about things like barbs, coolant, jubilee clips ect...that can otherwise be forgotten.

I'd say in general buying all the parts seperately comes out about the same price than full kits, if the same parts are ordered, but this depends on the kit and manufacturer. Sometimes it's cheaper to get the full kit.

I'd say that in terms of price/cooling the customised kits always win. You can pick out the best and more cost effective components from every manufacturer, or if you wised, just pick out the ultimate kit.

I hope that helps answer your question.
   
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Default 02-08-2007, 08:07 | posts: 6,346 | Location: Glass City

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyDooby View Post
Yes this is a great guide.. I haven't yet made the jump to water cooling, but I do hope to get there once the bank account balences out again. Definitely some good info. I do have one relatable question though..

in terms of ease of setting up, purchasing, availability, and durability (please god no leaks), would a full system like the exos from koolance, or the swiftech solution be more advisable then taking different parts and putting them together?? What about price? Which is cheaper?? Basically, which would give you the best cooling/value for the least dollars??

PS. STICKY THIS SHEET!
i agree sticky all the way!much needed imho.
like Preacher eluded to the custom loop is your best option but if your not comfortable going thru the buying/building process a swiftech loop is top notch.and fully upgradable if you choose to swap rads or blocks later on.the koolance on the other hand is waaaay overpriced for the performance.and it isnt easily upgraded.if your going for best bang for the buck look at swiftechs cpu only loop.its hard to beat price to performance wise.
   
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John
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Default 02-08-2007, 17:18 | posts: 16,753 | Location: Northern Norway

Needs a bit more substance to get stuck. You may have noticed we've cut down drastically on stuck threads, thus increasing the threshold for getting anything stuck.
   
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serious1
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Default 02-08-2007, 17:33 | posts: 2,398

You can add frozencpu.com to the list of US and UK dealers since they ship worldwide. Also the D-Tek Fuzion is recognized as the best watercooler for quad core CPU's which is followed by the Apogee GT(Basically an Apogee with more contact so it will cool quad cores better). For reservoirs the new EK Multi Option reservoirs are looking pretty good. Another popular and very cheap tubing right now seems to be MasterClear. I hope this helps and I do agree with John that this thread still has a long way to go. Also the Danger Den Maze 4 GPU block is recognized as a really good low restriction water block.

Last edited by serious1; 02-08-2007 at 17:35.
   
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Preachergeek
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Default 02-08-2007, 17:40 | posts: 1,650 | Location: London, England

ok thats all cool. I never thought it would be stuck what with all the stickies that have been unstuck recently. I'll continue to add anything and everything that i can to it though, and i'll try to keep it up to date to help anyone out. Any suggestions for the thread John? I know you really know your stuff on this topic so any input would be great.

Serious1, i'll check out your suggestions then probably add them. Thanks for the input.

Good thought on the Fusion, forgot about that block.
   
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Copey
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Default 02-08-2007, 17:42 | posts: 10,692 | Location: U.K

its a good guide , maybe showing a few more kits and explaining what the kits are made up of might help , like for example explain what parts are used in the swiftech ultra kits , and choose some other kits aswell (maybe alphacool + other makes), good job tho mate

Last edited by Copey; 02-08-2007 at 17:48.
   
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Preachergeek
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Default 02-08-2007, 18:05 | posts: 1,650 | Location: London, England

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copey View Post
its a good guide , maybe showing a few more kits and explaining what the kits are made up of might help , like for example explain what parts are used in the swiftech ultra kits , and choose some other kits aswell (maybe alphacool + other makes), good job tho mate
thanks mate. Yeah, i'm thinking of breaking down kit section a bit more. It's just that the post is getting so long. Oh well, i'll reorganize it in more detail in a few hours.
   
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Preachergeek
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Default 02-08-2007, 23:06 | posts: 1,650 | Location: London, England

Ok, just finished adding new blocks, kits and making general improvments to the guide. Tell me what you think and keep the suggestions coming.
   
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Copey
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Default 02-09-2007, 00:11 | posts: 10,692 | Location: U.K

yeah , thats a little better , keep getting more and more info on more kits and this is a good help for people looking at watercooling , also have a look at the coolit stuff , as from what ive heard its really good , but dont think you can get it in the u.k ??
   
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Preachergeek
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Default 02-09-2007, 00:38 | posts: 1,650 | Location: London, England

Yeah, tbh mate i didn't know much about the Coolit system but i'm doing research on it atm. From what i can see from the three reviews on it i've read is that it cools down cooler processors (single cored amds, c2ds ect...) very well but when hot processors such as quad cores, or even overclocked c2ds come in it struggles under load. This generally occurs as it has no radiator but a series of peltiers in the reservoir. So it can cool to below ambient, but when under heavy load cannot handle dissipating the heat. Please correct me if these reviews are wrong. It seems like a decent kit though for some users. I'll wait to get a few more opinions on it, but i'll probably add it up a bit later.

I'd like to carry on looking at kits and stuff, but i don't want to overcomplicate the guide for less enthuisiast readers. I mean the general idea is that every item on the list should be good enough to buy for at least one target market. If any other kit's like this exist please suggest them.
   
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Default 02-09-2007, 17:21 | posts: 5,347 | Location: BC, Canada

Thanks very much for the great and insightful info gurus.. this will make my purchase a whole lot easier when the time comes. I'm going to look towards swiftech since they seem to get more of the votes on this topic than any other company.
How much of a difference can a user expect to get over high end air coolers?? I feel like the cooler I have now does a pretty good job on my oced c2d, but would the extra money/time/effort be worth it?? are we talkin like 2-3c or 8-9c?
   
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Preachergeek
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Default 02-09-2007, 17:37 | posts: 1,650 | Location: London, England

If you buy and set up the Swiftech kit properly we should be talking within 5-10 degrees of ambient temps FULL load.

What temps are your 6600 at now? It'll be more benefitial to you if you overclock it further. Maybe aim for 3.6ghz, and it'll still be cooler than it is now. Plus one of the other huge advantages is the additional gpu and chipset cooling that'll make your rig much quieter as well.
   
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Default 02-09-2007, 20:28 | posts: 1,165 | Location: United Kingdom

Hey preacher,

I see you finally decided to make a guide, thats great this should be a sticky, itl help out alot of people as i know its helps me out
   
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Default 02-09-2007, 20:49 | posts: 518 | Location: Italy

Hello Preachergeek, very nice guide, you should probably have a look at this http://www.ybris-cooling.com/
It's an italian producer and they seem to do very good waterblocks, unfortunately the website is not completely translated but I think you all can understand the results of benchmarks. Hope this helps
   
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Preachergeek
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Default 02-09-2007, 21:38 | posts: 1,650 | Location: London, England

Thanks for the comments guys. I had a look at http://www.ybris-cooling.com/ website and am struggling to figure it out. I can't really find any reliable reviews on it tbh, they're all written by what seems to be the same company. Do you know alot about them Alma? If so can you fill me in best you can? Cos i'm afraid that although i've heard of them, i've never heard many comments as to their performance.
   
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Copey
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Default 02-09-2007, 21:58 | posts: 10,692 | Location: U.K

this is also a fairly decent shop for parts : www.chillblast.com
   
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RossCorp
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Default 02-09-2007, 22:59 | posts: 874

Perfect! Thanks for all the info, and your time, Preacher!!!

I've got nothing left to upgrade (for the time being ) except my graphics card, which will happen whenever AMDTI gets their a$$es moving, lol. After that I will be adding watercooling, as I need SOME sort of project for the summer! I will most definately be checking back for advice, thanks for some direction!
   
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alma
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Default 02-10-2007, 17:37 | posts: 518 | Location: Italy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preachergeek View Post
Thanks for the comments guys. I had a look at http://www.ybris-cooling.com/ website and am struggling to figure it out. I can't really find any reliable reviews on it tbh, they're all written by what seems to be the same company. Do you know alot about them Alma? If so can you fill me in best you can? Cos i'm afraid that although i've heard of them, i've never heard many comments as to their performance.
Unfortunately I don't know that much about these waterblocks, I used to read comments about them in italian forums and all users seem very happy about them. I'll try to collect as much infos as I can.

Cheers!
   
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morbias
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Default 02-10-2007, 18:18 | posts: 12,603 | Location: Southampton, UK

Nice guide, and helpful for those new to watercooling. There are a couple of things I'd like to add though;

EK make an 8800 gts block too, and it's worth noting that EK blocks cost around 30-40% less than the Danger Den blocks.

XSPC rads and blocks are generally ok, but steer well clear of their pumps (the 750 and the 1000). The impeller shaft is made from a poor quality plastic which wears down and will see your pump start eating itself within 4 months of use.

Also, it might be worth mentioning the use of shrouds between fans and radiators, and how they minimise deadspots (ie. where the fan motor is) thus providing better cooling.

Here are a few more places to buy WC kit in the UK, I've used them all in the past and I've had good experiences with all of them:

http://www.coolercases.co.uk/
http://www.chillblast.com/
http://www.watercoolingshop.com/
http://www.thecoolingshop.com/
http://www.candccentral.co.uk/
http://www.overclock.co.uk/
http://www.watercoolinguk.co.uk/
http://store.over-clock.com/
http://www.leftclicks.co.uk/
http://www.rigbits.co.uk/ currently down, maybe it will come back at some point, who knows

[EDIT] PS. you spelled Zerex wrong


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Last edited by morbias; 02-10-2007 at 20:43.
   
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Preachergeek
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Default 02-10-2007, 20:32 | posts: 1,650 | Location: London, England

Oh yeah. Those are all great additions Morbias and i'll add them asap. Thanks.

btw i'm sure there are dozens of typos as i just touchtyped it without bothering to check spelling. I'm sure i've got their and there wrong at once in it as well.
   
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