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  • xxtypersxx - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - link

    As someone who has watercooled every computer I've built for the last 5 years, its nice to see commercial applications begin to follow down that road. Those who haven't tried it would be astonished at the low voltage overclocks you get when the gpu is peaking under 50C. Reply
  • Plifzig - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    When you watercool you put the GPU and CPU in the loop? I've never pulled any covers/heatspreaders/anything off of a GPU and it just sounds stressful (to my nerves). I've wondered about watercooling, but haven't taken it for more than appreciation. Maybe my next build will use it.

    Also, what's your ballpark estimation of watercooled CPU vs. watercooled CPU+GPU ratio? 20/80? 60/40? Just curious.
  • kyp275 - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    It's actually pretty simple really, just a few screws and off the entire shroud goes. The main issues for those new to watercooling is probably getting used to be leak tests/extra maintenance.

    Not sure what you mean by the ratios, elaborate?
  • Plifzig - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the info and sorry for the convoluted question.

    I was just wondering if people use watercooling on only the CPU and leave the GPU untouched. The ratio was the mix of CPU only cooled builds to CPU+GPU cooled builds.

    A better way to ask would just be: what percentage of watercooled builds put CPU+GPU in the loop?

    It was a long day so sorry for the confusion :)
  • Death666Angel - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    The forum I frequent for my water cooling needs have most people there running at least CPU and GPU custom rigs (the more active people also have RAM and mainboard, the more extreme of those HDDs and some even the PSU). And if a newbie comes there and asks for advice on water cooling his CPU, most of the people there will say that he shouldn't do it CPU-only and use existing high end air coolers or CLCs, because they work just as well just for the CPU. If you want to go custom water cooling, use it for the GPU mostly (that is the 200+W part of the PC generating most of the noise) and since the CPU part is pretty cheap and you already have all the equipment apart from the CPU heatsink, add that to the mix for best operation.
    So I would say a maximum of 10-20% of the custom water cooling rigs are CPU only (with half of those looking to upgrade to CPU+GPU when money and time allows). 80-90% then is at least CPU+GPU.
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    +1 for a very informative reply! Reply
  • kyp275 - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Pretty much what Death666 said. Most people who would go through the effort of building their own watercooling setup isn't going to leave out the GPU, which tends to be the hottest/loudest part of the PC.

    Those that would want to cool the CPU only will likely opt for a pre-built closed-loop systems instead.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    There is no need to remove heatspreaders when using most water cooling solutions. Just get rid of the shroud, heatsink and fan.
    If you water cool using costum solutions, it usually makes little sense to only use GPU or CPU water cooling. The GPU is the main culprit in generating heat and noise in a modern gaming PC (~200 to 300W standard TDP compared to 80-130W standard TDP for CPUs). So you should always use water cooling for the GPU. And since CPU water blocks are usually pretty cheap compared to full cover GPU ones (~30-50€ vs 80-30€), it makes only a small dent in the pocket to include the CPU as well, but it usually offers better temperatures, better noise, better overclocking etc.

    And I also don't get the ratio thing.
  • xxtypersxx - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    The most recent one I've ran in both a CPU only loop as well as with GPU's is a 2600k@4.6ghz that later got a couple of extra GTX 470's in the loop. This took load cpu temperature from ~60C to ~66C. Water loops self regulate in a way as long as your room temperature stays constant: the hotter the water gets, the higher the temperature delta over ambient becomes and the more efficient the radiator(s) become at transferring extra heat. The real winners in the loop are the 470's... Load temps went from 90C to ~45C (the large area of a GPU die makes it much easier for the waterblock to pull off heat). That system has one 360 and one 120 radiator, no heatspreaders were removed. Reply
  • IanCutress - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    It would be interesting to see the efficiency or flow rates of the pumps used, or the reservoir/pump combinations along the line. That much water going around a rack or three has got to equal some serious volume which needs to be shifted. Reply
  • ShieTar - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    I don't think it needs to be much more than would already circulate in a conventional gasburning heating system. You just replace the heating section by the rack. I'm sure the pipe-system of a usual office building is more extensive in terms of volume than the actual cooling system for the computer. Reply
  • jack.fxx - Sunday, February 03, 2013 - link

    If you still remember something from high school physics courses, based on temperature difference and input power of the supercomputer, you can easily calculate flow rate of cooling water. Reply
  • Gadgety - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Great to see water cooling improving and getting an industrial slant rather than the homebuilt it was just 10 years ago. I'm a novice to water cooling, aiming for GPU and CPU loops and an external radiator in a separate room. I'll be getting heat in the basement as a bonus. No, it won't heat it a lot, but the basement is always cooler so the cooling will be more efficient. Provided the flow rates, connections, pumps etc are appropriate. This is where I find its gets tricky. I concur with Ian Cutress "tIt would be interesting to see the efficiency or flow rates of the pumps used, or the reservoir/pump combinations along the line." Reply
  • maximumGPU - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Nice Article!

    to all experienced watercoolers out there.. how silent does your system run?
    I want to jump into watercooling but i'm big on silent pcs as well. At the moment i'm running a 3570K with a large Silver Arrow heatsink, together with the incredibly silent Asus DCUII GTX 670. So i end up with good temps and very low noise levels. My question is, with watercooling, could i possibly get even cooler temps for the same noise level as my air setup?
  • Death666Angel - Friday, February 01, 2013 - link

    Yes? WC can always to cooler running and more quiet than any air coolers out there. The question is how much you want to spend, if you want to mount your radiators inside the case or if you are fine with external radiators etc. And if you have the space, you can always put the external radiator in another room where the noise doesn't bother anyone.
    I guess if you use a 480+ radiator with your rig, you could achieve very nice temperatures with minimal noise. How much better temps/more quiet operation? No idea, I don't know how loud your current rig is, how much you want to spend etc. Go visit a water cooling forum and get some info there. :)
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, February 02, 2013 - link

    Intuitively I assume they could lower their power consumption further by running the 20°C water in parallel through the racks, instead of letting the water heat up serially. Depending on how many racks they're using (not many, for the prototype, I guess.. probably even just a single one) they could lower the operating temperature of the last racks significantly. Reply
  • ShieTar - Monday, February 04, 2013 - link

    Sure that would lower the rack temperature, but you would end up with a lot of 25°C water useless for the purpose of heating. The main point of the setup is to use the heat from the racks for a purpose that needs heat anyways, in this example heating of office space. And that requires a reasonable temperature delta to be achieved. It's this kind of systematic approach to energy that helps to lower overall energy consumption without having any drawback whatsoever that is horribly under-utilized in todays world.

    Just think of the fridge in your home cooling the inside while heating the kitchen air even in summer, instead of heating your watersupply for your next shower. If I ever get around to building my own home, I will definitly try to connect all heat-generating systems to a common waterccoling/heating system.

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