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Server Admins  |  General Category  |  Geek / Games Discussion  |  Liquid cooling talk
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Author Topic: Liquid cooling talk  (Read 1501 times)

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Offline Sandman[SA]

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Liquid cooling talk
« on: June 28, 2020, 12:23:46 am »
There has been a craze with computer building where a lot of builders have gone to, or at least tried liquid cooling of some sort.  Either with custom loops or all-in-one (AIO) systems.  Computer cases made these days are adding in support to be able to accommodate radiators in the front, top and/or rear of the case.  For the most part, these accommodations are intended for AIO's.  mainly because there usually isn't enough space left over for a water pump and reservoir, unless you get a pump/res combo that's really compact.

But in any rate, the main objective to PC cooling is to get fresh air in to the case and get the hot air out as efficiently as possible.  Or at least, that is what I was let to believe.  I see a number of youtubers out there doing custom builds using AIO's and I always see what I would consider configuration mistakes.

#1.  Putting a 240mm, 280mm or 360mm radiator in the front of the case with the fans blowing or drawing air in.
#2.  Putting a 120mm or 140mm radiator in the back of the case with the hoses on top.

So with the number one question, aren't you suppose to be drawing cool air in the case?  Or does the hot air coming in from the radiator not matter anymore?  And the 2nd question pertains to how AIO's use the radiator as a reservoir.  They are sealed units and you can't add more coolant to them when they start to develop air pockets over time.  The last time I checked, water was heavier than air.  So wouldn't it be a better idea to aim the hoses down so the pump will always have coolant reaching it?

Now I understand that the mechanics between custom loops and AIO's work a little differently.  Custom loops for instance, don't care about the orientation of the radiators and hoses because the reservoir will replenish any lost coolant that could have evaporated.

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 06:41:50 am »

But in any rate, the main objective to PC cooling is to get fresh air in to the case and get the hot air out as efficiently as possible.  Or at least, that is what I was let to believe.  I see a number of youtubers out there doing custom builds using AIO's and I always see what I would consider configuration mistakes.

#1.  Putting a 240mm, 280mm or 360mm radiator in the front of the case with the fans blowing or drawing air in.
#2.  Putting a 120mm or 140mm radiator in the back of the case with the hoses on top.

So with the number one question, aren't you suppose to be drawing cool air in the case?  Or does the hot air coming in from the radiator not matter anymore?  And the 2nd question pertains to how AIO's use the radiator as a reservoir.  They are sealed units and you can't add more coolant to them when they start to develop air pockets over time.  The last time I checked, water was heavier than air.  So wouldn't it be a better idea to aim the hoses down so the pump will always have coolant reaching it?

I thought for sure Dave would have commented by now
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Offline Sandman[SA]

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 06:14:15 pm »
I thought for sure Dave would have commented by now

I just posted that late last night.  He hasn't been back yet.

Offline One Eyed Wonderweasle

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2020, 02:02:21 pm »
There has been a craze with computer building where a lot of builders have gone to, or at least tried liquid cooling of some sort.  Either with custom loops or all-in-one (AIO) systems.  Computer cases made these days are adding in support to be able to accommodate radiators in the front, top and/or rear of the case.  For the most part, these accommodations are intended for AIO's.  mainly because there usually isn't enough space left over for a water pump and reservoir, unless you get a pump/res combo that's really compact.

But in any rate, the main objective to PC cooling is to get fresh air in to the case and get the hot air out as efficiently as possible.  Or at least, that is what I was let to believe.  I see a number of youtubers out there doing custom builds using AIO's and I always see what I would consider configuration mistakes.

#1.  Putting a 240mm, 280mm or 360mm radiator in the front of the case with the fans blowing or drawing air in.
#2.  Putting a 120mm or 140mm radiator in the back of the case with the hoses on top.

So with the number one question, aren't you suppose to be drawing cool air in the case?  Or does the hot air coming in from the radiator not matter anymore?  And the 2nd question pertains to how AIO's use the radiator as a reservoir.  They are sealed units and you can't add more coolant to them when they start to develop air pockets over time.  The last time I checked, water was heavier than air.  So wouldn't it be a better idea to aim the hoses down so the pump will always have coolant reaching it?

Now I understand that the mechanics between custom loops and AIO's work a little differently.  Custom loops for instance, don't care about the orientation of the radiators and hoses because the reservoir will replenish any lost coolant that could have evaporated.

 I'm pretty sure your right on both points. just because a person does you tube video's doesn't mean they always know what they are doing. for example one of those youtubers was trying to figure out why his cooling wasn't working the way he predicted in this one case. But the thing was the case he was using was an open frame design and the cooling rules he kept quoting applied to a closed case design.

Offline Sandman[SA]

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2020, 08:48:54 pm »
I just watched a video a little while ago about radiator placement by a YouTuber named Bitwit.  Does Radiator Placement Matter?  Grant it, it's a few years old now.

In his video, he had the CPU cooled by a AIO and 2 different types of video cards.  A blower style card and a dual fan, open air card.  His results showed that the AIO in the front of the case with a open air video card worked best.  But something else I noticed from his test is that this most effective cooling arrangement caused a negative air pressure condition inside that case.  A condition that has been described as taboo among the computer tech community.

Offline One Eyed Wonderweasle

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2020, 11:20:50 pm »
 It takes planning ahead to make a system that will provide adequate cooling. and it isn't always so easy. But it is always something I figure into my builds. some times it requires more fans, sometimes a different wattage CPU, some times a different power supply. but it pays off when it all works well together.

Offline Sandman[SA]

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2020, 09:22:12 pm »
Yeah, true that.  It took me a few days to plan the loop run in my hafx case because of limited spacing available and radiator compacity required.  With my case, I can fit up to a 360mm by 25mm rad up top.  But my target cooling needs put me in the 420mm rad range.  A 420mm rad simply won't fit unless I completely removed the 5 1/4 drive bays.  So instead, I took advantage of the rear fan placement to fit an additional 120mm by 15mm rad.  This left me 1 1/4 inches of space between the two radiators, with the fans installed.   I had to get creative with a bunch of 45 and 90 degree rotary fittings and a couple of 30mm extensions to cleanly link the two radiators together and complete the loop.

My old computer, that is a whole other story.  Linking 2 AIO's together was a challenge all on it's own.  The Focus G case has space to fit 240mm or 280mm radiators in both the front and top.  And 120mm rad in the rear.  But the Asus P6T main board's memory placement limits the top rad to only 240mm.  Which worked out perfectly.  Putting the 240mm rad in the front just seemed to pour more heat into the case then I could get out.  I suppose I could have tried setting the front rad as exhaust and the 2 top fans as intake.  I could also try removing the HDD cage.  There is space to fit another 120mm or 140mm fan in it's place.  But this case has serious restrictions on storage drive mounting.  There is a mounting place for only 1 SSD, right behind the PSU.  There is a drive cage next to the PSU that can hold 2 SSD's or 2 HDD's.  I suppose I could install a PCI-e to M.2 adaptor to fix that problem.  But if I were to remove the drive cage, I would have to make a new mounting bracket for the reservoir.  The reservoir mounting bracket is currently bolted to the side of the drive cage.

Humm.  Fresh ideas are brewing.  lol.  If I were to remove the drive cage, I should be able to attach the reservoir bracket to the bottom fan.  Then flip the reservoir mount to the back side of the bracket.  That might just clear the graphics card.  And look cleaner.

Offline One Eyed Wonderweasle

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2020, 06:36:42 pm »
 Cool, new ideas on an older project might be just the thing. Let us know how that works out.

Offline Sandman[SA]

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2020, 09:30:02 pm »
Ok.  So I did wind up removing the storage drives bracket.  Put a 120mm fan in its place and screwed the reservoir mounting bracket to the back of the fan and flipped the reservoir mount to the back of the bracket.  It worked like a charm.  Cable management in this case is not very good.  There is only a half of an inch of space, at the very most, between the mother board tray and the back cover.  So cleaning up those wires was a challenge.

Now, since I moved the res another 2 inches toward the front and lower in the case, I had to replace a couple of hoses for longer ones.  It's 3/8 inch OD - 1/4 inch ID clear vinyl tubing that you can get at any hardware store.  But when I drained the loop, I noticed what looked like dyer lint packed in the reservoir strainer.  So while it was empty, I decided to back flush the system and clean the res.  When I put the loop back together and tried the prime the pumps, the GPU pump wouldn't flow much at all.  So I drained it again, took the pump off the GPU, took the cold plate off the pump and found it packed solid with that same lint like substance.  Cleaned it all out and did the same with the CPU pump.  That one looked pretty good though.

So I'm wondering, what the heck was that stuff?  Could it be algae?  I don't know if algae can be grey in color and look and feel like wet lint.  Anyone have any ideas?  I'm running a mixture of 20% ethylene glycol (Nissan blue automotive antifreeze) and 80% distilled water.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 08:05:04 pm by Sandman[SA] »

Offline One Eyed Wonderweasle

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 11:46:01 pm »
 If the coolant isn't rated for aluminum maybe it was aluminum-oxide would be white powder if it was dry might be the grey stuff when wet. might have to use closer to a 50/50 mix.

Offline Sandman[SA]

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2020, 12:28:37 am »
Well, like I said earlier, it's automotive coolant that was designed for aluminum and cast iron engines.  So I would think it should be fine in this situation.  I didn't keep a sample of it around to see what it looked like after drying out.  But it didn't look like clumped up powder.

To be precise, it's Nissan blue extended life 50/50 prediluted antifreeze/coolant.   Now it's already 50/50 mix.  But, taking in consideration that ethylene glycol is better suited more as an antifreeze than a actual coolant, I added more distilled water to it to aid in better heat transfer.

I guess if it happens again, I just pick up another bottle of ek cryofuel after I try to flush all that old stuff out.

Offline One Eyed Wonderweasle

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2020, 02:45:44 pm »
 Maybe something was growing in there, maybe a bit of an air pocket and something grew. Ad a touch of unflavored mouth wash for anti bacterial qualities.

Offline Sandman[SA]

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 08:27:34 pm »
Maybe something was growing in there, maybe a bit of an air pocket and something grew.

That's kind of what I was starting to think.  I only found traces of it in the reservoir strainer on the intake side, and in the GPU pump housing. Which is the first point in the loop after the res.  The antifreeze has anti corrosive compounds in it, but nothing to prevent bacterial growth.  So my thoughts were that there could have been air pockets in the radiators and bacteria started to grow in there.  But somehow got pumped through the res strainer and trapped in the first pump.

Anyway, here is what it looks like now.

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2020, 12:33:39 am »
 On the positive side must be doing better temps without that shit in there.

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Re: Liquid cooling talk
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2020, 01:05:47 am »
Surprisingly, yeah.  Well, giving the clock speeds it's running at and the amount of voltage required to reach those speeds.  It is aggressive but it's what's required to keep it stable.   Under a full torture load for 30 minutes, the CPU will hit around 90c.  Toasty for sure.  And the radiators put off a whole lot of heat too.  Kind of wishing this case had enough room to setup a push/pull fan configuration on those rads though.  Thankfully those vidar fans I am using have been working out great.

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