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Target - no noise, no heat!

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Just sharing my first setup.


Having been building PC's for 15 years, since the days it wasn't "cool" to even own one, my PC's have always evolved, with a major rebuild every few years.


PC Evolution


I've been running the same basic system which was a Scan 3XS pre-overclocked bundle I received in January 2011 which was:


  • CPU: Intel Core i7 930 2.8G s1366 cooled with AKASA Nero S AK-CCX-4001HP
  • Memory: Corsair 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600
  • Motherboad: Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3 Motherboad
  • Graphics: 1GB GByte GT 430 GV-N430OC-1GL
  • Data drive:  Dell Perc 5/i 5-1TB disk array in RAID 5 
  • System drive: 1TB SAMSUNG HD103SJ SATA F3


The PSU was the first to go, that failed after a few months.  I bought another from Maplin (XFX Pro 550W) and it hasn't set a foot wrong aside from being a bit noisy at full load.


I'm not a big graphics user, and i bought a GeForce GTX570 from ebay.  The graphics card promoted a case upgrade so i bought a Chieftec CA-01B-B-SL case from systo.co.uk.


In the last few months, the 1TB HD103SJ was moved into the RAID array as i was running low on space.   I bought my first SSD, a 128Gb Corsair Force GS.


I also bought another 1Tb drive as an "E", or Expansion drive for the slow C stuff i don't want on the SSD or RAID drives.


With the graphics & memory all running at stock speed, and the CPU running at 3.36Ghz (21x160, 1.392Vcore), the system draws 525W of AC power which means 525W of heat pouring into my living room.


With the system at full load, the PSU and CPU exhaust fans blow air out at over 55C.   The GPU air is leaving the card at around 65C so things get cosy in the computer corner!


CPU temps would peak out at 75C Case with the hottest core easily getting to 95C.  When it was 30C in the room, the cores were touching the 100C mark!


It had been running fine at these temps since new so i know it's a sturdy chip!   It starts protecting itself anyway at 100C by skipping clock-cycles so its fine.


Wet stuff


I've always wanted to have a water cooled PC setup, despite being an electrical engineer, I've been involved in many water cooled things involving power electronics, test benches, heat pumps and the likes.


I've had a water block lying around which i bought from ebay for a tenner.  I had a car radiator with machined G 1/4" milled pieces which was surplus from a 5kW hydrogen electrolyser cooling system and a pump too.


All i needed to order was tube (purple so it was wife friendly), compression fittings and a reservoir.


Phase I


My first setup has the following parts:


  • Car radiator with a 32x43x35mm core
  • Laing 240V E1-15/700B "Ecocirc" pump
  • OCZ Hydroflow HF-MK1 water block
  • Alphacool 50mm dia x 250mm long resevior
  • Connected with 3/8" ID/ 1/2" OD purple UV sensitive tube


I ran the setup initially in the kitchen with the water block in a pan of hot water.  This was just to get an idea that all was working.


Attached File  IMAG0222.jpg_s.jpg   59.03KB   10 downloads


I moved the kit and had it running in the PC all within an hour.  I ended up cutting about 1M of tube out the system, not as i had flow issues, i just didnt need the length.


I always knew the system would need a fan on the radiator, the fins are far too close for natural convection to have a big effect.


Phase I - Results


I ran the system for a few days with no fans on the car radiator and over a few hours the temperature risen and stabilised a few degrees cooler than on the Nero S so that was a good start already!


In this "fanless" setup, BOINC temps looked like:


  • CPU case, 73C
  • CPU core, 93C
  • Water, 68C (46C above ambient)


I lay a single 120mm fan onto the radiator core blowing through it and it brought temps down to


  • CPU case, 58C
  • CPU core, 77C
  • Water, 49C (24C above ambient)

Attached File  IMAG0235.jpg_s.jpg   221.71KB   11 downloads


Phase II, forward plan.


I need to move the radiator into the loft/attic space above the PC.   This gets me much cooler ambient temperatures and a large, cool, well ventilated space to dump the heat into.


I am not fully decided yet if i will install a plate heat exchanger (PHE) near the PC so that i don't have so much water which can possibly escape!   This would also ensure that the waterblock(s) were not subjected to the additional static head from having 4M of water above it.


I would likely use a standard central heating pump to do the work between the PHE and the radiator.   The laing pump can stay where it is, i just swap the PHE in place of the radiator where it is just now.


Phase III, forward plan.


The aims of the project are mainly, getting rid of the heat and making the system much quieter.   So graphics, chipset and PSU will all need to be water cooled.


Not yet opened this current PSU up to look at the viability of water cooling it.


Phase IV, forward plan.


The loft won't work forever as my place to dump heat.  In the summer it can be easily 45C in there during the day, so i shall look to build a small chiller plant most likley with a 3/4hp R134a compressor and build a small water-air or water-water heat pump system.


This all also serve to make better use of the rejected heat from the PC next winter.


Any comments or feedback would be much appreciated!

Edited by stuartsjg, 01 September 2013 - 08:28 PM.



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Welcome to the forum Stuart , Im sure the boys will be around soon to give you feedback  :)



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Welcome to the forum :D


I like your plan to move the radiator to the attic, this should make things much quieter. As you say, putting a heat exchanger between the PC and attic makes good sense. I can just imagine trying to drain the loop with a 4m head pressure, it could get very messy :)


As to water cooling the PSU, there is the easy but expensive option which involves purchasing a ready made one like the one from Koolance. The build yourself option is much cheaper but requires reasonable metal working skills,e.g.


I am assuming you would prefer to build your own PSU cooling and I would be interested to see the results, so don't forget to post your updates.




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