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Thread: WaterCooling System Makeover

  1. #1
    OC Jedi Master

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    Default WaterCooling System Makeover

    The H20-220 Apex Ultra has been a great system to cool an over clocked E6600 to 3.6Ghz or up to 3.90Ghz but since Iíve upgraded the MOBO Ė Maximus Formula SE and CPU- Quad 6600. Now I have to cool the Northbridge chip and the over clocked 8800GTS. There are a lot of heat dump into this system. So I decided to give the H20-220 Apex Ultra a little make over to crank its performance to another notch.


    The following parts will have the makeover:
    CPU block: Apogee GT step up to GTX version.
    The GTX has a better performance than the GT block, at least 1c. I have a choice to mod the GTís O-ring to bow its base to enhance its performance but it hard to find a proper O-ring to fit for the replacement. I also like the new design and the performance of the GTX. This block is must more compact than the GT. It has the aluminum top housing instead of plastic housing like the GT and better craftmanship quality.
    Cost: $70.00


    GTX comes with 1/2" chrome bards and bowed base.

    Copper top housing is available as an option for $40, Iím not sure if the copper top will have a better performance than the aluminum one or just for look.

    Reservoir: XSPC 150mm Aluminum Passive Reservoir replaced the Micro Reservoir.
    This anodized aluminum passive reservoir will aid the MCR220-QP to cool down the coolant at least 1-2c and have no restriction effective to the water flow.
    Cost: $60.00


    Itís no bigger than a 473ml can of beer.



    XSPC 150mm with 3/8Ē (10mm) compression fitting. For full review on this reservoir check you these links ; http://www.viperlair.com/reviews/cooling/liquid/other/xspc/passres/
    http://www.xtremecomputing.co.uk/review.php?id=159

    GPU block: A G80 bracket adapter and MC8800 SMC will be added to the MCW60 universal block. I had this block to cool the Gforce7900. This is one of the most flexible GPU block, you can re-use it with any other video cards. All you have to do is replace the bracket adapter for a fraction of the cost compare to a new dedicated block.
    Cost: MCW60 G80 - $8.00, MC8800 - $40.00


    G8800GTS with G80 (bracket adapter kit) and MC8800 (ramsinks kit) installed. I didnít use 3/8Ē compression fitting for this GPU block because it doesnít fit properly.



    Tubing: I replaced the fat & bulky 1/2"ID-3/4ĒOD tubes with a black 3/8Ē tube.
    I did some research on the tubing and discovered that the 3/8Ē tube is a sweet size for the tubing. It wonít hurts the performance or water flow from the ĹĒ tube if you have a good high flow pump, less restriction radiator or not using any adapters (90 degree elbow, etc.). Itís barely make any different, it's so little you donít even notice.

    This will eliminate cluster and bulky tubes, hard to route or bending in a tight space due to its size. Especially when you have too many lines to run, a crowded case will affect case's air flow.
    I decided to go with a solid black tube because I want to keep the black/chrome/blue color theme. Also a solid black tube wonít show the coloration as with the clear vinyl tubes. It will turn white due to the plasticized, this happened to all the clear vinyl tubes.

    However, you do need a smart coil for 3/8ĒID and ĹĒ OD tubes. It will reinforce the tube at the bending and from collapsing due to its thin wall cause by heat and pressure build up.

    You can find this cheap 3/8Ē ID, 1/2Ē OD vinyl tube at any local Home Hardware or plumbing stores. It cost only about $0.70 per foot, compare to the other (Clearflex or Primoflex) $2.00 /ft
    Cost: $7.00 for 10í roll.


    Fitting: 3/8Ē stainless compression fitting replaced the ĹĒ chrome bards.
    This is just a cosmetic transformation. Itís got nothing to do with the performance, since Iím using a solid tube so the chrome bards wonít show at all. This is when the compression fitting come in play. It gives a mean look to the system and quick release as well. A good look do coming with a price. Itís cost almost double as standard chrome bards.
    Cost: $11.00 per pair


    GTX with 3/8" compression fittings

    Radiator: A MCR-120 QP was added to aid the MCR-220 QP.
    These two rads will have enough power to handle over clocked Quad 6600 @3.60Ghz or beyond, a North Bridge and over clocked 8800GTS Ė 660Mhz/962Mhz from 513Mhz/792Mhz (stock). They were dumping too much heat for a single 120.2 radiator to handle. I could go with a single 120.3 radiator but I want an internal installation and I donít want to mod the case for it. So a single 120.1 is a best choice, its complete fitted inside the TJ09 case.
    Cost: $35.00


    This is my previous setup with ĹĒ tubes. The tubes start turning frosty over time and the case look crowded.

    Project completed:


    Custom made smart coils


    120.1 radiator will disispate heat from CPU before enter the graphic card and NB block.


    XSPC Passive Res sitting in the front of an intake fan. The fan will aid the reservoir in cooling the coolant. The coolant exist the reservoir at 26c, temperature measured at the outlet port. The temp will drop down at least 1-2c if the fan kept at full speed.

    The fan is controlled by a thermal sensor it will automatically adjusting the speed accordingly to the coolant temperature in the reservoir. All the fans kept at low speed. Those Quite Power radiators works best at low fan speed.

    I will post a performance results in next thread shortly.

  2. #2
    OC Jedi Master

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    Default WaterCooling System Makeover Test Results

    Performance Results:


    Load temperatures are more fluctuated than idle temps. The GPU temp was taken while playing Crysic. I included the South Bridge temp because it linked with the North Bridge via heatpipe.

    Temps were taken by Asus Probe, CoreTemp and Everrest Ultimate Edition

    Final thoughts:
    A Custom build water cool system is definitely cost more than a prefab kit but most prefab kits only comes with a CPU block, some kit have the capability to add on GPU block or NB block later on but some donít. However, it has a limit performance capability.

    The total cost for this make over was about $253 (parts) + $10.00 (misc) = $263. It didnít include taxes, shipping or importing duty (if you order from Vendors out side of where you live). So try to buy parts locally if you can, to avoid the importing duty.
    Considering it was lot money to do this upgrading but Iím happy with the results. Itís performing better than the stock setup. I gained at least between 3-5 degrees.

    Unfortunately, I donít have all figures when I first hooked up but I remember the temps was higher than what I have now (before I added the 8800GTS).
    Last edited by Deton; 05-01-2008 at 19:02. Reason: Title

  3. #3
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    Default

    so beautiful.. i wish mine looked like that lol

  4. #4
    OC Jedi Master

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by intex View Post
    so beautiful.. i wish mine looked like that lol
    Thanks.

    I'm happy with the result but some reason I always sit back and think how to improve it again. Now I want less tubes showing, I want it look clean (less cluster) as posibble. I think the awnser is getting a bigger case, the one can accommodate the whole WC internally.

    I think the TJ07 is the best suite for internal WC setup. Maybe this next case upgrade for the next build but for the mean time I'm stay put and start saving some hard earn cash first.

  5. #5
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    Default

    ^you remind me so much of myself there. spend ages on somthing, be realy happy with the result, but ten minutes later looking at it and thinking "now, how long will it take to make this better".

    P.S i like the number of tubes showing, it gives a kind of mechanical look, it looks like a powerfull machine. good job!
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