19 Replies Latest reply on Oct 27, 2014 6:01 PM by TimvandenOever

    Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?

    sub-sample

      Just what protects at 300W & beyond?

       

      Closed loop AIO?  Which one?  The reviews of these things and the comments are all so contradictory it's baffling.

       

      Custom?  Which parts?  Easy install or maybe hellish (for a noob)?

       

      I'm especially interested in how noisy.  The big experts tend to be beserker gamers, joyously destroying their hearing with trax of mayhem and their discussion boards tend to be sparse on issues of peace & quiet, at least from what I've been able to see. 

       

      Anybody using huge rads, such as 3x 140, 4 x 120?  Above all is there is noticeable quiet premium for 140 over 120, both as case fans and in rads?  Comparing quality with quality of course.

       

      I'd thinking of placing my radiator outside the case, in which case there'd be no size limit,  if that will cut the decibels plus maybe lower case fan speeds inside.

       

      I realize it might make sense to start with an AIO, one or another might have enough tubing to clear the top of the case, and then open it up later when I know better what's what.  Then again there are many thumbs down on all the parts of these, they might just be a loss.

       

      Lastly are there any dangers in removing a water block from a CPU and cleaning the old thermal paste off?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
          JEShort01 Level 4

          I'm not water cooling a 5960x (yet!), but have experience with various coolers including a full water loop for more thermal load than a 22nm Haswell-E 5960x OC'd to 4.5GHz would need.

           

          Full water loop cooling is completely awesome for noise and also a complete and total PITA! I did one for my 3-yr old x58 build with the following components and it is sooooo quiet!:

          • D5 pump (Swiftech MCP655B); suspended from 1/2" tubing it is completely silent (attaching it to anything even with "pads" produces an annoying hum)
          • 240mm rad; would probably do a 360mm if I were to do another build
          • really slow moving 120mm fans in a push configuration (top of HAF 932 case has holes, then fans, then radiator)
          • this system keeps a 32nm OC'd 6-core i7-970 plus a GTX 480 GPU really cool
          • I didn't use any quick-connect fittings and that is the only thing that I will probably add the next time I do a full-loop water build

           

          Do full water loop if you are after the lowest possible noise from your system and don't mind the following compromises to get there:

          • spending an extra $150 (vs. air and closed loop options)
          • spending extra to get a really large power supply so it runs quietly too (system noise is a result of the noisiest component in the chain); I used a AX1200 Corsair (great p/s)
          • spending an extra 8 hours, or maybe even more, for component selection, case/tubing planning, and the necessary testing to make sure you have a leak free system before your turn it on

           

          Was it worth it? Would I do it again? Yes, I probably will do another full water loop build again.

           

          Regarding CPU water blocks, CPU grease, etc., that is no big deal at all. The biggest pain really is completely loosing the ability to do GPU swaps (that takes what would have been a 5 minute procedure and turns in into a couple hour ordeal). In fact, with the GTX 980 being advertised to be so cool (equates to quiet), my next water build very well may be a CPU cooler only. Oh, and while everyone has opinions when it comes to building PCs, I personally prefer large push/pull air coolers vs. the ever-so-popular closed loop coolers that are the current rage. I don't think that they are as reliable as air or full-loop water options.

           

          Regards,

           

          Jim

          • 2. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
            sub-sample Level 1

            Many thanks for this detailed response Jim!   I'm planning on the new 1600W EVGA platimum PSU, but that hanging pump is a new one on me.   I see before me now the whole miasma of the reservoir, the 10mm tubing (not rubber!), the fittings and their angles... sheesh!   But you've confirmed my distrust of these closed loops. 

             

            Still, there's a stiffer challenge cooling this new 8-core, pushed.  Do you think getting the radiator out of the case would make a difference?  It could even go 10 or 20 feet away at least with no special problem, and free-standing acoustic foam can quiet it further.  140s vs 120s?  

             

            Your warning about adding the GPU is taken.  I was planning on sticking to the CPU for now...

            • 3. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
              JEShort01 Level 4

              1600w EVGA - nice!

               

              You definitely do not want to have the radiator far removed from the case due to pressure drop in the long lines. If you have it external, keep it close and definitely buy Koolance quick-connects so that you can separate the two. For really quiet, think baffles more than acoustic treatments. I didn't need front case baffles (ie HAF 932), because my PC is in a ventilated cabinet with doors, but assuming your PC is free standing get something with a closed front that prevents any direct noise from coming straight at you. Think Fractal Designs R4 Black Pearl, Zalman GS 1000 series, Lian Li models w/ front doors, etc.

               

              Here's a photo that shows my "hanging pump" layout in a HAF 932. I "invented" this by accident (even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes!), and confirmed afterwards with a Google search that I am not the only one in the world that has done this before in the quest for a really quiet system.

               

              Full Water Loop - DSC_1888.jpg

              • 4. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                sub-sample Level 1

                Interesting; I'm going attempt to copy this. It's great to see so much space around the cpu on the board.

                 

                Thanks for the warning.  One of the manufacturers seemed actually to be encouraging it.

                 

                My case is going to be vented on all sides; maybe I can change the front.  I imagine some less expensive versions of these, in reserve at the end of it all (leaving plenty of openings):

                Studio Foam - Sound Dampening Insulation For Recording Studios, Auditoriums & More

                • 5. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                  jasonvp Level 3

                  sub-sample wrote:

                   

                  Closed loop AIO?  Which one?  The reviews of these things and the comments are all so contradictory it's baffling.

                  My experience probably differs a bit from JEShort's, so take it for what it's worth.  My current Windows gaming rig is liquid cooled and for CPU-only, there's actually nothing at all wrong with all-in-one closed-loop systems.  My preference is CoolerMaster because I really like the quality of their hardware.  But others will work just as well.  I'm currently overclocking my Core i7 4930k to 4.5Ghz and it rarely gets any warmer than 50º C under load.  The only annoyance with it is the pump is somewhat high pitched in noise; that's easily fixed by reducing the voltage to the pump and slowing it down a bit.

                   

                  I have the CPU's radiator mounted inside my case along the top of it.  The case in question is the CoolerMaster Cosmos II.  On the top of the case: two PWM 120mm fans that I let the BIOS control.  When the CPU starts to get burdened, the fans do spin up a bit faster.  Otherwise, they're pretty quiet.

                   

                  I like the idea of a separate loop for my GPUs.  My overclocked Titans in the same gaming rig have their own, custom loop built using one of Koolance's systems.  They can also get a bit toasty in-game... all of 45-50º C ... :-)  (I actually think one of them hit 55º ... once).

                  • 6. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                    TimvandenOever Level 1

                    How high do you intend to overclock?

                     

                    It is my conception that in all cases of watercooling the pumps will make some noise. Not to mention how loud the supplied fans are with most AIO coolers, a lot of which won't out cool a good air cooler. I can not hear my system until I put my ears within 10 cm's of the front fan (actually my GTX 970 has coil whine under heavy load but I'm having it replaced, hope next one will be better).

                     

                    ps. What psu, the G2, the P2 or the T2? Mind regardless of which one, even the G2 is great, but the coming Titanium rated one, wow! Is it cost efficient? Of course not! Is it sexy? Hell yeah! Super Flower showing good class through these EVGA units.

                     

                    Edit Something important I forgot, Super Flower may be one of the better power supply manufacturers, but quiet they are not. Have a look at the bottom here. I don't really know that many high wattage power supplies as I never need to build over 1000 W, I do know higher wattage power supplies generally can be more quiet, especially considering the ones with semi-passive fanless operation upto around 40-60% of their load depending on models. Still, as I said I do not know a good quiet power supply if you are looking at Gold certified ones. I assume you're going to hook up a lot of HDDs and will really need that much power? At 1500 W Corsair's AX1500i made by Flextronics is probably your best bet, I think however that there is a certain point with big loads where you can not help but to get that fan spinning (hard).


                    Maybe the P2 and T2 will be better on noise, higher efficiency means less wasted heat so less cooling will be necessary. You can see the P2 1200 at least runs semi fanless but still cuts in early on at a third of full capacity. Also I'm not sure if EVGA will hold off releasing these new models since the G2 1600 was just released a few months back. It hasn't even been available where I live, though mind, Super Flower isn't very big where I live so as a whole there just aren't that many shops here selling evga or Super Flower psus.

                    • 7. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                      sub-sample Level 1

                      Thanks Jason.  Do you find that two rads inside the case heat up the inside air noticeably?

                      • 8. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                        jasonvp Level 3

                        sub-sample wrote:

                         

                        Thanks Jason.  Do you find that two rads inside the case heat up the inside air noticeably?

                        The Koolance system for the GPUs is sitting outside the box, on the desk next to it.  The only internal rad is for the CPU, and that's got two 120mm fans pulling air through it.  I've never felt it get warm at all.

                        • 9. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                          sub-sample Level 1

                          @TimvandenOever -- IU had in mind the P2, and it's out now:

                          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817438037&cm_re=evga_1600w_p2_psu-_- 17-438-037-_-Product

                           

                          This is $50 less than the 1500 AXi,  plus NewEgg is offering another $20 off.  I'm not sure whether I'll be needing that stack of HDDs and the RAID controller &c but even without them I'll be at 800W soon enough and climbing.  I read that keeping a PSU at or below 50% load is good. My calculation is that a little more $ now will keep the fan Off much of the time. 

                           

                          The overclock will depend on the luck of the draw.  I hope to get to at least 4.2GHz from the native 3, and I'll go another .5GHz if my copy can handle that easily, I'll be conservative voltage-wise.  There's said to be a big range right now with these early chips.

                           

                          Closed loops vs dry heatsinks:  yes I've read just that complaint again and again and again.  Plus many reports of disaster or near-disaster.   It's hard to assess these, since the AIO people are likely to have the least experience (and maybe patience!).  Like me.

                          • 10. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                            sub-sample Level 1

                            @Jason -- Is that the Exos 2.5 next to you? 

                            • 11. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                              jasonvp Level 3

                              sub-sample wrote:

                               

                              @Jason -- Is that the Exos 2.5 next to you?

                              Yes.  For the GPUs:

                               

                              For the CPU:

                              • 12. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                                TimvandenOever Level 1

                                There is no denying that EVGA offer some of the best value you will find on their powersupplies. With you showing newegg I assume you live in the US where that 1% efficiency is certainly not going to make up for a $50 difference. Actually, if you do know a thing or two about power, the AXi series does come with Corsair Link which might allow you to do some tweaks to your liking. The digital control circuits used here are something that sets the psu apart from the rest. Again, it doesn't stack up for $50 worth of value, but it's something. I personally went and spent another €30 (from €110 to €140) on my powersupply purely because that's how much value I attached to having my system quiet. In relation to that, in your budget the 50 dollars is a lot less, but it's for you to decide value there! If you wait a bit, Techpowerup or jonnyguru might review the P2 1600 soon, although the latter of review sites doesn't normally go indepth in regards to noise.

                                 

                                The real reason 50% for a power supply is good is because curved like a parabole the highest efficiency will be had at 50% load. Actually if your capacity is too big then it could negatively impact your bills because power supplies tend to do bad under 10% of their capacity. I think you won't have to worry about that with a whole array of hdds but if you start thinking about ssds instead of spinning platters it might be hard pushing 150 W in idle. It also depends on your usage and habits, do you turn off your pc overnight or leave it idle etc. The pages I linked in my post have info about measured efficiency too. Oh, and the efficiency drops near full loads as well of course, so if you're already looking at some 800 W then you certainly should get 1200 W or above. The thing about '50%' is really more like 40-60% or can even be the 30-70% range where efficiency won't differ more than 1%. TPU actually forgo posting the numbers of specific loads at the higher load ranges only giving the 20-100% number, again illustrating how low efficiency can really make a difference, especially considering not a lot of system run full load 24/7. If you want a more precise look at higher ranges check out jonnyguru who specifies 20-40-50-80-100% load results.

                                 

                                Maybe I should create a big post here about power supplies some time... God knows it is boring being stuck here right now while running a stress test!

                                • 13. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                                  sub-sample Level 1

                                  Thanks for this very interesting reply.  I think you should start a PSU blog, and I hope you cover a range of electrical basics, you might be surprised at how many people need this.  Also heat versus psu longevity.

                                   

                                  You certainly give me something to think about brand-wise.   The difference is $70.  EVGA offers a 10 year warranty.  The specs seem to match.  But also there are many quality control complaints directed at Corsair these days, and more toward their customer service, or lack of.  The recent saga of the burning board at legitreviews.com and Corsair's attitude during it is one example.

                                  • 14. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                                    TimvandenOever Level 1

                                    An important thing about the EVGA 10 year warranty, EVGA actually offer 3 years limited warranty. If you register your product within 30 days of purchase it gets upgraded to 10 years limited warranty. If you register your product after, it's 3 years warranty... Most other vendors just have 7 years on their platinum power supplies. You might see some lenience from EVGA if you would miss that, but that might depend on whoever you reach in support, and how well the company is doing/behaves in many years when you might need that warranty. Seriously just imagine how long 10 years is in this business.

                                     

                                    I personally think it's pretty dirty business how they advertise 10 years warranty like that. How many people will register all their products (quickly)? When I found out about this, I actually realised it's probably smart for me to start registering my products. If EVGA is doing this there are probably others doing the same. I just don't know of any others... but some day maybe.

                                    • 15. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                                      sub-sample Level 1

                                      Sheesh, there's one I hadn't imagined.   Register so that we can fill your mailbox and email with spam, world without end.  Exhibit #1: Adobe.  Hate to "register".  I've the impression that tying registration to warranty has been outlawed in the United States,  or in some states, I'll look into that.   Some maker of a water-cooling kit warns your warranty will be voided if you ever stop using his distilled water, evidently it has some special juice in it.

                                      • 16. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                                        Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        sub-sample wrote:

                                         

                                        Some maker of a water-cooling kit warns your warranty will be voided if you ever stop using his distilled water, evidently it has some special juice in it.

                                        That would be illegal:

                                        "Tie-In Sales" Provisions

                                        Generally, tie-in sales provisions are not allowed. Such a provision would require a purchaser of the warranted product to buy an item or service from a particular company to use with the warranted product in order to be eligible to receive a remedy under the warranty. The following are examples of prohibited tie-in sales provisions.


                                        from here:


                                        Businessperson's Guide to Federal Warranty Law | BCP Business Center

                                        • 17. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                                          Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          sub-sample wrote:

                                           

                                          I've the impression that tying registration to warranty has been outlawed in the United States,  or in some states

                                          Federal law, no.

                                          State law, maybe:

                                           

                                          Some state laws ban manufacturers from making a warranty conditional on registration. A California law that takes effect next month goes a step further: it will require a notice on warranty cards telling customers that their warranty rights will remain intact whether or not the cards are mailed in.


                                          from here:


                                          Do You Really Need That Warranty Card? - New York Times



                                          • 18. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                                            sub-sample Level 1

                                            Thanks Peru Bob, this is great!

                                            • 19. Re: Is anybody watercooling an overclocked i7 5960x?
                                              TimvandenOever Level 1

                                              Yeah, mostly seems that way with warranty. It is a certain way unless laws are different where things are sold, then it will be enforced to comply for those parts. I know for example EU forces any warranty to be at the very least 2 years. Apple for example has received some multi million fines for falsely advertising 1 year warranty when it is of course at minimum 2 years. And then also some issues where they are trying to 'sell' warranties which are simply part of our legal rights here. Americans, pfah! (I jest)