Liquid Cooling?

bodymech
bodymech used Ask the Experts™
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I am looking for some advice on liquid cooling my PC.  My office is in a loft and the temp is typically 4-5 degrees warmer than the house due to the heat generated from my PC.  I beleive I have maxed out the cooling capacity but the machine still runs warm.  I have a Cooler Master Cosmos case with 4 120mmm fans, I cut a hole out of my desk and put a bathroom exhaust fan that moves 120CFM of air from under the desk.  My cpu runs around 65C, bith video cards run at 70 C under normal use.  I am hoping liquid cooling will help deal with the heat better and cut down on the noise from all of these fans.

My system:
Zalman 1000W Cont power supply
AMD Phenom 9950 X4
Rosewill 92 mm CPU cooler
4 GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066 RAM
2 ATI Radeon 4850 Video Cards
Velociraptor 300 GB System Drive
Seagate Raid 0,1  4 drives, 750 GB each
DVD Burner,
Blue Ray Drive
Creative Xfi sound card

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Michael WorshamCloud/Infrastructure Solutions Architect

Commented:
I recommend Koolance Products... http://www.koolance.com/

DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
 All things considered the 65C is a little higher than normal (Did you measure temp during CPU benchmarks)?  IN any event that temperature is well within normal operating range.   (Be concerned when it is pushing 75C).  The Video card at 70C is well under max temperature.

So first, you are throwing money away if your desire is to get things to run cooler.  You can even slow down fans a little bit and still be well within range, or just look at getting larger fans.  The small ones are the noisy ones.  You can get away with less airflow.

Author

Commented:
dlethe;
I am more concerned about the increase in ROOM temp than in the machine.  I spend several hours a  day in the loft and it is uncomfortably warm despite my attempts to divert heat.  Essentially, I am wondering if liquid cooling would decrease the overall room temp.  I have exhausted ( no pun intended!) the ventilation options for the space.
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Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
No matter what cooling system you use, the same amount of thermal energy is transmitted from the system to the room ==> your system still generates the same amount of heat ... some cooling systems are just more efficient at transferring the heat elsewhere (e.g. your room).

If you're not concerned with the system temps, then switching to a liquid system isn't necessary except as a way to cool it more quietly.   But it won't change the room temperature.

Author

Commented:
garycase,
thanks for your input.  I understand what you are saying and I suspect that is the case.  My hope was that if I could keep the  system cooler, the room temp would be lower but logically the heat would have to be transferred somewhere.  I am thinking I may want to change my hard drive array to an external unit and the drop the power supply down as much as possible.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
there are only a couple options :
put the pc in a box, and drain the warm air outside (with a big tube and fan ?) - or cool the room
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
Well the whole thing is a bit too much but on the other hand your system i sfully loaded. .At first what is your room temperature.2nd a CPU running at 65C is a lot and i am assuming ur not at full load.Well u have to start one thing at a time.
1st Buy Arctic Silver 5..This is a thermal paste that has good result.
http://www.arcticsilver.com/as5.htm
2nd Take a good look at your Cabling...well i know u have a lot but  again u should try to "hide" them in order to help the airflow.
3rd The HDDs are getting hot because of problematic airflow...Check their position in order to get bettter flow
4th Get a beastier CPU Cooler like this
THERMALTAKE CL-P0310 BIG TYPHOON 120 VX
5th replace the Fans on your Case with motherboard Controlled Fans like these
http://www.arctic-cooling.com/catalog/main.php?cPath=3_48&osCsid=02366e4250f29e67bf3d4dc6142bbaa3 
The Pwm Ones need the 4 Pin Header ....for the other get the 3 pin models and yes NO molex....the MB can Controll your Fans and accordingly to your load adjust their speed.
6th Take a good look where ur system is located.Can u move it to somewhere more convinient....i am talking about the case where is stuck inside a desk and all the tricks of airflow goes useless because it just wont get any air to suck.
Well if this doesn't cover u them its time to get Liquid Cooling...follow the other recommendations.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Seems to me you are trying to beat the laws of thermodynamics, and ignoring the real problem.  It is simply too warm in the loft.  Spend a few hundred dollars on a portable air conditioner (if you have a window to exhaust through).  I had similar problem in a home office years ago. Best investment I ever made.  Room temp dropped 10 degrees.  
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
As I noted above, nothing you do to the system is going to change the temperatures in the room [except turning it off :-)  ].     Simple laws of physics :-)     Nor is your comment "... I am thinking I may want to change my hard drive array to an external unit and the drop the power supply down as much as possible. "  a good idea.    Swapping in a smaller power supply won't make any difference -- any reasonably efficient power supply operating within its range of efficiency (typically 20-85& or rated power) will only draw the actual amount of power that's being used, and a smaller unit would have less "headroom" (extra power available for high-demand periods, such as drive spinups, high CPU utilization, etc.).     If you have an inexpensive, inefficient PSU, then replacing it with a good high efficiency unit (I only use Seasonic and PC Power & Cooling) will reduce the power used and generate less heat, but not enough to make an appreciable difference in the room temperature.

The suggestion above to use a portable A/C unit is probably the simplest way to resolve this, providing you have a useable external vent (window, etc.).    (I presume you've already tried adjusting your current vents)    You may be able to add another vent from your existing system, but that would likely cost as much as a portable unit.

You may also want to test your original assumption -- "... My office is in a loft and the temp is typically 4-5 degrees warmer than the house due to the heat generated from my PC. "      Turn the PC off for a day or so and confirm that the room is indeed 4-5 degrees cooler with it off.    You may be surprised.

Author

Commented:
Again, thanks to all for the input.  I have compared room temps with the unit on and off and it is definitely the cause.  Incidentally, although I am not an engineer or a physicist, I do have a degree in physics from the University of Illinois (1988).  The issue of thermodynamics is much more complex than is stated here, considering such factors as the efficiency of heat transfer with radiation, convection, or conduction as well as the efficiency of components with given temps etc...   I asked the question so it would be rude of me to argue.  I was hoping to get some input on the pros and cons of liquid cooling, an idea that for whatever reason has not taken off despite being around for a few years.
Certianly, I agree with suggestions that a portable air conditioner vented outside would help and I have a feeling that is going to have to be my solution.  I have one last trick up my sleeve to try first...
Retired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
The pros/cons of liquid cooling are fairly straightforward:  Liquid cooling is clearly a more efficient way to transfer the heat, and since it's then eliminated through a relatively large radiator rather than a small heatsink it can be done without a large volume of forced air -- so it's MUCH quieter.     The only real disadvantages are the "plumbing" you have to do (with the potential of leaks, etc.) and the cost.

But as you know, the amount of heat to dissipate is the same -- although the way it was transferred to the room would be different, as the radiator would initially contain a good bit of the heat energy until it reached its stable temperature point.
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
Since you brought up ambient temperature and bathroom exhaust fans then it just got me thinking that you were looking at liquid cooling as a solution for the room being too warm .. hence my post about the problem being room temperature and the solution of just getting a portable cooler, since that seemed to me to be the real problem.

Speaking specifically on liquid coolers, your component temperatures are reasonable so only reason you need one is to pump heat from inside of the case to the outside of the case so you can programmatically reduce fan speed and reduce noise.  If you can't programatically control your fans, then this is also a moot point.  

Anyway that was reasoning behind my response, and I have no doubt that this threw off the discussion.  I have to respect anybody that gets a degree in physics.  I got a dual degree in EE & Computer Science and squeaked through my only physics class with a D :)

Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
A physics degree from Illinois is even better, as it's one of the better schools for physics.    My favorite physics prof had his PhD from Illinois, and I really enjoyed his classes in thermodynamics and quantum mechanics when I did my degrees  [I have undergraduate degrees in math & physics and graduate degrees in math and computer science].    Mine were a few years before 1988, however :-)

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