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Watercooling question

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SyzygyX
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2021/10/17 13:55:45 (permalink)
Hi all I am playing with the idea of building a gaming pc and I am currently in the information gathering phase. I read about the queueing system (currently paused) and it seemed like one of the few ways I would be able to get a graphics card. My predilection would be for a step down from the latest and greatest so I am looking at 3080 cards. In checking the forums I see that FTW are better than XC. Watercooling seems to be FTW and XC cards with water cooling built in. I have a couple questions about them.
 
How do these watercooling cards stack up to their fan cooled counterparts. Is there much difference or gain? Any downsides? I thought liquid would eventually permeate the hose and would need to be refilled. Do these self contained models allow for refilling, or will it never be necessary? Are the watercooling built in cards better than a diy watercooling setup?
post edited by SyzygyX - 2021/10/19 12:29:26
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    Flint 1760
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/17 15:49:55 (permalink)
    SyzygyX
    Hi all I am playing the idea of building a gaming pc and am currently in the information gathering phase. I read about the queueing system (currently paused) and it seemed like one of the few ways I would be able to get a graphics card. My predilection would be for a step down from the latest and greatest so I am looking at 3080 cards. In checking the forums I see that FTW are better than XC. Watercooling seems to be FTW and XC cards with water cooling built in. I have a couple questions about them.
     
    How do these watercooling cards stack up to their fan cooled counterparts. Is there much difference or gain? Any downsides? I thought liquid would eventually permeate the hose and would need to be refilled. Do these self contained models allow for refilling, or will it never be necessary? Are the watercooling built in cards better than a diy watercooling setup?



    I'll answer the questions I can. 
     
    The Hybrid cards (self contained) will generally run a little cooler and with less noise.  I have read some complaints that the fans are not that good, but they can be replaced.  Yes the coolant will eventually permeate the tubing and no you can't refill them.  Their life expectancy is 5-7 years pretty much the same as any AIO.  Though I know some AIOs that are approaching 10 years with no significant problems yet except a degradation in cooling capacity, but these are old systems that were given to younger children.
     
    I use customs loops (CL) and a correctly done CL will give you the best cooling for your system.  The downside is it is more expensive, your are not going to build it in a few hours, you must plan your build in detail, it requires draining and flushing your loop periodically, I do it every six months.  I find it enjoyable and I like the results.
     
    As far as othermembers' experiences do a search of the forums, top right of the page, for Hybrids or just peruse the sub threads and you'll find plenty of commentary about what others people are getting for temperatures.
     
    Good luck.
    post edited by Flint 1760 - 2021/10/17 16:39:30


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    ObscureEmpyre
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/17 16:48:01 (permalink)
    Flint 1760
    SyzygyX
    Hi all I am playing the idea of building a gaming pc and am currently in the information gathering phase. I read about the queueing system (currently paused) and it seemed like one of the few ways I would be able to get a graphics card. My predilection would be for a step down from the latest and greatest so I am looking at 3080 cards. In checking the forums I see that FTW are better than XC. Watercooling seems to be FTW and XC cards with water cooling built in. I have a couple questions about them.
     
    How do these watercooling cards stack up to their fan cooled counterparts. Is there much difference or gain? Any downsides? I thought liquid would eventually permeate the hose and would need to be refilled. Do these self contained models allow for refilling, or will it never be necessary? Are the watercooling built in cards better than a diy watercooling setup?



    I'll answer the questions I can. 
     
    The Hybrid cards (self contained) will generally run a little cooler and with less noise.  I have read some complaints that the fans are not that good, but they can be replaced.  Yes the coolant will eventually permeate the tubing and no you can't refill them.  Their life expectancy is 5-7 years pretty much the same as any AIO, though I know some AIOs that are approaching 10 years with no problems.
     
    I use customs loops (CL) and a correctly done CL will give you the best cooling for your system.  The downside is it is more expensive, your are not going to build it in a few hours, you must plan your build in detail, it requires draining and flushing your loop periodically, I do it every six months.  I find it enjoyable and I like the results.
     
    As far as othermembers' experiences do a search of the forums, top right of the page, for Hybrids or just peruse the sub threads and you'll find plenty of commentary about what others people are getting for temperatures.
     
    Good luck.

    I can attest to longevity for hybrid cards. I have a 1080 FTW hybrid that still operates just fine. I’ve not noticed any performance decrease when it comes to cooling capability, nor have I heard anything sounding like extra air in the loop.

    One thing to point out is that AIOs are typically non-refillable. Permeation can be a thing, but I haven’t noticed any problems pertaining to it with any of the AIOs I have across both CPU and GPU coolers.

    The two main benefits to water cooling is typically an overall quieter system as well as lower temps. Lower temps usually mean more stable clock speeds due to thermal throttling being less of an issue. I have two 3080 Ti GPUs that are the same model. One’s on air and the other on water. The air card definitely can’t keep up with my water-cooled card, but it’s still a champ at what it does.

    When it comes to FTW3 vs XC3, you typically get a beefier power delivery system with the FTW3 which can mean higher power limits and potentially higher clock speeds. Although, cooling becomes a greater factor with the more power you feed a card. More power equals more heat. So, a hybrid (AIO) GPU will typically perform better than an air-cooled GPU, but a custom loop can easily outperform a hybrid. That’s because with custom loops you have the option for it to be as simplistic or as robust as your budget and intent allows for. As mentioned previously, custom loops come with a higher maintenance cost and require more thought initially going into a build.

    As far as obtaining a GPU these days, good luck. I don’t say that to be rude, but the current state of consumerism on the whole is in a bad way. Since the EVGA queue is temporarily suspended, I recommend trying the Newegg shuffle (I’ve won it twice) or something like following fixitfixitfixit on YouTube, Discord, and/or Twitter. You’ll need to be on your A game, however, as people tend to quickly snatch up what’s listed as in stock wherever.


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    Flint 1760
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/17 17:19:52 (permalink)
    @SyzygyX:  If you live anywhere near a Best Buy or Micro Center, check for their in store drops, you may have to camp out, but it is another avenue to obtaining a card.  On line, you can also check Adorama and B&H as they have cards periodically (I use both of them for photography equipment).


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    ObscureEmpyre
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/17 17:51:33 (permalink)
    Flint 1760
    @SyzygyX:  If you live anywhere near a Best Buy or Micro Center, check for their in store drops, you may have to camp out, but it is another avenue to obtaining a card.  On line, you can also check Adorama and B&H as they have cards periodically (I use both of them for photography equipment).

    If going the Best Buy route, contact your nearest store about it. Mine stated that only one of the stores in the general area was getting shipments of RTX cards, and that store’s about 2-3x as far from me. I’d sure hate to visit a store with the hopes of buying only to find out that store isn’t even designated as a recipient of the cards.


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    Gotspeed_2000
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/17 17:57:20 (permalink)
    What is best for you will depend on your skill and what your performance expectations are.  With AIOs, they are easy to install and you won't need the maintenance like the custom loops.  However the draw backs to AIOs are that they are limited based on the design of the AIOs and what they actually cool with the closed loop versus an open loop option.  For this reason those who wish to push their PCs harder or who live in warmer areas might want to consider an custom loop as you can add more radiator capacity which then can reduce the nexus between ambient temperature verse your coolant temp in your system which is used to control component temps.  
     
    Either way you go, planning is really important as to case and layout of components you will need.  In a custom loop it is even more as you need to estimate first how much radiator space you think you will need and then also the pump/res combo locations needed to circulate the coolant.  Plan around this first and then let those factors dictate what case you will use to build in.  Selecting the case without planning on needed radiator capacity can leave you with issues if you don't have enough radiator space to keep the temperatures in check based on your climate and system needs.  
     
    My thing would be to do research on Youtube as to what others did and incorporate that into your plans based on your components you want to use and your ambient temps.  If you live in a warmer climate, you'd want to keep that in mind even more.  
     
    A lot of planning would be recommended strongly if you don't have much experience building or with open loops.  This will help you reduce costs by not buying things you wont need or can't use.  In addition by planning properly you can save yourself time as if the system is done right from the start it wont need to be redone again if the case/parts you selected don't meet your expectations.  A custom loop for both the CPU and GPU you should expect to pay around 1k for a system that would contain both blocks, a pump, tubing, and fittings.  It can go up or down based on your selection, but for most that would be starting point for costs I would plan around.  This does not include a cost for a case change which could be needed depending on what you have now and if it has enough radiator capacity to cool your system.  

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    kevinc313
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/17 18:26:07 (permalink)
    It's a decent time to get into a waterblocked 2080 Ti, they are less desirable to miners than 3080's and within spitting distance of an air cooled 3080.  Custom loop parts will run you about $400-$600. Make sure you get a card with some warranty left and with the stock air cooler on the side or a hydrocopper. Oh and A-chip with the higher power limit.
    post edited by kevinc313 - 2021/10/17 18:54:55
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    GTXJackBauer
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/19 02:34:27 (permalink)
    SyzygyX
    Hi all I am playing the idea of building a gaming pc and am currently in the information gathering phase. I read about the queueing system (currently paused) and it seemed like one of the few ways I would be able to get a graphics card. My predilection would be for a step down from the latest and greatest so I am looking at 3080 cards. In checking the forums I see that FTW are better than XC. Watercooling seems to be FTW and XC cards with water cooling built in. I have a couple questions about them.
     
    How do these watercooling cards stack up to their fan cooled counterparts. Is there much difference or gain? Any downsides? I thought liquid would eventually permeate the hose and would need to be refilled. Do these self contained models allow for refilling, or will it never be necessary? Are the watercooling built in cards better than a diy watercooling setup?




    AIOs are better all around.  They run cooler and quieter as opposed to air cooled GPUs.  You also have the option of tinkering fan curves and or upgrading the current fans on the AIO.
     
    As for custom cooling, whole other beast.  Same concept as the AIO but it's more expensive, time consuming overall in researching, building, cleaning, troubleshooting, etc.  The benefit is a much cooler and quieter system between the AIO and Air cooled GPUs and a fancy looking rig.

    I personally am transition from 10 or so years under custom cooling to a more simplified Hybrid cooled system.  I just felt it was fun while it lasted but dread the days of maintenance and troubleshooting at this point. 

    At the end of the day its up to you.  If you got the custom cooling bug, go for it, you'll have a blast and possibly some issues here and there but if you don't mind it, welcome it with open arms.  If not, stick with Hybrid.  Much cheaper and simpler to use.  

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    SyzygyX
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/19 03:09:41 (permalink)
    Thanks everyone!
    Very welcoming community here, tons of great info.  Quieter and cooler sound good to me, so water cooled over fan it is. On some level I was worried about having water so close to such expensive equipment, scared of leaks. I guess it is a proven tech though. I will do some digging on the CL options, sounds like it is more expensive then I wanted to take on given the cost of everything else but I will take a look. I guess I have plenty of time to do some research as I likely wont be getting a card anytime soon. I am not in a big rush so I might just wait for the queue to come back. I don't think I can compete with bots, but I will check on the stores you guys recommended. 
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    Karabaz
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/19 04:10:44 (permalink)
    I was extremely hesitant to purchasing watercooled card but I had to as it was model I was offered.
     
    Now I can only share that I’m so impressed with it that I regret not purchasing watercooler for cpu as well as my 5600x have higher idle temperature by 10-12c than 3080. On top of it gpu is dead silent as fans on radiator spin on lower level than cpu fan. 
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/19 11:31:01 (permalink)
    SyzygyX
    Thanks everyone!
    Very welcoming community here, tons of great info.  Quieter and cooler sound good to me, so water cooled over fan it is. On some level I was worried about having water so close to such expensive equipment, scared of leaks. I guess it is a proven tech though. I will do some digging on the CL options, sounds like it is more expensive then I wanted to take on given the cost of everything else but I will take a look. I guess I have plenty of time to do some research as I likely wont be getting a card anytime soon. I am not in a big rush so I might just wait for the queue to come back. I don't think I can compete with bots, but I will check on the stores you guys recommended. 




    If you're leaning on custom, have a look at this video to help you get started on your research.
     

     
    Don't forget, there are ways to ease the worries if everything is followed through on custom.  Yes freak accidents happen from time to time but not as often as some might think if the proper steps are taken.
     

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    Gotspeed_2000
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/19 13:02:54 (permalink)
    SyzygyX
    Thanks everyone!
    Very welcoming community here, tons of great info.  Quieter and cooler sound good to me, so water cooled over fan it is. On some level I was worried about having water so close to such expensive equipment, scared of leaks. I guess it is a proven tech though. I will do some digging on the CL options, sounds like it is more expensive then I wanted to take on given the cost of everything else but I will take a look. I guess I have plenty of time to do some research as I likely wont be getting a card anytime soon. I am not in a big rush so I might just wait for the queue to come back. I don't think I can compete with bots, but I will check on the stores you guys recommended. 




    Also, an air pressure tester is an excellent option to test your components before you put them in your loop and as you build out your loop to help identify where you might have leaks.  The first thing I do is to plan my loop order and test fit each component into it's spot to see to make sure the fittings I plan to use will work in the configuration I was intending to use.  I pressure test each component with their fittings before I mount them in the case to make sure each component is not leaking.  Then as I build out the loop I also air pressure test as I add each tube to make sure the tube I added is not leaking either.  It may be a bit more time consuming, but it does help make sure your system is solid and if you have a leak somewhere it will be easier to find if you pressure test as you add components instead of building out the system and then trying to find the leaks.  
     
    Basically what I do is add the fittings to each of the components.  I then add a plug on one fitting, then use my EK air pressure test on the other fitting to test each component.  After I'm done with each component I then add them to the case.  Once in the case I then add plugs to both fittings for each component.  I do this because I bend my own hard tubes and don't use distro blocks so I want to be sure I don't miss anything or make a mistake on the loop order.  I then measure the first tube run and then bend the tube according to the route I want to use.  Once I have the tube ready, I then remove the plug between the two components and add the hard tube fittings.  I then add the tube and secure the fitting/tube.  I will then air pressure test the components I just linked via the first connector tube to ensure both components and the tube are sealed well.  Once I am satisfied with the results of the pressure test I move on to the next tube and repeat the process until the whole loop is completed and a entire loop pressure test is completed to my  satisfaction.  I will look at the loop order to see if it's easier to work the build from the pump/res forward or backward in the loop order.  Sometimes it may be easier to go backwards in your loop order depending on how your tubes are run.  So if you look at it first and get a feel for how your tubes are going to be routed it may help make it easier for you to plan your build.  I also like to do my tubes one at a time instead of bending all at the same time in case my loop order or routing needs any adjustments.  
     
    I really like the air pressure tester as it does allow you do have some piece of mind before you fill your system with fluid.  The other thing I would also recommend is getting a small PSU to power just the pump.  This will allow you to cycle and fill your loop without having to power on your system or other components in your pc.  I keep a psu on the side of the build and plug the pump into that one.  I use a psu test jumper plug to power on the "slave" psu which is connected to the pump in the loop.  I can then control power to the psu and the pump by using the main switch on the psu.  Doing this allows you to fill your loop without having to use your main psu and while cycling your loop your components and expensive psu in your system is not charged with electricity thus reducing risks of damage should a leak occur.  
     
    Youtube is a very helpful resource.  Watch as many videos as possible and try to make sense of what they are doing and why.  Watching videos from a variety of users is highly recommended as it will allow you the opportunity to see what makes sense and what isn't.  Just because someone put out a video doesn't always mean that the way they did it is correct.  It does allow you to watch and see what to look for and to gain comfort level in what you are doing.  
     
    System prep is important also.  I use Mayhems on the Rads and you will need to figure out what is best for the CPU/GPU blocks based on what you bought and the materials they used for the construction of the blocks/seals.  Make sure to use eye protection and gloves while using the Mayhems rad cleaner though and to flush the rads out well.  
     
    One last thing is the fluid/coolant you plan on using.  Do your research on the coolant you plan on using to make sure you understand the products.  I only use colored coolants for show, but that is a personal preference for me.  Colored coolants can clog cooling fins in the blocks so make sure to do your homework on that if that is what you want to use.  
     
    It might sound like a lot, but if you plan it out it really isn't that hard.  The thing that still gets me is when I have to convert the gpu from air to the block. I still get a bit nervous doing that knowing how hard to get the gpus are and the cost these things are selling for now.  Make sure to keep all the screws and parts in a bag that are not going to be used by the gpu once converted to the block in case you need to change it back to air.  This is especially important for EVGA cards to ensure their warranty will still be honored.  But if you take your time and plan you conversion it really isn't too hard, just time consuming and a bit more expensive.  
     

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    #12
    TacticalBeard
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    Re: Watercooling question 2021/10/19 15:34:04 (permalink)
    The que is paused your going to have to get lucky and find one in stock in a store or online on another sight. Realistically I don’t see even EVGA able to fulfill every que slot there’s just so much demand.

    The hybrid AIO cards are not designed to be re-filled and do eventually lose fluid over time but we’re talking years and years.

    I have a 3090 FTW3 hybrid. With my overclocks I’m regularly into the 70c range when gaming. I personally feel like it’s to hot not sure if the 240mm AIO is just not enough to cool the 3090 or maybe it has poor water block/thermal paste application from the factory . Not going to get stuck on an RMA with supply so short especially Seinfeld the chip on mine overclocks very well.

    I’m going to tear it apart and build a custom loop personally just because I want to do it for the looks an I know I’ll have much better cooling especially in the summer
    post edited by TacticalBeard - 2021/10/19 15:38:51
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