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Watercooling PC and Vid Cards

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  • Watercooling PC and Vid Cards

    I'm planning a full ATX carputer with a decent video card setup in my car... Not planning on crysis... but HL2 at least... or maybe something capable of running Vista on full res (how sad is it that I'm using an OS as a benchmark...)

    Anyway, since it's not going to be optimized for mobile user/low power/ heat efficiency, cooling is going to be an issue. I'm going for the CPU and Vid Card waterblocks, as well as possibly Ram and northbridge/southbridge watercooling as well...

    Anyway, since the water is more of a heat-transfer rather than a cooling method... where do I mount the radiator? Should it be outside, using the car's airflow, or inside?

    My other reason to use water is to minimize dust/debris in the computer's innards...

  • #2
    I don't know if you saw it or not, but there's an old....

    here it is.

    It had a lot of back and forth on the subject; different ideas, precautions, and pro's/con's stuff.
    It's been a while...

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    • #3
      You should check out some of the newer high end boards with built in video. I'm using the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H with the AMD 780 chipset in my carputer. I have 2 gigs or RAM on the board and 512 of it is allocated to video RAM. It runs many things fairly decently. I'm wanting to install Bioshock on it to see just how it runs if that goes well, maybe I'll put TF2 on it so I can play it when I'm bored and near a wifi spot or something.

      It has a big heatsink on the board for the chipset, but I'm sure it could easily be replaced with a waterblock. If you are going with the radiator, I would put it somewhere where it wouldn't recirculate the air around it. I'm not sure where outside of the car you could put it where it would receive proper airflow.
      Kids, don't play with too many knives! -Crack Stuntman

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      • #4
        You dont need water cooling in a car enviroment. I at one point wanted to use water cooling also, but the issues were to great. First off, it will make your install even bigger and you will have to find a place to mount the radiator. Second, if you hit a massive bump and one of those tubs comes loose, thats the end of you CarPC. My system board is a KINO-690 S1 with a 1.8 ghz Turion 64 bit x2 56-ml processor. It also has a powerful 1250 series ATI Radeon graphics card built in. The CPU and GPU are literally right next to each other so the PC ran very hot. The CPU is fan cooled and GPU only has a heat sink. I added the same fan as the CPU onto the GPU and this drastically dropped the tempature. I then designed a special case that sucks in air from the top front, carries it into the area with the mobo, the CPU and GPU then blow that air up and its pulled out by 2 more fan in the bottom back of the case. On a hot summer day in Florida my CPU is at about 38 C. On a cold day or with A/C its at about 34 C. GPU is always higher on hot day 47 C, and cold day 45 C. So trust me, air will work fine, its all about design and airflow.
        Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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        • #5
          Yes, but your Kino is a Mini ITX and you were only running at 1.8 on a Turion, which is a mobile/compact proc, with a built-in graphics card. I'm planning a 3.0 Ghz Pentium, 2Gb of ram, and GeForce 8800 on a Full-sized ATX board.

          I have the same setup at home, and it runs well even when I'm crazy and don't turn on the AC in summer... but it also has 2-120mm fans blowing on everything... we'll see.

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          • #6
            why not put a mini itx in the car? Is this going in the trunk.
            Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

            1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
            4X MK808b
            3x Perixx Touchpads
            3x 7 inch Screens
            1X 7 inch motorized Screen
            1x Win 7 PC

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            • #7
              Glove box

              Feature for feature, computer stuff gets more expensive the smaller it gets. Also, also, with miniturization, things tend to be inbuilt and compounded, meaning that if one part dies, it usually means I have to replace the entire motherboard.

              So it's mostly for cost and flexibility.

              The volvo has an enormous glove box that I don't mind sacrificing anyway, so since I'm building a case for a computer in there anyway, why not start big. I can always down-size.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jongscx View Post
                Glove box

                Feature for feature, computer stuff gets more expensive the smaller it gets. Also, also, with miniturization, things tend to be inbuilt and compounded, meaning that if one part dies, it usually means I have to replace the entire motherboard.

                So it's mostly for cost and flexibility.

                The volvo has an enormous glove box that I don't mind sacrificing anyway, so since I'm building a case for a computer in there anyway, why not start big. I can always down-size.
                Wow, mine is tiny. I agree with that, that is always a fear I have in the back of my mind, that one thing breaks and the whole thing goes with it. I knew that smaller size equals more money, but I had to go small because of size constraints, even though I drive a SUV. Take lots of pictures, i really want to see how this turns out.
                Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                4X MK808b
                3x Perixx Touchpads
                3x 7 inch Screens
                1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                1x Win 7 PC

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
                  i really want to see how this turns out.
                  Jah... me too :-D

                  I will. I'm planning a full project log with the screen install and H/U, so I'll bundle that in there as well.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jongscx View Post
                    and GeForce 8800
                    I thought about that too before I started building mine, but the power requirements are insane. How are you planning on powering it?

                    I have one in my regular desktop and I used to have a regular UPS hooked up to it but I had to remove it as it caused my UPS to overload whenever I loaded a game.
                    Kids, don't play with too many knives! -Crack Stuntman

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                    • #11
                      750Watt AC/DC converter

                      Actually, I'm not quite sure yet... I'm definitely going to need some seriously beefed up wiring from the battery, straight into the cabin... but then, I can feed the excess for regular AC outlets too...

                      What I may end up doing is multiple separate PSUs, one for the motherboard, one for the peripherals, one for the graphics card...

                      Yeah, I'm a computer geek first... car modder second... but not a problem I don't think

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                      • #12
                        You are going way overboard for what you need. My laptop is a 2ghz core duo with raedon x1600 and I can run HL2 just fine. In fact it's quite hard not to sit in class playing CS-Source instead of paying attention. This is all done with 19v at 4.74amps. In fact I was playing oblivion at lowish settings with a decent FPS.

                        Anything you want to know about watercooling you can ask though. My home PC is fully watercooled, along with the past 3 PC's I have built and overclocked. This includes CPU, motherboard, & GPU being watercooled w/ a 2x120mm fan core. My last setup combined 2 seperate computers, both watercooled & connected to the same resevoir (~4gal container on top of the 2 computers) connected to a bunch of towers to evaporate the water for much lower temps, even without a fan.\

                        Also, you don't need to cool the SB, especially at stock speeds. Most motherboards don't even put a heatsink on that. Ram.... well I have yet to see a waterblock that I would trust to put on my ram without putting too much stress on the PCB of the ram or the motherboard connection. Just put a small quite fan to get airflow on the ram and keep it at stock speeds and you will be fine.

                        The only reason I used watercooling is to overclock anyway. For the most part, at stock speeds a decent fan/copper heatsink w/ good thermal paste is just fine. But when going from 1.8ghz to 3ghz daily and increasing voltages etc, you put out too much heat.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Biznatch View Post
                          You are going way overboard for what you need.
                          I know...


                          Essentially, this is also my first water-cooled computer, so I'm thinking why not... get 2 projects done with 1 budget...


                          Yeah, I've no intention of over-clocking, and the ram and SB blocks are indeed overkill... :-P but it's cool! and there's going to be a plexiglass window and LEDs.


                          I may decide to scrap it anyway, but I'll PM you specific questions if any come up. Are you on any other Comp Modding forums Biznatch? Creativemods.com, bit-tech.net?

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                          • #14
                            Yea, to be honest I don't know if I would ever do WC in a carpc environment. In a house it's safe because you typically test it for 24-48 hours and if there are no leaks, they most likely aren't going to form. In the car, you have constant movement and vibrations/jolts etc., so even after testing you still have a decent chance of eventually forming a leak.

                            It is a fun project though if you even built a home computer It's amazing how cool it keeps everything even after cranking the voltages/clock speeds.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Biznatch View Post
                              Yea, to be honest I don't know if I would ever do WC in a carpc environment. In a house it's safe because you typically test it for 24-48 hours and if there are no leaks, they most likely aren't going to form. In the car, you have constant movement and vibrations/jolts etc., so even after testing you still have a decent chance of eventually forming a leak.

                              It is a fun project though if you even built a home computer It's amazing how cool it keeps everything even after cranking the voltages/clock speeds.
                              I would also be worried about the leaks in a car environment. I have been running a water cooled 8800 in my regular pc for a while now and have not had any problems. I do have to add more coolant at distant intervals though as the stuff just seems to disipate or something. It runs really well though and it keeps my card about 10 degrees cooler than stock. Another thing other than leaks that you'd have to worry about with putting water blocks on your components is that they'll add significant weight to your parts, which is also bad when you've got mechanical movement going on. It could cause things to break.
                              Kids, don't play with too many knives! -Crack Stuntman

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