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Author Topic: TriFire water cooling (was: Squeezing 2-slot cards into a single slot)  (Read 9752 times)
cicada
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November 28, 2011, 05:36:00 PM
 #101

Do you measure the TDS of the water? Distilled H2O uptakes contaminants from the air very aggressively. I am just wondering how often a 100% change-out is necessary.

Definitely don't have the tools to measure particulates, though a good friend is studying water management and may have access to some pretty sophisticated tools soon.  It'd be fun to know anyway.

TDS in distilled water is really only going to affect it's electrical conductivity, with only very minor affect on thermal conductivity. Short of things growing in it, which the kill-coil should prevent, it technically shouldn't ever be necessary to change it out. 

These systems, while well sealed, aren't perfect however, so I'm erring on the side of caution and will probably give it a rinse and refill once a year as well.

That is, once (if ever) I'm done toying around with it - I've got a replacement mobo and a waterblock for a third card coming later this week, so I'll be draining and refilling once again this weekend Smiley

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November 28, 2011, 05:45:17 PM
 #102

That is, once (if ever) I'm done toying around with it - I've got a replacement mobo and a waterblock for a third card coming later this week, so I'll be draining and refilling once again this weekend Smiley

That is a good point.  Most people who watercool do it as a semi-hobby and thus I don't think I have ever gone more than a year without making some change to the system.  Easy to simply drain, flush, and refill at that point.
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December 04, 2011, 04:25:51 PM
 #103

Well this rig is finally 'done' Cheesy

It isn't exactly the frugal miner of lore but it sure can play some games.



After squeezing 3 cards together, it turns out the waterblocks and mounting screws would've gotten in the way of putting them closer than 2-slot spacing.



I'm not sure why the tubes look brown in that pic.. bad reflections or something, I'm am not running sewage through them Tongue

And the coup de grâce:



The CPU idles ~24-26C and I haven't seen it go above 33C under load.  The 6950s idle ~31C and spike to about 46-47C while mining.  Ambient is ~22C (72F).



'Final' specs:

Corsair HX750
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5
8GB Gskill Sniper @ DDR3-1600
AMD Phenom II 1090T @ 3.9ghz
2x OCZ Vertex 3 120gb SSD, raid-0 ( >1000mb/s! )
And of course 3x XFX Radeon HD 6950


Now to go find a game I can't run at ultra / 1080p Cheesy

[edit] That freakin apple sticker keeps jealously sneaking into my pics..  funny thing is I own exactly zero apple products..

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cicada
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December 08, 2011, 07:45:22 PM
 #104

So the rig has been running for a little while after adding the third card, temps are excellent and performance is stellar, but..

That brown tint in the tubing is actually there - at the time it only showed up like that in the pictures so I assumed it was just poor lighting, but now it actually looks like that - all my tubing is coated with that nasty brown color.

Has anyone run into this kind of thing before?  I did get the usual white clouding that I was more or less expecting prior to this last upgrade, but brown?

I'm using only distilled water and a kill-coil in the reservoir.

I think it's either biological, or some kind of oxidizing contaminant, since it wasn't apparent straight away.. the pics above were all taken at around the same time, and you can see in the top pic there's no apparent brown in the tubing.  The second pic was after bleeding for about 18hr. Scratch that, the second pic was 2 days later.

The only new addition was the third GPU block, it's possible it might have been 'dirty' I guess, and thinking back I'm not sure I flushed it before adding it into the loop, but I didn't flush the first two either and the system ran 'clean' for quite a while.

I don't think (I hope not anyway) that it's biological - the kill-coil should've prevented a colony from forming, and if it were algae I'd expect to see a green or reddish tint, not brown..

Another possibility - at the same time I added that block and refilled, I took everything apart and modded the windows into the case.  There was quite a bit of steel chaff floating around (case was definitely steel, not aluminum), it's possible some of this dust got into the loop.  Would steel oxidize and make this color?

[edit] You might also notice the reservoir is crystal clear in that pic - it still is.  Whatever this is it's not sticking to the acrylic, but it seems to love the tubing.

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December 09, 2011, 08:11:18 PM
 #105

Hard to tell from pics, but ferric oxides (aka rust) def. can cause such a brownish tint.
Steel dust from grinding would be a good source. Did you have the loop open while you were dremeling the case?

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cicada
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December 09, 2011, 08:24:17 PM
 #106

Did you have the loop open while you were dremeling the case?

Aye, the rig was all taken apart with the components lying on a shelf ~15ft away. I'd plugged all the free tubes with cotton since I knew I'd be spitting metal dust everywhere, but it'd seem I wasn't careful enough.

I'm ordering some new tubing this afternoon, I'll be flushing it out and replacing all the tubing when it arrives.  In the meantime, is a little rust going to be a problem for my copper/nickel blocks and rad?

I'm thinking I'll need to take the pump apart and clean it out thoroughly - if it is steel dust it's likely been collecting around the magnetic fields in the motor..

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December 09, 2011, 08:32:24 PM
 #107

i think if it was rust it would show up as discolored in the resevoir as well...
however why its discolored is a mystery to me..
cicada
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December 09, 2011, 08:56:59 PM
 #108

i think if it was rust it would show up as discolored in the resevoir as well...
however why its discolored is a mystery to me..

My guess is that it's just not concentrated enough to be obvious in solution, and has been slowly depositing on the tube walls.  In that second pic it's obvious there's a tint, but it wasn't actually visible to me at that point.  I pondered then why my pretty tubing was showing up so badly in the pics. Over the next few days, more material oxidized and/or built up on the tube walls, making it more apparent visually.

Right now, visually the appearance is close to the second pic in my post above, but to the camera it looks like someone shat in the tank:




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December 09, 2011, 09:12:49 PM
 #109

all my tubing looks terible.
always get a white build up, wel green actualy since i use a few drops of HydrX (swiftech stuff) in my loop
i never used silver so i can't say if that has any affect.
why it is brown is a bit of a mystery...
but since all your water in the resevoir is clear... or apears to be from the pictures you have taken...
myself i wouldn't wory about it...
then again i havn't drained/flused my loop in a year and a half in my main machine
water still looks clear in my resevoir, however my tubing is green so i can't realy tell what color the build up is,
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December 09, 2011, 09:26:38 PM
 #110

Havent read the entire thread, but isnt 750W a bit low? That CPU alone at that clock could be pulling 150-160W at stock voltage (and possibly considerably more if you overvolted it). Add the motherboard, RAM, water pump, fans, and you are probably >200W, leaving 550W for the three cards. YOu dont mention overclocking the GPUs, but even at stock speeds thats cutting it close IMO.

cicada
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December 09, 2011, 09:36:30 PM
 #111

Havent read the entire thread, but isnt 750W a bit low? That CPU alone at that clock could be pulling 150-160W at stock voltage (and possibly considerably more if you overvolted it). Add the motherboard, RAM, water pump, fans, and you are probably >200W, leaving 550W for the three cards. YOu dont mention overclocking the GPUs, but even at stock speeds thats cutting it close IMO.

It's right at the high water mark running everything at full tilt, so yeah it's a little undersized.  With all three cards mining and prime95 running my killawatt reads 760-780W at the wall.

But, I don't really mine with this rig, and have yet to actually stress the system running any of the games I've tried.  Generally it tops out about 430W on my killawatt playing Skyrim, 550-600W playing Witcher 2 which actually uses all 3 cards a little more.

If I did mine, it'd be in linux without the 100% CPU bug, I'd expect to see ~600-630W at the wall with just the GPUs spinning.

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MadHacker
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December 09, 2011, 09:44:28 PM
 #112

just a thought...
put a white piece of paper behind the tubes...
see if its just showing the background color of your case /MB (although unlikely).

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December 09, 2011, 09:47:24 PM
 #113

color of tubing is probably from the flash. Turn it off, turn more indirect lights on.

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December 09, 2011, 09:56:24 PM
 #114

just a thought...
put a white piece of paper behind the tubes...
see if its just showing the background color of your case /MB (although unlikely).

Nope, still brown.

color of tubing is probably from the flash. Turn it off, turn more indirect lights on.

Nope, still brown Wink  Less brown, but still brown.

I can see that it's clearly brown, even in the tubing outside of the case where it connects to the radiator.

Those things definitely accentuate the color tint, however.   With more ambient light, a white card behind the tubes, and flash off it looks fairly clear.  It still looks like there's a heavy smoker living in my radiator, and it's still enough to make me want to flush out the system and replacing the tubing.

Prior to this go-round the tubing was a little cloudy/milky white, but it didn't look like literal crap.

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December 10, 2011, 05:07:09 PM
 #115

I gave up a long time ago on "cool" colored tubes, dyes, UV lights, and general leetness.

I use Tygon Silver tubing.  Medical grade stuff that last and lasts.  Never gets brittle, or loses flexibility.  The combination of opaque tubing (no light for plant life) and silver coating keeps the water clear however it does look downright boring.
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