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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently converted my system to liquid-cooling (in response to the summer heat). I got a water-block for my CPU and GPU and the system's been fine so far. However, I noticed that my northbridge heatsink also gets rather hot (just below scorching - I can't tell the exact temperature as there's no thermal sensor) and that got me thinking about cooling that with water as well. I'm especially concerned as I removed the CPU fan, which used to provide some airflow to the northbridge heatsink (I already had an issue with this when my RAM started overheating). The system runs stable and I've put in some extra case fans to provide airflow but I'm still a little worried. Should I also water-cool my chipset or just leave it as it is?
 

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From Love and Limerence
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I can tell you offhand that mine isn't scorching, but between very warm and mildly hot, and it often runs about 50C-55C to give you an idea of where yours might possibly be. It depends on the chipset, I'd wager, but most people say that exact range for the X38 is about the maximum they feel comfortable with/before some of them see issues/crashing, but some users have 60C+ temperatures, and the Intel white sheet did list 85C-95C for the X48 and X38 respectively (not sure if that's accurate or not though). Either way, I don't know, but I see no crashing or other issues, and I'm using 8GB of RAM which stresses the Northbridge a bit more. For other people, the catch all recommendations for the Northbridge that I recall seeing seem to be if it's either 50C or above, or "if it feels too warm, it probably is" (although remember that electronics can take more than we would). I can say that a small 40mm fan will do little (I have one on my Southbridge, and with it and my Northbridge connected via a heatpipe, I see maybe a 1C-2C drop on either).
 

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Mhm.
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what? did you look at the pq curves? northbridge blocks don't kill flow. It's not exactly overkill if you have high fsb or are over 60 degrees load.

from this image, we can see that temps don't scale linearly with flow rate http://martin.skinneelabs.com/img/FlowRateEffects.png
That's with the fusion. The more blocks you add, the more restriction you add. Its called fluid dynamics. More importantly you dramatically increase the heat dump into the water. If you are really gunning for such a setup, dual loops make more sense
 

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listen. Play with the flow meter. If you have a ddc 3.2+xspc top, 5 feet of 7/16 tubing, an ek supreme, a mcw60, adding a nb block will drop flow by less than .3 gpm. That picture that I showed is showing that flow rate doesn't effect temps much, so long as you're pass 1.3gpm. Any more flowrate is negatively affected by heat dump from more pumping power/more pumps.

the nb adds less than 60 watts of heat at worst case scenario.
 

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improving the airflow in the case would see the NB temps drop a bit, the problem with liquid setups is that the air usually pushed around by the cpu fan isn't available to the NB.
 

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listen. Play with the flow meter. If you have a ddc 3.2+xspc top, 5 feet of 7/16 tubing, an ek supreme, a mcw60, adding a nb block will drop flow by less than .3 gpm. That picture that I showed is showing that flow rate doesn't effect temps much, so long as you're pass 1.3gpm. Any more flowrate is negatively affected by heat dump from more pumping power/more pumps.

the nb adds less than 60 watts of heat at worst case scenario.
All the better to disregard a NB block. If you have a half decent mobo, the NB will be sitting under a passive heatsink, clip a fan on it if you are really paranoid about it.

NB blocks are mostly a fad.....just like the full converge VGA blocks that hurt flow and cost ridiculous amounts of money.

You wont need a nb block until you are running killer volts....and in that instance, you really shouldnt be looking at water but rather a friggin cpu pot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
improving the airflow in the case would see the NB temps drop a bit, the problem with liquid setups is that the air usually pushed around by the cpu fan isn't available to the NB.
Yeah, I learned that lesson very quickly when my RAM started overheating. It's somewhat ironic, building a liquid-cooled system to combat heat only to have the system crash from overheating as a result. I didn't really consider what removing the CPU fan would do to the components around it. I don't want to go through the trouble of installing a NB block if I can (most of them attach to the back of the board so I would have to take the entire system apart). I guess I'll just stick with what I have and hope the case fans provide sufficient airflow to cool all the passively-cooled components.

BTW, does anyone know what the best quad-core CPU waterblock is? I got mine from Danger Den but the CPU temps are still rather high. It ranges from 45-58 degrees celcius, which is pretty pathetic considering my GPU block cools both my two GPU chips to less than 50 degrees at full load (before they used to go as high as 105 degrees each).
 

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Try re applying any thermal grease, i usually find rubbing some into the base of the block/heatsink improves heat spreading across the base.
 
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