Question Question about the possibility of a non-AIO 240mm liquid cooler( 2x120mm radiators on the same loop)

Kultivater

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I have a mid-ATX tower with a 120mm standard liquid cooler cooling an AMD Ryzen 7 3800X. My GPU is pretty long, and I don't have a lot of room for upgrades to bigger parts. That said, I'm looking to upgrade to the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, but I'll need a 240mm radiator as a bare minimum, being that 120mm ones are meant to cool up to 100 watts, and the 5800X/3D both average a good 140 watts or more at full load. I've not done a ton of work with water coolers in my time as a tech, so, while I grasp the concept, I'm not entirely familiar with all the different options. Would it be possible to have 2 120mm radiators installed into the same loop, so that I can install them in different locations within my tower? That's about the only way I can think of that'll allow the upgrade, without doing series custom modifications to my tower.
 

DSzymborski

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Well, you can do this with a completely custom cooling solution. So you'll need pump, reservoir, tubing, blocks, etc. You'll need to budget several hundred dollars just to get started here.

Honestly, you'd do far better simply getting a case that can use a larger AIO and calling it a day. There are certainly better places to spend money, like that cringeworthy group-regulated PSU which is confusingly paired with a 6900XT, which definitely takes CLX down a couple notches for me in the reputation department.
 

Kultivater

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Well, you can do this with a completely custom cooling solution. So you'll need pump, reservoir, tubing, blocks, etc. You'll need to budget several hundred dollars just to get started here.

Honestly, you'd do far better simply getting a case that can use a larger AIO and calling it a day. There are certainly better places to spend money, like that cringeworthy group-regulated PSU which is confusingly paired with a 6900XT, which definitely takes CLX down a couple notches for me in the reputation department.
I bought the pre-made because my old PC got fried, and it was in the middle of the chip shortage, so it was actually cheaper than building it myself. It didn't come with that GPU though. I purchased it separately a few months ago when the RDNA 2s got significant price cuts. It came with an XFX Speedster QICK 309 Radoen RX 6700 XT. The PSU, among other things, will definitely be getting upgrades. I never intended for this PSU to be a permanent solution. It wasn't feasible at the time to shell out the cash for the best parts. But I'm not ready to let go of this tower yet, even though you do have a valid point. I'm looking to buy a used cooler that'll work until I'm ready to overhaul the whole thing, tower included. Pretty much I want the tower to be the last thing I upgrade.

Anyway, if it has to be completely custom, then I guess the CPU will have to wait. I figured there were already-assembled coolers like that out there. I guess I was wrong.
 

DSzymborski

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I bought the pre-made because my old PC got fried, and it was in the middle of the chip shortage, so it was actually cheaper than building it myself. It didn't come with that GPU though. I purchased it separately a few months ago when the RDNA 2s got significant price cuts. It came with an XFX Speedster QICK 309 Radoen RX 6700 XT. The PSU, among other things, will definitely be getting upgrades. I never intended for this PSU to be a permanent solution. It wasn't feasible at the time to shell out the cash for the best parts. But I'm not ready to let go of this tower yet, even though you do have a valid point. I'm looking to buy a used cooler that'll work until I'm ready to overhaul the whole thing, tower included. Pretty much I want the tower to be the last thing I upgrade.

Anyway, if it has to be completely custom, then I guess the CPU will have to wait. I figured there were already-assembled coolers like that out there. I guess I was wrong.
Unfortunately, I am unaware of any CPU cooler (I'm not sure why you specify non-AIO, as the alternative is custom) that instead of a 240mm radiator has two separate 120mm radiators. Now, there may be some odd, obscure Aliexpress item or something because weird things do pop up from time to time. But realistically, at a minimum, to do this yourself, you're starting at about $500 if you find as many savings as you can.
 

Kultivater

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To my understanding, radiators should never be mounted below the start of the loop. Other than the bottom of my tower, the only option I have for a radiator that size is the front panel(the right side wall, if looking straight at the motherboard). The problem with that is there's no ventilation there, as it's a solid panel not intended for fan exhaust. I would say I could mount from the top, but the PSU is mounted up there, surrounded by a housing that stretches all the way across, which takes up all the space on top. I'd have to remove that housing, and even so, again, there's no ventilation. The only ventilation in the tower is on the back(obviously), and on the wall upon which the motherboard sits. My 120mm is installed on the back, and that's all there's room for. The motherboard wall has 2 120mm fans installed to the side of it, one of which I had to dismount due to the length of my GPU, which means I wouldn't be able to mount a radiator that size there. The only thing I can think of is to turn my whole PC upside down and mount the radiator to the bottom of the tower, which would then be the top. There's a kind of mesh on the bottom with very big holes all over it, so ventilation would be excellent, if I figured out how to mount screws into such a thing.

Oh, and I said "non-AIO" because 2 separate 120mm radiators running on the same loop wouldn't be "all in one," being that they're separate.
 
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Phaaze88

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What's a CLX Set 101? Looking it up nets me different images.
I figure CLX is taking cases from other brands and slapping their name on it. The cases they use one year may not be the same ones they use another.
 
Have you compared the price of building a fancy custom water cooling system to just replacing the case and using a more standard water cooler.
You likely could also just use one of the larger air coolers if it will fit in the case. If you look at the some of the comparison benchmarks until you start needed 360 aio you can get air coolers that will do as well as say a 240 or even 280 aio.
 

Kultivater

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What's a CLX Set 101? Looking it up nets me different images.
I figure CLX is taking cases from other brands and slapping their name on it. The cases they use one year may not be the same ones they use another.
I can't confirm nor deny that. All I can tell you is the size, and that it has custom CLX features on it, such as the Set logo, the CLX logo, and blue-glowing plastic lining the power button that says "IN WIN."
 

Kultivater

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Have you compared the price of building a fancy custom water cooling system to just replacing the case and using a more standard water cooler.
You likely could also just use one of the larger air coolers if it will fit in the case. If you look at the some of the comparison benchmarks until you start needed 360 aio you can get air coolers that will do as well as say a 240 or even 280 aio.
Really? Again, I don't know much about water cooling, but to say that air cooling can compete with water cooling on any level sounds absurd to me. If that's the case, then why do smaller water coolers even exist? They're a huge pain in the ass to clean, and they take up a lot of space.
 

USAFRet

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Really? Again, I don't know much about water cooling, but to say that air cooling can compete with water cooling on any level sounds absurd to me. If that's the case, then why do smaller water coolers even exist? They're a huge pain in the ass to clean, and they take up a lot of space.
120mm liquid coolers exist because of marketing.

If the marketing text can say "Liquid CPU cooler!", that sounds a LOT better then "CPU Cooler"
To the uninitiated, it sounds, and sells, so much better.
 

Kultivater

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Likely an InWin 101 from your description.
Yep. That's my tower. Never heard of them, so I didn't realize it. It's a good tower though, for an older one. Lots of USB ports, including 4 3.1s. That's one of the reasons why I'm not wanting to upgrade it yet, because a full size tower with the same features would cost quite a bit of money. I'm also not looking forward to the transplant, but that's a different story altogether.
 

Karadjgne

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Just use a Fractal Design T12 Kelvin, it uses standard g1/4 fittings, copper rad, and is expandable, so a seperate 120mm copper rad can be added to the loop with a length of tube and a couple of standard fittings and extra or replacement coolant.

You'll end up with an AlphaCool pump and 120mm rad, with an extra 120mm rad in-line AIO.
 

Kultivater

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120mm liquid coolers exist because of marketing.

If the marketing text can say "Liquid CPU cooler!", that sounds a LOT better then "CPU Cooler"
To the uninitiated, it sounds, and sells, so much better.
That does make sense. I guess I'm not as up to speed on the latest tech as I should be. I kinda fell off the wagon of "tech enthusiast" about a decade ago, though I do still keep up with some things, like CPU/GPU architecture and innovations, specs vs benchmarks, innovations such as AM5, etc. But, water cooling wasn't something I ever saw myself jumping into, and since I didn't build this PC, I never really did my due diligence. Guess I have a lot of reading to do.
 

Kultivater

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You need to do some basic research on air vs water cooling. There are a bunch of youtube video that directly answer this question.
This is a recent review of a aircooler that will fit your case. This reviewer put it on a 13900k and compared to even 360 aio. It work very well for a $60 air cooler and there are better air coolers.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/deepcool-ag620-air-cooler/2
Nice dude. $60 huh? Sounds almost too good to be true. Thanks for that. I'm about to look into it.
 

Kultivater

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I am not so sure I would buy that exact unit it was just a very recent review
I'll definitely look at several reviews and benchmarks to be sure, but if it can sufficiently cool a 13900k at full boost for 30 minutes, then it can easily handle the 5800X3D, so you made a very good suggestion that I had never thought of, because, in my mind, air coolers were completely out of the question once you hit Zen 3 and above. I'm glad to know that's not the case.
 
It can't actually fully cool a 13900k, it is a strange benchmarking method I have not seen. A 13900k will keep increasing it clocks until hits the thermal limit no matter how you cool it. Maybe liquid nitrogen it would not be able to exceed.
So they pretty much compare how much more the cpu can overclock itself with different coolers. The most important number to me when they use this method is the total number of watts it can handle. That will show if the cooler can eat all the power a more normal cpu chip will produce.
 

Kultivater

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The most important number to me when they use this method is the total number of watts it can handle.
Indeed, which, in this case, appears to be nearly 280 watts on average, continuously, which the 5800X3D will never hit, since it can't be overclocked.
 
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letmepicyou

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If your case is tight for space, can you switch to a riser-setup for your GPU to make some room? That's what I had to do when I upgraded to the Corsair H170i Elite LCD, it wouldn't clear my video card, so I went to a riser setup.
 

Kultivater

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If your case is tight for space, can you switch to a riser-setup for your GPU to make some room? That's what I had to do when I upgraded to the Corsair H170i Elite LCD, it wouldn't clear my video card, so I went to a riser setup.
Honestly, the air cooler Bill suggested is actually a way better solution. It'll fit easily, and it can dissipate up to about 260 watts worth of heat efficiently, which is way more than I'll ever need with this motherboard, and it's only $60 or so for the best version of it, which is cheap as hell. So, that's what I'm going with once I get the money together for the CPU.
 

Karadjgne

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On some boards, you'll see the 5800X3D can hit 210-230w. But here's the gimmick about Ryzen, they are the opposite to Intel. The 13900k is the closest approximation, since it has a target temp and will boost until it hits that temp. Normal Intels will max boost regardless of temp, until it hits thermal shutdown.

Ryzen won't do that. They take loads, temps and voltages into consideration, cutting performance to maintain whichever limit they hit first. So a 5800x3D will hit 90°C ish and stay there and won't boost further. Ryzen generally reach temp limits first, so the trick is to over-cool them and keep it around 60-80°C, which allows for higher voltage/power use and better boosts, on all the cores, for longer.

To keep temps regulated like that, general rule of thumb is 1.5x cooling potential minimum with a 2x being preferable. At a possible 200w-220w, you'd be looking at a cooler in the 300w-400w range. That's 280mm - 420mm aio territory. Big Air is somewhat stunted at 250w+ range, so is usable but unless used in a very good airflow case with a low ambient temp, between the cpu and gpu heat, you'll tend to lose out on some fps with the higher temps and mediocre boosts.
 

Kultivater

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On some boards, you'll see the 5800X3D can hit 210-230w. But here's the gimmick about Ryzen, they are the opposite to Intel. The 13900k is the closest approximation, since it has a target temp and will boost until it hits that temp. Normal Intels will max boost regardless of temp, until it hits thermal shutdown.

Ryzen won't do that. They take loads, temps and voltages into consideration, cutting performance to maintain whichever limit they hit first. So a 5800x3D will hit 90°C ish and stay there and won't boost further. Ryzen generally reach temp limits first, so the trick is to over-cool them and keep it around 60-80°C, which allows for higher voltage/power use and better boosts, on all the cores, for longer.

To keep temps regulated like that, general rule of thumb is 1.5x cooling potential minimum with a 2x being preferable. At a possible 200w-220w, you'd be looking at a cooler in the 300w-400w range. That's 280mm - 420mm aio territory. Big Air is somewhat stunted at 250w+ range, so is usable but unless used in a very good airflow case with a low ambient temp, between the cpu and gpu heat, you'll tend to lose out on some fps with the higher temps and mediocre boosts.
That's literally impossible, because the AM4 socket has a wattage limit of 142, so no CPU that fits the socket can consume more than that. I think you're confusing things here.
 

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