Water Chiller Setup for Multiple GPUs...


Aug 28, 2012

I built a couple of workstations back in 2012 (LGA2011 X79 motherboards, triple EVGA Reference GTX 580 3GB cards (air-cooled), and both PCs using Intel i7-3930K CPUs-- each with it's own Corsair H100 liquid cooling kit) with the intention of eventually converting the GPUs to water-cooling (I would leave the Corsair H100's on the CPUs). These two workstations will also be part of a micro-Render Farm (...the two workstations already mentioned, and two renderNode PC's for a total of 4 PCs-- all LGA2011 X79 setups).

This "micro-Render Farm" would be to support rendering 3D animations using Autodesk 3ds Max... which supports GPU rendering using the iRay renderer or CPU rendering using Mental Ray or Cebas finalRender. I'm hoping to utilize all of the the GTX 580's for GPU rendering via iRay.

Like I said, 6 of the EVGA GTX 580's are air-cooled, but I installed the EVGA backplates on them. I also purchased the EVGA Hydro Copper 2 water blocks for their conversions. I also have 4 EVGA GTX 580 3GB Hydro Copper 2 cards (1591's) new in the box that were waiting for this water-cooled setup. (Side Note: I'm considering to get rid of all of the GTX 580's and upgrade to the soon-to-arrive GTX 780 6GB cards... but that's another topic).

These four PC's will be setup up within a custom-made desk with large lower cabinets on each side (with open-door grates) with two PC's per side. Each cabinet will have a cut-out to install a Koolance 2x140mm fan shroud to move air through the cabinets. Two of the PC cases are Corsair Obsidian 650D's, one is a Corsair Carbide 500R, the 4th PC isn't built yet. But would likely be one of these two cases.

My desired water-cooling setup:

I plan to keep the CPU's on the Corsair H100 kits (or equiv). For the graphics cards I would like to have a water-chiller setup. I read this article (posted elsewhere here in the forums):


This is similar to what I'm looking to do...

...but I was thinking of having a large external reservoir to act as sort of a thermal accumulator (to try and keep the water-chiller from running constantly). Picture your typical 5 gallon office water cooler as this thermal accumulator/reservoir (of course it may need to be a larger volume). It's main purpose would be so that the waste heat from the GPUs would empty into this 5 gallon external reservoir and the water-chiller would work to keep this 5 gallon reservoir a few degrees below room ambient temperature (so as to avoid water condensation inside the PC's). With a main input/output H2O loop for each PC case... I'd like to use two manifolds within a PC so that the GPUs can all be cooled in parallel-- rather than the waste heat from one feeding into the next, etc. (I'm not sure if this can be done with a single pump inside the PC or would require multiple pumps). The following is a crude schematic for my idea:

Some pertinent performance numbers (from what I can gather-- please correct my numbers where I'm wrong):
TDP for the GTX 580 at 100% load = 244 Watts (I assume this correlates to the max 97°C temperature limit).
Recommended flow rate thru the GTX 580 Hydro Copper 2 water block = 1 - 1.4 gpm (~ 85 gph).

I'm asking the water-cooling experts here to please help me design/setup such a cooling system.