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Newbie Hydrocool Install Results


adamsfbay

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I wanted to share with other potential newbies the great experience I have had with Hydrocool. I'm not associated with Corsair, just a satisfied customer. I recently purchased a system based on the Asus P4C800E-Dlx with a P4 3.2 Extreme Edition CPU. The CPU cooler installed at time of purchase was a Zalman7000A-AlCu. When I got it home I measure (using Asus PC Probe) CPU temperature at full load to be about 50C. That's pretty hot. The back of the case was blowing hot air under sustained, multi-hour load. I found the Hydrocool install to take a couple of hours of concentration. I'm pretty precise/anal. In a cramped case, the order in which you do the install makes all the difference - attaching the connectors to the controller card after it's seated is very difficult (I found it easier to install them ahead of time). Seating the card was a bit of a challenge as the rubber grommets need to be pushed through the back of the case slot, and my hands barely fit to do the job. You need to remember to put the bracket for the P4 over the tubing before you run said tubing through the grommets. Also, fitting the tubing through the grommets while keeping the cooling block from banging into MB components was a bit challenging. I had heard quite a bit about applying a small amount of thermal paste. I cleaned the P4 heat spreader with 99% isopropyl (and the cooling block as well), and then I applied a grain-of-rice sized amount of the thermal paste to the heat spreader. I took a credit card and worked the paste into the metal with firm pressure, and used the edge, again with firm pressure, to scrape it along the heat spreader. The result was a metal surface tinged with paste residue. Then came attaching the waterblock/adapter/retaining clips. Not easy. You need three hands, basically, to place the cooler block on the pasted CPU, keep it from moving, arrange the adapter, hook each retaining cliip into place and then apply pressure evenly to each clip (and the block adapter) while locking the clips. It can be done, but get in a comfortable position and be cool. The rest is cake. So what did I notice? When I restarted the PC, and put it under load, my CPU (load) temps were the same!!!! 50C or so. I was shocked. I was sure it had something to do with my firm-pressure paste application, where I had used the card's edge to firmly scrape the paste across. I took off the waterblock and reapplied the paste. This time, i used more paste, and gently scraped with the card so that a visible layer of paste covered the entire surface. It was thin, but not simply a metal surface tinged with paste reside. It was a clear layer of paste (a thin one). Reattached everything, booted up, and under load, VOILA, CPU(load) now was 30C!!!!!! All other conditions identical. I've been running it now for a number of hours, and Hydrocool cut about 20C off my load temp for this processor vis-a-vis a Zalman air cooler. Not only that, but the MB temperature is now quite a bit cooler also. For the record, the Hydrocool temp and the Asus CPU temp seem to track each other now - at the moment they are both 30C under full load in a warm room. Kudos, Corsair. I hope this posting winds up being helpful to someone. -Adam
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Nice detailed post Adam. I had almost the exact same experience with my thermal paste. It was very different from the thinner silver based thermal compounds I have used in the past. On my initial install, I got temps in between where my Zalman ALcu idles and where the stock Intel cooler idles. I too removed the water block and added some thermal compound. Now, it idles about 5-7c lower than the Zalman and only fluctuates mildly depending on the ambient room temps. Mike.
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  • 3 weeks later...
Adam, My name is Dustin. I am just starting into water cooling and had purchased the Corsair Hydrocool 200. I am wondering, did u test the unit piror to install the waterblock on the CPU? I am just alittle worried about leaks even though I made sure the clamps were tight on the water block by manual making they were tight.
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