bit-tech.net

Who actually uses water cooling grommets?

Posted on 30th Jul 2010 at 10:22 by Paul Goodhead with 83 comments

Paul Goodhead
This blog post stems from a conversation Clive and I had the other day about the water cooling grommets we’re seeing on most cases these days. If you’re not sure what I’m on about a water cooling grommet is a rubber-lined, circular cut-out in the back of a case that appears to be designed to have water cooling tubing passed through it.

The crux of the conversation was essentially the question of whether anyone actually uses these grommets, and if they could actually be considered a feature when it comes to calculating a case's feature score in a review. My argument is that they shouldn't be counted and I’ll explain why.

It’s clear that in the majority of cases the grommets are meant for use with an external 120mm radiator. The problem is I can’t work out why or when anyone would actually use an external 120mm radiator.

Water cooling is a complex, time consuming and expensive way to cool a PC; three factors that ensure a water cooled build is rarely rushed into. As a result I can’t work out why a computer enthusiast who’s taken the time to carefully put together the component for his build would choose to use an external radiator.

For a start it would compromise not only the noise of the system but also the aesthetics of the build. It gives the build an amateur look, as it gives the impression of the water cooling just being ‘tacked on’ like some kind of afterthought.

Who actually uses water cooling grommets? The mysterious case of the water cooling grommet
WHAT ARE YOU FOR?!?!??

I understand the argument that an external radiator can be useful when there isn’t sufficient room inside a case, but surely anyone who takes their hardware seriously enough to water cool it would pick a suitably sized case for the task. Paradoxically most high-end cases that include these grommets are huge anyway, with space inside for double or even triple 120mm radiators.

What bends my brain even more is when cheap cases such as the Sharkoon Rebel 9 have grommets on them. Is someone who's buying a cheap, flimsy case really going to be water cooling their components? Of course not.

I think the water cooling grommet has become something that manufacturers add to cheap, tacky cases in an effort to give them vaguely enthusiast leanings - “hey, you could totally add an external radiator to me, I’m sooooo extreme” (ignoring my cheap materials and shoddy build quality).

Unfortunately it then looks like enthusiast cases such as the Antec Dark Fleet and the HAF X feel the need to make sure they have grommets on too, probably because it wouldn't look good if they didn’t have the features of a £50 case. This completes the circle and makes the whole cycle perpetuate itself.

This is even more bonkers when you realise you’d have to be a lunatic to mount an external radiator on either of these cases as they have more than enough space inside to accommodate one or maybe two dual radiators.

As you can see it’s a topic that baffles me, but I’d be intrigued to know if anyone actually uses the water cooling grommets on their case. Maybe you can show me that they are actually useful for something after all. Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

83 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Joey9801 30th July 2010, 11:39 Quote
I used the grommets on my antec 900 to mount the switches for my ccfls, they're the perfect fit for them :P
Fizzban 30th July 2010, 11:41 Quote
I suppose it would be handy if you had one of those old Zalman Reserator's. Or maybe a water chiller. But most people use rads built into the case. So yeah, they are pretty useless things for the most part. But hey, it is always nice to have options!
stonedsurd 30th July 2010, 11:42 Quote
I used them, but only because I intended for the radiator to be on the outside.

But I was actually considering routing the tubing to the outside of the case from another spot anyway (and could have, but I didn't have the necessary tools handy. Someday...)
Kilmoor 30th July 2010, 11:45 Quote
I had to fab a replacement plate to delete them from my ATCS840. I'll never run an external radiator again. For something cool, like the external peltier heat exchanger I'm working on, the grommets would have been in the wrong place anyway. I like to choose where to poke holes, an extra bullet-point in the features list on the case packaging does not impress. Well put.
Blarte 30th July 2010, 11:48 Quote
wouldn’t say it should be a selling point or a valid point for a review, I mounted a 120 rad on the back of a Utgard case as I had stuffed two 240s inside but its the only time i have used an external rad and in this case the grommets / holes wasn’t sufficiently spaced to fit the rad anyhow I had to cut a section out ..
liratheal 30th July 2010, 11:51 Quote
I use one on my PC, for routing a couple of E-SATA to SATA cables back into the case..

I did use two when I had an external res for a while, once upon a time, but never for radiator mounting.
[ZiiP] NaloaC 30th July 2010, 11:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey9801
I used the grommets on my antec 900 to mount the switches for my ccfls, they're the perfect fit for them :P

Did the same on my 800D, perfect fit for the switches.
wyte_w0lf 30th July 2010, 11:53 Quote
Budget. Choice of case may be defined after cost of needed components. So you may go with a cheaper case. I havent moved into watercooling yet but I bought a case that will last for any upgrades in future. My budget was decided by gpu choice not cooling. Plus I was getting annoyed at little cases with no room for me to tinker/upgrade. Stacker 101 :-) Also some might find it looks nice with the rad outside. Borg theme. Or custom bracket holding 2 rads and a fan on 1 mount... just my two cents.
Buck_Rogers25 30th July 2010, 12:05 Quote
Not sure I agree or disagree with this one. For most they don't have any merit at all, but for me and some others they do. http://www.aqua-computer.de/images/products/radi/ap_1800_500.jpg Remember these ? Mines in a box after moving house waiting for me to rebuild at the moment, but to me it's the ultimate near passive rad.

The last case I built to use it was a chipboard monstrosity, amateur doesnt even come close to describing it, but it worked very well. I bought a Cosmos Sport which does have grometts, wasn't my key consideration when I bought it, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw them, as when I do eventually get it all setup again it means I won't have to bolt this monster to the side of my case and can sit it in a housing of it's own next to it, or even do a manifold setup.

Grometts also give you the option of having an external fill and bleed port, which is a good option really, and as someone already stated, chiller possibilities. There is also the manifold watercooling option, for people like me who may have a giant rad and multiple machines.

Do I think extra marks should be give for grometts, probably yes but only 0.01 say. There not essential, but it's nice that they are considered.
stuartpb 30th July 2010, 12:09 Quote
I used the grommets on my old Antec 900 a few years ago. I had externally mounted the 2x120mm rad at the back, with some rad mount angled brackets, and then passed the 1/2" tubing through. IIRC I ended up having to remove the grommets though, as they were causing the tubing to kink, and popped out every time there was a little movement on the tubing. This was my first foray into using a decent custom wc kit, and I didn't have the confidence then to be chopping up my case, so the grommets (and external mounting of the rads) worked out well for me.
feathers 30th July 2010, 12:25 Quote
"The problem is I can’t work out why or when anyone would actually use an external 120mm radiator. " - I have used an external 3 x 120 Thermochill rad for many years. A friend of mine also. We don't have our rads attached to PC. The rad is detached from the PC case and sitting by open window. Why? Because I don't want a conventional water setup where the rad sucks in warm case air or warm room air and dumps it back into the room where it is sucked back into the rad.

My rad sucks in cool outside air.

My Cosmos 1000 case has the rubber grommets and I make use of them to protect the tubing. I had to cut the flaps of the grommets because my tubing is 12mm ID 3mm thickness.

Needless to say my water system can cool an overclocked i7 much cooler than a conventional water setup.
jocke92 30th July 2010, 12:29 Quote
If I one day need to put a cable through my case. Those holes would save me a lot of time.
Cogwulf 30th July 2010, 12:32 Quote
They would be useful if you wanted to use a closed-loop system like the corsair h50 and wanted more clearance from the VRM heatsinks. But it would mean disassembling and refilling the kit, and anyone comfortable with doing that could easily cut their own holes anyway.
LeMaltor 30th July 2010, 13:08 Quote
I agree, we need very expensive cases that are very pretty for fellow geeks too look at.

Sod cooling and noise performance, that's not what people water cool for!
dazedandconfused 30th July 2010, 13:15 Quote
I used the grommets on the antec 900 on my first venture into water cooling. Within a couple of months though I had upgraded my case to allow an internal rad.
My 800d has grommets on the back of it,they sit obstructed by the rx360 which is in the roof. I do use the grommets that are in the shelf though, as I've got a rad in the bottom of the case too.
Mrka 30th July 2010, 13:19 Quote
i use the grommets for dual radiator, just like this http://modding.lt/client/files/c_items/127114318469.jpg
Hamish 30th July 2010, 13:41 Quote
i use them on my p180
i have a 120x3 mounted on the top of the case and a giant tube res on the side
i dont care if it looks neat or whatever, its easier to mount like this than internally, requires less cutting/modding of the case and is more effective due to not using hot internal case air
basically im lazy and external is simpler and more effective
the only reason not to is you're (too ;)) bothered about the aesthetics of the black box that sits under your desk :p

as far as reviewing goes, i wouldnt say they should really affect the score but its not like they are a difficult or expensive thing to add to a case
drill hole, apply rubber, done

http://www.frools.net/rad.jpg
[USRF]Obiwan 30th July 2010, 13:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish

http://www.frools.net/rad.jpg

Such a big case and the rad and res would not fit inside? I fitted a res/2x120 rad/pump and fanbus into a LianLI PC60 (old model) and that is a SMALL fit.
Bauul 30th July 2010, 14:16 Quote
I dunno actually, I think there's a subsection of enthusiasts who don't give two hoots about athestics, they just want faster speeds and cooler computers. For them, mounting the watercooling kit outside the case makes sense, as it's easier to maintain.

Some people probably rather like the idea of being able to see all the tubing in action.
Phalanx 30th July 2010, 14:23 Quote
Would it also not be cooler outside of the case?
Ross1 30th July 2010, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
Such a big case and the rad and res would not fit inside? I fitted a res/2x120 rad/pump and fanbus into a LianLI PC60 (old model) and that is a SMALL fit.

my experience is the p182 is like a reverse tardis. Looks big on the outside, but there isnt much space inside, and quite difficult to work in.
Woodspoon 30th July 2010, 14:34 Quote
Except for the use of things like the Zalman reserator and other big passive systems, their pretty much pointless.
Any well thought out, well designed watercooled system should have direct external air access to the rad through a side or front panel and if you have to change the components you want to allow for budgetary considerations then your doing it wrong, get the parts you want, never cut corners, you'll regret it in the end, just save for an extra month or two.
Altron 30th July 2010, 14:38 Quote
My case (Thermaltake Element G) has them, although they are metal flaps that you pop-out, not nice rubber grommets.

I use them, although probably in a different way.

I run a molex cable out of my PC through them.

I have a pair of external hard drives that require 12v/5v dual rail power. The cheap bricks they included both failed, so I chopped a male molex connector on the end instead, and power them from inside the case.

I also have a homebuilt LED that requires ~2.5 amps at 12v. I don't have a brick that can do that, so I put on a male molex connector and run it off the power supply if I need to.

Before, I would either run a PSU sitting on my desk, with the green wire bridged to the black wire (when I was using it with a laptop) and then when I had a desktop, I punched out a PCI slot cover and run a molex through it.

It might not add much for everyone, but if you end up having to run cables in and out of the case, it's a really convenient thing to have. It doesn't hurt anything to have the option, even if most people don't use them.
Hamish 30th July 2010, 14:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
Such a big case and the rad and res would not fit inside? I fitted a res/2x120 rad/pump and fanbus into a LianLI PC60 (old model) and that is a SMALL fit.

did you not read the bit where i said i put it outside because its easier? ;)
im sure it would fit inside, i just don't want to go through the effort of squeezing it in

edit: the rad would fit anyway, i'd lose a 5.25 bay or 2 but i dont use them anyway
that res i dont think would though
memeroot 30th July 2010, 14:57 Quote
I thought they were for loving and the small size was because the case was made in taiwan
DbD 30th July 2010, 15:50 Quote
All the water is doing is moving the heat to another location. If you just have a little one 120mm fan radiator in the case you might as well not have bothered and just used a standard heatpipe cpu heatsink.

Water cooling is really great when you use the fact that the water can move the heat out of the case to something with serious heat dissipation properties e.g. your huge triple 120mm fan radiator.
rickysio 30th July 2010, 16:33 Quote
No no no, you're supposed to link this to your fridge's radiator. You can't design a case large enough to contain a fridge without running into serious cash issues, but you sure as hell can design holes to allow tubing to run to the fridge.

Why are you guys not getting this? ;D
thewelshbrummie 30th July 2010, 17:26 Quote
The grommets in my P182 have only been used to re-route the rear I/O connectors to the front panel card reader I used to have (with audio ports, 2x USB & Firewire). With my case I can see the need as it's not big enough for radiators and multiple loops but I wouldn't have bought it if watercooling was on the agenda of my build.
Tuthmose 30th July 2010, 17:26 Quote
Agreed about the minimal or non-existent usefulness of grommets. But I disagree about the rad mounting.

Although aesthetically it often looks nicer, I've never been a fan (no pun intended) of rads that exhaust hot air to the case's interior. So . . . if you can't fit in a big rad in a position that exhausts to the exterior, a whole or partially outside mount is the way to go for performance, IMO.

My current build is going with a top mounted XSPC 360 rad that protrudes to the exterior. Why? I'm using it in push-pull with shrouds, and there just isn't space for the entire set-up between the mobo tray and the roof (and this is in a cavernous ATCS 840). I want it to exhaust to the outside . . .so it and the exhaust-side fans must protrude through the roof. Sure, I'll encase it in some kind of plexi housing and make it blend in, but it's still an exterior mount.

I maintain that there ARE some good reasons to mount rads outside.

-Tuthmose
capnPedro 30th July 2010, 17:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
All the water is doing is moving the heat to another location. If you just have a little one 120mm fan radiator in the case you might as well not have bothered and just used a standard heatpipe cpu heatsink.

Your lack of understanding of specific heat capacity clearly shows you're not a physicist.

And perhaps you should leave making statements about thermodynamics to the professionals.
asura 30th July 2010, 18:37 Quote
Can anyone spell External Radiator?
Earthmonger 30th July 2010, 19:43 Quote
I don't use them, no. They are too small in diameter to fit my Bitspower bulkheads through (I need 20mm holes), and there's only two of them. I end up drilling my own holes. I use a pair of Watercool Mo-Ra 2 Pros, so internal mounting isn't an option.
POMLORE 30th July 2010, 19:46 Quote
I use them on my antec 1200 for an external 360rad mounted to the wall at the back of pc
Bakes 30th July 2010, 21:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by asura
Can anyone spell External Radiator?

The TJ07 has massive cooling potential in the first place - you can fit a quad rad in the bottom and a triple in the top, disregarding all other spaces (front bays, rear exhausts etc). In a worst case scenario, this would give the system 7/9 the radiator volume of a much uglier external radiator.

Furthermore, the link you posted is self-defeating - there are no such rubber grommets included with the TJ-07, it's much more useful to (if you're watercooling) drill your own where you want them, which would give you the freedom to use features such as dry valves such as the ones used in the pc you posted.

Even within the watercooling community, the number of people who use extermal rads is tiny, nowhere near enough to justify putting them on so many different cases. If you're externally mounting your radiator you're likely modding at the same time, if you're modding you could probably do a better job by drilling your own holes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey9801
I used the grommets on my antec 900 to mount the switches for my ccfls, they're the perfect fit for them :P

me too, they're perfect :D

only thing they're good for imo
JULO 30th July 2010, 22:06 Quote
Actually, gromments are useful in cheap cases like Rebel 9.
In such an case it's not a must for every part of it to be perfect and gromments don't mess the design.

And if you buy cheap case, you may also buy cheap LC ex. from used parts, and in these cheap sets there are also home-made external radiators.
Omnituens 30th July 2010, 22:15 Quote
I just pass a bike lock though mine at lans.
pingu666 30th July 2010, 22:16 Quote
i use mine for my external radiators
got a p182
robert69 30th July 2010, 23:19 Quote
I've had 2 cases that had them: a P182, and a CM 840.

In the 182 I would have used them to run hose to the exterior reservoir/filler I mounted, but I wanted that up high so they were useless.

In the 840 There were in the perfect spot for plumbing to an external filler/reservoir, but since I mounted a 360mm rad inside the case, it hangs down too low and obscures the 2 holes on the 840. So they too are useless to me.

What's really amusing is, as I recall, either the Antec D800 or the new Dark Forces cases have a depression for this that's drill out to about 1/4" or so, making them both useless and stupid looking.
Bakes 30th July 2010, 23:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert69
I've had 2 cases that had them: a P182, and a CM 840.

In the 182 I would have used them to run hose to the exterior reservoir/filler I mounted, but I wanted that up high so they were useless.

In the 840 There were in the perfect spot for plumbing to an external filler/reservoir, but since I mounted a 360mm rad inside the case, it hangs down too low and obscures the 2 holes on the 840. So they too are useless to me.

What's really amusing is, as I recall, either the Antec D800 or the new Dark Forces cases have a depression for this that's drill out to about 1/4" or so, making them both useless and stupid looking.

Exactly, its as if they just put them where there is unused space, rather than thinking out good positions (ie gimmick). It's far better for the end user to drill them where they want them, because it gives more freedom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JULO
Actually, gromments are useful in cheap cases like Rebel 9.
In such an case it's not a must for every part of it to be perfect and gromments don't mess the design.

And if you buy cheap case, you may also buy cheap LC ex. from used parts, and in these cheap sets there are also home-made external radiators.

The argument was put out very well in this blog post - what's the point in buying expensive watercooling gear if you're just using a low quality case? Even cheap setups will cost at least £150, at which point the difference between a cheapo case that has holes at the back and a nice case with room for radiator mounting becomes much smaller - for example the difference between the Rebel 9 and a good watercooling case is about £40 - you might as well just spend the money and get a nice case.

If you're spending £30 cooling your PC, it seems fair enough to buy a cheap case - if however you're getting a £150 WC setup (£200+ new) you might as well save up and get a nicer case to put it in.
Xtrafresh 31st July 2010, 00:23 Quote
I once butchered an old case and fitted 4 grommets in the roof... but i never used the stock grommets on a case, and i hereby vow i never will.

It seems to me like a 'feature' that can be slapped on for 50 cents, so manufacturers think why not. I don't blame them.
sleepygamer 31st July 2010, 02:03 Quote
I will probably end up using them on my M59. I can mount a 240 rad in the roof, but there isn't enough clearance over the motherboard to fit anything but a slim rad internally, and even then you would need to mount the fans outside the case. My first venture into watercooling will be just cooling the CPU, and I'll probably be doing this using the grommets. :D
Tuthmose 31st July 2010, 02:57 Quote
Upon further reflection (I have two small children, and thus much time to ponder such meaningless stuff while feeding bottles and changing WMD-filled diapers), I thought of something a tad ironic . .

Didn't Bit-Tech itself use a pair of grommets to attach the Hailea HC-500A water chiller to Project Beast? It's hard to be sure, but it kinda looks that way from the pics. . .

Just sayin', is all . . . :D

-Tuthmose
SuicideNeil 31st July 2010, 03:16 Quote
To quote fizzban:

"I suppose it would be handy if you had one of those old Zalman Reserator's. >>>>>Or maybe a water chiller.<<<<< "

Quite.
Creekin 31st July 2010, 04:47 Quote
"As a result I can’t work out why a computer enthusiast who’s taken the time to carefully put together the component for his build would choose to use an external radiator.

For a start it would compromise not only the noise of the system but also the aesthetics of the build. It gives the build an amateur look, as it gives the impression of the water cooling just being ‘tacked on’ like some kind of afterthought."

Stupidest comment EVER made on all the internets!
:(

where did you find this guy?
out the back of best buy crying?
_Metal_Guitar_ 31st July 2010, 10:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey9801
I used the grommets on my antec 900 to mount the switches for my ccfls, they're the perfect fit for them :P

Same, perfect fit and out of sight too.

Honestly, what's wrong with them? They're there if you need them, and if you don't, just forget about them. They don't put them on the front of the case do they?

A nice case of complaining about nothing.
JULO 31st July 2010, 11:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
I just pass a bike lock though mine at lans.

Better pass an external radiator with hoses only. That would be lans :)
cgthomas 31st July 2010, 12:59 Quote
I have actualy seen many people use it in their Antec 18x and 19x, on YouTube.
I think that when people buy a case like the antec 182 they don't think about water-cooling, but only after they relies the benefits and fun of watercooling they choose to fix a double or triple radiator outside. After all that case costs £110+ and I don't think someone would throw that case away (given that you don't have friends or younger siblings who are interested in it)
bobwya 31st July 2010, 14:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by feathers
"The problem is I can’t work out why or when anyone would actually use an external 120mm radiator. " - I have used an external 3 x 120 Thermochill rad for many years. A friend of mine also. We don't have our rads attached to PC. The rad is detached from the PC case and sitting by open window. Why? Because I don't want a conventional water setup where the rad sucks in warm case air or warm room air and dumps it back into the room where it is sucked back into the rad.

My rad sucks in cool outside air.

My Cosmos 1000 case has the rubber grommets and I make use of them to protect the tubing. I had to cut the flaps of the grommets because my tubing is 12mm ID 3mm thickness.

Needless to say my water system can cool an overclocked i7 much cooler than a conventional water setup.
Bakes 31st July 2010, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creekin
"As a result I can’t work out why a computer enthusiast who’s taken the time to carefully put together the component for his build would choose to use an external radiator.

For a start it would compromise not only the noise of the system but also the aesthetics of the build. It gives the build an amateur look, as it gives the impression of the water cooling just being ‘tacked on’ like some kind of afterthought."

Stupidest comment EVER made on all the internets!
:(

where did you find this guy?
out the back of best buy crying?

How is it stupid? Personally, I've seen only one or two good mods that have made use of external radiators, and they've usually been done on high end cases, the sorts that wouldn't have the grommets anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgthomas
I have actualy seen many people use it in their Antec 18x and 19x, on YouTube.
I think that when people buy a case like the antec 182 they don't think about water-cooling, but only after they relies the benefits and fun of watercooling they choose to fix a double or triple radiator outside. After all that case costs £110+ and I don't think someone would throw that case away (given that you don't have friends or younger siblings who are interested in it)

The Antec Pxxx series is the exception to the rule - they're massive yet have very little room for anything inside.
Woodspoon 31st July 2010, 16:22 Quote
TJ07 FTW, best water cooling case ever (probably)
azrael- 1st August 2010, 02:15 Quote
For some unfathomable reason most recent Lian-Li cases seem to need those grommets, regardless of the size of the case. I'd rather be without since a) I'm not watercooling nor do I intend to watercool and b) it's just another entry point for dust.
Creekin 1st August 2010, 04:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
How is it stupid? Personally, I've seen only one or two good mods that have made use of external radiators, and they've usually been done on high end cases, the sorts that wouldn't have the grommets anyway.

OP quote "As a result I can’t work out why a computer enthusiast who’s taken the time to carefully put together the component for his build would choose to use an external radiator.

For a start it would compromise not only the noise of the system but also the aesthetics of the build. It gives the build an amateur look, as it gives the impression of the water cooling just being ‘tacked on’ like some kind of afterthought."

The option for external or internal rad is purely personal. Hence the conclusion that external rad is "amateur" and that it will negatively impact noise and aesthetics is a stupid statement. As is the entire article IMHO. I realize theres not much new kit around but ganging up on grommets?? really?

As mentioned by others, one of the greatest advantages of WC is being able to move the heat away from the parts creating it. It therefore is only logical that moving it to outside the case is a GOOD idea.

Then there is a safety aspect, alot of PSUs are now mounted to the bottom of the case.
Where will a leak go?

I have a lian-li x2000 tyr, BIG case, Lotsa room. still no room for a rad/pump/res.
I still use an original Zalman Reserator (original pump replaced with larger model) inline with a 360 rad. the reserator acts as just a res/pump combo. If my rad fans ever failed I know the reserator could handle my cpu on its own. (E8600. 2 x 4870s in cf are on air..damn your stock levels GAM!)

edit: My case has 4 grommets, I use 2 for wc, and the other 2 I have rigged 2 usb led snakelights from external usb through the grommets to light my flowmeter. I could have had them plugged into a hub or pci card internally..but then all the hardware would be visible. The grommets were PERFECT! :D

I rebuild and remod my rig often. But never would I consider mounting any of the WC inside.
Just doesn't make sense.
Leaks are fatal.
Cooling capacity reduced
Cramped conditions, (ever had to drain a wc to change a hdd or ram?!)

Jamming a 360 rad into a pc case not designed for it looks "tacked on"
Writing a negative article without properly researching it looks amateur...
Anakha 1st August 2010, 06:41 Quote
Two words: Koolance EXOS
Nature 1st August 2010, 06:47 Quote
"Who actually uses water cooling grommets?"


Your mom. Discussion over.
Bakes 1st August 2010, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creekin
The option for external or internal rad is purely personal. Hence the conclusion that external rad is "amateur" and that it will negatively impact noise and aesthetics is a stupid statement. As is the entire article IMHO. I realize theres not much new kit around but ganging up on grommets?? really?

Yes, but that argument is incorrect merely because whilst aesthetics are a personal decision, there will always be some 'ugly' decisions for just about everyone. For example, a massive aircon unit on the side of a house will never be seen as pretty or a good decision.
Quote:
As mentioned by others, one of the greatest advantages of WC is being able to move the heat away from the parts creating it. It therefore is only logical that moving it to outside the case is a GOOD idea.

It depends on your definition of good. Personally, I'd want my system to be a self-contained unit, so I can move it around without worrying about cutting cables and the like. That's why I don't use a test bench. Furthermore, I'd think it much better (aesthetically) if my radiators were inside the case - it just makes the achievement that little bit more amazing.
Quote:
Then there is a safety aspect, alot of PSUs are now mounted to the bottom of the case.
Where will a leak go?

To the power supply, where it will immediately trip the fuse unless you have used non-conductive fluid, as most people do. You seem to assume that if you use watercooling, you will spring a leak at some point. Unless you're total **** at installing watercooling gear or have some faulty components (and watercooling has gone a long way past the Thermaltake bigwaters) your watercooling will likely last quite a while with little maintenance. Furthermore, the radiator is only one potential point of failure. If you think about it sensibly for a second or two, if you have your graphics cards, your CPU and your northbridge cooled (with a reservoir), you'll have at least 10 tubes that are inside your case, which could explode dramatically at any time. Placing the rads and pump outside the case only means that four of the fittings are not inside the case - it doesn't mean that any failure will not happen. It's a stupid argument.
Quote:
I have a lian-li x2000 tyr, BIG case, Lotsa room. still no room for a rad/pump/res.

Yes there is... I just googled 'lian li x2000 tyr watercooling' and got this:

http://www.overclock.net/attachments/case-mod-work-logs/114187d1246452863-lian-li-tyr-pc-x2000-new-side2.jpg

That's a pretty lame watercooling setup - You could fit larger radiators there also if you did a bit of modding. Remove a drive rack and you can fit a triple radiator, you can fit a single rad at the back etc. There's plenty of room if you are creative and don't mind drilling your case a bit.
Quote:
I still use an original Zalman Reserator (original pump replaced with larger model) inline with a 360 rad. the reserator acts as just a res/pump combo. If my rad fans ever failed I know the reserator could handle my cpu on its own. (E8600. 2 x 4870s in cf are on air..damn your stock levels GAM!)

Again, it's what level of redundancy you want. Personally, I have never had a fan fail in my life, so I probably wouldn't want a whacking great unit designed to deal with that eventuality. Personally, I'd save money by attaching one or two of those fans to the CPU fan header, and enable the cpu fan fail warning in the bios. Problem solved, no?
Quote:
I rebuild and remod my rig often. But never would I consider mounting any of the WC inside.
Just doesn't make sense.
Leaks are fatal.
Cooling capacity reduced
Cramped conditions, (ever had to drain a wc to change a hdd or ram?!)

Ok, firstly if you have to drain your WC to change your hdd, that's just bad planning. Hot-swap drive bays etc are your friend, and if your radiators are blocking the drive bays, I'd hate to see your airflow plans.
Secondly, leaks are fatal whether the radiators are inside or outside the case. Usually, the parts that fail are the waterblocks, and these are always going to be inside. Again, watercooling is past the point where it can explode if you look at it funny, most watercooling systems are actually pretty resilient.
It not making sense is your personal opinion rather than actual fact. In truth, most people do internal watercooling and are happy with it - it's more self-contained, more durable and looks more impressive.
Quote:
Jamming a 360 rad into a pc case not designed for it looks "tacked on"
Writing a negative article without properly researching it looks amateur...

The first statement is opinion, and remember that this article is a blog post - it's opinion rather than fact. Much like your post tbh.

Anyway, if you like using cases designed to allow 360 rads, that's your opinion. Personally, I like aftermarket modding, such as the Vadim Xiphias - dual rad in the roof, two quads in the bottom, looks perfect.
Here's a video of it, I can't find pictures.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGpLzOjNAYw
stuartpb 1st August 2010, 13:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
http://www.overclock.net/attachments/case-mod-work-logs/114187d1246452863-lian-li-tyr-pc-x2000-new-side2.jpg

That's a pretty lame watercooling setup - You could fit larger radiators there also if you did a bit of modding. Remove a drive rack and you can fit a triple radiator, you can fit a single rad at the back etc. There's plenty of room if you are creative and don't mind drilling your case a bit.

That is a triple rad in there, he has just used 2x120mm fans with it. I have had the Lian Li TYR PC-X2000, and at the price point this case is at, the last thing I would have wanted to do would be to start chopping it up. Would you buy a ferrari and then proceed to cut your own bloody air intakes in it?

I also don't like the attitudes shown here about modding cases. There IS NO right or wrong way, and that's the point of modding. It's to suit individual taste, and the know it all, fashionistas detract from the hobby, and more people would probably consider it as a hobby if there weren't so many people who claimed they knew the right way to do stuff:( It doesn't matter whether you, I or anyone else like or dislike someone's own mods, it's whether they are happy with their results.
Bakes 1st August 2010, 15:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartpb
That is a triple rad in there, he has just used 2x120mm fans with it. I have had the Lian Li TYR PC-X2000, and at the price point this case is at, the last thing I would have wanted to do would be to start chopping it up. Would you buy a ferrari and then proceed to cut your own bloody air intakes in it?

No, merely because Ferrari's are perfection even without modding them in any way, and if you slip up, you're not damaging a $500 computer case, you're damaging a $200k Ferrari. Sorry, there's no real comparison. A better suggestion might be overclocking an extreme edition cpu? There's the potential to completely **** it up, but if you're careful and know what you're doing, then you've also got the chance to make a great case even better.
Quote:
I also don't like the attitudes shown here about modding cases. There IS NO right or wrong way, and that's the point of modding. It's to suit individual taste, and the know it all, fashionistas detract from the hobby, and more people would probably consider it as a hobby if there weren't so many people who claimed they knew the right way to do stuff:( It doesn't matter whether you, I or anyone else like or dislike someone's own mods, it's whether they are happy with their results.

True, and I agree that there are some truly awesome mods I don't like at all. On the other hand, I think this quotation is very apt (I can't remember who said it): "There is no single right way to do something, but there are plenty of wrong ways".
Altron 1st August 2010, 19:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
No, merely because Ferrari's are perfection even without modding them in any way, and if you slip up, you're not damaging a $500 computer case, you're damaging a $200k Ferrari. Sorry, there's no real comparison. A better suggestion might be overclocking an extreme edition cpu? There's the potential to completely **** it up, but if you're careful and know what you're doing, then you've also got the chance to make a great case even better.



True, and I agree that there are some truly awesome mods I don't like at all. On the other hand, I think this quotation is very apt (I can't remember who said it): "There is no single right way to do something, but there are plenty of wrong ways".

Well, an external radiator isn't necessarily the wrong way.

I think most of us agree that what makes a WC system good or bad isn't where the components are located, it is how much thought was put into the design. I'd rather see an external watercooling system that was designed to be aesthetically pleasing, minimizing noise, and be able to effectively cool all of the components than an internal watercooling system that is loud, unreliable, assembled in zip ties - looking like it was added in as an afterthought.

Different strokes for different folks. Depends a lot on where you use your computer.

For instance, mine is in a basement right now. If I got watercooling, I would probably get a 120v pump (kicking it oldschool) with a lot of capacity, then run tubing vertically about four feet, punch a hole in it, and mount a big ol' car heater core with a 120v fan or two outside, because noise isn't an issue.
However, I'm moving into an apartment within the next month. In that case, I'd be far more apt to go for a small internal WC setup, because of limited space outside of the case and the ability to move the rig when needed.

Both types have their benefits. Some of the other old timers may remember a popular project log (can't remember if it was on bit-tech or not) 7-8 years ago that involved a guy getting a huge metal tank and burying it in his backyard, and watercooling his PC from it. I believe there's some temperature, I think it is around 55F in this area, where once you go below a certain point in the ground (a couple feet), the ground is that temperature year-round. With thermal intertia, and the sheer volume and surface area of this giant metal tank, it kept the water at the underground temperature no matter how hot his PC ran.

Stuff like that is innovative, stuff like that is cool. I've seen some other pretty sick mods using external radiators. I've also seen some other sick mods using internal radiators, especially those guys who cram them into SFF cases. But is one innately better than the other? Of course not. Generally, the guy who is more skilled at working with cases, and who put the most effort into design and construction, is the one who has the nicer mod.
stuartpb 1st August 2010, 21:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
No, merely because Ferrari's are perfection even without modding them in any way, and if you slip up, you're not damaging a $500 computer case, you're damaging a $200k Ferrari. Sorry, there's no real comparison. A better suggestion might be overclocking an extreme edition cpu? There's the potential to completely **** it up, but if you're careful and know what you're doing, then you've also got the chance to make a great case even better.

Being someone who looks after my money, and my investments, I'm not so flippant over £300. If I had paid that much for a case (I got mine as a review sample), I wouldn't think of cutting the case up. It's nothing to do with performance at all. If the case doesn't perform well on air, at £300, then I don't want to know. I would much rather spend less, where it is easier to install wc. A lot of my cases get sold on after I have bought them, purely as I get bored with them after a while, or my missus starts giving me grief over the clutter, so chopping such an expensive case makes it an even more niche product than it was already, thus much harder to sell on. So the comparison is valid.

Regards modding, the hobby is all about expression and personal tastes, so as far as I am concerned there is no right or wrong. Obviously, there are technical aspects to modding, but the aesthetics of a mod is down to the individual alone. Whether a rad is fitted internally or externally is personal choice, and who is anyone to criticise that choice?
mhadina 2nd August 2010, 08:55 Quote
What if someone wants to build a WC inside a cheap case and save some $ for better components. I say this because cases for WC doesn't need to have expensive fans and good airflow so you could take any case and build a WC.
What if someone wants to use those two or more grommets for connection of flow-meter to be visible outside a case etc.
I agree it is not a relevant for your job and shouldn't be counted because almost every case has it today so why bother?
by
Shirty 2nd August 2010, 11:20 Quote
Why shouldn't a case have them? Surely in 95% of scenarios the back of the case will not be visible anyway... plus I never found them particularly ugly.

I am one of those rather bizzarre individuals who did acquire a Zalman Reserator 1 V2 a few years ago (albeit for the princely sum of £15, coolant included!), which is currently plumbed into my heavily overclocked GTX280 via an EK block - the card has never exceeded 55 degrees under load, where it was nudging 100 with its stock cooler. It's also completely silent.

I do own a Dremel, however Antec saved me the hassle of drilling the holes by incorporating a pair of grommets into the P182.

I accept that most hardcore users will probably never find much of a reason to use them but they might have a purpose, even if it is for the more "eccentric" modder!

I know the various Reserators were critically panned, and accept that at retail prices they were dreadful value for money, but does anyone know how well they actually sold?
Risky 2nd August 2010, 16:16 Quote
If I was attempting such a thing, probable since I have an airplex 1080 in my parts box, I'd want to use bulhead fittings, for a proper finish.
Creekin 2nd August 2010, 16:33 Quote
Loving this flameless discussion

Bottom line on the grommets is Murphys Law.
If your case doesn't have them, chances are you have an external wc system and hopefully a
If your case does have them you will either ignore them or find some other ingenious use for them.
For the cost of including them in manufacture Vs the hassle of adding them if you need them, I'd say in general they are a good feature and worth review "points".

I think the whole internal vs external argument is like coke vs pepsi.
I like my case to be nice and clean and open, but my rig in general I like to be big and imposing.
An x2000 and a v1 Reserator achieves that aim nicely...

The Reserator was never meant to be a powerful cooler, it's designed to be quiet and does that perfectly. I upgraded the pump and added a 360 rad and now it IS a powerful cooler, and quiet, and redundant.;)

Love the Vadim Xiphias Bakes, I agree, filling a case with tech and making it look good is art. Thats why we come to BT.
Never had a leak *touch wood* but maybe working with power for many years has made me a little paranoid.
I bought a Thermaltake Tribe many years ago,cheap, essentially just for the mesh cage to mount a rad in.
And as soon as I saw the "quality" of the wc parts I tossed them all. Still using the cage with a 360 rad in it.

As for the x2000 a rad will fit inside pretty easy, clearance on GPUs is a bit tight, and you need a nice pliable 24pin atx.
But in my case I have 3 par38 size RGB LEDs mounted in that space.
They take up most of the area and block the fans by about 1/3, but it's well worth it.

When it was new I wouldn't dare cut it, but now, 2 years on.
I'm thinking of moving the psu to the bottom and the hdds to the top, adding a 4th 140mm fan at the front and an internal 480rad.
The best part of this case is the hdd racks, the worst is the dual 80mm fans at the bottom rear, should have been a 140.

I love my Reserator Shirty. I knew if I waited they would make a black one, but i couldn't and have the blue. I assume it must have sold well enough to make a v2. I don't think of it as a radiator, more of a res/pump. "Reserpump"? "Pumpvoir"? :?
It's just a great big RL e-peen!! :D
Shirty 2nd August 2010, 17:13 Quote
I agree Creekin - the finish and build quality of the Reserators is astonishing compared to a lot of tech.

I wouldn't have bought one new, but the price I paid for mine would certainly not have bought much better in the way of cooling for a single component.

When I eventually retire it from the main PC I'll stick it next to the telly cooling the HTPC and it can be an interesting conversation piece.

That will require me to break out the Dremel because AFAIK the Fusion doesn't have grommets!
DragunovHUN 2nd August 2010, 17:20 Quote
I just used mine to get a card reader's short cable through the back because it wouldn't reach to the front. Now i'm in the market for a new card reader but untill then i'm glad i have grommets.
Goty 2nd August 2010, 18:18 Quote
I just skimmed the post, but the caption on the picture literally made me laugh.
Iorek 2nd August 2010, 23:19 Quote
That'd be a no to using the water cooling grommets... I didn't know thats what they were for (not that I've got any water cooling either).

I have used them for cable routing, on things like the fan speed adjuster of an old Zalman flower however.
schmidtbag 2nd August 2010, 23:19 Quote
using something for exactly what its designed for is really kind of closed-minded of people. you can use these for many things. sometimes theres external devices that use an internal connection or vice versa (for example, some vfd or lcd screens that use a parallel port or some cheap tv tuners). also, some fans have a little fan control connected to them which you can pull thru the grommets for easy access. you could also do a ghetto e-sata system where you take a long sata data and power cable and push them thru the grommet and easily plug in any sata drive.

as i see it, these grommets are almost entirely useless for their initial purpose, but theres plenty of possibilities otherwise.
eternal_fantasy 3rd August 2010, 02:41 Quote
Performance > Upgrade-ability > Maintenance > Noise >>> Aesthetics

External Radiator/Pump/Reservoir/Bleed Valve = Plug and play upgrades.

Build a fully integrated water-cooled rig is not water-cooling, it's Lego. With pretty pictures.
DbD 3rd August 2010, 12:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
All the water is doing is moving the heat to another location. If you just have a little one 120mm fan radiator in the case you might as well not have bothered and just used a standard heatpipe cpu heatsink.

Your lack of understanding of specific heat capacity clearly shows you're not a physicist.

And perhaps you should leave making statements about thermodynamics to the professionals.

I have no lack of understanding but I'm pretty sure you do. If you did understand you would explain what was wrong with what I said. The fact that haven't suggests you can't, instead you've trying using insults and big words - which is generally the fall back of those who don't really know what they are trying to talk about.

If you did you would be able to tell me what was wrong with my statement. You can't - a decent 120mm fan non-water-cooled heat-sink has similar ability to dissipate heat to a 120mm fan water-cooled radiator. Check the reviews ... there are thousands.

Water cooling is only superior because it's near impossible to stick anything larger then a single 120mm fan heat-sink directly on the cpu. With water cooling the water MOVES that heat in the water to a location where you can place a larger multiple 120mm fan radiator which can obviously dissipate more heat.
capnPedro 3rd August 2010, 13:38 Quote
Au contraire. A higher heat capacity for the medium of energy transfer means that your loop can be used to store heat temporarily. You don't have to dump it straight into the environment like you would with a conventional heatsink.

You might only have the same surface area in your heat exchanger (the radiator), but you have 0.5kg of water (which requires ~3000 times as much energy to increase its temperature as air does per unit mass).

Your PC doesn't dump heat at a constant rate, so the water acts as a buffer to prevent sudden increases in temperature, instead allowing the energy to be transferred into the surroundings at a slower rate.

We can argue about this all day if you want, after all, my time is worthless.
mhadina 3rd August 2010, 13:56 Quote
It's nice data but it's a way out of a subject. Maybe we could comment what the opening on the back side of the case could be used for?
It could give answer how much review point it worth ...
Bakes 3rd August 2010, 14:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
I have no lack of understanding but I'm pretty sure you do. If you did understand you would explain what was wrong with what I said. Twhich is generally the fall back of those who don't really know what they are trying to talk about.

If you did you would be able to tell me what was wrong with my statement. You can't - a decent 120mm fan non-water-cooled heat-sink has similar ability to dissipate heat to a 120mm fan water-cooled radiator. Check the reviews ... there are thousands.

Water cooling is only superior because it's near impossible to stick anything larger then a single 120mm fan heat-sink directly on the cpu. With water cooling the water MOVES that heat in the water to a location where you can place a larger multiple 120mm fan radiator which can obviously dissipate more heat.

The reason why water cooling temperatures are lower is because the heat generated by the cpu is first heating up the water coolant.

Water has a very high SHC, it means that if you put X joules into water and oil, the water temperature would have a smaller change. This is advantageous because it means that you can transport more heat energy at a lower temperature. Even if the same amount of heat is being removed at the radiator, the temperatures will be lower because the water is cooler throughout the loop.

Furthermore, the heat is moving at the speeds the water's being pushed through the loop, rather than the speeds the heatpipes or copper can manage. This is advantageous also, because it means that each fin in the water cooler has the same cooling potential, less of them go to waste, whilst with a heatsink the top fins are cooler than the bottom ones due to the limitations of heatpipes, which means that some of the top fins are completely useless.

Even if you had unlimited space, and stuck a 1M tall hsf on the top of a cpu (i guess you'd be attaching the cpu to the HSF xD), the cpu would still be cooled worse than a much smaller water cooling rig - purely because the watercooling setup can remove heat faster into the environment whilst you'd have to rely on heat conduction with the hsf - I'd imagine that the top 85CM of the cooler would be at roughly room temperature.

Low temperatures are not entirely dependent on how much heat you can possibly remove, they're much more to do with how fast you can get the heat away from the CPU - that's why massive coolers don't always perform better than coolers with much less surface area. If you want a perfect example, it's why the Thermalright Ultra-120 performs much worse than the Ultra-120 Extreme - whilst they have the same cooling capacity and design the extra heatpipes of the TRUE mean that it cools much better.
Hamish 3rd August 2010, 14:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
The reason why water cooling temperatures are lower is because the heat generated by the cpu is first heating up the water coolant.
no its because you can more efficiently dissipate heat with a radiator

in the end with air or water cooling you still have to put the heat into the air (unless you have some more exotic setup ofc) but a radiator generally has more surface area and being able to pump water around it evenly means you dont get hotspots and the like

DbD is pretty much correct
Bakes 3rd August 2010, 14:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish
no its because you can more efficiently dissipate heat with a radiator

in the end with air or water cooling you still have to put the heat into the air (unless you have some more exotic setup ofc) but a radiator generally has more surface area and being able to pump water around it evenly means you dont get hotspots and the like

DbD is pretty much correct

Well, had you read the rest of my post you'd realise that I know this. Nevertheless, DbD seemed to assume that the only reason why air coolers are not good is because of size restrictions - this is not the case at all.

In any case, my point still stands, it's why using a really good coolant can change the temperatures dramatically.
crazyceo 4th August 2010, 00:47 Quote
Come on, everyone knows the first thing EVERYONE does when they find their case has these holes, is just sticking your finger in it and say "yeah, my finger can go through it!". Any other action or thought on what to do with it is secondary!
Fizzban 4th August 2010, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Come on, everyone knows the first thing EVERYONE does when they find their case has these holes, is just sticking your finger in it and say "yeah, my finger can go through it!". Any other action or thought on what to do with it is secondary!

So true! That is actually one of the first things I did when I had unpacked my CM 690 II Advanced :D
I don't actually use them for anything though. But I am quite happy for them to be there in case I ever do want to use them.
Altron 4th August 2010, 13:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Come on, everyone knows the first thing EVERYONE does when they find their case has these holes, is just sticking your finger in it and say "yeah, my finger can go through it!". Any other action or thought on what to do with it is secondary!

Except for those people on this forum who really love their computers....

You knew the conversation was going to go in this direction.
crazyceo 4th August 2010, 13:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Come on, everyone knows the first thing EVERYONE does when they find their case has these holes, is just sticking your finger in it and say "yeah, my finger can go through it!". Any other action or thought on what to do with it is secondary!

Except for those people on this forum who really love their computers....

You knew the conversation was going to go in this direction.

Nasty!

Although?..........................................
Creekin 4th August 2010, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Come on, everyone knows the first thing EVERYONE does when they find their case has these holes, is just sticking your finger in it and say "yeah, my finger can go through it!". Any other action or thought on what to do with it is secondary!

yeah you forgot to put the quotes around "finger"


i hope for your sake they had the rubber "protection" you don't want a bunch of little shuttle cases running around the place!!
DragunovHUN 4th August 2010, 17:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creekin
yeah you forgot to put the quotes around "finger"

If your.... "finger" fits through a watercooling grommet then i feel sorry for you.
Creekin 4th August 2010, 18:07 Quote
no mine wont, thats why i had to get a case with 140mm fan mounts.

but sounds like crazyceo's does
im sure it took plenty of arctic silver though......

the hard part *boom tish* would be getting it out!
or more precisely, walking into A&E and the nurse saying..
"Is that a Lian-Li in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?"
dispie 30th September 2010, 13:31 Quote
well these opening are perfect for the switches off my case light or the fan speed nob of my case fans.

thats what i use them for mostly
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