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Old Nov 18, 2012, 03:36 PM   #1
El Awesome
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Water cooling for Mac Pro

Hey guys,

Is it possible to install a watercoolig setup for my single-CPU and two GPUs in my Mac Pro? There would be more than enough space. I'm not sure if the system would boot if the original heatsink is removed.

I think about upgrading Mac Pro, or getting a hackintosh:

Mac Pro possibility:
Keeping the RAM and all my HDDs and all that stuff
Upgrading to a W3680
Installing two GTX 680 (for SLI in Windows, I know that it doesen't work on the Mac side)
Velocity Solo X2 with two SSDs

Hackintosh:
3930k
P9X79 Deluxe
24GB RAM
also two GTX 680s
Self-build case

The thing is that the hackintosh would cost twice as much, and the main difference would be the X79 chipset. I actually wouldn't need it that often, I wouldn't care if my rendering speeds are a bit slower. I need a graphic design/gaming rig, that needs to be stable and reliable. And siltent, it has to be super-silent.

Thanks guys!
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 04:03 PM   #2
GermanyChris
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Honestly man I would just build the hack..cases with space for rads are dime a dozen. The only thing to remember about 2011 hacks is there is no speed step or sleep.

If you don;t require 6 cores then I would be more inclined to build and 1155 or an upcoming 1150 hack.

A 120mm rad ould most likely fit the in the front at you could use it for the SLI and an 80mm in the rear fan area for the CPU but still there are cases designed for this.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 04:55 PM   #3
El Awesome
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Honestly man I would just build the hack..cases with space for rads are dime a dozen. The only thing to remember about 2011 hacks is there is no speed step or sleep.

If you don;t require 6 cores then I would be more inclined to build and 1155 or an upcoming 1150 hack.

A 120mm rad ould most likely fit the in the front at you could use it for the SLI and an 80mm in the rear fan area for the CPU but still there are cases designed for this.
Thanks.
I was just measuring inside the casem and with some cutting, dremeling and improvising a 240mm rad should fit. But then, getting a XS reservoir, improvising something to hold the pump, fitting a 5.25 PSU is a whole lot to do. And it's getting really stuffed, meaning poor airflow for the rest.

On the other hand, if I was going to build a hack, I'd definately build myself a desk-computer like this thing here, which is even more work. But pretty damn cool.

The Mac Pro case is by far the most beautiful classic case I've ever seen. I'm not sure whether I would want a crappy plastic PC case. And this is why the hack is twice as expensive, all the parts for a watercooled desk-pc are unbelievable expensive. They cost about the same as the rest of the hardware.
Tell me I'm crazy, but I somehow don't want a regular, crappy, plastic PC case.

the 3770k isn't able to overclock as good as the 3930k does. That's why I'm going X79. I don't need sleep or speed step.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 05:00 PM   #4
GermanyChris
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Not are PC cases are crappy and plastic..

If you want silent water is the way and if water is the way pc cases are the way.

Before you build the monster I had my 2700k Geekbenching and 18K with 16GB of 1866 RAM. Real water I would have gotten me almost 20K.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post
Not are PC cases are crappy and plastic...

If you want silent water is the way and if water is the way pc cases are the way.

Before you build the monster I had my 2700k Geekbenching and 18K with 16GB of 1866 RAM. Real water I would have gotten me almost 20K.
Name me some that are similar quality as the MP case?


A 2700k is still Sandy Bridge, a 3770k is Ivy -> whole new architecture -> whole new OCing performance.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 05:13 PM   #6
GermanyChris
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Name me some that are similar quality as the MP case?


A 2700k is still Sandy Bridge, a 3770k is Ivy -> whole new architecture -> whole new OCing performance.
Right and it doesn't OC as well. Very few equal the the MP but there are quite a few that are not plastic. Lian Li and Silverstone are my favorites and what I recommend to the folks I build for.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 05:18 PM   #7
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Right and it doesn't OC as well. Very few equal the the MP but there are quite a few that are not plastic. Lian Li and Silverstone are my favorites and what I recommend to the folks I build for.
I'll go check out some of these cases, haven't found one that really is what I'm looking for.

Thanks for the help!
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 05:51 PM   #8
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Are water cooled rigs really that much quieter?

You will still need a fairly big radiator to dispense all that heat from those two 680s. I would just build a PC using the same Delta fans as the Mac Pro.

I plan to build a beast gaming PC perhaps next year on good old fashioned air but I also find it difficult to find a PC case where airflow goes through the front to back. Too many with silly side/top fans. All workstations from Dell/HP/Super-micro etc have cool air in front, warm air out back and that's the way I likes it.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 11:46 PM   #9
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Remember hot air rises, thats why you see many radiators at the top. Water cooling is quieter provided you have decent fans and a quiet pump but cheap it isn't.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 01:19 AM   #10
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I acutally could just leave out the watercooling and stuff my Mac Pro, but at the moment, I have one GTX 570 installed, and while gaming it it gets almost 90 degree celsius, which I think is pretty loud. Then take two of those cards directly ontop of each other. There would't be much airflow left.
Secondly, even at idle, the fan of the GTX 570 is by far the loudest thing in the machine, the rest is pretty much quiet. That's why I wanted to go watercooling.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 02:15 AM   #11
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I acutally could just leave out the watercooling and stuff my Mac Pro, but at the moment, I have one GTX 570 installed, and while gaming it it gets almost 90 degree celsius, which I think is pretty loud. Then take two of those cards directly ontop of each other. There would't be much airflow left.
Secondly, even at idle, the fan of the GTX 570 is by far the loudest thing in the machine, the rest is pretty much quiet. That's why I wanted to go watercooling.
My 560 was too, so I pulled the cooler and put a twin turbo two on it. The issue is it's now a 2.5 slot card but it runs much cooler and is inaudible.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 03:22 AM   #12
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Just to echo others in this thread, Lian Li makes decent cases. Some of them are setup for water cooling specifically, so you don't have to mod it as much.

Zalman used to sell a kickass case called the GT-1000. I think you can still get it, but Zalman seems to have discontinued it so you'll have to buy one from some place that still has them in stock. As far as quality goes, the GT-1000 is the only case I've personally owned that even remotely approached the quality of the Mac Pro. The aluminum was thick as heck and the case weighed a ton, but the build quality was stellar.

I wouldn't bother trying to mod a Mac Pro. You'll be fighting against too many things- proprietary parts everywhere that were never designed to be modded, let alone removed. The heatsinks in a modern day (2009/2010/2012) Mac Pro aren't standard LGA heatsinks- the mounting pins are totally custom and the heatsinks carry fans and thermal sensors inside them. If you don't hook that stuff back up, the system will probably refuse to boot.

A hackintosh would be easier to work with. You'll get better parts that properly support watercooling. Trying to mod a Mac Pro... Ugh. Talk about going against the grain.

-SC
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 04:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ScottishCaptain View Post
Just to echo others in this thread, Lian Li makes decent cases. Some of them are setup for water cooling specifically, so you don't have to mod it as much.

Zalman used to sell a kickass case called the GT-1000. I think you can still get it, but Zalman seems to have discontinued it so you'll have to buy one from some place that still has them in stock. As far as quality goes, the GT-1000 is the only case I've personally owned that even remotely approached the quality of the Mac Pro. The aluminum was thick as heck and the case weighed a ton, but the build quality was stellar.

I wouldn't bother trying to mod a Mac Pro. You'll be fighting against too many things- proprietary parts everywhere that were never designed to be modded, let alone removed. The heatsinks in a modern day (2009/2010/2012) Mac Pro aren't standard LGA heatsinks- the mounting pins are totally custom and the heatsinks carry fans and thermal sensors inside them. If you don't hook that stuff back up, the system will probably refuse to boot.

A hackintosh would be easier to work with. You'll get better parts that properly support watercooling. Trying to mod a Mac Pro... Ugh. Talk about going against the grain.

-SC
Thanks for the input, I appreciate that.
I've thrown away the idea of a MP mod now, you guys are totally right...
The Zalman seems to be quite okay, but damn expensive!

@GChris: 2.5 slots would be too much, couldn't fit 2 GPUs in then.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 05:53 AM   #14
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Thanks for the input, I appreciate that.
I've thrown away the idea of a MP mod now, you guys are totally right...
The Zalman seems to be quite okay, but damn expensive!

@GChris: 2.5 slots would be too much, couldn't fit 2 GPUs in then.
2 2.5s will fit in the hackintosh ok but your going to loose PCI slots. Water cooling is going to get expensive FAST. Figure 250 for the blocks 150 for a 240 Rad plus pump res and tubing. Give some thought to the water. The AC twin turbo is 39 so 80 in your case a D-14 or comparable is 60-80 so a 160 if you step back from the bleeding edge of overclock and it's not going to be loud.

If it were my Hack I'd use the TT2 on the graphics and a BE QUIET! Dark Rock Pro on the CPU. I'd be happy at 4.5 to 4.8 on a four core turbo and push the graphics cards to the max.

This will give you 19,000 of so GB (i7 3770) and give the pro apps more CUDA cores than they can use basically a whole bunch of fun.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 07:48 AM   #15
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Yeah they would fit a hackintosh but not a Mac Pro, I'd loose the second PCIe x16 slot.

The other part about watercooling is that it looks great, which is kind of important if you build a desk with glass on top.
And it would also look pretty damn cool in a MP.

If I'm going to build a hacky, I'l build such a desk-pc, and aircooling is not that smart as you have a lot of air to move for a good airflow.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:15 AM   #16
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Yeah they would fit a hackintosh but not a Mac Pro, I'd loose the second PCIe x16 slot.

The other part about watercooling is that it looks great, which is kind of important if you build a desk with glass on top.
And it would also look pretty damn cool in a MP.

If I'm going to build a hacky, I'l build such a desk-pc, and aircooling is not that smart as you have a lot of air to move for a good airflow.
You spurred me on to build mine tonight. I just picked a Z77-DS3H and Corsair Vengeance C70 in OD green. I'll throw my 2700k in it along the the 560Ti 448 out of the MP. If things go well I go water because the goal now is 5.4 Ghz.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:34 AM   #17
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You spurred me on to build mine tonight. I just picked a Z77-DS3H and Corsair Vengeance C70 in OD green. I'll throw my 2700k in it along the the 560Ti 448 out of the MP. If things go well I go water because the goal now is 5.4 Ghz.
If you're that much into overclocking, why didn't you choose an Asus Maximus V?
That thing is the top notch at overclocking, if i remember right it should fit your 2700k.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:47 AM   #18
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If you're that much into overclocking, why didn't you choose an Asus Maximus V?
That thing is the top notch at overclocking, if i remember right it should fit your 2700k.
Harder to Hackintosh. The only time the computer will be in Windows is during the overclock process. When you veer from Gigabyte it becomes stressful in my experience. Remember for me this is hobby stuff I enjoy doing it, it's not so much needed for work.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 06:28 PM   #19
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So here is my first playing with the 2700K and Z77 4.5 and 4.6..I'll run prime 95 while I'm at work tomorrow to make sure everything is well.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 03:11 AM   #20
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Looks pretty nice.
My aim is 20k, but I'll wait for Haswell ad check if that is any good.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:55 AM   #21
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Looks pretty nice.
My aim is 20k, but I'll wait for Haswell ad check if that is any good.
I'll be at 20k tonight.

I sold the computer at 4.8Ghz I'm not to that point yet. The extra 200Mhz per core will push me over the 20k threshold. The new goal is 23,000.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 12:36 PM   #22
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Honestly man I would just build the hack..cases with space for rads are dime a dozen. The only thing to remember about 2011 hacks is there is no speed step or sleep.
Thats disappointing. OS X doesn't downclock the chips at all even on official Mac's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Awesome View Post
On the other hand, if I was going to build a hack, I'd definately build myself a desk-computer like this thing here, which is even more work. But pretty damn cool.
The coin nearly made me jump out of my shirt.

Quote:
The Mac Pro case is by far the most beautiful classic case I've ever seen. I'm not sure whether I would want a crappy plastic PC case. And this is why the hack is twice as expensive, all the parts for a watercooled desk-pc are unbelievable expensive. They cost about the same as the rest of the hardware.
Tell me I'm crazy, but I somehow don't want a regular, crappy, plastic PC case.
Why not go Lian Li?
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 01:12 PM   #23
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Thats disappointing. OS X doesn't downclock the chips at all even on official Mac's?
LGA20111 aren't used in official Macs, that's why they don't have Poer Management -> No speedstep/sleep

Quote:
The coin nearly made me jump out of my shirt.
Positive or negative?

Quote:
Why not go Lian Li?
I don't quite like the Lian Li cases. They look pretty cheap, although I know they are solid.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:56 PM   #24
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LGA20111 aren't used in official Macs, that's why they don't have Poer Management -> No speedstep/sleep
Ah, I see. But works fine on z77?



Quote:
Positive or negative?
Positive because it was that bloomin quiet then the next you hear this loud coin rattling on the glass.



Quote:
I don't quite like the Lian Li cases. They look pretty cheap, although I know they are solid.
You'll be hard pushed then, as it only leaves you with some Corsair's.


Watercooled Mini Mac pro though. http://www.cooledpc.com/build/224
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:32 PM   #25
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Ah, I see. But works fine on z77?





Positive because it was that bloomin quiet then the next you hear this loud coin rattling on the glass.





You'll be hard pushed then, as it only leaves you with some Corsair's.


Watercooled Mini Mac pro though. http://www.cooledpc.com/build/224
The 79 chip-set is socket 2011, I'm on 77 chip-set which is 1155 and yes it speedsteps, sleeps and all that stuff.

I built on a corsair vengeance c70 OD Green it has lots of cooling options.

GA-Z77-DS3H
i7 2700K 4.4Ghz
GTX 560Ti 448 (820/2010)
8GB 1866 Corsair Ram (this will change depending on whether I run OSX native or in VM $116 buy 32GB from Newegg)
Noctura D14
630W PSU
Corsair vengeance C70

GB 18,000ish
3dMark 11 6800ish
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