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Old 23rd April, 2003, 03:30 PM
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Best water cooling solution for $200-$300

My birthday is coming around and have been wanting to water cool my PC, so I've decided to just tell my family to get me a water cooling kit. I'd like some other tiny things, so I want to limit the cost to about 200 to 300 dollars (250 is ideal ).

So... if you guys had that amount of money to spend on a total water cooling setup, what components would you chose? I've got this case, and the system in my sig (Athlon XP 2400+, EPoX 8K5A2+, 512MB Corsair XMS 3200).

What kind of cpu water block, northbridge water block (if any), radiator, pump, tubing, reservoir (if any), etc would you buy, if you had this budget?

Thanks!
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Old 23rd April, 2003, 03:53 PM
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I would start with an Enheim 1250 from http://www.thatpetplace.com/intro/main.html for $66

And a Maze 3 from http://www.dangerden.com/mall/Blocks/maze3.asp for $43

heater core from autozone, others can help you with which one.

That should leave about $100 for fans and tubing and fittings and a relay and such.
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Old 23rd April, 2003, 04:21 PM
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Excellent choice as a birthday present!

If you really want a complete kit, a swiftech og Innovatek kit would be great, so would Aquacomputer if you can get hold of it.
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Old 26th April, 2003, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Allan
Excellent choice as a birthday present!

If you really want a complete kit, a swiftech og Innovatek kit would be great, so would Aquacomputer if you can get hold of it.
I've been looking at some of the swiftech kits, and they look pretty nice. Would you suggest 1/2 or 3/8? I was thinking 1/2, since it really wouldn't hurt to have the extra flow

3/8'' http://www.swiftnets.com/products/h20kits.asp

1/2'' http://www.swiftnets.com/products/h20-8500-0.asp

Also, on their online store, they have a whole long list of kits, and I have no idea which one to pick.

http://www.swiftnets.com/store/category.asp?CatID=2

Any feedback on that would be nice

Thanks for the replies (and especially for nobody telling me "UPGRADE YOUR VIDEO CARD AND HARD DRIVE!" as people on other forums have. I don't need to, and that is all anyone else tells me)

Thanks again!
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Old 26th April, 2003, 11:30 AM
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THESE kits are getting fairly good reviews. Look nice too.

Flymo
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Old 28th April, 2003, 01:00 AM
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For a first time kit I believe Swittech is your best choice. This kit for $260 CPU/VGA, and twin-fan radiator (1/2") is an excellent choice; http://www.swiftnets.com/store/produ...asp?ProdID=170

And the Geforce GTS would be an excellent beginning card (easy to take off the heatsink) for the VGA block. You'll be able to overclock the B-Jesus out of her! I have a Creative Labs Annihilator II Geforce II GTS, and although people may jump on me for sauying this; besides speed, there's not a huge difference visually between the GTS (I'm lending it to someone now) ansd Geforce III and IV Ti series. I compared my Leadtek Winfast A250 Ti4400 (128MB), Radeon 8500 (64MB), Creative Labs Annihilator II (32MB) and visually only the Radeon was VERY different. Of course the Leadtek Winfast stomped the others in FPS, and none compare with my Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro, but I will tell ya this much. When you decide to upgrade, switch over to an ATI based card. Not only will you be upgrading, but youi'll be making a lateral move to a different architecture, rendering, and 3D capabilites. You'll then have an experince of ATI VS nVidia, and I bet you'll love the ATI gaming difference. Now that they have resolved their driver iossues, their cards are top-notch. Heck nVidia is so confused with ATI's success, they don't know what to release.
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(2.) JIUHB1700, Prometeia, Soltek 75FRN2-L, 1GB OCZ EL-PC3700, Leadtek Winfast A250, ANTEC 480W

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Old 28th April, 2003, 02:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liquid3D
For a first time kit I believe Swittech is your best choice. This kit for $260 CPU/VGA, and twin-fan radiator (1/2&quot is an excellent choice; http://www.swiftnets.com/store/product_details.asp?ProdID=170"]http://www.swiftnets.com/store/product_details.asp?ProdID=170[/URL]

And the Geforce GTS would be an excellent beginning card (easy to take off the heatsink) for the VGA block. You'll be able to overclock the B-Jesus out of her! I have a Creative Labs Annihilator II Geforce II GTS, and although people may jump on me for sauying this; besides speed, there's not a huge difference visually between the GTS (I'm lending it to someone now) ansd Geforce III and IV Ti series. I compared my Leadtek Winfast A250 Ti4400 (128MB), Radeon 8500 (64MB), Creative Labs Annihilator II (32MB) and visually only the Radeon was VERY different. Of course the Leadtek Winfast stomped the others in FPS, and none compare with my Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro, but I will tell ya this much. When you decide to upgrade, switch over to an ATI based card. Not only will you be upgrading, but youi'll be making a lateral move to a different architecture, rendering, and 3D capabilites. You'll then have an experince of ATI VS nVidia, and I bet you'll love the ATI gaming difference. Now that they have resolved their driver iossues, their cards are top-notch. Heck nVidia is so confused with ATI's success, they don't know what to release.
Wow, thanks for the reply. Very helpful. I've been considering switching back to ATI. I had an ATI card a while ago, but like I feel like I was burned, with their crappy drivers... they really pissed me off. It was like literally years between driver releases. Are their driver interfaces still very bubbly and annoying? I like that nvidia drivers are no-BS, just showing you the settings, and options... No big buttons that get in the way.

The only problem I have with the two fan 120mm radiator, is that I will have to cut big holes in my case to install it. Although the 80mm radiator that comes with the other swiftech kit would require me to drill holes in my case, in order to mount it. If I went with the 120mm rad, I would have to also ask for a dremel for my bday, although I was going to ask for one anyway.

I dunno. I've sorta been wondering if I really should even go with water cooling. My CPU doesn't run that hot right now, anyway. My only reason for going to watercooling would be the noise reduction, but I think if I take some of the fans out of my case, it will be much quieter.

Do you guys have any other birthday gift ideas? =D Computer or non-computer related stuff.
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Old 28th April, 2003, 02:33 PM
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I'm happy you mentioned this. I beleive that air-cooling using the right HSF is as effective as H20, and even more effective in some cases. Now some will probably argue with me, BUT; IF you have no problem with a ittle noise, air-cooling would free up enough for you to buy a 9500 Pro, which would make a big difference (visually, and benchmarks!) in performance. Well worth the investment. I bought a Radeon 8500 64MB when it first came out. Retail box version cost me $321 tax included! And back then (just about two years now) their drivers sucked. But still the card looked better then the nVidia alternatives (visually not speed). ATI's driver issues are completely resolved, their drivers are now better then nVidia in so far as upgrades, beta-releases, and control panel options (in my opinion). Remember I have a Leadtek Winfast A250 GF4 Ti4400, so I have something to make "real-world" comparisons with. Right now my Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro, is the best card I ever owned. Not only is it lightining fast, but the 3D visual effects, depth, rendering potential, etc, are phenomenal!

Back to H20. I'm using a Thermalright SLK800 with Vantec Tornado 80mm/84CFM fan, it cools better then my friends Danger Den setup unless he usews Ice Water, which is temporary as the ice inevitably melts. My temp's rarely get above 25C, and are curently at 24C with the case closed. It usually runs at 19C, and even 15C at night. Unless you get into Phase-Change cooling,ambeint temperatures are crucial to cooling, because neither H20, nor air cooling can get very far below ambeint temp of the room. That's why I haven't had the sides on my case in two years. I also make sure my PC stands by itself near an open window. That's the whole trick, common sense. Problem is most people are conditioned into the ergonomics of a PC in a Box. One reason PC's get so hot, is because there's multiple sources (CPU, GPU, NB, SB, Mosfets, stc.) eminating heat, in a small enclosed space. What I like to call, an Easy Bake oven for your PC components. One has to open it up, and let the dang thing breath. Now if you have an aversion to noise, then H20 is essential. if you don't mind some noise, then do yourself a favor and get one of the following: Thermalright SLK800. SLK900, or SK7. Alpha PAL, Swiftech MCX 462. Then all you'll need is an 80mm fan to match with any these Heat Sinks, as a high quality Heat Sink is dependent upon it's fan for it's effect (as are most HSF's). And there's new CPU HSF which uses a 92mm fan! Believe it or not this is actually quiet because the large fan diameter  requires it can operate at lower RPM. If your familar with Peltier devices, Swiftech makes a Heat Sink with a built in Peltier, it's perhaps the coldest you could run, without going to Phase-Change. Here's the link; http://www.frozencpu.com/cgi-bin/fro...pu-swi-06.html And here's the link to the Zalman CNPS7000 w/92mmfan (just for an example because they don't make an AMD model yet); http://www.frozencpu.com/cgi-bin/fro...pu-zal-10.html

Here's my advice. For $260 these components will make a significant impact in performance (visually stunning from your current set-up!); ATI Radeon 9500 Pro (3 year Warranty) $204 :http://www.directron.com/radeon9500box.html   And Thermaltake Volcano 11 Xaser, $29! With temp monitoring, built-in temp sensor, which adjusts the fan speed when CPU temp rises, and it can push 77CFM! It's also quiet. http://www.directron.com/volcano11.html  Or  Swiftech MCX462 for $46: http://www.directron.com/mcx462b.html and Vantec Tornado fan (like mine) 80mm/84CFM, for additional $14 ($60 total) Grand total: ATI 9500 Pro and Volcano $233, ATI 9500 Pro, Swiftech and Fan $264. I chose all these products from Directron, because I feel their often less expensive then Newegg, and I've been buying there for three years. Their reliable, and always have sales!
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(2.) JIUHB1700, Prometeia, Soltek 75FRN2-L, 1GB OCZ EL-PC3700, Leadtek Winfast A250, ANTEC 480W


Last edited by Liquid3D; 28th April, 2003 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 28th April, 2003, 04:38 PM
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Sorry supz, I know nothing about the kits you mention but if it were up to me I think I would be tempted to follow Staz's route. You'll be able to get top quality on all components, as you can afford to, rather than possibly accepting a compromise on a component just because it's "part of the kit". I'm not knocking the kits here but just making an observation really.

Quote:
Originally posted by Liquid3D
[ Now if you have an aversion to noise, then H20 is essential.
I'll disagree with you but not for the reason you might think. I just made the switch to water on one of my comps and to be honest its noisier than it was before. Thats running two ystech 120CFM fans on the rad and two 40cfm case fans all at 7V. Yes I can get it to run virtually silently but cooling is much the same as the alphapal which was on it. With the set up I am happy with, comparative temps are down roughly 12C with an extra 0.5 Vcore and additional 150MHz overclock.

For the same results as air I would feel the set up would have been a waste of money. I prefer the noise and better cooling.
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Old 28th April, 2003, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liquid3D
I'm happy you mentioned this. I beleive that air-cooling using the right HSF is as effective as H20, and even more effective in some cases. Now some will probably argue with me, BUT; IF you have no problem with a ittle noise, air-cooling would free up enough for you to buy a 9500 Pro, which would make a big difference (visually, and benchmarks!) in performance. Well worth the investment. I bought a Radeon 8500 64MB when it first came out. Retail box version cost me $321 tax included! And back then (just about two years now) their drivers sucked. But still the card looked better then the nVidia alternatives (visually not speed). ATI's driver issues are completely resolved, their drivers are now better then nVidia in so far as upgrades, beta-releases, and control panel options (in my opinion). Remember I have a Leadtek Winfast A250 GF4 Ti4400, so I have something to make "real-world" comparisons with. Right now my Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro, is the best card I ever owned. Not only is it lightining fast, but the 3D visual effects, depth, rendering potential, etc, are phenomenal!

Back to H20. I'm using a Thermalright SLK800 with Vantec Tornado 80mm/84CFM fan, it cools better then my friends Danger Den setup unless he usews Ice Water, which is temporary as the ice inevitably melts. My temp's rarely get above 25C, and are curently at 24C with the case closed. It usually runs at 19C, and even 15C at night. Unless you get into Phase-Change cooling,ambeint temperatures are crucial to cooling, because neither H20, nor air cooling can get very far below ambeint temp of the room. That's why I haven't had the sides on my case in two years. I also make sure my PC stands by itself near an open window. That's the whole trick, common sense. Problem is most people are conditioned into the ergonomics of a PC in a Box. One reason PC's get so hot, is because there's multiple sources (CPU, GPU, NB, SB, Mosfets, stc.) eminating heat, in a small enclosed space. What I like to call, an Easy Bake oven for your PC components. One has to open it up, and let the dang thing breath. Now if you have an aversion to noise, then H20 is essential. if you don't mind some noise, then do yourself a favor and get one of the following: Thermalright SLK800. SLK900, or SK7. Alpha PAL, Swiftech MCX 462. Then all you'll need is an 80mm fan to match with any these Heat Sinks, as a high quality Heat Sink is dependent upon it's fan for it's effect (as are most HSF's). And there's new CPU HSF which uses a 92mm fan! Believe it or not this is actually quiet because the large fan diameter  requires it can operate at lower RPM. If your familar with Peltier devices, Swiftech makes a Heat Sink with a built in Peltier, it's perhaps the coldest you could run, without going to Phase-Change. Here's the link; http://www.frozencpu.com/cgi-bin/frozencpu/cpu-swi-06.html"]http://www.frozencpu.com/cgi-bin/frozencpu/cpu-swi-06.html[/URL] And here's the link to the Zalman CNPS7000 w/92mmfan (just for an example because they don't make an AMD model yet); http://www.frozencpu.com/cgi-bin/frozencpu/cpu-zal-10.html"]http://www.frozencpu.com/cgi-bin/frozencpu/cpu-zal-10.html[/URL]

Here's my advice. For $260 these components will make a significant impact in performance (visually stunning from your current set-up!); ATI Radeon 9500 Pro (3 year Warranty) $204 :http://www.directron.com/radeon9500box.html"]http://www.directron.com/radeon9500box.html[/URL]   And Thermaltake Volcano 11 Xaser, $29! With temp monitoring, built-in temp sensor, which adjusts the fan speed when CPU temp rises, and it can push 77CFM! It's also quiet. http://www.directron.com/volcano11.html"]http://www.directron.com/volcano11.html[/URL]  Or  Swiftech MCX462 for $46: http://www.directron.com/mcx462b.html"]http://www.directron.com/mcx462b.html[/URL] and Vantec Tornado fan (like mine) 80mm/84CFM, for additional $14 ($60 total) Grand total: ATI 9500 Pro and Volcano $233, ATI 9500 Pro, Swiftech and Fan $264. I chose all these products from Directron, because I feel their often less expensive then Newegg, and I've been buying there for three years. Their reliable, and always have sales!
Wow, another long and extremely helpful reply.

Okay, so yes... maybe sticking with air wouldn't be a bad idea. I don't really feel like cutting any holes in my case anyway. Regarding the video card upgrade, I just don't feel compelled to do so. For what I use my video card for (CS if I didn't mention it above), I don't feel limited at all... that leaves me with no ideas for what to get. I don't need more storage space, as I have it all on my file server of 100gb. Perhaps switching to a 92mm fan HSF would be neat. The new Thermalright SLK900 is huge, and uses a 92mm fan... I'm sure the cooling on that is excellent.

Perhaps, if I can't decide on anything else, I will go with the 9700, since you say it is such a vast improvement.

Thank you again for all your advice
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Old 29th April, 2003, 06:13 AM
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If your not sure what to invest in let me suggest the following. The PSU is often the most overlooked component in the PC. It's not a "sexy" upgrade, and doesn't necessarily reveal it's criticality on an emprical level as a video-card, or RAID set-up. None the less, it's without a doubt the most important peice of hardware, for the following reason; without power, nothing would work. Without stable, dependable, clean power, nothing would work well (or even nominally). PSU's are overlooked because OEM PC manufacturers, can save by exploiting the ignorance of average PC users, and if your not an overclocker, or an enthusiast, you may never question why your system randomly reboot's, is unable to overclock, or a plethora of other anomalies.  Again I'll direct you tom Directron who makes the TTGI TT-520SS, 4-fan, 520Watt PSU. If I were to label the four best PSU's on ther planet, I'd choose the following; (1.) PCPower&Cooling Turbo Cool 510W: http://www.pcpowerandcooling.com/pdf/insidestory.pdf  (2.) Sam Cheer 470W Tri-fan. (3.) TTGI TT-520SS 520W four-fan, adjustable pots. (4.) Antec True Control 550W. Of these the PCPower&Cooling is used by more hardcore overclockers then the others combined, and the TTGI 520W; primarily because of it's price. It's currently on sale at Directron for $82 and comes in four colors; http://www.directron.com/tt520ss4fan.html

The PSU is not a sexy upgrade, none-the-less it's the primary part responsible for the latent storage, and light-speed dispersion of critical current responsible for every component's operation. For your remaining $180, (or $130 if you make the smarter choice and go with PCPower&Cooling) I'd suggest a new Motherboard, for almost simliar reasons as the PSU. The motherboard is another component often overlooked, however; it has the greatest impact on "performance". More so then the processor or videocard, because it contains the "controller" chipset, allowing communication among all system devices (including the processor). It dictates overall system function, providing a platform which enhances (or degrades) system attributes. The NB (nForce2 or KT400 for example) is the interface between CPU and memory, AGP, Audio, and add-on cards.

In your case I'd suggest the integrated nForce2 (IGP) motherboards. This will give you the performance potential of nForce2 chipset (Dual DDR or Twnibank) with GF4 MX440 graphics (known as a "Geforce2 on steroids"). I beleive this would be the ideal match for your needs! In this way you'll be getting a board with the best memory and on-board graphics available to-date, and a South Bridge chip which offers a on-board sound system (Soundstorm) as good as the Creative Labs, Audigy (early Audigy). Here's a few links to reviews of nForce2 boards with the on-board graphics chip; (Soltek 75FRM-L) http://www.overclockers.co.nz/ocnz/m...5mrnl/f1.shtml (AOpen AK79G) http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles...682&page=2  (Epox 8RGA) http://www.3dvelocity.com/reviews/8rga/ep8rga_6.htm  (Chaintech 7NIF2) http://www.viperlair.com/reviews/cpu...nif2_pg1.shtml Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide. You can PM me, if you need anymore help. BTW you'll save the forum a lot of bandwidth if you don't re-print the entire "quote". You can use the Quote button, and then delete, leaving the sentences your specifically addressing. As I tend to write lengthy replies, I think it may be best, there's no reason to read all that twice (and in bold).
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(2.) JIUHB1700, Prometeia, Soltek 75FRN2-L, 1GB OCZ EL-PC3700, Leadtek Winfast A250, ANTEC 480W


Last edited by Liquid3D; 29th April, 2003 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 7th May, 2003, 08:12 PM
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Woops. Sorry for the delay. I've been pretty busy. My birthday came and went, and I hadn't decided, so I have an IOU, for a gift.

I've decided that I'm going to try and get the swiftech h20 kit, with the dual 120mm fans, without the pump though -- it might take me a while to add each individual component on swiftech's online store, but it's for the best. I've read some pretty bad things about the MCP300 pump casing cracking after a while, and I'd rather not take that risk, especially as a newbie to water cooling. So instead, I'm going to grab an eheim 1250 pump. Comments are welcome.

As far as other upgrades, I was thinking of maybe grabbing a radeon 9000? I'm saying this, only based on price. I don't need a huge powerful card, and the 9000 fit nicely into the around $100 price bracket. Any comments on that?

I appreciate your other suggestions.
I'd rather not upgrade my motherboard yet, because there is nothing out there that really urges me to upgrade. All of the boards that are out right now just brag about Dual-DDR, but lack in every other aspect. One thing that really pisses me off is nobody includes onboard P-ATA RAID anymore, but that is another story.
I already have an Antec TRUE380 PSU, so I won't need a new one.
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Old 7th May, 2003, 09:25 PM
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I've owned three Swiftech kits all of them are of the highest quality.
I'm sure you will be very pleased with yours!
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 7th May, 2003, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Daniel ~
I've owned three Swiftech kits all of them are of the highest quality.
I'm sure you will be very pleased with yours!
Have you had any problems with their pumps? I only ask, because I've seen a few posts on the hard ocp forums (is it alright to link to one of the thread urls?) about problems with the pumps leaking, cracking, etc. The people there tend to get a bit over excited about things, but I'd rather not take that risk, is all.

Do you have the fill and bleed kit, and if so, do you think it would be possible to easily substitute an eheim pump into where the Swiftech MCP300 pump goes, in the 5 1/4 bay assembly? Or... would it be easy to rig some kind of plastic container around/underneath it, so incase it does crack and start leaking, it won't mess up my whole system?

Thank you for your help!
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Old 8th May, 2003, 09:32 AM
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If your working with 1/2" tubing throughout (1/2" Suction/ 1/2" Pressure) the Eheim 1048 seems to be the only choice in their line, but I don't see it fitting into that bay space. However this isn't my field, others here have experience whereas I've never owned H20, equipment. My exposure is vicariously through my neighbor's (freinds) two watercooling setups. But I do know people always post when something goes wrong, yet rarely when it works as designed, because their too busy enjoying it. It's more then likely only 1 in 10,000 Swiftech pumps crack. I'd buy their WaterBlock's over anyone else. 

However where the Radeon 9000 is concerned you'll be making a very big mistake, even the Radeon 8500, or 8500LE performs better then the 9000. However for $100 you can get the Gainward Geforce4 Ultra 650/Powerpack Ti4200/8xAGP with super fast 3.5ns memory DDR http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduc...fer=pricewatch I don't think you'll find a better $100 card on the planet! The Radeon 9000 usually scores around 7600 in 3DMark2001SE, whereas the Gainward GF4 Ultra/650 TI4200 scores 10,300 and 11,400 overclocked. Here's comparison review with the Radeon 9000, Radeon 8500, and the Gainward T4200/ 8xAGP; http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardwa...a650/page5.asp 
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Old 8th May, 2003, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by supz
Have you had any problems with their pumps? I only ask, because I've seen a few posts on the hard ocp forums (is it alright to link to one of the thread urls?) about problems with the pumps leaking, cracking, etc. The people there tend to get a bit over excited about things, but I'd rather not take that risk, is all.

Do you have the fill and bleed kit, and if so, do you think it would be possible to easily substitute an eheim pump into where the Swiftech MCP300 pump goes, in the 5 1/4 bay assembly? Or... would it be easy to rig some kind of plastic container around/underneath it, so incase it does crack and start leaking, it won't mess up my whole system?

Thank you for your help!
My oldest is around three years old, never a problem, newest is around a year and a half, Same same, no problems.all my kits came with Enhim pumps, so there should not be a problem. Both my pumps sit on the bottom of my case.
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Old 9th May, 2003, 01:29 AM
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Oops... I should have mentioned that I was talking about the Swiftech MCP300 pump.

http://www.swiftnets.com/products/mcp300.asp

That one is the one that apparently has all the problems with it... but I'm sure that there are probably thousands of people who haven't had problems with it, but just haven't posted about it, like the people who have experienced problems have done.
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Old 9th May, 2003, 01:34 AM
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Yep, the squeaky wheel syndrome probably applies!
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Old 9th May, 2003, 03:10 AM
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I never knew it had a name
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Old 9th May, 2003, 07:13 AM
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Well it does now. ":O}
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