Case recommendation / drawbacks for watercooled server


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HI everyone, my unraid server sits inside a thermaltake core X71 and has a custom water cooling loop:

  • EK XE360
  • EK PE360 
  • EK D5 with res
  • EK D5 with top (for redundancy)
  • soft clear tubing 
  • Aquacomputer aquaero 6 and flow meter

 

Components:

  • Asrock X570 taichi
  • 3900x with EK waterblock
  • 1080 with EK waterblock
  • 850 w PSU
  • 4x 4tb hdds
  • 2 nvme
  • 1 ssd

 

I'm moving to a new home and i reserved a space for a 12U rack in a closet for my UDM Pro, Switch and some shelves for 2 UPSs, so i'm considering to move to a rackmount case. Since i want to keep the server watercooled (i keep saying myself it's for silence and performance but the real reason is that i spent way too much on cooling equipment :D ), i considered a 3 or 4 U case for pc and disks (i plan on using 6 to 8 HDD max) and an external water box for rads and pumps but seems like a big PITA for maintenance. 

 

I'm also considering moving everything to a test bench, something like the Dimastech V3.0 Easy. it'll sit on top of the rack and for sure the loop/general maintenance will be very very easy, adding an optional HDD bracket it can fit 8 3.5 hdd so i have sufficient expandability if i need it. it can also fit any MB and GPU size

But the drawbacks are of course dust and that the components are exposed...

 

 

 

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You are not going to like my opinion, but here it is.

 

Watercooling belongs in showpiece desktop rigs that are only turned on when someone is sitting next to them.

 

They don't fail "nice", and have multiple hardware killing failure modes if they die while unattended. 24/7 closet servers should have large chunks of metal to absorb and radiate heat by convection only if necessary, so the temperature rise is slow and predictable if a fan fails and the software can alert and take action before things get completely out of hand.

 

Watercooling means coolant leaks and pump failures over the long term, both of which are no big deal if you are sitting beside the rig when it happens and can take immediate action, but can cause collateral damage if not acted on immediately.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One thing to check is the width of your GPU with waterblock fitting In a 4U case. Most reference style boards will fit, but anything wider and the cover may not go on.

 

Also I've had trouble with fluid evaporating through clear tubing. I started using black norprene a few years ago and have never had to top off a loop since.

 

Watercooling FTW

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