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  1. #1
    I get enough exercise just pushing my luck AOD Member AOD_VVoody_87th's Avatar
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    Default Open for ideas on a good thermal sensitive PC for high altititude

    I'm planning on building a gaming PC to run at around 9000' elevation in CO.

    An interesting problem I discovered with my gaming laptop is that at that elevation cooling is a real problem due to the thinner air.

    So I'm going to build a desktop system for this location.

    I'm going to approach this from two angles. One is I'm considering liquid cooling, even on the GPU, the other is a computer that is more thermally efficient due to lower power consumption and lower power draw. Or I could just run a massive air cooler and accept the earlier CPU throttling.

    I'd like to throw a big GPU at it. Maybe a 3080 or even a 3080ti but I'm worried about temps. Anyone have any experience with liquid cooling a high end GPU?

    Pretty confident in my building skills. Just want to make sure I get quality components that can do the job.

    All input is appreciated.

  2. #2
    The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has limits. AOD_Styrgis's Avatar
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    Custom closed water loop is what I recommend. I have family in CO at about 10k elevation and it's what they run. Prior, they'd have to keep the cases open and run a floor fan. It's not the temperature at 10k, it's the thin air.

    "Swans are dicks." - AOD_Samuraisb
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  3. #3
    Is that there a SHOTGUN?
    AOD_235Nuke's Avatar
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    Hey Woody this is the system i just built https://pcpartpicker.com/list/xbkFsL. While Im not much higher than sea level its a completely water cooled system with both the CPU and GPU on independent coolers. While playing 2042 at 1440p I get around 100-120 frames with my cpu being the graphics bottleneck. CPU doesnt get over 40C and and the GPU hovers under 60C. Hainzy and Oddjob helped me build it and I've had no issues with the AIO's. GPU is mounted to vent out the top and The CPU vents out the side. Not list in parts picker is 3 fans that are intakes on the front.

    I've got 99 Parabolas, but a Limpet ain't one
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  4. #4
    mmmmm..Claymores
    AOD_DC0042's Avatar
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    I remember air cooling an old Athlon with a box fan when I lived in Durango as a kid (6500ft above sea level).

    I would recommend heading into liquid cooling as well. There are great closed loop systems for CPUs, though I admittedly have only seen vendor specific stuff for GPUs so I cannot give recommendations there.

    I will give this recommendation, don't do a custom open-loop system. It's just not worth the hassle.

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  5. #5
    I get enough exercise just pushing my luck AOD Member AOD_VVoody_87th's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. Obviously I went ahead and built it and from squading up in last night's portal games you can see it works great!!

    I went up to Microcenter in Denver (first time going to a Microcenter in about 15 years) and was very impressed. I had done research but figured I'd just show up and get some input and the guy there was very helpful.

    AMD 5600X CPU - reasoning here was purely performance over thermals and the 5600x is hands down the most efficient gaming CPU right now. Running on the stock cooler for now but from the performance and compared to my 3900X it should run great on a high end aftermarket air cooler. It's actually managing the thermals but obviously it would perform better and last longer on a better cooler but I don't think liquid cooling will be necessary after all.

    RX 6800XT GPU (Saphire Pulse 3 fan)- With AMD Smart Access Memory (Direct access memory) the performance of this card is great running at 1440 ultrawide on a 144Hz freesync monitor. It is definitely running hotter than I'm comfortable with but my case has a location for a couple 120mm case fans to blow outside air directly up at the GPU so I'm going to pick up a couple there to help manage the thermals. Running liquid cooling on a GPU is challenge and voids the warranty. The card is factory overclocked so I may undervolt and underclock it if I can't keep the temps down.

    ASUS B550+ Prime mobo - Didn't need a lot of features and this was a good value for a second system. Had to flash it because the BIOS was more than a year out of date and didn't support SAM out of the box.

    2TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe - best bang for the buck on M2 drives right now.

    32GB - DDR4-3200 CL16 (2x16) - RAM is so cheap right now! 3200 is the sweet spot for AMD.

    EVGA SuperNOVA (no relation to our clan mate) - 850W PSU - More power than needed but had headroom for thermals so better to go big here.

    Lian Li Lancool II Mesh case - good airflow with space for extra fans and looks good too. Can swap out a CPU cooler without removing the mobo.

    At 8900' elevation I opened the case and my office window directly over the PC to help cool it but it's still running on the warm side.

    Overall I saved a ton of money than going high end Intel/NVidia and this a second system. AMD says I'm averaging about 130fps in 2042 at low settings and 1440 UW. With improved cooling I think I'll be very happy with this.

  6. #6
    The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has limits. AOD_Styrgis's Avatar
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    Looks like a great setup and those higher thermals are to be expected at your elevation. Sounds like you've got yer eyes squarely on it though and the solution(s) you've proposed may just do the trick.

    "Swans are dicks." - AOD_Samuraisb
    "English has a lot of words." - AOD_Rumpltumpskin

  7. #7
    I get enough exercise just pushing my luck AOD Member AOD_VVoody_87th's Avatar
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    I tried undervolting the CPU (by limiting TDP in the BIOS by about 10W) and that cooled down the CPU by about 10C

    I applied the automatic undervolt setting on the 6800XT using AMDs built in tool and that cooled off the GPU by 5-10C under load as well.

    No loss in performance from the undervolt and in fact a slight gain on benchmarks probably due to less throttling.

  8. #8
    The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has limits. AOD_Styrgis's Avatar
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    If you're undervolting and are comfortable with it, you might keep dropping the voltage to see how low you can go and remain stable in CPU performance. You'll know you go too low when you BSD. When it happens, simply restart, hit F2 while it's booting, get back into the bios and up the voltage to the last point it was stable. It's a great way to dump unnecessary heat.

    "Swans are dicks." - AOD_Samuraisb
    "English has a lot of words." - AOD_Rumpltumpskin


 

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