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Cheap AIO issue, possibly bad pump? Return & exchange or save for better cooler.

So yesterday, I finally decided to change motherboards, since the b85 based one i had didn't allow overclocking and the onboard audio had also died. I went in to fry's since they had the MSI z97s SLI krait edition at about the same price as amazon but with a $10 MIR. While I was there, I saw a LEPA aquachanger 240 water cooler for $45 after a $15 MIR. $10 more than a hyper 212 for a 240mm water cooler seemed like a great deal, so i grabbed one while i was there.

I got home and installed the motherboard, popped in my 4690k and installed my new cooler, and turned on OC genie to get a basemark for some overclocking. However, at a 4.0ghz speed @1.2v (what OC genie set up) my cpu was idling near the 40c mark, and running p95 made some cores (3&4 to be specific) reach 90c, at which point it started throttling and i shut it down. During the first couple seconds, cores 1 & 2 would stay somewhat cool (60-70c) while 3&4 would shoot up to the 80-90 range. While the CPU was super hot, the tubes, radiator, and block/pump felt cool to the touch.

I thought it was poor contact between the block and the cpu, but when i took off the block (a struggle that required vice grips as the two top holes on the backplate/bracket for the cooler had enlarged and allowed the screws to just spin in place instead of spinning out of the bolts) there was a mainly even spread of thermal paste through the block and CPU. Then, I re mounted the block but removed the radiator from the case. I ran p95 again and was reaching similar temperatures, however, i noticed that by shaking the radiator i would occasionally hear a hissing sound from the block, and the hissing sound would correspond to a massive decrease in temps (like 30-40c) but would then spike back up. Because of this, i'm pretty sure its a clog somewhere or an issue with the pump, but i do hear the pump running, so i'm not sure.

I could return it, but i don't know whether i should exchange it for another aquachanger 240, or pocket the cash, go back to my hyper 212 for the time being, and save up for a swiftech h320x2 prestige (what i was originally going to buy later on so i could also add a GPU block for my 290x). What do you guys recommend?

Side note, my CPU is dellided, TIM was replaced with coollaboratory liquid ultra, i thought that was an issue too since 2 cores got hotter than the rest, but the radiator shaking led me to believe the issue was within the cooler. Also, i used the included thermal paste, I have some attic silver 5 but decided to test out the cooler first and make sure i got decent temps before using the good stuff since i'm on short supply.
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    Here's every reason that I built my own loop.

    This is my cpu block

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/100-New-CPU-Water-Block-Water-Cooling-Cooler-Computer-Radiator-for-intel-AMD-/331817277836?hash=item4d41d9d98c:g:0h8AAOSwdU1W-1-N

    basically identical to this one. I thought £15 was cheap. It works just great. I have resolved my pressure drop problems and it wasn't to blame so I have no problem recommending it as a suggestion.

    I would buy this one again + consider buying the same style of gpu block & northbridge cooler from the same seller in hong kong as well. & I lapped mine, disassembled it and plated it in silver with antiquax silver plating soln.

    You would need your own pump radiator reservoir tubing and couplers for whatver design enters your mind. The point being that if you buy each part and join them with standard plumbing couplers or hose clamps then you can fix each one individually.

    Here you're stuck with stuff that you don't know what the (poisonous) coolant may be; whether the rad is copper or aluminium; what's causing the pressure drop/is there air in the radiator and as it's closed loop you can't top it up without invalidating the warranty

    So what are your choices? Well you could just snip it open drain and refill it test each component & the flow through it (what a lot of hassle), take it back to the shop or re-use some of the parts in your own custom loop.

    You can easily join tubes if you sleeve the smaller in the larger; eg. stuff 12mm Outer Diameter into 12mm Inner diameter(which would likely be 15mm OD tubing) as far as it will go and then secure it with a worm screw hose clamp. I have found this to be a waterproof tube coupling method that works under a load of at least 37c; my water loop has not exceed that temp

    So as long as you know how to join hoses and what couplers to use to join the hoses to the rad. and block you can do what you like.

    Why do closed loop WC's exist really? They are like the celeron or the stock heatsink; what's the point of it? Whatver happens you will a)never buy a celeron b)never use the stock heatsink and c)always snip open the closed loop WC therefore you might just as well make your own open loop.
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