Watercooling and shutdown sensor

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Today I installed a "CoolerMaster Aquagate BIG" watercooler in my PC.
Motherboard: MSI KT3 Ultra2, processor: Athlon 2000+

The installation itself went just fine and a love the silence of the fan and
stability of my system running easily at 1.8 GHz without any problems (even
when the fan runs at the lowest position, the CPU temp. shows 42 C).

However, there is an option to connect the watercooling PCI-card to the
'shutdown sensor' of the motherboard. But... I can't find that sensor...

I only see the original air-fan sensors. Does anyone have a clue how to
connect the PCI card of the Coolermaster cooler to some kind of
switch/sensor of the motherboard, so when an detected alarm is reached (e.g.
CPU temp or cooling liquid temp) the PC will automatically shutdown?

Thank you in advance!

Best regards,

Re: Watercooling and shutdown sensor

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Page 26 here, shows a two wire extension cable. The computer system
front power switch cable has a female two pin shell on it, and it
connects to the male two pin "Case" connector. The female one labelled
"Motherboard", goes to the power switch pins on the PANEL
header of your motherboard.


At the other end of that cable assembly, the connector should plug
to a header on the Aquagate PCI card labelled for "shutdown sensor
cable". The name is meaningless, as the cable does not sense anything,
and the cable duplicates (runs in parallel with) the function of the
power switch. When the relay on the PCI card closes (because the
Aquagate has detected a temperature issue), it is like pressing
the power switch for four seconds, on the front of the computer.
The computer should switch off after the signal has been activated
for more than four seconds. I don't know if the Aquagate is smart
enough to open the relay after the four seconds, or leaves the
relay closed until you reset something (maybe on the LCD display ?).
In any case, if the Aquagate shuts you down, and you cannot get
the computer to start, disconnect the "shutdown sensor cable" from
the Aquagate PCI card, and you should recover control of the computer.

The biggest danger with water cooling, is what happens if the
coolant leaks out or the pump fails. The CPU thermal sensor
can detect a problem at the CPU, and for every water block in
the system, there should be an overheat sensor. The sensor provided
by Coolermaster is slow acting, and it is possible the THERMTRIP
on the processor will kill the power, before the Aquagate does.

I have read one posting from someone - his girlfriend used his
computer, without switching on the water cooling, and he had
hardware damage. So an overheat detection system that works is
an important feature to have. THERMTRIP on P4 and Athlon64 should
protect the processor, but I don't know how a video card with
water blocks on it, could be effectively protected.

A good thermal sensor should have low thermal mass, and the shutdown
mechanism should be fast - four seconds is a long time to wait
for shutdown (if, say, the water block fell off). Gating PS_ON#
would be another way to implement this feature, but that would
mean shipping an ATX power extender cable with the necessary
wiring mod on it, and some people do not like to use
extenders in a high power demand system. Thus, Coolermaster
chose to work in parallel with the computer case front power
switch instead.


Re: Watercooling and shutdown sensor

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Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comprehensive reply, it will be helpful for me!!!

Concerning the dangers of watercooling: sure I'm aware of that, but as far
as I can see now it's a waterproof tide system, so no drops of liquid will
come out. If it does... liquid and electronics aren't exactly friends, but
the CoolerMaster detect temperature rizing, but it also detects when the
coolingliquid runs below a certain level (i.e. when there is a leak). So
when it automatically shuts down the PC there still is a chance that not too
much harm is done (but that's maybe wishfull thinking).

For the temperature alarm you can use a 'safe' margin to avoid the delay of
noticing and reacting too late to that signal. So that could be overcome.

But you're right it's always risky to use such a cooling system, but I have
trust in it (naive as I am :-)

For me the necessary of watercooling came when my PC, containing an Athlon
2000+ had some serious heating problems. I cleaned the fan and even
installed a second fan. This solution did help a bit, but I couldn't run my
processor at a long time at 1.66 GHz because it became quite instable. So I
was looking for another solution: or to buy another PC, or to see what
watercooling would bring.

I found this complet and very cheap cooling system (66 euro, app. 70 US$ I
assume) which looked fine and also the specs were okay. So therefore I
installed it and I must say so far (after a day continuous running at 1.8
GHz) it cools excellent. Temp. doesn't rize above 43C so that's just fine.

Anyway thanks again for your reply and I will try to see if the shutdown
connection will work.


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