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 Watercooling for noobs
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Agent Ghost

  • Total Posts : 5486
  • Joined: Aug 09, 2006
Watercooling for noobs - Apr 01, 2008 02:36
Water cooling is one option for cooling your computer parts. With PC cooling there are two things you want to balance. One is that you want to cool your chip as effectively as possible. Which means keeping the temperatures down allowing for higher overclocks and/or prolonging the life of your parts. The secondary purpose of aftermarket cooling is to make your system more quiet. The stock air cooler that ships with either Intel or AMD are adequate to do the job but compared to aftermarket coolers they do not give you much overclocking headroom and more importantly they are loud as ***.

If you want to upgrade to an aftermarket air cooler I recommend an ULTIMA-90 with a Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm fan. Use MX-2 as a thermal compound. This combination will be near silent but has performance next to the very best air coolers. AND it has about half the weight of larger coolers (while still outperforming most of them).

If you want make a more drastic change and give yourself even more overclocking headroom. Or maybe you just want to pimp out your Computer. Water cooling is a great option.

Advantages of water cooling:
-Best noise to performance ratio
-High potential for cooling
-A fun project (subjective)
-you’re not putting a big ***ing heatsink on your mobo that might snap it in half.

-Relatively expensive

What are the components of a water cooling setup?
(CPU/GPU/chipset/HDD) Blocks: This is the heat conductor that contacts the chip. Sort of like a closed heatsink that instead of using air to expel heat they use water (obviously).

Pump: This is what circulates the water in your loop.

Radiator: The most important part relating to performance, also can be the most expensive. This is the device that removes the heat out of your loop.

Fan(s): Connected to the radiator. This along with your pump is what will make the noise. The same Noctua fan I recommended for the air cooler is also the best fan on the market for a radiator due to it’s near silence and high static pressure.

Reservoir: This is a point in your tubing that allows you to fill and re-fill your loop with your coolant. Like a mini tank. A cheap replacement for a res is a T-line which works just as well.

Tubing: Self explanatory. They are measured with two numbers. Example. ½ inch IN and ¾ inch OD. Inner diameter and outer diameter. It’s important that you inner diameter matches all the barbs of your block(s), pump, res, and radiator.

Coolant & additives: You’d think you could just go to your tap and get some water but it’s not that simple. It has to be distilled, and not grocery store distilled, pharmacy distilled. Then you’re going to need a biocide if you don’t want algae growing in your water. Other good properties of additives are non-conductivity, anti-corrosive, UV reactive, dye. A great all in one mix is Feser one fluid.

Other extras:

Mounting hardware: Example, the Radbox is used to mount a radiator vertically.

Hose clamps: Forget about these. You can use zip ties.

Fan grill: protect your radiator and/or fans. You can get creative and get some with special designs.

Shrouds: They are supposed to increase your radiators effectiveness by spacing out your rad from your fans. They work by minimizing the effect of the center dead zone of fans. They make you radiator more difficult to install though. A waste of money in my opinion. I would only get one if I wanted everything. However, if you’re on a budget it would be wise to forget about these, or you could spend a bit more on a better radiator.

Mounting adapter for heatsink: Not always necessary but you can ensure a tighter fit between the cpu block and the cpu while at the same time reducing strain on the motherboard.
< Message edited by agent ghost -- 31 Mar 08 19:56:43 >

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