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Cooling So You Want To Watercool Your PC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Nexxo, 12 Oct 2005.

  1. zr_ox

    zr_ox Whooolapoook

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    Fantastic work Nexxo & pdf27, really outstanding.

    The biggest challenge is no longer figuring out how to water cool a PC, but getting all the n00bs to figure out how to read this guide on how to water cool a PC.

    :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2007
  2. aquatuning

    aquatuning New Member

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    A list of recommended components or kits for noobs could also be good to - the easy to install minimum maintenance stuff :geek:
     
  3. Drachnem

    Drachnem Member

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    I'm just picking out a water cooling system now, and this information has helped me out, and I will def. reference it. thanks for the post.
     
  4. Tuppen^^

    Tuppen^^ New Member

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    great thread, I vote for sticky, since it is a very useful thread for first time WC users/buyers..
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    pdf27 deserves at least half of the credit. :thumb:
     
  6. Marci

    Marci Ex-O-CuK / ThermoChill

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    Indeed - excellent info there from both parties...

    A good visual example to describe this...

    When you fill a watercooling system for the first time, look at your tubing. You'll see a lot of tiny bubbles that "sit" on the tubing walls, despite the fact that the pump is on and flowing. Flicking the tubing knocks the bubbles from the wall of the tubing into the flowpath where they get moved around the loop.

    The bubbles adhere to the tube walls for various reasons, but one of the main reasons is the boundary layer. Flicking the tubing causes the bubbles to move slightly at which point they get caught up in the moving flow rather than the stagnant layer.

    Another oft-asked question is "how to I bleed my system" and many folks forget the direction in which air moves in a liquid. Air is lighter than water, and thus will always move upwards. Even if there is a pump moving the liquid downwards, the bubbles will still fight against this... therefore it's always good practice to go into an item (such as a block or radiator) at the physically-lowest point, and out at the highest. The only case against this is in reservoirs, where it's generally better to go in at the highest and out at the lowest.

    If you picture a tubular style reservoir, with water entering at the lowest point, and leaving higher up, the airbubbles enter the reservoir and float upwards, past the outlet. At which point they get caught up in the flow and pulled back into the loop. We don't want this. So, for reservoirs, inlet at the highest barb, outlet at the lowest. That way air gets trapped within the reservoir, right where we want it. Once a decent amount of air has gathered there, open the cap and top it up with liquid.
     
  7. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    So, you've read through the fantastic posts above and you now know what you need, but as soon as you go onto a water-cooling website you are shocked by the choices avaliable. There are one or two things you need to think about before you go parts hunting.:

    1) What parts of the system do you want to watercool?
    2) Will all of the parts (esp. the radiator) fit into your case?
    3) What size tubing are you going to use? (I'm sure most of you will go after 1/2" becuase it looks frigging cool :thumb: )

    So, say you've decided that you are going to only watercool the CPU, and you've taken a good hard look and measure of your case and decided on what size rad you are going to go for, the nest step is too think, what will the following parts give me..:

    For example, a Quad Core CPU and overclocked graphics card won't work on a single rad. (Nexxo has got a very good set-up running on a single rad with good temps, but nowdays GPU's and CPU's pump out lots more heap than his setup). If you are cooling a basic dual core CPU (core 2 duo e6320 or an X2 3800 for example), a single radiator should do, but won't give you much overclocking headroom. For that reason, I reccomend that you go for a dual 120mm radiator or bigger, as it allows for overclocking and for further blocks to be added in the future.

    Watercooling isn't your cheapest option for cooling, but youd be suprised what you can get for your money. You can get some of the best kit around for not all that much..:

    (all 1/2")

    Thermochill PA120.3 (the best radiator)
    Swiftech Storm CPU Block
    Alphacool DDC Ultra w. Plexi Top
    Silver Fillport with T-line
    Invisible Blue Dye
    Zerex
    Arctic Ceramique
    Anti-vibration pump mounting
    3x high Performance 120mm fans

    That lot would cost you about £160 and would give you a great set-up that many people would envy. It might cost upto £20 less if you are using a D-TeK FuZion block insted.

    **(I've just bought something along these lines and will post a full instilation guide at a later date)**
     
  8. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    sticky

    This needs to be a sticky. Very, very useful!
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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  10. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    Interesting - closer than I would have expected. Remember however that this is only for one pump/block combination. Different combinations will probably give bigger differences.
     
  11. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    Yes, but I remeber when I first went for watercooling in late '05 I was told on many occasions that there was a 5*C difference between 1/2" and 8/6mm, hence why I went with 1/2" over everything else.

    Now that its only a degree or so, it now depends on the type of look you are going for.
     
  12. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    I'd be surprised if it was ever that much for a system where the tubing is the only difference. However, in the early days of watercooling using pond pumps it probably was pretty close to the truth. The early pumps had high peak flow but very poor peak pressure - and if you plot that onto Cathar's graphs you get much bigger flow and hence temperature differences. The big difference has been the new generation of specialised watercooling pumps which provide much bigger peak pressure for low electrical power. These make high pressure drop systems practical, and make tubing size far less relevant.

    I suspect that right now selection of the right barb/tubing combination is more important than merely selecting the right tubing size - but numerically modelling that will be a beast.
     
  13. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    I think you are right. It would be nice to see the results if the pump was an Eheim 1248, 1250 or so on..
     
  14. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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  15. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    Just saw this guide! Great work Nexxo. I really like the humorous way you inform, and the nice analogies you drew upon to explain. Also great technical details from pdf27!

    Now, just gotta save some more pennies.
     
  16. Dosvedagna

    Dosvedagna Justice!

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    This thread is great, im really interested to try water-cooling and have never had the guts to, but like you said, i felt know how in this department would be some-what vital...

    anyway im feeling from what iv read it should be pretty manageable if i take it step by step and double check... probs start with a simple loop for my cpu

    cheers
     
  17. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    That's the way to WC.

    Measure twice, cut once; as they say. Take your time, double check everything's ok and you'll be fine - WC gear fits together remarkably well nowadays, it plugs together just like any other computer part.
     
  18. DistortedTruth

    DistortedTruth New Member

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    Nice Thread!:D Thankyou!
     
  19. motas

    motas New Member

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    Does anyone know of a step by step guide to putting together and testing a watercooling system?
     
  20. AfterburneR15

    AfterburneR15 New Member

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    just what i need as a newbie. thanks for the info guys!
     
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