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Water Cooling with PolarFLO Article - Page 3 of 8

INSTALLATION



Any good installation begins with a list of parts. Below is a complete list of all the items and tools I used (most of the major pieces are shown in this photo):

You obviously wouldn't need the exact same parts or tools that I used but it will give you an idea of what could be involved.

Mounting Fan and Radiator

My first order of business was to cut out an opening for the 120mm intake fan. The Lian-Li PC-71 case comes with two 80mm front intake fans so those had to go.

Lian-Li PC-71 - Front - Before

The front of the case also had a drive cage frame on the inside which needed to be removed as well. Removing it just required drilling out the riveted mounts in the floor of the case.


Lian-Li PC-71 - Front - After



Pump Placement

In the photos above you can see that I'm planning the placement of the pump. This is one of the more important decisions you'll make. With the PolarFLO Series TT pump, the intake barb is the vertical one on top of the pump. You want to take advantage of gravity, let it work for you, don't work against it. In other words, mount your pump in the lower part of your circuit so that your pump doesn't have to strain on intake.

Below are some earlier ideas I had. Hint, they weren't the best approach. :)

Bad Idea #1 - Pump Mounted In Drive Bay

This case is enormous, so I had room to spare even with the pump in the drive bay. It seemed like a neat location as it would be out of the way of the airflow from the radiator. Again though, I was fighting gravity in that location.

Bad Idea #2 - Pump Mounted Above Power Supply - Whaaat?

If you thought that first one was bad...well, this idea above the power supply was REALLY bad. At least I turned it 90 degrees to make the intake task slightly less straining on the pump motor.

There are a number of ways you can build your circuit. You'll usually see it as PUMP → T-LINE → RADIATOR → CPU → VGA as I have done here. There are many variations involved:  different order, adding chipsets, hard drives, etc. A reservoir changes things a bit too, as does adding a second radiator.

You can do all sorts of things in how you route tubing. I preferred to keep it simple by reducing the number of Y-splitters as they may reduce flow. Right angle connectors can really reduce flow which is why I didn't use them.

Two Different Tube Routing Approaches

The blue lines above indicate cooled water directly out of the radiator. One might think that the layout on the right would be best since the CPU and GPU get the directly cooled water. However, the actual temperature gain in the water on the left layout is usually less than a degree or so. The tradeoff of two additional Y-splitters and increased length of the circuit (both of which hurt your flow rate) was enough for me to stick with the approach on the left.

Next Page: Installation Part 2

Last Updated on May 3, 2005


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