View Full Version : Water cooling 101
Hi folks, looking for some entry level info on water cooling. What are the advantages, disadvantages, etc. Any links, articles, mayb even recommendations for a noob friendly water cooling unit?
08-13-04, 04:08 PM
Watercooling is a great way to get the most out of your computer. As far as disadvantages it costs more than air cooling, makes transporting your system a bit of apain and of course if you don't do it right and develop a leak you could be in trouble.
The positives far outweigh the risks. Increased overclocking and cooling running temperatures are two of the major benefits. Most watercooling systems tend to be quieter than an air cooling system but this is dependant on your system. One nice thing about watercooling is that once you have a decent setup it can last through many different computer systems. ABout the only thing you'd need to change would be the mounting method of your block but that can usually be done relatively easily.
I'd suggest going to www.hardocp.com and www.xtremesystems.org and looking around their forums. A lot of people on those forums are into watercooling and you can gain a lot of knowledge there.
I would only do it if
a) for some reason running really hot (but then something is probably wrong with your setup then) or your running really hot because of extreme OCing
b) sensitive to noise
C) need to burn money/just think its cool.
I looked around, it seems like after the dust settles, you'll be spending around $200 for the easy kits... I rather spend the money on actual HW, like CPU, monitor, ram, hd, etc.. or maybe even a powerline conditioner....
Im really more into C these days. I think i was bit by the OC bug again. brings back memories of 300A Celerys...
I am also planning on water cooling my system soon aswell, I might start to buy the stuff next week and plan out my new custom pc case :clap:
IMveryHO water cooling is over-rated. a common mis-conception of water cooling is that it uses cooling methods similar to phase change (like a radiator in your car), but in all reality basically what it's doing is cooling a radiator with a lot of pipes going through it with water in it... then the water is returned to the CPU/GPU/whatever to be warmed up again. the only advantage to water over air is that it can absorb a lot of heat, but the down part to that is that it's also a bit hard to cool down.
water cooling can (very simplistically) mean nothing but moving your heatsink to the left of your processor and linking the two with 2 tubes and water pumping between them.
basically the advantages to water cooling is indeed better cooling (as long as you get an ok water cooling system), lower case noise, and it looks really cool. the disadvantages are it's a pain in the ass. if you get a leak, you're screwed. chugging that thing arond to lan parties becomes nearly impossible (it can be done... buuut, you get the idea). if the unit you get is cheap the people might be retarded and mix copper/aluminum parts, which is currosive. if you get a kink in your tubes also, you will experience the wrath of a fried processor and probably a fried mobo, with also the possibility of frying the other things you may have in the water "loop". as far as i know, there is no detection for this (correct me if i'm wrong), so no warning beeps to safely turn your comp off or whatever. of course, kinks are commonly fixed with placing a spring inside the tubes, but even with a spring inside it is possible to kink (though the threat is very low).
uhmmm, i'm personally not a big fan of water cooling if it wasn't obvious enough. ambient case noise means little to me, and if i can get an air cooling kit that costs $70 all together (incl. shipping) and can cool a 1ghz overclocked processor to ambient temps, count me in! the cheapest water cooling solution i've seen is thermaltake's $100 kit, and from what i hear it's not that great.
Another great thing with watercooling is if you upgrade, chances are you can use the same setup for your next rig with nearly the same performance as the last. Another thing you can do with watercooling that you can't with air cooling is TEC, and it gives performance similar to phase change at a much lower price.
I've been water cooling for almost a year and half now with the same setup with 2 different systems, it was a blast to do, and was a great learning process about how computer components work with each other. I did spill some water on my brand new 5900 when I was cleaning, but I did my best to wipe it off with a towel and let it sit and dry for a few hours and everything turned out great. And as others have said you can get a super quiet cooling system if thats the approach you wish to take.
Any maintenance upkeep with water cooling? Changing water, adding water, etc?
Yes, every 3-6 months I'd say on the water, depends on how foggy it gets. At the time youd change the water you might as well do a thorough cleaning on your waterblock radiator and pump to keep them in prime condition. Not as bad as it sounds, it only takes an hour or two out of your day and really makes things look cleaner and run better.
In the first 6 months I hadn't cleaned out my pump and some black rubbery stuff got into it some how and prevented the pump from spinning correctly so I took it apart and cleaned it and it ran like new.
Also theres no problem running the pump for extended periods, I don't think mine has been off for more than a few hours in the last year or so and it runs great.
08-14-04, 08:56 PM
Lesson 1: Don't do this
Sorry, couldn't resist :D
^ ROFL :rofl :rofl :rofl
man that must suck
08-15-04, 01:43 PM
That was classic, if only it were true.
I know some people that would do that. :lol2:
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