...::: Watercooling Discussion Thread :::...
Watercooling has typically been regarded as a taboo for computers, mainly as electronics and water aren't the best of friends... , but with the introduction of closed kits, such as the Corsair Hydro and Antec Kuhler series, watercooling has become more popular.
While this thread will (And rightly so, in my opinion) focus on "open" or custom loops, any questions about these closed kits are also welcomed
So a basic warning...
Now first off a custom watercooling loop is not for the faint-hearted, lazy or budget constrained individual. They undoubtedly cost more, require more effort and care, in terms of initial installation and continued maintenance, and failure in setting up a cooling loop is best to be avoided.
So why would you watercool?
If you are after better temperatures, a computer that doesn't sound awfully similar to a turbine, and something that looks awesomely ridiculous, then watercooling is blatantly where it is at!
Noob guide to watercooling:
So first off a quick video to show the basic idea behind WC'ing in all it's glory, followed by Clunk's WC'ing guide
for beginners, which I reckon to be the best written guide there is at the moment:
So hopefully that made complete sense. Here is the most comprehensive guide to watercooling for beginners that I have found to date;
Clunk.orgs Watercooling guide for beginners
There is another good WC'ing guide that described the principles behind everything really well, can't find it for the life of me though
Setting some Terminology fore-warning:
-With Radiators there tends to be two ways of describing the size of them. Either the length of the radiator, e.g: 240mm. Basically mean that it will fit two 120mm fans. The other way is writing this same sized rad as 2.120. This latter example seems to be an older form of WC'ing jargon, but you may see it come up in some threads on the subject.
-Secondly ID (Internal Diameter) and OD (Outside Diameter) are not the same thing. What you want to do is have the barb or compression fitting size match the ID. Otherwise it won't fit. Common sizes for tubing tend to be 1/2", 3/8", and 7/16". (All ID's)
Basic CPU and GPU loop.
So here is a basic loop that features a 240 rad, a CPU waterblock and a GPU waterblock. Why a 240mm rad? Because this is the radiator that most cases will accept without any modification. Most cases, for example the CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced, will allow 2 x 240mm rad.
CPU block: XSPC Raystorm.
GPU block: EK GTX 670 Acetal cover. Reason that I choose a 670 block because it is the best high-end (In terms of price/performance card (and excluding the idea of heavy overclocks)) available for purchase at the moment.
Reservoir: XSPC Dual 5.25" reservoir-pumptop combo.
Pump: Swiftech 655 (D5 Vario) pump.
Radiator: Black Ice GTX 240mm Rad.
Fittings: 8 x Bitspower Shiny Silver Compression Fittings.
Tubing: PrimoFlex Pro LRT 3/8 ID Tubing.
Pump: Which one will suit me?
So not a lot of thought goes into the purchase of the pump for the loop, however this is where some care should be placed.
You want to pick up a pump that is able to sustain a flow rate of around 1.0GPM (Gallons/ Minute). And when trying to figure out which pump is best for sorting this, is determining how much restriction (Typically measured in pressure (PSI)) is within the loop and comparing to the output pressure of the pump.
For help with this, see this informative guide.
So for some reason I find fittings the less intuitive thing out, so figured I would give a real basic spiel about them then, then post a video from DazMode (Canadian WC'ing store) on the subject.
So with fittings, you can get two main types:
- Barb Fittings, just a simple fitting, that you just slide the tube over, and the 'barb' restricts the tube coming off. This is the fitting that comes with most watercooling kitsets, such as the XSPC Rasa/ Raystorm kit. With these, you just need to make sure the fitting is the same size as the Internal Diameter of the tubing, and therefore it will fit snuggly on the barb.
- Compression Fittings, are the other fitting type. They are essentially a barb, with a metal sheath over top. They are more expensive, but confer a few benefits. Mainly being; Easier to remove, and looks. Now with these fittings, you will need to take into account both ID and OD when making your pics in this. So you need to make sure that the ID matches the barb, and that the OD matches the compression sheath. (So that you don't get too thick a tubing to get the sheath over it.
Places to by WC'ing Gear
There are many places to buy WC'ing Gear, but what I will try and do is give you a heads-up of the better known ones.
- Computer Lounge - NZ
- OverclockersNZ - NZ
- Sidewinder PCs - USA
- FrozenCPU - USA
- Koolroom - AUS
This is not an exhaustive list, but contains the sites that I would commonly look at. My personal opinion, is that is far cheaper to look overseas for parts, sad as that may sound
So you've got your gear huh?
So installation is fairly basic, and if you built the computer in the first case then it shouldn't be too difficult. But this an area where you need to pay attention to. So here is a series (3 videos in total) that details more about the installation process:
Linus's Ultimate Watercooling Guide.
Hopefully, that is all. If you need more info, or just want to throw ideas around, drop a comment in the thread or anywhere else on the PriceSpy forum, and I, among others, will do our darnedest to help you out.