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Jirohnagi

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A water cooling PC sort of works in the same manner as the cooling system of a car, but instead of maintaining a temperature within a very narrow margin, we're mainly concerned with namely the CPU and GPU to not get so hot that they throttle themselves. Throttling means the part is slowing itself down so it doesn't kill itself due to the heat.

A heatsink works by a basic principle in thermodynamics, that heat moves from warmer objects to cooler objects. As the cooler object gets warmer, the warmer object gets cooler.

The heat is taken from the CPU, in the case of a heatsink, and then blown away by the heatsink's fan and the case's case fans.

In a water cooling setup, fluid is running from radiators, to cooling blocks that sit on the CPU or GPU. It works much the same way, except water is more efficient at this process of heat transfer. The water is then taken from the blocks to the radiators, where the heat is dissipated.

I use a water cooling loop All In One as my CPU cooler. It has a radiator, tubing, block and pump built in all one unit.

But other people, namely enthusiasts, build their own custom loops using certain fluids, different size radiators, specific reservoirs, pumps, and custom water blocks.

Like so:

View attachment 40179

Specifically, this water cooled PC uses hardline tubing.
Never looked at water cooling before, does it ever need changing out or anything? what are the chance of it breaking and probs more importantly how difficult is it to install, for that matter how do you install it?

Apologies about the questions but, never actually met anyone who knows about it and kinda curious ^^
 

TheGreatCthulhu

The Great Old One, Star Spawn, Sleeper of R'lyeh
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Never looked at water cooling before, does it ever need changing out or anything? what are the chance of it breaking and probs more importantly how difficult is it to install, for that matter how do you install it?

Apologies about the questions but, never actually met anyone who knows about it and kinda curious ^^
It's its own thing really, so it comes with its own set of considerations.

Chances of leaking and it destroying something is thankfully low these days, due to the fluids being better, and due to the components themselves being more robust.

Difficulty in installation depends on a few things.

  1. How many parts are you looking to liquid cool?
  2. How many radiators are you planning on using?
  3. Can your case accommodate multiple radiators?
  4. What type of tubing are you looking to use?
  5. How big is your reservoir?
  6. How many loops you looking to do?
Generally, most people only liquid cool the graphics cards and CPU, as they're more important than the motherboard VRM's and other components where air cooling is more than sufficient to keep them cool.

For radiators, this is the most important consideration, since much like a heatsink, you want ones that can handle dissipating the heat out of the system. How big or how many you need is entirely dependent on what you want to cool, and what the parts are.

Installation is a bit tricky, but thankfully easy. If you buy your own custom water block, they come with instructions on how to attach them to your CPU and GPU.

GPU blocks are a little more tricky, as you not only have to cool the GPU die itself, but the VRAM and the VRM's on the graphics card's PCB. Again, the blocks you get for GPU's come with instruction manuals.

For tubing, that's a bit of a different beast. I'd suggest soft tubing because it's nice and pliable, and allows for a wide margin of error. If you don't quite get the measurement right, you can still end up using that length of tube anyways.

For hardline, that's another story. That has its own set of techniques of measuring, cutting, and bending the tube (without kinking it) to get it just right.

Carbon fiber is another can of worms.

As far as pump and reservoir, I'd suggest a pump + reservoir combo unit. The order of the components doesn't matter, but the only one that does is having your reservoir feed the pump. If your pump runs on air, it'll kill itself. Thus you want the reservoir feeding the pump, and I'd suggest having your reservoir sit higher than the pump to let gravity aid you in priming the system a bit easier.

For fluids, honestly, the best type of fluid is distilled water and a couple drops of Biocidal agent and call it a day. Water is cheap and plentiful, and agents that stop corrosion and creatures forming in the loop is relatively cheap too.

If you want to get the benefits of liquid cooling, but are fine with having the GPU being cooled by its own heatsink (as most video cards have their own dedicated coolers anyways), I'd suggest going my route and buying an all in one unit. They're relatively affordable compared to custom loops, and contain everything that you need in one unit. Corsair, Cooler Master, and NZXT make great AIO liquid coolers. So that's another option afforded to you.

Thankfully, making your own custom loop is much less painful than it used to be.

There was a time when companies weren't making custom waterblocks and we had to rely on used aquarium parts to water cool.
 
Last edited:

Jirohnagi

Braava Braava
Joined
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Location
Soul Sanctum
Gender
Geosexual
It's its own thing really, so it comes with its own set of considerations.

Chances of leaking and it destroying something is thankfully low these days, due to the fluids being better, and due to the components themselves being more robust.

Difficulty in installation depends on a few things.

  1. How many parts are you looking to liquid cool?
  2. How many radiators are you planning on using?
  3. Can your case accommodate multiple radiators?
  4. What type of tubing are you looking to use?
  5. How big is your reservoir?
  6. How many loops you looking to do?
Generally, most people only liquid cool the graphics cards and CPU, as they're more important than the motherboard VRM's and other components where air cooling is more than sufficient to keep them cool.

For radiators, this is the most important consideration, since much like a heatsink, you want ones that can handle dissipating the heat out of the system. How big or how many you need is entirely dependent on what you want to cool, and what the parts are.

Installation is a bit tricky, but thankfully easy. If you buy your own custom water block, they come with instructions on how to attach them to your CPU and GPU.

GPU blocks are a little more tricky, as you not only have to cool the GPU die itself, but the VRAM and the VRM's on the graphics card's PCB. Again, the blocks you get for GPU's come with instruction manuals.

For tubing, that's a bit of a different beast. I'd suggest soft tubing because it's nice and pliable, and allows for a wide margin of error. If you don't quite get the measurement right, you can still end up using that length of tube anyways.

For hardline, that's another story. That has its own set of techniques of measuring, cutting, and bending the tube (without kinking it) to get it just right.

Carbon fiber is another can of worms.

As far as pump and reservoir, I'd suggest a pump + reservoir combo unit. The order of the components doesn't matter, but the only one that does is having your reservoir feed the pump. If your pump runs on air, it'll kill itself. Thus you want the reservoir feeding the pump, and I'd suggest having your reservoir sit higher than the pump to let gravity aid you in priming the system a bit easier.

For fluids, honestly, the best type of fluid is distilled water and a couple drops of Biocidal agent and call it a day. Water is cheap and plentiful, and agents that stop corrosion and creatures forming in the loop is relatively cheap too.

If you want to get the benefits of liquid cooling, but are fine with having the GPU being cooled by its own heatsink (as most video cards have their own dedicated coolers anyways), I'd suggest going my route and buying an all in one unit. They're relatively affordable compared to custom loops, and contain everything that you need in one unit. Corsair, Cooler Master, and NZXT make great AIO liquid coolers. So that's another option afforded to you.

Thankfully, making your own custom loop is much less painful than it used to be.

There was a time when companies weren't making custom waterblocks and we had to rely on used aquarium parts to water cool.
At what point is it better to go Water cooling, CPU model wise/ GPU wise, also do water cooled units get less or more dustier?
 

TheGreatCthulhu

The Great Old One, Star Spawn, Sleeper of R'lyeh
Joined
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Location
United States of America
Gender
Male
At what point is it better to go Water cooling, CPU model wise/ GPU wise, also do water cooled units get less or more dustier?
The reason for water cooling are varied. If you're after more overclocking potential, a quieter system, aesthetics (a good a reason as any), etc.

In terms of CPU any CPU model can be water cooled if you so choose. If you want to get a pretty nice overclock out of it, water cooling is a great way to get high and stable overclocks.

But there is a special chip. High end CPU's like AMD's Threadripper 2990WX, a $1600+ chip runs very hot. If you plan to overclock it, high end cooling solutions is basically a requirement.

For graphics cards, that kinda depends, really. Most commonly, people use Founder's Edition or Reference cards to water cool, because the cards made by the board partners of AMD and Nvidia like Asus, Gigabyte, EVGA, and the like have their own custom PCB's, and sometimes water block companies only make blocks for the reference model designed by AMD and Nvidia.

So it really depends.

As far as dust build up, it can still happen, though not as bad with air cooling.
 

Jirohnagi

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Joined
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Location
Soul Sanctum
Gender
Geosexual
The reason for water cooling are varied. If you're after more overclocking potential, a quieter system, aesthetics (a good a reason as any), etc.

In terms of CPU any CPU model can be water cooled if you so choose. If you want to get a pretty nice overclock out of it, water cooling is a great way to get high and stable overclocks.

But there is a special chip. High end CPU's like AMD's Threadripper 2990WX, a $1600+ chip runs very hot. If you plan to overclock it, high end cooling solutions is basically a requirement.

For graphics cards, that kinda depends, really. Most commonly, people use Founder's Edition or Reference cards to water cool, because the cards made by the board partners of AMD and Nvidia like Asus, Gigabyte, EVGA, and the like have their own custom PCB's, and sometimes water block companies only make blocks for the reference model designed by AMD and Nvidia.

So it really depends.

As far as dust build up, it can still happen, though not as bad with air cooling.

^^ thanks Cthu, who knew eldritch beings from the depths of the sea were tech wizards ^^
 

Cfrock

Keep it strong
Staff member
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I just realised 'drawer' — as in a sliding storage space in a desk, etc. — and 'drawer' — as in someone who draws — are homographs. It feels so sloppy, like someone started doing a job and then stopped halfway through. These words feel so ugly to say and now I hate them both, wtf.
 

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