Introduction to Watercooling

Version 0.02


This is an introductory guide to water cooling for the enthusiast who just don’t want to screw with air cooling any longer

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Basic Parts
1) CPU block
2) Pump
3) GPU block
4) Radiator/heater core
5) Tubing
6) Additives
7) Reservoir
8) Fans
9) Other parts

III. Other important information / Tips
IV. Conclusion

Section 1

The basic concept of water cooling is to find a medium that can handle and transport heat more efficiently than air. Water has a very good ability to retain heat, in the mean time stay in a liquid form. Meaning, as long as we can circulate cool water to the hot parts (CPU, gpu, and myself) we can cool it down more efficiently than air.

Section 2

Here are the basic parts needed for a water cooling system

1) CPU block
The CPU block is one of the most important part of the loop. This is the gateway where the water cools down the CPU. The basic concept of this “block” is a medium in which the water can run from one end to another taking the heat away from the CPU. Obviously the block goes on top of the CPU so that there is optimal heat transfer. This might sound like a simple idea, but the world of block design is crazy and very complicated. To uncomplicated things, there are usually two forms of CPU blocks.

Non-Impingent blocks: these blocks are less restrictive; most of these designs are simple. The water basically flows from one end of the block to another with the addition of some fins which cause turbulence (more water movement = more heat displacement). With the current onset of multi-core CPUs, the size of the hotspot on the IHS is much greater, this causes the Non-Impingent blocks to perform better under these conditions because they provide a great area of cooling. An example would be the Swiftech Apogee or Dtek Fusion.

Impingent Blocks: The impingent blocks should only be bought in pair with a very powerful pump. The basic concept of this block is to shoot the incoming stream of water into many small, powerful jets. These jets are shot at the base, which were drilled so that every jet meets a small pocket. These pockets are so thin; some of them are 1mm thick. This causes major turbulence and quick removal of heat from the CPU. These blocks are better paired with older single core processors in which the hot spot is smaller. Example: Swiftech Storm, Dtek Mp-05

2) Pump

The pump is again a very crucial factor in the setup loop. The pump obviously moves the water, but there are very different kinds of pumps. The two main categories are 12v pumps or AC pumps

12v pumps
These pumps are the ones that can be powered by a 12v power supply (aka your own). These pumps are small and fit in most cases. Delivering great performance and not eating up a lot of power, these pumps are definitely great contenders in the world of water cooling. Some of these pumps are

DD Laing D5
Danger Den DDC2

The DDC2, a newer revision with a 18w motor has proven to be one of the best pumps that watercooling has seen. It has a small footprint as well as high head pressure while producing less heat.

AC pumps
These pumps cannot be connected directly to your powersupply so you need to either remember to flick it on everytime you turn on your computer, or buy a relay switch. These pumps are mostly marine pumps that people found to have a good head pressure vs heat dump ratio. the Iwakis are popular amongst the extreme water cooling community. Older Eheim models were popular, but now outdated performance wise and should not be purchaced.

Iwaki MD-20rZ
Eheim 1048

3) GPU block
This block is optional, but I would recommend it if you want better overall performance, or you have one of those hot potatoes on your board. These blocks should be less restrictive then your CPU block.


Danger Den Maze 4
Swiftech MCW60

4) Chipset Block
With the new Core2s on the market, some northbridges do get very hot. Remember that the northbridge requires only a little bit of cooling to create a lot of OC headroom. Generally speaking, air cooling is sufficient, but if you watercool the northbridge then find a very unrestrictive block. Other than the northbridge, don't bother cooling any other chipset including the southbridge as it will not help your OC at all.

5) Other blocks
HDD blocks, RAM blocks, or MOFSET blocks are usually added for looks and not performance, cooling these devices do not give you higher OC.

Radiator/ Heater Core

This is the sweet spot of your system. All the heat that you have required from the loop has to be released here. There are couple options

Radiators – Watercooling companies now mostly offer two lines of radiators, one line optimized for high air flow and high noise, the other line, a more recent one is optimized for low air flow and low noise. As watercooling developed, people found that it was too loud to have 100+ cfm fans screaming all the time, so companies like Thermochill developed the PA series of radiators to give great performance with low air flow

High air flow radiators:
Black Ice Extreme series
Thermochill HE series

Low air flow radiators
Black Ice Pro series
Thermochill PA series
Swiftech MCQ series

Heater cores – these are the cheaper (but NOT less performance) option. You might need some moding skills here. Heater cores are designed for cars so that when hot water runs through these things, the fan blowing on them can transfer the heat to the passengers. These things work exactly the same way as the radiators, but a LOT cheaper.


Tubing is a part of the loop most people over look. But this just may be the Achilles heal of your rig. The purpose of the tubing is to transfer the water from one location to another. Sounds simple huh? Well if you use regular plastic tubing, it’ll leak and deteriorate very fast. I would recommend Tygon Tubing. (These things will break down when you grandson dies). There are other options such as clearflex, primoflex, but just stay away from the very cheap and bad quality plastic tubing.


Even though the water you use for your loop is “distilled” water. There are still many minerals and junk in there that will eat your loop away. So you need to put additives in your loop. These additives usually serve these three purposes

1) Kill off algae
2) Reduce Corrosion
3) Reduce freezing point(for water chillers)

There are many options here, but I would recommend water wetter, zerex, or some of the fluids sold by Danger Den, or other cooling stores. There’s a more comprehensive article in ProCooling that deals with the chemical elements of the additives.


There are usually two types of reservoirs, one is the typical reservoir, one is the T line

Pros: Easy bleeding (getting rid of all the air bubbles in your loop)
(Usually) holds more water and creates a bigger buffer
More water near the pump increases performance
Cons: bulky at times, and takes up a good amount of space (5 ¼ inch drive)

-T lines
Pros: space saving
Cons: VERY long to bleed your system.

The selection of your reservoir or T line doesn’t really matter, make sure it is placed close and above the pump to let gravity feed the pump.


There are many choices of fans out there, but if you're using a high air flow radiator, make sure you get a fan with 100+ cfm. If you have a low air flow radiator, the radiator itself will not performance drastically better if you increase the air flow above 80 or 100 cfm. So, if you have a low air flow radiator, get fans that are quiet, push a decent amount of air and have good air pressure.

Other important information/Tips

1) If the radiator or heater core is too big, build a rad box that would house all of your components.
2) The best place to put your reservoir is at the highest point on the loop, but I like it next to my pump.
3) If you have a big enough case, go for the reservoir and save some of your precious time, bleeding with a T line is said to be 100x slower.
4) As a rule of thumb when buying pumps, head pressure is much more important information than gph, because all gph tells you is that when the pump is pumping with little or nor resistance, how much it will pump. But adding a couple blocks, more tubing and what not, some cheap pumps that have good gph ratings will dramatically under-perform.
5) You should not use an impingent block if you are not rating about 9 or 10 ft of head pressure for your pump.
6) Make sure you use a clamp of some sort to make sure the fittings don’t’ leak in your system.
7) Avoid 90 degree or any other tight turns in your loop
8) Double, or even triple your work and leak test for 24 hours before you put the loop in your rig, because one mistake can prove fatal for your computer.

One Lowe</font color=red>
52 answers Last reply
More about introduction watercooling
  1. sticky?

    <font color=red>One Lowe</font color=red>
  2. If your goal is to guide someone new through the steps of building a system then I think that you need to rework it. im not exactly sure how, but I can see new people asking more questions the way it is currently done. Im not knocking your info, more the way it flows. Fredi is the one that makes the sticky descions. You would need to discuss it with him, but after the last new guy tried this same thing it left some of us with the impression that a person needs to be more established before making a sticky. You can give it a shot, it wont hurt to try.

    <b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
    Intel 550(3.4)@4.2
    ASUS P5AD2-E-Prem
    Ballistix PC5300@DDR2 780
    ATI Radeon X800XL
    TT 680W PSU
  3. maybe it should rather be a description of all the parts needed for the loop, but what do you think whould be added/taken out. i peronally think i should add an installation section

    <font color=red>One Lowe</font color=red>
  4. I highly recommend some images, just to show people, how inline would work, how the fill line must be the highest point of the watercooling system.
  5. What I always try to do is put myself in the place of someone new when reading something like this. I think that you have some good info, but I dont know how well someone that had never used liquid cooling would understand it. IMO most people that are taking the plunge into a liquid cooling system are nervous about screwing up their system"If they arent then they should be" so if the instructions are not very simple then they will lose interest in the sticky and start asking the same old questions. Now this is just my opinion, but I think that you should take out any references to specific brands. That would cut it down some and no matter what you suggest they are still going to ask questions about which brand to buy. The other thing about keeping it purely about the subject and leaving out references to "Brand A is good and Brand B is not" is that it adds credibility to you as the Author and will save you headaches down the road when someone trys to blame you for their mistakes.

    <b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
    Intel 550(3.4)@4.2 Posted 4.6Ghz but unstable
    ASUS P5AD2-E-Prem
    Ballistix PC2 5300@DDR2 780
    ATI Radeon X800XL
    TT 680W PSU
  6. Scottchen, thanks for the suggestion that you made on the Koolance video card Waterblock. I got the one that folds over both sides of the card and it is a BAD MAMAJAMA :lol: They did an excellent job in designing that piece of equipment.

    <b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
    Intel 550(3.4)@4.2 Posted 4.6Ghz but unstable
    ASUS P5AD2-E-Prem
    Ballistix PC2 5300@DDR2 780
    ATI Radeon X800XL
    TT 680W PSU
  7. How's that XL overclocking? I've heard that those has dud cores...
  8. Compared to how far some video cards OC the X800XL doesnt have much room to OC. Now that brings me to a question that I havent been able to get the answer to. If you look at the ORB and compare the X800XL benchmarks for the 3DMark05 you will see most of the OC's are running around 450/560 some hiher and some lower, but that is a fairly high end of the OC spectrum for this card. The top benchmark score has an OC of 486/608. The highest that I have been able to get me card to go is 447/555. With the Intel P4's im leading the ORB in 3dMark01 and running 2nd in 3DMark 05. Im up high even when you put AMD's into the mix on 3D 01 but way down the list in 05. Heat isnt the problem with Ocing my card. So what are the other factors that would hold me back. Have I simply reached the limit of this card?

    <b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
    Intel 550(3.4)@4.2 Posted 4.6Ghz but unstable
    ASUS P5AD2-E-Prem
    Ballistix PC2 5300@DDR2 780
    ATI Radeon X800XL
    TT 680W PSU
  9. They may have volt modded their cards for higher o/c's

    Who's the man with the master plan?
  10. I dont have a clue what that means. BTW, I guess the crack had messed with my head because last night I was able to OC the card much higher and actually took the lead for the P4's in the 3DMark 05 benchmark.

    <b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
    Intel 550(3.4)@4.2 Posted 4.6Ghz but unstable
    ASUS P5AD2-E-Prem
    Ballistix PC2 5300@DDR2 780
    ATI Radeon X800XL
    TT 680W PSU
  11. Ned flanders wants you to increase the voltage that's being pumped to the VPU and Ram, pencil mod might do, bios may be able to modded, i'm not sure.

    The X800XL's cores are duds that's the problem i've read that everywhere, i should make post quick in 3dchip oc section all overclockers ignore x800xl and go with 6800gt, since 6800GT's will reach 6800ultra speeds, but X800XL will not reach X800XT's speeds.

    But this apply to AGP only, since the PCI Express X800XL PCI Express is much cheaper than the 6800GT, and performs better at stock.
  12. Check my post in the graphics card section. I got it to go higher last night.

    <b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
    Intel 550(3.4)@4.2 Posted 4.6Ghz but unstable
    ASUS P5AD2-E-Prem
    Ballistix PC2 5300@DDR2 780
    ATI Radeon X800XL
    TT 680W PSU
  13. bump! I found this very useful, it teaches the basics of water cooling (although i already knew them from reading all over, it would be handy to read this first)
    good job!!!
  14. thx, i need to update this

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  15. Like it was mentioned would be nice.

    I was trying to explain the basics of this to a friend(because i am no expert at all) and he wasn't getting it. I pointed him to this...and he asked about 400 questions. Pictures would help and maybe a step by step guide.
    just my two cents

    Chaintech VNF3-250/A64 2800+/1GB(512x2) OCZ VX GOLD 2-2-2-5/BFG 6800GT/Thermaltake 420W/WD 200GB/Maxtor 300GB
  16. haha, yeah, i need to re-organize, update and add pictures to this guide, i'm really tied up with classes right now, plus i have a whole crap load of hw... on top of that, i have swimming and badminton practice =X...i'll find time.. i swear! =]

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  17. All those just sound like petty excuses to me. You are just trying to find lame excuses to not take/post pictures, reorganize, update, and comepletely walk people through something.

    I am supprised you didn't have to organize your sock drawer, or wash your hair....Homework? thats not important. Nothing with the word 'work' in it can be important.

    Chaintech VNF3-250/A64 2800+/1GB(512x2) OCZ VX GOLD 2-2-2-5/BFG 6800GT/Thermaltake 420W/WD 200GB/Maxtor 300GB
  18. lmfao

    "Like a scrotum, there it is in a nutshell."
    <font color=red>Roll Tide!</font color=red>
    <A HREF="" target="_new">-={Apathetic As<i></i>shole.}=-</A>
  19. ROFLMAO!

    ASUS P5WD2 Premium
    Intel 3.73 EE @ 5.6Ghz
    XMS2 DDR2 @ 1180Mhz

    <A HREF="" target="_new">#2 CPUZ</A>
    SuperPI 25secs
  20. Wait. Scott says that for my case, the only setup that will fit w/o having a hole cut for the radiator is:
    "If you're getting watercooling, then the best way to fit in that case is for you to buy the Black Ice Micro 2 radiator Using that you won't have to do any case hacking, get a Hydor L35 pump from Wal Mart, 1/2" Vinyl tubing from Home Depot or Lowes. Pick up a Swiftech MCW6002-64 waterblock along with the MCW50 waterblock for your video card from a cooling site."

    The black ice micro 2 is a dual 80mm radiator...and this guy says its crap, *don't bother with any of the 80mm radiators*. wtf? Is he saying I might was well go with the case fans since you can only *get away with* a 120mm?!?!?!?!?! WTF SHOULD I JUST GET A XP-120 AND FORGET ALL THIS CRAP?!?!?! I really don't want to make a goddamn box attached to my pc to house all this stuff.
  21. it is true that 80mm rads are useless, scott said that you can use those w/o modding ur case, he didn't say those performed well. modding ur case isn't that hard, if you have a big enough case, it doesn't even require modding to fit a dual 120 mm radiator/heater core

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  22. acck... the forum is being funky, i can't edit my guide, cuz its been too long since i can edit it -_-... how am i suppose to update it?

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  23. get an xp 120! Its loads cheaper than all that water stuff. besides, will you be pushing that oc to the very last mhz? i dunno if u need to be that extreme, i thought about it for a while and its just too costly, a nice xp-120 which can have excellent cooling for a good price is good enough i say.
  24. Those micro radiators are pretty nice, they may be small, but very thick, it'll cool a CPU+GPU no problem with 4 silent 80mm fans.
  25. ack, no way can even a dual 80mm radiator handle both a cpu+gpu. those things have pretty much the same cooling as a single 120mm radiator. its generally recommended that you don't use a 120mm radiator for both teh cpu and the gpu. now, you can use a dual 80mm radiator just for the cpu. but don't expect high overclocks at all. if you have one of the preshotts, then don't even expect decent cooling.

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  26. WTF are you talking about?! The HWlabs, Black ice Micro 2, beats out the Black Ice Pro any day, by a LOT, and a single Black Ice pro can cool a CPU block with 226watt peltier nicely, a Micro 2 will cool a CPU+GPU easily, and beats out XP120+VGA Silencer.
  27. i was talking about teh black ice extreme. but okay, can you do some tests?

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  28. LOL... why me, i don't have great connection with watercooling resellers, i only got a few good deals from bigfoot and compuvision, they're not going to give me something for free. Note how i said use 4x80mm silent fans, since that radiator is so thick, it achieves best performance with 4 lower airflow fans, than 2 high flow fans.
  29. actually its the other way around for the fans, i know that for sure, but i forgot where i read the test T_T. but basically, the push/pull config adds very little to the cfm and air pressure. while 2 high powered fans adds alot.

    <font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
  30. I get better performance on my black ice pro 2 for my video card with 4 everflow fans(47CFM/24dB) 25mm thick as oppose to 2 delta(151.85/53dBa@7V so about 80CFM with noise level at at least 40dBa at 2M) 38mm thick fans. It runs 2C cooler idle, and 5C lower on load, on the 4 fan setup, but i don't really trust my X800XL's sensor, it tells me my card only loads at 24C.

    But these are just my results, maybe other people has different results with (more, silent/less, powerful) fan, but i like the quiteness:D
  31. Not that I plan on watercooling anytime soon, is there a point where HSF's are more effcient at dissipating heat than watercooling?Like if I'm averaging 30C at load am I likely to see any benefits from water cooling?
  32. well, it really depends on the ambient temperature, idealy, you would want to reduce the delta between the ambient and your core temperature.

    generally speaking, a good watercooling system will have a smaller delta between ambient and core than air cooling
  33. i agreeeee
  34. Swiftech makes best cooling kits on market,
    Koolance makes best gpu/cpu blocks on the market
    Gigabyte makes best noob cooling system with good performance
    Best complete liquid cooled case is koolance's 1000watt in a lian case. Things awesome!!
    Best noob cases are gigabyte mecury and swiftech's antec

    basic three lines used 1/4, 3/8, 1/2.

    Heres great way to setup the system up

    1) take outta the box install everything so cuts are perfect lines run nice (p.s. do not put water in it)
    2) take all electrical components out and let water system run for couple hours in the case with water (24 hours to be safe)
    3) check for water on anything (especially joints)
    4) reinstall all components and ur good!!

    Also want anti-fungal (algee) solution to keep nasty stuff from building up in the system. Monitor temps or set bios to shut off under certain temps along with a flow monitor is also a good idea!!

    Use distilled water!! Less reactive water and prevents corrosion build up in the lines and on the blocks!!

    P.s. stay away from thermaltake they stink. They use an Acrylic cpu cover! Acrylic tends to crack under high heat, like an over clocked cpu, yay not good!! Also solution does not have any anti-fungal adds. The pumps are very weak and most systems run a 1/4 pipe ekkkk!! The thermaltide has horrible gpu conntection and does not have noob protection against over tighting the screw

    Also most liquid coolers only cover the gpu. Most high end card today require the whole card to be cooled not just the gpu. The voltage requlators on most high end cards can run extrememly hot; the ram also can get pretty toasty. Good rule of thumb is to cool whole card for any 8800, gtx, 2900xt, xtx card. There are many good full card liquid cooling solutions out there for these cards and can even purchase the voltage regulator cooling block.

    anywayz thats about it. If used correctly, liquid cooling can do wonders!!
  35. I still want to know why people keep on saying the CM Aquagate is a piece o'crap. [/refusing to admit a 9ºC average room temp has anything to do with it]
  36. wooord
  37. This is my first attempt at water cooling but i have been building comps for the past 5 years as a side job. I just ordered a Q6600, an Abit IP35 Pro and 2 x 1GB Crucial Ballistix. I'm only gonna be cooling the Q6600 and the P35 NB with my setup as my vid card idles at 52C and under load it never goes above 62C. My budget is about $250 and i want something that is quiet and still performs well. So far i have the MCP655 picked out for the pump, the MCW30 for the NB block, the Apogee GT for the cpu block, the MCR220 for the rad, and these fans for the rad Do you think that will be sufficient for my setup? Here is a link to my case It has pre-drilled holes for water as you can see in the 4th picture. People have told me not to use a reservoir and to just use a T line instead to save myself some money. What tubing/coolant/misc parts do you recommend that i use? Oh, my ambient temp is 20C at all times btw. Thanks for taking the time to read this! current setup

    Antec 900
    Opty 165 @ 2.9 @1.35 vcore
    Zalman 9700
    DFI NF4-D
    2 x 1GB OCZ Platinum @ 485 3-4-4-8
    2 x 74GB Raptors RAID0
    X-Fi XtremeGamer
    OCZ Gamexstream 700
    8800 GTS 640 @ 700/1050
  38. Hmmm, would i be able to use oil as a cooling fluid, like used in transformers. id say thats less risky to use than conducting water. Maybe il do a test and post my results
  39. Oil is too thick, the pump would fail within minutes if not quicker more than likely, then its all downhill from there, actually downhill before that because even if the pump dosent fail I doubt it could push something so thick completely through the loop.
  40. I don't think its a case that you couldn't use would have to use something very thin like mineral oil or of that consistency. Your biggest problem would lie in the pump and your O-rings of your blocks (if they have them) as the oil might degrade them and cause leaks. Your pump impeller is likley made of plastic, which is also a petroleum you run the risk of your tubing, pumps, rings and blocks degrading from the oil.

    It's the same concept they warn you about when using baby oil or vaseline with condoms; they break down the rubber used and let what is inside, out. Not cool.

    Even if you have pump failure, you aren't going to have immediate meltdown of your components. I had one of those old MCW350 pumps that would intermittenly 'not turn on' unless you tapped on the top. It just meant that your CPU and GPU slowly heated up because the water didn't circulate, but it was over the course of several minutes. Most people really don't understand the thermal capacity of water and the amount of heat it can actually absorb. This is why you don't have the often misunderstood 'boiling water melting successive components in a loop' theory. If you have water flow over your CPU, NB and GPU, the water isn't 'super heated' when it gets to your GPU...check your load temps. Mine is 42C with water vs 80C+ with stock cooling. Typically, your GPU is the biggest heat producing component, and typically last in the loop before hitting your radiator(s). If anything, your temps will be fairly similar across most of your components and will rise and fall gradually, mostly dependent on ambient temps, heavy load and your heat exchanger (radiator) ability.

    Edit: We need a new sticky with updated information that addresses some common misconceptions, Q/A or FYI items, along with pictures and links to good WC sites. I think something along the lines of the PSU tier stickies are in order for most watercooling components. I don't mind working on this, but I ask that suggestions and links be provided, along with any good pics (with IMG links).
  41. What kind of temps can I expect?? If I liquid cooled my nb gpu and cpu. I run about 140 to 150 with air cooling on a oc of 3.8 Cpu is an e-8400
  42. What is the best water cooling to go for?
  43. Hopefully you guys read the forums and some posts before we have to kill -9 your posts. :)
  44. Seriously, some one needs to update this guide.
  45. Hi i am running a Q6600 cpu stable at 3.6 GHz,on a asua p5q motherboard with 2GB of ram,

    Case --- Thermaltake Armor LCS VE2000BWS
    PSU------Jeantech Storm 700w sli/cross-fire
    Nvidia Geforce 9400 GT
    Corsair XMS2 Dominator PC2-8600

    just been overclocking again change fsb frequency,dram frequency and cpu voltage and hit the 4.0GHz and runs stable .
    not bad for a 2.4GHZ and the setup lol
  46. ^lol, good luck. Hope it doesn't leak on you. TT kit's are cr@p (in quality). Also hope the PSU doesn't blow up on you.
  47. Conumdrum said:
    I'll just snip the whole thing, I just redid parts of it.

    Us guys have done the WC thing, there are basics you gotta know. Take a look, don't take it as a diss on you or a rebuttal, look at as a friend saying "Dude, you gotta know what to say and how to communicate".
    CPU HS $65
    GPU HS and air HS for vram and mosfets $95, full cover block, $100-$200
    Radiator $60 min, up to $130
    Pump $50 +
    Resiviour $25
    Hose, some barbs and clamps etc (min $25, more like $35)
    Fans $15-30

    I went top notch and spent close to $600 to cool my CPU and GPU.
    First you gotta learn about WC. It's not like walking into Best Buy.
    Spend a while (weeks is best for your sanity) at these links.
    Look at the hundreds of loops close to your case and components in the stickies, read a couple 50 or so threads over the next week or so, you'll be on the ball to make the right choices and by then know how to put it together.
    Not 'Roket Sience', but basic knowledge is required.
    And you should spend a few hours on the listed sites reading threads. It's how we learn. Once the goodies show up on your doorstep your on your own.
    For your benefit please spend a few days reading a LOT. At the busiest places for WC masters. Guys who have done it for YEARS at OC Forums and xtreme forums. It took me a while (I was OCing on air, aftermarket stuff, bios settings, best chipsets etc etc) to learn the language and the tricks to a easy install.

    Don't expect miracles or SUPER DOOPER over clocks. What you will get is a quiet system that can handle OC to the max of your hardware IF you buy quality and buy smart. And minor maintenance too, a bonus for the water cooler.

    Also while there please read on case mods etc. The radiators are not for small cases, pumps and hose routing, wire management and other things are important. Google your planned case and the word water-cooled in one line. You might get lucky.
    Edit: The next paragraph was from 2008. With the advent of the HOT i7 and bigger GPU's, it has changed. A 220 size MIN rad for an i7, you want big overclocks, better go 320 sized rad.

    IF you just cool your CPU and your NB if you want, you can get by with a 120.2 sized radiator (RAD). And MAYBE fit in inside depending on your mod skillz. You want to cool your GPU too, you'll need a 120.3 sized rad, and it probably won't fit inside. The rear external rad really works great. No matter what your adding 10lbs to your PC.

    Once you got an idea of what is good/bad then start getting your system for WC put together and we'll be glad to help.
    Here is the poop on solid info on air/water temps. The link is to an MCR320.
    Scroll half way down and you can see the in/out air diff on the chart. It depends, like I said on fannage what the out air temp vs. the in temp is.

    You can also see the water in/out is very close in temps. No more than 1.5 C. Amazing eh? I thought so too once I deciphered the charts.

    So if you put a second rad with good airflow, you still get good results. Fannage needs to be higher to compensate for the increased air restriction. Meaning double fans on the rad setup, but it's a viable solution.

    Equilibrium (tough word) means with a set heat load (idle/load) after an amount of time temps in a WC loop will stabilize. The heat load is the same, ambient air is the same, fannage is the same, pumps are the same, size of rads are the same, temps will stabilize for those conditions. Any of these parameters change, it has to stabilize. …………………………………………………………
    Cleaning a loop, not a new loop: I do this once a year, I drain and refill at 6 months, the next time I do this……..
    Wash hands very well, getting rid of hand oils.
    For pumps and blocks, fittings, clamps, acrylic res/block parts.... not hose, tear it to smallest pieces, put in a bowl, heat water up not to boiling add 10% vinegar, when hot, pour over parts. Rinse in 10 min or so. Put aside.
    The bocks will probably have some black oxidation. Take the copper parts out of the pile of parts you took out of the water. Dry well and pour ketchup on them, and set aside. Only the copper parts need this.
    Rad cleaning: fill with very almost boiling hot water. Let sit 10 minutes, drain half out and shake for 5 min. Repeat till liquid is clean.
    All the pump, block, fittings, and clamps, inspect, get in the tiniest corners with a tooth brush. Kind of meditative, time consuming, you learn a lot about o-ring size, how it all feels. Run a rag using a caat hanger and dish soap through the tubing, rinse well.
    Rinse all the parts and hose with distilled, dry then really dry with an air compressor (nice extra step to get rid of water spots). Don’t need to dry the inside of the hose.
    Now on to the copper parts, they should have been soaking an hour or two. A toothbrush and ketchup should clean much of the oxidation. It probably won’t be like new, but pretty darn good. Rinse, dry, and blow the parts.
    That’s it.
    Benching software and such is very varied. I use these for each purpose:
    These are pretty standard and used by many.
    Monitoring the PC temps overall: HWmonitor aka hardware monitor
    CPUZ for CPU info
    GPUZ for GPU info
    CPU only: RealTemp
    GPU only: ATI Tool, I have a Nivida GTX280, so it works on Nvidia

    Loading/benching tools:
    CPU loaders: Prime95 and OCCT
    GPU Loaders: ATI Tool and the best one is Furmark, nothing pushes the GPU harder right now.
    Benching for overall graphics/gaming performance is 3DMark06
    Guides Pretty up to date info and buying guide Another good guide What to do once all the stuff is in the door

    Forums Not a noob site, but great stickies My fav, good peeps, know their stuff, less hardcore [...] opic=20277 A GREAT Europe site Decent site

    Tests on equipment, not reviews, truly scientific tests [...] n&ie=UTF-8 Info on rad testing More rad testing Host for Martins lab and some newer tests Test results, very technical

    Stores [...] e&Itemid=1
  48. This looks like a very interesting, long thread and I will enjoy reading it, but first I must ask: Is there any risk of condensation damage with water cooling? Or a risk of the water spontaneously spilling out onto my components?
  49. I still haven't read the intro yet, but I just bought a HAF 932 case by Cooler Master. Apparently there's a lot of potential for water cooling in that case... If anyone has one of these, could you tell me if I need to remove the 230mm fan on top if I want to install a radiator?
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