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What do you think of liquid cooling for computer components?

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  • Power Supplies
  • Cases
  • Water Cooling
  • Components
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Last response: in Components
June 6, 2008 1:42:17 PM

I'm thinking of buying a cube PC case, MATX, and I think that the case might get too hot even with a fan at the front & the back without at least a liquid cooler for the CPU.

I'm also thinking of keeping this long term and with the PC on all day and night.

More about : liquid cooling computer components

a c 277 ) Power supply
June 6, 2008 1:57:17 PM

What do you want the cube case to accomplish?
Small size?
Portable gaming?
HTPC?
Do you need Quiet?
What will go in it?
Will you be overclocking?
---------------------------------------------------------------
I am not a fan of liquid cooling except in extreme situations.
I think there are some good answers, depending on what the answers to the questions are.
June 6, 2008 2:10:01 PM

The problem with most liquid cooling systems is that, unless you get a fairly expensive one, it's really no better than getting a nicer air cooler.

They can also take up quite a bit of space, depending on the model you get. Most worthwhile liquid systems get kinda big, so it might be a little much for your cube.

If you need a quiet system, then liquid is a good way to go. The CPU fan is easily the loudest thing about my system. Liquid goes a long way in keeping computers quiet.
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June 6, 2008 2:25:00 PM

Going with the Micro ATX case, you definitely get the small size and portable gaming capability.

If you're going with HTPC however you want to choose a cooler processor so the need for watercooling because unnecessary.

I recently put together a gaming machine together for a friend inside a Thermaltake LANBOX. You can get it to run quickly and quietly enough for gaming without heat being a real issue as long as the intake slits aren't blocked.

You run out of room very quickly with just the normal components, adding the water cooling components in there will just make things even more crowded. This of course presumes you want to keep the WC system internal. Its a little less troublesome if the WC system is external but then you have to drill into the case.

I really wouldn't recommend OC's in such a small case. I also wouldn't recommend water cooling in them unless you like frustrating projects. The more you want to do with the case the more it requires time, delicate finger work (it is a small space) and patience. Because those cases weren't really meant for much beyond M-atx motherboard w/ integrated graphics, low power processor, stock cooling, hard drive and an optical drive.

That said you can shove a lot of power into a small case and still not worry about heat, for the project I mentioned the specs were:

case: Thermaltake VF1000BWS Black Aluminum Front Panel
optical: SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B
boot drive: Western Digital Raptor X 150GB

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850
Mem: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800
MB: GIGABYTE GA-G33M-DS2R LGA 775 Intel G33 Micro ATX
Power Supply: SeaSonic 600W
Video card: GeForce 8800GTS 640MB

2 fans on it and it stays cool enough and is only off when its moving between lan parties.

The loudest thing on it is the Raptor, you can't hear the rest if you're more than 2 ft away.
June 6, 2008 2:44:32 PM

Portability and watercooling aren't always ones to play nice together. However, you can do a few things that might benefit you, depending on how much you want to mod a case (minimal at most) and the amount of money you want to spend. www.frozencpu.com is a good place to start and is where I buy the majority of my components. I am in the process of fitting and configuring an additional external radiator from a transmission and oil cooler for a car...its actually a very nice looking part and has 1/2" all-copper tubing and fins. Also putting together an external radiator made from acrylic tubing.
June 6, 2008 2:53:01 PM

Pump/res combo for 5.25" bay

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/5643/ex-res-110/Koolance_RP-950_Reservoir_and_Pump.html?tl=g30c107s152

1x120mm Radiator

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2146/ex-rad-10/Danger_Den_Black_Ice_Xtreme_120mm_Radiator_Black_w_Customizable_Fittings.html?tl=g30c95s159

Of course, if you want to get really serious about cooling, you an get a quad 120mm rad and mount it on the outside/side of your case

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/5945/ex-rad-122/MagiCool_XTREME_Quad_480_Radiator.html?tl=g30c95s667

Radbox, if you don't have a 120mm fan exhaust

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2156/ex-rad-35/Swiftech_MCB-120_Revision_2_Radbox_RadiatorFan_Housing_-_Black.html?tl=g30c95s162

Waterblock, Swiftech Apogee

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/5400/ex-blc-333/Swiftech_Apogee_GT_Extreme_Performance_Universal_CPU_Waterblock.html?tl=g30c85s140

Also, if you are wanting to cool your GPU, you would need to factor that in as well. Tubing sizes for this pump are 3/8" (I think) so all your components would need those sizes. Also, you will want tubing, and for a small case, Feser is pretty dang good. You can use hardware store tubing, but you won't get very tight bends with it.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7103/ex-tub-179/Feser_Tube_Active_UV_Hose_-_38_ID_12OD_Anti-Kink_Tubing_-_Clear_UV_Blue.html?tl=g30c99s171

As you can see, it isn't cheap. You have to decide if the cost is worth the DIY factor, the customization factor and the abilty to keep it somewhat 'mobile'. Otherwise, you might be better off with a decent CPU air cooler, and upgraded air GPU cooler and better case fans.
a b ) Power supply
June 6, 2008 3:47:16 PM

I avoid water cooling like the plague, probably because I am not an extreme overclocker.

Air cooling is good enough for me. I'll just dump a 700g+ heatsink fan onto the CPU.
a b ) Power supply
June 6, 2008 3:59:18 PM

FYI

It's a good idea NOT to post the same thread twice in the same day with only 2:14 hours apart.

Bump your original post to the top by replying to your original post.
June 6, 2008 8:15:24 PM

To answer geofelt, I'm looking at the Utlra Microfly for it's small size and portable gaming. I also like the fact that it can fit an ATX motherboard. The components would the best that I can buy, which I'd like help with please, being a motherboard, power supply, dual-core 3.0 Ghz CPU or better, a video card, and something that would allow to play games on an HDTV.
a c 277 ) Power supply
June 7, 2008 1:47:02 AM

It looks to me like the ultra microfly case uses a micro-ATX motherboard, not a ATX. That will limit you to a single fast vga card, not sli or crossfire. That's not a bad thing with some strong cards about to launch. The vga card will be the biggest heat producer in your system, not the CPU. If the card has a good cooler, particularly if it exhausts the hot vga air directly out the back, then there should be no problem with most cases. If you have a 120mm intake fan in front, and a 120mm exhaust fan in back, then heat can be controlled. You may have to pay a price with increased noise if you need fast turning fans. Liquid cooling gets the heat away from the generating source efficiently, but the heat exchanger and it's fan will have to take up space and noise somewhere.

If your gaming needs are moderate, a 8800GTS-512(G92) and a E8400 should work fine.

If you want a stronger system, look at the Antec mini P180. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It should hold anything you need in a relatively small, well cooled box.

Wait a bit and look at the new launches from Nvidia and ATI.

I think you will have to make some compromises on quietness, portability, and gaming power.