New to watercooling? READ HERE FIRST!

New to watercooling? Read here first!!!!!!!!!!

Us guys have done the WC thing, there are basics you gotta know. Maybe this long rewritten and modified thing will help.
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 $65 +
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. You can do it for less, but a CPU only loop is $250 or so, add a GPU, add $100. If your looking at an i7 and a BIG GPU, start thinking about a big rad, possibly two rads, or even TWO loops.
First you gotta learn about WC. It's not like walking into Best Buy.
Spend a while reading this info, get a feel for what your getting into and learn.
It’s not 'Roket Science', but you need to know the basics and the lingo as a beginner.
You should spend a few hours on the listed sites reading threads, guides and more. It's how YOU learn. I can recommend the best stuff, but there are things only reading and participating on forums will ya learn anything. You don’t have to join all the forums. But reading ALL the WC stickies and many threads that interest you is important. A thread might be 50 replies long, and 15 of those replies might be what you needed to ‘PASS THE TEST’. Remember, once the $500 of goodies show up on your doorstep you’re on your own.

Also while there please read on case mods etc. The radiators do NOT fit in many cases. Reading up on 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.

For your benefit please spend a few days reading a LOT. It took me a while; I was big into Air over clocking and started to read about water-cooling. I made my decision to water-cool. THREE months later I made my first purchase of parts. Yes it took me that long and I have built a few systems and always just fine.

Don't expect miracles or SUPER DOOPER over clocks. Your temps with a good WC rig will be better than you could of got on air, guaranteed. 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.

2009/2010 Heat thoughts:
With the advent of the HOT i7 and bigger dual chip GPU's, it has changed. A 220 size MIN rad for an i7, you want big over clocks, better go 320 sized rad.
Expect a i7 at 4.1 to be putting out close to 250 watts. Using the radiator testing charts, a PA 120.3 with medium fans on high you’ll get a Delta T of 5C, very good. Some have suggested a GTX295 puts out about 250 watts of heat, possibly more like 280 under load. You try and put both of those on a 120x3 radiator the CPU will not over clock at all, it will be very very unhappy. You want to learn more about heat load and the all important measurement, Delta T, read up in the stickies I provided.
2007/2008 Old stuff heat thoughts:
For the old Q6600 CPUs and the old 4870 and GTX280 cards.
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.
Just general info what you should do once a year to keep your WC at 100%:
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 blocks 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. You can pour it in a clean bowl and inspect the water if you like.
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. It’s very relaxing with some mellow jazz in the background. Run a rag using a coat hanger and dish soap through the tubing, rinse well. I always consider replacing my hose every year. Plasticizers leach out, the tubing isn’t as flexible. Consider it a ‘Hobby Cost’.
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: HW monitor aka hardware monitor
CPUZ for CPU info
GPUZ for GPU info
CPU only: Real Temp
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

Pretty up to date info and buying guide Has EU, AU, NZ stores at the bottom
Extreme Overclocking
A great up to date guide
What to do once all the stuff is in the door
Extreme Overclocking
Many build logs on MANY cases, great learning tool.

My latest rig:
OC Forums

XtremeSystems Not a noob site, but great stickies
OC Forums My fav, good peeps, know their stuff, less hardcore A GREAT Europe site Decent site
XtremeSystems Why we use distilled water. Or de-ionized in the UK because distilled ain’t available unless your rich.

Tests on equipment, not reviews, truly scientific tests
XtremeSystems More rad testing
skinnee labs Host for Martins lab and some newer tests
skinnee labs Test results, very technical

Stores (US)
26 answers Last reply
More about watercooling read first
  1. There we go, now we're rid of that [SOLVED] rubbish at the start of the thread title :)
  2. LOL, it's never solved eh? I'm always doing something diff. Anyhoo, we always got Hokies one, which is 5000 times better than mine. At least Toms has one.
  3. I have my CPU idling at 50-60 degrees Celsius, and I have watercooling. See my "Liquid Cooling System TOO HOT!!!" thread for specs, and to write if you could possibly help me reduce those temps.
  4. its a very nice guide, and it inspired me to try wc, but just one thing: there are lots of spelling, grammatical errors lol i dont really care just saying
  5. Awesome tutorial ...Thanks for the great info :hello:
  6. i finaly got my parts installed them all really quick like took me maybe an hour for the the first time and turned it all on the bam leakage every where ol thank god nothing was in the test bench when it happen. i just wanted to thank you guys(conumdrum, shadow,the koolaid guy. and any one else). so thanks you all for the help . if i knew how to put pictures in a post i wold but the system isnt up and running yet and idk how to do that so yeah. thanks again guys.
    oh yeah one more thing my system is kinda based off of conumdrum's. ;)
  7. I7 at 4.1 Ghz is 250 watts? Are you sure that's just the CPU and not the entire system?
  8. great info. i want to add one thing to the very important point you made about doing your research before building. i am a firs time builder and it took me 5 trips to the store returning and getting more stuff before i got what i wanted and could afford. each time i put something in my computer i would go and find info. on what i have and then i find out that there is something better!!! finally done with my rig and what i started with only $900 invested wound up being a $1800 project. my build is : I7 860 2.8 OC to 4.3 ghz, Asus p7p55D-E PRo, Corsair Dominitar 1600mhz 2x2, Asus Radeon 5850 oc to 860 mhz , Corsair H50 water cooler, BFG 1000w P/S, Antec 1200 case, 500 gig HD, LG dual layer dvd burner 24x, Vista Home Premium 64bit, I am able to run Crysis at max settings with AA full blast. Now that i built my system i realize that i should have gone with the 1366 chipset. my 1156 chipset does not support true crossfire 16x. now i will need to change my mobo and cpu to get 16x by 2
  9. steddy said:
    I7 at 4.1 Ghz is 250 watts? Are you sure that's just the CPU and not the entire system?

    Hell yes. New CPUs pull a LOT of power. Ever seen a modern system under load at 250 watts? That is soooo 2003 time frame.......

    Why the heck would they sell 1500 watt PSUs now?

    My system:

    Under load I pull 700 watts at the wall.......................................
  10. overall good knowledge................
    Want to know how effective even water cooling could be in Asia pacific subcontinent where right now temp. is around 44-45 degree Celsius and in some more days will go over 50 and this causes the processor to roar to 60-65 even more temps without even thinking about OCing.
  11. ^ 60-65C?!?!? Are you serious?
  12. lol quite warm...
  13. sudeshc said:
    overall good knowledge................
    Want to know how effective even water cooling could be in Asia pacific subcontinent where right now temp. is around 44-45 degree Celsius and in some more days will go over 50 and this causes the processor to roar to 60-65 even more temps without even thinking about OCing.

    Since a good water-cooling setup would probably cost you at least US $400, it would make far more sense to air-condition the room containing the computer.
  14. I want to do WC but gotta wait for money and to learn how to do it, but when I do, does that mean I can get rid of all the fans in my case?? or do you still use the fans with the WC?
  15. ^NO! You need to have some fans. HOWEVER, you can have very low noise fans (<19dB in most). You can't get rid of the fans with out some really insane custom work (aka, HUGE monster rad).
  16. Shadow, what about a ridiculously large reservoir? Like 5 gallon water jug kinda ridiculous? Would that require a rad?
  17. Yes, I think you would still need the radiator, because after long hours the temperatures of the liquid would get higher.
  18. Unless the 5 gallon water jug happens to be thin with lots of surface area and made out of... let's say, brass. ;)
  19. And then it's surface area is way too small to begin to remove the heat. Look at a rad, or even a good air cooler. Look how many square FEET of cooling surface you have, and we STILL need forced air to make them work.
  20. This topic has been desticky in top of the forum by Randomizer

    Guide is now linked in the master sticky.
  21. nice info
  22. i usually build my w/c rigs with far less money and far lower temps....oc'ed. i usuall run 120f under load for man hours; dual loop or single; yall should re evaluate your setups..... far too inefficient
  23. heres a hint - if its cheaper make it work;

    if take a close look all the stuff you need is at :

    auto zone;



    you dont have to buy a product thats advertised for that purpose for three times the price of something that can be easily re-purposed :
    like heater cores for a 94 gmc 3500 van without a/c- basicly a 250 mm radiator;

    water pumps are priced the same unelss you have a busted fridge with a water dispenser

    tubing from hardware store and zip tie/ tie strap works good for clamp;

    for water blocks for board chips nb sb cpu gpu use a ZALMAN ZM – NWB1 Water Cooler and some coat hanger bent into retention fixture

    coolant use car coolant

    and you dont need a reservoir use a tee fitting and a plug ( bolt with silicon tape )
    with a good length stright up hose to catch air.
    or u can use a 20 hexagonal shape aquarium or some tuper ware. even a pvc pipe works well and easy to seal up.
  24. maybe 160 dollars. thats pushing it.
  25. Nice job resurrecting an old thread; this is basically a sticky anyway...not really meant to be 'commented on'.

    And yes, you can do it for cheaper...anyone with experience knows this. Those without the experience should err on the side of caution typically because they don't have complete understanding of what they are doing. Just because cheap parts exist, doesn't mean we all want to have a junkyard attached to our cases...I happen to enjoy the aesthetics and quality of a well-built loop as much as I do for its performance.

    Mods- Can we get this thread locked since it is technically a sticky?

    This topic has been desticky in top of the forum by Randomizer

    Guide is now linked in the master sticky.
  26. This topic has been closed by SAINT19
Ask a new question

Read More

Heatsinks Water Cooling GPUs Overclocking