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Water Cooling?

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July 14, 2010 7:46:04 PM

How does watercooling work? How do you set up a watercooling rig? Is it expensive? Is it worth it? What are the parts?

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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 14, 2010 8:49:08 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

You can buy the LCS or build ur own LCS, that depends of ur budget and preference.

1- How does watercooling work?

It's very similar to the car's engine cooling system. Basically u have a radiator with a fan (or two depends of the size of this) a pair or tubes for transport the liquid cooling from the radiator across the CPU, GPU and other components that u want use with watercooling and return it to the radiator for be cooled. It's a continuous cycle.

2- How do set up a watercooling rig?

Basically is the same process that a normal rig with air cooling but in this case u also need keep in mind the size of the tube, the block water for the CPU, GPU and other components. U also need a very solid PSU for the LCS.

3- Is it expensive?

That depends, some LCS are around $300 but are very good and are used for CPU and GPU but exist others that only cost $80 (like the Corsair H50) but this only can cool CPU and isn't very solid against air coolers like the NH-D14.

4- Is it worth it?

Sure, it's used for high OC beyond 4.5GHz.

5- What are the parts?

I think that I solved this in the 1st question.
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a b K Overclocking
July 14, 2010 8:50:18 PM

Water cooling takes advantage of transferring heat to a fluid, rather than air; said fluid conducts heat better than air does.

Setup depends on what you're cooling. You'll have a radiate, to remove heat from the system; this radiator will have between 1 and 4 fans on it, depending on the model. 2 fan radiators are quite common. You'll also have a pump, to circulate the fluid. You'll have waterblocks, which conduct heat from the CPU, GPU, etc. into the circulating fluid. There's also miscellaneous things such as tubing, coolant, fittings, reservoirs, etc.

Compared to air cooling, water cooling is quite expensive. A basic setup will cost around $200-$300, depending on a multitude of things.

Is it worth it? That depends on you. If you want to do serious overclocking, then I'd say this would be your best bet. If you want your PC to look awesome, and impress friends, then yes, it's worth it. If you just want to run it on a stock system, then I'd say no, it's not worth it.

Parts needed are listed above, but I'll list them again.

- Radiator
- Pump
- Waterblock(s)
- Tubing
- Coolant
- Reservoir
- Misc. Fittings

EDIT: saint19 beat me to it :) 
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 14, 2010 8:54:45 PM

^I don't think so, I forgot some components like the pump and reservoir.

But I think that both answer can give to the OP a better idea about LCS and how this works.
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July 14, 2010 8:58:14 PM

is it safe?
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 14, 2010 9:12:19 PM

If u follow the installation steps in the correct way is very safe.
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July 14, 2010 9:15:23 PM

hmmm, is it transferable from build to build, given the right socket? and i know you said the corsair lcs one isnt as good, but would it suffice?
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 14, 2010 9:26:48 PM

Yeah it's transferable even some LCS support Intel and AMD.

The H50 is suffice for a CPU but like I say u also can get a CPU cooler and maybe get better results.
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a b K Overclocking
July 14, 2010 10:17:42 PM

If you use non-ionized fluid, then you can essentially pour it on your running system and it won't harm it. But as long as you follow proper install procedures, then it's very safe.

For transferring, you just need the installation hardware for different sockets, etc.
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July 14, 2010 11:38:43 PM

saint19 said:
Yeah it's transferable even some LCS support Intel and AMD.

The H50 is suffice for a CPU but like I say u also can get a CPU cooler and maybe get better results.


the only problem is i cant fit a full 120 mm fan due to issues.
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 15, 2010 12:15:07 AM

Do u need a 120mm fan for what?
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July 15, 2010 12:36:53 AM

i have high profile ram, filling all spots. the stock hsf even barely fits, so im assuming it would be near impossible to fit one of the better hsf's, as most are 120 mm.
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a b K Overclocking
July 15, 2010 1:17:53 AM

I'm a bit confused what you're talking about. With water cooling, there isn't a heatsink; the fan is on the radiator, which is located elsewhere. The waterblock is very small in comparison to even the stock heatsink.

If you're speaking about air coolers, then yes, most CPU coolers use 120mm fans. However, most are quite elevated in order to prevent covering the RAM slots, however there are still some that do so. Just read reviews, and you'll know pretty quick whether or not the RAM slots are covered by said heatsink.
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July 15, 2010 1:23:27 AM

I use the high profile reapers. i was just saying i cant really use an air cooler, atleast it doesnt look like it. i want to oc, thats why i asked about the water cooling. how hard is it to set up, i have no experience. also, if i did do an lcs setup, i would likely wanna put the gpu on the loop, does that take more equipment?
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a b K Overclocking
July 15, 2010 2:45:48 AM

It would be fairly simple to set up; it's not an overly difficult process. Google should yield all the information you need, and more. :) 

If you wanna add the GPU as well, all you really need is a waterblock for the GPU as well. You can simply add it in-line with your CPU's waterblock.
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July 15, 2010 3:52:02 AM

so, seeing as how the corsair is cpu only, mind giving me a a list of recommended parts for say, dual radiator (or single) gpu and cpu loop?
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 15, 2010 2:24:41 PM

Zeus24 said:
i have high profile ram, filling all spots. the stock hsf even barely fits, so im assuming it would be near impossible to fit one of the better hsf's, as most are 120 mm.


A 120mm fan inside the case on the CPU is for CPU cooler with air, in this case u don't need anyone since the CPU is cooled by liquid. The 120mm can go with the radiator out site the case and with LCS the RAM isn't a problem since the waterblock of the CPU is low profile and don't block anything.

Check this have everything that u need for the LCS CPU and GPU.
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July 15, 2010 9:02:50 PM

woah, it goes on the outside of the case?!
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a b K Overclocking
July 15, 2010 9:49:51 PM

It can go internally or externally, it depends on your case, and you preference. Having it on the outside would be better, imo, as there'd be cooler air surrounding it.
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July 15, 2010 10:17:14 PM

hmmm. is the video card worth it having it on the loop?
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 15, 2010 10:23:33 PM

^Yeah goes outside of the case and that kit only have the CPU waterblock, u need add the GPU waterblock and chipset waterblock if u want it.

For the GPU is the same that for the CPU with better temps works better and OC better.
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July 15, 2010 11:08:15 PM

hmmm, then maybe i should just get the corsair, just for the cpu.
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a b K Overclocking
July 16, 2010 12:01:10 AM

People have had excellent results with the Corsair unit. If you're not wanting to spend $300 on a full system, I'd say go for it. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
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July 16, 2010 12:13:14 AM

now, i have a 250 mm side fan, and a 250 mm front fan, and ive always been too lazy to put an exhaust fan in the back 120 mm slot. could i mount that there and have it double as my exhaust fan?
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 16, 2010 12:34:55 AM

The 120mm in the back side of ur case is for exhaust the hot air of the case,so, u should install one.
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July 16, 2010 12:41:40 AM

but can i mount the radiator there and use the radiator fan as an exhaust fan aswell as to cool the radiator?
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 16, 2010 12:50:26 AM

Yeah u can use it in that way.
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July 16, 2010 12:59:05 AM

and will the radiator have a mounting system, maybe to make it easy to use it in that way?
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 16, 2010 1:07:17 AM

This is the H50 as u can see is a basic radiator and only need four screws to adjust it to the case and I think that this can be adjusted to the back side fan.
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July 16, 2010 1:09:30 AM

looks pretty easy to me. this will decrease my ambient temps, right? as well as the cpu obviously. my 250 mm side fan is broke, so i need a new one. any suggestions?
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 16, 2010 1:27:48 AM

Yeah.

The front fan and side fan are for air intake and the rear fan and top fan are for exhaust.

Check this both are the same except for the LED.
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 16, 2010 1:46:00 AM

Yeah seems good for the work.
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July 16, 2010 1:48:09 AM

any idea of how that should bring temps down, added onto the exhaust radiator?
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 16, 2010 1:50:35 AM

I don't really know that but for some experiments I think that is around 7 or 10 degrees.
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July 16, 2010 1:57:09 AM

and how much should liquid cooling bring cpu temps down?
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a c 293 K Overclocking
July 16, 2010 2:03:43 AM

With the H50 the temps should be around 25C-30C idle and 50C max load.
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a b K Overclocking
July 16, 2010 2:05:45 AM

Liquid cooling can't cool any lower than the ambient temperatures are. With a relatively small radiator like on the Corsair rig, expect a few (10 maybe, beats me :D ) above the ambient.

You should be much lower than if you're running the stock cooler. Maybe reading through some threads (just Google it ;)  ) will help give you an idea of what kind of temps people are getting.
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July 16, 2010 2:12:08 AM

Best answer selected by zeus24.
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