Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Cooling Multiple Components

A Beginner's Guide For WaterCooling Your PC

One of the advantages of most liquid cooling systems is that they are expandable and can cool more components than the CPU alone. Even after passing through the CPU's cooling block, the liquid coolant is still able to cool other components such as the motherboard's chipset and VGA card. While these are the basics, it's possible to add even more components to the system if desired, such as a hard drive cooling system. Every component to be cooled simply requires its own cooling block, and perhaps a little planning to make sure the coolant flows well.

So why is it advantageous to couple these three components-the CPU, chipset and video card-with a good water-cooling system?

Most people will understand the advantage of cooling the CPU. The CPU creates a great deal of heat in the PC case, and the stable operation of your computer relies on the CPU remaining reasonably cool. CPUs are also one of the most expensive parts of a PC, and the cooler you can keep them, the longer they will last. Finally, cooling the CPU really helps if you want to do any overclocking.

CPU water block and mounting accessories

The idea of water-cooling the motherboard's chipset-also known as Northbridge-is probably less familiar to most folks. But consider that a PC is only as stable as its chipset. In many cases, aftermarket chipset cooling will really help system stability, especially when overclocking.

Chipset water block and mounting accessories

The third component in the triad is really only important for those of us with a higher-end VGA card who use their PC for gaming. In many cases the video card's GPU will produce the most heat of any component in the PC. Once again, better cooling applied to the GPU will allow for longer operational life, higher stability and more overclocking headroom.

Of course, for the PC enthusiast who will not use his or her rig for gaming and who has a low-power graphics card, water cooling is probably overkill. But for today's high-powered heat radiating video card beasts, water-cooling can be a godsend.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

Display all 16 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 5 Hide
    tailgunner07 , July 5, 2008 8:40 AM
    I have to disagree with the above comment, as a novice to water-cooling I found the article useful and informative. While I would not choose the Koolance kit, due to cost, I now have a better idea of how to proceed.
    I would however recommend using a kit as a starting point and modify it as needed rather than ordering a collection of parts and finding that they do not meet your requirements.
  • 3 Hide
    JDMH22 , July 6, 2008 1:58 AM
    I agree tailgunner07. I'd use a kit and then start adding more cooling blocks and accessories to meet my needs. I did learn more about water cooling in this article.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 27, 2008 11:44 AM
    to ComputerCustomizer look before speaking this article was written over a year a go when people were shit scarred of water cooling setups.
    There weren't too trusty names in the market either. They used the koolance system as it was the easiest for n00bs at the time.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 3, 2008 10:23 AM
    Koolance also the best water cooling system that are around, there's nothing wrong with this usefull review, don't use water cooling if don't have more buck for it.
  • 3 Hide
    Invid , October 10, 2008 6:13 PM
    I agree with Tailgunner, if one is a novice and feels they do not want to delve too deeply into the realm of water cooling then something like this is perfect and the article is helpful in that sense.

    For custom cooling and purchasing of individual items then this article will not help you but then again this isn't about picking and choosing individual components for custom cooling options.

    - Invid
  • 2 Hide
    Bot Series , October 11, 2008 10:53 AM
    What ever happened to the Cray idea of just dropping your PC into a fish tank full of Mazola?
  • 0 Hide
    jeweel , May 25, 2009 11:17 PM
    so what is the best water cooling system for money now?
  • 0 Hide
    coolronz , August 1, 2009 3:38 PM
    well looks like everyone agrees with tailgunner.. lol i was kind of concerned more about fittings and sizes.. i just got a HAF 932. theres enough room for an internal tri rad 120mmx3 on the top of the case, and a single 120mm rad on the back. i do like how they showed to T off after the CPU. i bought a TT pump, res and front temp gauge off eBay and am in the works of buying the rest of the parts. one thing that confused me is what the heck is a G1/4 fitting? now i get it, its just a common pipe thread size. and then you go to a 3/8" or 1/2" ID hose. would have been nice to get a little into that a little... but then again its a beginners article.. great job!!!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 13, 2010 10:22 AM
    This is very useful. I believe all who indead would love to ave better and faster cooling will go for a kit like this, despite the cost.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 14, 2011 7:16 AM
    I think its a great article. There is a lot to be learned here and the graphs are great too.
  • 0 Hide
    jewie27 , July 14, 2012 5:25 PM
    Corsair H100 FTW!
  • 0 Hide
    guardianangel42 , August 11, 2012 8:20 AM
    I love the progression of time from the date the article was written, to the first comment over a year later, and then the progressively newer posts until we get to jewie's post above.

    Guess Google is good for laughs as well as info!
  • 0 Hide
    4Ryan6 , February 13, 2013 9:20 AM
    I know this is an old article but I just want to address the misinformation as to the air flow direction of the picture of a diagramed stock motherboard air cooler, the air flow goes in the downward flow on the heat sink referenced in the design because the air coolers exhaust forced down on the motherboard is also cooling the motherboards voltage regulators.

    A little very left out fact of todays water cooling is providing airflow over the motherboards voltage regulators, when you remove the stock air cooler and replace it with a CPU water Block.
  • 0 Hide
    MJM87 , July 19, 2013 4:11 PM
    This is a beginner guide for setting up water systems, I readed this article to know how I short-jumper the power so I could get the current out of my power supply, without turning the power on (or without having power connected to motherboard).

    Anyhow, "this is achieved by shorting out pins on the ATX power supply to fool it into providing power to the liquid cooling pump without powering the motherboard."
    And then there is not given the pins which need to short out! Should I try every possible pins to be shorting out? ..maybe not, but this article pisses me off..
  • 0 Hide
    ruzbehdana , August 7, 2013 1:44 PM
    Any detailed information on DIY water block for 5970?