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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.

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