In Pictures: 20 Clever Liquid-Cooled PC Setups


Not much is known about this particular rig, but on the Overclockers forum, modder mwillman writes that this water-cooled PC features a quad-core CPU and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 FTW Edition graphics card.

"I'm getting over 19 000 on my 3DMark score and it's running at an average temp of 36 [degrees Celsius] with active water cooling," mwillman said. The clear acrylic chassis is Danger Den's Water Box Plus, which has a base price of $209.95. System builders can add additional features, such as colored motherboard trays, a colored top panel, and stainless steel fan grills.


This water-cooled gaming rig by Madman originally appeared on the Montreal Racing Forums, but the link is now dead.

On the cooling front, the machine reportedly uses an industrial Swiftech water pump with a double radiator that brings in water through ClearFLEX tubing from a Danger Den reservoir. There is also a single fan controller and four 120 mm and two 8 mm Antec Pro fans. As for the rig's go-fast hardware, it includes two EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS cards in SLI, an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz quad-core processor with 8 MB of L2 cache, a Razer AC-1 sound card, and more.


Over on the Xtreme Systems forums, member zonex8 showcased his first water-cooled rig in November 2009. Other than a few images, no other details are available. However, the rig uses an Intel Core 2 processor, two Nvidia graphics cards in SLI, a SilverStone chassis, an X-Fi sound card, and lots of green and blue tubing. There are at least 10 fans installed throughout the system and an LG Blu-ray optical drive is mounted on the front.

Pool Cooled

Originally posted on TechPowerUp in March 2009, this oil-cooled PC was inspired by a similar rig designed by Pugent. According to system builder chooky, the cooling system went through several variations before reaching its current state.

"The cooling system has been an evolution from pumping oil through an air-cooled radiator, to evaporative cooling with a bong, to Peltier cooling [next to the PSU]," chooky said. Eventually he settled on a system using a 20 000 liter above-ground pool pumping water to a heat exchanger and a homemade CPU heat block. To see this pool-cooled PC, head here.

Don't Screw This Up

Created by Godfather1138 and posted on the Overclockers forum, project "Don't Screw This Up" shows how the modder constructed this water-cooled, Nvidia-themed PC.

"The case was given to me, so I decided to play with water cooling and overclocking," he said. "I started by placing some orders that would get my 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 off of OEM support." The water-cooling system employs Swiftech's Apogee GT CPU water block, the Black Ice GTS 240 dual radiator, the Iwaki MD-20RZG-2 pump (which is in the section behind the Nvidia logo), and Danger Den's Fillport reservoir.

Project: Epic Spider

Although Project: Epic Spider doesn't look all that spectacular under normal lighting conditions, the rig's inner design lights up to reveal a purple and red network of tubing and black lights when the room goes dark.

Built by The Jesus in May 2008, Project: Epic Spider's cooling system consists of a main radiator with three 120 mm fans, a reservoir/pump, a second radiator with a single 120 mm fan, and four GPU blocks. The cooling system runs from the pump to the CPU, the second radiator, the GPUs, the main radiator, and then back to the pump. UV-reactive paint, red and UV cathode lights, and a red UV floppy cable create the lighting effects.

Jules Verne

Now here's a liquid-cooled PC that looks good both during the day and at night. Called the Jules Verne, the system gets its steampunk persona from thick copper, over 300 machine screws, and plenty of gears yanked from an old clock.

With two water pumps at the top of the box, the rig's cooling system consists of copper water pipes and plastic cooling, the latter of which highlights the red and green coolant. Thermaltake radiators are also used, while holes are drilled into a copper sheet that is attached to the radiators to protect the fragile alloy fins.

Mountain Mod

The Dead Men Tell No Tales Mountain Mod is another liquid-cooled system on the Xtreme Systems forums that is worth a look. The system flashes neon purple against the red and black theme. As for cooling, the system uses a Swiftech MCP655 pump, the ThermoChill PA120.2 radiator, the D-Tek Fusion V2 CPU block, and a Swiftech MCRes-Micro reservoir.

As far as hardware goes, the Mountain Mod sports an Asus Striker 2 Extreme motherboard, an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 processor, two Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 OC2 boards running in SLI mode, and two 2 GB modules of OCZ Reaper DDR3 RAM. The hardware is mounted in a Mountain Mods' U2-UFO CYO hyper-modular chassis that is decked out with a custom etching on the side.

The Caseless PC

Don't want to use liquid to cool the PC? Why not use foam? As seen above, this system builder assembled the PC without an actual chassis, installed the classic Windows 98 SE operating system, and then tested the final configuration. The modder immediately covered the hot mechanical parts with paper and cardboard, and then hosed the entire thing down with three cans of 750 ml polyurethane foam.

"Once everything was dry, [I] just cut out the connectors again with a sharp knife, made sure the drives could open and close, and cut out a hole for the air intake," the modder said. "No screws, no sheet metal, no plexi."

  • phoenix777
    lol @ the background on #13
  • sprunth
    Last picture = Awesome.
  • anacandor
    ^ Agreed.
  • Snipergod87
    so for number 6 where he sais everything that makes heat is water cooled. What about the radiator? Woudlnt he need a seperate water cooling system to cool that.
  • dEAne
    Their should be a poll for these so we know who's picture makes lots of attention.
  • ragingmercenary
    is it just me, or do some of these builds just look like a mess of tubing?
  • GeoMan
    Snipergod87so for number 6 where he sais everything that makes heat is water cooled. What about the radiator? Woudlnt he need a seperate water cooling system to cool that.
    Because as everybody knows radiators CREATE heat and defiantly don’t DISSIPATE it. /Sarcasm
  • SirGCal
    ragingmercenaryis it just me, or do some of these builds just look like a mess of tubing?
    No, it's not just you. Most of them look horrible to me. Like a jumbled mess. I like the desktop one though.
  • karma831
    The ones built into the desks are cool. The foam one was pretty awesome too.
  • gti88
    The System-in-Table (by Popular Mechanics) and the Foam Thing are cool.