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A Beginner's Guide For WaterCooling Your PC

Liquid Cooling Basics

The purpose of any PC cooling system is to take heat away from your components and put it somewhere else.

With a traditional CPU air cooler, the heat is transferred from the CPU into a heat sink. A fan is actively pulling air past that heat sink, and as that air travels past the heat sink it draws the heat away from it. The air in your PC case is drawn out of the case and out the back by another fan or fans. As you can see, there's a lot of air movement:

With liquid cooling, coolant is used to transfer heat instead of air. Liquid coolant is pumped from a reservoir into a tube that transfers the coolant to where it's needed. The liquid cooling unit can be either in a separate unit outside of the PC case, or integrated within the PC case. In our diagram, the water-cooling unit is external.

The heat is transferred from the CPU into a "cooling block." The cooling block is simply a hollow heat sink with both an inlet and outlet for the liquid coolant. As liquid travels through this cooling block, it transfers heat along with it, and it works much more efficiently than air can.

The heated coolant is then pumped into a reservoir. From the reservoir it travels into a radiator where it is cooled, typically by a fan. It is then pumped out again to the cooling block, and the cycle begins anew.

Now that we have a good grasp of the basics of PC liquid cooling, what choices are available on the market?

  • ComputerCustomizer
    What an absolutely useless article. Why any enthusiast would choose Koolance over a custom setup that would give twice the performance at the same cost is beyond me.
    Reply
  • tailgunner07
    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.
    Reply
  • JDMH22
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Invid
    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
    Reply
  • Bot Series
    What ever happened to the Cray idea of just dropping your PC into a fish tank full of Mazola?
    Reply
  • jeweel
    so what is the best water cooling system for money now?
    Reply
  • coolronz
    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!!!
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply