As modern day processors get increasingly faster, the heat they produce increases with them. Heat being a bad thing to have around your CPU must be dealt with in an effective manor. Conventional cooling or air cooling has always been the way to cool your CPU however more and more people are turning to water cooling to achieve the lowest temperatures for their CPU's. Water Cooling is much more effective at removing heat from the CPU than air cooling because water takes less time to heat up than air. Knowing this passing water over a hot surface instead of air transmits the heat away from the CPU much quicker and efficiently. You may think that Water cooling is a stupid idea in a PC with all the electrical parts however let me assure you that if its all done properly the risk is low.
Although the water cooling option is much more expensive than conventional methods, the price has been coming down and the average user is starting to turn to this method. You can pick up a standard water cooling kit for a around $200. Keep in mind though that setting up a water cooling system inside your PC may require some slight modifications in order for it all to fit or alternatively you can buy a case which has been made for the job.
Apart from the obvious better cooling is there any other reason for getting water cooling? Well yes there are a few. Linked to better cooling there is piece of mind. Having a cooling system that can easily cope with CPU's going over 3Ghz now can put your mind at rest. There are many a debate about how hot a CPU can get before its dangerous. Another great reason for having water cooling is the noise or should I say lack of it. Keeping today's CPU's cool using fans and heatsinks directly on the CPU needs a lot of power and speed in the fan. This generally means the fans make a lot of noise. Not really very useful if your trying to watch a DVD for example. The third reason and this was the main reason for many people who adopted the water cooling approach, is its use in overclocking. Knocking off the Celsius from the CPU gives the user a great scope for overclocking.
What you will need to make a water cooling system is as follows. (You can buy all this in a Complete Water Cooling Kit.)
Anti-corrosion water additive
This is the part that fixes onto the top of the CPU. Where you would normally attach your heatsink/fan the CPU block will be fixed here. Designs vary but the idea is that this block will have copper plates with water passed between them.
Fairly simple, the reservoir is a tank to hold the water. All water cooling systems obviously need water from somewhere. The idea is to have a small tank in your system heavily sealed.
You will normally associate a radiator to giving out heat, and even in this case you would be right., The idea of the radiator in the water cooling system is to disperse the heat in the water, exactly the same way as your radiator at home works. Once the heat has been dispersed the water is returned to the reservoir to begin the cycle again
The fan is mounted on the reservoir to help in the cooling process. These fans are usually larger than CPU fans and quieter because they do not need to rotate at high speeds.
The Tubing is used to carry the water around the system. This is the part you have to be careful with. Check the tubing for leaks and check all the seal before using it in a PC system. It might be wise to set-up the system out of the PC and let it run for numerous hours before installing it into your PC
Anti-Corrosion water additive
This is a chemical additive that prevents the water from corroding the parts of your water cooling system. A good idea to add some of this if you want your water cooler to last as long as it should. This additive also prevents chalk build up as well as keeping algae and other bacteria away. You can buy these additive in a range of colors which looks great under a black light.
The same stuff as you attach the heatsink/fan of an air cooler to your CPU with. This makes for a better contact between the CPU block and the CPU itself. Better contact means the heat can be passed from the CPU to the CPU block more efficiently. It all helps in the cooling process.
How does Water Cooling work?
The basics of water cooling are that, basic. The idea is that water is passed through tubes to the CPU block, which is mounted on the CPU. As cold water passes over a hot surface the water takes onboard this heat. As a result the CPU becomes colder. The water is then pumped round the system to the radiator where a combination of heatsink style fins and a large fan cool the water. The water is then return to the reservoir in a cooled state where it is ready to be pumped round the system once again. The Diagram below shows this.
As you can see the design is very simple and understandable. The hard part comes in finding the space inside your case. As everyone's case is different and so I can't really go into the best way of doing this. However most of the kits you buy come with fitting instructions which should help solve one or two of the problems that you might have.
Like I stated before, Overclocking was once the main reason for putting such a system in place in your PC. Looking at the advantages that water has over air in terms of removing heat, you can see why it was a popular choice amount overclockers. Overclocking depends on the PC still being stable. The key element in stopping a PC from being stable is heat. Simply looking at it like that you can say that less heat equals more overclocking ability. Of course its not that simple but its a great head start to have when looking for a stable over clocked system.
When you overclock a system, you often find that you have to increase the voltage of your CPU in order to keep in working in a stable manor. Increasing the voltage gives your CPU more power in order to produce the extra speed you are asking from it. Increasing the voltage however increases the amount of heat again coming from the CPU. This again is another reason why the better cooling capabilities of the water cooling system is safer than the air cooling. Air cooling is not always efficient enough to deal with highly overclocked systems
During overclocking the water cooled system really shows why its superior. If you have set up your water cooler in a non overclocked system you will have undoubtedly noticed a reduction in your CPU temperature. It may not however have been as much as you expected. During overclocking though, the extra heat produced by the CPU is dealt with a great deal better. If you compare results between air cooling and water cooling now you will see a bigger gap. This is down to the capacity that the water cooler has to cool the CPU. Although the water cooler cannot cool your CPU down to super low temperatures. It can remove a lot of heat when the CPU is at high temperatures. This is why its the number one choice for overclockers.
All these items and kits are Available from Cool-Cases-USA.com
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Disclaimer - Although water cooling is safe when done correctly, Cool-Cases-USA.com can not accept responsibility for any damage that is caused by the process of water cooling. If you are unsure of what you are doing, get a professional to help or more information.