Spread the love! TechSpot Tech Gift Shortlist 2017

Water Cooling

By acacia666avenue · 29 replies
Jul 30, 2007
  1. If i was going to do water cooling, should i buy a kit or buy the parts myself?
  2. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    Buying a good kit can save you some money and get you a decent water cooling system. Buying the wrong kit will be a waste of money if you intend to overclock. I would recommend:

    Thermochill PA120.2 radiator
    D-Tek Fuzion water block
    Laing DDC 3.2 pump w/ Petra'sTech DDCT-01s Top Combo

    You may want to substitute a Swiftech Apogee GTX if you have a quad core processor.

    The above is about $300.00 with shipping and doesn't include a reservoir, fittings or tubing and various other stuff to make the install pretty if you want to go that route. It will do a great job of cooling even a hot overclocked processor.

    22, the avenue that's the place where we all go. You will find it's warm inside, the red lights burning bright tonight.
  3. acacia666avenue

    acacia666avenue TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Whats a good website to look at water cooling parts?
  4. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    There's nothing to look. There's very few parts/kits worth buying imo, so checking out the parts by googling it would be a better idea than looking at some pretty pictures from a website.

    If you want a kit, I can't recommend the Swiftech Apex Ultra+ enough. May not perform as well a part by part built watercooling system, but it shouldn't differ too much.
  5. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    $300?? :eek:

    I could never justify spending that much money on a water cooling kit.

    I have never bought a pre-built kit before (and I don't ever plan to either ;)). my current set up has been running for trouble free for about 2 years now (it runs 24/7, i never turn it off).

    for simplicity reasons, the following costs are rounded up to the next whole dollar. the pump, waterblock, radiator, and reservoir were all purchased on eBay, the hose clamps and brass fittings were purchased at home depot...
    • $12.00 - minijet 606 aquarium pump (I modified it into an in-line pump, but it could easily be used in it's native submersible form)
    • $20.00 - 20 feet of ½"ID masterclear vinyl tubing
      • I could have bought alot less, I didn't even use 2 feet of it ;) I could have spent $2.00 if I knew my final setup would require so little tubing.
    • $20.00 - 5.25" drive bay acrylic reservoir (not required)
    • $31.00 - DangerDen RBX socket-A waterblock (I adapted it to fit socket-939)
    • $10.00 -
    • $6.00 - 12 metal hose clamps (worm gear type)
    • ~$10.00 - misc brass fittings (not required, I just liked the look ;))
    • total cost:
      • total cost of only the required items = ~$59.00
      • total cost of all items I purchased for my setup ~$99.00
      • either way, still far less than $300 ;)

    the bottom line is always build it yourself. aside from the cost savings you will get the satisfaction of knowing you built it yourself, and knowing that you built it with better parts then most kits would come with. you don't have to use what I did, I just used that as an example of what it might cost to build a nice system yourself as opposed to buying a cheap kit. there are plenty of places online (including eBay) where you can can get parts pretty cheap.

    whatever you decide... good luck and happy water cooling :wave:
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9


    I'm assuming you paid 10bux for a radiator? Its missing from the list...

    But $300 you're spending is because of the radiator and pump. For some reason I just can't figure out, radiators and pumps made for watercooling computers are just prohibitively expensive. You can save yourself alot of money making your own radiator from and old car radiator, and using a waterpump for fishtanks.
  7. smithgoga

    smithgoga TS Rookie

    If you not good in engineering and physics it's a not good idea to build it by yourself, you can ruin your system. Just for example: first you need to decide what temperature of the processor you want to keep, then know temperature of the processor, let say in busy state and calculate how much temperature radiated per time. Then you take fluid with some heat absorption and you need to calculate a flow of this fluid through the cup on processor with known (Xt) temperature on entrance side for keep your processor's temperature in range. After it, you need to find a pump to keep that flow and then you need to find radiator and amount of the fluid to get fluid cool down to (Xt) temperature before it will get back to processor cup. On the radiator you probably will need to install a fan so you will need get calculate air flow through the radiator to get certain amount of heat off. Its a engineering work and it's why such cooling systems cost some money.
  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9


    I don't think he's thinking of building it himself, but rather buying parts individually.

    And even if you're building one yourself, this is for a PC, not a business, so cost efficiency usually isn't much of an issue, which allows for really elaborate, extensive systems. So what if it cools the processor so much better? To a businessman, that would mean he's spent too much (time or money) on the waterblock + radiator. To an enthusiast, that would mean the processor can be pushed an extra xxx mhz.

    Heck, if I were to make my own waterblock, I'd probably take a small-ish copper heatsink, cover it, and pump water through its fins or something. Maybe sand down the bottom to be as thin as possible. Either way, it ends up being a waterblock.

    And for the radiator, I'd make the whole side panel a radiator. No problems.
  9. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,482   +44

    Wow this is bad, CMH just gave me an idea, couldnt you create a radiator to fit on one of those 24cm fans, that would be awesome.
  10. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    In all seriousness, some radiators are meant for dissipating HUGE amounts of heat. I'm talking radiators found in performance cars, maybe huge trucks. These radiators wouldn't really help you too much, since a smaller radiator with appropriate pipe loops would bring the water temperature to room as well.

    Of course, if you don't mind spending money getting a huge pump to pump water through such a huge radiator, and you've got the space, you're guaranteed to have room temperature water all the time coming out of your radiator, which can only be a good thing. Combine that with maybe an ice bath immediately after the radiator..... the possibilites are endless!
  11. smithgoga

    smithgoga TS Rookie

    Thats what i am saying, there are range of different parts : pumps, radiators and fans with different characteristics. You need to know exactly what u want to buy with calculating performance of your system. Of course, you can buy wall radiator and think it will cool your system but you have to buy pump which will be able push cooling fluid through it. If we are talking about efficiency and size of cooling system, you must calculate it on the paper first before you implement in hardware, otherwise you will get unstable cooling system which will cool in one condition and be overheated in another. It's not simple as connect pump, pipes and radiators.
  12. smithgoga

    smithgoga TS Rookie

    For CMH and supersmashbrada about your last comments. If you dont know basic things because you got just high school education , why post any comments? It looks like you just getting points in this forum by posting useless comments. Do not confuse ppl.
  13. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I'm assuming that you know everything about watercooling, and that you expect people to calculate with exact precision to select parts?

    Maybe you'll share with us all these calculations, and pleasetalk more than just about having enough head pressure.

    FYI, most pumps which would be recommended would have enough head pressure to push a dual 120mm fan radiator. Really, there's nothing to calculate.
  14. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    ummm.... actually it is that simple...

    you don't need to be an engineer or a physics expert, anybody with a little common sense can build/assemble their own water cooling system. it's just a few parts connected with hoses or pipes.

    it doesn't need to be super-efficient either. we're not cooling nuclear reactors, just your everyday home-PC CPU. it doesn't need to keep the CPU at any exact temp either, it just needs to keep the CPU below it's max operating temp.

    you don't need to calculate anything to have an effective system. just choose a hose diameter and go from there.

  15. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Although it is mainly that simple, not all aquarium pumps can handle a full WC system comprising of CPU block, dual VGA block, NB block, and dual 120mm rads. You do still have to look out for head pressure, and flow.

    However, smithgoga has gone to the other extreme, and expected us to do advanced math, and decide to keep CPU temperature at a constant temperature, and efficiency, both of which are really stuff that people think about if they're running hundreds of computers in a business.

    We are really just interested in keeping CPU temperatures as low as possible, with decent enough efficiency. I'll let you figure out what decent efficiency means for us.

    And really, if you are that smart and have some really good advice for acacia666avenue, you really should have mentioned it. Right now, you just mentioned the need to calculate all this crap, but nothing about actually calculating it.
  16. smithgoga

    smithgoga TS Rookie

    Well, it's up to you how you think it should be but in real life all companies who are developing cooling systems use physics and not a common sense. It does not matter do you cool CPU or nuclear reactor it's a still cooling system.
  17. smithgoga

    smithgoga TS Rookie

    I never told what i WILL calculate it for somebody i just told how it SHOULD be done. If you want to know how to calculate it, just open book about physics and you will find all equations you will need. It's up to acacia666avenue which way to go and i am not forcing him to go the way i described. It's a his money and his system.
  18. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I've got one pseudo-word for all that.


    He still doesn't get it.
  19. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Should we be following the advice of a person who doesn't check his posts for spelling mistakes? I think not.
  20. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I really don't get your argument about spelling mistakes. I'm sure everyone is guilty of making spelling mistakes (even grammatical ones) once in awhile.

    I'm sure if I went through all of your posts, I'm bound to find a few spelling and grammatical mistakes somewhere.
  21. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    lol, yes that missing part was the radiator. I bought it on eBay and was actually impressed by it's quality. for only $10 you can't get much better :)

    you're right, but you don't need all that stuff either. to cool a CPU you need just a single 80mm or single 120mm radiator (this should be able to handle a northbridge cooler as well).

    In my example, I wasn't talking about water-cooling every heat-producing component. I was only talking about water-cooling the CPU. personally, I have never felt a need to water-cool anything but the CPU (if I was to water-cool other components, I would run them on their own water circuit, separate from the CPU)

    My reason for watercooling is for silent operation. I don't care about how low the temps are, I only care that it keeps my CPU in it's safe operating range while being as quiet as possible. most of the time I run it with no fan (the fan is physically mounted, but not turned on). i turn the fan on only when gaming. My video card, northbridge, RAM sticks, and HDDs are all passively cooled and my system fans run so slow you can only hear them if you put your ear up to them. (the fan on the radiator is louder because the air must pass through the radiator cooling fins, which is why I leave it turned off most of the time). normally the only thing in my computer thats audible is the HDD.

  22. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I've heard alot of rumors about watercooling being alot quieter than aircooling....

    But as it is, my aircooling setup is just about inaudible. And this is overclocked.

    Also, you still need fans on those radiators. If you used the same fans on your aircooling setup, you should not have a setup thats any quieter than an aircooling setup.

    But I suppose you'd be getting lower temps than I do...
  23. howdyhowy

    howdyhowy TS Enthusiast Posts: 29

    Hi,I have to agree with CMH about the spelling bit with has knothing to do with helping people here in techspot but the simple thing is a little commen since about computer and water technoligy. Look at my gallery, like they say "a picture says a thousand words" and I made it all myself too and I have to agree with CMH again with a simple cooler from a car and a pump from a aquarium set and a coper block which is what I did and got a temperature from 30 degrees cel and thats with a prescott 2.4 oced at 3.6gig.The cooler was a heater core from a opel to be exact and the aquarium pump I had to shorten to fit in the computer case but the pump is a 2313 eheim which pumps 440 liter a hour.
  24. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    well, water-cooling isn't always quieter, it depends how the system is designed. how loud it will be depends on the only two moving parts in the system (the fan, and the pump). you don't need a fast fan (sometimes you don't need a fan at all), and there are plenty of quiet pumps available.

    no you don't. I have a fan on mine, but most of the time it is turned off (in fact it's turned off right now :)) the radiator will dissipate heat with or without a fan. sometimes it's enough by itself, and sometimes you need a fan, every system is unique.

    my system (Opteron165 @2.5GHz) can run with no fan on the radiator most of the time (while doing simple tasks like web browsing) however I do need to turn it on when gaming. average, with the fan off at idle my CPU runs in the high 30's (°C), if I start gaming it will get into the high 50's (°C) that's when I turn my fan on and it will drop back down into the high 30's (°C). if I leave the fan running all the time it will stay in the high 20's (°C) at idle ;) (right now it's summer time here and it's been in the 90's (°F) and I don't use air conditioning so those "average" temps are a bit higher, but I can still run the system with no fan as long as I'm not doing anything CPU-intensive.

    you're absolutely right. if you're using the same fans then it will be just as loud, but the difference is that with a water-cooling system you can turn those fans way down (or sometimes off) which will make the entire system quieter (in my case, so quiet you can't even hear it ;))
  25. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Thinking about the physics behind this, I think I see why you can turn the fans way down. However, this is only true in certain applications, which will become apparent in my rant.

    The whole idea behind watercooling is that water is used to transport heat from hot sites, to sites with large surface areas. In aircooling, plain old metal (copper/aluminum) is used (which is slow). However, if both surface areas are equal, I really don't see why advantage between aircooling and watercooling. However, with a dual 120mm radiator, this would beat any surface area of any aircooling setup. Bear in mind that this is only true if you don't add anything else into the loop, since this would increase the amount of energy needed to dissipate.

    So theoretically, its quieter because you need less air over the surface area, so you can turn down your fan.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...