A Beginner's Guide For WaterCooling Your PC

SuperFly03

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Our methodology is simple: push the e4300 as far as it will go with its stock air cooler, then benchmark it with the water cooling system and compare results.
So you were never going to try and push the E4300 higher under water?

I get you were showing load temp differential, but you can do more with water than just lower temps.

I second that, what graphs? 8O
 

cleeve

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So you were never going to try and push the E4300 higher under water?
Not really. This isn't an overclocking article, it's a water-cooling article for the uninitiated.

We have other articles that focus on overclocking.

Having said that, I'll probably be pushing it as far as I can, once I get some decent RAM. :)


PS here are the benches, I'll post them here why the web guys are having trouble getting them up:

 
Alliterations aside, are there any add-ons that can monitor coolant flow and shut down the system if the coolant is not flowing? My primary scenario is that I turn the whole thing on and the pump does not pump for some reason - dead wire, dead pump, whatever. I would want to be able to keep the system from powering up.
 

SuperFly03

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Alright, I guess my expectations exceeded the overall scope of the article.

FYI my E4300 was perfectly stable (tested) and then just gave out one day... 8O
 

choirbass

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i enjoyed reading it, especially since i never really knew before just what was involved in a water cooling installation setup. good work :)
 

SuperFly03

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Alliterations aside, are there any add-ons that can monitor coolant flow and shut down the system if the coolant is not flowing? My primary scenario is that I turn the whole thing on and the pump does not pump for some reason - dead wire, dead pump, whatever. I would want to be able to keep the system from powering up.
you can get an inline flow monitor.

Here at FronzenCpu.com

Aww come on choir... you know that much about hard drives/raid and you don't know about water cooling? Just kidding. :wink:
 

prolfe

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Thanks for the great article! I've always wanted to try my hand, and this article makes me feel like I could actually pull it off. I appreciated the ability of the author to put this topic "down on the bottom shelf" so that I could grasp it!
 

cleeve

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The Koolance system in pareticular can monitor the temperature and shut the PC down based on that; other manufacturers probably offer similar features as well.

I didn't want to speak to manufacture-specific features that much in the article though, as this is a general how-to.
 

Whizzard9992

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It would be nice to go into things n00bs get hung up on (or more often make mistakes with), such as mixing up tube diameters or buying an external system with a case that doesn't have holes in the back for tubes. Maybe provide a picture of a shorted ATX connector, as well, for those unfortunate souls that might find the wrong instructions online.

Also, the MB PWM is often neglected with water-cooling, and takes a beating in an overclocked system. Inverting the ATX case fan next to the CPU is generally a quick-fix, or even just adding after-market heat sinks to the regulators. Either way, it's important to watch the PWM temps on the motherboard when overclocking a water-cooled system.

There are a lot of cheap system to stay away from, such as thermaltake's bigwater, which has a short pump-life, and is NOT covered under warranty (When the pump goes, you buy a new system).

What about putting the splitter before the CPU? The GPU tends to get the hottest, and benefits the most from very cool water. What about sound levels? Can you put a db meter up to the new system versus the old?

Just my 2 cents.


Thanks.
 

choirbass

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i had always just been too worried that something was going to go wrong at some point during/after installation (primarily leaks), so i had never seriously pursued it before, its always looked interesting though
 

Whizzard9992

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The Koolance system in pareticular can monitor the temperature and shut the PC down based on that; other manufacturers probably offer similar features as well.
Just FYI, though, if I'm not mistaken you need a serial-port to take advantage of this feature. You can get a USB-to-Serial converter for cheap online, but it's good to know ahead of time ;)
 

cleeve

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All good points. There are a million things I could have done or added, but that's not what I was trying to accomplish.

This is a primer and sometimes you have to draw a line, although you are knowledgable enough that I think it's safe to assume you aren't the target audience for this one. :)
 

SuperFly03

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FYI my E4300 was perfectly stable (tested) and then just gave out one day... 8O
Ouch. Sorry to hear that, mate.

It happens. It took 3 days of tweaking... it was a good accomplishment 379*9 :)

--Choir

I feel ya. had my first rig sprung a leak randomly and nearly shorted out my board (it was my first install and the clamps were cheap 8O ). Water sounds scary but you can mitigate nearly every risk and this article goes a long way to alleviate some of those problem areas.

Whizard

The CPU has stricter heat tolerances than the GPU (which operates generally at higher temps, afaik) so you spend as much effort as you can cooling the CPU, hence the splitter after the CPU block not before.
 

cleeve

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Just FYI, though, if I'm not mistaken you need a serial-port to take advantage of this feature.
No, it works directly with the MB's power switch. The system doesn't need to be hooked to the motherboard any other way.

There is a serial looking cable between the system and it's custom bracket - but the bracket's tiny board only hooks up to molex power, nothing else on the mobo.
 

HotFoot

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Specific heat capacity is the other important physical property, which refers to the amount of energy it takes to heat a substance by one degree. The specific heat capacity of liquid water is about four times that of air, which means it takes four times the amount of energy to heat water than it does to heat air. Once again, water's ability to soak up much more heat energy without increasing its own temperature is a great advantage over air-cooling.
I didn't dig out a reference to check the specific heat values, but I think it should be pointed out that the vast majority of water's specific-heat advantage is due to it's density rather than it's specific (by mass) heat capacity. Even if water had half the specific heat capacity of air, it's density is, what, about 1000 times greater, so it would still more readily absorb the heat. The conclusion is the same, though I think the emphasis should be that the cooling contribution of the conductivity of water (25x air's) is paltry in comparison to heat capacity (and then forced convection by the pump). It would be more interesting to see a specific heating capacity with respect to volume at standard pressure. My guess is this would put water at 4000x the heat capacity of a given volume of air.
 

Whizzard9992

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Just FYI, though, if I'm not mistaken you need a serial-port to take advantage of this feature.
No, it works directly with the MB's power switch. The system doesn't need to be hooked to the motherboard any other way.

There is a serial looking cable between the system and it's custom bracket - but the bracket's tiny board only hooks up to molex power, nothing else on the mobo.

Ah. Cool.

Good primer. I'm looking forward to the next iteration.

P.S. It's nice to see the author active in the forums.


Oh, yeah: UV-responsive tubes with some cold-cathodes look awesome.
 

cleeve

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Oh, yeah: UV-responsive tubes with some cold-cathodes look awesome.
Hell yes! Wish I'd have had some around for the article.

Makes the PC look like it's alive with the Predator's glowing neon blood flowing through it's veins... :)
 

sirrobin4ever

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Eh. Not a bad article....but the first picture on the second page is wrong.....I can't remember the last time I used a heatsink that the fan didn't push air into the heatsink.
 

Labrat636

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Wouldn't have to worry about leaks with the MB mounted upside down. I know heat rises - and it would be a problem with passive cooling - but with active cooling such as this liquid based system - I would think it wouldn't matter - and if a leak should happen to appear - it won't drip on anything of consequence.
Also - I would like to see some advanced cooling techniques - and maybe include the hard drives in the cooling scenario.
Alternative liquids, and gases even - I read somewhere about a system that uses steam to carry away heat - and someone here mentioned liquid nitrogen - seems there would be some concern about lower than ambient temps creating condensation - would have to monitor humidity levels as well -
What is the limit of cooling - the colder the system the greater the performance? To what point?

How about building a system into a small freezer or fridge? If the whole system is immersed in cold - would there be any condensation problems?
 

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