Introduction to Watercooling

shawnlizzle =]

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Version 0.02



WATER COOLING 101

This is an introductory guide to water cooling for the enthusiast who just don’t want to screw with air cooling any longer

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Basic Parts
1) CPU block
2) Pump
3) GPU block
4) Radiator/heater core
5) Tubing
6) Additives
7) Reservoir
8) Fans
9) Other parts

III. Other important information / Tips
IV. Conclusion




Section 1

The basic concept of water cooling is to find a medium that can handle and transport heat more efficiently than air. Water has a very good ability to retain heat, in the mean time stay in a liquid form. Meaning, as long as we can circulate cool water to the hot parts (CPU, gpu, and myself) we can cool it down more efficiently than air.


Section 2

Here are the basic parts needed for a water cooling system


1) CPU block
The CPU block is one of the most important part of the loop. This is the gateway where the water cools down the CPU. The basic concept of this “block” is a medium in which the water can run from one end to another taking the heat away from the CPU. Obviously the block goes on top of the CPU so that there is optimal heat transfer. This might sound like a simple idea, but the world of block design is crazy and very complicated. To uncomplicated things, there are usually two forms of CPU blocks.



Non-Impingent blocks: these blocks are less restrictive; most of these designs are simple. The water basically flows from one end of the block to another with the addition of some fins which cause turbulence (more water movement = more heat displacement). With the current onset of multi-core CPUs, the size of the hotspot on the IHS is much greater, this causes the Non-Impingent blocks to perform better under these conditions because they provide a great area of cooling. An example would be the Swiftech Apogee or Dtek Fusion.

Impingent Blocks: The impingent blocks should only be bought in pair with a very powerful pump. The basic concept of this block is to shoot the incoming stream of water into many small, powerful jets. These jets are shot at the base, which were drilled so that every jet meets a small pocket. These pockets are so thin; some of them are 1mm thick. This causes major turbulence and quick removal of heat from the CPU. These blocks are better paired with older single core processors in which the hot spot is smaller. Example: Swiftech Storm, Dtek Mp-05


2) Pump

The pump is again a very crucial factor in the setup loop. The pump obviously moves the water, but there are very different kinds of pumps. The two main categories are 12v pumps or AC pumps

12v pumps
These pumps are the ones that can be powered by a 12v power supply (aka your own). These pumps are small and fit in most cases. Delivering great performance and not eating up a lot of power, these pumps are definitely great contenders in the world of water cooling. Some of these pumps are


DD Laing D5
Danger Den DDC2

The DDC2, a newer revision with a 18w motor has proven to be one of the best pumps that watercooling has seen. It has a small footprint as well as high head pressure while producing less heat.

AC pumps
These pumps cannot be connected directly to your powersupply so you need to either remember to flick it on everytime you turn on your computer, or buy a relay switch. These pumps are mostly marine pumps that people found to have a good head pressure vs heat dump ratio. the Iwakis are popular amongst the extreme water cooling community. Older Eheim models were popular, but now outdated performance wise and should not be purchaced.
Examples

Iwaki MD-20rZ
Eheim 1048





3) GPU block
This block is optional, but I would recommend it if you want better overall performance, or you have one of those hot potatoes on your board. These blocks should be less restrictive then your CPU block.

Examples

Danger Den Maze 4
Swiftech MCW60

4) Chipset Block
With the new Core2s on the market, some northbridges do get very hot. Remember that the northbridge requires only a little bit of cooling to create a lot of OC headroom. Generally speaking, air cooling is sufficient, but if you watercool the northbridge then find a very unrestrictive block. Other than the northbridge, don't bother cooling any other chipset including the southbridge as it will not help your OC at all.

5) Other blocks
HDD blocks, RAM blocks, or MOFSET blocks are usually added for looks and not performance, cooling these devices do not give you higher OC.



Radiator/ Heater Core

This is the sweet spot of your system. All the heat that you have required from the loop has to be released here. There are couple options

Radiators – Watercooling companies now mostly offer two lines of radiators, one line optimized for high air flow and high noise, the other line, a more recent one is optimized for low air flow and low noise. As watercooling developed, people found that it was too loud to have 100+ cfm fans screaming all the time, so companies like Thermochill developed the PA series of radiators to give great performance with low air flow

High air flow radiators:
Black Ice Extreme series
Thermochill HE series

Low air flow radiators
Black Ice Pro series
Thermochill PA series
Swiftech MCQ series


Heater cores – these are the cheaper (but NOT less performance) option. You might need some moding skills here. Heater cores are designed for cars so that when hot water runs through these things, the fan blowing on them can transfer the heat to the passengers. These things work exactly the same way as the radiators, but a LOT cheaper.



Tubing

Tubing is a part of the loop most people over look. But this just may be the Achilles heal of your rig. The purpose of the tubing is to transfer the water from one location to another. Sounds simple huh? Well if you use regular plastic tubing, it’ll leak and deteriorate very fast. I would recommend Tygon Tubing. (These things will break down when you grandson dies). There are other options such as clearflex, primoflex, but just stay away from the very cheap and bad quality plastic tubing.


Additives

Even though the water you use for your loop is “distilled” water. There are still many minerals and junk in there that will eat your loop away. So you need to put additives in your loop. These additives usually serve these three purposes

1) Kill off algae
2) Reduce Corrosion
3) Reduce freezing point(for water chillers)

There are many options here, but I would recommend water wetter, zerex, or some of the fluids sold by Danger Den, or other cooling stores. There’s a more comprehensive article in ProCooling that deals with the chemical elements of the additives.



Reservoirs

There are usually two types of reservoirs, one is the typical reservoir, one is the T line

-Reservoirs:
Pros: Easy bleeding (getting rid of all the air bubbles in your loop)
(Usually) holds more water and creates a bigger buffer
More water near the pump increases performance
Cons: bulky at times, and takes up a good amount of space (5 ¼ inch drive)


-T lines
Pros: space saving
Cons: VERY long to bleed your system.

The selection of your reservoir or T line doesn’t really matter, make sure it is placed close and above the pump to let gravity feed the pump.



Fans

There are many choices of fans out there, but if you're using a high air flow radiator, make sure you get a fan with 100+ cfm. If you have a low air flow radiator, the radiator itself will not performance drastically better if you increase the air flow above 80 or 100 cfm. So, if you have a low air flow radiator, get fans that are quiet, push a decent amount of air and have good air pressure.



Other important information/Tips

1) If the radiator or heater core is too big, build a rad box that would house all of your components.
2) The best place to put your reservoir is at the highest point on the loop, but I like it next to my pump.
3) If you have a big enough case, go for the reservoir and save some of your precious time, bleeding with a T line is said to be 100x slower.
4) As a rule of thumb when buying pumps, head pressure is much more important information than gph, because all gph tells you is that when the pump is pumping with little or nor resistance, how much it will pump. But adding a couple blocks, more tubing and what not, some cheap pumps that have good gph ratings will dramatically under-perform.
5) You should not use an impingent block if you are not rating about 9 or 10 ft of head pressure for your pump.
6) Make sure you use a clamp of some sort to make sure the fittings don’t’ leak in your system.
7) Avoid 90 degree or any other tight turns in your loop
8) Double, or even triple your work and leak test for 24 hours before you put the loop in your rig, because one mistake can prove fatal for your computer.








One Lowe</font color=red>
 

mozzartusm

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If your goal is to guide someone new through the steps of building a system then I think that you need to rework it. im not exactly sure how, but I can see new people asking more questions the way it is currently done. Im not knocking your info, more the way it flows. Fredi is the one that makes the sticky descions. You would need to discuss it with him, but after the last new guy tried this same thing it left some of us with the impression that a person needs to be more established before making a sticky. You can give it a shot, it wont hurt to try.

<b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
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shawnlizzle =]

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maybe it should rather be a description of all the parts needed for the loop, but what do you think whould be added/taken out. i peronally think i should add an installation section

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mozzartusm

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What I always try to do is put myself in the place of someone new when reading something like this. I think that you have some good info, but I dont know how well someone that had never used liquid cooling would understand it. IMO most people that are taking the plunge into a liquid cooling system are nervous about screwing up their system"If they arent then they should be" so if the instructions are not very simple then they will lose interest in the sticky and start asking the same old questions. Now this is just my opinion, but I think that you should take out any references to specific brands. That would cut it down some and no matter what you suggest they are still going to ask questions about which brand to buy. The other thing about keeping it purely about the subject and leaving out references to "Brand A is good and Brand B is not" is that it adds credibility to you as the Author and will save you headaches down the road when someone trys to blame you for their mistakes.

<b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
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mozzartusm

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Scottchen, thanks for the suggestion that you made on the Koolance video card Waterblock. I got the one that folds over both sides of the card and it is a BAD MAMAJAMA :lol: They did an excellent job in designing that piece of equipment.

<b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
Intel 550(3.4)@4.2 Posted 4.6Ghz but unstable
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mozzartusm

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Compared to how far some video cards OC the X800XL doesnt have much room to OC. Now that brings me to a question that I havent been able to get the answer to. If you look at the ORB and compare the X800XL benchmarks for the 3DMark05 you will see most of the OC's are running around 450/560 some hiher and some lower, but that is a fairly high end of the OC spectrum for this card. The top benchmark score has an OC of 486/608. The highest that I have been able to get me card to go is 447/555. With the Intel P4's im leading the ORB in 3dMark01 and running 2nd in 3DMark 05. Im up high even when you put AMD's into the mix on 3D 01 but way down the list in 05. Heat isnt the problem with Ocing my card. So what are the other factors that would hold me back. Have I simply reached the limit of this card?

<b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
Intel 550(3.4)@4.2 Posted 4.6Ghz but unstable
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mozzartusm

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I dont have a clue what that means. BTW, I guess the crack had messed with my head because last night I was able to OC the card much higher and actually took the lead for the P4's in the 3DMark 05 benchmark.

<b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
Intel 550(3.4)@4.2 Posted 4.6Ghz but unstable
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scottchen

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Ned flanders wants you to increase the voltage that's being pumped to the VPU and Ram, pencil mod might do, bios may be able to modded, i'm not sure.

The X800XL's cores are duds that's the problem i've read that everywhere, i should make post quick in 3dchip oc section all overclockers ignore x800xl and go with 6800gt, since 6800GT's will reach 6800ultra speeds, but X800XL will not reach X800XT's speeds.

But this apply to AGP only, since the PCI Express X800XL PCI Express is much cheaper than the 6800GT, and performs better at stock.
 

mozzartusm

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Check my post in the graphics card section. I got it to go higher last night.

<b>Ned Flanders said that im a BAD ASS</b> :lol:
Intel 550(3.4)@4.2 Posted 4.6Ghz but unstable
ASUS P5AD2-E-Prem
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chikit

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bump! I found this very useful, it teaches the basics of water cooling (although i already knew them from reading all over, it would be handy to read this first)
good job!!!
chikit
 

pickxx

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Like it was mentioned earlier...pictures would be nice.


I was trying to explain the basics of this to a friend(because i am no expert at all) and he wasn't getting it. I pointed him to this...and he asked about 400 questions. Pictures would help and maybe a step by step guide.
just my two cents

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shawnlizzle =]

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haha, yeah, i need to re-organize, update and add pictures to this guide, i'm really tied up with classes right now, plus i have a whole crap load of hw... on top of that, i have swimming and badminton practice =X...i'll find time.. i swear! =]

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pickxx

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All those just sound like petty excuses to me. You are just trying to find lame excuses to not take/post pictures, reorganize, update, and comepletely walk people through something.

I am supprised you didn't have to organize your sock drawer, or wash your hair....Homework? thats not important. Nothing with the word 'work' in it can be important.

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mrface

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lmfao

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mozzartusm

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ROFLMAO!

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jinshifu

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Wait. Scott says that for my case, the only setup that will fit w/o having a hole cut for the radiator is:
"If you're getting watercooling, then the best way to fit in that case is for you to buy the Black Ice Micro 2 radiator Using that you won't have to do any case hacking, get a Hydor L35 pump from Wal Mart, 1/2" Vinyl tubing from Home Depot or Lowes. Pick up a Swiftech MCW6002-64 waterblock along with the MCW50 waterblock for your video card from a cooling site."

The black ice micro 2 is a dual 80mm radiator...and this guy says its crap, *don't bother with any of the 80mm radiators*. wtf? Is he saying I might was well go with the case fans since you can only *get away with* a 120mm?!?!?!?!?! WTF SHOULD I JUST GET A XP-120 AND FORGET ALL THIS CRAP?!?!?! I really don't want to make a goddamn box attached to my pc to house all this stuff.
 

shawnlizzle =]

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it is true that 80mm rads are useless, scott said that you can use those w/o modding ur case, he didn't say those performed well. modding ur case isn't that hard, if you have a big enough case, it doesn't even require modding to fit a dual 120 mm radiator/heater core

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shawnlizzle =]

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acck... the forum is being funky, i can't edit my guide, cuz its been too long since i can edit it -_-... how am i suppose to update it?

<font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
 

chikit

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get an xp 120! Its loads cheaper than all that water stuff. besides, will you be pushing that oc to the very last mhz? i dunno if u need to be that extreme, i thought about it for a while and its just too costly, a nice xp-120 which can have excellent cooling for a good price is good enough i say.
 

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