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[SOLVED] What is the thinnest and most reliable closed loop liquid CPU cooler?

Apr 19, 2021
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I am looking for a liquid CPU cooler with a very thin formfactor. In addition, I am looking for a product that is as lightweight as possible. What is the best slim, light all-in-one liquid CPU cooler?

Just an example, the Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate (360 mm) weighs in at 1.32 kg. In addition, its radiator thickness is 27 mm whereas its fan thickness is 25 mm. Overall, it is 52 mm thick and weighs 1.32 kg.

Are there any thinner and lighter options?
 
Last edited:

iPeekYou

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Jul 7, 2014
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A Wii U comes with two components:
  1. The console itself.
  2. The gamepad (480p).
I came up with a hack that allows me to overclock my Wii U as well as another hack that allows me to swap the gamepad resolution to the native resolution of the display panel. I am interested in liquid cooling it in order to sustain lower temperatures. You may ask, how would you fit closed loop liquid cooling into a Wii U?

Well, I'm very interested in transforming the Wii U into a laptop. Similar to this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7MQCyoMWRk


Again, fitting closed loop liquid cooling into a laptop doesn't sound feasible. However, I am 3D printing my chassis, and I will make the base as thick as it needs to in order to implement a closed-loop liquid cooling system.

==========================================================================================================================

Anyway, sorry for going off on that large tangent. You asked what I needed this for and I just wanted to explain. Anyway, thanks for your input about the 22 mm Deadpool radiators as well as the 15 mm fans. I will most likely go in that direction unless I can find something smaller.
You had me hooked just at putting Wii U in a laptop form. Overclocking it? Either you had a legit reason (like you do), or just for the hell of it, I'm on board. Sounds like a very interesting side project indeed.

Yeah, I have the Deadpool (LMAO) unit sitting in my case just above a common 27mm AIO for the GPU. I can verify that it's ever so slightly thinner than the GPU AIO. 5mm of difference sounds about right.

I imagine you'd also have to account for the AIO's head unit also in that laptop case; I think a head unit with tubes going out to the sides and a slim head unit would make it much easier to handle inside the cramped space. Look up Xigmatek Scylla or Thermaltake Water 3.0 X120.
Corsair or Alphacool style of head units are bulkier towards the top of head unit, for example. They're taller and has tubes towards the top of head unit.

On top of that, AIO rads have their barbs and tubing adding to their actual width. I don't know of any AIOs that have angled connections at the rad. You can measure, say, 30mm worth of clearance, but the barbs and tubing would add a few cms.
 

iPeekYou

Distinguished
Jul 7, 2014
394
77
18,790
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I am looking for a liquid CPU cooler with a very thin formfactor. In addition, I am looking for a product that is as lightweight as possible. What is the best slim, light all-in-one liquid CPU cooler?

Just an example, the Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate (360 mm) weighs in at 1.32 kg. In addition, its radiator thickness is 27 mm whereas its fan thickness is 25 mm. Overall, it is 52 mm thick and weighs 1.32 kg.

Are there any thinner and lighter options?
Most AIOs use 27mm rad; I know some AIOs have 22mm rads instead like my Deepcool units. What's your goal with a thin AIO btw?

If you're looking to cram an AIO in a tight space, a set of good 15mm thick fans might help. They're popular in SFF builds particularly. Nowhere as good in pressure as the regular ones, but from what I've seen with good ones like Noctuas you can get away with slim fans.
 
Apr 19, 2021
48
1
35
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Most AIOs use 27mm rad; I know some AIOs have 22mm rads instead like my Deepcool units. What's your goal with a thin AIO btw?

If you're looking to cram an AIO in a tight space, a set of good 15mm thick fans might help. They're popular in SFF builds particularly. Nowhere as good in pressure as the regular ones, but from what I've seen with good ones like Noctuas you can get away with slim fans.
A Wii U comes with two components:
  1. The console itself.
  2. The gamepad (480p).
I came up with a hack that allows me to overclock my Wii U as well as another hack that allows me to swap the gamepad resolution to the native resolution of the display panel. I am interested in liquid cooling it in order to sustain lower temperatures. You may ask, how would you fit closed loop liquid cooling into a Wii U?

Well, I'm very interested in transforming the Wii U into a laptop. Similar to this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7MQCyoMWRk


Again, fitting closed loop liquid cooling into a laptop doesn't sound feasible. However, I am 3D printing my chassis, and I will make the base as thick as it needs to in order to implement a closed-loop liquid cooling system.

Now you may ask... Why do I need to overclock my Wii U? Well, I would like to build the gamepad (normally 480p) into the base of the laptop. This way, the laptop would essentially be a giant Nintendo DS. However, I plan on using a larger display, however, with a 1080p resolution.

I am going to be overclocking the Wii U so it can handle the second display with increased resolution (remember it was only designed to support the 480p display).

Now I just wanna point out, yes the idea of this sounds very silly. However, I am trying to do my own custom side-project that is unique to what has already been done. I could easily reverse engineer the Wii U laptop (or any of the other portable consoles) that have already been made. However, the point of this exercise is for me to learn (hence going a step forward by making my own hacks as well as implementing a higher resolution gamepad display into the base of its laptop). I am fairly new to computer technology, however, I want to explore this area so I can learn. Even if this project is a failure, the knowledge I gain will still be valuable.

==========================================================================================================================

Anyway, sorry for going off on that large tangent. You asked what I needed this for and I just wanted to explain. Anyway, thanks for your input about the 22 mm Deepcool radiators as well as the 15 mm fans. I will most likely go in that direction unless I can find something smaller.
 
Last edited:

iPeekYou

Distinguished
Jul 7, 2014
394
77
18,790
10
A Wii U comes with two components:
  1. The console itself.
  2. The gamepad (480p).
I came up with a hack that allows me to overclock my Wii U as well as another hack that allows me to swap the gamepad resolution to the native resolution of the display panel. I am interested in liquid cooling it in order to sustain lower temperatures. You may ask, how would you fit closed loop liquid cooling into a Wii U?

Well, I'm very interested in transforming the Wii U into a laptop. Similar to this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7MQCyoMWRk


Again, fitting closed loop liquid cooling into a laptop doesn't sound feasible. However, I am 3D printing my chassis, and I will make the base as thick as it needs to in order to implement a closed-loop liquid cooling system.

==========================================================================================================================

Anyway, sorry for going off on that large tangent. You asked what I needed this for and I just wanted to explain. Anyway, thanks for your input about the 22 mm Deadpool radiators as well as the 15 mm fans. I will most likely go in that direction unless I can find something smaller.
You had me hooked just at putting Wii U in a laptop form. Overclocking it? Either you had a legit reason (like you do), or just for the hell of it, I'm on board. Sounds like a very interesting side project indeed.

Yeah, I have the Deadpool (LMAO) unit sitting in my case just above a common 27mm AIO for the GPU. I can verify that it's ever so slightly thinner than the GPU AIO. 5mm of difference sounds about right.

I imagine you'd also have to account for the AIO's head unit also in that laptop case; I think a head unit with tubes going out to the sides and a slim head unit would make it much easier to handle inside the cramped space. Look up Xigmatek Scylla or Thermaltake Water 3.0 X120.
Corsair or Alphacool style of head units are bulkier towards the top of head unit, for example. They're taller and has tubes towards the top of head unit.

On top of that, AIO rads have their barbs and tubing adding to their actual width. I don't know of any AIOs that have angled connections at the rad. You can measure, say, 30mm worth of clearance, but the barbs and tubing would add a few cms.
 
Apr 19, 2021
48
1
35
0
Bro I was hoping you wouldn't catch that. I edited my response before you sent your reply :(

But anyway, thank you for all of your advice. The head unit isn't something I really considered because I just assumed that it would be slimmer than the thickness of the radiator + fans. However, I guess I just oversighted it. But that's why I'm here; so I can get other people to catch my errors in judgement before I spend the money.

In addition, thank you for all the specific brands/models I should be looking at (or the ones I should avoid). This makes my search for a closed loop liquid cooler exponentially easier.

P.S. Sorry for calling it "Deadpool". I'm not familiar with the brand names, but that's how I read it at first. Once I looked up specific models, I realized it was actually Deepcool then I instantly came here to edit my post. I guess you beat me :(
 

iPeekYou

Distinguished
Jul 7, 2014
394
77
18,790
10
Bro I was hoping you wouldn't catch that. I edited my response before you sent your reply :(

But anyway, thank you for all of your advice. The head unit isn't something I really considered because I just assumed that it would be slimmer than the thickness of the radiator + fans. However, I guess I just oversighted it. But that's why I'm here; so I can get other people to catch my errors in judgement before I spend the money.

In addition, thank you for all the specific brands/models I should be looking at (or the ones I should avoid). This makes my search for a closed loop liquid cooler exponentially easier.

P.S. Sorry for calling it "Deadpool". I'm not familiar with the brand names, but that's how I read it at first. Once I looked up specific models, I realized it was actually Deepcool then I instantly came here to edit my post. I guess you beat me :(

No problem, I genuinely thought that was a clever joke on the brand name.

But yeah, fitting a rad is easy enough when you're dealing with typical desktop cases. In a laptop though? I figure if it's manageable to do within reason, gaming laptops would jump on the idea like hot cake. "Liquid cooled" is always worth gamer cred and marketing hype for most people.

The only thing I can think of if you want to cut down on the thickness as much as possible is doing a custom loop --a waterblock/pump combo, and angled fittings so the tubes won't jut out as much with typical AIOs. Not sure about the technicalities, I haven't built any custom waterloops.

Another idea: how about jury rigging a spare laptop heatsink+fan combo? They're thin enough and are made to fit in a laptop form factor. Then you won't have to deal with rads and the fans on top of the rad. That, or do an external mount if you're janky enough. Still won't solve the bulk, just moving it outside the case instead.
 
Apr 19, 2021
48
1
35
0
No problem, I genuinely thought that was a clever joke on the brand name.

But yeah, fitting a rad is easy enough when you're dealing with typical desktop cases. In a laptop though? I figure if it's manageable to do within reason, gaming laptops would jump on the idea like hot cake. "Liquid cooled" is always worth gamer cred and marketing hype for most people.

The only thing I can think of if you want to cut down on the thickness as much as possible is doing a custom loop --a waterblock/pump combo, and angled fittings so the tubes won't jut out as much with typical AIOs. Not sure about the technicalities, I haven't built any custom waterloops.

Another idea: how about jury rigging a spare laptop heatsink+fan combo? They're thin enough and are made to fit in a laptop form factor. Then you won't have to deal with rads and the fans on top of the rad. That, or do an external mount if you're janky enough. Still won't solve the bulk, just moving it outside the case instead.
Yeah, I thought about custom-liquid cooling, however, I am not sure it is worth the required maintenance. I would rather sacrifice additional thickness instead of having additional maintenance.

In regard to using laptop coolers and heatsink, I have also considered that, however, I do not believe it will give me much better temperatures than the stock Wii U cooling. Because I have spare laptop components, I can use this as a fallback plan if liquid cooling doesn't give me the results that I desire.

However, at the end of the day, there are multiple criteria points that I am trying to fulfill with this side-project:
  1. Overclocked Wii U in laptop format
  2. A gamepad built into the base of the laptop such that the laptop resembles a giant Nintendo DS.
  3. And then the third most important factor was having liquid cooling inside a laptop. Even if the laptop is extremely bulky, I still think it would be cool to see a liquid cooled laptop.
And finally in regard to the mention of external components:
To be honest, I kinda wanna avoid this because I want to put a big emphasis on the Wii U itself being as portable as possible.
 

iPeekYou

Distinguished
Jul 7, 2014
394
77
18,790
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Yeah, I thought about custom-liquid cooling, however, I am not sure it is worth the required maintenance. I would rather sacrifice additional thickness instead of having additional maintenance.

In regard to using laptop coolers and heatsink, I have also considered that, however, I do not believe it will give me much better temperatures than the stock Wii U cooling. Because I have spare laptop components, I can use this as a fallback plan if liquid cooling doesn't give me the results that I desire.

However, at the end of the day, there are multiple criteria points that I am trying to fulfill with this side-project:
  1. Overclocked Wii U in laptop format
  2. A gamepad built into the base of the laptop such that the laptop resembles a giant Nintendo DS.
  3. And then the third most important factor was having liquid cooling inside a laptop. Even if the laptop is extremely bulky, I still think it would be cool to see a liquid cooled laptop.
And finally in regard to the mention of external components:
To be honest, I kinda wanna avoid this because I want to put a big emphasis on the Wii U itself being as portable as possible.

Laptop heatsink are much larger, should be capable of cooling a Wii U. Yeah, there's a point where too large heatsink isn't doing much when you got fans since heat will dissipate faster than it can reach far from the hot component. Still, there's some virtue in going big on coolers. Plus fans, helps a lot over pure passive cooling.

If the stock Wii U heatsink is small enough to fit in a handheld, and keep the device in reasonable temps, surely a laptop heatsink would do better.

Maybe if you managed to procure the heatsink off a gaming laptop? They're much beefier than typical laptops. If the Wii U chip has its die exposed (I imagine it does), slap some liquid metal on it for best performance. Just so that you have the best shot at cooling.
 

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