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Watercooling My PC

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What is this page about? Simply sharing my experience with watercooling PCs. Perhaps it'll help you to avoid the mistakes I've made assemblying my first WC rig ;) May be make your decision, negative or positive, find something useful. Plus the performance/temperature test results after going to WC and mini reviews of components I've used in my WC cooling system.

In the begining when I got my new rig assemebled I thought like many out there, fan noise won't bother me, because I either listen to the music when working on the comp, or playing games loud. Well, eventually I got sick of the noise generated by 12 fans in my PC. Especially 92mm Tornado that could spin at 5000 rpm and it had to very often, since the job was to cool down 3.2 P4c overclocked to 3.7ghz. In the end I gave up. Noise aside, the heat and dust moved around by those fans made it really annoying. So, eventually I decided that watercooling(WC) was they way to go. Considering that I am sensitive to dust it was rather obvious choice.

Actually there was another choice, down-clock the rig to stock frequencies and use stock heatsink, fan, etc, would be much quieter, but I didn't want to give up extra performance I had from overclocking(OC), and actually one of the reasons I wanted WC was to OC further :)

So, I was deciding and researching around a year. It doesn't take that long obviously, but I was lazy, things were coming up here and there. But finally by the end of jun 2005 I got all the parts required, and went for assemblying.
I decided to take a plunge and get quality parts, since I am planing on extreme OCing anyway. Besides, quality as usual pays off ;) In the end I decided on 1/2" inner diameter tubing. Provides much better flow than 3/8" and besides all cooling devices I've read about perform better with higher flow, and the improvement is not linear often.
The exact list of parts is listed in the Rig Configuration, so I won't repeat that here.

Where to begin

 - Hard part. In general almost every WC related site will tell you to test 24 or even 48 hours your WC setup before finaly assembly, i.e. putting WC components on live system, and even that may not be enough as I have learned. However, getting WC system alone ready can be a challenge too. Basically the trouble is how to cut tubes, where to place components, hot to attach them and so on. With CPU and GPU blocks that's easy, but with the radiator, waterpump, reservoir(if any) it's not trivial. I for one had no idea after getting major parts how to attach heatercore to the system, or even where to place it. Had to do additional research and buy radbox, otherwise I'd need to cut the case, or drill extra holes in it. Either way, extra woek, and non trivial.

Tubing Layout Design

 - Once you decide where you place the pump, reservoir and radiator with its fans then the fun part comes. You need to cut tubing. Initially I thought I'd just guesstimate, but I was wrong. Doesn't work that way. So, the best thing(not the easiest) to do apparently is to get all parts in place, i.e. case, this means mobo, video card, etc. Measure exactly how and where the tubes will go. Of course, don't forget extra cards if any, once installed they may interfere with tubing or pump/radiator if inside the case. So, once you do all that you're almost ready. Well, you can start assemblying WC system. Don't forget to remove mobo and video and other cards you had in there for measuring :).