Build a Kick-Ass Liquid Cooling System—6 Simple Steps

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PerformancePSU

I have been thinking about getting water cooling for a while now but have not been to keen on building a custom kit from scratch so have been thinking about getting a kit.

I was looking at the XSPC RayStorm 750 (Reviewed > http://www.performancepsu.com/hardware/water-cooling-your-gaming-pc-on-a-budget/) and wondered what your thoughts were and if you had any experience with it?

It seems like a pretty decent entry level kit with everthing I could need, but will the 1/2OD let down the cooling efficiency?

- Andy

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Beron

I am curious, what Radiator did you used for the build?

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GLeeC

I am sorry to be critical but every time I see an article on water cooling it leaves me wanting. It always says "it is important to select the right parts, you must consider all the parameters" Then It goes on to say" We chose these parts" And it goes together so easy cause you picked one (usually expensive) manufacture. It is little more than the manufacture user manual.  What we need is detail on the "right parts" selection process.

For example, What parts really need water? or more cooling? RAM? RAM on the GPU card?, What Mobo chips and how do we identify them (touch?)? HD? PSU? When is air cooling good enough? Can you do both in one case? On the same part?

Thats just for starters. And I have never seen any articles on GPU water cooling that says much. How do you take it apart? Will I break it? Are there any parts on the Video card that also need cooling besides the GPU? What about torque on card from hoses? Clearence needed? Vibration? Etc.

If you tell me you dont have room, I say forget the article if you cant do it right. Make a year long series covering each topic per article. In fact, make it continous running as by a year many subjects will need revisiting.

Normally I like MAXPC very much but many articles seem to always raise more questions than answers. Your readers know how to follow the package directions, show us what we need that is not there and leave out the "put card in slot" instructions and pictures, to save room. Try it on one article and see how your readers think? Throgh out ever description that does not add to the user manual info. Try it online first. But try it?

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Blazing_Tiger

I know this is over a year old but i recently started researching water cooling and even with just starting out i know enough to agree with you GLeeC.

Also for us visual learners, pictures are precious learning tools. The diagram you created was alright but it didn't match the rest of the pictures. The CPU connected to the GPU and reservoir.

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yd

i couldn't agree more with GLeeC

i have not built a water cooled PC yet, BUT

i have read & watched enough guides to see that yours is very lacking

in some small yet critical information.

just registered to replay on that comment,after reading the hole article.

i don't think ill keep reading other of your guides, assuming they are like this one,

just lacking important info and to superficial.

sorry, that's just my opinion.

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Michael Ellis

I am not doing liquid cooling, I have a factory built PC (boring), but I did download one of the temperature apps just for fun. I looked at the readout and it says that the core temperatures are maxing out at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. That sounds high to me. What is the normal temperature supposed to be for an air cooled i7?

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rabbit01

I've got an i7 860, not over-clocked, using stock fan. With room temp of around 24C, CPU temp is somewhere in the high thirties C during idle/low CPU usage. At 100% CPU usage, CPU temp will be in the mid seventies deg C.

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Athlonite

Why would you run already warmed up water over you expensive graphics cards cores all you need to do is install an T junction on the pump outward flow pipe and one on the exhaust flow that way both get cold water  

 

Play till it breaks then learn how to fix it!

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Kaldor

Simple.

The GPU requires MUCH less cooling than a CPU.  Your basically throwing it a bone at that point.

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mhadina

Wrong. My cpu i3 540 for example even overclocked to 4.6 GHz burns around 125W while Sapphire HD4870x2 requires at least 650W PSU. So what do you think where all the rest of power go?

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Kaldor

Simple.

The GPU requires MUCH less cooling than a CPU.  Your basically throwing it a bone at that point.

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jnicho15

Danger Den's ATX Power Supply Bypass Adapter http://www.dangerden.com/store/atx_power-supply-bypass-adapter.html can make the pump run for $2.99 nicely

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Devo85x

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This amazing patented technology allows you to start your powersupply without worrying about all those annoying connectors.  Just attach one end to the green wire and the other end to a black wire on your 20/24 pin power connector.  Then what do you get?  POWER!  And now for a limited time, FREE SHIPPING*

*when you steal from a coworker/classmate

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mhadina

Please think once again. This is a how to make a water loop for the first time and you think someone without any expirience could use a piece of wire or something and do it right without error? A short-circuit could easy be made by unexpirienced PC user. So please people check what and how you are doing...

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thematejka

Ok, want to know the best, and almost free cooling method that you can use with or without water cooling? It only applys if you have an air conditioner nearby, or geothermal heating/cooling, with a vent near your pc. You run some of that white, flexible hose from your vent or air conditioner to your intake on your pc. An 80mm fan should fit perfectly inside to help suck the air, while the vent pushes it. I ran a big water cooling loop with triple rad and everything, and after hooking up the hose to the intake at the back of my case, with the front fan exhausting, my cpu, gpu, and case temps all dropped 13, 12, and 14 degrees respectively. If you have geothermal, or an air conditioner near by do this now!

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white_sereph

If you do that to drop your case temperatures below ambient room temperature, you risk creating conensation on your tubing - which in turn could drip water droplets onto your running hardware.  Good luck with that.

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radarblips

In all these "How To's" about liquid cooling, they never tell you how to drain it. How to add more parts to your loop or how to add in a a tube for draining, It feels like u get it together and then hope you never have to take it apart.

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Ceadderman

Well all you should need to do is to run single hose to a spigot fitting with an inline ballvalve fitting further up the line. So when you do wish to flush the old coolant out it has someplace to go without making a mess. 

 I should point out that you'll want a catch container under the spigot when you open it. You shouldn't even have to run the system to flush it so long as the spigot is the lowest point of the system. Gravity is awesome for clearing lines. 

Oh and leak testing? That's what measured fitment and bath tubs are for. Set up your system as if you were going to run it right then and there. (Do NOT use thermal paste yet.) then you can do two things to trick your PSU into operating. You can "MoBo Test" an old MoBo on a product box(why use a jumper if you have a useable connection handy) and with only your pump in the case you can test all your fittings in the tub using distilled water. This also lets you run your pump for 10 minutes as the article suggested. Just keep a towel around your pump in case any leak should develop. Water is environmentally safe so should you have problems you won't be running coolant into the sewer system. You can even put your case in a dry tub to keep everything together and not have to worry about tripping over a line.

 "If at first you don't succeed... Shoot the summabiotch. Problem solved."

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kal9390

This is a nice article, but I wish it had included a list of "cost effective" products for I have been looking at a LCS for the past 2 years yet these prices just don't seem to drop 8*( cause I am  poor college student.

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DRAGONWEEZEL

Yeah, it's not DIY, but it's a mere $75 dollars and my idle temp was just 10 degrees F over room temperature!  My  load tests were pushing a whopping 45C  or 115 F.  I've never seen anything like it!   (granted thats in an antec 900 two case, but still)

THERE ARE ONLY 11 TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD. Those that think binary jokes are funny, those that don't, and those that don't know binary

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Emokidnotrly

there are only 11 types of people in the world. Those that think binary jokes are funny, and those that dont know binary XD

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jakesty@aol.com

What's the third type?  Binary 11 = 3 in decimal

 

Duh!

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Muerte

Okay, let me splain the yoke to you Lucy.

See heonly put 2 because he did not think the yoke was funny so he implies he doesn't know binary by only haveing two answers which implies the joke wasn't funny.

See which is funny in itself.

Well unless you have to splain it to Lucy.

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Devo85x

 I fall into the 01 category for this joke but the 10 category for most of them =]

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p47riot

You fall in the latter category...hmm? XD

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white_sereph

It's a spin in binary on an older joke:

 

There are 3 types of people in this world:  Those who can count, and those who can't

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kavir

You should always leak test your system for 24hrs before plugging in the rest of your hardware. Rushing this will only lead to trouble. Tissue makes finding leaks very easy, it absorbs any leaking fluid and makes it easy to spot.

 Also, there was no mention to using distilled water instead of pre-mix coolants. Distilled water is far cheaper than pre-mixes, does not break down or gunk-up your loop and can be purchased locally. Also, no anti-corrosive should be needed unless you have mixed metals and very few products use aluminium anymore. As far non-conductive goes, any dust on the parts/that entered your loop would negate this anyways. UV reactive tubing is a FAR better, safer and a cheaper option.

 Should there have been a leak onto your components, unplug them immediately and try to wipe off as much as you can. Some recommend leaving it in ispropyl alochol till it dries off and/or using a blow dryer. Keep in mind that it can take up to a month for some parts to work again but most do, even from leaks with the system on unless left unspotted for an extended period. 

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Pcguy1000

Could u also use mineral oil as well?

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A1dan

The case is infact, a Corsair 800D.

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jakesty@aol.com

I wanted to know what that was.  Newegg $299.99, ouch.  I love all of the water ports in the back of the case and of course the open access to the bottom of the CPU.

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mhadina

If I may say - it is a great case but costly for lot of us. I may suggest a IN WIN Maelstrom for around US$120 or a beter one Silverstone raven rv02 for US$200....

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Ceadderman

Bah! Go with the HAF 932. Just as big, cheaper and better than the INWIN Maelstrom. lol

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