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Water cooled computers

23/11/07

Water cooled computers

Permalink 10:53:24 am by Eugene Gardner, Categories: General

I feel I should record my thoughts on having just delivered to my client the first water cooled computer I have built.

My first comment with the benefit of hindsight is 'don't do it Malcolm'. The reasons are that the total cost of parts that were used on this project for water cooling were 290. I may have been able to shave a little off this by shopping around more, but this is still more than the cost of upgrading the hardware to faster specifications. And no account is taken of the extra time cost of adding water cooling and overclocking.

Another reason water cooling is espoused is noise reduction. Well, unless you are having the pump and radiator fans ducted to another room, my experience is that high quality air cooling is no more noisy.

Further, the coolant needs to be replaced at least annually and checked quarterly. Servicing regular computers is something I advise, but those who don't do it (99% of the population) are not seriously disadvantaged. This is not the case with water flowing around your electrical components.

Having said that, if water cooling is wanted take advise from the experts before proceeding. My biggest change next time would be to buy a different chassis - one with space for the extra components. Also, after using a water circuit to cool the CPU and GPU the choice has to be made of whether to use air or a second water circuit to cool the chipset, RAM and HDD.

Possible places to do some research before you start the project are:
http://www.hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=91
http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/forumdisplay.php?f=181
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=70

You will need good tools for measuring voltages, temperatures, fan and pump speeds and don't trust a single measurement. I found I had to get the latest beta version of SpeedFan to avoid sub-zero temperature readings !

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