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Liquid Cooling



A computer's many componenents produce large amounts of heat while it is running. These components include itergrated circuits, such as CPU's, chipset, and graphic cards, along with hard drives. The heat produced must be cooled in order to keep these components at a safe level. Overheated parts generally have a shorter maximum life-span and may give problems resulting in system freezes or crashes. A computer's microchips are full of electric transistors, which are basically electrical switches that are either on or off. As transistors change their states between on and off, electricity moves around in the microchip. The more transistors a chip contains and the faster they change states, the hotter the chip gets. If they get to hot, the chip will fail. There are three different types of liquid based cooling. They are water, refrigerant and dialectic fluid. Liquid cooling is essentially a radiator for the CPU inside of the computer. A liquid cooling system circulates a liquid through a heat sink attached to the processor inside of the computer. As the liquid passes through the heat sink, heat is transferred from the hot processor to the cooler liquid. The hot liquid then moves out to a radiator at the back of the case and transfers the heat to the air outside of the case. The cooled liquid then travels back through the system to the CPU to continue the process.



Liquid cooling is a much more efficient system at drawing heat away from the processor and outside of the system. This allows for higher clock speeds in the processor as the temperatures of the CPU core are still within the manufacturer's specifications. This is the main reason why extreme overclockers like to favor the use of liquid cooling solutions for their processors. It is possible to almost double the processor speed by using very complex liquid cooling solutions. The other benefit of liquid cooling is the reduction of noise within the computer. Most current heat sink and fan combinations tend to generate a lot of noise for the fans that need to circulate air over the CPU and through the system. Also, its electronic components produce more heat than the air around them can absorb. Water has a higher thermal conductivity than air - it can move heat faster than air can.




Unfortunately there are a large number of disadvantages to liquid cooling in computer systems these days. Some disadvantages are size and technical skills required to install a kit. Liquid cooling kits require a large amount of space within the computer case to work effectively. In order for the system to work properly, there must be space for items such as the impeller, the fluid reservoir, the tubing, fan and power supplies. This needs a larger desktop system case to fit all of the parts in the computer. It is possible to have much of the system outside of the case, but then it would take up space in or around the desktop. When installing the system it is very dangerous for the computer parts inside.


Putting your system together

water cooling your pc step 1


Step 1:Preparing your machine is the hardest part. Before you can hook up your water-cooling kit, you must remove your computer's motherboard. That means opening up the case, and unplugging all cards and cables from the board. Make sure whenever you unplug cards and cables, you pull from the connector, not the wire to keep the two from ripping apart. Take carefulnote of the setup, you'll have to reconnect everything later.


water cooling your pc step 2


2:Once the motherboard is loose, unclip and remove the heat sink. This will have a fan and is in the center of the chip. Make sure not to rip the chip straight off the motherboard. Use a gentle twist and slide it because the thermal paste already on the chip makes it stick. Then clean the top of the exposed chip with an alcohol wipe and apply thermal paste. A thermal paste is a silicone-based grease. It should come with the kit.



Picking the right sytem

Koolance, Thermaltake, and Zalman sell a variety of water-cooling kits ranging from $150 to $470. You can buy the parts seperate but I suggest buying a kit for your first water-cooled setup.


A water-cooling systems components includes a water block, hoses, pump, reservoir, and an external or internal radiator.


Is it worth getting?

Liquid cooling is still only really effective for those people who are interested in over clocking their computers well beyond what air cooling will allow. Since the size is so big, and the intsallation is still difficult, it is not needed for a general computer.





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