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Computers get hot, and they must be cooled. Your average store-bought PC uses a system of fans to pull heat off major components such as the CPU (central processing unit), graphics processor and hard drives. Then the hot air is blown out the back of the machine. That works just fine for most computers doing most jobs. But it's not always ideal, and it does nothing to impress your friends. The other option for dissipating heat is water cooling, or, really, liquid cooling, in which a combination of distilled water and propylene glycol is piped through the guts of the machine. Installing a liquid-cooling system isn't all that difficult, though it can be intimidating. Who can really benefit from this hot-rod project? Mainly, computer users who like to overclock their PCs and run them hard for gaming applications, video processing, sequencing the DNA of Amazonian tree frogs, and the like. Such people often work their processors into a heated frenzy, forcing the fans to run constantly and noisily.

Since liquid transfers heat more efficiently than air, water-cooled PCs can run significantly cooler. (In tests at Popular Mechanics, our liquid-chilled rig ran at 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit at idle - 27 degrees colder than a similar air-cooled computer.) You'll also be able to remove one or more fans, so your water-cooled system will run more quietly. Koolance, Thermaltake, Zalman and other companies sell a variety of water-cooling kits at prices ranging from $150 to $470. (You also can buy the parts piecemeal, but we suggest using a kit for your first water-cooled setup.) A water-cooling system includes a water block, hoses, pump, reservoir, and an external or internal radiator. Make sure you buy a kit that fits your PC's motherboard. It took us about an hour to hook up a Zalman Reserator 2.
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jmiester3 years ago
Nice! I get your magazine, but i didnt realize you guys were on ibles!
Xixfas jmiester2 years ago
lol me too
What motherboard are you using?
SmAsH!5 years ago
Im thinking about doing this...
I have a few questions...
1. could i use a peltier in a separate reservoir to cool the liquid?
2. could i use non-conductive oil in the setup, as the liquid?

 you are a genius! non-conductive oil, like they have on electricity substation cooling units. I would have never thought of that :D
The thicker viscosity of the oil might put a strain on the pump and cause it to fail sooner. That being said, oil would probably be a great alternative.
try antifreeze or alcohol in it.
Well, some oils have a near water viscosity so it would be fine.
But i do see your point.
=) Love to be of help.
How would I water cool some of the other parts?
 check Tiger Direct cheaper than Newegg and fast shipping
you buy special water blocks for them off a site like newegg or xoxide
Danny_Payne5 years ago
Nice ible!
What case is that there?

Daniel =)
ghostrider25 years ago
my computer tech class did something kind of similar, except they just took a fish tank, built the computer inside, and filled it with mineral oil.  it works perfectly, and the mineral oil does an excellent job cooling it.
N3w6 years ago
I dont like it becase it is COMPANI maked not a his made
downgrade8 years ago
Most of you are don't seem to know what you are talking about. Leak check before yes, but after with components off to check for leaks while installing. Secondly water cooling works amazing, and if you are that worried you can get non conductive liquids (some made for watercooling some not) to put in the system. Thirdly you are way better off building a watercooling system from components instead of a kit like that. Also peltiers work nice however then you have to waterproof the motherboard because of possible frost, and peltiers suck up a lot of power so it pretty much requires a second power supply to be of any use, thirdly you still need a water cooling system to cool the peltier or you will end up just heating your processor more...
Or a large heatsink/fan combo.
LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
could you use oil (non-conductive) instead? How much more effective is water? Nice Instructable
de-ionized water is non-conductive. The biggest advantage of most oils is that it does not evaporate like water would at 100C. (Although, creating steam steals a lot of heat). Even De-ionized water however will have some gasses dissolved in it, where the oils will have a much lower concentration of gas absorption.
de-ionized water will also pick up trace elements(they do leach out) and eventually become conductive. It's the impurities that give it conductivity(sp).
gurtek6 years ago
nice pc and expensive kit.............
carlg147 years ago
how much did that zalman kit cost you?
DJ_JS9 carlg146 years ago
too much
ReCreate6 years ago
what if we put blue colored Mineral oil?
they submerge computers in that stuff so you should be safe in a leak
Muscelz6 years ago
bombmaker26 years ago
my brother did this but hooked eveything up to the cooling system for games
neardood6 years ago
your damn riht about the impressing friends part
alexhalford7 years ago
Download mobmeter, it's a tiny program that gives you the temperature of your CPU (along with a load of other info).
something7 years ago
What do i do if i want a cooler for my HP Pavilion Slimline S3220. its compact and doesn't have any internal space.
90 degree bends on the pipes at the cpu waterblock and pipes running straight out of the case so everything but the waterblock is outside of the case unless you can somehow fit it inside either way your radiator is still probably going to be on the outside!
bytowneboy7 years ago
How could would THIS be as a radiator?! Fiddly as hell to make but doable.
bumpus7 years ago
you should think about how to water-cool a dremel mine often over-heats
kudoskun8 years ago
Good starting article for anyone intrested in cooling a rig, but emphasis should be put on leak testing the cooling before its installed over the course of a day (to be super safe) or a few hours. Rather replace a hose or clamp than the mobo and video.
OK...say that you were new to watercooling, that instructions said nothing, about building it outside your rig, & testing it, before you tested it... Now what...Is there a way I can test it, or do I have to pull the whole thing apart & start over? DakotaJoe
Well, if its in and you have been using it. I guess just keep an eye on it. Otherwise, I would build it outside of the box (PC), turn on the pump (w/liquid in the tubes) and let it run. After 'XX:XX' amount of time that you decide on, see if there are any leaks / drops / condensation. I would say leave it overnight (something like 12-24 hrs) If none of it exists, go ahead and install it else.... drain, rebuild, and recheck
Thanks, for the help. I didn't know these things could leak, since it didn't say to check in the instructions.(I figured unless the tubing got a hole in it or something.)

I've yet to fill it, or run it. It's a gigabyte GH-WIU02 : http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/LiquidCooling/Products_Spec.aspx?ProductID=2341

I think they(Gigabyte) call it a 3D Galaxy II
It has this big 1/2" tubing, that when I put it on, wasn't easy to get on, let alone clamped.

The reason. I've asked, is there are two 4 way valves(for upgrading watercooling to the Video Card, later) that I have installed with those plastic locking strips, & it was a pain in the butt getting them in & on the chasis of this enermax Ubu-Chakra case..

I have a 8800GTS, that has a huge fan on it, and its never gone above 68C when OCed to 689/910 I figured I'd leave it, until I've saved up, buy the watercooling version of the 8800GTS, then set them both up with watercooling in SLI.

I did put in extra tubing, so I could pull some of it out, like the waterblock & pump housing/reservoir, then wrap the other parts in paper towels(I have heavy duty shop towels)

OK. Say I do unbolt the block from the CPU, will it be OK, if I leave it(CPU) in the MOBO, while I do this testing of the watercooling for 24 hrs?
It's a Q6600, that wasn't cheap, but then I don't want to ruin the evga 680i SLI board, 4 x 1GB Ballistix Tracer MEM, or other components!
or like the Instructable said
"ruin 2,500/3,000 worth of parts"!


If you have enough tubing, you could build it / test it / then attach it to the system like that, just make sure to drain it before you mount it back on the hardware. Also, you can leave the CPU in the mobo, simply dont turn it on until you have cooling in. The best way to fit the tubes on the nipples (block pipes) is to do the following 1. Fit the clamps on the tubes and move them a few inches down towards the middle 2. Boil some water, put the tube ends in the water to expand them 3. Drop them on the nipples and clamp them. Once they cool down, its a tight fit. 4. Test the night away
Sounds good. That's what I'll do then. Appreciate your help. I'll let you know how it goes! DakotaJoe
smmiller5068 years ago
Great instructable. But I'll be the first one to say that you might do everything right, and things still go wrong. With some computer systems costing well over $5,000 and more, it makes sense to check the seals of everything before the cooling setup comes anywhere near a computer. Everything else that I've ever read is that you set the system up in a bathtub or large sink and run it for 24 hours straight. Since my computer costs around $2,500, and I'm on military pay tables, I'm not risking anything until I KNOW FROM MY OWN OBSERVATIONS that it's watertight.
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