With so many options on the market, water cooling can be as easy or complex as you want it to be. With liquid cooling, you usually have a closed system of tubes that carry the coolant from one component that’s being cooled to another. Even the tiniest amount of liquid on your motherboard or other components can damage, or potentially destroy your entire system. With so many options on the market, water cooling can be as easy or complex as you want it to be. Follow this step-by-step guide to build your own custom Gaming PC! While cooling setups can get quite complex, all-in-one units like NZXT’s Kraken series coolers, or Corsair’s many offerings, are even easier to get setup than most air coolers. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Doing so with air cooling isn’t only difficult, but can damage your components as well. There is also a radiator with fans that keeps the coolant at low temperatures, and the cool liquid then goes to all the components it needs to cool. They’re simple to install and don’t require too much assembly – just install the water block on the component you’re cooling, attach the radiator to the case, and you’re good to go. Even for gaming, a decent air cooler and case fans will keep your components operating well below their throttling points. However, in order to understand this, first, we must take a look at what custom-water cooling really is. First, you’ll need to see how much space you have in your case, and whether you’ll be able to fit all the components you need inside it. I've watercooled for many,many years and i enjoy it, sure air-cooling is easier but i like the look of water cooling. NY 10036. Unlike all-in-one coolers, these systems require that you fill them and do the same regular maintenance that you would with a fully custom system. Water cooling systems have advanced significantly over the last decade. In fact, you will find premium air coolers, such as Noctua’s NH-D15, or Cryorig’s H7, actually, perform much better than some entry level AiO coolers. The environmental benefits make it a welcome addition to green data centers because it significantly reduces cooling energy. There are a few different common tube sizes and appropriate sized fittings need to be selected to provide a tight fit–leaks are the last thing you want. There are claims that it will cut cooling costs in half and save companies millions of dollars. And that’s just from a performance standpoint, the aesthetic improvement is also a plus. The problem is that with a custom loop, you need to source all of the components yourself, plan the loop, build it, and have it housed properly and safely inside your case. If you are really worried about cooling, build your own case out of 1 by 2's and some chip board. Which option you choose is going to depend on how many components you plan on cooling, and how much additional heat you need to dissipate. Liquid cooling, by definition, is the reduction of heat in mechanical and electronic devices by exploiting the properties of liquids. © 2020 | TechSiting | All Rights Reserved. Water-cooling is pretty complicated, but it’s made up of a pump, a reservoir, a radiator, water blocks, and hoses. Last week, I put together a water-cooled Raspberry Pi 4 and overclocked it to 2.0Ghz. How Water Cooling Works. How Water Cooling Works. If you do go custom, make sure you have someone who knows what they’re doing build the loop for you. With a properly implemented custom liquid cooling system you will see considerably improved cooling when compared to AIOs and air coolers. FREE GUIDE: CUSTOM BUILD YOUR OWN GAMING PC. They also don’t need to be topped up as they don’t experience evaporation like DIY setups. Although, if you think it looks cool then it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it to have a computer that looks cool. GPU overclocking has little 'worth', you are not going to notice an extra 3fps. To add to that, when you’ve assembled the loop, you’ll want to be sure that it doesn’t leak anywhere. Because it’s a sealed unit, they require little to no maintenance. They often have different radiator options so you can pick a size that fits your performance requirements and space. Where will you put the radiator? You’ll need to clean the loop, change the coolant every once in a while, and constantly check whether everything is working properly. Our goal is to help people expand their knowledge of the various forms of technology including PCs, laptops, and much more so that they may have the best possible experience when computing. Water cooling is an efficient way to cool a desktop computer if you want to be on the cutting edge of gaming or video rendering, or you value a virtually silent user experience. See Related Article: Best Laptop Cooling Pads For 2020. Leveraging EK’s new Vector water-block for Navi we are about to find out, as they were kind enough to send one over right away for this test. Considering how most of us are not really aware of these terms, it is just better to explore what it is in the first place. Thank you for signing up to PC Gamer. Don't be fooled: These five fridge features just aren't worth it. PC Gamer is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. It’s a completely closed system, and it’s surprisingly effective. Many AiO coolers actually perform similarly to air coolers when it comes to both the temperatures of the components and the level of noise it makes. Thanks, Razer! The statement that any AiO is better than an air cooler is simply wrong. The components of a PC, type of liquid cooling system implemented, as well as the coolant used, determines how effectively cooled that PC will be. You also don’t have that massive cooler hanging from the motherboard, so there’s less stress on it. Please refresh the page and try again. However, most users will never achieve GPU temperatures high enough to warrant the cost or installation process. If, however, you have built multiple PCs in the past and you are looking to build a system that runs a lot cooler and has the CPU and GPU overclocked, then water cooling is a worthy investment (if you have the money to do so, of course). If you’re an enthusiast that wants a great-looking PC build with all the bells and whistles, go with water-cooling. As long as you use a coolant with anti-corrosive additives, you don’t even need to worry about mixing metals when choosing parts, though aluminum products should always be avoided. Your entire build could get destroyed if you aren’t careful. If you go the hard tubing route, you will also need to bend them, and planning such a loop is much more difficult. And the potentially biggest disadvantage if you go the custom route, is the potential of a leak damaging your components. Water-cooling is pretty complicated, but it’s made up of a pump, a reservoir, a radiator, water blocks, and hoses. If you can foot the bill, a custom water cooling solution will outperform air cooling almost every time. This can be a tedious task to say the least and only adds to the maintenance costs of your system. All-in-one loops from brands like Corsair are great inexpensive options, but if you're going to do it yourself, you have to go all in. © Water cooling is the practice of using a liquid powered cooler – very similar to a car radiator – which takes advantage of the superior thermal properties of water to dissipate heat from the processor and often the video cards as well. Liquid cooling isn’t perfect, and yes, there are a few disadvantages. PC Gamer is going back to the basics with a series of guides, how-tos, and deep dives into PC gaming's core concepts that we're calling The Complete Guide to PC Gaming. It worked really well, but the system is really big and quite expensive. The Risks of Liquid Cooling That's why rigid tubing is so popular - not because it is practical, because it sucks in that regard, but because it looks cool when you look at it. With liquid cooling, however, you can easily get a bit more out of your CPU or GPU, or both. In order to maximize compatibility across a wide range of systems, all-in-one units often leave you with more tubing than you actually need. Under heavy loads, any part, from your CPU to your SSD, can experience thermal throttling to shed extra heat, and in doing so, sacrifice a significant chunk of performance. An entirely custom setup also offers the highest level of customization since you are picking your own parts and can mix and match components from different manufacturers. worth noting this was an hour of realbench, then 3 quick cinebench runs, a lot of the youtubers/reviewers only seem to bench for 10-15 minutes, so the water temp doesn't get as high, while the air cooler heats up to temp much quicker. If you are feeling a little more adventurous and want the full performance capabilities of a custom setup without having to pick out each component, certain companies, such as EK, offer kits that include everything you need to put together a basic loop. Even a dispenser (without the cooling) can provide a room-temperature or cool drink of water. Where does the pump go? However, liquid cooling a PC can also be dangerous if water leaks onto hardware. As we mentioned, liquid cooling makes use of the properties of liquids to keep your system cool. The first one is price – a good custom cooling loop can cost as much as an entry level gaming PC. There's much more to come, and it's all being made possible by Razer, which stepped up to support this months-long project. If you do decide to get an AiO, there’s usually nothing to go wrong. Visit our corporate site. Higher level of efficiency. To add to that, the entire system will be much quieter as well. Since cooling is the laptop cooler’s raison d'etre – cooler is right there in the name – we focused first and foremost on temperature control. This option requires the most prep work but isn’t any more difficult to maintain than any of the bundled kits. However, where Liquid cooling is indeed worth it is when its implemented using a custom liquid cooling system rather than an AIO liquid cooler. Would love your thoughts, please comment. There is a pump which pushes the coolant liquid through the loop, making sure all components are cooled. CPU overclocking has little 'worth', loading something a 10th/sec faster isn't noticable. Then you can cut the included tubing to size and assemble the system. Liquid cooling is the best way to cool a CPU because water transfers heat much more efficiently than air. While water cooling can be a big investment, it’s definitely not a big hassle. While water cooling can be a big investment, it’s definitely not a big hassle. The short of it: More trouble than its worth for anything other than the GPU The long of it: IMHO and experience, water cooling is NOT worth it for the CPU as many air coolers already come very close to a water block, but it is very much worth it for the GPU in particular, and possibly the MB. These gimmicky features might look good on a showroom floor, but you'll hate having them in your kitchen. The coolant flows from the reservoir through the pump and is sent to the water blocks. Or do ample research if you plan to build it yourself to ensure the safety of your PC’s components. Just need to drain exhaust manifolds and heat exchanger for winter. Custom water cooling is expensive. In short, yes—water-cooling is better than air, but the gap between the two continues to shrink rapidly. 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