Jeff's Water Cooling Journey

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The evolution of a water cooling system. — Jeff Armstrong.

Done

Final Version: Big fan with filter – I hate dust.

It all started a couple of years ago when I read on Overclockers.com that we could make our CPUs run faster if we could keep them cool. It struck me that water was good for this purpose and I set out to try and figure out a way that I could use water to cool my CPU. Remember – this is before we could just order up a nice water block.

Cooler

My first water cooler attempt – Abit BP6, 1 CPU

That’s when I found AGAWEB on your links page; he gave me the idea for the PVC pipe cap water block. This worked fine for my BP6 board and was the foundation for all of my systems until I switched to the Athlon. My home made mounting system was not good enough to risk attaching it to the Athlon.

WB

Home made water block.

This version of my water-cooled set up was the most impractical one of all:

Frigo

It consisted of a small refrigerator with the radiator and water reservoir inside. This worked very well, but condensation on the water block became an issue, not to mention moving the computer was no longer feasible. My wife also started bugging me about the growing mess in the corner, so I needed to find a more practical solution.

WBK

After reading Overclockers.com’s review of the new Koolance case, I liked the way the water block mounted, so I ordered the water block and incorporated it into my system, concentrating on making it neat and practical.

Cooler Front

This was the chilled version.

Now in its current form (ECS K7S6A, Athlon 1.4 @ 1650, 11 FSB 150/150/30, MSI GEforce3 Ti200, 512 MB DDR) it is quiet; all fans are slow turning but have a lot of flow. It almost looks normal, not the beast it once was and best of all, it’s a stable system.

Open

Fan

I think the most innovative part of this setup is the shroud that I added to my transmission cooler to help the fans draw the maximum amount of air over the fins.

Tran

Before I added this, it had a hard time dissipating the heat and my reservoir temps slowly kept rising. Now with the shroud, it easily keeps up with the Athlon.

Open

ECS K7S6A, 1400 Athlon @ 1575, 150 FSB, never exceeds 100F.

My small water reservoir now stays at a constant temp no matter how long and hard I run it. I think the one thing most other water cooler setups lack is a decent shroud for the radiator. There is a lot of performance to be gained by adding a shroud to the fan.

Jeff Armstrong

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