Watercooling Niggles

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Fab’s wish list – Fab

This is an open message to watercooling manufacturers about how to make watercooling parts that won’t drive your customers nuts. As a watercooling buyer, you can read this as a kind of “some handy info about watercooling” guide.

I’ve been watercooling for quite some time now. I’ve tried more setups than you can shake a stick at. I also run a watercooling store, so I know a little about what consumers want.

The Perfect CPU block…

would not need you to take your motherboard out to install it. So many manufactures do this and it drives me nuts. I know it’s very hard to make a fixture which will work with any socket without you needing to take the motherboard out. You may even need to included two different size screws or something *gasp*. Taking out motherboards is very time consuming for us and we would rather not have to do it, thanks.

Oh – and please don’t coat the base with some stupid material that will leave a residue when we peel it off.

Another thing with CPU blocks is the manufacture should do everything in their power to make sure they don’t leak. While leak-testing is all well and good, occasionally a block which runs for months without loosing a drop of water will suddenly spring a leak. CPU block are often parked right were any drips will fall onto the graphics card, and graphics cards are expensive and do not like to be shorted out. While this is often the users fault, the manufacture should do everything they can to ensure the seal is of a long lasting quality, and the bundled barbs include O-rings.

The Perfect Reservoir…

would not have 3 or 4 ports and only 2 barbs included. 90% of systems will have one input and one output from the reservoir. We don’t want to have to find a shop who will charge us an hour’s wages for a little plastic plug to cover the extra hole in the reservoir. If you are going to give us lots of holes, include something to fill them in with if we decide not to use them.

Reservoirs as a whole are a flawed concept. You need them at the top of the loop so that the water flows down into the other components when you are filling the system up. Of course, when you go to empty the system out, you can’t now do it via the reservoir, as its too high up. In reality the most practical way to fill and empty your system would be a “T” line. The “T” should be at the lowest point of the system and the top of the filling tube should be at the top. This way the tube can be used to both fill and empty the system, without you getting water everywhere.

The Perfect Radiator:

Radiators are in interesting one. One thing I often find with them is they need to be rinsed out before they can be used. They tend to ship with metal filings, etc, still inside them. Of course the customer does not know this, and has to throw down the drain the first 2 liters of coolant that he paid $5 for and is ruined by the little metal filings now whisping around his loop. So rinse them out for us please. Thanks.

Another thing: Radiators are often placed where they can be seen. From my experience, at least 40% of radiators ship with paint chips, bent fins, and generally don’t look as good as the photo did. If you see a chip on a radiator in the factory, don’t just scribble over it with some black marker pen (yes, I’ve seen that trick so many times..), don’t ship the damn radiator, repaint it, or make it reduced price stock!

The Perfect Pump:

The biggest problem with pumps today is they are seriously overpriced. $80 for a pump is just ridiculous, but thats what all the big brand names want for a decent pump! I know of at least one less known company who does pumps significantly cheaper than this, which leads to believe somewhere along the line someone is putting far too much markup on the big-name pumps.

Another thing which would be nice to see somebody do is a fixture to attach the pump to the case properly. I appreciate that this is probably a tough issue to tackle so I won’t make it more than a passing suggestion.

There are a wide variety of pumps available, all very different. So beyond the above, I can’t make any generalized comments.


The biggest problem with tubing is that it gets too easily corroded or stained. Anyone planning on watercooling would do well to buy the most expensive tubing they could get their hands on – trust me, the cheap stuff really is nasty. I could write a whole article about what tubing to buy, but the gist is that cheap tubing does not bend easily and tends to leak. Use expensive tubing and avoid mixing harsh chemicals into your water, such as anti-freeze, if you want your tubing to stay clear. Also don’t waste your money on a tube cutter – a nice heavy duty pair of scissors does the job just fine.


Plastic barbs drive me nuts. Anybody who has ever tried pulling tubing off a plastic barb will agree. They tend to have one large lip, which is a bitch to get tubing off. They also feel like they are going to snap, and are prone to leaking. The perfect barb is one with lots of small lips and preferably made of metal. If companies would please stop bundling plastic barbs with their products, they would be doing the world a great service. Buyers – make an effort to get metal barbs, you wont regret it.

Thats all for now, I hope this helps somebody somewhere. Feel free to email me if you any questions or comments.


Ckeck out my site DoomedPC – Thanks!

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