Computer Rabies–Fearing Water

So first of all let me assert my firm belief that
the only thing we have to fear. . .is fear itself. . .
nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes
needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

–Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Terror of Rain

Yesterday, I finally got my friend to put water cooling into my test system.

Why him and not me? Let’s just say that Bob Vela is not laying awake in bed at night worrying about me.:)

If Bob Vela is or at least should be awake at night worrying about you, the next part is not for you; it’s for those of you who are like me.

Joe Citarella has been preaching water cooling to me for a long time. I’ve been personally resistant for quite a while, and I came up with a number of reasons why.

Unfortunately, the CPU manufacturers are coming up with even a bigger reason to do it. Heat. Lots and lots of heat.

So when Joe handed me pumps and hoses and waterblocks, I said OK, and waited for my friend to become available.

He finally did yesterday, and in the process, I realized what was really underlying all my reasons for reluctance.

Fear. Simple, plain, fear.

Most of us have computer hydrophobia.

I feared leaks worse than the President of the United States.

Nonetheless, somewhat reassured by Mr. Citarella, and additionally assured by my friend, we went ahead.

And there was nothing to it.

You connect hoses from waterblock to pump to radiator and back again. You cut the hoses to size, put them in and put on a clamp. You put all these things someplace, and you hook up the fan on the radiator to a power supply. My friend said it was jus

I know, a lot of you are hollering, “These aren’t detailed instructions!!” I know. We have and will write more instructions. I’m not writing about instructions, I’m writing about fear.

The basic procedure took very little time, maybe ten minutes. If you can put a motherboard in, you can do this.

We turned it on. It took a little while to get going. But soon, we saw water splashing through the tubes AND STAYING IN THEM.

Then we stopped seeing water splashing. All that meant was that the air was out of the tubes.

We ran it for hours while I was getting acquainted with the quirks of an Athlon board. The Thunderbird is one hot little sucker. The tubing containing the water coming was the processor was
pretty warm. The water coming from the radiator was cooler, but not cold. But the T-Bird cranked along with no problems.

The gurgle

On the whole, it was much quieter than the usual complement of fans. One last boundary of fear to cross, though.

The only noise the system makes is a gurgle. Normally, a pleasant, innocuous sound. I never thought a gurgle from a tube would cause me fear. Until now.

For the first hour or so, I hear the gurgle and watched. And feared it was the death gurgle of my computer.

After a while, though, you get used to it. Well, somewhat used to it, but give me some more time.:)

“It’s Just Like Putting Together A Fishtank”

Those of you who are already doing this may be laughing at my fear. No problem. I’ll probably join you in a couple weeks. 🙂

You don’t have the fear, and probably don’t even see what the big deal is. My friend didn’t. He’s the one who compared it to putting together a fishtank.

But most people do. Most people think this is extreme, and something they’d never do. Those are the people I’m talking to now.

This isn’t extreme. This isn’t something that requires a ton of expertise to actually build. If you or somebody you know can take care of a fishtank, they can do this.

Mind you, we are just talking about water cooling. Add Peltiers to the mix, and you add another level of complexity to this. Just water.

Be cautious, of course. Buy good equipment. Watch what you’re doing. Don’t go at it half-assed. But this is not rocket science.

If you don’t feel personally comfortable doing this, that’s fine. Find somebody who is. Again, remember the fish tank. Someone who can do that can do this.

Think about it.

Email Ed

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