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Best water cooling how-to

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New Member
Feb 14, 2001
I've been performing countless internet searches the past week or so, and I've not been able to find a really good "How-To" manual for constructing a water cooling system for my PC. I am a mechanical engineer with much course history in thermodynamics, so I'm not looking for the most basic of instructions, but something that would provide common specs for systems that are being developed for CPU cooling purposes. I appreciate any feedback anyone can provide. Thank you much for your time.

P.S. If it helps, I do have access to all of the tools required to manipulate the desired components.
If your a ME major then you should be able to design a cooling system thats far better then most of the stuff on the net...

Some of the specs that you'll need I have...others you'll have to determine empiricaly or contact the product vendors...

Do you have a list of the stuff your looking for?
If you are an ME you should be able to use a search engine on the Net. There is lot's to read, much of it is flawed. Read everything. Many of us would be interested in your findings. As in life, it's the practical experience that counts. I am also sure that you will have lots of pertinent advice on specific questions from the experienced crowd here at the Overclocker’s Forums.
I just wanted to thank those of you who spent your time answering my post. I will continue to search for common specs for water-cooling systems and see what I come up with. I'm thinking about ordering a cheap water-cooling kit online, and then taking it apart when I get it and build one up from scratch that way. I'm not very anxious, though, to try my self-built system on my PC for the first time. Do you recommend I purchase a very inexpensive system from a local store and see if that works before I move it onto my primary PC? Thats what I've been thinking about. I don't have a PC yet that requires such a system, but I am contemplating constructing one within the next several months, and I'd like to have the cooling system constructed and in proper working order before I do any shopping for PC components. Again, thank you all for your advice; it is greatly appreciated. Have a good one!
I am curious to know how much you want to spend. Some of the kits out there cost an arm and a leg, and sometimes a toe. My home system I completed under 90 bucks. One of the reasons I went the home route (as will be seen on my upcoming site) was that NO radiator or heater core could fit above the powersupply in my case. By taking 12 feet of copper and bending it around a pipe I created 2 coils. With a 120mm fan in front of them I found that they out preform the standard raditor that others sell for 50 bucks! If you do the kit route make sure of the dimensions of your Case and quality of components the kit has to offer.
Not counting my custom-designed waterblocks, my water-cooling system cost me about US$100.00. I purchased my parts at the 'Depot (reservoir, fittings, waterpump for fountain, hoses) and the Auto Parts store (Hayden Trans-cooler radiator and redline water wetter). The waterblocks are prototypes of a design that I am refining for possible sale, and cost about $200 each! However, you should be able to pick up a good block online from a number of sources for $30-50 with a mounting clip.

Because of the inherent advantages that watercooling affords, most systems have more thermal capacity than the load applied by the CPU. Check out the water cooling section on the front page for some great ideas on how to get started. Lastly, make sure that you have a case that is large enough for the cooling system... I have to buy a new case and PSU to accommodate my watercooling system!

Good luck and keep us posted on your results.

Please take your time in composing a system. Since all of the production (read profit) oriented systems are not truly tested as reliable real world systems, treat any H2O system as bit of a toy. Granted my H20 system earns it’s living daily, it has been offline do to “developmental difficulties.” Because of this and my passion for "correctly applied physics", I am in the process of building a second, duplicate box. Water cooling is a grand and practical adventure, but there is a reason why Dell and Micron are not selling water cooled PCs!