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For Science!

The Best Documented PC Coolants

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Posted · Original PosterOP

It has been almost 2 years since my original discussion about coolants used in liquid cooling being poorly annotated. As you can imagine, not much has changed since . As we all should know, the identity of the fluid running through the PC has little-to-no impact on the performance since the transfer of the heat from a waterblock to the liquid or the liquid to the radiator is not the rate limiting step, it is the radiator --> air step that has the lowest thermal conductivity. This is why whether it is water, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, liquid metal, the thermal capacity and performance of the loop is unlikely to change.

 

Thus provided that the fluid is passing through the system without clogs, the only thing about a coolant is whether it protects the system from growth and corrosion. Like with any computer component, it is important to know the technical specs of anything you want in your system.

 

I have taken it upon myself to compile a summary of coolants and their document active ingredients, highlighting which products have scientifically justifiable components in them. Please note that I have not taken the dye identity into account since pretty much all companies do not list the identity of the dye and so therefore this tier list does not reflect how "cloggy" a coolant is. This tier list reflects how well documented a particular coolant is and how you use it is up to you, it is entirely possible and likely that the coolants contain more substances, but this is based on what is publicly available on their websites. As a minimum, hopefully you can use it to find coolants that are incompatible with PETG. 

 

Tier 1: Biocidal and Anti corrosive compounds specified

Tier 2: Some active ingredient specified, but missing anti-corrosives or biocide

Tier 3: MSDS provided, but lacking any active ingredient

Tier 4: No Information found

 

Clear Coolants

Tier 1

aquacomputer DP Ultra: 20-35% Ethylene Glycol, <1% Benzotriazole

EK-CRYOFUEL Concentrate: 2.5-5 % Sodium 2-ethylhexanoate, <0.02 % Methylisothiazolinone, 0.1-1% Methyl-1H-benzotriazole

Innovatek Protect IP: >25% Ethylene Glycol, 0.5-0.75% Sodium 2-ethylhexanoate, 0.075-0.1 % disodium tetraborate pentahydrate

Phobya ZuperZero Xtreme Concentrate: 30-35% Ethylene Glycol10-15% Potassium 2-EthylHexanoate

Phobya ZuperZero Clear: 25-30% Ethylene Glycol<1% Sodium 2-EthylHexanoate , <1% disodium tetraborate pentahydrate

 

Tier 2

Alphacool Eiswasser Crystal Clear UV: <0.1 % Glutaraldehyde 

Mayhems XT-1: <90% Ethylene Glycol

Nanoxia CoolForce: 90% Ethylene Glycol

XSPC ECX: 0.1-0.3 % "Antirust Additive", 50-80% Propylene Glycol, 0.01-0.1 % "Bactericide" - **Tier 2 for being unspecific

XSPC EC6: 10-100% Propylene Glycol

 

Tier 3

Coollaboratory Liquid Coolant Pro: 10 % Ethylene Glycol

Mayhems X1: 40 % Glycerol

PrimoChill TrueTM Infused: Nothing
Thermaltake T1000: N/A [<6% Propylene Glycol]

 

Tier 4

Corsair Hydro X XL5: N/A

DImasTech X-Fluid: N/A
 

Opaque Coolants

Tier 1

EK-CRYOFUEL OPAQUE CONCENTRATE: 1-2.5 % Sodium 2-ethylhexanoate, 0.01-0.1 % Methylisothiazolinone 

 

Tier 2

Alphacool Eiswasser Pastel: <0.1 % Glutaraldehyde, <0.1%Octan-1-ol ethyoxylated

Nanoxia CoolForce: 90% Ethylene Glycol

Thermaltake C1000: >90% Ethylene Glycol

XSPC EC6: 10-100% Propylene Glycol
 

Tier 3

Mayhems Pastel (Concentrate): 40 % Glycerol

Mayhems Pastel: 10 % Glycerol

PrimoChill TrueTM Infused: Nothing

Thermaltake P1000: N/A [<6% Propylene Glycol]

 

SFX Coolants

Tier 3

Mayhems Aurora Booster: 99% Glycerol

Mayhems Aurora: 40 % Glycerol

Primochill Vue: 14% "Proprietary" 

 

 

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Thank you sir!


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I run Preston 50/50 Antifreeze with Cor-guard through my mixed metal loops :)  $12 bucks for like 5-8 fill ups or more :)


Ryzen Rig 2: ASrock B450 Pro4 ATX, Ryzen 7 1700 @ 4.2ghz all core 1.4vCore, Sapphire R9 Fury Tri-X Nitro 4gb HBM, 16gb (2x8) 3600mhz V-Color Skywalker, Corsair HX850 PSU, Custom Loop 2x240mm + 1x120mm radiator, 128gb Patriot Scorch NVMe Win 10 boot drive, 500gb Samsung 840 EVO SSD, CoolerMaster HAF XM Case.  DSI 90-Key Mechanical Keyboard w/ Cherry Red switches, Zalman ZM-GM1 mouse, Hannspree HF207 and Acer AL2016W monitors

https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/37004594?

Ryzen Rig 1: ASUS B350-PRIME ATX, Ryzen 7 1700, Sapphire R9 Fury Tri-X Nitro 4gb HBM, 16gb (2x8) 3200mhz V-Color Skywalker, ANTEC Earthwatts 750w PSU, MasterLiquid Lite 120 AIO cooler in Push/Pull config as rear exhaust, 250gb Samsung 850 Evo SSD, Patriot Burst 240gb SSD, Cougar MX330-X Case.  Zalman K600S keyboard, Zalman ZM-GM1 mouse, Acer XF270HU 2560x1440 144hz IPS monitor

https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/37628874?

Dwight: The Mixed Metals Loop Media Center.  Ask me about it.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 hours ago, Tristerin said:

I run Preston 50/50 Antifreeze with Cor-guard through my mixed metal loops :)  $12 bucks for like 5-8 fill ups or more :)

Which is 45-55 % Ethylene glycol, <5 % diethylene glycol and <5 % Sodium 2-ethylhexanoate.

 

Honestly better documented than the majority. Solid Tier 1.

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2 minutes ago, For Science! said:

Which is 45-55 % Ethylene glycol, <5 % diethylene glycol and <5 % Sodium 2-ethylhexanoate.

 

Honestly better documented than the majority. Solid Tier 1.

Super informative, I just did what the metallurgist's at my work suggested lol - appreciate that insight!


Ryzen Rig 2: ASrock B450 Pro4 ATX, Ryzen 7 1700 @ 4.2ghz all core 1.4vCore, Sapphire R9 Fury Tri-X Nitro 4gb HBM, 16gb (2x8) 3600mhz V-Color Skywalker, Corsair HX850 PSU, Custom Loop 2x240mm + 1x120mm radiator, 128gb Patriot Scorch NVMe Win 10 boot drive, 500gb Samsung 840 EVO SSD, CoolerMaster HAF XM Case.  DSI 90-Key Mechanical Keyboard w/ Cherry Red switches, Zalman ZM-GM1 mouse, Hannspree HF207 and Acer AL2016W monitors

https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/37004594?

Ryzen Rig 1: ASUS B350-PRIME ATX, Ryzen 7 1700, Sapphire R9 Fury Tri-X Nitro 4gb HBM, 16gb (2x8) 3200mhz V-Color Skywalker, ANTEC Earthwatts 750w PSU, MasterLiquid Lite 120 AIO cooler in Push/Pull config as rear exhaust, 250gb Samsung 850 Evo SSD, Patriot Burst 240gb SSD, Cougar MX330-X Case.  Zalman K600S keyboard, Zalman ZM-GM1 mouse, Acer XF270HU 2560x1440 144hz IPS monitor

https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/37628874?

Dwight: The Mixed Metals Loop Media Center.  Ask me about it.

Micro Form Factor Dell OptiPlex 3040: Dell 0MGK50 A02, i3-6100T, 4gb DDR3 1600, Team Group 120gb SSD, Windows 10 Pro, Logitech K400+, M.2 Intel Wifi/Bluetooth

Linux Box: Toshiba Laptop, i7 620M, NVS graphics, 2gb ram tinker toy at the moment.  Running Manjaro at the moment

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2 hours ago, Tristerin said:

I run Preston 50/50 Antifreeze with Cor-guard through my mixed metal loops :)  $12 bucks for like 5-8 fill ups or more :)

 

2 hours ago, For Science! said:

Which is 45-55 % Ethylene glycol, <5 % diethylene glycol and <5 % Sodium 2-ethylhexanoate.

 

Honestly better documented than the majority. Solid Tier 1.

Agreed. I ran a Prestone Universal coolant at about a 20% coolant 80% water mix in my old loop and did zero service to it. Eventually after 5-6 years some white gunk formed and clung to surfaces and then it sat stored for about 8 years. Other than the white gunk nothing went bad, corroded, etc. Washed the loop out, it all works fine. For long term use car coolants seem to be solid choices, they're made to handle much worse conditions than PC's experience.

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I wonder, if you pushed coolant temp up above 150-170F for a bit would it kill anything living in the loop? Like pasteurizing foods?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Bitter said:

I wonder, if you pushed coolant temp up above 150-170F for a bit would it kill anything living in the loop? Like pasteurizing foods?

This will change the pH as well as likely change the chemical constituents of the coolants. Furthermore practically speaking heating the coolant within a loop is obviously a bad idea since these temps are too hot even for the things like pumps. Chemical biocides mean that you do not have to work at these non-physiological temperatures.

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3 hours ago, For Science! said:

This will change the pH as well as likely change the chemical constituents of the coolants. Furthermore practically speaking heating the coolant within a loop is obviously a bad idea since these temps are too hot even for the things like pumps. Chemical biocides mean that you do not have to work at these non-physiological temperatures.

I was thinking with car coolant it would be less not OK? Cars run 240F regularly.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, Bitter said:

I was thinking with car coolant it would be less not OK? Cars run 240F regularly.

But with automotive coolant (and most other coolants), there is no need to heat it since it is so toxic anyway

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I just read this memo/warning from singularity computers (cause im gonna buy a SC reservoir/pump top) and compared with your chart to see if I could determine one or more ingrediants that could cause issues with his acrylic/acetyl but unfortunately there wasnt really enough information to make any determinations.

 

Ive also been considering making my own coolant, possibly with distilled water of course and Mayhems Biocide+ & inhibitor (the ones in 15ml bottles) and some Propylene Glycol (since I make my own eliquid & have alot of it) but Im not sure if the PG could cause an issue, possibly at higher percentages? It seems most companies use between 6%-15% of Propylene Glycol in their coolants however looking at your chart it looks like XSPC uses up to 50%-100%! (which seems like way too much). 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
10 minutes ago, sdmf74 said:

 

Note that some of these coolants are meant to be diluted with distilled water before use, and so the working concentration of PG will be lower.

 

I also cannot come up with a reason why for example Aquacomputer DP Ultra seems to be particularly bad for the SC products. But it may be more to do with anecdotal evidence than anything with scientific grounding.

 

I have a chemical compatibility chart for PMMA (Acrylic) that I can pull up and show which typical compounds are bad for PMMA, PETG, if you think its useful.

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