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Water Cooling 101 - A good place for newbies to start

Water cooling Basic
Water cooling breaks down into two subcategories:

1) Custom Loop cooling- You add different parts to make a whole water cooling loop. These consist of; Pumps, Water blocks, (CPU, GPU, Mobo, Mosfets, Ram HDD If you can think of a computer part someone makes a block for it.) Radiators, and lastly Reservoir. You can mix and match all these different parts in different way to create a loop that is tailored made for your system.
2) All in one closed cooling loops- The name is pretty self explanatory. These all self contained cooling system that pull all those different parts into one unite. They are always sealed and cannot be opened. They compare to good high end air cooling apparatuses but cannot keep up with a custom cooling loop. I won't be cover just about anything on these as they are very popular products and don't need much explanation

Your budget is going too decided on which route you will take on these two ideas. If you are looking to stay under $150 you will probably want to go with the All in one closed cooling loops. You will get what you pay for with this group. If you are looking to jump into the Custom water cooling world look to start with about $300 and it will go up from there. I have seen people on this forum that easily spend $1000+ on their loops. Don't think you can cheap out on WC you will regret it in the end and more than likely spending more because of it.

Watercooling basic theory and Delta-T
*This all comes from TomsHardware Sticky v2 by Rubix_1011 all credit goes to him. He does far better job explaining this all then I could. (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277130-29-read-first-watercooling-sticky)

Watercooling is based on the set of principles that water is proportionally better than air to conduct heat away from a heat source based on conduction, or the direct contact of a heated source and a cooling source to transfer heat energy rather than convection, otherwise known as thermal conductivity. The ability of a substance to directly absorb heat energy is considered it's specific heat; in this case, the ability of heat directly absorbed by water and the required energy to raise overall temperatures by 1°C. While convection takes place with normal air coolers to provide the ability for air to absorb dissipated heat from the cooler, watercooling also employs this concept to some degree. Once the water absorbs heat energy via conduction from the blocks, it then transfers that through tubing to radiators cooled by fans. The difference is that a larger amount of heat energy is able to be absorbed and moved at any given time with a water loop due to pump flow forcing turbulent water through the radiator tubes while the radiator provides greater surface area to conduct heat energy from the water to the radiator and then into the air. The process is more efficient at transferring, displacing and dissipating excess heat energy based on the delta-T of the loop design. In short, the ability of water's excellent specific heat allow it to absorb heat much more quickly and efficiently from a source of heat (as well as also dissipating that heat back to a cooling source for dissipation) so it can also transport far more of that absorbed energy due to the thermal capacity of it as a medium away from heat sources to be expelled elsewhere.

Thermal Conductivity of Common Cooling Mediums (@~20°C; W/mK)
Higher values are better

Mineral Oil........................................0.162
Alcohol(Ethyl, Isopropyl, Buytl)...........0.161-0.200
Ethylene Glycol..................................0.258

Specific Heat of Common Cooling Mediums (@~20°C;kJ/kg.K)
Higher values are better

Mineral Oil........................................1.67
Ethylene glycol..................................2.36
Ethylene glycol..................................2.36

When it comes to figuring out how much radiator you need for your specific loop, you have to start doing some math. I know that we all have been building a loop and thought, ˜how many, what size and what kind of radiators do I need for this loop to stay cool like I want?"

First tip: Google is your best friend to help find TDP (Thermal Design Power}

Finding out what the TDP or your CPU or GPU is can be as simple as doing some searches by searching for i7 2600k TDP', GTX 580 TDP, or AMD 6970 TDP. Remember to account for all components, if you run a multi-card graphics setup, you need to include the TDP values for all cards in the total. For example, our i7 2600k has a stock TDP of about 95 watts at 100% load (estimated). If we have a 2x SLI setup of GTX 580's, we are looking at about 244 watts at 100% load, per card. Total? About 583 watts in heat that these three components can potentially produce when at 100% load, simultaneously; it's also safe to consider that heat dissipation can never be 100% efficient of power consumption, so even calcuating 85-90% of your TDP total is pretty safe. (This also translates very closely to wattage when you need to consider a power supply for your system, but you need to account for the remaining components: motherboard, fans, hard drives, DVD drives, etc. To help calculate a full system TDP, you can use a tool like the Extreme PSU Calculator (link). In short, when calculating loop TDP, simply add up the total values for components being cooled in the loop...if you have more than one video card, make sure you add in TDP for each one. If you want to simply calculate the overclocked TDP wattage of your CPU, just adjust the CPU section of the calculator or utilize the calculation listed a bit later.

Once you have calculated your total loop TDP potential, you need to consider radiators that dissipate heat in watts depending on flow rate of your loop and fans being used and their speeds/power. For this task, I almost always refer to *Skinneelabs.com link from Archive.org* for all of this crucial information, graphs and comparisons.

For example, I am going to reference the XSPC RX360 radiator for this loop. Given the total TDP of 583 watts, I want to know if this single radiator is enough for my loop, or if I should consider another radiator.


Looking at this chart, we can see that the maximum amount of heat this radiator can dissipate is around 555 watts using 2800 rpm fans (very fast, very loud). You could get better results in a push/pull scenario, but that's even louder; you may be able to live with a 15-20° delta and loud fans if you went this route.

In short, Delta-T is the load temperature of the water in your loop when compared to ambient air temps; if your room ambient is 27°C, and load water temp is 34°C, this gives you an approximate Delta of 7°C if you are running 100% load on all components being cooled by the loop. Basically, delta-T is a mathematical derivative of your ambient room temperature, flow rate, heat to be dissipated (in watts) and the ability of your radiator to dissipate heat (in watts) depending on fans used to produce the cooling impact by the loop as a whole. You'll notice the chart above has a listing of different fans in the upper-left corner: this determines the angle of the graph and the temperature delta on the left side of the graph. Lower fan speeds correlate to a higher delta-T as you add more heat in watts to the loop. The more heat you produce, the more important it is to remove it from the loop; and fans help accomplish this goal. If you notice the actual temperatures on the lines of the graph at the determined points (around 300 watts of load and around 555 watts), you'll see that the fan speed allows the heat dissipation to be rather normalized. However, the further to the right (and up the graph you go), you'll also notice that your delta-T rises. Below a 5° is incredibly good, 10° is still very good and even 15° deltas are very much the norm. If we wanted to run this loop at a 10° delta, we would need to run two of these RX360 radiators to keep the heat load in watts below 300 watts dissipated per radiator with fans of 600-2800 rpm (in a single-fan setup; push/pull would allow some leniency here; perhaps a RX360 and an RX240, instead).

Granted, TDP and determining our delta-T isn't an exact science, but it gets us pretty close. It's a bit more tedius to calculate CPU overclocked wattage; however, here is a great calculation to help CPU overclocking and estimated TDP:

OC Wattage = TDP * ( OC MHz / Stock MHz) * ( OC Vcore / Stock Vcore )^2

[TABLE=width: 760]


Quote :

Intel i7 2600k
3.4ghz (3400mhz)
95 watts TDP

For this example I will use a relatively average overclock voltage of 1.35v to reach 4.5ghz (4500mhz)

OC Wattage = TDP x ( OC MHz / Stock MHz) x ( OC Vcore / Stock Vcore )^2

OC Wattage = 95 x (4500/3400) x (1.35/1.25)^2

OC Wattage = 95 x (1.3235) x (1.08)^2

OC Wattage = 95 x 1.3235 x 1.1664

OC Wattage = 147 (which is exactly what was calculated by the PSU calculator for overclocked CPU watts on this chip)



*This is all very complicated and can be hard to understand. You will likely need to do more reading then what I can provide here. I do have a general rule that you can read about in the Rad section of this guide that can make all this complicated stuff unnecessary.
[h=2]For more information please refer to overclocker.com Guide to Delta-T in Water Cooling[/h]

Edited by wkdpaul
Swap link to archive.org, because the original is now malicious
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Where to start

Now that you have an understanding behind the theories of Water cooling. This is a good place to really start understanding what is in Custom water cooling loops. But more importantly how do you get one built. My guide here should only be half the story of building a loop. I won't go into detail about the finite processes of putting together a loop. Linus has already done a great job of really showing you how that process works; far better than I could in a forum post. I will hopefully be able to help when it comes to picking out the right components that go into a water cooling loop. Please check out his 4 part guide on Water cooling. This should be what you refer to when you are actually putting a loop together. These Guides are much better at showing how things fit together then I could even type out.


Ultimate Water Cooling Guide Part 1 - Preparation Procedure NCIX Tech Tips



Ultimate Water Cooling Guide Part 2 - Block & Component Installation NCIX Tech Tips



Ultimate Water Cooling Guide Part 3 - Tubing, Liquid & Conclusion NCIX Tech Tips



Guide Part 4 - Maintenance and Upgrades for your Liquid Cooled System NCIX Tech Tips

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Individual components explained

Now that you have seen what it takes to put together a Custom Watercooling Loop it is time to pick out what is best for you and your needs. I am always willing to help and give suggestions when it comes to loops but I can’t sit here and tell you what to pick and buy. It is often going to come down to personal preferences and trial and error. The best thing when you’re not sure about a component or are stuck in deciding between two components is to just do a Google search on them. Almost always you will find some kind of benchmark someone has ran with what you are interested in. I will tell you now that most all high quality water cooling components are very similar when it comes to performance and tend to just vary in looks and extra features. I.e LED lighting


Let’s start with the heart and soul of the watercooling loop. These are what move the water around your loop and are the only moving part in the loop. This means that they are about the one part that can fail on you. There a few basic terminologies that you need to know about pumps; flow rate which is characterized with GPH (Gallons per hour) LPH (Litters per hour). Or simplify put is how much water a pump and move in a given amount of time. The second is the head pressure; which is the amount of force which is applied to the water when there is restriction in the loop. As you add more restrictions in your loop, (like adding more block into one loop) the head pressure how much harder a pump can push to combat this restriction.

As you can see in the graph as the flow rate increases the head pressure decrease. It is true in the reverse manner.


The two most common pumps are as follows:

* It should be noted that most pumps come in both a variable speed version and well as a fixed speed.

· Laing DDC


These come in all different kinds of brands in a few different shapes and sizes. They are characterized by have higher head pressure but low flow rights. They are known for getting hotter than other pumps and are often recommended having a heat sink on them.

· Laing D5


D5 can come in all different sizes, as seen on the picture on the right but the most common is the one on the far right. They are known for creating higher flow rates but lower head pressures. It should be noted that they tend to be much larger than their DDC counter parts.

· Pumps built into blocks and rads.


They make pumps that are built right into CPU blocks such as the Swiftech Apogee Drive II. It is a way to reduce the number of parts you have in a loop to make it simpler. They can also be built into a rad/res combo. So you have all 3 things in one part of your loop. They are both a good alternative but the CPU block pump combo won’t give you the same kind of performance as if you had separate ones. The same goes for the res/rad/pump combo and with these they tend to be very expensive.

Using multiple pumps.

Using more than one pump in a loop is a common practice. It give you a few distinct advantages. The first is probably the most important, it gives you redundancy in your loop. If a pump were to fail the second or ever third pump will still keep moving water. It is advised to replace a dead pump in a loop and not depend on a single pump in a duel pump set up, however it will make sure you don't have meltdown if you are not present when a pump dies. Second is running more than one pump will increase the head pressure in your loop. This is not to say that it will increase the flow rate in a loop however. If you run a loop that is considered to have a really high restriction. Have a multi-pump set up can help increase the performance of it. Lastly multi-pump set ups are very useful if you are considering a parallel loop over a series loop. Series Vs Parallel loops are a little to advanced for this guide but if you are interested in learning more please check the following




You can theoretically run any pump in a multi-pump set up. You just want to make sure you are using the same kind of pump. IE using a D5 with a D5 or a DDC with a DDC. However the most common double or triple pump setup are with DDC pumps. Seeing as one of the goals of a multi-pump setup is increasing head pressure they are a good choice to do that. Many companies make Pump Housings that fit on the top of more than one pump and let you run them together.



Other types you might see but are far less common are

o Jingway

o Iwaki

o Eheim

o Aquarium pumps (not at all recommended but I have seen them before)

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This is a pretty simple subject but is often overlooked. You really just want a fan that matches the size of your radiator that is SP (static pressure) optimized. Just like water pumps, fans have to be able to push air through a restrictive area. CFM ratings do very little to help you pick a good SP fan. I have added some Fan round ups but as time goes on they will become out of date. So a quick Google search will help you pick fans you can afford, that match your style and color theme, and will work well in a radiator set up.




*Note- People always asks if your fans should push or push, or both push and pull. The quick answer is push and pull perform very closely and push/pull will always give you better performance. Linus did a good video on it and can be seen here:

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Reservoir- Res

This is a very simple item it stores the extra water that is not being fed through the loop at any given time. They come is all shapes and sizes. They can be tube shaped, rectangular/square shaped, some are 5.25†double or single bay mounted with or without pumps, some are attached to the tops of pumps. A res really comes down to what you want to spend, what works best with the form factor of you case and what you like aesthetically. There is only one thing you have to know about your res. MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS, ALWAYS PUT YOUR RES IN FRONT OF YOUR PUMP IN YOUR LOOP. ALWAYS. Water should always be directly fed from your res to you pump. This is a point a lot of new Water coolers forget to do. Your pump must always have water flowing into it when it is on. If a pump runs dry it will die.


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Radiators- Rad

Radiators are the heat exchanging part of your loop. They take the heat from your block and pass it into the air. Water is pumped through small channels which run down the length of the rad. In between each channel are rows of fins that help to increase the surface area of the rad which help with the heat exchange. Rad’s generally come in 3 different styles and each style comes in different fin densities (which we will get to in a little bit) and differing thicknesses of rads. They are generally from 25mm thick up to 75mm thick.

· The first style is single square rads. They come in sizes from ~80mm to ~200mm. They match up to fans of the same footprint and are designed to fit in a single fan slots in cases. The most common sizes are 120mm and 140mm but customs ones can be found in just about any size that you can find a fan in. (These are the last picture in the group)

· The second style is rectangular rads. They are just like stacking multiple square rads together. Most of these are 2x,3x 4x, stacked 120 or 140mm square together. You can find more stacked or larger or smaller rad sizes but the 120 and 140mm are the most common and the most affordable. ( The first item in the picture)

· The last style is just box rads. This is just like stacking multiple rectangular rads next to each other. Almost always they are used outside of the case and are attached to a stand. As they tend to be much too large to fit inside the computer case. (the middle item in the picture)


All radiators are listed with FPI or Fins per inch. Which means that along the channels that carry water for every inch there is X number of fins. Most rads come with a FPI of 7-30. So if you have a FPI of 7 you have 7 fins for every inch the rad is long. The important thing to understand that is the higher the FPI the higher the amount of cooling potential but understand; that the higher the FPI the higher the static pressure of your fans needs to be to be able to move the air through the more restrictive rad. Likewise you often need to run fans at higher RPMs to move the air through the rad. This means more noise they will produce. So the higher FPI is not always better. Note that the inverse is also true. That lower FPI rads require a low RPM to move air through them. But a good static pressure optimized fans should always be used.


(Images from SkinneeLabs.com)

If you are interested in learn much more about rad performance check out http://skinneelabs.com/water-cooling-radiators/. But a basic rule of thumb is you want to always have 1 extra rad then you do block. So if you have a CPU block and a GPU block you should have at the minimum a triple 120/140mm rad. You can break that up any way you wish however. You could have 3 single 120mm rads or a 240 mm rad and a single 120 mm rad. Just note that the more rad surface area you have the closer your temps will be to room temp.

Edited by colonel_mortis
Swap link to acrhive.org
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Tubing and fittings

Tubing and fittings are the simplest part of the water cooling loop. However they are not to be over looked. There are a few important things to understand about Tubing and fittings.

Just about any type of tubing that meets the size charts can be used for water cooling. It is how ever recommended that you buy high quality tubing that is made for water cooling a PC. This is most for two reasons; first is that high quality tubing is made to be strong and flex well inside a computer case. Second is that some plastic tubing can have additives that will react with metal water blocks or coolants that can cause all kinds of unwanted affects.

This most important thing to know about tubing is the ID and OD.

  • I.D. - Inside diameter, most commonly referring to the ID of the tubing to be used. 1/2"ID means that wall to wall, the inside of the tubing measures 1/2" (metric is also used and is measured in millimeters or mm)
  • O.D. - Outside diameter, similar to the ID, the OD simply is the measurement of the tubing through the cross-section from one side of the outer wall to the other.

Fittings come in two different styles

  • Barb- These are the most common style of fitting. It is only important that you have a barb that matches in the ID of your tubing. Most people will use some kind of plastic or metal clamp as extra protection.
  • Compression- These are bard fitting that has an outer metal ring that screws down around the outside of the tube so it can’t come off. With these fittings it is important to make sure the ID matches the barb in the middle. As well it is important that the OD matches the side of the outer ring of the fitting.


Fittings come with two different sizes you need to understand. The threaded sides of a fitting are all most always the same size. This is referred to G1/4. This is standard on almost all water cooling parts. It is possible to find something other than G1/4 but it is uncommon. Just make sure you check to make sure all connection points are G1/4.


Barb sizing is the other part to understand. You will want to match them up the same way you did with your tubing. If you are using barb fitting you will just be concerned with the ID but if you are using compression you will need to make sure the OD matches to.

The important part here if to make sure that your Fitting and barb sizes are the same and consistent throughout your whole loop. This is for two reason; first a wrong size barb is a good place for you to spring a leak. Second If you have a smaller fitting then the rest of the others it just add extra restriction to your loop.

*Note You should try to avoid tubing with plasticizers in them. They can leach out of the tubing and get stuck in your water blocks. Most tubing does not contain it anymore but something to be aware of.

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Coolants/Water and Water block Materials

As a general rule coolants tend to not be a great idea. Deionized water or distilled water is your best bet. At the very least you will always get better performance from pure water. Coolants look cool and claim to do all kinds of good things like; be non-conductive or anti corrosive. All these tend to be more gimmicks more than anything. Deionized water is non-conductive. It is the ions in the water that are actually conducting electricity. Corrosion is not much of an issue these days as well. Manufactures understand that you can’t mix certain metals together or you have corrosion issues. Everything these days are made from Copper, Brass, and chromium plated Copper. If you are buying something second hand or a cheaper product you will want to make sure that there is no aluminum in it. If Copper and Aluminum are in the same loop they will That is what will cause issues.

Water blocks are almost always made out of Copper. They are some times plated with Nickel or Chromium for looks but Copper has the best price to thermal conductivity ratio. Nickel has a thermal conductivity of 91 W/(mK), CNS (chrome nickel steel) 16.3 W/(mK), Copper 401 W/(mK). The only that has better conductivity is silver at 429 W/(mK). The reason they dont make blocks out of Silver is because it cost 8 times more and does not give you 8 times the performance.

Water block tops are often made from acetal/delrin or plexi. They offer no change to cooling performance and are purely aesthetics.

Water does have one downside. It can grow alga or other microorganisms in it. So it is important to use something to prevent that. Lucky it is a very simple problem to solve. A biocide like PT Nuke will keep anything from growing or living in your water. Another option is to use a silver kill coil. Both cost around $5 and are not to be skipped. Silver plated barbs and compression fittings are also an option but much more expensive than a kill coil.

So for a newbie, pure water and silver kill coil or biocide is the best way to start. If want to add dye or change to a coolant later. Play around and see what you like but water is the best way to start.

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CPU Water Blocks

These are surprisingly one of the simplest parts of the water cooling loop. They are just a machined block of copper with water channels through it where the heat exchange happens. Picking a CPU water block comes down more to personal taste more than anything. If you are obsessed with getting the best possible performance out of a water block. Google CPU water block roundups and see what people are testing with them. In general, most CPU blocks do marginally better than others.

Most blocks come with all the mounting you need for all the different Intel and AMD socket types so no need to worry about that. Just double check to make sure your socket is supported.


Other Types of Water Blocks (Might be more to come)

You can find water blocks for just about everything these days and if you are will to spend the money you can have a water block made to fit anything. All of these blocks I'm going to list give no real performance boost. They will keep the components cooler than it would be if it wasn't water cooled but they tend never to get hot enough to affect performance in the first place. Before water cooling any of these components money should be spent on a second pump to increase head pressure. Most of the blocks are considered to have high restriction rates and the more blocks you add into a loop the higher the over all restriction is.

HDD- These come in a few different styles. Most however just screw to the top of a HDD or SSD. They can wrap around the sides in some cases. They come in a style much like a NAS where a few drives can be fit into a single block. The real down side of these blocks is there price. Often costing more than the drive they are cooling. A fan can do the same thing as these blocks and at a much cheaper price.

Mosfet/Volt Reg. - These blocks are some of the only others that might give you a performance increase. They can help keep you system more stable at high overclocks. However much like the HDD it is something that can be done with a fan as well.

Chipset/Mobo - These simply replace whatever heat sink is covering the chipset on your board. Like GPU blocks they come in a full cover style and a more universal style. The full cover style will often cover the Mosfets and Volt regs as well. They are often very, very expensive and can be hard to find for certain boards. They can help contribute to a more stable system at very extreme OC.

RAM - You can find two styles of ram coolers. One if built into the heat spreader. It uses a 1/4" tube. The second is a flat block that lays on top of a few sticks of ram. Not much to say about these. Just that RAM really doesn't get that hot.


A great example of cooling is by our own member Snef:


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GPU Water Blocks

These are the far more complicated blocks to understand. They come in more version and verity then the multitude of graphics cards. GPU block are the best way to keep a graphics card cool and quite. Modern cards run very hot and has to use very powerful fan(s) that are used to keep them cool. You can typically cut the heat in half with a water block. Typical temps on a water cooled GPU are 40-50 degrees centigrade.

GPU water blocks come in two different styles; full cover blocks and universal blocks. Each has their pros and cons.

  • Full cover blocks have metal that cover and cool the GPU, VRM, MOSFETs, and all the components that have to deal with these. A full cover block will not give you better GPU temps but will help keep your card more stable at higher clock speeds. The down sides of these blocks are that they can be harder to find compatible blocks for certain cards, they cost more, and they are generally only good for one generation of card. So when you upgrade a card you have to upgrade the block as well.


  • Universal blocks are much smaller than their full cover counter parts. They sit just on the GPU and do a very good job of keeping it cool. The down side of that is the rest of the card often needs some kind of cooling to stay stable. Heat sinks can be added along with the universal block to help do this. This is highly recommended if you go this route. The benefits of these blocks are they are much cheaper; tend to fit on a much larger number of cards, and because of that they can often be used over and over if you upgrade graphics cards often.


Picking a GPU block can be a hard thing to do. I would always recommend using a full cover water block because they tend to give better overall performance. In my opinion they look much better as well. If you are interested in a universal block the processes if very much the same.

So simply put no, not all water blocks will fit any GPU. For the most part reference cards have the highest compatibility with water blocks. For other more specialized PCBs you might be only able to find 1 or 2 water blocks that will fit on them. So if that was super confusing I’m sorry. Where you should start is pick a card then pick a water block manufacturer. When you are picking a water block manufacturer pick something that looks good to you and is in your price range. Almost all the big water block makers, Swiftech, EK, XSPC, Koolance,Alphacool make blocks that pretty much perform within a few degrees of each other. Then you need to look through all of their water blocks to find something that will fit your card.

Google is your friend on this. Make sure you are 100% sure that a water block is compatible with your card. If you not sure post and ask.

EK is a good place to find a water block they have a very helpful webpage that will figure out what blocks will work with your card. Check it out


Swiftech's page is super simple to figure out as well.


XSPC makes blocks mostly for reference cards.


I would start with frozencpu.com and just look at all the styles and prices then go from there.

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Building/Filling/Maintenance of a Loop

You should refer to Linus’s Videos and your manuals that come with all your water cooling gear. This should more than adequate for understanding what you need to, to put your loop together.

****** Still working on it*******

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A couple of things:

1. What about other materials such as silver, nickle, acetal(?) etc. What works together? What do I avoid?

2. Why does one need all of the same sized barbs, does that apply to compression fittings?

3. Can you put more than one pump in a system?

Thank you, great thread.

As a side note, how do you feel about the H220? Will it be able to run a whole loop?

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ya, it will. at the end off linus' video on it, it had something like 2 rads, gpu and res hooked up to it,i wouldnt use it for a caselabs filled with radiators, but itll work for any normal case


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Im curious as to what pump you will need for give rad sized/Blocks because more resistance would make the pump work harder or not pump as much through the system ect...

Intel Core I5 3570K @ 4.2Ghz w/ Hyper 212 EVO Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H 8GB Patriot Viper 3 1600Mhz CL9 Gigabyte Windforce 3X 7950 @ 1100/1550 Samsung 830 128GB Seagate Barracuda 1TB Fractal Design ​Define R4 Seasonic M12II 750Watt

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A couple of things:

1. What about other materials such as silver, nickle, acetal(?) etc. What works together? What do I avoid?

2. Why does one need all of the same sized barbs, does that apply to compression fittings?

3. Can you put more than one pump in a system?

Thank you, great thread.

As a side note, how do you feel about the H220? Will it be able to run a whole loop?

Thanks for the great questions! This is exactly what i wanted people to do. I have answered you question by editing the following sections.

1. Coolants/Water and Water block Materials

2. Tubing and fittings

3. At the very end of the Pumps section.

I did this so if someone had the same questions they could be easily found in the text above and not have to dig through these other posts.

I think that the Swiftech H220 is a great idea. Its goal is to help bridge the gap from the cheap closed loop water cools like Corsair's H100 and a full custom water cooling loop. I do see two downside but they are not much. First is price. They just started selling them for $240 for a double and $280 for a triple. For that kind of money you could get a whole starting kit from someone else. Which leads to my second point. You just wont get the same kind of performance from a cpu/pump combo as you would from separate components. It sure could run a whole loop as you can see from a Linus's video they have 2 gpus 2 rads and a cpu block running off of it.

I will certainly add something about it to my pumps or CPU block section above in the future. I just dont know enough about it yet to really say to much about it yet.

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Im curious as to what pump you will need for give rad sized/Blocks because more resistance would make the pump work harder or not pump as much through the system ect...

I made some edits to the pumps section to try and answer this question. Let me know if it does. If not i will try again or i can help point you in the right Direction to where we can find the information your looking for.
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I would just like to thank the people that have contributed so far. You are all doing exactly what i was hoping for. Lets help as many people pop that water cooling cherry as we can.

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A couple of things:

1. What about other materials such as silver, nickle, acetal(?) etc. What works together? What do I avoid?

2. Why does one need all of the same sized barbs, does that apply to compression fittings?

3. Can you put more than one pump in a system?

Thank you, great thread.

As a side note, how do you feel about the H220? Will it be able to run a whole loop?

Thanks for your reply. As for the price http://www.swiftech.com/pr-1-3-13-h220.aspx

It is $139.95 as far as I can tell

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A couple of things:

1. What about other materials such as silver, nickle, acetal(?) etc. What works together? What do I avoid?

2. Why does one need all of the same sized barbs, does that apply to compression fittings?

3. Can you put more than one pump in a system?

Thank you, great thread.

As a side note, how do you feel about the H220? Will it be able to run a whole loop?

Oh you are right. I was looking at the H2O-X20 Elite Series. It comes with an apogee drive 2. If they could make that $140 mark that would be a real game changer. Much closer to that corsair H100i price point of $110 and i would bet out performs it.
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One thing that i really want to know and it's now on your review is.. I've ever seen some people even Linus do a water cooling with some glass tube beside the motherboard. I want to know what is it and what it's function?

anyway, this is a really helpful guide!


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One thing that i really want to know and it's now on your review is.. I've ever seen some people even Linus do a water cooling with some glass tube beside the motherboard. I want to know what is it and what it's function?

anyway, this is a really helpful guide!


I think you are talking about cold cathode lighting. It is very common for people to use these to just make the water cooling look awesome. They make UV cathode light which will make some tubing and coolants glow.

Check them out.


Thanks for the question i will have to add something on this topic.

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One thing that i really want to know and it's now on your review is.. I've ever seen some people even Linus do a water cooling with some glass tube beside the motherboard. I want to know what is it and what it's function?

anyway, this is a really helpful guide!


I think he is refering to a internal, vertical res? Like...


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