If you are using any computer, you must have noticed the sound of fans running in the background. That makes the essential means of cooling your PC down for better performance. But you can always push your gaming rig a notch higher with the better cooling system. And it all starts with understanding How to Build a Liquid-Cooled Gaming PC. There is some good news; that is what this article is all about. Read on!
What is cooling air?
Understand every bit about Liquid-Cooled CPU is crucial. But first, what is cooling air? This aspect is quite straightforward though. The mechanism hinges on using cool air from outside to cool the components of your machine. It can be quite essential for the performance of your computer’s graphics card, or the processor too. But this approach might have some fan noise. Most gamers want super performance from a rig while still keeping it at whisper quiet. And this is where the Liquid-Cooled CPU comes into the play.
How does liquid cooling system work?
In essence, this system works more like the thermodynamics used in a car cooling system. It all starts with the tendency of heat to move from a warmer object to a cooler one. In which case, the cooler objects become warmer while, the warmer ones cool down. It encompasses a cycle of water or the coolant. This should circulate around to cool the over-heating components of your computer.
Take it as a transfer of heat energy from the computer components fast. Then the dissipation leads it through the radiators and to the outside environment. It all boils down to the role played by every simple section of the system. These include the water block, the reservoir, and pump. You will also find the radiator and fans, tubes and the fittings here.
One unique thing about liquid-cooled CPU is keeping the temperature at the least. But it also goes a long way to ensuring a super silent cooling operation. If you want to push your rig’s performance to the limit, you can still keep the heat in check.
Let’s face it; no gamer wants to put up with the distraction a noisy fan can bring into the room. Worse yet, a slow performing or overheating rig is the last thing any gamer wants on the arsenal. Why not try sorting all these problems with a one-off solution. The good thing is that this possibility is so real; you can jump on it at any time.
One of the things that make liquid cooling the go-to option is the character of the water itself. First, water features a high level of thermal conductivity. This makes it ideal for fast absorption of heat, even faster than air can do. Thus, you can run water over various components on your system. It will help transfer the heat from those parts to water before passing it to the radiator. Here, dissipation of heat ensures the water stays cool.
Another thing that makes this option ideal is the quiet operation it gives your system. The chances are good you will push your computer to the limit with the heavy-duty use. As such, you might hear the fans as they race to keep the components cool. This turns out to be the case in most air-cooled computers. But liquid cooling stands out in that everything runs smooth and silent. You can lower the heat by up to an incredible 10 degrees.
And there’s more; especially when it comes to overclocking the system. Sometimes you will need to make the most of the power potential of your system. It is in such cases that overclocking comes in handy. The great news about using water-cooling is that you get extra headroom for this use.
Water-cooling also packs yet another benefit. What happens when you want to cool one component and not the other? Well, you turn to water-cooling. With this option, you can decide which component to cool depending on where the priority lies. If you want to cool only the CPU, then you can get the system for that component only. But if you want to cool this component along with the graphics card, then it’s all a matter of choice.
So, what tools will I need to build a water-cooled gaming pc
Every gamer yearns for a system that can keep the gaming rig cool without that unbearable noise in the room. One thing you have to keep in mind is that building a water-cooled gaming pc comes with the use of several tools. These could range from the water block to the pump, and anything between. The tools are most crucial when it comes to an understanding of How to Build a Liquid-Cooled Gaming PC. You need to make a good decision here if you want to end up with a liquid-cooled CPU that you can count on. So here is all the equipment you will need to have the job.
A water block: This section plays a crucial role in liquid-cooled CPU computers. It goes next to the hardware that you want to be cool. Hence, water blocks help transfer the heat from the component. And it goes all the way to enhance the liquid flowing through the system. The water block has many fins for increasing the cooling surface. It also features a channel design. This construction makes it an essential part of the loop when it comes to efficiency.
Sometimes you want to cool the processor only. You can thus have the water block attached to only that particular component. But you can also have it mounted against such other components as the chipset, graphics card, and more. You can also find water blocks for hard drives and RAM, but these are not as essential. Using the block for such components comes down to choice. Remember, it doesn’t bring any much increase in the performance. In most cases, only the graphics card and processors need regular cooling.
The radiator and fans: The radiator and its fans take center stage when it comes to keeping this system performing. These two sections are responsible for cooling the water as it flows around the loop. The liquid passes through copper tubing and then fins on the radiator absorb the heat from the water. On the other end, fans that supply cool air to the radiator cool down these fins. And the fans have an even more demanding task. They have to keep a high-static pressure balanced. But they also have to be quiet all the time too.
Radiators are usually in different sizes. This diversity depends on the number of fans any radiator can include. The performance of the radiator will by far depend on the size. If it is large and thick enough, it will dissipate heat more with efficiency. Some of the radiators can work well with four fans.
But if you want a smaller one, then you can find some for a single fan too. Your choice of size will most likely depend on the size of your case where you can mount the tools inside. You can as well go for this approach even if you have a smaller case. But in such a case, you will have to mount the system on the outside.
A reservoir: This part is also crucial to your cooling water system. The reservoir helps to store the liquid in the cycle. Besides, it offers an easy replacement of bubbles by the water during the circulation. Besides, it comes in as the filling point where you can add the liquid coolant to the loop.
You can mount most reservoirs on the inside of the case with hardware specific for that use. But others can work well when mounted on the external drive bays. Also, note that some of these units can come as a standalone or a reservoir combo, which includes the pump.
A Pump: The role that this unit plays is quite straightforward; it will pump the water all around the loop. A pump comes in handy as the heart of the whole system. It is the one behind the entire circulation of your coolant as it pushes it through the other units. And like the reservoir, it might be a standalone unit or attached to the reservoir. The standalone pumps feature a pump motor in most cases. They also tend to have an inlet and outlet ports on the top.
These four units are not the only aspects that go into your water-cooling system. The loop also includes other smaller units that play a significant role. But these are the leading aspects that make up the system. Also, it is crucial noting that having the ideal units for your loop is not all. You still need to ensure you have the perfect connection throughout the cycle.
This is where the other sections of the loop come into the play. If you are out to understand How to Build a Liquid-Cooled Gaming PC, then you need to start here. And of course, you have to consider the other units on the tow too.
Fittings: Tubing, Coolant, and Additives
Before throwing yourself into it, you need to keep one important thing in mind. If you are buying all these units together, then you are on the safe side. But if you are buying them one at a time, you need to be more careful. Check and double check to ensure compatibility is guaranteed. On the bottom line, with all these important components, you can make a great loop for your computer. You can always do a bit of footwork to ensure you understand what to look for.
Fittings: Make sure you have about two of these for each unit on your loop. When it comes to connecting the tubes, you can opt for the barb fittings. These are spout, and quite essential. You can also use compression fittings if that works in your favor. The good thing about these ones is the second piece that you can screw on to get a tight fit.
They might also cost you pretty penny. But they are worth the cost since they look great besides working wonders too. Fittings come in different shapes and sizes. Besides, others are different, with soft and hard tubing options.
The Tubes: Another thing you will find handy here is the tubes. This unit offers the connection to all the components of your system. When shopping for tubing, check the inner and outer diameters. Make sure the measurements of the tubing and the adjacent components match. And like most other units, tubes come in different shapes and colors.
You may consider going for smaller tubing to get a tight fit, but selecting a matching size goes a long way. Every tube has two numbers, keep an eye out for those. The larger number is the outer dimension, while the smaller one is for the inner diameter. Thu, it can be easier to identify the size that offers the best fit.
Coolants and additives: Without the coolant, the entire system would be useless. If the pump is the heart of the liquid-cooled CPU loop, then the coolant is the blood. While you might get a kit packing in all the units, you will need to buy the coolant by itself. The good thing is that coolants come in different sorts. You can select according to the properties. But the distilled water takes the lead, for good reasons.
It’s not as if the distilled water is any different from the other types though. The only thing that makes it the go-to option for many gamers is because it’s quite cheap. This coolant is also available almost everywhere. And it can hardly cause any problems down the road. But you still have the opportunity to try other coolants if you so wish.
And talking of coolants, keep in mind that you will need to have additives that go with the coolant too. All other aspects of your loop are crucial. But this is a system, and everything here counts. As such, the additives play a crucial role on your liquid-cooled CPU loop too. Thus, you need to ensure you get an ideal one for the cycle that you can count on to keep everything working fine.
Biocide is one of the leading additives that you can turn to on the market. It helps keep your loop free from algae as well as other gunk that might grow within the connection. The most interesting thing is that you can always choose from several popular brands.
But you can also make the most of other smaller alternatives around, especially a piece of silver. This metal comes in handy since it can help as a natural biocide. And the best thing about using silver is that you will never have to add extra liquid to the coolant.
Anti-corrosives also prove handy if you have several metals on the loop. If you have copper on your radiator or water block, for instance, an anti-corrosive can go a long way. In other cases, the water block can comprise copper, and the radiator made of aluminum. Here, you will need a different kind of anti-corrosive. As it turns out, the choice here will come down to the material you have on the different components of your loop.
Dish soap can also prove useful as one of the essential additives. If you are out to beat the bubbles in your loop, this could be all you need. All it takes is about a drop or two of the soap, and you are on the safe side. The best you can find about dish soap is its availability. The cheap cost also proves handy considering it can play such a crucial role.
Color additives can also apply sometimes, although they are not as great. You can use coloring, which usually gums up your works. Hence, in case you need to have color on board, then you can consider colored tubing for your loop.
All said and done; it turns out that it doesn’t take a lot to put everything together. Now that you understand How to Build a Liquid-Cooled Gaming PC, all it takes is having what it takes. You can go ahead and give your rig a performance boost. Make it quiet and keep the temperature at the lowest. Gaming is about having a responsive rig. You don’t have to put up with a dragging processor or graphics card. Take your gaming experience to a whole new level. Gaming doesn’t get more fun.