T-Line or Reservoir
The point of a reservoir is to hold the water that is used in your system and to remove any bubbles that form. The process of removing bubbles is called “bleeding.” To do this most effectively, you should place your reservoir at te highest possible point, or at least higher than the other components in your loop.
If possible, get oversized fittings in comparison to your tubing. The larger fittings will allow more flow.
A T-Line is the other possibility if there is no room for a reservoir. Though the T-Line is smaller, the bleeding process will take much much longer. I literally mean about 50x as much time.
To fill your loop, use distilled water. So called “non-conductive” liquids still are semi-conductive and will not give much better performance.
Anti – Corrosion: For the past year, I have been using Zerez Racing Super Coolant. Some kind of additive is needed to avoid corrosion, algae, and acid build up from electric charge. Many different additives can be used but I still suggest Zerez for high powered systems despite it’s price and limited stock.
The hose clamps are what seal your system together and attack all of the tubing together. There are four types of hose clamps, excluding bands and zip ties.
: Very common. Not as trusted or strong as alternatives.
– Made of steel, fasten using screws
– Fasten using a metal clamp mechanism. These use what is called a lock tight to keep the screw from loosening
Self Tightening Clamps
– Use tabs on the side to clamp and unclamp the tubing
Which should I pick?
The worm drive variety are very resistant to motion. Either of the other two besides the Plastic type will give you good performance. If you are using very thin tubes, the worm drive would not be a good option since it does not fasten on the tubing very evenly.
I will go over this briefly. Unlike CPU cooling, the gpu is usually cooled well by aftermarket air systems. Under normal circumstances, watercooling will not dramatically cool the video card gpu more then the aftermarket fans will. This is due to the fact that currently gpu blocks are much less efficient than their cpu cooling counterparts.
Just because you are installing watercooling does not mean that you can do away with all of your old fans. If you are using a high noise radiator and more specifically a heatercore it is necessary to have smaller (like 38mm) fans in your computer.
That sums up my guide eon the basics of watercooling. I hope that if you read this that you learned a little bit. I will be making a guide on how to clean out your watercooling system aswell at a later time…these take a long time to make.
Important Fact Alert:
A general rule of thumb for the order of installation is the following
Pump – radiator – CPU Block – GPU Block -Reservoir
Here is a basic diagram of the process
Taken from Xtreme Systems:
In this guide I will give a listing of all of the current watercooling hardware on the market. For each item I will give a short description, along with the appropriate use for that item.
Most of the items in the guide are U.S. / U.K. based due to the largely english speaking and located readership. Also, most of the 'Euro' based components are not easily compatible with regards to fittings with 'American' components. As such, for simplicities sake I will omit them.
1. Swiftech Storm - 75USD - this is the top performing waterblock currently in retail. It is better suited to more powerful pumps, but still performs well with low flow/power pumps. Apparently the Storm is no longer dsicontinued, but it seems there are now large price hikes, and somewhat limited availability.
Due to repeated incidents in which the storm is improperly installed, please be advised that the proper way to install the tubing on the storm is as follows: inlet in the center and outlet towards the outer edge.
2. Swiftech MCW6002/6000 - 45USD - for low power/flow pumps these waterblocks are top performers.. with moderate restriction these waterblocks matched with low power pumps will net decent flow to allow usage of a second waterblock
3. Cooltechnica MP-05 LE - 50-65USD - a high restriction waterblock with excelent performance. while it does not outperform the Storm per pump power, its lower pricetag makes it an attractive choice. The newly updated LE version boasts higher performance per flow and keeps its price tage competitive with the Swiftech Storm. It is not know at this time, which one will take the performance crown.
4. Danger Den TDX - 52USD - while a good waterblock, it is not an optimum choice of waterblock for a high or low power pump system. I list it merely for completeness of the guide.
5. Danger Den RBX - 52USD - Again, a good waterblock, but not worth considering unless you have some desire for a 3 barb waterblock.
6. WhiteWater LE (all coper version) - 44USD - Origionaly designed by Cathar, this 3 barb waterblock performs well, but uses a dated design and is not optimal for maximum performance.
7. Swiftech Apogee - 45USD - The newest block from Swiftech that takes a step backwards in performance. It is essentially a MCW5000 respun with a new manufacturing process (cheaper), and new delrin top. While Swiftech says its the best thing since sliced bread and Television, please try to avoid it as EVERY other block on this list performs superior to the Apogee.
1. Danger Den Maze4 Acetal - 45USD - this is an excelent gpu waterblock with incredibly low restriction and great performance. I personally use one and generally reccomend them to everyone.
2. Cooltechnica MP-1 - 45USD - A newcomer to the gpu cooling segment, the MP-1 shows great potential, but with no publicly available data it cannot yet recieve my top reccomendation. With that said, sources say the waterblock performs several centigrade better than the Maze4.
3. Swiftech MCW-55 - 50USD - A revamp of the proven design of the MCW50. with improved flow characteristics it provides lower flow restriction and increased performance compared to the older, aluminum topped, MCW50. The waterblock performs on par with the Maze4. It should be noted that the performance data on this waterblock provided by swiftech should not be trusted. While their data is generally excelent, in the case of the MCW-55, it is.. in a word.. rubbish.
4. Cyclone Fusion HL - ~60USD - An Aussie waterblock of excelent construction and performance that is said to perform better than the Maze4. While this may be true there is no data as of yet to validate this. While an excelent blocks expense make it a less attractive option.
5. MCW-60 - 60USD - the MCW-60 is the next step up from the MCW-55. It uses the same base plate as the Apogee, and uses a molded delrin top. No performance data is available, but it should perform on par with the top sellers, the Maze-4 and MP-1. For 45 dollars the MCW-60 is actaully an incredible value as it comes with 8 MCW-14 ramsinks, normally around 15 dollars.
1. HWLabs Black Ice Pro (1, 2 and 3) - 29-45USD - The Black Ice Pro's have been around for a long time and are excelent performers. Currently they are the only 2 and 3 fan radiators that are orientated to quiet computing.
2. Thermochill PA160.1 - 80-130USD (price varies wildly between retailers) - The PA160 is a revolutionary radiator designed in part by Cathar. It is a single 120mm fan radiator that performs close to that of dual fan radiators. Due to its expense (outside of the UK) to performance ratio its hard to recomend it in any but very special situations, but it is still a great radiator.
3. Thermochill PA120.X - 80 to 120 USD - Described as the new king of cool, I highly reccomend these rads. They are pretty much the perfect radiator.. High cooling capacity while optimized for low noise fans.. Not much more you can ask for in a radiator. I should note that as of writing this there has not been any test data presented, but from calculations provided by Cathar, these radiators should not fail to live up to their name.
4. Swiftech MCR220-QP - 42 USD - The creation of Bill Adams, formely of Swiftech, the MCR220-QP is an excelent low CFM optimized radiator. the MCR220 is positioned between the Black Ice Pro2 and PA120.2 with regards to performance. But the nice thing is that its very economically priced. At the time of writting, they are priced at 41.99 at CrazyPC. While a bit more expensive, than the BIP2, if you have the extra 10 dollars, it would be 10 dollars well spent. The MCR220-QP comes in two colors, black and blue.
1. HW Labs Black Ice Xtreme (1, 2, 3) - 45-78USD - These radiators provide excelent high power fan (110+CFM) performance while having a lower pricetag than the Thermochill HE series. There are rumors that the HE's perform better than the BIX series, but I really wont make such a claim as I have not seen any test data to backup such claims.
2. Thermochill HE120.X - 80 - 120 USD - Formerly Thermochills main line of radiators, they are still an excelent choice if you plan to use fans that are over 110CFM. For users in the UK who want such a radiator the Thermochills would probably be a better choice (compared to BIX's) due to cheaper costs over there.