Water cooling guide for noobs

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Juggalo23451's picture
Joined: 02/01/2012
Posts: 25

Water Cooling Guide
By Juggalo23451
Video explanation link as well as where to get wc parts below the tutorial

Well I have been water cooling for a lil over 2 yrs now so I would figure I would help and make a guide. So let's get started

What is water cooling. More or less it is the same way how your car's radiator works to cool your engine except on a smaller scale .

Do not mix metals
You can have
copper, nickel, brass, stainless steel in the same loop
If you have any metal like this do not use something that is aluminum. Doing so will cause Galvanic corrosion which is very bad

How much is it going to cost me- Depends on what you want to cool. The average coast for a cpu only loop is generally around 200-$$$. It will cost more if you want to add graphics cards, mosfets and etc. there is no real reason to water cool your ram,hdd. I don't see the point of water cooling your north bridge/south bridge either all it does is add restriction to your loop.If you want better temps on your chipset remove the old thermal paste with 90% Isopropyl alcohol or higher. Use a q-tip for this or a micro fiber cloth. Then put on new thermal paste like the ones listed below. but if you are going for insane overclocks go for it:)

What parts are needed? I will tell you the parts and suggest some parts as well.

Tubing and lingo you may see(get 10ft for cpu only,15ft or more if adding more rads blocks and etc:)

The most common sizes for tubing for water cooling are
3/8 inch
7/16 inch-people use this size tubing on 1/2 barbs for a tighter fit/seal
1/2 inch
ID= Inner diameter
OD= Outer diameter
Primochill,tygon, masterkleer (budget)
Use tub cutters, razor or scissors to cut the tubing.

Dyes Do not use any dyes or additives. If you want color get colored tubing

Reservoir ( always higher then the pump)- holds water

For reses it is all about preference really, You have the Swiftech Micro revision res for like 20 bucks or you could spend up to 200 bucks on a res to.

Pump(always below the res)

check instructions to make sure you know where the inlet is and outlet- This is the whole heart of you water cooling loop. Pushes the water in you loop around. Getting the right pump is critical don't get the right pump may get poor flow in your loop/poor temps to. They are usually measured by gph(gallons per hour) The more gph the better.
MCP355,MCP655, OCZ hydro flow(budget),jingway,
Note: The mcp355(has 3/8 barbs) is slightly better than the mcp655(1/2 barbs)

Pump top-

Dont want to use 3/8 barbs on a mcp355 get a top:) and choose what ever barb or compression fitting you like. Getting a op will help maximize the efficiency of the pump.

Water Blocks(center is always the inlet)

There are great water blocks out there for the CPU and Gpus. If you are going for the absolute best one out there. Then the EK HF is the king right now. Ek is also the best for gpus as well.
XSPC Raystorm water block(budget) this block is behind the ek hf by 3 degrees. XSPC for gpus as well.

Thermal Paste-

MX3, MX4, OCZ Freeze, Shin Etsu, Indigo Extreme(the best but really expensive)


you will see g1/4 and g3/8. That is simply the thread size. What size barbs you get will depict on what size tubing you would want.
bitspower, enzotech,koolance

Compression fittings- Makes you loop look cleaner.

Has two parts the barb and a collar. The collar goes on the tubing first. Then mount the tubing on the barb. Screw down collar all the way.(video below) make sure to get the same id and od fittings as your tubing

Radiators(removes heat from you loop)-

inlet/outlet does not mater
Depending on what you want to cool will depend on the size of rad you want
Example a 240 radiators can cool most cpus., 360 rad for cpu and a gpu
Best rad right now is the GTX series radiators by Hw labs(loud setup)
Best rad(low noise) RX series rads by XSPC or SR-1 rad by HW labs
Budget rad Xspc EX performs like the rx but cheaper and thinner
P.s You can use a 77 Bonneville rad I believe if you wanted to.

Fans(removes heat from the rad) and static pressure

What is static pressure. It is the measurement of air to be push through a restrictive object. So the better the static pressure the better the fan for your radiator.

Panaflo,delata, Kazes 120x120x38 are great for rads like the GTX
Gentle typhoons (AP-15) are great for rad like the Sr-1 and RX series rads. Why you ask the noise to cfm is great and it has good static pressure as well.
Yate Loons are a great budget fan

Fan Controller
(controls the rpms of a fan)

Want to quiet down your set up getting a fan controller can help with that:)

Clamps (secure them in the center of the barb)-

use clamps, zips, or worm clamps to secure your tubing

Coolant- Distilled water is all you need.
Pt nuke as well to prevent growth in your loop

/ or just get a
silver coil.

I have all the parts now what?

1. Loop order, I usually do res-pump-rad-cpu-res for example, but you do not have to do that order just make sure you have the res before the pump

2. Bust out a scratch piece of paper and pen. Draw a rectangle representing you case then. Draw another rectangle representing your mb. Location is key for a water cooling loop.
Draw some sketches on how you want your loop to go.

3. Mount everything up.

4. Start from one point in your wc loop.with the tubing attached to a barb,
take the excess and move it to the next point to your loop then cut.(Attach tubing)Repeat the process until you are done.

5. Take out loop of you case(up to you)

6. Hook the pump to your power supply(make sure nothing else is
hooked up to the psu)

7. Take a paper clip and put it in the green wire and connect any black wire. this will create a load to turn on your psu. Make sure the psu unplugged before doing this.

8. Fill up the res with distilled water all the way to the top with a funnel

9. Turn on the psu let the water go to about have way then refill the res.

10. repeat the process again until you do not need to fill the res up any more

Bubbles- To get rid of bubbles tilt your case side to side, back and forward
Leak testing- I say a good 8-12hrs should be enough. You can do more if you would like.

Hook up everything/install wc loop if outside of case and enjoy your temps

Water cooling basics

How to set up and install a water cooling loop 4 parts

Compression fitting

Water Cooling Cases

Cleaning a rad.

Here is some info that you guys/gals may find help full on your water cooling adventure. Credit goes to skinnieelabs,Martin120, and bundymania
rad comparison
The Higher the Better the rad is.

Pump comparison
The higher the better

Mcp355 top comparison

Cpu blocks, The lower the better

If any additional help is need please feel free to pm me or ask a question here:)

CPU 970 Motherboard evga 4way Memory 6gigs mushkin ram Graphics Card 2 gtx590 Hard Drive 2tb wd,128 ssd/crucial
Power Supply silverstone 1500watt Case case labs th10 CPU cooling white hk GPU cooling koolance water blocks OS win pro 64bit
Monitor 2343 samsung x 3 6144x1152

Juggalo23451's picture
Joined: 02/01/2012
Posts: 25

TeeBlack's picture
Joined: 08/15/2012
Posts: 123

i think im a start out with the Swiftech H220 and when i think im ready to expand i can go from there. Nice guide.

You dont know me but that's the way i like it!

Joined: 01/29/2013
Posts: 3

Beautiful thread. I've been searching for something like this for a while. Going to have to favorite this one.

turixant's picture
Joined: 10/13/2014
Posts: 12

Thanks for the info, interesting!

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