Water Cooling System: The Best and WORST Features You Must Know

You need a water cooling system to cool down machines like computers and gaming devices, which tend to over heat when operated.

Every computer, from the smallest home theater PCs to the mightiest gaming platforms, generates heat during operation that can kill the precious interior of your PC if ignored. 

While you do not have to worry about the computer you buy from a large retail store or directly from a manufacturer like HP suffering from quality problems, you will make a potentially crucial decision if you buy a computer that creates a lot of heat.

This issue is hard to avoid.

I remember having to put my old xBox in the fridge every time the machine got too hot and the device stopped working. The gaming device eventually broke.

Looking back I know that getting a water cooling system would have prevented the machine from breaking.

The water cooling system keeps your appliances cool so that it does not over heat, continues to function as normally and last longer.

Although it can be annoying to spend a little extra on a machine that already costs a lot, it’s still cheaper than having to replace the machine when it breaks from overheating.

Also, you can’t put a price on the ability to use your favorite machine without having to worry about its performance.

Cooling Methods Explained

Air Cooling. The secret to using the cooling power of the air is in the fans, many fans. Your typical air-cooled PC is packed with box ventilators, graphics card fans and a CPU fan. Or two positions on a large metal heat sink to keep expensive components cool and comfortable.

Water Cooling System. A water cooling system, on the other hand, uses a series of coolant-filled tubes, a cooler, blocks of water (the equivalent of heatsinks), and a few other components to keep your PC cool under pressure. My guide to configuring a PC with liquid cooling explains a basic system.

The definition of air cooling and liquid cooling is the simple part. The most complicated bit is making the decision to use one or the other. And this is what we will look at next.

1. Air Cooling

One of the great joys of using fans to cool your system is that in many cases, you really do not have to do anything to create a decent cooling configuration.

If the case of your system is not available, there is a good chance that your manufacturer has already installed exactly what you need. That is an inlet fan on the front that drives the outside air of your hard drives. 

Graphics cards and computer processors almost always come with powerful stock fans. You will be able to tell because they sound like a plane taking off when they come into action. These together with box ventilators form the Holy Trifecta air cooling system in a typical desktop PC.

The big question then remains: why use air for cooling?

Because air is cheap.

Even if you want to use a spare cooler for your CPU or GPU, you pay much less than you would pay for a liquid cooling configuration.

The same applies to fanatics of cases. You can certainly buy bigger, better and more efficient fans if you want a quieter platform. Or even fans that light up if you like something like that. Sure, you have to pay for it, but you will still spend less on updating or building a good air cooling setup than on a typical water cooling system.

Also, consider the cost to your health. It is much easier to use four screws to attach a fan to your box than to build your own water cooling system.

Air Cooling Disadvantages

However, conventional air cooling has 3 main disadvantages.

Red CrossFirst, fans are not as efficient as water cooling systems. This can be a problem with processors with heavy clusters or with very rugged devices with multiple graphics cards.

Red CrossAt a certain point of heat, your air cooling fan will just blow around hot air and have no impact on making your machine cool. This is rarely an issue for water cooling systems.

Red CrossNoise noise and more noise. After all, fans are loud.

 

2. Water Cooling Systems

In computers, water cooling is a method used to reduce the temperature of computer processors and sometimes other components such as graphics cards.

Basically, this system cools down your hot machines by using water instead of air as a cooling method.

Processor speeds have increased dramatically in recent years. As a result, the heat given off by the processors has also increased. As have the noises associated with the appliances. For example the fans, which serve to keep them at a safe temperature.

 

Water Cooling System Cons

Red CrossA major disadvantage of water cooling is the relatively high cost.

Especially if you want to create a custom configuration. While most conventional high-end CPU coolers cost between $50 and $100, liquid-cooling can cost a lot more.

 

Water Cooling System Pros

Let’s start with the best bits. One of the main advantages of having a strong liquid cooling configuration is that you can cool certain components of the system more than if you were using fans. 

Green Plus ArrowA water cooling system is far better than air cooling because water can conduct heat about 30 times faster than air.

Green Plus ArrowA water cooling system allows the processor to operate at higher speeds while dramatically reducing system noise. Some industry experts predict that water cooling systems will become the standard for personal computers in the near future.

Green Plus ArrowSwitching from air-to-liquid cooling is a personal milestone in building a computer. You, the young PC Padawan, are now a desk Jedi.

Green Plus ArrowEven if you do not tax your equipment enough to need a higher cooling system, a cheaper, more autonomous water cooling circuit – later – can help reduce the sound of your PC. Water cooling is much quieter than filling your box full of fans.

Green Plus ArrowThere is also the problem of space. A great heatsink / fan combination might work well enough, but the best CPU coolers consume a ton of real estate in the box. Liquid cooling takes up much less space and it seems much easier to start.

How To Avoid Problems With A Water Cooling System

In a liquid-cooled configuration, quality matters: you do not want to buy cheap parts to save a few dollars, and soak your expensive PC components in glowing coolants.

  • Always get a pre-made kit unless you really know what you are doing. Setting up a water cooling system requires some planning if you do not buy a pre-made kit. You need to raise a water block for your CPU that fits your outlet, accessories that fit your block and pipe size, the pipe itself, a pump, a tank, a radiator, a fan (or fans) for the radiators and the coolant itself. And this is just a typical configuration for the bare-bones configuration that you can create. If you want to feed separate loops for your graphics card, motherboard, RAM or hard drives, you’ll need to plan and/or buy more.
  • You should also make sure that you have room for your configuration. Water cooler systems generally require open fan slots in their housing. Deposits also require space in your box, and you need to plan your circuit design so that you can put it into service (“top up” the pump, as it were) when you fill it with coolant.
  • Then there is the installation itself – make sure you follow the instructions to the letter. In short, your first adventures on the land of water cooling could be very dangerous. The set up is not exactly nice for newcomers, and the process can be more complicated than you might think. So read and follow all instruction carefully. You have been warned.

 

The Best Water Cooling System

EKWB EK-Kit P280 Complete 140mm Liquid Cooling Kit

The EK-KIT P280 is the latest liquid water cooling system for all users looking for the best value for money cooling kit on the market.

It comes with everything you need to assemble your first custom cooler.

You do not have to worry about compatibility problems or be nervous about the right amount of accessories or the length of the tube.

If you are a beginner, this is a great place to start.

EK-KIT P280 water cooling kit includes the following items:

  • Radiator: EK-CoolStream CE 280 (Dual).
  • Universal CPU water block: EK-Supremacy EVO (this includes. LED diode, mounting- & thermal material).
  • Radiator fan: EK-Vardar F2-140 (1600rpm) (2pcs).
  • Tubing: PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT 10/13mm (3/8” – 1/2”) (2 meters).
  • Water pump-reservoir combo: EK-XRES 140 Revo D5 PWM (incl. pump)
  • Compression fittings: EK-ACF Fitting 10/13mm (3/8” – 1/2”) – G1/4 Nickel (6 pcs).
  • Y-cable splitter: EK-Cable Y-Splitter 2-Fan PWM (10cm).
    Coolant concentrate:EK-Ekoolant EVO Clear (100mL; for 1L of coolant).
  • ATX bridging plug.

This EK-KIT P280 water cooling system is compatible with most standard CPU sockets including: 

  • Intel LGA-1366
  • Intel LGA-775
  • Intel LGA-2011(-3)
  • Intel LGA-1366
  • Intel LGA-1150/1151/1155/1156
  • AMD Sockets: AM2(+), AM3(+), FM1, FM2(+)
  • AMD Sockets: 939, 754, 940

 

Conclusion

So, which is better? Cooling by air or water? The answer depends on your specific needs.

Mr Water Geek Thinking

One size does not suit everyone when it comes to water cooling, but most people can only live with fans.

It’s easy and cheap.

On the other hand, if you’re an enthusiast looking for the best possible cooling for your burning CPU and a large number of graphics cards, a water cooling system is 100% the way to go. 

Getting a water cooling system means the most efficient means of cooling your device, less noise and far superior effectiveness.

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