So. You want to watercool a component in your computer. This thread is designed to give a break to the constant starting of new threads, with questions that can easily be answered by spending 5 minutes reading a little more. There are many reasons why a person chooses to watercool components of their computer. Typical reasons are; Lower temps for better overclocking - this is an overclocking forum after all. Quieter computing Aesthetics This thread also is geared in mind for Australian members looking to buy locally, which saves money on shipping, as well as helping smaller businesses. Stores operating in Australia, selling quality watercooling components are; GAMMODS THE KOOL ROOM RADIICAL PC CASE GEAR These stores stock quality products from manufacturers such as; EK waterblocks Bitspower XSPC Swiftech Primochill Koolance Laing Thermochill Dtek Hardware Labs Heatkiller It's important that you select the right parts for your watercooled setup in the first place, and to help select the right parts for different needs, the below lists show selections based on testing from reviewers, for a common CPU only watercooling loop. Extreme Performance/No Budget/Deaf CPU Block: Aqua Computer Kryos XT Radiator: Thermochill/Hardware Labs Pump - Dual DDC with EK Top Fans: Sanyo Denki/Delta/Sunon etc Tubing: Primoflex LRT Fittings: Compression fittings Reservoir: EK Cylinder Style Midrange Cost vs Most Performance CPU Block: EK Supreme HF Radiator: XSPC RX Pump: DDC with XSPC Bay Res Fans: Scythe Gentle Typhoons Tubing: Primoflex LRT Fittings: Barbs or Compression fittings Reservoir: XSPC Bay Res Low Budget CPU Block - EK Supreme LT Radiator - Swiftech Pump - EK DCP4.0 Fans - Yate Loons Tubing - Primoflex LRT Fittings - Barbs Reservoir - Swiftech Microres Quiet Vs Most Performance CPU Block - EK Supreme HF Radiator - XSPX RX Pump - D5 Fans - Noctua P12's/ 1150rpm Gentle Typhoons Tubing - Primoflex LRT Fittings - Barbs Reservoir - Any, as long as it is fully bled of air, and topped up fully. when including graphics cards and chipsets into loops, EK is the typical choice for full cover waterblocks, as they have a large range, and are available at the most stores. Koolance, Swiftech, XSPC, Bitspower and Heatkiller also make selected waterblocks, but are generally harder to find in stock in Australia. CPU Waterblocks: A wide range of waterblocks are available for cooling parts of your computer, CPU, Graphics cards, Motherboards, RAM, Hard Drives, and even power supplies can be watercooled. For the purpose of this sticky, we'll be concentrating on the most common part to have watercooled, the CPU. CPU waterblocks available from EK, Swiftech, Koolance, DangerDen, Radiical, DTek, Heatkiller and XSPC are all designed to remove heat from your CPU as efficiently as possible. This typically involves a flat piece of copper, with varied cuts along its surface to create surface area and turbulence at the point closest to the CPU. Modern waterblocks typically use long thin cuts in the copper, or pins extending from the copper to create the surface area and turbulence to transfer heat from the CPU to the water, as well as plates to create bows in the waterblocks to provide better contact with the CPU's IHS. The current leaderboard for CPU waterblocks on the 1366 platform that are available in Australia is: Aqua Computer Kryos XT EK Supreme HF - Full Copper EK Supreme HF Swiftech Apogee XT Heatkiller 3.0 Swiftech Apogee GTZ SE EK Supreme Swiftech Apogee GTZ EK Supreme LT Pumps: There are 3 major choices for Pump models available in Australia. The Laing DDC - aka Swiftech MCP355 The Laing D5 - aka Swiftech MCP655 and the lesser known EK DCP series. Each of these models has differing specifications which may lead you to choose one over the other, little information on the DCP series is available unfortunately, and principally people choose either the D5 or DDC. Out of the box, the DDC offers a higher head pressure than the D5, and the D5 offers a higher flow rate. the DDC is also natively compatible with 3/8"ID tubing, and the D5 with the more common 1/2"ID tubing. Many users change out the Tops of their pumps for custom models available from EK, XSPC, Bitspower and Koolance. these are designed to improve performance and allow wider range of fittings to be used with the pumps, or to attach directly to a reservoir. A point of note are that a DDC with a top has a much improved flow rate, while retaining its high head pressure. Many users feel that the D5 is quieter than the DDC, and some models of D5 include a small dial at the rear of the pump to slow down the speed and therefore noise volume, much of the noise from a DDC is caused through vibration into the case the pump is mounted to, and foam or silicone matting is recommended to prevent the vibration. Radiators: Radiators from many brands are available in Australia, each with their own performance data. EK - Proven to be disappointing performers, however are quite cheap. Swiftech - moderate performance, again, quite cheap. XSPC - Two principle models, the RS and RX series. RS are cheaper and older designs, and are bested by the RX series, which while being quite cheap, are also the best performing rads with lower speed (and therefore quieter) fans, when the same fans are used on other tested radiators. Thermochill - More expensive, solidly built and higher performing radiators. offer very high flow, and use G3/8" threads for fittings. G3/8"-G1/4" converters are available from Bitspower to convert these radiators to the much more common G1/4" threading. Hardware Labs - newer radiators, proving to be solid performers, while not being as expensive as Thermochill models, and offered in a range of sizes, including newer models compatible with 140mm fans. newer radiators are also available for use with 140mm fans, though these are less common, as the standard fan size is still 120mm, 140mm fans are preferable as they push more air at lower speeds (and therefore quieter), the other problem with 140mm radiators is the lack of choice of good 140mm fans, but this is a matter of time. Fans: Fan choice is important, as the type of fan and radiator can provide more of a performance difference than you might think. It is important to remember that in watercooling, the idea is to exchange as much heat from the radiator into the air from the radiator as possible, fans designed for pushing air through a heatsink are better than fans designed for pushing air with nothing blocking its airflow, such as a case fan. A short list of fans more suited to radiator use are below; Scythe Gentle Typhoon Scythe S-Flex Noctua "P" fans Scythe UltraKaze Noiseblocker BlackSilent Pro Noiseblocker Multiframes Yate Loon Fans not well suited for radiator use and better left for exhausting air from cases are; Scythe Slipstream Noctua "S" fans Enermax Cluster/Magma/Apollish Scythe Kaze Jyu Nexus Silent Coolermaster Silent/Longlife Xigmatek models Tubing: Almost any tubing can be used in a watercooling set up, though most users prefer to purchase tubing designated for watercooling when purchasing the rest of their kit. well known brands of tubing are Tygon, Primochill, Feser (aka Danger Den), Swiftech, and MasterKleer. Swiftech is regarded as being quite "hard" and more susceptible to kinking, though it is cheap, and would be tough to recommend, when Feser/Dangerden, Masterkleer and Primochill are not much more expensive per metre, and significantly easier to work with. Tygon has issues with Plasticiser leech, Plasticiser, a chemical in the tubing causes the normally clear Tygon to "cloud" or turn cloudy in color. This wont cause any harm to your loop or components, its simply an aesthetics issue. MasterKleer is regarded as being similar to Tygon, but with less plasticiser content. Feser (aka Danger Den) tubing is similar to Tygon in bendability, but is availible in more colors. Primochill LRT is the newest tubing from Primochill, and is highly regarded, being easier to bend than Tygon, cheaper, and available in a broad range of sizes and colors. Tubing sizes: When talking about tubing, most users will refer to their tubing as being 3/8" (9.5mm), 7/16"(11mm) or 1/2"(12.7mm), this is refering to the Internal Diameter of the tubing. when choosing appropriate compression fittings, one will need to pay close attention to both the Internal and Outer diameter of their tubing. Click to view full size! Popular sizes are; 1/2" ID 3/4" OD - the most common fitting and tubing size. 7/16"ID 5/8" OD - commonly used with 1/2" fittings, the tubing forms a very tight fit and may be run without anything else holding the tubing on. 3/8" ID 5/8" OD - thinner tubing, less prone to kinking 3/8" ID 1/2" OD - thinnest tubing available, but the thin walls may cause it to be easier to kink on tighter bends. Reservoirs: Reservoirs exist to hold water than feeds into the pump, and to remove air bubbles (known as "bleeding the air"). When purchasing a reservoir, any model will do, the choice is really down to what you like the look of or what will fit into your case the easiest. common models are; Cylinder style models - such as EK Multioptions, Iandh Stealth's, Phoyba, and Koolance. Significantly easier to bleed than bay models Bay reservoirs - models are available from XSPC, Bitspower, and EK. Can be hard to bleed Bay/Pump Combo - these models combine reservoirs with pumps and pump tops to make an all-in-one model. very useful if you are short on space in your case, some of these can be notoriously hard to bleed. Other - such as Swiftech's Microres (comes with a variety of mounting options, as well as being very easy to bleed) and XSPC's DDC/D5 Res Top series (good all-in-one units) again, any model is fine, the choice is yours. Fittings: A huge range of fittings are available for connecting your parts to your tubing and other parts. Manufacturers such as Bitspower, Swiftech, Enzotech, Koolance, EK, Thermochill, Phobya, Aqua computer, Alphacool, and Primochill all offer a large range of fittings from simple barbs to complicated Quick Disconnects and "Snake style" rotary fittings. Fittings can be simple, your loop may only need a set of barbs for each component and you're off and running, those who prefer a little eye-candy in their loops often turn to the extensive range of fittings available from Bitspower, though some of these products can have a hefty price tag. too large to cover, here are some simple explanations of major parts; Barbs - the most common method of securing tubing to components, tubing simply slides over the barb and is held in place with either worm drives, cable ties or clips. some users even buy tubing too small for the barb fitting and run nothing to secure the tubing (typically 1/2" barbs with 7/16"ID tubing) Compression Fittings - the alternative to barbs, compression fittings are a two part fitting, involving a screw in part similar to a barb, and a metal ring. the metal ring is pushed onto the tubing, then the tubing over the barb. the ring is then screwed around the barb, holding the tubing in place. Compression fittings are widely preferred to barbs as they look nicer, and provide better hold on the tubing. The drawback is that they are significantly more expensive. Angled fittings - angled fittings are for bending the line of the tubing to point it in a different direction (perhaps around another component). Rotary angled fittings are preferable, as once they are screwed in, they can be spun where you need them. A word on G1/4" When referring to G1/4" this refers to the threading size on fittings and components. G1/4" is the standard, and almost all fittings are G1/4", with the exception of certain Aqua Computer parts, and Thermochill Radiators. When purchasing a Thermochill radiator, be aware that the G3/8" threading is not compatible with most fittings. Thermochill and Bitspower make barbs and converters for G3/8" threading which can convert the radiator to more common G1/4". Coolants, Dyes and other Additives: All watercooled systems must obviously include a liquid that is passed around in the loop, typically, this is a variant of Distilled or De-mineralised water, and it sometimes includes one of many different additives, for different reasons. Watercooling manufacturers often have a line up of colored fluid that can be purchased, typically containing Ethylene Glycol, a chemical that gives the liquid anti-freeze properties. It should be noted that Ethylene Glycol is poisonous, and care should be taken if you chose to include a coolant that uses it, there is also many reports of Ethylene Glycol "eating" the glue used to hold together acrylic reservoirs, such as in the case of the Primochill Typhoon. Many reservoir manufacturers note that warranty is void if the reservoir is used with a coolant containing Ethylene Glycol. Ethylene Glycol along with dyes are also reported to "gunk up" waterblocks, with time and temperature. A watercooling system in Australia isnt too likely to need the properties of an anti-freeze additive, unless for instance your computer is in a garage in a colder area during winter, as such, its hard to recommend the need to add anti freeze to your watercooling loop. Anti Corrosives are also available and sometimes included in pre-mixed coolants, unless you are using an aluminium component (such as a radiator) and a copper component (typically waterblocks) you are unlikely to see any signs of the galvanic corrosion that is generally a thing of the past in modern computer watercooling. Brass (radiators), Steel, Copper and Nickel are all fine to use in a loop. Be wary of products from Thermaltake, Zalman and Coolermaster, these manufacturers continue to make waterblocks and radiators containing aluminium and copper components. Recommendations on additives to your liquid? Distilled or Demineralised water - commonly found in Supermarkets with the household ironing and cleaning supplies, or automotive stores 99.99% Pure Silver - Silver when used in contact with water, emits Silver ions, which are proven to have anti bacterial properties. Silver ions emitted are microscopic and run no risk at all of clogging waterblocks, pumps or radiators, and will kill any algae or bacteria that can grow in a watercooling loop.