How to set up a water cooling kit for PC. How to watercool your pc

However, if you’re building a budget PC or PC without one of the top-tier CPUs, liquid cooling becomes a more aesthetic luxury.

Why don’t you custom water-cool your PC?

We wonder what’s stopping you from starting water cooling, specifically custom water cooling.

System name Neon Master
Editor AMD Ryzen 5900x
Motherboard x570 Aorus Master F35d
Cooling H115i RGB Platinum 280mm
Memory G.Skill Neo 32GB @ 3800 MT / s C16
Graphic cards RTX 3080 Tuf OC
Storage 980 PRO 2 TB / MP600 2 TB
Display (s) LG 27GL850-b / LG C1 65″
Thing Phanteks evolves X
Audio devices DT 1990 Pro / Scarlett
Charger Seasonal Prime Ultra Titanium 1000W
Mouse Scimitar Pro
Keyboard K95 Platinum


System name Black box
Editor Intel Xeon E3-1260L v5
Motherboard MSI E3 KRAIT Gaming v5
Cooling Tt tower + Tt 120 mm fan
Memory G.Skill 16GB 3600 C18
Graphic cards Asus GTX 970 Mini
Storage Kingston A2000 512 Gb / s NVME
Display (s) AOC 24 “Freesync 1ms 75Hz
Thing Corsair 450D with high air flow.
Audio devices There’s no need.
Charger FSP Aurum 650W
Mouse Yes
Keyboard Of course
Software W10 Pro 64-bit

Too much maintenance for a 1C or 2C difference between the best air coolers and the good AIOs
I prefer a decent AIO for its ease of installation, appearance and space saving.
Custom loops are a joke, as are comments trying to justify their use.

hard pipe fittings are usually only replaced with the outer diameter which must match the outer diameter for hard pipe. The most common sizes are 1/2 inch (13 mm) and 5/8 inch (16 mm).

Choosing a water cooling kit for PC

Screenshot by Corsair

Many reputable brands such as Thermaltake, Cooler Master and NZXT produce liquid cooling kits in various sizes with different functions. The liquid cooling kits are available in sizes from 120 to 360 millimeters, with features such as RGB lighting and OLED screens.

Choosing the right water cooling kit depends on many factors. The kit should be compatible with your computer’s CPU and should match your computer’s case. It should also provide adequate system cooling. Overall, 240mm options like the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240 fit most standard ATX cases and provide significantly better cooling than smaller 120mm options like the Asus ROG RYUO. Larger 360mm AIOs like the Arctic Liquid Freezer II often provide the best cooling, but take up more space and are often more expensive than smaller options.

Planning the installation

Most PC cases have multiple heatsink mounting locations. Often the radiator can be mounted on the front, top or bottom of the case. It’s best to decide in advance where the radiator will fit to avoid problems. Once you have decided where to install the radiator, you can mount the fans on it using the long screws provided. Modern fans usually have an arrow or some type of marking to indicate the direction of the air flow.

Most AIO fans come with a variety of mounting brackets to fit either Intel or AMD processors. Each type of bracket is only compatible with one type of processor and it is very important that you use the correct bracket to mount the waterblock.

The mounting bracket attaches to the processor using the backplate on the back of the motherboard. Some motherboards already have a compatible backplate installed, while others will require a new backplate to install the AIO. Most water cooling kits come with a backplate that is compatible with Intel or AMD processors for easy installation. Many modern cases allow users to replace the backplate without removing the motherboard. In some cases, users have to remove the entire motherboard to install the backplate.

Cooling fluids – there is a whole lot of them, most often they are full water changes. I had no experience with them, but I heard mostly good things about them. Frozen Cpu offers a whole lot of different types.

When stock CPU coolers just don’t cut it


And according to Intel, Tcase (IHS) is 74c. Not only that, but the idling temperature never dropped below about 55 degrees, which in the first place sounded the alarm.


Fortunately, the student’s budget allowed for a decent upgrade, and bearing in mind that it was getting very hot in Buenos Aires, he agreed with me that we should have fitted a Corsair water cooling system, which of course also required a shiny new case to put everything in.

Open loop or closed loop?


PC enthusiasts have been experimenting with different ways of cooling processors for many years, and water cooling was largely born in the kitchen using all the materials available. An open loop or custom water cooling system usually consists of a block, pump, tank, radiator, pipes and fittings (connections). This is largely a work of love, it takes no prisoners, and the fluid used will determine how often the coolant should be changed. Actually a purist’s delight, but if you don’t have the time or the inclination, it’s a nice surprise to discover that all-in-one or closed-loop water cooling is now very popular in PC modding at affordable prices.

water instalation

All the required components in a closed circuit system are built into the kit, and the pump on the block and the tank effectively become part of the cooler. The beauty of this type of setup is that the coolant never needs to be replaced and the risk of accidental leaks, although not unknown, is greatly reduced. Our student friend decided for the Corsair H100i GTX system, which consists of a block with a built-in pump and a large 240mm radiator with two 120mm fans.

All you need to run the water cooling loop is distilled water (not tap water) and some biocides to protect components from corrosion as well as prevent the growth of bacteria. This tour will also provide a clean finish, providing a base that will allow you to add some colored dye if desired.

Pump & reservoir

EKWB Thermaltake Core P5 pump

source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Headquarters

The pump pushes the liquid through the loop. This is what will allow the liquid to flow to dissipate heat from the CPU and graphics card to the radiators. Without it, the water-cooling loop would not be effective at all, so it’s important to choose one that is capable of pushing enough fluid through your setup.

it is easier, especially at the beginning with water cooling, to use the reservoir and pump. In the photo above, these devices are great because you not only have a solid, reliable pump, but also a reservoir in the tower that is ready and prepared to receive fluid and run it through the pump using only gravity.

The reservoir and pump assembly typically only requires a single 120mm fan mount, which can help you save space if you plan to build into a more compact enclosure. Just make sure the inlet is at the top of the loop and the other valve is at the bottom to bleed the loop when changing fluids.

If you need help choosing the right one for your next version, we have prepared the best PC Water Cooling Pumps and Tanks to get you started.

Hold everything together


Water-cooling soft and hard tubes

source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Headquarters

Tubing is where the fun really begins. It wouldn’t be a water cooling loop if you weren’t able to move fluid from one component to another, and that’s where plastic pipes come in. There are different types and differences between soft and hard PC water cooling tubes which I will introduce.

The soft tube is usually made of rubber, silicone, PVC, neoprene or other compounds, and is usually flexible, which makes it easier to work for tighter water cooling loops. They also require almost as little effort to install compared to hard pipes, so if you prefer an easier route, soft pipes are certainly a good option.

Hard and stiffer tubing such as acrylic, glass, carbon, and PETG can be used to create truly amazing PC designs. Unlike the softer tubes, these tubes are not flexible. You need to use a heat gun and special cutting tools to not only cut to length but also bend the tube. On the other hand, you won’t have to deal with kinks and can work with a cleaner design.

Liquid-tight seals

You also need a thermal paste. It helps to create a strong connection between the CPU and the water block so that heat can transfer. You can get a tube for around $ 5

Is Liquid Cooling Worth It?

If money wasn’t an object, liquid cooling is absolutely worth it. Keeping components cool is a great way to keep them working efficiently and can extend their life.

  • Better thermal performance
  • Amazing aesthetics
  • Less bulk problems for RAM
  • I can see more of your motherboard
  • The best way to really customize your PC
  • Could be louder
  • Very expensive
  • Requires additional tools to complete
  • New skill required
  • Risky (leaks)

Is it Worth Liquid Cooling A CPU

CPU cooling with liquid is really only worth it when dealing with high-end desktop processors. The latest flagship processors from Intel and AMD can run at impressive speeds that can generate a lot of heat, so liquid cooling the CPU makes sense.

However, if you’re building a budget PC or PC without one of the top-tier CPUs, liquid cooling becomes a more aesthetic luxury.

There are air and liquid cooling options that can provide excellent cooling performance, so it’s down to your preferences and budget in the first place. Liquid cooling is easily superior to air in most cases, however, if your custom loop is small, you may find that cooling capacity is lacking.

Maintenance is not so bad if you are not getting the wrong products and taking extra measures to filter the fluid even if you are using distilled water and testing inhibitors and biocides every few months to maintain the pH7

What Is Liquid Cooling?

When we talk about liquid cooling in mid-range computers, we mean all-in-one (AIO) liquid cooling systems. These are ready-made components from companies such as Corsair and EVGA. For this to work, you don’t need to fill the reservoir with coolant or assemble multiple parts as you do with the self-cooling design. These systems usually (but not always) use water, which is why they are often called water cooling systems.

Just follow the instructions to install the cooling system as you would with any other computer component. However, checking your lines for leaks is always a good idea.

AIO liquid cooling systems consist of three basic parts that you need to know about. First, the radiator is a large boxed part with fans. This is where the fluid circulates, taking hot fluid from the CPU and running it through the system to cool it down before it comes back to take more heat.

The second important part is the water block and the pump. This is the part that attaches to the top of the processor. The water block has a base plate that sits between the rest of the block and the CPU. This is where heat goes from the CPU to the cooling system. The water block usually also includes a pump that moves the liquid through the system.

Between the cooler and the water block, we also have tubes through which the liquid flows as it moves between the two larger components. It is important to pay attention to the tubing so that you look for potential leaks when you first install it, although this is unlikely to happen.

Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler

This versatile liquid cooling system from a trusted brand is an affordable water cooling option. However, it is more expensive than many air cooling fans.

Is Liquid Cooling Better Than Air Cooling?

Brown Noctua air cooler with fans and massive silver heat sinks.


Overall, liquid cooling works better than an air cooler. However, there are exceptions to this. Some aftermarket air coolers do an amazing job and can compete with lower end liquid coolers – especially single fan coolers.

Overall, however, liquid cooling tends to be better than bulky fan and heat sink sets. Air cooling is the heat being absorbed by the metal base plate. The heat then travels up the heatpipes to the large heat sink, where the fans disperse and push the hot air out of the CPU. Liquid coolers, on the other hand, also use a base plate, but the heat is absorbed by the liquid, which is more efficient at transferring heat than air. This hot fluid then moves away from the CPU where the heat is dissipated through the heat sink.

Another issue is that high-efficiency air coolers, such as those that can compete with lower AIO liquid-cooled devices, are much heavier and bulkier. An air cooler such as the Noctua NH-D15 can do a fantastic job in terms of cooling, but may not fit cases with lower ground clearance. Some large air coolers can also block RAM slots if you’re not paying attention to orientation.

Also, custom loop products and even kits are shaky even from water cooling leaders such as ek, who started making brass fittings and then nickel plating so far instead of metal and nickel plating, which can also fail. I have a few that came with the p280 ek kit

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Antifreeze blends better at transferring heat than water alone, regardless of its state, whether distilled or not, and is therefore used for internal combustion applications than otherwise. Raising the boiling point and lowering the freezing point makes plain water a more efficient coolant, but that doesn’t mean the water does the job. The reason the properties change is because the “work” is directed towards ethylene glycol, with H2O as the ballast component in the blend, not the other way around. Only water does its job in there. [; best capacity, as ballast for other chemicals. Water is nothing more and has no reactivity with anything else known to man. Water only does part of the job to a certain extent. Adding ethylene glycol increases it.


Reply 13 years ago na Introduction

Definitely not! Water has a much higher heat capacity, it can absorb and transfer more heat energy without raising its temperature so much. Work is NOT directed to ethylene glycol. And instead of water as a regulator, which is what ethylene glycol is, its sole purpose in the blend is not that it conducts heat better, it is due to the interconnecting properties of the solutions that make the blend have a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than the water itself. The antifreeze is only there to make it harder for the REAL coolant to evaporate or freeze k? BTW Cooler is actually bad for the speed at which the electronic pulse (signal) can be transferred at some point and going to -20C as someone said earlier can actually slow you down,while this may make you take less energy to run your CPU (superconductivity), it will start to get bad to cool it down at some point.


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