Instructions: Do-it-yourself water cooling

Instructions: Do-it-yourself water cooling


Wherever you are currently browsing the Internet, in many places the impression that there is interest is consolidating on a water cooling as big as seldom before. The development of ever faster processors, driven by the competition between Intel and AMD, has pushed the established method of air cooling to its limits. Main stream CPUs have never been so hot and PC systems so loud. But not only the relatively high price for water cooling has so far kept many potential buyers away from this project. The relatively large fear of contact seems to be one of the most common inhibitions. In our small workshop, we therefore want to implement the installation of a water cooling system in the form of a complete set and clarify the most important questions on the topic. We neither want to get a price for the most beautiful PC nor the crown for what is by far the coolest system. The 'SWIFTECH MCW 372 Watercooling-Kit' ( Link ) around the heat sink MCW 372 from Swiftech served us as a test object, which the well-stocked online shop www.pc- kindly made it available.

Why water-cooled?

But whereare the all decisive advantages of water cooling actually? In the first place there is certainly the at least theoretically much better cooling performance of such an apparatus. Since water (0.61 W/mK) has a thermal conductivity value 235 times higher than air (0.0026 W/mK), more heat can be conducted much faster from the heat sink and thus from the CPU. Even a conventional cooler, no matter how powerful, reaches its limits physically much earlier.

Since the water in the Radiator heats an extremely large surface, the air cooling used there can also be made more efficient. Real air turbines with 6000-8000 rpm are superfluous. Often misunderstood as an advantage of water cooling in the past, this property of the so-called 'WaKü' is currently causing more and more PC owners to consider retrofitting: In addition to a possibly useless case fan, the extremely loud CPU fan with 6000 -8000rpm.


Before we start assembling and installing the water cooling, we should first pause for a moment and be clear about the which direction our actions are going, which goal they should lead to. First and foremost is the installation of the water cooling. Is the whole procedure so complicated that only enthusiastic hobbyists should access it? If so, where will the problems and their solutions be? The question should also be very clear: 'Can water cooling be seen as a quieter and more efficient alternative to extremely powerful but also annoying air cooling (> 6000 rpm) for many users?' The second goal is therefore to reduce the noise level with improved cooling performance to reduce.

The journey is the goal

But we don't just want to keep the result in mind before the installation. Also the way thereshould be carefully considered before the first move in order to avoid mistakes later. We want to determine the final placement of the components and the cable length before the actual assembly and carry out a test of the circuit before starting up the PC. The assessment of the scope of delivery should be particularly important for this. At this point we will also incorporate some theoretical basics into the workshop.

On the next page: Overview