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Instructions: Do-it-yourself water cooling

Instructions: Do-it-yourself water cooling

Overview

Now that we have precisely defined our motives and goals, let's take a first detailed look at that of complete set chosen by us. The components such as the heat sink or the radiator are also available individually online and the local hardware store and/or aquarium specialist should usually have the remaining 'ingredients' ready. However, a “set” gives you the security of being completely and mutually compatible. The search for the right hoses, valves and connectors is spared. With a price of 204 €, however, the cost-benefit factor continues to be weighed up in 2002.

Scope of delivery
Scope of delivery

One thing first: You won't find any fans in the set. Unlike, for example, the radiators from Senfu, our copy is delivered without active cooling. Swiftech itself does not commit itself to a mounting location, but suggests installing the radiator on the rear wallof the housing behind the fans.

Heat sink

The basic function of the heat sink of a water cooling system corresponds in the end to that of a conventional model. The heat released in the CPU die should be extracted quickly and distributed over a large area for better cooling. In our case, however, the removal of heat is done by the distilled water and not the air.

Swiftech
Swiftech side view
Swiftech base plate

With the one we have The heat sink is the MCW 372 model from Swiftech. The company is known so far primarily for its excellent but extremely heavy and sometimes very loud AMD coolers such as the MCX 462 or MCX 370. And so the MCW 372 also uses the material that is increasingly used in the air sector The advance is: copper. Copper is a relatively expensive raw material, but it has far better thermal conductivity than conventional aluminum. The heat can thus be dissipated faster and distributed more effectively over a large surface. In addition, the base plate of the MCW 372 is very cleanly processed and polished to a mirror-like finish, so it offers the best conditions to absorb the heat generated in the CPU die as quickly as possible. The chrome-plated water inlets and outlets are located on the top of the heat sink, with the pipe that receives the fresh water being placed in the center. The water flowing into the metal body under pressure is thus shot directly at the copper point under which the CPU core is located. The connections are movable andthus the hose routing is somewhat variable.

Radiator

Probably the most important element after the heat sink Water cooling is the so-called radiator - also known as a heat exchanger. The task of the radiator is to extract the heat energy from the hot water flowing out of the heat sink. The current that was previously bundled in the hose is distributed here to a large number of pipes and tubes, which in turn are in contact with wafer-thin lamellas and thus not only conduct a lot of heat from the water, but can also distribute it over an extremely large surface. The expansive radiator can therefore be cooled with no, one or two large but rather low-performance fans. Even though water cooling continues to rely on air, albeit only in the second instance, the background noise can usually be noticeably reduced by the wide spreading of the thermal energy.

Radiator

The radiator from our Set is called 676 and at first glance looks like the radiator of a conventional car. Even after closer inspection, our association is supported. Between the water inlet and outlet, the energy carrier is pressed through a large number of parallel tubes that give off heat to a large number of lamellas. Since the installation behind the case fans is intended, the radiator, unlike the models from Senfu, does not have its own fan.

On the next page: The pump