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Is liquid cooling for my computer worth it?
No, it is not.
You may read articles by overhyped kids online and in magazines, but rarely do you see a long-term review of liquid cooling.
Well, I have done it for two years, and here are my findings.
1) Liquid cooling is not silent. My Thermaltake Bigwater 780e 3U liquid cooling system review came with a fan, there is a fan in my power supply, and my ASUS P5N-D Motherboard Northbridge Waterblock (liquid cooling) had to use a Northbridge fan (which has to be pretty loud at heavy loads).
2) Like stated above, I was not even able to find a Northbridge waterblock for my particular motherboard.
3) Your computer still gets dusty. Liquid cooling does not cool all of motherboard chips, so there still has to be some airflow inside the case, and dust will abound just like with fan cooling.
4) Liquid cooling system requires maintenance. My Thermaltake-based loop had algae growing in it, and the pump would stop operating every 6 months until I cleaned the loop and replaced the expensive coolant.
5) Coolant level drops and requires periodic filling. Likewise, you need to watch that the pump is operating. Despite their claims, Bigwater 780e does not warn if there is a loss of coolant flow.
6) Liquid cooling is dangerous. Whenever you disconnect any fittings, corrosive liquid drops everywhere, and during a last loop purge, I had to troubleshoot a single small drop of corrosion on my motherboard before my computer even started to operate again. And this is what I found on my graphics card:
What is my recommendation? Get a retail computer with silent cooling based on the heatpipe technology, or install a system like that yourself. Or use a low-power motherboard. A liquid cooled computer is not for the masses, because you certainly need to know what you are doing, and you will have to maintain it as well.
WARNING: DO NOT TRY TO ADD (BLUE) COPPER (II) SULFATE TO YOUR LIQUID COOLING SYSTEM. IT WILL INSTANTLY MURKY UP AND RUIN YOUR SYSTEM. IF YOU ALREADY DID SO, YOU MUST PURGE THE SYSTEM WITH CLEAN (DISTILLED OR BOILED) WATER. BE CAREFUL TO NOT KILL YOUR MOTHERBOARD WITH SPILLS OF WATER AND COOLANT WHILE DOING SO. I RECOMMEND FIRST REMOVING THE PUMP/RESERVOIR/RADIATOR FROM YOUR COMPUTER, AND PURGING THAT SEPARATELY (THAT IS WHERE MOST OF THE GUNK WILL BE). THEN FLUSH YOUR LOOP. CAREFULLY!
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Page last modified 21-Jun-11 16:09:22 EDT