Author Topic: Liquid/Water CPU Cooling systems  (Read 427 times)

Pete

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Liquid/Water CPU Cooling systems
« on: February 03, 2020, 12:32:31 am »
Hi All

Just wondering who else is using some form of liquid CPU cooling system - and what? - and why?

I have 2 systems here using CPU "All-In-One" water cooling kits - "All-In-One" means a complete kit that comes prefilled and sealed.

Both systems are on their 2nd water cooling kit. They were both initially fitted with Antec Kuhler H2O 650 kits.
I of these failed within 18 months and there was a bit of an argument with Antec Europe about their 3 year Warranty which got resolved when I emailed the CEO Antec USA and explained why I was about to take Legal Action against Antec. I had an email from Antec Europe apologising that a trainee had made a mistake and misunderstood that the Warranty is from Date of Purchase not from the Date of Manufacture. They offered to send me a H600, as the 650 was no longer in production, which I was happy to accept. So Antec Warranty seems good - but you may need to argue if you get stuck with a trainee responding to a Warranty Claim.

The other Antec 650 kit started to fail a couple of weeks ago - just about at the end of the 3 year Warranty.

After a bit of "internet hunting" i decided to replace the failing Antec 650 with a Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite 120 kit.

This was a fairly easy swap over as both kits utilise the existing AMD AM3+ CPU mounting backplate, so unscrew/unclip the Antec CPU cooler, undo fan/radiator assembly and remove from case, fit Cooler Master fan/radiator assembly, clean CPU, "gunge" CPU, clip on Cooler Master CPU cooler and adjust tension screws to give a tight grip.

Seems to be working fine.

Be aware that fitting a kit is not be so simple on all sockets. Very often it is necessary to remove the mainboard from the case to replace the CPU mounting bracket with a bracket supplied in the kit.


The reason I prefer liquid to air cooling is very simple: I live in an old house and no matter how often the Wife whips me into doing the "hoovering" dust build up in CPU air coolers happens very quickly requiring cleaning about every 3 months to avoid CPU overheating problems.

Of course with a liquid cooling system there is still a system fan to clean *plus* the radiator. I have found a trick here that works with both current kits: mount the fan to radiator so that it draws air through the radiator instead of the standard "pushing" the air through. This allows easy cleaning of radiator as the fan is not in the way plus the radiator helps prevent dust build up on the fan. I should add that in 3 years of using the Antec 650 I cleaned the radiator once; with an air cooler I would have been looking at cleaning 4 times a year for 3 years - and probably needed a new fan and heatsink after about 2 years.


Regards

Pete


Dave Yeo

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Re: Liquid/Water CPU Cooling systems
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2020, 02:42:20 am »
Interesting idea to deal with dusty environments. It's dusty here due to wood heat, but I also worry about the power supply, which after a couple of months is also full of dust and I've had them die on me, I believe due to dust and heat build up.

Sean Casey

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Re: Liquid/Water CPU Cooling systems
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2020, 03:37:21 am »
All three of my servers have custom water loops.   I use Swiftech radiators and pumps, except for my CPU waterblocks, which I buy elsewhere.  On the server I run 24/7, I use dual pumps.  Each has a different case and a different cooling setup, but all use triple 120mm fans/radiators.  This allows me to run the fans at very low speeds which are very quiet.  Unfortunately, my 10gb switch makes all the noise.     

I began water cooling as I used to overclock to the limits, but all my current servers (8 and 22 core) use Xeons where I can only bump the base clock no more that 6 percent, so water cooling isn't necessary.  One of my cases has hosted three motherboards over it's 9.5 year life and the other two cases two motherboards.   The water cooling has worked very well keeping all my cores at very low evenly cooled temps, so I haven't felt the need to migrate back to air.

My 24/7 server has the power supply and radiator in a lower compartment sealed off from my mobo.  I pull air through a screen on the side of the case and through my radiator.  Every few months I pull the screen to blow out the dust.   Once a year I shut down the server and use an air compressor to blow out all the dust.  Once every two years I clean the water loops.   I replace the pumps every 5 years.   

Pete

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Re: Liquid/Water CPU Cooling systems
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2020, 04:32:21 am »
Hi

@Dave: I am using a, now, rather old case and it has the power supply located just above where the system fan (or radiator and fan assembly) are located so most of the dust exits the case that way. However, when the psu is out of Warranty - usually 3 years - it is always worth opening it up and *carefully* cleaning out the accumulated dust.

@ Sean: Sounds like you have a bit more experience of putting your own water cooling system together. I did look at various bits'n'bobs but the "A-I-O" kit won on price and convenience. I did try overclocking an AMD Phenom system fitted with an Antec 650 and found it was still fairy stable at +10% and rock solid at +5%.


Regards

Pete



Mathias

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Re: Liquid/Water CPU Cooling systems
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2020, 09:27:15 am »
I *was* using water cooling around 2008/2010 utilising a Levicom all in one dual 5 1/4" slot system including pump, water reservoire and everything.

In the beginning I thought it's wonderful. Unfortunately though this Levicom water cooling solution was poorly made, like for instance wood screws into plastics etc.. so over the years the plastic water reservoire got more and more cracks (you couldn't see these since they were covered still).

One day, all of sudden my CD drive kept opening it's tray... and I wondered wth that is.. - Opening up the case I already saw the mess: Water dripping all over the drives, and some must have gotten into the CD drive.
Uninstalling that thing I saw the massive cracks and gaps in plastics.. also discovered they had used the wrong screws for this plastic case.. oh dear.

Quickly got rid of it, cleaned the mess, dried the hardware and everything went on with air cooling. Until today. Never regretted going back to air cooling. It's cheap, it's reliable and won't mess up your hardware, in case of failure. - Also air cooling has become VERY quiet and effective over the years. - So, why bother with liquids? : ]

ivan

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Re: Liquid/Water CPU Cooling systems
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 01:31:33 pm »
I never saw the point with water cooling especially since the cases I use have removable filters over the air inlets. 

I do use some very large fans on the processors (4inch and 6 inch) but they are connected to multiple heat pipe units that have large radiators.  Works well with the two machines that are on 24/7/365.

Pete

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Re: Liquid/Water CPU Cooling systems
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2020, 08:42:34 pm »
Hi Ivan

Yes my cases have filters over the "authorized" air inlet - but cases are not a sealed environment and dust gets in any gap it can. The dust is then quickly packed into the CPU cooler fins by the cooling fan reducing cooling capability of the air cooling system rather quickly - as I mentioned previously I found it necessary to clean air coolers every 3 months. Water cooling systems require much less effort on my part to maintain  :-)


Regards

Pete

ivan

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Re: Liquid/Water CPU Cooling systems
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2020, 12:54:53 am »
Hi Pete,

I know what it can be like from the computers that friends bring in because they aren't working very well, I got one from a shop that had a layer if dist and lint over an inch thick and they wondered why it was running hot.

For me the heat pipes with the very large radiator and fairly slow large fan works best countering the hairs that my rather large Newfoundland  dog tends to leave all over the house, slow moving fans tend to not pull the hairs in, thank goodness and filter cleaning is about once a month.

I don't think there is one solution that fits all and we must find that which fits the circumstances - the computers out in the engineering are a once a week cleaning job as we found when they started having problems. Such is life.

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: Liquid/Water CPU Cooling systems
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2020, 03:08:02 am »
I guess it is quite a challenge to keep a computer running if you have a pet. I know many of the OS/2 computers in use in mass transit sit in urban subway stations. I thought those computers were pretty dirty, but subway stations are apparently many times cleaner than a home with pets.
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