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  • How to Build Your Watercooling Loop? What is Needed
  • How to Build Your Watercooling Loop? What is Needed


    Optional Components and Conclusion

    Optional Components are anything beyond the practical purpose behind watercooling.  The list is exhaustive and can include all sorts of things and of them I have three practical suggestions to consider.

    The first item is a drain.  If you are using softline tubing the drain is pulling a hose and catching everything in a bucket.  Problem is when you go to hardline tubing it is not practical to pull a coolant line and expect it to drain nicely.  For this I would suggest adding a “T” fitting to the lowest tube in your loop and plug it with a cap or ball valve.  This gives you an easy way to drain the system for the inevitable coolant change. 

    The next item to consider is a coolant thermometer with a digital display or sensor that can connect to your motherboard.  The sensor will allow you to monitor what his happening in your loop and be able to set alarms if things get too hot.  If anything you can see how efficient your system is and if you really needed those oversized fans.

    The last component on my list is a high end fan controller.  Most aircoolers come with PWM fans that will change speed based on temperature and CPU load.  You can still use these fans if you are only cooling the CPU however connecting video card{s} to your loop will change the load dynamic.  By adding a fan controller you can manually adjust the fans to meet your cooling needs and balance everything for noise control.

    A note about fans

    You will need fans and I have purposefully left fans off this list because it is easy to get carried away.  Ideally you will want high flow fans for your case and static pressure fans on your radiator.  That is not a hard and fast rule but and optimization for the whole system. 

    Can you use high flow fans on a radiator?  Sure and the thinner radiators actually benefit from that because they offer little resistance.  Likewise you can use static pressure fans in your case it may improve cooling or it may increase the noise footprint.

    Point of this is, even if you are cooling both the CPU and Video Cards you still need to provide airflow for the radiator, motherboard and drives.  Adding more fans specifically for the radiator is a must but that doesn’t mean you can’t just move your existing fans instead of physically adding more.

    It reality adding fans is personal preference and should be gauged on your particular build and after everything has been specified.


    In this article I outlined some of the things to watch out for when planning your first watercooling loop.  It is not an exhaustive list but does include the basics with everything distilled down to what was important.  

    Buying your first watercooling loop may seem like a complicated task but aside from "sticker shock" the process is really easy once you know the basics.  After that don't be afraid to try new things and experiment with component choices.

    From here your next step is to hit up a reputable online retailer specializing in watercooling components and start looking at what they have available.  I'm going to provide a couple places to get you started. 

    These are US based shops but many fo the components are available world wide.

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