Introduction of Liquid Cooling(water cooling)
Schematic of a regular liquid cooling setup for PC's DIY Water cooling setup showing a 12 V pump, CPU Waterblock and the typical application of a T-Line Liquid cooling is a highly effective method of removing excess heat, with the most common heat transfer fluid in desktop PCs being (distilled) water. The advantages of water cooling over air cooling include water's higher specific heat capacity and thermal conductivity.
The principle used in a typical (active) liquid cooling system for computers is identical to that used in an automobile's internal combustion engine, with the water being circulated by a water pump through a waterblock mounted on the CPU (and sometimes additional components as GPU and northbridge) and out to a heat exchanger, typically a radiator. The radiator is itself sometimes cooled additionally by means of a fan.Besides a fan, it could possibly also be cooled by other means, such as by means of a Peltier cooler (although Peltier elements are most commonly placed directly on top of the hardware to be cooled, and the coolant is used to conduct the heat away from the hot side of the Peltier element). Also, a coolant reservoir is often also connected to the system.
Besides active liquid cooling systems, passive liquid cooling systems are also sometimes used. These systems often discard a fan or a water pump, hence theoretically increasing the reliability of the system, and/or making it quieter than active systems. Downsides of these systems however are that they are much less efficient in discarding the heat and thus also need to have much more coolant -and thus a much bigger coolant reservoir- (giving more time to the coolant to cool down).
Liquids allow the transfer of more heat from the parts being cooled than air, making liquid cooling suitable for overclocking and high performance computer applications. Compared to air cooling, liquid cooling is also influenced less by the ambient temperature. Liquid cooling's comparatively low noise-level compares favorably to that of active cooling, which can become quite noisy.
Disadvantages of liquid cooling include complexity and the potential for a coolant leak. Leaked water can damage any electronic components with which it comes into contact, and the need to test for and repair leaks makes for more complex and less reliable installations. An air-cooled heat sink is generally much simpler to build, install, and maintain than a water cooling solution, although CPU-specific water cooling kits can also be found, which may be just as easy to install as an air cooler. These are not limited to CPUs, however, and liquid cooling of GPU cards is also possible.
While originally limited to mainframe computers, liquid cooling has become a practice largely associated with overclocking in the form of either manufactured kits, or in the form of do-it-yourself setups assembled from individually gathered parts. The past few years have seen an increase in the popularity of liquid cooling in pre-assembled, moderate to high performance, desktop computers. Sealed ("closed-loop") systems incorporating a small pre-filled radiator, fan, and waterblock simplify the installation and maintenance of water cooling at a slight cost in cooling effectiveness relative to larger and more complex setups. Liquid cooling is typically combined with air cooling, using liquid cooling for the hottest components, such as CPUs or GPUs, while retaining the simpler and cheaper air cooling for less demanding components.
Since 2011, the effectiveness of water cooling has prompted a series of all-in-one (AIO) water cooling solutions. AIO solutions result in a much simpler to install unit, and most units have been reviewed positively from review sites.
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