Saturday, 3 November 2012

water-cool your own PC

Water cooling kits were always considered to be components of gaming machine.
Water cooling kits may sound intimidating due to the premium you have to pay to own one, and the precision required in installing it. However, if you are an avid gamer or a power user, then it is the perfect solution for you. Not only does a water-cooler make your case look funky, but it also reduces the noise level significantly due to the absence of fans. With the arrival of Nvidia’s Enthusiast System Architecture (ESA), hardware which comply to the norms can be monitored in real-time by just installing the nForce System Tools package. So, if your PC case, motherboard and water-cooling kit are ESA-compliant, you can overclock your CPU and GPU, monitor temperature levels, control the fan speed of the CPU and graphics card, control the radiator of the water-cooler, and do much more. You can even control the speed of the water cooler’s pump and monitor the amount of coolant in the pump. We sourced an ESA-compliant case (Cosmos 1000) and water cooling kit (Aquagate Max) from Cooler Master, and an nForce 780i Ultra motherboard from Zotac. Here’s how we put all of them together and built a water-cooled rig.
Step 1: The water cooling kit comprises of a CPU water block, mounting brackets for Intel and AMD CPUs, radiator, water reservoir with pump, temperature sensors, thermal grease, coolant, water tubing, screws, and USB cable for interfacing the reservoir with the motherboard.

Step 2: If you’re assembling a new PC don’t fit the motherboard into the case. You'll need to remove it from the case if you want to add the kit to an existing PC.

Install the CPU and spread some thermal grease on it's surface.

Step 3: If your motherboard supports Intel processors, turn it over and fit the back plate behind the CPU socket. Holding the back plate, turn the motherboard back over and fasten the CPU block with screws. Use the bundled socket 939/AM2 clips for AMD processors.

Step 4: Now fit the radiator on top of the inner side of the PC case or wherever there is a provision. Some gaming cases even have a provision on the side panel. Fasten the radiator with eight screws that are provided in the tool kit.Step 5: Refer to the manual and cut the water tubing into the indicated lengths. Now connect the water reservoir, radiator and CPU block with the tubing.

STEP 6: The back of the water-pump has inputs for power, two radiator fans, five sensors, USB and the inlet and outlet nozzles. Make sure all the wires are plugged in correctly. The USB cable supplied with the kit will go to the USB header on the motherboard. The two sensors should be installed at slots 1 and 2, the other 3 slots being reserve in case you decide to water cool your GPU as well.

STEP 7: Pull the water-pump out just enough to reveal the coolant inlet. The provided coolant is concentrated, dilute it with water in the ratio of 1:3 and pour it into the pump until it is full.

STEP 8: This is how the setup should look like. Make sure that the pipes do not fold, as this can disrupt the flow of coolant. Once you power on the machine you will notice that the coolant level in the pump drops immediately. Once the flow is steady, shut the machine down and fill up the pump with the leftover coolant.

STEP 9: Lo and behold! The Aquagate Max truly transforms an ordinary looking cabinet into a mean machine. The Green LED fans accentuate the look of the coolant in the pipes and the water pump in the front makes the rig look hot as hell!

STEP 10: You can extend the water-cooling to your graphics card as well. The Cooler Master Glacier 9200 is a GPU water-cooling kit custom made for the GeForce 8800 GT and GTS 512 MB.


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