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Originally computers were always cooled with fans and heat sinks, computer cooling for most people was nothing to even think about. Things started to change as CPU temperatures began to rise and over-clocking became more and more popular. This led to a demand for better cooling. This gave rise to water cooling components and kits. As time went on enthusiasts wanted more out of their systems and consequently out of their water cooling, and so more and more insane ways to cool a machine started to emerge. Methods ranged from your basic water cooling setup which cost around $150 to truly insane set-ups using liquid nitrogen costing thousands of dollars! Water cooling is affordable for most people. A basic kit includes a radiator, a CPU block, water pump and some pipe. Bigger systems can involve addition components like a reservoir that allows you to top up the water easily, more blocks for other components like graphics cards and more radiators for better cooling. The position of the radiator has a big impact on how effecting your cooling system is. The idea of the radiator is to get rid of the heat from the water, which is done by passing the water through a series of small pipes inside the radiator so the water spends a long time transferring its heat into the surrounding copper. Ideal places for radiators include outside, in a wide open space or in a fridge/freezer! Not so great places are small places, in a greenhouse or inside the computer case! If your system is located near a window, or if it's feasible to cut a few holes in the wall, then you could pass the piping for a water cooling system outside. The radiator could also be located outside too. Placing the radiator in a shaded area and painting it black will also help with keeping it cool. A problem that many wouldn't foresee is the issue of sub-zero temperatures. To prevent the water from freezing in the pipes, add a small amount of antifreeze to the water in your system. Be sure to check that the antifreeze you are using will not corrode your pipes, radiator or heat blocks. Surely that's it right? Wrong, what about that big temperature differential between the freezing cold water that's coming in from out side and the heat that's coming from your components (cpu etc)? If there is a large different in temperature then it is possible that you will get condensation forming on or around your heat blocks/pipes. This can be very dangerous to your hardware. If that condensation begins to drip, it could short out your motherboard, as you probably realise that is a bad thing! This can also happen with systems that use heat exchangers and liquid nitrogen. Basically, if you use something that gets below 0 degrees Celsius there is the possibility of condensation. The most effective way to prevent this from happening is to place your whole rig into a tank filled with mineral water, but for most people this is not a practical solution! The next best thing is to buy water resistant insulation gel. Before you wire up your system, cover the areas that may be at risk from moisture/condensation. Then generously apply the gel directly onto the PCB (printed circuit board). This gel will prevent any condensation forming and will give some protection against water.


The next level up from water cooling is thermoelectric systems. These often use Peltiers to cool the components. When power is applied to a Peltier, one side gets very cold provided that the other side which gets hot can be cooled effectively. It is possible to combine Peltiers with water cooling systems. Dramatic improvements can only be achieved if your water cooling system is really efficient at keeping the Peltier cool. Peltiers can not be powered off your standard PSU (power supply unit) and have to have their own specialised power supply, usually costing over $200. Next, at the bottom of the pile for practicality is liquid nitrogen (or any other chemical that gets cold). If done properly this can cool your components to below -100C or below, and allows fully unlocked chips to be over-clocked to insane levels. Liquid nitrogen is also dangerous to handle as it is rather cold! It is also very hard to get hold of and the set-up needed to use it costs a fortune. Remember to be very careful when setting up any kind of liquid cooling based system as electronic components hate to be wet as much as they hate being hot!

Tom C W Higgins Provider or up to date information on technical services and web based ftp.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tom_C_W_Higgins

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