The Aqua-Computer Guide

Discussion in 'Articles / Guides' started by Nitrix, Jan 12, 2005.

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  1. Nitrix

    Nitrix Aqua-Mod

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    Welcome to the Aqua-Computer Guide

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    The ultimate guide to Aqua-Computer water cooling systems. This thread should answer most of your questions about the new range of watercooling stocked by Kustompcs.

    LINK

    The thread is in its early stages and only really covers the basics, but hopefully one of the kind mods will sticky it for me and I will keep adding to it as I have time :)


    The Basics

    Now that you are ready to enter the world of water cooling you should ask yourself the following questions:

    What do you want to cool?

    To start watercooling you first thing you need to know is what you want to cool. There are alot of reasons why it’s good to water cool, overclocking is the main reason for water cooling but there is also other uses for it like silencing your computer.

    The most popular components to water cool are currently the processor, motherboard and graphics card as these produce the most heat, but you can also cool your psu, hard drives and even ram.

    If you’re looking to have an overclocked system you would want to concentrate on the first three (Processor, motherboard and graphics card), the cooler the components the faster you can get them to go :)

    For a silent system you want to drown out the loudest components i.e. anything with a fan, you can even have a passive radiator so there is no fan in you system at all.

    Now you have figured out what you want to cool you need to ask yourself the next question:

    How much space do you have?

    This can be seen as the main restriction in watercooling unless you’re going to buy a new case for your watercooling.

    The largest thing that you’re going to have to fit in your case is the radiator,
    Aqua-Computer has a large range of sizes from 80 (one 80mm fan) to a massive 1800 (15 yes 15 120mm fans :eek: ). If you don’t want to "mod" your case to fit the watercooling in then you can get what I would call "case friendly" radiator, these would be either 80mm/160mm(dual 80mm)/120mm these will fit in easily to most cases that have pre cut fan holes.

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    You will also need to think where you wan to put the other larger components like reservoir and pump. Again if you don’t want to "mod" your case there are options for you. The Aquabay is a great option, it’s made to hold the famous Aquatube in 2 drive bays but it has the added extra of being able to hold the pump on the back :) here’s a pic of mine to give you an idea.

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    Also if you got for the Aqua-stream pump you may need a spare 3" drive bay to hold that, you can see it below the Aquatube in the above pic.

    Getting serious

    Now you have thought about the space you have to play with and what you want to cool you wan to start looking at the "Loop", the loop is the way you setup your watercooling so everything runs as it should. This is quite a complicated subject and can go very in-depth but im going to keep it basic at this point.

    For a good loop you want to make sure you have a few of your components in certain places. An easy way to think about this is think of water flowing down a mountain (silly as it sounds).

    Its always best to have your fill point (the Aquatube) at the top of the loop and a drain point at the bottom with your cooling blocks in the middle which makes it easy to empty and fill your system if needed.

    Here is an example of my loop :

    Please be aware that im using a V2000 case so my loop may seem to be the wrong way up

    Aquatube (res) >>> Motherboard block >>> CPU Block >>> Radiator >>> Aquastream (pump)

    Your loop would obviously be different according to your case and chosen components you just have to remember the basic principle of it.

    Now ive given you a quick insight into planning your watercooling setup im going to look at the components available to you and what you can do with them.
     
  2. Nitrix

    Nitrix Aqua-Mod

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    The Components

    To make up any watercooling setup you need the following:

    • Pump
    • Reservoir
    • Radiator

    These are the parts you need to have, what you cool is up to you.

    I will now guide you through the range of products available and show you how they can meet your needs.

    The Pump

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    The pump can be seen as the heart of the watercooling and is used to pump the water around your system, you can choose between the basic model shown above or combine it with a controller (shown below) to get the Aqua-stream. The advantage of the aquastream is that it has real time error reporting, so it will visually show you if there is a problem (by use of LED's).

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    For people with real space restrictions there are a range of compact pumps available to:

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    The reservoir

    This is probably the most infamous part of the Aqua-Computer setup and is the most well know. If you have ever seen it in any modding galleries and thought "Whats that???" here’s your answer. The Aquatube:

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    The Aquatube is probably the best designed res out there, it is fully water tight and has 6 inlets/outlet for you to use which means it easily fits in to any system. The Aquatube also has a range of what could be classed as accessories that can be brought for it including lighting module and aquajet.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The Aquajet shown above screws straight into the Aquatube, its use it to push the incoming water against the Perspex window to give an awesome waterfall effect.

    Another option for a reservoir which provides extremely easy filling is the Aquainlet which can be attached straight to your pump. This is also great if you don’t have room to fit an Aquatube.

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    The Radiator

    The radiator is another important part of the watercooling system, its job is to cool the liquid. This can be done with or without fans depending on your need.

    As I said before Aqua-Computer has a large range of sizes available to suit your needs, as shown below.

    [​IMG]

    You can also buy external mounts for you rad if you don’t have enough room for it inside your case, these are also a great help if you want a passive system.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Nitrix

    Nitrix Aqua-Mod

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    Blocks

    The use of the cooling blocks in the system is to cool the selected components down without letting it come into contact with the water.

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    As there are alot of different types of blocks for different jobs and fittings I will only be covering the most popular ones in this thread.

    CPU Blocks

    With Aquacomputer components it’s pretty easy to get exactly what you want as 90% of the CPU blocks are compatible with all chip types which is a great advantage when you come to upgrade as you won’t have to change your cooling block as well just the fitting you use to secure it :)

    The two best performing CPU blocks are shown below:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The first (on the left) is the Cuplex Evo (my personal fave), the second is the newer Cuplex Pro which is seen as the best block for £/cooling.

    As I said before both blocks are interchangeable with basically all chip types and you can even select which connectors you use with them (I will talk more about the connector types in the next instalment).

    Motherboard block (Northbridge cooler)

    For the northbridge there is really only one block, the Twinplex but like its larger brothers it’s very versatile. It has been designed to fit any system out there with a range of fittings so you can choose what’s right for you.

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    Graphics block

    Graphics card blocks are obviously used to cool your graphics card down but it also has the advantage of getting rid of those awful modern day hovers...sorry I mean fans :)

    The graphics cards blocks are not as versatile as the above blocks due to the range the design and layouts of the cards change, there is basically a different block for every high end card so I will concentrate on showing you the one for the 6800, shown below.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Nitrix

    Nitrix Aqua-Mod

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    Connectors

    I’m now going to take you into the world of the connectors and what you can do with them.

    AquaComputer have a range of connectors that can make things real easy. Unlike larger tubing systems 1/2" for example where you have to mess about with tube clips AquaComputer used a system called Plug and Cool or P+C for short. This is a great system as all you have to do is push the tubing firmly in and away you go. To release the tubing (best when not filled with water) you simply push the plastic bit on the connector down.

    Pictures of the main connectors are shown below:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Going from the left you have the 90 degree connector, straight connector and finally the "elbow".

    If you plan your system correctly then you can get very cleaver with the connectors, its also a good idea to order a few extra connector just incase your planning doesn’t work out or you have to change something (believe me on this one ive made this mistake :rolleyes: )

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    Aquacomputer also do lots of other connectors for all purposes. Too many to list in fact, including barbs so you could have an Aquatube in a larger tubed system for instance. They also do the above connectors in different widths and thread sizes. This part of the process gets complicated and confuses me sometimes.

    To make it easy for you to figure things out he’s a little explanation:

    Thread:this is what screws in to the block, the most common thread used is 1/8. This is used for the all of the blocks in the range. There is also a 1/4 which is slightly bigger this is also used in all AquaComputer but only for the EVO radiators.

    Width: The width of the connector is the size of the internal diameter of the connector for example 8mm, which is the standard tube size for AquaComputer products. They also do 10mm connector which makes it easy to hook up and Waterchill kit to an Aquatube for example.


    Here is a very quick update showing how you can use connectors to your advantage :)

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  5. Nitrix

    Nitrix Aqua-Mod

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    Advance Connectors

    Moving on I will now show you one on the must have connectors for you system, the valve.

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    This is most useful as you can use it to stop the flow to particular components or use it to drain your system. Meaning there is no more messing about trying to get tube out of one of your blocks when you need to change the water.

    Another useful connector is the "external" connector.

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    This is great if you have decided to have your rad outside the case as it lets you connect and disconnect without any water loss due to the in built valves.
     
  6. semangelon

    semangelon Registered User

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    valve and external connector

     
  7. marcus000

    marcus000 ARGH!!!!!!

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    Just e-mailed you :)
     
  8. Modd1_uk

    Modd1_uk Thats me ^

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    Thought about this for a long time but im not 100% sure maybe you can sway my mind, my system spec is :

    C2D 6600
    evga 7950gt ( will be an 8800gtx soon )
    and a gigabyte DS3 mobo,

    I currently have a lian li pc60 case running 2x 120mm fans and 1x 80mm fans, temps at the moment are..

    35 cpu and 38 mobo, would i see a temp decrease if i chose watercooling

    cheers buddy