There are plenty of things to consider when building your first PC, but beyond motherboards and cases, you need to make sure that all of your expensive hardware does not melt. Computer fans make up some of the most important purchases for building any computer since they help keep graphics cards and CPUs from overheating. With recent advances in personal computer technology, fans are no longer the only method for cooling. Enter: liquid cooling.
Liquid Cooling, also known as water cooling, is a system that uses coolant-filled tubes that cool computer systems with water. While it may sound a bit ridiculous to use water to cool off your system, it is one of the best ways to keep your computer cool when the summer comes around. Water (or another coolant) flows through the tubes gathering the heat that builds up inside the computer and carrying it outside where it can escape. Since water is significantly more efficient at transferring heat than air, liquid cooling works much faster than fan cooling.
There are some amazing benefits to having your computer liquid cooled as well. Besides keeping your computer cooled for longer, it can also reduce noise that would be caused by excess heat and fans. Plus, most liquid cooling systems save space inside of your computer cases. You can find one as small as 120 millimeters which can make cooling specific parts of your hardware easier.
Your new liquid cooling system will be great, but not without a few important attachments to keep your computer cool. Mainly, you will still need a fan to be inserted into your computer. However, it’s only required to keep the coolant tubes cold instead, leaving most of the work to the tubes.
With all that being said, what could the disadvantages to a water-cooled personal computer be? Well, one such problem is that liquid cooling is costly compared to fans, with prices averaging about $300 or more. Also, the fragile nature of the tubes makes installing a cooling system very difficult, so we recommend for any inexperienced PC builders ask for expert help. Lastly, you need to perform maintenance on the coolant tubes every now and then in order to avoid leaks. Much like a car, a great handmade computer can only run smoothly as long as it is taken proper care of.
The question remains: should you take the next big step in building a stronger computer and look into water cooling. On one hand, if you are actively using your computer for programming, digital editing, or entertainment purposes such as gaming, then liquid cooling would benefit your computer in the long run. However, for everything else, investing in a brand-new way to cool your PC can be very costly if not handled with care. So consider your options when you are building your own new computer.