glagnar's domain
zomg new p0stz
The world is more like it is now than it has ever been before.

Homemade CPU Water Cooler

I've always wanted to try water cooling a PC, but the lack of funds to do so has, well, prevented me from doing so. But after giving it a second thought, I realized how simple the concept is: run water over a CPU, and push the water through a radiator to release its heat, and then repeat the process.

I figured I could greatly simplify the process by using a tiny fountain pump. I figured I could simplify it further by cutting out the radiator. How can I cut out the radiator? By using ice-cold water, of course! I understand completely that this is a poor solution, and that it is extremely inefficient, so don't think I'm a moron: I just like to experiment and have fun.

I took an old AMD heatsink (socket 754, actually, but it fits all current AMD heat sink mounts) and used a drill press to drill three neat holes through it, although I actually ended up using only two of these holes, leaving the center hole empty (big efficiency loss). I then wedged a copper pipe through these holes (again, huge efficiency loss -- the copper pipes are a hair smaller than the holes, of course, but make extremely poor contact with the aluminum heatsink). I turned the pipe around and wedged it through the opposite side's hole, and connected it up to the pump.

That describes the entire setup pretty well. See, the strange thing is the results.

I expected to see temperatures in the 25-35 C range (about 75 to 95 F), because of the extreme inefficiency of the whole thing, and the fact that I had no plan for getting rid of the heat except just 'use more ice cubes'!

But I was stunned. With roughly room temperature water, the system sat under full load at about 25 C (77 F). Using cold water and a big handful of ice cubes, the temperature dropped to 8 C (47 F) under normal usage/idle, and to around 15-18 C (high 50s in fahrenheit) under load.

I have more plans in the works to potentially solve the inefficiencies in my current method/setup. I'll probably put up a separate project page for that.

Oh, also, I apologize for not leaving Prime95 on for a long time; it was a very quick test, around 3-5 minutes, mainly because water was condensing on my copper pipes and was getting on the motherboard.

Test Setup

Motherboard Asus M2V-B ATX board
CPU/Processor AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (90nm SOI)
RAM 512 MB DDR2-667, some cheap stuff
Graphics Card nVidia GeForce 7300 GT (PCI-e)
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional, SP3
Testing Software HWMonitor
Prime95

Pictures/Images

The heat sink and copper pipes

The heat sink and copper pipes

The pump/reservoir setup

The pump/reservoir setup

A crappy screenshot

A crappy screenshot