Liquid Cooling Tips on Compatibility, Loop Order, Coolants

Apr 22, 2019 | 3-Min. Read

Erik Nastovski

We’re continuing our series in which we assist first-time liquid coolers with useful info. We’re going down the list which was set up with your help. In the first one, we’ve exclusively talked about drain ports . This time we’re touching a few more subjects.

Worrying about the order of components in your loop

Often we see people cram a radiator in the loop order between hot components not to have warmed up coolant go from one component to the other. This can result in poor aesthetics or simply a bother. It is not necessary. The temperature of the coolant inside a loop almost equalizes, so adding a radiator between components can yield very marginal temperature decreases, sometimes even unmeasurable differences. If you’re trying to get the ultimate performance and trying to benchmark for records, it has merit, but for 99% of users, it’s merely a liquid cooling myth they should ignore.

Lack of research on part compatibility with each other and/or the case and components

This is one of the most problematic issues, which causes RMAs and a lot of headache for everyone involved. But most importantly it makes users frustrated having to wait for correct parts. Doing research which thickness radiator fits your case, or which block fits a specific socket and more importantly which GPU block fits specific graphics card is very important! EK has made a liquid cooling configurator for that purpose alone, allowing you to check which exact block fits your GPU or CPU. And for beginners, EK has also made a custom loop configurator which assembles the loop per your instructions based on the hardware you specify. Allowing you to purchase worry-free and not missing a thing during assembly!

Examples of a GPU block clearly not fitting correctly

Not accounting for enough coolant or tubing

Not accounting for enough tubing can often delay your build, as you have to order more and wait for it to arrive or make shorter tube routes that might not be what you planned initially. This one is deeply linked to planning out loop runs and measuring how much of what you need. EK-kits have enough tubing for most loops and cases.

Not buying enough coolant is usually less of an issue. As long as you have some liquid in the reservoir in order to feed your pump and never run it dry and you’ll be ok for shorter periods of time. The liquid slowly evaporates over time, so it’s good practice to have a reserve in your reservoir and not worry about it.

Creating a restrictive loop from too many angled fittings and bends or not using enough angled adapters to make proper bends

Either using too many angled fittings with weaker pumps or simply not using enough of them to make it easier on yourself during building and/or producing a sub-optimal result aesthetically. While EK angled adapters are not too restrictive, and won’t cause an issue with D5 pumps ( Click here to view EK internal testing ), sometimes users opt-in for a budget pump while using 3 or more blocks. Three blocks alone can be pretty restrictive to a weaker pump, and adding a bunch of angled adapters can further decrease flow. That forces you to either run pump at a higher speed causing noise or lowers your cooling performance due to a lower flow rate.

That’s it for this episode of Useful tips, in 2 weeks we’ll post yet another – further talking about topics that might make your liquid cooling experience better.