water cooled


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water cooled

A cooling system that uses water. Like a car, water cooling systems for electronics circulate water in a loop between the heat sources and a cooling radiator. In personal computers, the components that generate the most heat are the CPU chip and GPU (graphics processor chip). Every second, trillions and quadrillions of transistor state changes take place, which generate substantial heat. See CPU, GPU and active area.

Faster and Quieter
Water cooling systems appeal to people who push the envelope and build personal computers with the fastest chips, because water cooling is very efficient. They also eliminate large, noisy fans. Water cooling is not new. Some early computers and large mainframes were water cooled, but gave way to air cooling as advancing chip technology reduced their overall size. Water cooling a room-sized computer required extensive plumbing.


A Closed Water Loop
The Zalman Reserator radiates the heat from the hot chips to the outside world, and only a small fan is required. Water is pumped from the radiator to the CPU to the GPU to a flow indicator (in front of case) and back to the radiator.


A Closed Water Loop
The Zalman Reserator radiates the heat from the hot chips to the outside world, and only a small fan is required. Water is pumped from the radiator to the CPU to the GPU to a flow indicator (in front of case) and back to the radiator.







Built Into the GPU Card
This PNY graphics card cools itself and the CPU. The radiator and fan (left) cool the water from the card, and the center unit is placed over the CPU. (Image courtesy of PNY Technologies, www.pny.com)
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