Here is a great article for people are just get starting to get into watercooling. The articles explains what decisions and options you have.
So, here I am ready to watercool for the first time. As I get ready to start my adventures, I have so many questions and of course, I'm going to try to get the best parts for the money. In this guide I will try to answer the most common questions. The first step I did was look around at the different forums (overlockers forum mostly) to get an idea of what I wanted to do, and how do it. Of course, Jon (JFettig) and Scott (nikhsub1) were a big help too! Thanks guys.
The basic parts you need are the pump, cpu water block, tubing, fittings, heatercore and water additive. Now before we start, we must make an important decision. That decision is that size of tubing you should use. Your options are 3/8" ID or ½" ID. I highly recommend you use ½" for the optimal flow rate. Once you make that decision, we can move on. The pump should be quiet and have a good flow rate. I would recommend 300+ gph pump. Some pumps don't have the right outlet size, so you might need to change them. In this case, I had to do that. Now remember most of these pumps are made to run 24/7.
The next part is the water block. There are so many different types today, it's hard to decide what block to get. However, there are some blocks that stand out the most. There are Cathar's, Cascade and his new block Storm. Other great blocks are the RBX and TDX from Danger Den and Swiftech MCW6000 series. I recommend that you look at reviews of each block, and go from there.
Tubing is also a critical factor in watercooling. There are basically three types of tubing. ClearFlex 60, Tygon, and of course vinyl tubing. Tygon is one of the best types of tubing, but it carries a heavy price tag. It's like $3.00USD per a foot. The next best tubing is Clearflex 60, it cost about ½ less then Tygon and is still good to use. Last, vinyl is cheap and does ok. I wouldn't recommend vinyl. What makes tubing qualify as good tubing? We'll basically it makes good bends without major kinks. Kinks can kill your flow rate quickly. Now if you do have a kink, there is a way to help fix that problem and the best part is that it's easy. Take some wire ties, and place them like every inch and tighten them down. This will take most of the kinks out. Other good tip is making your system air tight and water tight. It's a good idea to use metal pipe clamps. Now some people make the mistake of getting to big of clamps. Make sure you get the size that is just a bit bigger then the tube to insure that it seals good.
Now is the time to pick a unit to cool your water. There are several options however the best is a heatercore. That's right, a heatercore right from a car. These units offer the maximum water flow and heat transfer. Most people use the '86 Chevette heatercore. They perform good and also a great size if you are going to put it in your case. I recommend that you buy one from a watercooling store, since it will have the barbs soldered on it.
Last, we come to the water additives. There are many options to choose from. Take a look at our additives review and make the decision. Any of them are a good choice. When you order your additives make sure you read what ratio it recommends. Too much of one additive can do more harm then good. Pick up a UV dye and UV lights, so the water will glow.
This great watercooling adventure was soo worth it. Now, I don't have to worry about my system overheating while playing my first person shooters games. I can overclock my computer even more and still stay cool. Your computer will put fear in others eyes when they see it. Enjoy your watercooled computer and take it to the max!