How do liquid cooling cool the processor?

Liquid cooling systems -whether custom or AIO- can significantly cool down the processor, allowing it to operate at a good temperature. In this article we are going to tell you how this component works , and how it manages to lower the temperature of the processor in such an efficient way.

In the past , processor heatsinks were almost all airborne, and only some advanced – and daring – users had liquid cooling systems to cool the components of their PC. Today this is no longer the case, and more so with the arrival of AIO kits that have made liquid cooling available to everyone. And, while custom is much more customizable and performs better, the basis of operation is the same.

So liquid cooling has been used more and more, especially to achieve clock speeds much higher than normal, which is known as overclock. Whether applied to a CPU or a graphics card. In this case, for the explanation, we are going to rely on a system to cool the processor, but in a custom circuit this can be extended to a graphics card and other additional components.

The components that make up the liquid cooling circuit

As we said, the base is the same for all liquid cooling systems, including the AIO (All in One), and they consist of the same components, although yes, with some variations because the custom ones allow cooling, in addition to the processor, others. components such as the graphics card, the RAM or even the chipset and the VRMs of the motherboard in the most advanced models.

To begin with, all these systems must have a pump , which is responsible for moving the cooling liquid inside the circuit. It is also necessary that there is a CPU block (or GPU, RAM, etc.) that is the one that makes contact with the component to be cooled. We will need tubes or pipes, fittings for the joints, a radiator , fans and the coolant . All these components have their specific function that we are going to see, together, below.

How to cool down the processor

The operation is as follows: the processor generates heat, and all this heat goes to its IHS, which is the upper part and it is the one that heats up and we must cool. To do this, we place a CPU block that makes contact , whose base is generally made of copper as in air heatsinks. Inside the CPU block we have the coolant , which due to its properties is able to heat up and cool down very quickly.

The next component that comes into play now is the pump , which can be external or built into the block, as in AIO kits. The pump ensures that the coolant is always in motion (it pumps it, and hence its name), making it circulate throughout the circuit, and that is why all components have an inlet and an outlet tube. Thus, from the CPU block the hot liquid circulates through the pipes and fittings to the radiator.

The radiator, which in some cases also incorporates the coolant reservoir (and in others this reservoir is external), has several tubes that run along its entire surface, generally joined by a lattice of aluminum sheets to promote heat distribution. In turn, we have the fan or fans that are passing fresh air from outside between this framework, thereby cooling the radiator .

Thus, the heat of the liquid is transferred to the radiator effectively by the zero principle of thermodynamics (or principle of thermal equilibrium). In short, the liquid is hot and the radiator cold, and both components tend to equalize in temperature, so the heat from the liquid passes to the radiator, which is being cooled by the fans.

In this way, by the time the liquid exits the radiator back to the CPU block, its temperature has dropped a lot, and by the same principle of thermodynamics, the liquid will cool the CPU block again, taking the heat back to the radiator, and so on. it will do so constantly. And, by the same process, if the CPU block is cooled, it will cool the IHS of the processor , thus lowering the temperature of the processor .

In short, how does it work?

Basically a liquid cooling works as a cold spot at one end, which comes into contact with the hot surface of the processor or graphics card (CPU / GPU block) and the opposite end a hot spot to which all the heat from the cold point (the radiator) to later dissipate it with fans with high air flow and high static pressure to reduce its temperature.

The water, together with the pump, is responsible for accelerating the heat transfer process from the cold point to the hot point to always have the cold point with the lowest possible temperature. The hot spot must always be perfectly ventilated and not saturated with heat since if it reaches very high temperatures it will eventually stop working effectively as the water heats up when it passes through the CPU / GPU block and cools when it reaches the radiator thanks to the fans.

Thanks to all this process, it is possible to keep the hardware at a much lower temperature than normal, which gives room to force its clock speed to achieve better and higher performance. Of course, requiring a more exhaustive maintenance than in air cooling.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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