Watercooled PC

Water Cooled PCs

While every component inside a PC does produce waste heat, most components can be kept adequately cool with a combination of a copper heatsink and a fan blowing air over the item and out of the case. However, as air isn't a particularly good conductor of heat energy, if you want a high performance PC you should seriously consider a water cooled PC.

Water Cooling vs Air Cooling

Water cooling a PC allows our engineers to overclock the CPU and graphics card(s) much further than in a air cooled PC, unlocking greater performance, making your water cooled gaming PC faster in games and intensive applications such as encoding videos. For instance, the Intel Core i7 5960X CPU can normally be overclocked to 4.2GHz when air cooled, but in a water cooled PC can be overclocked as high as 4.6GHz.

An overclocked water cooled PC will also run much quieter than an overclocked air cooled PC. For instance, a high-end overclocked air cooled PC will be quite audible at around 45dB, while a similarly specified water cooled PC will much quieter at around 35dB. As the decibel scale is logarithmic, a 5dB difference is perceived by the human ear as clearly noticeable, while a 10dB change is perceived as twice as loud.

3XS Water Cooler

This table compares the noise you can expect from a typical Scan 3XS water cooled PC against other everyday noises.

Source Noise Level (dB)
Whisper 30
Scan 3XS Water Cooled PC 35
Scan 3XS Air Cooled PC 40
Generic Air Cooled PC 50
Normal Conversation 60
Ringing Telephone 80 80dB and above can cause permanent hearing damage with extended exposure
Hair Dryer 90
Power Drill 100
Jet Engine 140
Shotgun 165

How we Water Cool Your PC

You'll find far more components inside a water cooled PC than an air cooled PC. The extra elements form a loop, through which water flows to transfer heat away from the inner workings of the PC.

The most important component in a water cooling loop are the waterblocks, which we fit onto the main heat-producing components such as the CPU and graphics card(s) in place of a heatsink and fan. We recommend EK waterblocks in our water cooled PCs as they perform the best and are available in a wide range of materials and finishes so we can colour match everything inside your PC.

EK Graphics Card Waterblock

The second most important component in a water cooling loop is the radiator, which conducts heat from the water to the surrounding air via an array of fins and fans. As water is approximately 24 times better than air at conducting heat, and the radiators are much larger than a traditional heatsink, this is what makes water cooling much more effective than air cooling.

To ensure your PC delivers maximum performance with minimum noise we fit Scan 3XS water cooled PCs with special fans that have a high static pressure. This means they push more air through the radiator than standard case fans which have a low static pressure. In some water cooled PCs such as the 3XS Bear and 3XS Barracuda we fit multiple radiators to ensure the lowest temperature and noise.

The loop also needs a pump to move the water between the waterblocks and radiator. As pumps tend to be the noisiest component in a loop we design our watercooled PCs so that the pump is hidden away at the bottom of the case, and mounted using some special foam that absorbs excess vibrations. We recommend EK pumps in our systems as these have the highest flow rates and head pressure and are also very quiet.

EK Pump

The loop also requires a reservoir, which acts as a baffle, trapping any air bubbles inside the other components that would adversely effect cooling and noise. The reservoir also acts as the filling point for the loop, allowing our engineers to pour in the water safely and is great centrepiece for the loop with many different cosmetic designs available.

All these components are connected by tubing which carries water between them. Tubing is available in two main types - flexible and hardline. Flexible tubing is a plastic hose that is transparent so you can see the water flowing round the loop. Flexible tubing is available in a multitude of colours and is the most cost effective way to connect a loop together.

For a more distinctive finish consider hardline tubing. This is made up of sections of non-flexible tubing that our engineers heat and bend to shape and the end result is stunning with straight edges and corners instead of the chaotic curves of flexible tubing.

Choose the Colour of Your PC

Standard tap water is full of impurities and chemicals that would clog up and damage the fine channels inside the waterblocks and radiators. For this reason we recommend Mayhems Pastel coolants in our water cooled PCs. This 20nm (nano meter) coolant uses the latest start of the art technology and is blended with corrosion inhibitors and a biocide to stop algae growth, and is designed to last around two years. However, as part of the warranty, we will flush and replace the coolant for free after 12 months on request. Mayhems Pastel coolants are available in a wide range of colours or we can mix up a specific colour to meet your requirements.

White Coloured System

View the complete range of Scan 3XS Fluid Series Water Cooled PCs.