Installation (the Radiator)

Asetek has done an excellent job of making the installation and setup process for the WaterChill kit as straightforward and painless as possible.  The Owner’s Manual is clearly written and well illustrated and takes you through the entire installation process step by step.  All the necessary hardware bits are provided. 


The push-on fittings used throughout the WaterChill system makes installing the tubing quite easy.  Be careful though when pushing the tubing into the waterblock fittings as it can take a lot of force to fully seat the tube end in the fitting, which can disturb the alignment of a pre-seated block.  I found this to be especially true with the VGA waterblock.


The most challenging part of the installation for most people will probably be making the necessary case modifications for mounting the radiator.  Because of its size, options will be limited.  I chose a Lian Li PC60 mid-tower aluminum case to illustrate the installation process. 


Note: I highly recommend that you fully test your new water-cooling system for at least 24 hours before powering on the actual computer.  Once all the WaterChill components are completely and securely connected (water lines and electrical) fill the system with distilled water only and run it to check for leaks.  You can enable the WaterChill Control Unit by powering it from a spare power supply (+12 VDC) or by jumpering the power supply in your computer.  If you do have a leak, distilled water can be cleaned up relatively easy and will most likely do no permanent damage to the motherboard, video card, etc. as long as they are NOT powered on.


I’m not going to go thru the entire installation and setup of the WaterChill kit.  As I said before, the Owner’s Manual does a very good job of explaining it all — read it!  Here are a few installation highlights.




I chose to install the radiator into the top of a Lian Li PC60 case.  If done carefully, just the right position can be found so that the radiator clears a normal power supply (5-1/2′ deep) and the fan holes are cut so that the existing case top fan slots and mounting holes will be removed.


Ideally we would like to draw the relatively cool room air into the PC case thru radiator.  For this particular installation though, I chose to exhaust the internal case out thru the top mounted radiator.  To assist with the total case airflow, I installed a second 80 mm case fan on the back of the motherboard tray right below the existing one.


Because much of the heat being generated inside the computer case (CPU and GPU) is being removed by the water-cooling system, we can get away with exhausting the case air thru the radiator without compromising cooling efficiency.  Later on during normal operation I found that the internal case air temp was only 1~2ºC over the ambient room air temperature.


WaterChill CPU/VGA/Chipset Water-Cooling System - Cases and Cooling 39

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The first step in mounting the radiator is to decide where you plan to position it.  Once this has been decided carefully layout the position of the two large radiator fan holes. 


WaterChill CPU/VGA/Chipset Water-Cooling System - Cases and Cooling 40

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I used a 4-1/2′ hole saw to cut the two top fan openings for the radiator.  The center of the first hole is 9.0′ from the rear edge of the case, on centerline.  The two 4-1/2′ fan holes are 4.75′ center-to center.  Once the two big fan holes were cut, I used a paper template that I traced from the radiator to lay out the eight 3/16′ bolt holes, which will be used to mount the fans and radiator.


Asetek provides sheet metal screws of various lengths for mounting the radiator and fans.  Unfortunately none of them were just the right length for my installation.  I purchased a handful of #6 flat head sheet metal screws x 1-1/2′ long and then ground them down to the exact length I needed.  If the screws are too short they will not thread into the radiator mounting tabs.  If they are too long they will bore into the radiator core fins.  I really wish HWlabs would incorporate captive nuts into their radiators!


WaterChill CPU/VGA/Chipset Water-Cooling System - Cases and Cooling 41

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I mounted the radiator and fans in the following order: radiator > fans > case top > fan guards, with the fans pulling air thru the radiator and blowing air out the top of the case. 


WaterChill CPU/VGA/Chipset Water-Cooling System - Cases and Cooling 42

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As you can see the radiator fits nicely into the top of the PC60.  Be sure to use a power supply with a bottom air inlet so the radiator doesn’t block off airflow to the power supply.


Here is another picture of the radiator after it was mounted with the fans sandwiched between the radiator and the top of the case.  This mounting arrangement takes up the top two 5.25′ drive bays in the case but still leaves approximately 2-1/2′ of room in the front of the radiator/fans. (View looking in thru the front 5.25′ drive bay openings)


WaterChill CPU/VGA/Chipset Water-Cooling System - Cases and Cooling 43

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Since I am using an Antec TrueControl power supply the remote control panel fits nicely in the second drive bay and even has ventilation holes in the front for a little added airflow if needed.  That still leaves room in the top drive bay for a multifunction panel.


WaterChill CPU/VGA/Chipset Water-Cooling System - Cases and Cooling 44

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I added a second 80 mm fan onto the back of the motherboard tray and positioned both fans so they are blowing into the case.  This insures adequate airflow to the radiator when combined with the airflow from the two front mounted 80 mm fans.  The fans are mounted on the outside of the case to give a little more room inside.


OK, now that the hard part is out of the way, lets move on to the rest of the installation.



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