In early April, I reviewed the EK 275 Conquest. It’s a gaming PC built with custom liquid cooling, which brought forth years of misconceptions, bad advice, and dated ideas about custom liquid cooling and what it could do to the hardware. What if there’s a leak? What if a fitting isn’t put on correctly? What if I need to take the loop apart to troubleshoot a problem?


  • Misconceptions about custom liquid cooling
  • Making the process easier
  • Room for error
  • Non impossibile

I quickly learned that I had nothing to worry about.

The Conquest was remarkably easy to get set up, and within a few hours after using it, I had a shopping cart filled with parts for a custom loop of my own. It’s a hobby that has come a long way for newcomers, so I sat down with Attila Gober, senior product marketing manager at EK, to understand the common misconceptions about liquid cooling, how the industry has made it more accessible, and how the process doesn’t have to be scary.

Misconceptions about custom liquid cooling

There are a lot of misconceptions about custom liquid cooling, and it makes sense. You’re putting water next to components that cost thousands of dollars, which is prime for speculation and assumptions. According to Gober, most of those misconceptions are either wrong or severely misguided.

Let’s start with water and the idea that it could ruin your components. Liquid-cooled PCs don’t, or at least shouldn’t, use just water. Companies like EK and Mayhems sell dedicated coolants, which are comprised of multiple chemicals that prevent algae growth and rust, among other protections. Unlike straight water, they aren’t electrically conductive — at least initially.

“All of the coolants which are made are non-conductive. When you put them into your loop, that’s when the liquid becomes conductive,” Gober said. It’s the process of the liquid rubbing against metal in your loop that makes it conductive, so the only risk comes from neglected leaks days or even weeks after the loop has been running. Gober says leaks and minor spills beforehand aren’t a big cause for concern. “Leave it to dry, leave it for one day or maybe even more, and you have a 99% chance that everything will be fine.”

The other major misconception is maintenance. Gober says this is the “main misconception” he’s encountered, because custom liquid cooling doesn’t require much maintenance at all, assuming your loop is working correctly. EK recommends replacing your coolant once per year. That’s less than most air-cooled PCs.

Gober had a personal experience to share on this front: “Even when I had a fully air-cooled PC with 12 Noctua fans, I was cleaning my filters, dusting my PC every few months.”

That’s not to say the custom liquid cooling is easy. Although basic maintenance is much less than what new builders may assume, a custom loop makes it more difficult to get at your hardware in case there’s an issue. “This is why it’s important to always test the hardware prior to installing liquid cooling,” Gober said.

Making the process easier

Custom liquid cooling has been around for decades, but misconceptions aren’t the only thing that have held would-be custom liquid coolers back. It’s been a slow process, but the liquid cooling industry has been pushing toward making the process easier and more inviting to newcomers.

“EK and the whole industry has been working toward this, that it is easier for everyone to get into custom loop liquid cooling without all of the fears and mishaps,” said Gober. An example of that is EK’s Leak Tester, which is a small tool that can point find leaks in your loop before you put liquid in. EK isn’t alone here, either, with companies like PrimoChill selling pressure meters to detect leaks.

Avoiding the hard sell, Gober provided a free DIY alternative: Simply blowing through the loop as custom liquid coolers have done for years.

The number of custom liquid cooling products has grown significantly, too, allowing for more diverse hardware and easier installation. Lian Li’s PC-011 Dynamic case — among the best PC cases you can buy — has dedicated distribution plates available, for example. “Even changing your coolant nowadays is much safer because you have disruption plates, more ports for draining,” Gober said.

To see how far custom liquid cooling has come, it’s good to look back. Gober shared that his first introduction to liquid cooling involved using Bluestone, a copper sulfate mixture used as a disinfectant. Now, not only are dedicated coolants available to purchase, but they’re backed by support.

“The way you got this important information was forums and stuff like that, but nowadays, manufacturers have like, ‘buy this and if something is wrong, then you have our support,’” he said.

Anche il lavoro non è ancora finito. EK è in realtà nel processo di lancio della sua linea di prodotti Matrix 7, che sarà uno standard per il raffreddamento a liquido personalizzato che dovrebbe semplificare l’hardware di raffreddamento del liquido con l’hardware del PC.

camera per errore

Gober ha condiviso un certo incoraggiamento per i nuovi costruttori che potrebbero essere spaventati dal raffreddamento liquido personalizzato. Ha detto che “nemmeno nuovi costruttori, effettivamente i veterani” rendono la parte degli errori del leone, che di solito si riduce a non leggere il manuale o fare la dovuta diligenza durante il processo di costruzione.

Ha sottolineato un esempio di un costruttore che installa un blocco GPU separato da un circuito liquido e si lamentava del surriscaldamento, nonché dagli utenti che installano i tubi in un modo che il liquido non si circola durante il blocco. “Queste sono le cose di base, come se non capisci, devi leggere il manuale.”


Il raffreddamento del liquido personalizzato non è facile, ed è lontano dal semplice. Ma gli appassionati che sono interessati all’hobby hanno un sacco di spazio e risorse per correggere gli errori prima che siano dannosi. Nel caso di una perdita, ad esempio, Gober dice che si verificano principalmente quando il costruttore non ha pagato abbastanza attenzi1. “Ogni volta che ho avuto una perdita, è stata colpa mia perché non ho controllato”

Non impossibile

Il raffreddamento del liquido personalizzato non è per tutti, e lo ha riconosciuto. È per i professionisti che vogliono spremere il massimo dal loro hardware, così come gli appassionati che vogliono solo un po ‘di glam per Instagram. “Mi piace confrontare la scena della macchina alla scena del raffreddamento del liquido,” disse Gober. “Devi davvero avere raccordi rossi e verdi? No, tu no. Devi avere grandi ruote sulla tua auto? No, no, no. Ma qualcuno potrebbe volere una bella macchina e dire al mondo, “questa è la mia macchina.” “

Se sei un principiante e vuoi entrare nel mondo del raffreddamento liquido personalizzato, questo è solo il primo passo. C’è un sacco di ricerche, leggere e domande coinvolte. Ma non è così scoraggiante di un compito come era una volta, e questo è ottimo per i costruttori di PC che vogliono far risaltare la loro costruzione.