The CPU generates tremendous heat, but, can safely run at 70 degrees Celsius. Water cooling reduces the temperature dramatically and allows for sustained overclocking (faster maximum clock speeds).
The heat sink that comes with the processor is replaced with a water block that is mounted directly on the chip. Water circulates through the block, which transfers heat from the CPU to the water, keeping it from overheating. A pump is used to to circulate water from a reservoir to the water block, and then to a radiator. The radiator is cooled by fans, removing the heat from the system.
How to Choose a CPU Water Block
We chose the Swiftech Apogee HD Water Block because of it's low resistance, cooper water block, and multiple outlet ports, that allow for parallel flow to other components and the radiator, which decreases resistance to flow (see PC Water Cooling Blocks and PC Water Cooling Principles and Ideas). Make sure that you get the additional, free mounting bracket for this universal water block to fit newer mother board designs (such as AM3).
How to Water Cool the CPU
The mounting procedure is similar to the GPU (see GPU Water Cooling), but easier because one does not have to worry about cooling additional RAM, and there are less mounting configuration choices. After the standard heat sink is removed, a thermal compound is thinly spread on the clean CPU (how to apply a thermal compound). The water block is attached with screws to the mounting bracket on the back of the mother board.
Desktop water cooling principles and ideas. When building a water cooled gaming PC, we offer some concepts that you may not have thought of and show you what we think is the best way to water cool your computer.