How does a liquid CPU cooler work

Most laptops and desktops use air cooling systems to help improve their speeds. To prove this, simply stop what you are doing and listen carefully. You will notice there is a small fan inside your device that moves air. But as it stands, the small fans are gradually being rendered irrelevant. The ever-increasing speeds of CPUs and graphic cards are becoming more popular. This is because they help improve efficiency and productivity. But for CPUs to generate these new speeds, they must have higher clock rates, draw more power, and have more transistors. Well, this means a lot of heat would be produced within the computer. While manufacturers of laptops and desktops have tried to solve this problem by equipping modern PC processors with heat sinks, this is not enough, as it only makes fans louder and larger.

It is for this reason why a liquid CPU cooler is steadily becoming popular. Yes, this is quite confusing, considering that we are advised from time to time not to put liquid or water beside delicate electronic components. But given how efficient liquid CPU coolers are, they are undoubtedly the best option for when it comes to keeping the components of your computer cool.

How a Liquid CPU Cooler Works

But how exactly does a liquid CPU cooling system work?

If you understand how a radiator for car works, then it will not take long before you know how a CPU cooler works. This is because both of them use the same principle (thermodynamics) to get the job done. The principle of thermodynamics states that heat is transferred from warmer objects to cooler ones. Well, it is evident that this is a simple principle. However, it should not be overlooked because it has been relied on over the years to keep cars moving and functioning as expected. As the heat moves from warmer objects, it keeps them cool, whereas keeping cooler objects warm. You can quickly test the authenticity of this principle by placing your hand flat on a cool surface for almost a minute. You will notice that after you have lifted your hand, the part, which was in contact with the cool surface, will be cooler while on the cooler surface, the part, which was in contact with your hand, will be warmer.

In a car, the cooling surface circulates water through the engine. The water is normally mixed with antifreeze for better results. As the water cools, it comes into contact with hot surfaces in the engine. And these hot surfaces, in turn, warm it, thereby, cooling themselves off in the process. Vehicles also have radiators – systems of tubes and fins with a lot of exterior surface area. The water moves from the engine to the radiator where heat moves from it to the radiator, causing it to cool off. After that, the now cool water goes back to the engine. Ideally, there is a fan that moves air over the outside of the radiator. By warming the air, the radiator cools itself off, and this is what gets rid of the engine’s heat from the car’s cooling system into the surrounding air. It is important that the surface of the radiator make contact with the air and cool off. This is because if that does not happen, the cooling system will simply keep on moving the heat around instead of dispelling it.

Well, this procedure is almost exactly the same as how a liquid CPU cooler works. The liquid cooling system for CPUs can also be described as a radiator for processors. It circulates liquid via a heat sink attached to the CPU. As liquid flows through the heat sink, heat is moved from the hot processor to the cooler liquid. After that, the warmer liquid moves out to a radiator located at the back of the case and transfers the heat to the surrounding air outside the case. The cooler liquid then heads back through the system to the computer’s components so the process can go on and on.


A liquid CPU cooler does a greater job of drawing heat away from the PC’s processor and outside of the entire system. By so doing, it ensures much higher speeds in the processor, considering that the ambient temperatures of the graphics core or CPU are still within the specifications of the manufacturer. Well, this explains why those who overclock their CPUs prefer a liquid cooler for CPUs. In fact, there are reports where some people have used super complex liquid cooling solutions to double the speeds of their processors.

What’s more, using a liquid CPU cooler is highly recommended if you deal with a high-performance CPU. This is because such CPUs require fan speeds of over 5,000 rpm. This is super fast, but again, very noisy. So, if you have a liquid CPU cooler, you will be able to keep your system cool and efficient and at the same time, use your computer in a quiet and favorable environment.

They say anything with an advantage must have a disadvantage. And in this case, one major drawback of using a liquid CPU cooler to cool off the components of your computer is that the entire system tends to take a decent amount of space. A cooling system normally consists of several components, including power supplies, fan, tubing, impeller, and fluid reservoir. Therefore, whether you have set up a cooling system in a case or on your desk, prepare to create a fair amount of space. Furthermore, the cooling system should be properly installed because if this does not happen, leaks may occur. And when leaks occur inside the system, components can be severely damaged.

All in all, using a liquid CPU cooler is highly encouraged because the advantages are more than the disadvantages. It is a simple cooling system that greatly improves the efficiency of a computer. And when the efficiency of your computer is improved, your productivity will no doubt soar.

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