A recent invention in DIY PC water cooling is to replace the reservoir and radiator with a PVC cooling tower. These evaporative cooling towers work much in the same way as the cooling towers in nuclear power plants. Water is dribbled from a shower head at the top, evaporating away much of the water, and losing a lot of heat in the process.
It consists of a PVC 'Y' Piece, with two openings facing up, the bottom capped off, and a length of pipe sticking straight out of the top. The water comes in through a shower head attached near the top, dribbles down into the reservoir, and is pumped back out through the bottom. This simple process is able to cool the water to below ambient temperature without load, and no fan is required. Although, in some cases, a fan can be placed on the other side of the 'Y' blowing inward for additional cooling.
So simple. Able to cool far better than any radiator, and at a fraction of the cost! Of coarse, nothing is without it's disadvantages.
- This thing will go through A LOT of water. Water is constantly evaporating, and will need to be refilled, how often depends on your climate. The larger the reservoir, the more water it will hold, and thus, more infrequent fillings. But you can't go away for very long with your computer running.
- The increased humidity may make the room a little less comfortable.
- Condensation, it is unlikely that your cooling rig will drop below ambient while the CPU is putting out all that heat. But there is a chance, especially if your using it in conjunction with a peltier.
- Size, this thing won't fit in your computer, it needs to be mounted outside. It won't travel well, so you might need an alternative box for LAN parties.
- You need to build it yourself. If this is a problem, well too bad, no company sells PC cooling towers. But who knows, they might catch on someday.