Stop Doing It Wrong: How to Kill Your CPU Cooler (AIO Mounting Orientation)

A lot of PC builds online (including manufacturer photos & NR200P builds) incorrectly mount AIO liquid coolers, leading to pump noise/whine and early cooler failure.
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FOLLOW-UP answering common questions from the comments in this one, like cavitation, custom loops, tubes not reaching, and more!

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We've wanted to do this video idea for a long time now, but finally got around to it after seeing an increase in manufacturers incorrectly picturing liquid coolers installed in their cases. Bitfenix and Cooler Master have both shown installation procedures that can actually kill the cooler, while pretty much everyone else has shown some form of sub-optimal installation that will minimally hurt the acoustic performance of coolers. In instances of mini-ITX cases like the Cooler Master NR200P, we've noticed a lot of build photos on forums online (and in YouTube media, but we don't blame the YTers or builders for overlooking this) installing coolers bottom-mounted. This, we think, isn't an issue with the reviewers or the PC building enthusiasts, but with the educational materials provided with the cases. The fact that there is an explicitly mentioned bottom-mount for radiators in a case where it's very likely to be used is a problem, and any case with such a mount should include warnings against installing closed-loop liquid coolers with block-mounted pumps in these positions. Installing a custom loop bypasses this issue, since the pump is almost never going to be in the block, and therefore should never be at the top of the loop (it's more likely to be in the middle of the loop). But AIO CPU coolers should not ever be bottom-mounted with the pump at the top of the loop. Manufacturer websites (shown in this video) also commonly show front-mounted radiators with tubes at the top, which will become noisy as permeation increases, and sometimes can be noisy immediately. This video is a PSA to try and help reduce pump whine, pump noise, and prevent liquid coolers from dying early or overheating.

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Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360 on Amazon:
EK's AIO 360 D-RGB will eventually be on Amazon here:
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Or find the Liquid Freezer II 280 on Newegg:
Noctua NH-D15 on Amazon:
EVGA CLC 280 on Amazon:


00:00 - Stop Doing It Wrong!
03:14 - Mounting AIOs Wrong Can Kill Them
04:52 - How Liquid Coolers Work
05:52 - Cutting Open a Cooler & Building a Test Vehicle
07:02 - Proving a Point with a Clear Coldplate
07:30 - Important Science: Air Gap & Permeation
08:55 - Manufacturing an AIO Cooler
10:03 - Permeation & Plastic Deformation
11:00 - Experiment Setup
13:00 - Good: Top Mount, Tubes Down
14:46 - Bad: Bottom Mount, Tubes Up
15:52 - Lowest Point vs. Highest Point in the Loop
17:10 - Pump Starved for Water & Plastic Decay
17:56 - Bad: Front Mount, Tubes Up
19:50 - Ideal Orientation for Front Mount
20:03 - Good: Front Mount, Tubes Down
20:58 - FEP, EPDM, & PTFE Tubing Explained
22:50 - Permeation & Evaporation Rate (Ideal Conditions)
24:24 - Air Bubble Formation & Pump Noise or Failure
25:01 - Stop It!

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