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Do you remember the days of unscrewing the case of your computer, taking it apart, and seeing the CPU (the processor, remember?) sitting there, plain as day? No? Are you sure? Oh. Well, whatever. Those days, too, are long gone. Now the CPU is covered with a gigantic heat sink and fan, usually, so you can’t see the little fella.

Today, turning on your computer without having a heat sink (at the very least) or a fan (preferably both) means your CPU will run for a few seconds before overheating and killing itself. Needless to say, I’m a bit paranoid about it.

I may have mentioned that I am a dust magnet. I attract dust. It falls around me wherever I am, like Pig-Pen. Therefore, the insides of my computers tend to be full of dust as well. And if there’s one thing I hate, it’s having to scrape off the CPU fan and then trying to get all the clogged crap out of the heat sink fins. I am not “hardcore” enough to want to go with water cooling. I have no desire to turn my computer into a fish tank.

So, how could I find a middle ground? By using the Corsair H100 Liquid Cooling system, of course. This replaces the old fan and heat sink combination.

Liquid cooling for the masses

Liquid cooling has always been in the realm of the “overclockers,” those yahoos that bump up the juice to the processor in order to make it run faster than it was intended. Making it run faster makes it run hotter, so more drastic cooling solutions are needed. I don’t care about this. I care about cleaning out dust.

The way this thing works is that it runs a self-contained liquid through a pump, which runs over the CPU and ‘washes away’ the hot, which then runs to a radiator where fans push cold air over it, and then the liquid goes back to the processor.

There is some danger, such as there being a leak and sending liquid all over the place, but I didn’t have a problem with that.

As luck would have it, the 800D has a nice spot for the radiator right on top. Installing it, which I was nervous about, was actually really easy. Screw in the radiator to the top of the case, screw the fans into the radiator, change a couple of pieces on the pump (to fit my processor) and fit it on. There’s no water buckets or anything to worry about since it’s all self-contained.

This means, however, that there needs to be an unobstructed flow of air from the top of the case. You wouldn’t want to put it under the desk if there’s no clearance as you want air to  flow away freely and quickly and not be smothered. Otherwise, it won’t work very well.

Here we see that there’s nothing to stop the flow of air and the heat passing through the radiator will be swept away.

In this picture, on the other hand, we see that hot air is being sent directly to the underside of a cat. Worse, that air is being trapped and re-heated. Worse still, cat hair will get into the radiator and clog it up. Even more worser is that cats like warm air hitting their underside so I’ll have to be diligent about keeping cats off the top of the case.

So, now I’ll never have to worry about cleaning gunk out of the heat sink or fan. I never thought about having the clean off the radiator, though. I’m beginning to think that’ll be a whole lot harder, but I’ll deal with it when I need to.

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