It seems as though every company out there wants more and more of my money. Recently, I have been spending more of it lately on my water-cooling system. Most of the money spent is from me being an idiot, burning out my pump, and not from experimentation.
In my adventures these last few weeks, I have managed to burn out a pump, torque down the screws in my water block too much, find ways to make tubing leak, and spend lots of money. Well, I swore I would do it right this time and not make any mistakes while assembling my latest water creation.
No matter how you plan things, there are always some kinds of obstacles one must work around when putting together a water-cooling system. One of these hurdles is tube routing. In my case, I have been pretty lucky in that I have a HUGE case to work with, that doesn’t mean though that there aren’t any small angles I can neglect. For tight spots like this, most people go the route of using internal springs.
Now, internal springs are a cool concept because they keep your tubes from kinking, but they are a MAJOR PAIN IN THE BUTT to get into place. I spent so much time trying to get these springs into place where I needed them that I went to the local hardware store and ended up buying more 1/2″ OD tubing to extend my tubing so I wouldn’t have to use this CRAP.
You may say to yourself, “ok, he’s a nut, that’s what I would have done too” but having less tubing is better. I now have 12 feet of tubing and 3 obstacles for my pump to try to negotiate water through.
- CPU Block
- GPU Block
I’m not saying that I could have saved a huge amount of tubing by using springs, but anything I can save will only increase the performance of my assembly.
Enter Swiftech Coolsleeves.
Coolsleeves are PVC coils that are designed to replace the need for internal springs, and meant for 1/2″ OD tubing. They are like little Slinkys’ that you install over your tubing to prevent kinking.
- Clear Transparent (non UV)
- Horizon blue (UV reactive)
- Saturn Green (UV reactive)
- Signal Green (UV reactive)
Now, one of the neat things about these is that they are EXTERNAL so they can be installed without disassembling Johnny 5. In an already existing water cooling setup, this may not be a huge issue because, honestly, if you put your setup together with kinks in your tubing you should be shot in the head and left floating in a pool of your own stupidity.
I almost hate to admit it, but these things work. It always seems that the simple ideas are the ones that make a difference. Coolsleeves stop kinks!
I will tell you this though; it takes a long time to cover your tubing with these things, especially when you are playing with 12 feet of tubing. Would I rather play with this stuff then play with internal springs? I HATE INTERNAL SPRINGS!
Mind you, I am in a somewhat unique situation here. 1 length of Coolsleeves (40″) should typically fit all the tubing in a single CPU cooling circuit, and 2 lengths for single CPU and GPU. In my workup though, with all the lengths of tubing I have going through my system I could have used 3 lengths of Coolsleeves. In the pictures above, I have the blue stuff going to my radiator from my GPU block and the clear stuff going from my pump to my CPU block to the GPU block. To “sleeve” all my tubing it would cost under $15.00, as 1 40″ length of Coolsleeves runs under $5.00 on average.
Although in the above pictures you can’s see any tight spots where Coolsleeves would have been needed, I spent some time mapping out tubes and playing with different configurations so I wouldn’t have to use internal springs. It would have been nice if Swiftech had introduced these things while I was putting this rig together as it would have saved me a lot of time, and tubing.
I’m not going to lay my opinion down for you in a pro vs. con manner, but I am going to tell you that for the price you will pay for some Coolsleeves vs. a bottle of Tylenol; I would go with the Coolsleeves. They are cheap, effective, and can be installed AFTER your rig is up and running. They do, however, take a while to install; approximately 40 minutes in my setup.