We demonstrate how to upgrade a PC for super-silent, energy-efficient, ice-cool performance.
Liquid-cool your processor
Step 1. Power down your PC, unplug it from the mains and discharge any static before opening up the case. You’ll need easy access to the processor and will have to remove the old heatsink and fan. Take out every component and wire that’s in the way. Label each wire as you go, noting what it plugs into.
Step 2. Thermal paste is usually applied between the processor and heatsink in order to ensure the best heat conductivity between the two components. An easier option is to choose a heatsink with paste pre-applied, such as the CoolIT ECO ALC we’re using here.
Step 3. Next you need a retention bracket, which sits over the processor and allows a heatsink to be screwed in. Note your processor and motherboard models and use a search engine to find a suitable bracket. Our CoolIT ECO ALC supports most Intel and AMD processors manufactured in the past five years.
Step 4. Select the correct backplate from the retention bracket kit, adjust its size if necessary and then attach it to your CPU. If yours is an AMD setup, you’ll need to unscrew and swap the Intel brackets attached to the ECO ALC for the AMD ones, then screw the heatsink on to the backplate already on your motherboard.
Step 5. Remove the old heatsink and three-pin connector to reveal the processor. The ECO ALC heatsink can be screwed on to the installed backplate and retention bracket. Connect the new three-pin fan plug to the motherboard. If the heatsink isn’t securely attached, you can frazzle the processor in no time at all.
Step 6. Most liquid-cooled kit has a separate fan and pump to keep your processor cool. The pump has one pipe to carry cold liquid to the CPU and another to take hot liquid away. Unscrew and remove the old fan, then install the new one. Be sure to install the fan correctly or the pump won’t be able to do its job properly.
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