external water cooling the iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nebarik, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. nebarik macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2007
    Just wanted to run this by my fellow mac lovers and to see if its worth doing.

    being summer in Australia, its scorching hot and in my opinion not good for a already hot running mac (i render a lot of 3d and video in FCP). also theres the effect of further heating up my room even during the night as i need to leave it on to share its internet connection to other computers in the house and do any long renders. my power supply has gotten up to 80 degree C, and my CPU in the 70's C. most of the heat seems to be on the top of the iMac. i Have the first rev of the aluminum iMacs

    ok so heres my idea. if i get some clear plastic tubing, and a small pump (im thinking fishtank sort of stuff) and run the tubing along the top of my iMac near the vent (but not covering it) do you think it will have much of a effect. or just spill water all over my mac?
  2. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
    I doubt you would notice any decrease in temps with a setup like what your talking about. Plastic doesn't transfer heat very well at all. In order for liquid cooling to work you would have to somehow significantly cool the air coming into the iMac with some sort of heat-exchanger.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about 70 and 80 degrees either. When you start getting into the high 90s and hundreds is when you would want to start thinking about cooling the thing off.
  3. nebarik thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2007
    cool the air going into the imac you say. how would i go about doing that?

    mainly i just wanna stop it from heating up my room so much. it gets so hot in here.
  4. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
    Air conditioning maybe lol I dunno. Just whatever you do don't cool down your room with something that adds excessive moisture to the air; that could be bad for the computer and it's internals... screen too.
  5. nebarik thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2007
    agreed, its humid and stuffy enough as it is anyway. thanks for ur help.
  6. danrel macrumors member


    Jan 20, 2009
    North Carolina
    I definitely would not suggest pumping any cool air inside the iMac case, regardless of how dry the air may be. If you are pumping air in the case that is below ambient temp(room temp), you will run the risk of condensation inside the iMac case, which would in-turn fry your iMac.

    If I were you and was dead-set on cooling the iMac, I would do a case mod where you get rid of the stock CPU heatsink for a liquid cooling waterblock. Then run some tubing from the CPU waterblock through the back of the case, after drilling a couple holes in the case backing. Then you will need a liquid cooling pump/fan assembly that you'll attach the waterblock tubing to.

    That should do it. You'd have to do some modding, if you're into that and you'd definitely void the warranty, if it still applies, but you should be able to drastically bring down the entire systems temp.

    You can find all of the liquid cooling supplies you need HERE. Although, using any of the liquid cooling systems in the link would mean that you would need to create some custom brackets to hold the waterblock in place using materials like sheet aluminum. It sounds pretty complicated, but it's not that hard if you've ever done any metal cutting/grinding, etc.

    I hope this helps,

    - danrel
  7. wawanarchist macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2008
    I used to have the same problem in my room with my old tower pc. My parents always skimp on air conditioning to save money, and when I'd leave my pc rendering overnight sometimes I'd wake up to my room being a good 10 degrees (F) hotter than the rest of the house... I tried watercooling with a relatively cheap kit, that might have cut the ambient heat in my room down a bit, but it was still unbearable.

    I ended up just keeping my computer in the basement for 3 months out of the year. I don't know if thats an option for you, but if you have a basement, its usually a lot cooler than the rest of the house.
  8. doctoresmac macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    Use SMC Fan Control

    The main purpose of the fans are to move the air, so when the heat is over 97º its already to hot, so just move the air faster, use smc fan control to speed up the fans, that will keep the temperature under control.
  9. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    I've noticed that iMac "slim box" design is starving for air. It loves faster spinning RPM fans because its lacks natural air flow... To give it "more vertical air", simply remove the front glass (using suction cups), remove its insides, open its top slot to twice its size (and remove its indirect air blocker), open the bottom vents holes (to allow more intake flow), then re-assemble - in reverse order. Thus, allowing more natural vertical air flow. If wondering, I'll be doing this mod in the next 1.5 months. Open up the box??? Sure.... If folks are opening up their boxes to install larger size HDDs, SDDs and other physical mods, then creating larger air flow holes in its existing bottom and top holes can be done as well...

    As you know, heat = very bad. The more one can keep their insides cooler, the better. Easiest means to keep it cooler is allow more air flow (just like an automobile engine loves air flow as well). IMO, creating larger size top and bottom vent holes is much easier then creating a liquid cool system.


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