Liquid Cooling System

What Does Liquid Cooling System Mean?

A liquid cooling system is a technique used to keep a computer processor’s temperature low using water as the cooling medium. This cooling mechanism provides efficient cooling and helps to minimize the noise generated by higher processor speeds. However, this efficiency comes at a cost in that the liquid cooling system is costlier than a traditional air-cooling system and its more complex design requires proper maintenance.


A liquid cooling system may also be known as a water cooling system.

Techopedia Explains Liquid Cooling System

Higher processor speeds create more heat, requiring more efficient cooling, which can be provided using either a liquid cooling system or an air cooling system. The liquid cooling system involves allowing water to circulate through a small pipe inside a heat sink attached to the processor. As the liquid flows through the pipe, heat dissipated by the processor is transferred to the cooler liquid. The warm liquid is allowed to flow through the pipe to a radiator where the excess heat is released into the ambient air outside the system. The cooled liquid recirculates again through the pipe to the processor to continue the cooling process.

Water has a higher thermal conductivity than air, so a water cooling system helps the processor to run at high temperatures while keeping the system noise low.

Some industry experts predict that water cooling systems will become the next obvious choice for personal computers. They are widely used in modern data centers because of the strict cooling requirements required therein.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.