Employees must provide workers with an adequate source of drinking water, this should be free from contamination, and ready accessible, due to the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations, 1992. So, we know that we must hydrate our workers – but what benefit does this provide us? Continue reading “Why keep your workplace hydrated?”
The wide wonders of the PC world offer a motley of add-ons to optimise both PC and personal performance. These advancements can stretch far into the future in a never-ending quest for the next best thing. For example, a mouse bungee will make your wired mouse feel wireless for the reasonable price of £26.77. Water cooling, an efficient, quiet and visually-appealing method of cooling your PC, can cost anywhere from £70 to upwards of £300 for a custom job. It all depends on what you choose to invest in.
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For air-cooled rigs, a heatsink with heat pipes is attached to the CPU’s heat spreader by a layer of thermally-conductive paste. This paste is the avenue, enabling heat transfer by filling in any gaps between the heatsink and CPU. Once the heat has reached equilibrium across the CPU and heatsink, the heat pipes are responsible for ridding the system of heat. Pipes are “filled with a fluid that vaporises as it heats up and rises to the end of the heat pipes, which are usually festooned with thin aluminium or copper heat fins.” The fins are then cooled by a fan, transferring the heat to the air and cooling the fins. This is a basic explanation for how air cooling works.
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For the truly dedicated, overclocking your CPU will increase the performance of your PC (a plus), but will draw more energy, generating excessive heat in the process (a negative). Water cooling is the recommended method for computer enthusiasts who pride themselves on high speeds and multiple cores/cards/etc. since it can prolong the life and function if done correctly. For most people, the computer alone costs enough without fancy add-ons, but water cooling does tend to keep CPUs colder. Since water absorbs more heat per second, less heat lingers in important components. In fact, water moves more heat than air in the same amount of time. Unlike traditional air cooling, water cooling allows everything to be cooled on the same loop.
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Water cooling does use different parts than air cooling, but operates pretty similarly on principles of thermodynamics; it just has a more efficient avenue over which heat can transfer: liquid. Using water blocks, a pump, radiator, fan, reservoir, and, of course, hosing to facilitate movement, liquid cooling is a complex game designed for the rich man.
- Heat energy is transferred from the component of your choice to liquid using a water block which, like a heat sink, benefits from a large surface area. Blocks measure up against one another based on surface area and capacity. These blocks can add unnecessarily to your investment, depending on how many components you want to cool (CPU, GPU, RAM, HDD). Each will require a designated block and potentially cost more depending on your pump/routing.
- The pump you choose will depend on how many blocks you’ve chosen and your configuration plans. Comparatively, pumps differ in a variety of ways, but we’ll focus on the important things: flow rate and head pressure. Flow rate tells you how much liquid can be pumped without restriction (0). Conversely, head pressure is how hard a pump can push liquid with full restriction (100). The tricky bit is figuring out which pump offers the best flow rate. Move too quickly and the water doesn’t have time to absorb heat, too slowly and heat can build up, all of which is affected by the complexity of the path liquid will travel on.
- The radiator or heat exchanger is next on the list, used to transfer heat from the water to the air. Having a quality radiator will increase the efficiency of your water cooling system since the quicker your water is cooled, the more heat it will dispel. The radiator you choose will need to correspond in size to a fan, if you choose to have one. The heated radiator will be cooled by it, heating the air in turn.
- Reservoirs, not included in every system, are where you’ll have a store of liquid connected to the pump. Weird, shouldn’t the amount of liquid stay consistent? Air bubbles are going to pop up, but with a reservoir fitted, these bubbles can be replaced as the water loops through the system.
- Tubing and fittings are best left to a leisurely Saturday morning of research, what with different materials, sizing, and accessories.
We’ve all heard the term ‘water cooler talk’, referring to office natter, and the installation of water coolers in office buildings or any other kind of commercial building is a logical undertaking, people need to drink. There’s a secondary benefit to it though – supposedly having a watercooler in your office can actually boost staff productivity.
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