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Water Vs Antifreeze  

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Okay, I am new to liquid cooling on computers...but I rebuild cars as a hobby.

Looking at the basics, pretty much everyone here is using straight water and a biological agent, with UV dyes if so chosen.

Now, if I remember correctly, automotive antifreeze has better heat dissipation properties, when mixed properly. (An example would be my 99 Interceptor. Running a mix of 75/25 coolant/water, my temp needle barely moves off of the bottom)

So, when planning to make my liquid cooling system, I'm considering adding antifreeze to the system, mainly because I want it to be able to do CPU/GFX/GFX and whatever else I decide. (I'm also planning on a new mobo and 2xGFX cards first)

What are the known downsides to using automotive coolant? Does it impair effective system function at all, no noticable change, etc?
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post #2 of 38
At the temperatures of the system, antifreeze provides nothing more than anti-corrosive properties. Water cooling loops simply do not get hot enough to require more than 5-10% antifreeze.
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post #3 of 38
Interesting colouring too though

~B~
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post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 
Even after multiple interfaces? Interesting.

Would the same be applicable if I set up a Peltier on the CPU?
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post #5 of 38
You're not looking for freeze protect, but you are looking for a good corrosion inhibitor mixture in the coolant.

I run about 20% PG (Propylene Glycol) in my loop. It has a good inhibitor mixture with the distilled water and the PG keeps the pump well lubricated.
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post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 
Yes, but one thing that almost everyone forgets is that automotive coolant isn't JUST an antifreeze....it's designed to dissipate heat too. That's why when you run a car on straight water here inFL, you're going to blow the engine a lot faster, too much heat build up.

My main goal is to build the cooling system from the start and design it for the most efficiency and lifespan that I can.

Now, if coolant isn't that necessary, what about water tension reducers? (IE, Water Wetter). They reduce the surface tension (cohesion) of the water so that it is more effective at dispersing heat.

Does anyone use those, or is it pretty much distilled water and a radiator then go? (I know, you also have to have anti-biologicals and anti-corrosives also)
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post #7 of 38
Anti-freeze can make the coolant to thick (viscous) that hurts thermal transfer and can very well cause pump cavitation with these little hobby pumps that we use...That is if you add to much..

I run about 10% anti-freeze as a pump lube, anti-corrosive and ph buffer..I add a couple of other things in small amounts also...The less you add to distilled water the better your cooling will be, I just add very small amounts of additive for very specific reasons..

These are the best threads I've ever read for PC coolants, really great work he did, I reread them every few months and still usually come away with a little more understanding each time...

..PC Water Coolant Chemistry - Part I

..PC Water Coolant Chemistry - Part II
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post #8 of 38
I run just Propylene Glycol
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post #9 of 38
You also want to make sure not to use too much anti freeze as it will make the water more viscous and hurt the flow.
post #10 of 38
As Ira and others said, the main problem with using an anti-freeze based product is it's going to pump slower, and over all, that means that less heat is moving from your blocks and into your loop to be dissipated away.

That being said, I use a mixture that is 27% Propylene Glycol, and the rest water, and I find that works the best. Keeps the algae and other foreign agents out, but still provides all the heat dissipation of water.

Anti-freeze, I find, just isn't worth it most of the time.
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