They're sort of like barbs with integrated clamps. You take off the retaining ring, slip it over the tube, push the tube on, and then screw the retaining ring back on. I personally find them much easier to use and much better looking than the alternatives.
Sidewindercomputers.com has a great selection of compression fittings for cheap. Dude ships fast too...
I think they work better than barbs simply because you can easily loosen and remove hoses if needed without having to gut zip ties and such.... Also, clamps and ties are ugly as $hit and who wants that
FrozenCPU has decent ones at $6.99... IMO, if you are going to spend at least a couple hundred dollars on a water cooling setup then it is definitely worth the money spent on compression fittings. But the cost will really depend on what size fittings you are looking for; the real expensive ones are the larger angled fittings.
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