SML: Water Cooling PC

1.What is your topic and why did you choose it?

This year my topic is I want to water cool my PC for better performance. I chose it as I’d like to have a deeper understanding of computers and I am intrigued by the idea of heat transformation inside a computer.

2.Describe your experience so far: What challenges have you faced? Did you overcome those challenges?

So far my experiences have been good, there were many challenges. My first challenge was finding a suitable and reasonable budget to get every part I need. Then I needed to find the parts, now this was most challenging as none of the parts are sold in Hong Kong. So I needed to lower my budget again to adjust to the shipping cost on amazon. Finally, I did get my parts. When it came to building it was frustrating, at points I did want to give up. I had fittings that kept going lose or won’t fit, I also had tubing that wouldn’t bend the proper way. I remembered what the final product would be and I managed to build an amazing machine.

3.Has your project changed since the beginning? If so, how?

No, my project has not really changed from the beginning. I still came out with the outcome I wanted, the only minor change I did have to make was my final product could not be a time lapse as it took around 9 hours to build it. My camera also died because of the long time period and breaks in-between. The video would be too long, so I’m going to go with an online presentation with photos.

4.What are you proud of so far?

So far I am proud of the research I have done and to see that all the parts fit together. I am most proud of my computer now as it looks good and performs even better than before. Now I can overclock while having whisper quiet machinery and an overall cooler CPU.

5.Do you feel creative when doing SML? If so, what are the conditions that help you to be creative?

Yes, I do feel creative when doing SML. SML is a time where I can pursue my hobbies and passions. Having to design and make sure tubing fits and looks the way I want it to allow me to be creative. I had to place certain parts to fit and look good. Cable management also allowed me to experiment and mess around with the looks. I also chose case colors and water colouring to fit my theme. I believe having freedom allows me to be creative and do something new or innovative.

6.Can you share any specific samples of your learning?

Yes, before this project I did not understand the concept of how water can transfer heat away from the computer. But now I understand what a radiator does just like in a car. The heat is pulled away from the CPU to the radiator where it is either exhausted out or blown on to cool down by fans. I also learned about how the force of the pump and reservoir play a big roll. When doing this project I can suggest to others that it takes lots of time, no matter how many times you fail to keep trying. This taught me to be stronger and more resilient.

7.What have you learned about yourself as a learner? How do you learn best? Does the structure of SML help? Or is the structure frustrating for you?

I have learned that sometimes I give up too easily. If I really am passionate for the subject I am learning about, I learn the best. I believe the structure of the SML does help exect for the research. I believe the research should be free and not so limited or structured. It frustrated me that I needed to have certain requirements. I believe SML should not depend on success or have grades, it should be about the learning.