How to Mount a Radiator on the Back of a PC Case

Written by david ward
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How to Mount a Radiator on the Back of a PC Case
Radiators for water cooling are typically installed in the back of a PC case. (pc image by Dron from

Liquid cooling can increase system performance on high-end PCs. Traditionally, PCs have been cooled by a set of fans that move air out of the case, bringing the heat with it. In the case of a liquid cooling system, a closed system of liquid coolant is added to the PC and run to a radiator, typically placed within the back of the case. The radiator is the key to the system. It is where the heated liquid is cooled by fans blowing air across radiator fins and allowing cooled liquid to be recirculated into the PC.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Radiator
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Install the liquid cooling components within the PC case. This will include the tubing along with all the specific coolant connections for each individual component.

  2. 2

    Install the radiator in a 120mm fan slot on the back of the PC. If the case lacks the appropriately sized fan slot, it may be necessary to modify the case or purchase a new case. Screw the radiator into the slots for the fan screws.

  3. 3

    Install the tubing from the water cooling system onto the radiator.

  4. 4

    Install the fan or fans that came with the radiator. This step is critical, as it is the means by which the heated liquid will be cooled. Depending on the set-up, this may require one or two fans.

Tips and warnings

  • Certain radiators will not fit perfectly on the existing case structures. In this case, using longer screws or drilling into the case can be a solution.
  • The radiator can be installed on the inside or outside of the PC case. Each has its advantages. On the outside, the radiator releases all the heat into the environment. On the inside, the radiator is closer to the power supply and water tubing.
  • Be sure all your connections are tight. Leaking liquid can destroy internal PC components.

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