One of the most commonly offered bits of advice concerning open loop water cooling for PC's is to always use the best possible loop components possible or severe consequences will follow. This mentality compounded with the fact that the majority of builders who decide to do custom water cooling are using higher end components that are very expensive to replace, can create a somewhat paranoid mindset that reinforces the exclusion of all but the priciest parts options.
Several online tech personalities have dabbled with low cost water cooling products, but these experiments while providing some helpful information, have never been serious attempts to find a real-world solution that is an actual viable option for long-term use on high end gaming computers. For the most part, these have been parody in nature or utilized some parts with critical flaws. In the end, the conclusions that are drawn reinforce the prevailing opinion. . . Do not do it! I respectfully disagree and would like to argue my case.
Over the past couple of years, I have been building, experimenting, and learning about all types of gaming PC's and one of the funnest discoveries has been firing up a system under custom loop cooling and seeing silly-low temperatures across the CPU and GPU which allow for bigger overclocks that can extend all the way up to voltage limitations as opposed to thermal ones. I would love to put that thrill within reach of the average gaming PC builder.
It is my belief that highly effective, reliable, expandable, and easily repairable custom loop water cooling can be done at a much lower cost than the majority opinion in the PC community. It could even be characterized as "affordable". . . a word seldom if ever associated with custom water cooling. After a lot of testing, I present here what I feel to be a META for putting together the cheap, Chinese water cooling loop.
One of the great cost advantages of AMD's Ryzen CPU's is they all include a functional cooler. Truth be told, almost any decent entry-level aftermarket cooler like the Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO or even the $15 DeepCool Gammax 200T will match or outperform the stock Ryzen coolers here. That being said, the 65 watt TDP Wraith Stealth cooler, which is the cheapest of the stack has a reputation for not leaving any thermal wiggle room beyond stock clock settings. So, the Stealth is often left unused and floating around in the parts bin. In this experiment, I will see if it is possible to stack two of these on top of each other to improve thermal performance.