It is always a major decision when you choose a liquid-cooling loop for your PC. For a water-cooling loop to work in your PC, you need to consider the tubing, which comes in soft and hard varieties. That’s why we present you with this article for the best soft and hard tubing for water cooling.
Soft tubing is more comfortable to install due to flexibility; it is easy to shape and leads to an untidy looking system. While harder tubing is capable of producing some desirable looking results, it is difficult to shape and get it right. If you don’t know which one to choose, then keep reading this guide.
How to Choose the Best One
To choose the best one, it is essential to match the dimensions between the fittings and tubing. Some users choose the fittings first and then goes for the tubing; it can also be done vice versa. However, we recommend that you go for the latter process.
Know the Difference
Before you get started on tubing, you must know about the differences between soft tubing and hard tubing in detail. This way, it can help you choose the best one most suitable for you.
- Soft Tubing
Soft tubing is usually made out of silicone, rubber, PVC, neoprene, or any blend of these compounds. You can decide if you want see-through or colored tubing.
For water cooling, the tubing is usually made to resist any degradation, discoloration, or deformation over a long time. If you want the system to look stylish and aesthetically pleasing, then go for colored coolants with crystal clear tubing.
Beware, soft tubes are prone to kink. But you can fix that with the help of anti-kink coils to prevent them from collapsing.
- Hard Tubing
Unlike soft tubing, hard tubes are made from a variety of materials. The most common materials include acrylic or PETG, which are widely available. There are specific tools available to bend these materials. Conversely, there are also expensive hard tube options like copper, borosilicate glass, carbon, and brass.
Keep in mind, though; you would need specialized tools and more skill to bend these. In a way, hard tubing offers a cleaner and aesthetically pleasing look, but it is not recommended for your first loop. So go for soft tubing in your first try as it is easier for beginners.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 5 Soft and Hard Tubing for Water Cooling
5 Best Soft and Hard Tubing for Water Cooling
If you haven’t made up your mind yet about which kind of tubing to consider, then don’t worry because we got the latest reviews for both soft and hard tubing to help you decide.
1. PrimoFlex Advanced LRT 1/2in. ID x 3/4in. OD Tubing Bundle
This brand of soft tubing is durable and guaranteed to last for years. With diameters of ½ inch x ¾ inch, it can easily fit and create beautiful loops. It’s transparent like clear glass, which makes it perfect for colored coolants.
To make the installation process more manageable, the package comes with 15ml bottles of Liquid Utopia and SysPrep Cooling Loop Pre-Treatment.
With SysPrep, you can successfully flush out any debris or remnants from the manufacturing process inside your loop. This leaves your loop clear, pristine, and prepared to be installed for any coolant.
- Crystal clear
- Includes bottle for pre-treatment
- Easy fit
- Hot water makes it kink
2. Thermaltake Pacific DIY LCS 1000mm Lengths V-Tubler PETG Hard Tubing
This particular tubing makes all your pipe dreams come into fruition. Made with sturdy PETG, it allows countless possibilities to route and connect the way you desire. The four loops included runs 100cm for easy connectivity, and it’s crystal clear body makes for a great display on coolants.
Also, it comes with dimensions of 16mm x 12mm, so it can easily fasten to 16mm fittings for optimum mounting, flow, and fitting. Connecting it to major components is easy as pie and creates the best presentation than you could imagine.
- Clear transparency
- Easily attach to 16mm fittings
- 100cm loops
- Sturdy PETG material
- Prone to scratches
3. XSPC FLX Tubing 1/2″ ID, 3/4″ OD, 2 Meters Length, Clear
The tubing has features of being stain resistant to make it counter any discoloration caused by the liquids. Also, the availability of a variety of colors makes for a great showcase and display.
Coming with dimensions of 13mm x 19mm, it can fit into 19mm fittings with ease. It can also withstand temperatures up to 60 °C and -32 °C. Additionally, it is designed to be used with barbs so that you can attach it easily and lock it in place.
- Fit into 19mm fittings
- Available in many colors
- Withstand a wide range of temperature
- Resistant to stain
- The clear tube has a yellow tint
4. Thermaltake Pacific DIY Water Cooling PETG Hard Tube Bending Kit
Aluminum is used to construct the mandrels, which bends at any angle and has extreme durability due to the anodizing process.
Other essentials include a professional standard pipe cutter that offers perfect edges to cuts. It allows you to cut from a diameter of 3mm to 32mm with ease.
Moreover, a silicon cord can be inserted to prevent kinking when bending the tube. Mounting is also very easy as the loops are already pre-drilled for instant installation.
- Pre-drilled holes in mandrels
- Silicon tube to prevent kinking
- Can bend in many angles
- Anodized fortified
- Bending it to 90° is quite difficult
5. Mayhems Ultra Clear Tubing 1/2″ Id 3/4″ Od 13/19mm 5 Meters
With Mayhems Ultra Clear Tubing, you won’t have to worry about kinking anymore. The new and improved formula sets a new standard for water-cooling tubes. With 3m in length, it is flexible and made with the highest rated PVC material. You can easily cut, bend, and customize it to your heart’s desire.
Also, flushing it with warm water removes any contamination and restores it to its pristine state. However, despite being transparent, it has a slight purple tint to it. This is due to the new formula to prevent kinking. Yet, it will appear clear once the colored coolant starts circulating.
- New formula for kinking prevention
- High-quality PVC material
- Easy to customize
- Convenient to clean
- Quite soft
Let’s face it; water-cooling is purely an enthusiastic thing. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it, but if you are ready to spend some time, cash, and even face setbacks, then go for it. However, once you have decided on the tubing, then everything will naturally fall into place.
That’s why we hope these reviews for the best soft and hard tubing for water cooling will help you.