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PC Cooling - Air or Liquid?


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#1 YounGMessiah

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 17:26

Curious on how people have their cooling set up in their rigs. Please share
And do you prefer air or liquid? Why?


For my uses im going to stick with air, this is the safest route for me and not having to worry..

Im going to get a Noctua CPU cooler and eventually GPU cooler.


#2 +Phouchg

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 19:44

I've seen quite an increase in closed-loop CPU watercooling systems (Corsair Hydro of all calibers, a handful of TTs). Even started recommending them myself (being a Corsair fanboi), because it's so easy (especially H60/H80, which are almost braindead simple) and doesn't really break the bank. Stock fans kind of suck (as in "are loud"), but that's no issue.

However, before hearing bubbling noises now and then right out of the box, and then reading about leaks destroying high-end gear. And now I'm much less enthusiastic. You can't really tell, though, I guess?

First thing I do now - put metal clamps on hoses, because I don't trust the heat sealing. Probably in vain, though - if it does leak, it'll be in the head, especially near the swivels, which, I must say, seems like a patently bad idea.

For SB-E or any AMD I'd still probably go closed-loop. For anything else a decent air cooler (the almost legendary 212 even) would suffice.

For GPU - no idea. Aren't they pretty good as they come, with, say, Windforce and all?

One day I'd love to build a full LC setup, though. The immense factor of cool (both kinds) it brings is unrivaled. Then again, seating the whole thing in mineral oil is even more cool. And about the same distance from being possible.

#3 Jason S.

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 19:54

i've never owned a liquid cooler, but now that the closed-loop coolers are out, i'll be investing in one for my next build.

#4 tsupersonic

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 19:55

For me, Air cooled - cheap, easy, and low temperatures. I have an Antec 300, with 4x120mm fan, 1 x140mm fan. My CPU heatsink is the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2 and it idles at 24-30 degrees C, and load tempaeratures in the low 50's. GPU is cooled by the 2 fans that are built in and one of the 120mm case fans, it stays very cool also.

#5 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 19:56

I have a Corsair H50, and you can overclock like a beast with that thing and it keeps it nice and cool. It handles 4.5GHz on my i7 with ease. Never really pushed it further than that though.

It being dead silent is worth it alone.

#6 SirEvan

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 19:57

I use an corsair h80 on my desktop gaming machine and an h60 on my file/hyper-v server. Both are miraculous. the h60 keeps my server running at ~87-90F @ load (ambient is ~75 F) and is nearly silent. the H80 keeps my desktop pretty cool as well, though I don't have #'s off the top of my head. As Phouchg said, they're easy as cake to install, and are very good setups for the cost. (got my h60 for around 50$ and I think 64$ for the 80.)

#7 TheLegendOfMart

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 19:58

I've owned several closed loop liquid coolers such as Coolit ECO single and dual fan radiator versions, currently rocking the Antec Kuhler 620. Imho they aren't worth the money, you can get equally good if not better results with a decent tower heatsink if you use decent fans.

The problem with the cheap closed loop watercoolers is that after a while the pump tends to start rattling/gurgling, it's happened to all the ones I've owned so far and its really irritating and spoils the only thing going for watercoolers which is how quiet they are.

#8 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 20:01

Just got a closed loop cpu cooler myself. No problems from it and my tep. dropped 5* C. Would highly recomend the H60.

#9 mattmatik

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 20:26

I'm thinking of getting a H110i when I up to a 3770K before summer. Really worried about temps, we get above 100F many days in summer here. And to have cooling as well as a decrease in noise, seems like a no-brainer.

I'd really like to get my GPUs cooled as well but until the AIO units can do this easily I won't worry about it.

#10 Mindovermaster

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 23:59

I have the H80i on my 3570K. I haven't overclocked it yet, but I sit around 30C.

#11 compl3x

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 00:13

Is liquid cooling drastically better than air cooling? Comparing an air cooled system where someone has taken advantage of optimal air flow and good cable management and a liquid cooled system, it there a noticeable difference? Or is water cooling just something tech-heads like to do because it is geeky? Like extreme over-clocking.

#12 JJ_

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 00:23

I use a noctua NH-D14 on my 4.4ghz oc 3570k setup. CPU runs mid 20s at idle & mid 50s at max load. After reading horror stories about leaky LC's ruining new builds, I opted for the noctua which offers similar or better performance than a lot of LC's.

#13 n_K

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 00:35

Awh, no oil cooling ? :p
I've never had water cooling, was interested in it once upon a time, and liquid nitrogen cooling but meh, got a server and UPS running which are loud in comparison to laptop/normal PC so never bothered.

#14 Radium

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:18

Water is a superior heat conductor.
The risk of water leaks is what puts me off.
I have a Noctua NH-D14 and my i7-2600K runs between 30 and 39 degrees C at all times.
The water coolers that I've seen are not good enough for me.
I want a NH-D14 to be transformed into a water block. :D

#15 OP YounGMessiah

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:11

I use a noctua NH-D14 on my 4.4ghz oc 3570k setup. CPU runs mid 20s at idle & mid 50s at max load. After reading horror stories about leaky LC's ruining new builds, I opted for the noctua which offers similar or better performance than a lot of LC's.



Water is a superior heat conductor.
The risk of water leaks is what puts me off.
I have a Noctua NH-D14 and my i7-2600K runs between 30 and 39 degrees C at all times.
The water coolers that I've seen are not good enough for me.
I want a NH-D14 to be transformed into a water block. :D


That is actually the Noctua I was looking at for my CPU, from what I read it is better than most liquid cooling and highly rated.

And there is nothing wrong with my GPU cooling, just think aftermarket would be nice to have on it.