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CPU cooling -- air or liquid?

By Sucoi
Apr 25, 2012
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  1. Hey guys im buying a new pc with a i73820 and i pretend to oc him in the future so my question is : Do i have to put an hydro colling system on it or just a good quality cpu fan would handle the job? And one more thing there`s by any chance a risk of the liquid system (those like h60 , h80...) starts leeking on the boards?Thx for the help
    Ps: Where a live have a quite bit hot temp
     
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    Hi Sucoi,
    That depends on how far you want to push your OC. Unless you are going to assemble a bespoke watercooling system yourself, I would not bother with any closed loop cooler below the H-100. The H-60/H80 and the like are discernibly out performed by the high end air coolers like The Thermalright Silver arrow, Phanteks PH-TC14PE and the Noctua NH-D14.
    as far as leakage, it is highly unlikely that they will leak unless they are damaged.
     
  3. Sucoi

    Sucoi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Thx for the tip red1776, i was thinking in put a fan instead of a hydro solution and now im quiet shure im gonna do it. Im just seeing the options of the fans im gonna put on it.
     
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,915   +718

    As red mentioned- the closed loop systems can be barely better than an air cooler- and in many cases worse. What you save by having less overall mass attached to the motherboard is usually offset by the lack of heat dissipation efficiency of the radiator.
    For a moderately overclocked X79 the basic guideline is whatever the local air temperature is you can pretty much add ~45-55C to it and call it the CPU reported temp (for closed loop running noisy -fans at 100% and premium air coolers running the maximum airflow), or ~60C with a closed loop with fans at low speed or a good-ish air cooler.
    These are ballpark estimates for 4.2-4.3GHz at 1.25-1.35v for Sandy Bridge-E
    Red also mentioned bespoke watercooling, but choosing and sourcing the individual components could be problematic depending on your location. You should also be aware that virtually every person who starts out building a custom watercooling loop spends way more money on it that they ever originally intended.
    There is a third option, andf that is a watercooling kit. These include all the components, are generally very close in performance to custom builds, and of course are guaranteed compatible -no mismatched fittings and tubing for example.
    XSPC make the cheapest of these kits and they are very effective. Swiftech and EKWB are more expensive generally. The Swiftech has the advantage of incorporating the pump and fluid reservoir into the radiator assembly, while the XSPC and EKWB are basically off the shelf parts used for custom builds, but conveniently matched for compatibility. These kits typically will provide ~10-15C lower temps than the best closed loop or air cooler.
     
  5. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Water cooling is as much of a hobby as anything else, picking the components and maintaining the system is part of the "fun". The H80, H100, etc. don't really count as proper water cooling.

    The air coolers which red suggested are very good but also HUGE, so make sure your case and RAM have enough clearance.
     
  6. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    Chef Said:
    This should be a warning sticker on every Hose,barb, waterblock,pump etc available. :D
    Warning!: You are about to spend three times what you thought you could get away with
    If you are in the US, here is a source for the WC kits DBZ pointed out.
    http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l3/g30...s_-_Brands-XSPC_Water_Cooling_Kits-Page1.html
     
  7. Sucoi

    Sucoi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Thx for the help guys, for now im not going to buy an closed loop system or a custom colling system , im going for a fan thats is good for a basic oc, since im going to stat ocing now.If u have more sugestions of fans that are good i would be glad to know.
     
  8. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90

    What heatsink are you going with?
     
  9. Sucoi

    Sucoi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    i dont know yet but i need one thats fits good in thw 2011 socket
     
  10. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,915   +718

    Unfortunately, "fun" can give way to exasperating fairly quickly for the novice builder, so best they understand the pro's and con's. As an example, it never ceases to amaze me the number of watercooler builds I have to take apart because someone overlooked something elementary - wrong size fitting, hose bound up on compression fitting (use a dab of silicone grease), and forgetting to flush>reverse flush>fill/stand (with mild acidic solution like diluted white vinegar) a radiator (then repeat and rinse with whatever you're filling the loop with)to remove flux residue etc, etc.
    Generally, knowing what you want to achieve and actually getting the desired result at the first time of asking takes a build or two- otherwise it comes down to trial and error and buying a lot of stuff you probably won't/don't need. As an example, a clean build uses the minimum amount of tubing running through the fewest bends (flow through angles introduces inertia), but most chassis' are designed to have 360/420/480 radiator ports towards the rear of the case -hence rear grommet profusion. Follow this layout and you have a return hose draped across the motherboard and over the top of a graphics card, or a long loop that snakes around interior til it meets the pump and res -usually towards the front of the chassis. No good for aesthetics, no good for cooling. Once you've done a few builds it maybe isn't a problem- you see whats achieveable, and you see what can be achievable at the same time.

    My builds at the moment centre around the NZXT Switch 810. Good chassis, but has a couple of flaws in the design concerning watercooling. To mount the rad with barbs at the front requires either use of extender and dual/triple rotary fittings (resulting in very tight 90 flow change, or creative use of a hole saw (+ auto grommets) to enable a pass through:
    [​IMG]
    Likewise, there isn't much in the way of options for a floor mounted pump. The Switch 810 seems set up for a bay mounted reservoir/pump (too noisy, a pig to bleed and maintain). The floor of the chassis has an inconvenient fan cutout where the logical pump placement would be. A quick custom cruciform plexi baseplate with the pump/res footprint superimposed alleviates the problem -note: The combined tank res and pump is much quieter than the hi-flow POM/Delrin tops available, has the same flow rate, and doesn't block airflow as a pump+multi option reservoir would:
    [​IMG]
    So your whole loop becomes basically an isoceles triangle- from top front >bottom front>CPU (+ GPU if req'd) socket. After numerous builds this arrangement seemed rather obvious- I doubt that it would seem so obvious (or painless) if it were my first watercooled build. I hope it gives our OP some enthusiasm for the process. Good luck with whatever choice of cooling you make.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Sucoi

    Sucoi TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    WoW that seems to be dificult but fun, anyway i would like to know witch fans u guys recomend.
     
     
  12. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,906   +90



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