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AIOs in 2020 versus custom (average build) loop - adding more components/blocks

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Now in 2020, is a performance AIO a reasonable substitute for a CPU block in a custom loop?

I've had the following cooling a 1080 TI for some years now :

Photon 170 and a D5 pump
Bytski Aorus TI nickel block
Fractal GP-14 140mm x6
MagiCool Copper Radiator III PRO - 360x46mm in push/pull configuration (front of case)
Define S


Recently I've been considering moving to liquid cooling the CPU as well.
Options of interest :

1. Use the preexisting setup by either
--Adding a CPU block
and/or
--Adding a CPU block, with a second radiator/fans

2. Using an AIO on the CPU itself



Thoughts on my end

Existing loop

Pros :
  • Likely better temperatures, as it is a well working custom arrangement; feeling is it will bring CPU down at least 10c cooler than a general 360/240 AIO
  • Would cost me a little less than a good rated AIO

Cons:
  • Question : Will it affect the overall temperature much? Theory is possibly up to five degrees warmer at the inlet/outlet, affecting GPU temperatures.
  • Would have to reorder loop some, effectively take it apart and redo most of it
Existing loop with second radiator (non push/pull, likely only push)

Pros :
  • Likely even better temperatures, with second radiator. Another 5c?
Cons :

  • Questions arise over whether a second radiator is going to be noticeably helpful, potentially worse (different flow rates?) or not make a difference which would mean that it was a waste of time and money
  • Would be a fair amount more than an expensive AIO


Extra notes
  • Would use more quick disconnects to provide flexibility when changing parts in future
  • It would be top case placement. The case has 360mm rad support, up to 55m (fan/radiator combined) on the inside of case. The upper part can take any combination of fan+radiator, radiator+fan or only one, on each side of the case. Effectively it would have it's own fresh air source.

AIO

Pros :
  • Plug and Play. I have room in the case for it
  • No need for quick disconnect or other parts to allow it to be removed when and if without affecting rest of loop
  • Less costly overall up front
Cons:
  • Reduced performance, X63 Kraken for example is competitive
  • When it gets gunked or the pump is old and dies, that's likely the end of it's use

Extra notes

  • It would be top case placement. The case has 360mm rad support, up to 55m (fan/radiator combined) on the inside of case. The upper part can take any combination of fan+radiator, radiator+fan or only one, on each side of the case. Effectively it would have it's own fresh air source.





For those that might suggest and air cooler, I'd like to move away from that now. I do appreciate most X63 Kraken sort of ranged AIO are not that much better than a Noctua Dh15(?) once the temperature has settled.



Thanks!
 
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Your Pros for your existing loop are just wrong, guesses at best.
A decent CPU block will cost as much if not more than an average AIO.
Temps will be very similar, I highly doubt a loop would be 10C cooler than a 360 AIO.
 
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Your Pros for your existing loop are just wrong, guesses at best.
A decent CPU block will cost as much if not more than an average AIO.
Temps will be very similar, I highly doubt a loop would be 10C cooler than a 360 AIO.
Hi Caring1, thanks.

You are very in favor of AIOs then? If temps are likely similar, what do you say concerning the other considerations(longevity, flexibility ..)?

Concerning the temperatures, do you have any data or examples to show to support your comments about AIOs?
Any thoughts on a second radiator to pre existing loop?


From my side, most of the benchmarks and reviews I've seen put AIOs about 50-60c range on day to day/real world (games, multi-tasking, non synthetic testing activities).
This tends to be about five or so degrees cooler than a top end air cooler (DH-15, Dark series products etc.)
Which is why reviewers will conclude with comments such as :"It's a nice thing to have, though mostly for aesthetics and reduces space usage in cases" "temperatures are not noticeably different to a good air cooler, though it's a 'cleaner' solution"

For custom loops (mild climate location/ambient, 360 radiator..) obviously mileage may vary, though there is some mean where they hover about 10c less than AIOs
On my previous chip my general temps were between 30-40c. If you know an AIO that strong, in a mild climate certainly advise.



As for the cost, average AIO here is about 80-120 sterling.
The (debatable) best CPU block [Phanteks 350, XSPC Raystorm etc.) is around 80-100 sterling.
 
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Hi,
Water loop for gpu you can see a lot better temps and noise reduction mostly because how poorly gpu air coolers really are.

CPU well depends
You can get higher frequencies on water loops just about every oc'er will say with real D5 flow and proper rad space...

Just with a 10900k and testing aio/ clc will not be able to keep up with a real water loop on a decent water block/ rads/... difference is about 10c on 5.3 air cooler or aio at 95c verses 85c this costs a lot more than a five year warranty aio/ clc cooler though.
AIO/ clc didn't last five minutes on a 9940x at 4.5 though lol and on custon loop will do 4.9 fairly easily 90c..

For cooling both gpu & cpu you'd need at minimum 2x360mm rads
Best cpu water block atm is optimus foundation at 120.us you show no region on profile though
Seeing you're cooling a 2600k atm on system spec's a heatkiller 4 pro would be good or koolance 380i
 
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Concerning the temperatures, do you have any data or examples to show to support your comments about AIOs?
It's a pump, a radiator and some tubes. I don't think you need a comprehensive survey to realize they're going to be mostly the same. The only reason an AIO of the same size might perform worse is simply because of the fans, if you make a custom loop you're probably always going to pick decent fans whereas with AIOs the fans are sometimes horrible.

cooling both gpu & cpu you'd need at minimum 2x360mm rads
That's ridiculous, I cool a 200W GPU with a single 120mm AIO. You don't need that much radiator for a single GPU + CPU, the only reason you'd want to do that is that if you bothered with a custom loop might as well sunk as much money into it as possible.
 
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Hi,
Stick with air cooling if you think all radiators/ pumps/ hosing/.. is all the same because you couldn't be more wrong lol :)
 
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Hi,
Stick with air cooling if you think all radiators/ pumps/ hosing/.. is all the same because you couldn't be more wrong lol :)
Thanks for the comment

Yes, Vya might not have understood I already have a fully fledged custom loop and I don't understand about the fans...I'd think the radiator thickness and quality is a larger factor.

And if this was years prior, I'd have never considered a pre built liquid device due to lesser quality parts. Things change though, just looking for some -even anecdotal comments from persons that might have used both, or know someone who does.

As mentioned above, routing in a CPU block is fairly straight forward.
Routing in a CPU block and another 360 radiator will take some doing.
 
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Thanks for the comment

Yes, Vya might not have understood I already have a fully fledged custom loop and I don't understand about the fans...I'd think the radiator thickness and quality is a larger factor.

And if this was years prior, I'd have never considered a pre built liquid device due to lesser quality parts. Things change though, just looking for some -even anecdotal comments from persons that might have used both, or know someone who does.

As mentioned above, routing in a CPU block is fairly straight forward.
Routing in a CPU block and another 360 radiator will take some doing.
Hi,
Yeah I don't know what you can get on top of the rig so
You could skip all this and add one watercool mora 360 and remove the other rad completely pretty much what I did I just left my other rads installed.
If you're in the USA sub your build at micro center maybe you'll win a gift card



Hi,
Guess I'll add if you can a least get a 280mm rad on top you should be fine.
Try for a 280 GTS though.
 
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1. The better air coolers will out perform 99% o CLC type AIOs. Not only do you lose warranty of you expand, but gain most use cheap aluminim rads with weak heat transfer and to make up for it, extreme speed fans are often twice or more times a loud as thu air coolers which produce lower CPU temps. The Fuma 2 beats the Noctua D15 and all bit 1 or 2 AIOs in cooliung and all AIos inn the noiuse department.

2. You can buy OLC Type AIOs in which are designed ro have additional components added. These are basically individual custom loop components pre-assembled at the factory with decent fans, copper rads and pumps with 10 times the flow rate of CLCs, The also compete a lot better in the noise department.

The existing rad, the EK or Swiftech systems will have no problem at all handling. A CPU block is well under $100 but a OLC Type AIO costs ($140 for 2 x 20 / $165 for 3 x 120) incrementally more than CLC type ... problem is everyone having trouble maintaining stock. I expect the pandemic has only made things worse. Havent seen in stock anywhere for about 2.5 months

EK also has kits up to $300 which you can is in combination with your existing rad


Alphacool kits can also be added to existing components,

Or... just add the parts you need individually
 
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@tabascosauz

Right now I can fit a 360 at top as mentioned and if I put it on in the inside by itself, I end up with 55m thickness - not shabby.
Take it your point was to swap the front side radiator for a thicker rad? Yes, the reason I'm only 47mm is because I went push pull.

I've had some guys swear I wasted mm space and should have done thicker radiator with Push only.
Oh well, I am no expert


@John Naylor
Thank you for the reply.

1. For many years that was the sentiment and the data - strong air coolers were better than AIOs. Though lots of good things seem to be happening with the top end AIO models now, or even lower down like Kraken X63. You are right about the fans, that was another concern in the past - cheap materials meant over compensation from high RPM and thus noisy.

2. I heard about those hybrid open/closed ones. Do you have a model in mind? Or is that what the EK suggestion was?

3. Yes, if I go for the block only and some new fittings (QDCs, coolant etc) then it's a little cheaper



Thanks again
 
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@tabascosauz
Right now I can fit a 360 at top as mentioned and if I put it on in the inside by itself, I end up with 55m thickness - not shabby.
Take it your point was to swap the front side radiator for a thicker rad? Yes, the reason I'm only 47mm is because I went push pull.

I've had some guys swear I wasted mm space and should have done thicker radiator with Push only.
Oh well, I am no expert
Sounds like @ThrashZone is who you're looking for. I can give you tips on the quirks of the Matisse platform and how to tune your RAM, but I am utterly clueless on custom watercooling and will defer to the actual experts :laugh:
 
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Stick with air cooling if you think all radiators/ pumps/ hosing/.. is all the same because you couldn't be more wrong lol :)
I am all ears if you can explain and prove how an off the shelf pump and radiator can be so much better compared to an AIO with the same sized radiator using the same kind of fans. Yes, a custom loop with a million thick copper radiators and fans is going to be better than the best AIO out there, but it has a million thick copper radiators so it better be. But we all know that, if you are looking to compare a custom loop with an AIO where both have for example a 360 rad of the same thickness and use the same kind of fans the differences are going to extremely small because you will be looking at roughly the same surface area, flow rate and airflow.

But I am guessing this is some PC mustard race custom loop elite stuff than an AIO pleb wouldn't understand. I get it, I will stick with my two AIOs that I run in my system. Guess I already fucked up.
 
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I say go with a new cpu block. Your current loop is solid. Adding your cpu isnt going to tax it. I ran a loop very much like yours for years and never had a complaint. Try not to get caught up in the block brand hype. The difference between most cpu blocks today is only a degree or two. If by the off chance you find that your temps arent ideal, you can always add another quality rad to your loop and be set up for years to come...youll never be able to say that about an aio or hsf ;D
 
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That's ridiculous, I cool a 200W GPU with a single 120mm AIO. You don't need that much radiator for a single GPU + CPU, the only reason you'd want to do that is that if you bothered with a custom loop might as well sunk as much money into it as possible.
This is where what one man thinks is fine is not the same to others. I've tried cooling a 3900x on a Captain 240 . Yea it works, but it's not something I'd run on my personal machine lol. Does it work, yes. Is it great at it, depends on who you ask. You say your 200w cpu is fantastic under 120mm AIO, that's great for you. Looks at the 3900x which is 140w... yea not happening on my end with a 120.
 
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Looks at the 3900x which is 140w... yea not happening on my end with a 120.
Third generation Ryzen is limited by the heat transfer between the dies and the IHS, you can search this and you'll find out there are plenty of people that have tried big custom loops that still can't get the chip below 65-70c or even worse. It's not the fault of the AIO or radiator size.
 
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Third generation Ryzen is limited by the heat transfer between the dies and the IHS, you can search this and you'll find out there are plenty of people that have tried big custom loops that still can't get the chip below 65-70c or even worse. It's not the fault of the AIO or radiator size.
Oh so what's the reason now "your" chip is easy to cool? And my chip is hard to cool for others? More excuses?
 
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@tabascosauz

Right now I can fit a 360 at top as mentioned and if I put it on in the inside by itself, I end up with 55m thickness - not shabby.
Take it your point was to swap the front side radiator for a thicker rad? Yes, the reason I'm only 47mm is because I went push pull.

I've had some guys swear I wasted mm space and should have done thicker radiator with Push only.
Oh well, I am no expert


@John Naylor
Thank you for the reply.

1. For many years that was the sentiment and the data - strong air coolers were better than AIOs. Though lots of good things seem to be happening with the top end AIO models now, or even lower down like Kraken X63. You are right about the fans, that was another concern in the past - cheap materials meant over compensation from high RPM and thus noisy.

2. I heard about those hybrid open/closed ones. Do you have a model in mind? Or is that what the EK suggestion was?

3. Yes, if I go for the block only and some new fittings (QDCs, coolant etc) then it's a little cheaper



Thanks again
Hi,
Recent question by Phill here about rads

Like I said before the chip you have now heck you could use a cheap ek supremacy evo as long as it's only 75.00 or less otherwise go heatkiller 4 pro
Performance pc has good deals usually and holiday discount codes to save more money on shipping.

Heck I just put a ek evo on 775 socket lol did it need one probably not I can't oc it but it sure looks good and temps top out at 45c instead of 60c + :p


But since you can get a 360mm rad on top you're golden.
 
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Oh so what's the reason now "your" chip is easy to cool? And my chip is hard to cool for others? More excuses?
Literally no idea what you are talking about with this "my chip" business. Only one searching for excuses might be you who apparently hasn't even researched how their own hardware behaves but is eager to come up with all sorts of explanations.

Nice, peace out.
 
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Literally no idea what you are talking about with this "my chip" business. Only one searching for excuses might be you who apparently hasn't even researched how their own hardware behaves but is eager to come up with all sorts of explanations.

Nice, peace out.
Yea ok. :rolleyes:
 
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I say go with a new cpu block. Your current loop is solid. Adding your cpu isnt going to tax it. I ran a loop very much like yours for years and never had a complaint. Try not to get caught up in the block brand hype. The difference between most cpu blocks today is only a degree or two. If by the off chance you find that your temps arent ideal, you can always add another quality rad to your loop and be set up for years to come...youll never be able to say that about an aio or hsf ;D
Yes they all look pretty potent and I am thinking about something like a Corsair XC7 as it's dual platform.
If I end up doing the AMD swap later this year, not having to buy another block would be excellent.
 
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Yes they all look pretty potent and I am thinking about something like a Corsair XC7 as it's dual platform.
If I end up doing the AMD swap later this year, not having to buy another block would be excellent.
Get what you want because most of the blocks are universal, you just get the optional mount for the other team cpu. This is ofc ignoring platform specific blocks like the treadripper trx40 block.
 
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Yes they all look pretty potent and I am thinking about something like a Corsair XC7 as it's dual platform.
If I end up doing the AMD swap later this year, not having to buy another block would be excellent.
Hi,
Yeah heatkiller 4 pro they do make an amd mount for it but you'd likely have to get it from watercool.com and if in the US shipping stinks but that might not be that bad envelope shipping is only 6-7.us

For the Intel block you could get that just about anywhere for same price as the corsair.
So just the extra cost for the amd mount later
 
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@ThrashZone I noted that the conversion says for 3.0 series, and the Heatkiller is a IV?
Ya it's like fifty sterling more than the XC7 and then would need the bracket for another twenty.

Get what you want because most of the blocks are universal, you just get the optional mount for the other team cpu. This is ofc ignoring platform specific blocks like the treadripper trx40 block.
Well, I don't see that really. Most of what I would want is something such as
XSPC Raystorm Neo
or
Phanteks C350 or 360
or
Supremacy Classic



I don't see any brackets for the other platforms

So unless someone wants to shout fire fire the XC7 is terrible..
 
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Cooling D5 combo/280 GTX/ VRM water block copper/280 GTX/ D5 Top/Optimus sigV2/TitanXp/Mora 360x2
Memory Trident-Z 3600C16 4x8gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 2x8gb
Video Card(s) Titan Xp & 1080ti ftw3 need a third gpu 30 series come on
Storage 970 evo plus 500gb & 970 evo 500gb many 2.5" ssd's and regular hdd's
Display(s) 1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"
Case D450 second floor for 2nd rad x2
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Power Supply evga 1200P2 & 1000P2 & 850P2 for mora fans
Mouse Redragon Perdition x3
Keyboard G910 & G710+x2
Software Win-7 pro and win-10 pro x2
Benchmark Scores Refer to OC.Net and tenforums.com x3
Hi,
Yeah watercool needs a new design
Doubt the corsair will do all that great on amd either they do have multiple dies on 30 series which makes it difficult to cool properly amd chip is big :)
I look forward to amd next release though they are finally putting out some good chips.
 
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id just ad a cpu block, if your not tied to a top maker you can find a decent one for £40ish "dont know what part of the world you are in" barrow do some nice blocks and there well made.
 
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