• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Air Cooling -- Myths and setup tips for the novice performance / gaming builder

Joined
Nov 3, 2022
Messages
141 (0.24/day)
System Name Every cuss word I can think of, and a few more I've made up
Processor Ryzen R9 5900X
Motherboard Asus Tuf B550-PLUS
Cooling Scythe Mugen 5 Black Edition, Corsair Commander Core XT with six LL120s
Memory 2x16 DDR4-3200 Patriot Viper 4 Blackout PV432G320C6K
Video Card(s) Asus KO-RTX3060ti-8GB-OC
Storage 1TB WD Blue SN570 PCIe3 M.2, 8TB WD Black 8TB HDD, Pioneer BDR-212DBK
Display(s) 75" Hisense A6, 23" Dell ST2310
Case Fractal Pop XL Air, black on black
Audio Device(s) Realtek Onboard Audio, Digitech RP-250, Yamaha DGX-205
Power Supply Corsair RM850x
Mouse Logitech K520
Keyboard Logitech K520
Software LibreOffice, BeamNG.drive, Classic Doom and variants, ATS, NCH VideoPad, OBS Studio, MPC-HC, iCUE
Benchmark Scores CB R23: Multi-Core 21539 - Single Core 1592 *PBO Auto, GPU no OC, room for improvement?*
I've noticed there seem to be some rather ridiculous and utter myths and misinformation regarding cooling, particularly air cooling. First and foremost, a popular tech YouTuber did a comparison video testing various air and liquid cooler performance, concluding that while liquid cooling did deliver more consistent temperatures, they were only SLIGHTLY lower – 5C or less, and that air coolers performed quite comparably when properly sized and set up. They made a statement in that video – that liquid cooling was cool if you like to spend more time tinkering with your PC as opposed to using it. To me, that pretty much says it all, as a difference of less than 5 degrees in temp is more or less identical.

NOTE: If you’re planning a simple budget build with less than eight cores and entry-level graphics and other hardware, you won’t need a ton of cooling – in fact, stock air coolers should be just fine in most cases. However, if your build is a stepping stone to bigger and better later on, it makes sense to pave the way for this in choosing components with better cooling in mind for any future upgrade. Otherwise, you’re spending more money in the long run.

My 5900X build's cooling system uses an iCUE Commander with six 120mm fans, and the Scythe Mugen 5 which uses a 120mm fan, seven in total, but they don’t even run that hard below 70C. As illustrated in the screenshots below, CPU Package temperature idles in the 38C-42C range. Under light to moderate use, it hovers around 48-58C, sometimes as high as 63C. Cinebench R23 is the stress test to end all stress tests as far as I’m concerned. And even with a 30-minute CB R23 loop, temp peaks at 75-76C. Post-test recovery to idle temp range takes around 45-90 seconds. So it cools quite well, and at just 34 square inches of intake area for cooling, my Corsair 4000X case is hardly the best-ventilated case on the market -- the 4000D Airflow would do even better, although the 4000X has air filters where the D does not.


1198095244_Cinebench-HWinfoStressTestTemps.png.7e2dd486539ce4dcd19190d8f246652f.png



My build was hardly a typical process or timeline, but I admit that in the planning stage for my build, I was skeptical of air-cooling and thought the 5900X needed liquid cooling, but others convinced me that a properly set up air cooler is plenty for even the most robust builds, and more reliable than liquid cooling. However, component selection and initial set-up are a bit more critical. As no one else seems to have done so, I thought I'd explain a few myths and misconceptions, as well as share some insight on component selection and tips for proper setup of an air-cooling system.

MYTH #1 – “My processor requires liquid cooling”

This simply is not true in 99.99% of cases. While it is true that more cores and more threads = more heat, my recent R9-5900X build is proof that air-cooling is more than sufficient for consumer market applications. This is not meant to bash those who like liquid cooling, but VERY little, if anything, on the consumer market actually requires liquid cooling. Also, I feel it often is a band-aid for poor component selection and / or an off-the-shelf answer for those who don’t understand how to properly set up air cooling, or the dynamics of cooling.

MYTH #2 – “Air coolers are junk. They don’t work”

This is not true, either. Air coolers do take a bit more care in component selection and time in initial setup. But properly set up, they are actually more reliable than liquid cooling in most, if not all cases. However, certain factors determine whether a particular cooler is suited to your needs. A poorly-ventilated case can actually insulate the components, making your system a furnace even the best cooling system can’t tame. Conservatively speaking, poorly-ventilated cases hamper cooling by as much as 30-50%, and that’s not the cooler’s fault. For example, you simply cannot stuff a 360mm AIO into an NZXT H510 and expect it to cool. It simply will not be able to get air to do so, because the front is solid steel and your radiator is blocking your airflow. Common sense.

Cooling requires three things – heat transfer, ventilation, and airflow. Hotter processors need bigger coolers, because a cooler’s surface area determines heat transfer ability. Too little surface area substantially hinders cooling. Think of it this way – if you were to cut a Mugen 5’s heat sink into three equally sized sections top to bottom and lay them end-to-end, its surface area is quite comparable to a liquid-cooled radiator. Air coolers simply stack their surface area, where liquid radiators spread it out. Some also use two fans, as opposed to one, which can make a difference.

Another pair of factors apply to the larger, higher-performance air coolers as well. The impact of heat sink size has already been explained. However, what’s underneath impacts cooling capacity as well, and I don’t mean the processor. First, some have more heat transfer tubes than others. For example, the Scythe Mugen 5 has six heat tubes transferring CPU plate heat to the heat sink. Most, if not all Noctua offerings, such as the NH-U12A, have seven, others can have as few as three or four. And this directly impacts cooling capacity, as to a point, more tubes = better cooling.

That being said, it MUST be made for your processor and suited to your setup. My 12-core 5900X cools quite well with the six-tube Mugen 5, so while it may not be an official formula or manufacturer’s recommendation, it makes sense to theorize that air coolers need one tube for each pair of processor cores. And I think this is the biggest factor in misconceptions about air-cooling, that those having issues with air-cooling are simply not selecting the right cooler for their needs.

But there’s another factor to look at here, as shown below. This is one area where airflow comes into play. The right-side cooler has six heat transfer tubes, compared to the left-side cooler’s four. In addition, the right-side cooler’s tubes are also perfectly round throughout the cooling circuit. The left-side cooler’s tubes flatten / taper sharply at the CPU plate, reducing their diameter. This is a bottleneck and also impacts cooling capacity. No pipe (or tube in this case) can flow more than its smallest diameter.


image.png.3ed97de5679572621700f0178d0719ac.png



So, as you can see, a PC system’s cooling and performance both come down to component selection. Case selection has a bigger impact on this than you might think. There’s nothing wrong with a case that uses tempered glass / acrylic panels, but be sure it either provides some sort of air gap around the nose or side for air intake, as well as ventilation to the top.

System board choice can impact cooling as well. Many don’t know that boards have a voltage regulator module (VRM) that controls voltage to the processor. This effectively controls clock speed, but also has an impact on temperature as well. And cooling the VRM is critical with processors with higher clock speeds and core/thread counts. This is easy to determine. Some boards have no heat sink near the processor socket. Others may have one or two, some have larger ones than others. Bigger is better in this situation, especially with processors known for running hotter.

Something to note about fan choice. Quieter fans may not perform as well as others, but you’re not stuck with airplane noise, if you’re willing to put a little work into a custom fan control profile, which I’ll get to shortly. And with a well-designed and well-ventilated case (open grill front such as the Corsair 4000D Airflow), three 120s can flow more than two 140s. My setup has three 120s pulling in at the nose, two exhausting topside, one exhausting to the rear, and one blowing across the cooler heat sink.

MYTH #3 – “Air coolers aren’t cost effective”

MAJORLY not true. Most budget / entry-level builders can find air-coolers to serve their initial needs for under $30-$50, depending on their CPU choice. Even the best ones are cheaper than a liquid cooling setup. Noctua’s NH-D15 averages $100-$110 USD. The Scythe Mugen 5 cools quite well and at an average of $50-$60 USD, I think it is hands-down the best bang for the buck for CPUs over eight-cores.

EASY SETUP OF AN AIR COOLING SYSTEM

First, use the proper thermal paste, and properly apply it. Too little won’t cool well and too much will spill onto the board and other components, potentially damaging them. You don’t need a lot, just a thin coating on the processor lid (two or three dots on the lid center are usually sufficient), and take care to wipe any excess squeezing out over the lid edges as the cooler is tightened down.

Tuning your case fan control curve is key. Most don’t like the airplane noise of constantly wide-open fans. Good news – it’s not necessary anyway. In a well configured cooling system, the fans generally need not exceed 70-85% capacity, as the upcoming screenshot of my fan curve shows. Also, the more options your fan controller software has, the better this will work. I use iCUE, which has adjustable settings to lock the fans at fixed percentages and RPM, as well as a custom fan curve, such as the one I use, shown below. Note that one size does not necessarily fit all when it comes to fan control curves.


image.thumb.png.def524406a5bf3711eef44acdbc8136a.png


Step 1: Most fan controllers can be set to a certain RPM and / or percentage of total output. Most fans max out around 900-1400 rpm, some at 1600. With the system idling (only your fan control software running), set all fans wide open for five minutes to get your lowest temperature. I know this will be annoying to listen to initially, but it is necessary to find the coolest temp your system can run. If you’re not seeing low 40s Celsius or better here, something is hindering cooling performance – my 5900X idles at 38C-42C.

Step 2: Every 1-2 minutes, dial your fans down 5%, or 100-250 RPM. Keep doing this until the temp starts rising, then dial the fans back up another 5% or 100-250 rpm to regain your lowest temperature. At this point, note your lowest temperature and fan RPM or percentage setting necessary to maintain it.

Step 3: If you don’t have it, download and install Cinebench R23.

Step 4: Set your fan control to wide open again.

Step 5: Set Cinebench R23 options for a 30-minute multi-core test, then start, minimizing the Cinebench window and switching to your fan control.

Step 6: Watch your CPU Package temp until it stops rising. If all is well, it should top out around 85% of max safe temp. NOTE: If it rises beyond 90-95% of max safe temperature for longer than 30 seconds, abort Cinebench and check to see that all fans are running and blowing the correct direction. Fans can create a deadlock of airflow when positioned and running against each other.

Step 7: Noting your highest stable temperature reading, repeat Step 2, noting the percentage / RPM setting necessary to maintain your recorded stable peak temp. When this has been determined, you can terminate the test.

Step 8: Open your fan controller software’s custom fan curve settings. Most will show dots on a graph, marked as fan percentage / RPM vertically, temperature setpoints horizontally. Each dot represents a setpoint.

Step 9: If silence is preferred, set your first setpoint at zero percentage or RPM just below or at your lowest temperature. Set your second setpoint by your lowest temperature and corresponding fan percentage / RPM setting. (Example: 0% below 30C, 20% at 30C)

Step 10: Find your fourth, fifth or sixth setpoint. Set it to your highest temp and fan percentage / RPM setting.

Step 11: The hard part is now over. The other setpoints between your high and low can now be tweaked to find a balance between stable temperatures and noise level.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 1, 2011
Messages
4,049 (0.85/day)
Location
in a van down by the river
Processor faster at instructions than yours
Motherboard more nurturing than yours
Cooling frostier than yours
Memory superior scheduling & haphazardly entry than yours
Video Card(s) better rasterization than yours
Storage more ample than yours
Display(s) increased pixels than yours
Case fancier than yours
Audio Device(s) further audible than yours
Power Supply additional amps x volts than yours
Mouse without as much gnawing as yours
Keyboard less clicky than yours
VR HMD not as odd looking as yours
Software extra mushier than yours
Benchmark Scores up yours
I don't think any of our regular contributors have ever stated or believe those "myths" but thanks for the info
 

dgianstefani

TPU Proofreader
Staff member
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
4,525 (1.92/day)
Location
Swansea, Wales
System Name Silent
Processor Ryzen 7800X3D @ 5.15ghz BCLK OC, TG AM5 High Performance Heatspreader
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix X670E-I, chipset fans removed
Cooling Optimus AMD Raw Copper/Plexi, HWLABS Copper 240/40+240/30, D5, 4x Noctua A12x25, Mayhems Ultra Pure
Memory 32 GB Dominator Platinum 6150 MHz 26-36-36-48, 56.6ns AIDA, 2050 FLCK, 160 ns TRFC
Video Card(s) RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition, Conductonaut Extreme, 18 W/mK MinusPad Extreme, Corsair XG7 Waterblock
Storage Intel Optane DC P1600X 118 GB, Samsung 990 Pro 2 TB
Display(s) 32" 240 Hz 1440p Samsung G7, 31.5" 165 Hz 1440p LG NanoIPS Ultragear
Case Sliger SM570 CNC Aluminium 13-Litre, 3D printed feet, custom front panel with pump/res combo
Audio Device(s) Audeze Maxwell Ultraviolet, Razer Nommo Pro
Power Supply SF750 Plat, transparent full custom cables, Sentinel Pro 1500 Online Double Conversion UPS w/Noctua
Mouse Razer Viper Pro V2 Mercury White w/Tiger Ice Skates & Pulsar Supergrip tape
Keyboard Wooting 60HE+ module, TOFU Redux Burgundy w/brass weight, Prismcaps White & Jellykey, lubed/modded
Software Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 19053.3803
Benchmark Scores Legendary
Air cooling has a hard limit on how much heat it can dissipate. Liquid cooling does not (within reason).
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2022
Messages
141 (0.24/day)
System Name Every cuss word I can think of, and a few more I've made up
Processor Ryzen R9 5900X
Motherboard Asus Tuf B550-PLUS
Cooling Scythe Mugen 5 Black Edition, Corsair Commander Core XT with six LL120s
Memory 2x16 DDR4-3200 Patriot Viper 4 Blackout PV432G320C6K
Video Card(s) Asus KO-RTX3060ti-8GB-OC
Storage 1TB WD Blue SN570 PCIe3 M.2, 8TB WD Black 8TB HDD, Pioneer BDR-212DBK
Display(s) 75" Hisense A6, 23" Dell ST2310
Case Fractal Pop XL Air, black on black
Audio Device(s) Realtek Onboard Audio, Digitech RP-250, Yamaha DGX-205
Power Supply Corsair RM850x
Mouse Logitech K520
Keyboard Logitech K520
Software LibreOffice, BeamNG.drive, Classic Doom and variants, ATS, NCH VideoPad, OBS Studio, MPC-HC, iCUE
Benchmark Scores CB R23: Multi-Core 21539 - Single Core 1592 *PBO Auto, GPU no OC, room for improvement?*
I don't think any of our regular contributors have ever stated or believe those "myths" but thanks for the info

Keep in mind, I'm a migrant of sorts in from LTT forums. Just transferring a few of my useful threads before deleting my account there. I've seen a fair amount of misconceptions / myths in my time, as well as been flat-out-told my findings from real-world experience cannot be true (by people who have never used the specific components in question together, of course). The final straw came when it became clear that not only were certain members were going out of their way to bird-dog my posts, certain moderators were content to pick and choose who the rules applied to and when. Hence, this thread may contain some rhetoric that spawned it initially.

Air cooling has a hard limit on how much heat it can dissipate. Liquid cooling does not (within reason).

Be that as it may, I'm air-cooling a 5900X using PBO and RTX3060ti OC without issue. Peaks around 70-72C in my use. Haven't seen any numbers from AM5 or 13th-gen Intel just yet, but I'd say my setup is pretty hard proof that liquid cooling isn't required and is overkill in a lot of cases. And that statement is backed up by the findings of a YouTube who tested multiple air and liquid cooling setups, finding less than 5C difference in the peak temps seen among them.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 1, 2011
Messages
4,049 (0.85/day)
Location
in a van down by the river
Processor faster at instructions than yours
Motherboard more nurturing than yours
Cooling frostier than yours
Memory superior scheduling & haphazardly entry than yours
Video Card(s) better rasterization than yours
Storage more ample than yours
Display(s) increased pixels than yours
Case fancier than yours
Audio Device(s) further audible than yours
Power Supply additional amps x volts than yours
Mouse without as much gnawing as yours
Keyboard less clicky than yours
VR HMD not as odd looking as yours
Software extra mushier than yours
Benchmark Scores up yours
Keep in mind, I'm a migrant of sorts in from LTT forums. Just transferring a few of my useful threads before deleting my account there. I've seen a fair amount of misconceptions / myths in my time time, as well as been flat-out-told my findings from real-world experience cannot be true (by people who have never used the specific components in question together, of course). The final straw came when it became clear that not only were certain members were going out of their way to bird-dog my posts, certain moderators were content to pick and choose who the rules applied to and when. Hence, this thread may contain some rhetoric that spawned it initially.
welcome to TPU, the forums here have knowledgeable posters (for the most part ;)) and the mods are really good.
 

dgianstefani

TPU Proofreader
Staff member
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
4,525 (1.92/day)
Location
Swansea, Wales
System Name Silent
Processor Ryzen 7800X3D @ 5.15ghz BCLK OC, TG AM5 High Performance Heatspreader
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix X670E-I, chipset fans removed
Cooling Optimus AMD Raw Copper/Plexi, HWLABS Copper 240/40+240/30, D5, 4x Noctua A12x25, Mayhems Ultra Pure
Memory 32 GB Dominator Platinum 6150 MHz 26-36-36-48, 56.6ns AIDA, 2050 FLCK, 160 ns TRFC
Video Card(s) RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition, Conductonaut Extreme, 18 W/mK MinusPad Extreme, Corsair XG7 Waterblock
Storage Intel Optane DC P1600X 118 GB, Samsung 990 Pro 2 TB
Display(s) 32" 240 Hz 1440p Samsung G7, 31.5" 165 Hz 1440p LG NanoIPS Ultragear
Case Sliger SM570 CNC Aluminium 13-Litre, 3D printed feet, custom front panel with pump/res combo
Audio Device(s) Audeze Maxwell Ultraviolet, Razer Nommo Pro
Power Supply SF750 Plat, transparent full custom cables, Sentinel Pro 1500 Online Double Conversion UPS w/Noctua
Mouse Razer Viper Pro V2 Mercury White w/Tiger Ice Skates & Pulsar Supergrip tape
Keyboard Wooting 60HE+ module, TOFU Redux Burgundy w/brass weight, Prismcaps White & Jellykey, lubed/modded
Software Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 19053.3803
Benchmark Scores Legendary
Keep in mind, I'm a migrant of sorts in from LTT forums. Just transferring a few of my useful threads before deleting my account there. I've seen a fair amount of misconceptions / myths in my time, as well as been flat-out-told my findings from real-world experience cannot be true (by people who have never used the specific components in question together, of course). The final straw came when it became clear that not only were certain members were going out of their way to bird-dog my posts, certain moderators were content to pick and choose who the rules applied to and when. Hence, this thread may contain some rhetoric that spawned it initially.



Be that as it may, I'm air-cooling a 5900X using PBO and RTX3060ti OC without issue. Peaks around 70-72C in my use. Haven't seen any numbers from AM5 or 13th-gen Intel just yet, but I'd say my setup is pretty hard proof that liquid cooling isn't required and is overkill in a lot of cases. And that statement is backed up by the findings of a YouTube who tested multiple air and liquid cooling setups, finding less than 5C difference in the peak temps seen among them.
No offence, but that isn't a demanding heat load.

Or particularly good temperatures.

Air cooling has it's place, so does liquid cooling. Simply because your use case has acceptable results on air does not prove or disprove anything.

You seem to essentially be setting up an argument noone is making, then refuting it, before coming to conclusions not supported by evidence.

Here's an example of what liquid cooling can do (silently), while running a CPU + GPU under load, pushing locked 1440p 236 FPS, from a single 240 mm radiator in a case the size of a shoebox.

1667595326342.png
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
5,185 (0.89/day)
System Name [Daily Driver]
Processor [Ryzen 7 5800X3D]
Motherboard [Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS]
Cooling [be quiet! Dark Rock Slim]
Memory [64GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3600MHz (16GBx4)]
Video Card(s) [PNY RTX 3070Ti XLR8]
Storage [1TB SN850 NVMe, 4TB 990 Pro NVMe, 2TB 870 EVO SSD, 2TB SA510 SSD]
Display(s) [2x 27" HP X27q at 1440p]
Case [Fractal Meshify-C]
Audio Device(s) [Steelseries Arctis Pro]
Power Supply [CORSAIR RMx 1000]
Mouse [Logitech G Pro Wireless]
Keyboard [Logitech G512 Carbon (GX-Brown)]
Software [Windows 11 64-Bit]
No offence, but that isn't a demanding heat load.

Or particularly good temperatures.

Air cooling has it's place, so does liquid cooling. Simply because your use case has acceptable results on air does not prove or disprove anything.

You seem to essentially be setting up an argument noone is making, then refuting it, before coming to conclusions not supported by evidence.

That's a nice way of saying "why does this thread exist?"
 

tabascosauz

Moderator
Supporter
Staff member
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
7,838 (2.39/day)
Location
Western Canada
System Name ab┃ob
Processor 7800X3D┃5800X3D
Motherboard B650E PG-ITX┃X570 Impact
Cooling NH-U12A + T30┃AXP120-x67
Memory 64GB 6400CL32┃32GB 3600CL14
Video Card(s) RTX 4070 Ti Eagle┃RTX A2000
Storage 8TB of SSDs┃1TB SN550
Case Caselabs S3┃Lazer3D HT5
Be that as it may, I'm air-cooling a 5900X using PBO and RTX3060ti OC without issue. Peaks around 70-72C in my use. Haven't seen any numbers from AM5 or 13th-gen Intel just yet, but I'd say my setup is pretty hard proof that liquid cooling isn't required and is overkill in a lot of cases. And that statement is backed up by the findings of a YouTube who tested multiple air and liquid cooling setups, finding less than 5C difference in the peak temps seen among them.

5900X being "hard to cool" is a common assumption from people who have never really OC'd one...

You only need something around a NH-U9S to cool a stock 5900X without throttling. With more airflow you cna do it with a NH-L12S. It's not even remotely hard to cool. 3060Ti also is not a high wattage GPU. GPUs (shouldn't) don't affect CPU air cooling temps nearly as much as you think.

If you want a challenging heat load that separates the men from the boys, push for 24k+ R23 score with 200-240W power draw. I could tame it pretty easily on custom loop but I don't have any air coolers that can do it (some of us on TPU do but it can be a challenge @freeagent )
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
12,381 (1.89/day)
Location
Nebraska, USA
System Name Brightworks Systems BWS-6 E-IV
Processor Intel Core i5-6600 @ 3.9GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3 Rev 1.0
Cooling Quality case, 2 x Fractal Design 140mm fans, stock CPU HSF
Memory 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4 3000 Corsair Vengeance
Video Card(s) EVGA GEForce GTX 1050Ti 4Gb GDDR5
Storage Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB SSD
Display(s) Samsung S24E650BW LED x 2
Case Fractal Design Define R4
Power Supply EVGA Supernova 550W G2 Gold
Mouse Logitech M190
Keyboard Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5050
Software W10 Pro 64-bit
I don't think any of our regular contributors have ever stated or believe those "myths" but thanks for the info
I wish that were true but sadly, there are a few who do believe myth #1, their processor requires liquid cooling and myth #2, air coolers are junk. :(

I do agree those really are myths - perpetrated, in part, by the marketing weenies of liquid cooling products, and in part by a few people who misunderstand the importance and/or how to properly set up case cooling for sufficient air flow through the case.

That said, most myths have roots in truth. And that is the case here. For example, there are always exceptions, of course. For those who do "extreme" overclocking during stress testing, they may need some form of alternative cooling.

And it is true that early (like 20 years back) "OEM" cooling solutions were barely adequate for the CPUs they came with. This is due to several factors.

1. Computers were designed for simple office tasks, and low demand games like solitaire.​
2. The heatsinks were relatively small.​
3. In many cases, the heatsinks were all or mostly aluminum instead of more efficient copper.​
4. The thermal pads back then were slightly better than basic silicon paste, which was barely better than nothing,​
5. The included fans were small, many 60mm or less, and thin which means they could not move much air.​
6. Demanding games were not very demanding.​

However, it did not take long for 3rd party air cooler makers to start making excellent coolers. But more importantly (when it comes to these myths) both AMD and Intel saw the light, heard the complaints, learned their lessons and started providing much more efficient (and quieter!) OEM coolers with their CPUs.

Sadly, many are still in denial of that fact, however. Yet it is just makes no sense for those people to assume AMD and Intel would include coolers that are incapable of cooling the CPUs they come with. If that were true, those CPUs would always be throttling back and we know that is not the case. So not only are the OEM coolers much superior than those of yesteryear, so are the thermal pads and/or OEM supplied TIM.

And we also know that both AMD and Intel sell CPUs sans coolers - again indicating they learned their lessons.

This is a bottleneck and also impacts cooling capacity. No pipe (or tube in this case) can flow more than its smallest diameter.
Ummm, first that is irrelevant to the point of this thread. Your thread is about air cooling in general vs liquid cooling in general. Tube/pipe design is a totally different discussion.

However, that is a much smaller problem than you make it out to be - if a problem at all. Be careful you are not forming the historic basis for yet another unfortunate myth.

Just because a oval shaped tube may "appear" to be a squished circle, that does NOT mean the volume capacity of the tube is lessoned. Unless the tube is actually smashed to where the inside walls of the tube are touching, a cross-sectional slice of the tube will still have nearly identical area. Thus they will have the same or nearly equal amount of liquid flow capacity. While one dimension will have a smaller diameter, the other dimension will have a significantly larger diameter.

Plus, heat will still radiate from the outer surfaces of the tube and whether circular or oval shaped, that surface area is the same.

My point is, when it comes to those pipes/tubes, one design is not inherently inferior or superior to the other.

Keep in mind, I'm a migrant of sorts in from LTT forums. Just transferring a few of my useful threads before deleting my account there. I've seen a fair amount of misconceptions / myths in my time time, as well as been flat-out-told my findings from real-world experience cannot be true (by people who have never used the specific components in question together, of course). The final straw came when it became clear that not only were certain members were going out of their way to bird-dog my posts

I second dirtyferret's welcome.

But I might suggest before you transfer more of your threads here, you might become familiar with this site first to see just how useful they may be. Otherwise, you risk being seen as just another newbie trying to impress us by making a splash with a bunch of posts consisting of old news.

For example, you put a lot of emphasis on case cooling, saying such things as "Case selection has a bigger impact on this than you might think." If you had done just a little researching here at TPU before jumping in, you would see that most of us know very well, the importance of case selection and proper case cooling for good air flow.

So while I personally believe your intent was good and sincere, not sure the impact you wanted, or impression you were trying to achieve was what you really got.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
2,760 (2.92/day)
Location
Knoxville, TN, USA
System Name Work Computer | Unfinished Computer
Processor Core i7-6700 | Ryzen 5 5600X
Motherboard Dell Q170 | Gigabyte Aorus Elite Wi-Fi
Cooling A fan? | Truly Custom Loop
Memory 4x4GB Crucial 2133 C17 | 4x8GB Corsair Vengeance RGB 3600 C26
Video Card(s) Dell Radeon R7 450 | RTX 2080 Ti FE
Storage Crucial BX500 2TB | TBD
Display(s) 3x LG QHD 32" GSM5B96 | TBD
Case Dell | Heavily Modified Phanteks P400
Power Supply Dell TFX Non-standard | EVGA BQ 650W
Mouse Monster No-Name $7 Gaming Mouse| TBD
Welcome to TPU!

Don't worry about some of the others - sometimes we forget not everyone is as knowledgeable as the others. I call that a good guide for someone starting out - it would have been nice to have when I first got into PC building and immediately jumped on the liquid bandwagon.
 

ir_cow

Staff member
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
3,963 (0.69/day)
Location
USA
Let me know when you find a
MYTH #1 – “My processor requires liquid cooling”

This simply is not true in 99.99% of cases. While it is true that more cores and more threads = more heat, my recent R9-5900X build is proof that air-cooling is more than sufficient for consumer market applications. This is not meant to bash those who like liquid cooling, but VERY little, if anything, on the consumer market actually requires liquid cooling. Also, I feel it often is a band-aid for poor component selection and / or an off-the-shelf answer for those who don’t understand how to properly set up air cooling, or the dynamics of cooling.
I'm that .01% because NO air cooler can handle 300+ watts.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
2,927 (0.85/day)
System Name The beast and the little runt.
Processor Ryzen 5 5600X - Ryzen 9 5950X
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX B550-I GAMING - ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero X570
Cooling Noctua NH-L9x65 SE-AM4a - NH-D15 chromax.black with IPPC Industrial 3000 RPM 120/140 MM fans.
Memory G.SKILL TRIDENT Z ROYAL GOLD/SILVER 32 GB (2 x 16 GB and 4 x 8 GB) 3600 MHz CL14-15-15-35 1.45 volts
Video Card(s) GIGABYTE RTX 4060 OC LOW PROFILE - GIGABYTE RTX 4090 GAMING OC
Storage Samsung 980 PRO 1 TB + 2 TB - Samsung 870 EVO 4 TB - 2 x WD RED PRO 16 GB + WD ULTRASTAR 22 TB
Display(s) Asus 27" TUF VG27AQL1A and a Dell 24" for dual setup
Case Phanteks Enthoo 719/LUXE 2 BLACK
Audio Device(s) Onboard on both boards
Power Supply Phanteks Revolt X 1200W
Mouse Logitech G903 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse
Keyboard Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum
Software WINDOWS 10 PRO 64 BITS on both systems
Benchmark Scores Se more about my 2 in 1 system here: kortlink.dk/2ca4x
Aircooling has all ways been my favoridt cooling type. Cheaper, most reliable and easy to/less maintinense needed compared water cooling. The downside of aircooling is that not every one like a big ass dual tower cooler in there system and aircooling can dissapate less heat than a proper custom water loop, limit overclock in some cases.

With the rate CPU´s goes in form of power consumption. Aircooling and high-end cpu´s like 13900K and 7950X really pushing the limit for what even the best air cooler can handle with stock power consumption of all ready 300 watt and 230 watt respectivly. Even the zen 4 6 core now has a power of 105 watt compared to my 5600X of 65 watt. Zen 3 is easy to aircool while zen 4 is a nightmare. Specially for the 170 watt rated parts. 5950X rated for 105 watt (in realioty it uses stock 141 watt) while 7950X is 170 watt (in reallity it more like 230 watt). The higher clock speed the latest gen of CPU´s are capable of hitting, has a back side to that. More heat and power consumption that needs even better cooling. Intel and AMD pushes there cpu all ready at stock now to the limit of what air cooling can handle.

My 5950X cooled by a Noctua NH-D15 hits stock single core up to 72C while multicore load is 58 C. Witjh PBO single core load is the same while multi core load raises to 76 C (that is at 200 watt my motherboard allows as max). Manuel all core OC to 4.65 GHz at 1.375 volts i hit 86 C and is really the limit for my cooling before throttle temp is reached at 90 C.

What i try to say is that aircooling is apselutely sifficiant for Zen 3 based CPU´s, while Zen 4 and alder lake/meteor lake is really pushing aircooling to the limit because of the increased core clock and power consumption. This unfortunaly can mean this is my last aircooled high-end build do to cpu are pushed so hard all ready at stock. I can off cause limit power, but how fun is it to buy an exspensive cpu to just limit it´s capabillity.

I will say a good big dual tower air cooler is just as good as at least a 240 MM AIO, maybe even 360 MM in some cases.

My system is at least a prove of that a high-end system dosent have to be water cooled to perform it´s best. My system is completely aircooled and i will not call my system low end by any means.

My system (se all spec in my profil):



 

freeagent

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
7,817 (3.72/day)
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
Processor AMD R9 5900X
Motherboard Asus Crosshair VIII Dark Hero
Cooling Thermalright Aqua Elite 360 V3 1x TL-B12, 2x TL-C12 Pro, 2x TL K12
Memory 2x8 G.Skill Trident Z Royal 3200C14, 2x8GB G.Skill Trident Z Black and White 3200 C14
Video Card(s) Zotac 4070 Ti Trinity OC
Storage WD SN850 1TB, SN850X 2TB, Asus Hyper M.2, 2x SN770 1TB
Display(s) LG 50UP7100
Case Fractal Torrent Compact RGB
Audio Device(s) JBL 2.1 Deep Bass
Power Supply Seasonic Vertex GX-1000, Monster HDP1800
Mouse Logitech G502 Hero
Keyboard Logitech G213
VR HMD Oculus 3
Software Yes
Benchmark Scores Yes
I'm that .01% because NO air cooler can handle 300+ watts
I have one cooler rated for 320w and another cooler rated for 360w, but that’s for old school 45nm and 32nm chips. At 22nm and under they lose their grip and don’t do so well with the smaller nodes. They could just need a lap though..
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
309 (0.26/day)
System Name Back in Black
Processor Ryzen 5 3600
Motherboard MSI B450 Tomahawk
Cooling ID-Cooling SE-224-XT Black
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8) 3000mhz C15
Video Card(s) Asus Rog Strix GTX 1070 TI Advanced Edition
Storage Crucial MX500 500GB / Solidigm P41 Plus 1TB
Display(s) Samsung 32" TV 1080p
Case Montech Air X Black
Power Supply Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 750W Gold
Mouse Redragon M711 Cobra
Keyboard Corsair K55
Keep in mind, I'm a migrant of sorts in from LTT forums. Just transferring a few of my useful threads before deleting my account there. I've seen a fair amount of misconceptions / myths in my time, as well as been flat-out-told my findings from real-world experience cannot be true (by people who have never used the specific components in question together, of course). The final straw came when it became clear that not only were certain members were going out of their way to bird-dog my posts, certain moderators were content to pick and choose who the rules applied to and when. Hence, this thread may contain some rhetoric that spawned it initially.
Welcome to TPU!

Unfortunately, that happens in other forums as well. They start pretty decent, with useful information provided by knowledgeable people, new information submitted by curious folks and new stories by upcoming enthusiasts. But then it grows too wild with some loud folks providing misinformation and turning everything into a marketplace for some products. Then every question is replied by an attempt of making you buy something you don't actually need or solves the problem.

In here you can find a variety of friendly, grumpy and geeky folks, and even if some might justify their purchases, no one (or far few) will try to entice you to buy X or Y.
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
6,900 (1.01/day)
Location
USA
System Name Computer of Theseus
Processor Intel i9-12900KS: 50x Pcore multi @ 1.18Vcore (target 1.275V -100mv offset)
Motherboard EVGA Z690 Classified
Cooling Noctua NH-D15S, 2xThermalRight TY-143, 4xNoctua NF-A12x25,3xNF-A12x15, 2xAquacomputer Splitty9Active
Memory G-Skill Trident Z5 (32GB) DDR5-6000 C36 F5-6000J3636F16GX2-TZ5RK
Video Card(s) EVGA Geforce 3060 XC Black Gaming 12GB
Storage 1x Samsung 970 Pro 512GB NVMe (OS), 2x Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB (data 1 and 2), ASUS BW-16D1HT
Display(s) Dell S3220DGF 32" 2560x1440 165Hz Primary, Dell P2017H 19.5" 1600x900 Secondary, Ergotron LX arms.
Case Lian Li O11 Air Mini
Audio Device(s) Audiotechnica ATR2100X-USB, El Gato Wave XLR Mic Preamp, ATH M50X Headphones, Behringer 302USB Mixer
Power Supply Super Flower Leadex Platinum SE 1000W 80+ Platinum White
Mouse Zowie EC3-C
Keyboard Vortex Multix 87 Winter TKL (Gateron G Pro Yellow)
Software Win 10 LTSC 21H2
5900X being "hard to cool" is a common assumption from people who have never really OC'd one...

You only need something around a NH-U9S to cool a stock 5900X without throttling. With more airflow you cna do it with a NH-L12S. It's not even remotely hard to cool. 3060Ti also is not a high wattage GPU. GPUs (shouldn't) don't affect CPU air cooling temps nearly as much as you think.

If you want a challenging heat load that separates the men from the boys, push for 24k+ R23 score with 200-240W power draw. I could tame it pretty easily on custom loop but I don't have any air coolers that can do it (some of us on TPU do but it can be a challenge @freeagent )
It can be done quite easily on undervolted 12900KS on air (NHD15S), but don't know about the 5900X.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
4,607 (3.89/day)
Location
Colorado, U.S.A.
System Name CyberPowerPC ET8070
Processor Intel Core i5-10400F
Motherboard Gigabyte B460M DS3H AC-Y1
Memory 2 x Crucial Ballistix 8GB DDR4-3000
Video Card(s) MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super
Storage 500GB SN550 WD Blue NVMe M.2
Display(s) Dell P2416D (2560 x 1440)
Power Supply Apevia 600W Gold 80 Plus
Software Windows 11 Home
Didn't Apple have a liquid cooled power Mac G5 Mac that had a tendency to leak?
 

Attachments

  • G5 power Mac.jpg
    G5 power Mac.jpg
    90.2 KB · Views: 44

Space Lynx

Astronaut
Joined
Oct 17, 2014
Messages
16,575 (4.69/day)
Location
Kepler-186f
Processor Ryzen 7800X3D -30 uv
Motherboard AsRock Steel Legend B650
Cooling MSI C360 AIO
Memory T-Create 32gb 6000 CL 30
Video Card(s) MERC310 7900 XT -60 uv +150 core
Display(s) NZXT Canvas IPS 1440p 165hz 27"
Case NZXT H710 (Red/Black)
Audio Device(s) HD58X, custom tube amp, Modi 3
Power Supply Corsair RM850W
Air cooling has a hard limit on how much heat it can dissipate. Liquid cooling does not (within reason).

this is why you always set a slightly higher fan curve than what is stock on air coolers. I always do. sucks it right out the exhaust rear, since all 3 fans are lined up perfectly. 2x in push/pull on the heatsink, 1x rear exhaust.

i have no issues with noise, I don't do anything crazy, just a slightly higher fan curve than stock. its always worked wonders for me, and kept temps down to almost liquid cooler levels. Not sure how well my new V5 cooler will do, I got as a budget experiment. I intend to try it soon. I may end up doing something better though like a U12A or a AIO, haven't decided yet. If the V5 does what I need it to do though, and I expect it will, especially with the fan curve I will be using, all will be well.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
8,144 (2.25/day)
Location
SE Michigan
System Name Dumbass
Processor AMD Ryzen 7800X3D
Motherboard ASUS TUF gaming B650
Cooling Artic Liquid Freezer 2 - 420mm
Memory G.Skill Sniper 32gb DDR5 6000
Video Card(s) GreenTeam 4070 ti super 16gb
Storage Samsung EVO 500gb & 1Tb, 2tb HDD, 500gb WD Black
Display(s) 1x Nixeus NX_EDG27, 2x Dell S2440L (16:9)
Case Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/8 140mm SP Fans
Audio Device(s) onboard (realtek?) - SPKRS:Logitech Z623 200w 2.1
Power Supply Corsair HX1000i
Mouse Steeseries Esports Wireless
Keyboard Corsair K100
Software windows 10 H
Benchmark Scores https://i.imgur.com/aoz3vWY.jpg?2
That being said, it MUST be made for your processor and suited to your setup.
The only 'must be made' should be referring to mounting. I'd rephrase this to
That being said, it should be RATED for your processor and fit inside your case.


Its rare that I openly agree with Bill, but... most instances of poor cooling is because of poor case design and insufficient airflow thru the case. An air cooler thats slightly underrated can still work with the right case with good airflow, along with some cable management.
 
Last edited:

dgianstefani

TPU Proofreader
Staff member
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
4,525 (1.92/day)
Location
Swansea, Wales
System Name Silent
Processor Ryzen 7800X3D @ 5.15ghz BCLK OC, TG AM5 High Performance Heatspreader
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix X670E-I, chipset fans removed
Cooling Optimus AMD Raw Copper/Plexi, HWLABS Copper 240/40+240/30, D5, 4x Noctua A12x25, Mayhems Ultra Pure
Memory 32 GB Dominator Platinum 6150 MHz 26-36-36-48, 56.6ns AIDA, 2050 FLCK, 160 ns TRFC
Video Card(s) RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition, Conductonaut Extreme, 18 W/mK MinusPad Extreme, Corsair XG7 Waterblock
Storage Intel Optane DC P1600X 118 GB, Samsung 990 Pro 2 TB
Display(s) 32" 240 Hz 1440p Samsung G7, 31.5" 165 Hz 1440p LG NanoIPS Ultragear
Case Sliger SM570 CNC Aluminium 13-Litre, 3D printed feet, custom front panel with pump/res combo
Audio Device(s) Audeze Maxwell Ultraviolet, Razer Nommo Pro
Power Supply SF750 Plat, transparent full custom cables, Sentinel Pro 1500 Online Double Conversion UPS w/Noctua
Mouse Razer Viper Pro V2 Mercury White w/Tiger Ice Skates & Pulsar Supergrip tape
Keyboard Wooting 60HE+ module, TOFU Redux Burgundy w/brass weight, Prismcaps White & Jellykey, lubed/modded
Software Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 19053.3803
Benchmark Scores Legendary
this is why you always set a slightly higher fan curve than what is stock on air coolers. I always do. sucks it right out the exhaust rear, since all 3 fans are lined up perfectly. 2x in push/pull on the heatsink, 1x rear exhaust.

i have no issues with noise, I don't do anything crazy, just a slightly higher fan curve than stock. its always worked wonders for me, and kept temps down to almost liquid cooler levels. Not sure how well my new V5 cooler will do, I got as a budget experiment. I intend to try it soon. I may end up doing something better though like a U12A or a AIO, haven't decided yet. If the V5 does what I need it to do though, and I expect it will, especially with the fan curve I will be using, all will be well.
Nothing you said in any way refutes the simple fact that air cooling has a hard limit.
 

Space Lynx

Astronaut
Joined
Oct 17, 2014
Messages
16,575 (4.69/day)
Location
Kepler-186f
Processor Ryzen 7800X3D -30 uv
Motherboard AsRock Steel Legend B650
Cooling MSI C360 AIO
Memory T-Create 32gb 6000 CL 30
Video Card(s) MERC310 7900 XT -60 uv +150 core
Display(s) NZXT Canvas IPS 1440p 165hz 27"
Case NZXT H710 (Red/Black)
Audio Device(s) HD58X, custom tube amp, Modi 3
Power Supply Corsair RM850W
Nothing you said in any way refutes the simple fact that air cooling has a hard limit.

not for a casual gamer it doesn't. it's all relative
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
1,457 (0.36/day)
Location
Australia
Air cooling has a hard limit on how much heat it can dissipate. Liquid cooling does not (within reason).
Of course this is true, but what is also true is air is pushed through radiators to cool the liquid. No getting away from the fact that air is still vital to cooling the system obviously, then there is the question of ambient temperatures & what each end user is tolerant with however that is another discussion but still relevant to overall efficiency of the cooling solution.

A lot of variables come into this & literally endless discussions on many enthusiasts forums will never satisfy everyone.

Let me know when you find a

I'm that .01% because NO air cooler can handle 300+ watts.
A question of relevance though. One could have 10C ambient or even lower & that high end air cooler will compete with water coolers.
As I said before in the first quote of my post, it all depends on what the end user can put up with & can control.
 

dgianstefani

TPU Proofreader
Staff member
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
4,525 (1.92/day)
Location
Swansea, Wales
System Name Silent
Processor Ryzen 7800X3D @ 5.15ghz BCLK OC, TG AM5 High Performance Heatspreader
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix X670E-I, chipset fans removed
Cooling Optimus AMD Raw Copper/Plexi, HWLABS Copper 240/40+240/30, D5, 4x Noctua A12x25, Mayhems Ultra Pure
Memory 32 GB Dominator Platinum 6150 MHz 26-36-36-48, 56.6ns AIDA, 2050 FLCK, 160 ns TRFC
Video Card(s) RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition, Conductonaut Extreme, 18 W/mK MinusPad Extreme, Corsair XG7 Waterblock
Storage Intel Optane DC P1600X 118 GB, Samsung 990 Pro 2 TB
Display(s) 32" 240 Hz 1440p Samsung G7, 31.5" 165 Hz 1440p LG NanoIPS Ultragear
Case Sliger SM570 CNC Aluminium 13-Litre, 3D printed feet, custom front panel with pump/res combo
Audio Device(s) Audeze Maxwell Ultraviolet, Razer Nommo Pro
Power Supply SF750 Plat, transparent full custom cables, Sentinel Pro 1500 Online Double Conversion UPS w/Noctua
Mouse Razer Viper Pro V2 Mercury White w/Tiger Ice Skates & Pulsar Supergrip tape
Keyboard Wooting 60HE+ module, TOFU Redux Burgundy w/brass weight, Prismcaps White & Jellykey, lubed/modded
Software Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 19053.3803
Benchmark Scores Legendary
Of course this is true, but what is also true is air is pushed through radiators to cool the liquid. No getting away from the fact that air is still vital to cooling the system obviously, then there is the question of ambient temperatures & what each end user is tolerant with however that is another discussion but still relevant to overall efficiency of the cooling solution.

A lot of variables come into this & literally endless discussions on many enthusiasts forums will never satisfy everyone.


A question of relevance though. One could have 10C ambient or even lower & that high end air cooler will compete with water coolers.
As I said before in the first quote of my post, it all depends on what the end user can put up with & can control.
Instead of being pedantic we could understand that the difference is liquid has the ability, by nature, to quickly and constantly move heat away from the source, whereas air coolers (you know what I'm talking about) have to use heatpipes or vapor chambers to do so (guess what, there's liquid in these). Its getting harder and harder with the increasing transistor density of CPUs especially, to do this.

On a liquid system you can add as much surface area as you want through radiators, there are no limits, assuming you have a pump strong enough, or several in series. On an air system, you are limited by the thermal conductivity of the heatpipes/vapor chambers, which decrease with more distance from the heatsource, fundamentally limiting the effective size of any air cooler heatsink. Liquid also has the ability to have a large thermal reservoir, serving as a buffer for spikes in thermal load. There's also the advantage of liquid cooling systems to directly exhaust the heat outside of the case, instead of blowing it on the other components (like RAM), or GPUs exhausting very hot air directly into the CPU cooler.

Additionally, you can position the various elements of a liquid cooling system anywhere in the case, for aesthetics or space efficiency. Air cooling forces you to have your heatsink directly on top of the heat producing element - leading to absurdities like 4 slot GPUs, or huge tower coolers forcing large case sizes.

There is a good reason almost every serious heat producing element in any part of any industry or product (cars, industrial machinery, nuclear reactors etc.) all use liquid cooling. Air can potentially be lower maintenance, but it depends on the design of the loop, air is fundamentally a lower capacity, worse cooling system. The advantages are simplicity, cost, and to a certain extent, lack of maintenance.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Messages
1,530 (0.29/day)
Location
Azalea City
System Name Main
Processor Ryzen 5950x
Motherboard B550 PG Velocita
Cooling Water
Memory Ballistix
Video Card(s) RX 6900XT
Storage T-FORCE CARDEA A440 PRO
Display(s) Samsung UE590
Case QUBE 500
Audio Device(s) Logitech Z623
Power Supply LEADEX V 1KW
Mouse Cooler Master MM710
Keyboard Huntsman Elite
Software 11 Pro
Benchmark Scores https://hwbot.org/user/damric/
I have one cooler rated for 320w and another cooler rated for 360w, but that’s for old school 45nm and 32nm chips. At 22nm and under they lose their grip and don’t do so well with the smaller nodes. They could just need a lap though..
This. I've pushed older CPUs over 300w on TPC-812, but I've found 7nm to need water for the awful things I like to do to them. The 14nm 1st gen ryzens could do it, but even the 12nm ones were just too heat dense to push that hard.

That dang FX Bulldozer I was able to cool it at 5300MHz 1.8v on a Hyper 212+ while unloading upside down cans of duster into the fins.
 

dgianstefani

TPU Proofreader
Staff member
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
4,525 (1.92/day)
Location
Swansea, Wales
System Name Silent
Processor Ryzen 7800X3D @ 5.15ghz BCLK OC, TG AM5 High Performance Heatspreader
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix X670E-I, chipset fans removed
Cooling Optimus AMD Raw Copper/Plexi, HWLABS Copper 240/40+240/30, D5, 4x Noctua A12x25, Mayhems Ultra Pure
Memory 32 GB Dominator Platinum 6150 MHz 26-36-36-48, 56.6ns AIDA, 2050 FLCK, 160 ns TRFC
Video Card(s) RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition, Conductonaut Extreme, 18 W/mK MinusPad Extreme, Corsair XG7 Waterblock
Storage Intel Optane DC P1600X 118 GB, Samsung 990 Pro 2 TB
Display(s) 32" 240 Hz 1440p Samsung G7, 31.5" 165 Hz 1440p LG NanoIPS Ultragear
Case Sliger SM570 CNC Aluminium 13-Litre, 3D printed feet, custom front panel with pump/res combo
Audio Device(s) Audeze Maxwell Ultraviolet, Razer Nommo Pro
Power Supply SF750 Plat, transparent full custom cables, Sentinel Pro 1500 Online Double Conversion UPS w/Noctua
Mouse Razer Viper Pro V2 Mercury White w/Tiger Ice Skates & Pulsar Supergrip tape
Keyboard Wooting 60HE+ module, TOFU Redux Burgundy w/brass weight, Prismcaps White & Jellykey, lubed/modded
Software Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 19053.3803
Benchmark Scores Legendary
That dang FX Bulldozer I was able to cool it at 5300MHz 1.8v on a Hyper 212+ while unloading upside down cans of duster into the fins.
Interesting technique for sub ambient :D
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2021
Messages
1,401 (1.50/day)
Location
Mississauga, Canada
Processor Ryzen 7 5700X
Motherboard ASUS TUF Gaming X570-PRO (WiFi 6)
Cooling Noctua NH-C14S (two fans)
Memory 2x16GB DDR4 3200
Video Card(s) Reference Vega 64
Storage Intel 665p 1TB, WD Black SN850X 2TB, Crucial MX300 1TB SATA, Samsung 830 256 GB SATA
Display(s) Nixeus NX-EDG27, and Samsung S23A700
Case Fractal Design R5
Power Supply Seasonic PRIME TITANIUM 850W
Mouse Logitech
VR HMD Oculus Rift
Software Windows 11 Pro, and Ubuntu 20.04
Instead of being pedantic we could understand that the difference is liquid has the ability, by nature, to quickly and constantly move heat away from the source, whereas air coolers (you know what I'm talking about) have to use heatpipes or vapor chambers to do so (guess what, there's liquid in these). Its getting harder and harder with the increasing transistor density of CPUs especially, to do this.

On a liquid system you can add as much surface area as you want through radiators, there are no limits, assuming you have a pump strong enough, or several in series. On an air system, you are limited by the thermal conductivity of the heatpipes/vapor chambers, which decrease with more distance from the heatsource, fundamentally limiting the effective size of any air cooler heatsink. Liquid also has the ability to have a large thermal reservoir, serving as a buffer for spikes in thermal load. There's also the advantage of liquid cooling systems to directly exhaust the heat outside of the case, instead of blowing it on the other components (like RAM), or GPUs exhausting very hot air directly into the CPU cooler.

Additionally, you can position the various elements of a liquid cooling system anywhere in the case, for aesthetics or space efficiency. Air cooling forces you to have your heatsink directly on top of the heat producing element - leading to absurdities like 4 slot GPUs, or huge tower coolers forcing large case sizes.

There is a good reason almost every serious heat producing element in any part of any industry or product (cars, industrial machinery, nuclear reactors etc.) all use liquid cooling. Air can potentially be lower maintenance, but it depends on the design of the loop, air is fundamentally a lower capacity, worse cooling system. The advantages are simplicity, cost, and to a certain extent, lack of maintenance.
This is all true, but the VF curve being nonlinear means that the added capacity of liquid cooling doesn't do much for actual performance as proven by TPU in the 7950X cooling test. The clincher for me though is that air cooling is vastly more reliable than cooling using electrically conductive liquids.
 
Top