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Are we witnessing the slow demise of the air cooler?

Are we witnessing the slow demise of the air cooler?

  • No, it will take some time before the air cooler becomes obsolete

    Votes: 82 91.1%
  • Yes, the transition to the AIO/Custom Loop is inevitable

    Votes: 9 10.0%

  • Total voters
    90
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As die sizes shrink with each new generation of CPU, it seems that temperatures, albeit by design, will inevitably increase to levels that were unheard of only a few years ago. Given that more cooling will be required to allow these CPU's to boost to their maximum level and sustain this level for longer periods, are we witnessing the slow demise of the air cooler? Will the AIO and/or the custom loop become an inevitable part of the pc building process in the very near future? How big would air coolers have to become in order to compete?
 
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freeagent

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Coolers with 6mm pipes are on life support right now imo.
 

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I think it's going to be a long time before the demise of air coolers takes place. Water coolers just aren't necessary for the vast majority of PCs.
 
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Maybe, but only for DIY/gaming PCs. OEM stuff will always have the air cooler.
 
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Air coolers will stay indefinitely, also look at laptops with high end CPU's.
 
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air coolers are going nowhere soon, they will just make them better and add a bit to the price.
 

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Nope, we will see cpu technology innovate and get some sort of refresh to where they don't expell so much heat
 
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Why would I need or want a water cooler in a typical Ryzen 5/i5 (non-K/non-X) desktop?
 
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Why would I need or want a water cooler in a typical Ryzen 5/i5 (non-K/non-X) desktop?

Absolutely. I love water cooling, but its never taking over. Could never see water cooling in consoles either for the same reasons, unneeded and costly.
 
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The choices for the poll are troubling, as the creator thinks his future predictions will be spot on. I would have checked the "no" option, but I doubt that air cooling will become "obsolete" in my lifetime and that's problematic.
 
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my choice for the poll would be Air Cooling is going nowhere.
my 12700k at 5Ghz P, 4 Ghz E and 4.3 Ghz Ring runs an hour long blender render at almost 100°C fully stable with a tiny little NH U12S 120mm single tower cooler.
with the NH-D15 it's 2-3°C apart from my Kraken X73 at 100% pump speed.
 
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Absolutely. I love water cooling, but its never taking over. Could never see water cooling in consoles either for the same reasons, unneeded and costly.
Also less reliable/durable than air cooling, and more fragile. It's good for stationary machines like 60kg workstations that you'll never move, but consoles? not happening. And what about laptops? Or AIO computers not sure if those are still a thing, I remember when everyone wanted one back in 2013.
 

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The choices for the poll are troubling, as the creator thinks his future predictions will be spot on. I would have checked the "no" option, but I doubt that air cooling will become "obsolete" in my lifetime and that's problematic.
The creator makes no predictions, I was just musing on the trend of higher and higher CPU temperatures, there is no correct answer, none of us have access to a crystal ball, I was simply interested in how everyone thinks this will play out, please do not be troubled if the poll has shortcomings. Feel free to challenge the assumptions I have made, they were provided for that specific purpose.

Why would I need or want a water cooler in a typical Ryzen 5/i5 (non-K/non-X) desktop?
How long will such a CPU remain typical?
 
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Water cooling in a laptop? Take a look at this hideous bulky thing from ASUS

1664408669402.png
 
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When we move off Silicon and into Cubic Boron Arsenide, watercooling might be the one to disappear for a while until we push the envelope of CBA. Either way air cooling isn't going anywhere.
 
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How long will such a CPU remain typical?
Long.

Not everyone uses a PC to play videogames. You don't need a 32-core CPU running at 6GHz to run Microsoft Excel.
 
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Air will remain default for a very long time, if not permanently. Liquid is too complicated and costly for typical setups. Rather than cooling solutions continually growing to meet higher TDPs, systems will remain designed to draw what a cost effective cooler can handle. Much like today.
 
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Also less reliable/durable than air cooling, and more fragile. It's good for stationary machines like 60kg workstations that you'll never move, but consoles? not happening. And what about laptops? Or AIO computers not sure if those are still a thing, I remember when everyone wanted one back in 2013.

The major OEMs and system builders (HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc.) still offer a small selection of AIO PC models. And of course Apple. There's still a small market where AIO desktop PCs are a desirable solution.

For sure more notebook PCs are sold than desktops these days. For Apple, over >85% of Mac sales are notebooks and that figure does not include iPad (which Apple lists as a separate business). In fact, if I recall correctly Mac and iPad revenue are pretty close.
 
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Is it wrong to assume a correlation between higher CPU temperatures and generational die shrinkage?

Perhaps I should have limited the scope of the debate to the enthusiast section, I did not have laptops in mind, although that opens up another interesting area of inquiry.
 
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Water cooling in a laptop? Take a look at this hideous bulky thing from ASUS

View attachment 263524
That's a dock, not permanent. It will run on air when disconnected. Heck, some had SLI with watercooling. Talk about heat and bulk...

How long will such a CPU remain typical?
Again, OEM builders make a vast portion of the PC market. Those get access to SKU's that we don't, such as the 5300 (G(E)), 5700GE, 5700GE, 5800 (non-X) and the 5900 (non-X). All were 65W parts, except for the GE 35W parts.

Is it wrong to assume a correlation between higher CPU temperatures and generational die shrinkage?
Yes and no. As dies shrink and TDP stays the same, the temperature increases due to thermal density. However, die shrinks offer power savings and voltage reductions, allowing for lower temperatures clock-for-clock, and much lower power draw (smaller coolers available). This is how Apple apparently kept the efficiency of their chips so high, by using an efficiency focused boost algorithm, vs Intel and AMD going for performance. After all, your boost algorithm doesn't change the cost per chip, just the power draw and performance.
 
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Is it wrong to assume a correlation between higher CPU temperatures and generational die shrinkage?

I would not jump to that conclusion. After all, the same process node changes affect mobile silicon equally and yet those devices are still passively cooled for the most part.

Apple is supremely focused on the performance-per-watt metric because the lion's share of company revenue is mobile devices: iPhone, iPad, and now wearables like AirPods and Apple Watch. It's not like they can double power in an A-series SoC, stick a fan on the heatsink and put a battery twice the size in next year's iPhone.

For sure, Intel CPU power consumption ballooned massively when they failed to migrate from their 14nm process node. In order to stay competitive with AMD, they just added more transistors by using bigger and bigger dies. Intel threw efficiency out the window. This is why Zen 3 crushed Intel's offerings in performance-per-watt.
 
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Thank you all for responding, please continue to provide your insights, you have made me consider things I had not previously considered and my intention when creating this thread was exclusively to learn.
 
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Thank you all for responding, please continue to provide your insights, you have made me consider things I had not previously considered and my intention when creating this thread was exclusively to learn.

One thing that you will find useful is to think beyond the desktop PC paradigm.

Many people here at TPU gnash their teeth when Apple is brought into the conversation but they have done a splendid job in bringing some computing technologies into the mainstream.

Computing isn't just strapping a CPU onto an ATX motherboard, plugging in a PSU and graphics card and installing Windows anymore. There are far more passively cooled computing devices on the planet today than twenty years ago.

When Steve Jobs revealed the iPhone in 2007, he referred to it as "the computer for the rest of us." Completely prophetic.
 
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