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Cooling Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Air v Water

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(Yes, that thread title is both a Star Wars reference and a reference to this being a never-ending discussion. As such, this being the 9th episode is likely way too low.)

@The red spirit @AusWolf @Mussels @lexluthermiester @thesmokingman @FireFox Did I forget anyone?

Let's continue the air v. water/what's the point of water cooling discussion that threatened to get us all reply-banned from the tech purchase thread here, yeah? I can't be bothered to quote all the relevant posts, obvs. I'll likely chime in later, busy today.
 
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Tigger

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Water cooling is imo better for a gpu, mine is in the 20's idle and no higher than 50 load.
 
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Not sure what's the point of such thread. We all have our preferences. That's it. There's really nothing else to discuss here. This thread can only end up in "my preference is better, so STFU" and I'm pretty sure that nobody wants that.
 

FireFox

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Water cooling is imo better for a gpu, mine is in the 20's idle and no higher than 50 load.
Why just for the GPU?
Anyway my GPU max temp with 30c room temp is around 40c/42c
 
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Hi,
Title is a little unclear the way it's typed need a couple more spaces
Air v water

On topic I prefer custom water cooling
 

FireFox

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Riiight... :D *cracks knuckles* Let's get started.

Pros of air cooling:
+ Simpler and easier to build
+ More maintenance-free, as the fan(s) is the only moving part
+ Easier to control through BIOS with usually one (or two) PWM fan connected to the motherboard
+ Cheaper

Cons of air cooling:
- Decent performance usually comes with large size and weight that puts pressure on the CPU socket and/or PCI-e slot / graphics card PCB
- Dimensions must be considered before choosing a CPU cooler / graphics card / chassis
- Can be noisy when under-designed for the required cooling capacity
- Highly dependent on case airflow

Pros of AIO liquid cooling:
+ Nearly as maintenance-free as air, but with added cooling capacity
+ The volume of liquid inside the cooler has a much larger heat capacity than the metal in air coolers, leading to a much more relaxed temperature curve before reaching peak
+ The right AIO for your system gives you similar cooling with decreased heat (compared to air), or better cooling with similar noise
+ Much less weight on your motherboard around your CPU socket
+ Less heat inside your chassis when your radiator and fans are positioned as exhaust
+ More configurable through software (if that's your thing)

Cons of AIO liquid cooling:
- Usually more complicated wiring and software control (if it's not your thing)
- More expensive than air
- More moving parts means higher chance of failure
- No AIO lasts forever due to the permeation of the tubes - though they still last a long time, and some of them are serviceable
- Lower end AIOs don't perform better than average air coolers - 120 mm ones should be avoided unless for SFF builds with lower wattage CPUs (been there, done that, it's quite fun)
- Tube length and flexibility should be considered when choosing your AIO and/or chassis
- Older and lesser quality models are famous for noisy pumps/fans - can be avoided by reading reviews before buying

Pros of custom loop liquid cooling:
+ Unmatched cooling performance with the highest possibility for a silent system
+ Rigid tubing can serve as a supportive structure for your PC components (I think)
+ Highly configurable cooling suited for the entire system
+ With the right configuration, there's an even temperature in all parts of your chassis with no hot spots
+ Quite fun to build (if that's your thing)

Cons of custom loop liquid cooling:
- Quite annoying to build (if it's not your thing)
- Chance of leakage and/or component damage
- Requires experience to build and maintain
- Requires lots of maintenance with regular draining and cleaning
- A pain in the backside to upgrade the system
- Expensive

With all this in mind, my personal choice is always AIO for the cooling capacity, the silence, for being maintenance-free, and for peace of mind that my CPU temp won't affect internal chassis temp in any way.
 
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Tigger

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Why just for the GPU?
Anyway my GPU max temp with 30c room temp is around 40c/42c

Well it does benefit both. my temps
temp.jpg
 

FireFox

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Requires lots of maintenance with regular draining and cleaning
I drain mine once a year, been doing it for a decade and never faced any problems.

Requires experience to build and maintain
When i built my first Custom loop i had 0 experience, i just knew the components i needed to built it and how they should be installed, so i built it and it worked.
I was so confident that i didn't do the leaking test. Tbh, I've never done it.
 
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I drain mine once a year, been doing it for a decade and never faced any problems.


When i built my first Custom loop i had 0 experience, i just knew the components i needed to built it and how they should be installed, so i built it and it worked.
That's cool. I'm still too scared to build one, even though I've been using AIOs for nearly 5 years. :ohwell:
 

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I always go with air cooling as I don't like the idea of any kind of liquid in my PC.

My Noctua NH-D14 does a fine job of cooling my CPU and being quite. Also, I always get big, three slot graphics cards with superb coolers that are very quiet and cool well, so that's not a problem either.
 
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Not sure what's the point of such thread. We all have our preferences. That's it. There's really nothing else to discuss here. This thread can only end up in "my preference is better, so STFU" and I'm pretty sure that nobody wants that.
Sharing of thoughts and perspectives can and does grant people insight to ideas and possibilities not considered before.
 

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Title fixed by both an air and water fan :)
 
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Title fixed by both an air and water fan :)
Hey! The point was that "Air(v)water" kind of rhymes with "Skywalker" if you squint hard enough. Stop breaking my poorly executed wordplay! This is an abuse of power!
 

Tigger

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Well here's a pic of my loop. Delete if not in topic
IMG_20210827_184327.jpg
 
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Hey! The point was that "Air(v)water" kind of rhymes with "Skywalker" if you squint hard enough. Stop breaking my poorly executed wordplay! This is an abuse of power!
Hi,
I almost reported the thread to be moved to gaming lol
Thought where are the other 8 versions or episodes :confused:

Everyone water cooling via aio or custom loop should have a backup air cooler because sooner or later pumps die.
 

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I don't like the idea of any kind of liquid in my PC.
Me neither, but i can't do without Watercooling :laugh:


Try to guess what might happen if a drop of water falls in one of those points?:laugh:
the back of my GPU is completely naked

20210902_155116.jpg


everyone water cooling via aio or custom loop should have a backup air cooler because sooner or later pumps die.
I have an AIO as backup.
 
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Hi,
I don't use any rotary fittings at all best thing about soft tubing lessens leaks.
 

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Me neither, but i can't do without Watercooling :laugh:


Try to guess what might happen if a drop of water falls in one of those points?:laugh:
the back of my GPU is completely naked

View attachment 215249


I have an AIO as backup.
Yes, quite. I'm sitting here in a state of trepidation for you. :p
 

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Yes, quite. I'm sitting here in a state of trepidation for you. :p
I have been very lucky, never a leak but i guess it's better if i buy a backplate for the GPU instead tempting the fate.
 

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Been on water forever…can’t go back but these days I just do my CPU…That was an Asetek unit when they actually made stuff instead of patent trolling…

 
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Sharing of thoughts and perspectives can and does grant people insight to ideas and possibilities not considered before.
Except we don't really have anything new to say as topic is already well established. I personally only use 120mm and 92mm towers or downdrafts. That's all I need for making system quiet with chips that I use. I tend to err on lower wattage chips too, so modest cooling is more than enough. Never saw a point in liquid loop, as they don't provide enough benefit to outweigh pains. That's pretty much it. The only thing that I know and might be somewhat novel to some is that 92mm towers can be really great performers and be really close to 120mm single towers. Never had a need for giant coolers (except for Mugen 4 PCGH), so I don't have experience with them. My current Choten cools i5 10400F well. During BOINC loads it stays in 60s. With power limits lifted, in small FFT prime95 test, it stays in 70s at maybe 1000 rpm. During idle, it is in 400-500 range. I'm sure that no water cooling would beat it in terms of noise, since even a simple loop needs a pump and a fan, two sources of noise. And I never had something more high end and I don't want something very high end either. For my needs, air cooling is all I need. Passive cooling is fun, but it's impractical and complete crapshoot since nobody writes cooling capabilities or big towers (Except for DeepCool Lucifer cooler, but that was one off cooler) and CPU makers always cheat with TDP, so if it works with what I have, great, if it doesn't, I don't mind a very slow fan.

Graphics cards are another matter completely and most of their cooling sucks and you aren't supposed to mess with it. Aftermarket is almost dead. Accelero and Morpheus were the last hurrahs of custom graphics card cooling.
 
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Except we don't really have anything new to say as topic is already well established.
Not for everyone. There are a great many people who do not know the information that is such common knowledge to us. So sharing it is of benefit to those who are not in the know. And because information often becomes dated over time, looking into current conversations that often focus on current technology and methodologies can be of great benefit. Even very experienced people, like myself, often learn something new, something they may not have crossed paths with. So to say we should not keep conversations like these alive and moving forward is just simple foolishness.
Graphics cards are another matter completely
True.
and most of their cooling sucks
Not true! Most OEM cooling solutions are very good in real world practice.
Aftermarket is almost dead. Accelero and Morpheus were the last hurrahs of custom graphics card cooling.
Sad but true.
 
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There's no war, just one crazy flailing about.
 
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Not true! Most OEM cooling solutions are very good in real world practice.
I will change my mind, when I will see a graphics card with RPM range of 400-1200 rpm and when during load it only needs 1000 or less rpm. And that card must also have vRAM, VRM cooling too. And it doesn't cover more than two PCIe slots, that's important, because I actually use them. Until that happens, I'm not particularly impressed.
 
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