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Blogs Is there still a need for water-cooling?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 13 Jul 2011.

  1. arcticstoat

    arcticstoat New Member

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    For me, water-cooling began out of necessity. I water-cooled my first PC nearly ten years ago, when, living in a house with a flat roof, my bedroom got incredibly hot in the summer months. I was already hooked on overclocking at the time and strove to save money by buying cheap, but very overclockable hardware. Unfortunately, the combination of the house's architecture and high system temperatures meant that my PC was intolerably noisy and unstable...

    http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/2011/07/13/is-there-still-a-need-for-water-cooling/
     
  2. zulu9812

    zulu9812 New Member

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    GPU-cooling is the elephant in the room. Whilst CPU cooling has been brought under control, high-end (even mid-range) graphics cards churn out a hell of a lot of heat. When I thought about water cooling, it was for my graphics card not my CPU.
     
  3. will_123

    will_123 Small childs brain in a big body

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    The reason i went for water was to tame my GTX 480. Its now overclocked under water very happy.
     
  4. Niftyrat

    Niftyrat Dremel overpriced like EA games

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    i have always been too scared of leaks to try it. has always seemed unnecessary to risk it as i don't overclock much
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    My HTPC is as powerful as my water cooled rig, but completely passively cooled. The only difference between the two PCs is, as Zulu9812 says, is the GPU. Anything reasonably beefy would put out more than the 50W that the case (which is one large heatsink) could shift. Fan technology is getting better, but large cards still get a bit noisy.

    I think that water cooling will become more sophisticated: less huge radiators, big pumps and lots of liquid, and a more balanced application of smaller technology.
     
  6. runbmp

    runbmp New Member

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    Thanks for this article Antony, looking into water cooling for my next build and this enlighten my decision into it.
     
  7. Mentai

    Mentai New Member

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    I'm happy with the noise levels of my CPU but my GPU's are too loud. Will be looking into into water cooling for my next build just so I can have a quiet box for gaming.
     
  8. ajfsound

    ajfsound Member

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    Similarly, I too only embraced watrcooling out of necessity but I'm actually looking forward to moving away from watercooling for my next full build, due to the hassle required when upgrading. I'm looking forward to being able to drop a new graphics card in and be enjoying it in a matter of minutes rather than days (installing block, leak testing, etc).

    Modern case designs are worth a mention here too - these have had a huge impact on temps obtainable by air.

    Interesting that GPUs are still the problematic component - I wonder if the next gen of GPUs coming later this year will start to show better results due to the die shrink?
     
  9. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    I've settled on 4GHz for my CPU's 24/7 setup. My GTX 295's cooler is hot and noisy, so WC'ing that for more headroom was a no brainer. I almost have all the blocks to cool my motherboard, so that will be next.

    Some people collect stamps or coins, others stand for hours on rainy windswept platforms collecting train numbers. Some people build furniture or restore cars in their spare time.

    There are people out there who view PCs as nothing more than tools; a means to an end. Those people have no place on these forums, and have precious little understanding of anything inside that whirring box under their desk. That's fine, whatever does or does not float your boat. Just have the good grace not to display your ignorance by attempting to deride that which you do not understand.

    I tinker with PCs.

    And I watercool because I can.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jul 2011
    Elton likes this.
  10. V3ctor

    V3ctor Tech addict...

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    My last WC rig was a Q6600@3.4Ghz with a HD4870, it had great temperatures with a 240mm rad, but it was also expensive, and the blocks are not compatible with other components (GPU's, i know that CPU's have different holes).
    In this day and age, and with the announcement by Intel that the standard cpu's for laptops are now under 35w, to me it warns us that with the 22nm tech, we will have very fresh cpu's and new techs will bring the temps down. WC is thing of the past now...
     
  11. kaiser

    kaiser New Member

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    ^ +1 to that.

    Its not done necessarily for practical reasons, I personally like the feeling that my PC, despite its age, is somewhat more special than a regular PC World crudbox because of the extra time and care and awesomeness of a full water loop.

    Also, it depends on your definition of 'quiet' ;)
     
  12. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    I don't think watercooling is dead just yet. Try multiple GPU setups, hell try single GPU setups, in some cases, air just has nothing on watercooling.

    Truth be told, having your components run at ambient is still impossible for air cooling, that plus the noise makes watercooling a necessity for some.

    I myself cannot afford it, but I defintiively would attempt it in the near future, it's just too good of a solution, it's quiet, it's more effective, and yes it is more expensive, but it makes a damn difference.

    And while CPUs seem to be shrinking it seems that motherboard chipsets still retain the same process that was used yesteryear, making them considerably warmer. That coupled with a lack of active cooling can cause issues on more expensive boards.


    While this is an elitist statement of sorts, this is the truth, Watercooling is a hobby, an expensive but quite awesome hobby. I know a few watercooler builders myself, and I'll be frank, I envy their top of the line near silent PCs, it's something that just can't be done with air, not now, not ever. Until they make components that don't eek out any heat. And for that reason (just like people who buy insane packages on nice cars for that extra oomph) for that small increase, watercooling will still exist. Because there will always be people who desire the most of out anything.
     
  13. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    Once you get your feet wet, you never go back :)

    Also, water cooling can always top air cooling, because using water to carry the heat away from the CPU, means you can have a much bigger radiator, with much more surface area than any air cooler, which is limited by the space around the CPU.
     
  14. SlowMotionSuicide

    SlowMotionSuicide Come Hell or High Water

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    Obvious troll is obvious?

    Just because one generation of Intel CPU & chipset architecture is somewhat heat-efficient, you don't go and call watercooling an unnecessary effort.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jul 2011
  15. nmunky

    nmunky New Member

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    Absolutely, it's the noise that makes the difference. I know it's a relative thing, but what passes for a "whisper quiet in operation" graphics card sounds to me like a hairdryer under the desk.

    It seems to be the one area where CPU/GPU reviews just cannot be taken at face value. Maybe because the acceptability noise levels is a subjective thing?

    Anyway, I find that only watercooling gives the combination of performance and noise levels that I find acceptable.
     
  16. feathers

    feathers Well-Known Member

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    Like you I have been overclocking for many years. All the way back to 386 days.

    I've been watercooling since about 2004. I once tried going back to air cooling because my water systems were getting out of hand (5 gallon water reservoirs and experiments with peltier cooling).

    I was on air cooling for about 3 months and it bored me silly. It was ugly to look at and all the heat was being dumped inside the computer case. I went back to water cooling and have stayed there. No longer using water but vegetable based coolant. My liquid system is a little extreme... Pump, triple rad and reservoir (500mm XSPC heatsink tube) sit beside window and the rad sucks in outside air through open window (in summer).

    This means the heated air isn't recirculated and it helps to keep the room cooler and the water rad never sucks in stale heated air.

    The liquid is cooling an i7 860 at up to 4,2ghz, 2 x MSI GTX 560Ti Twin Frozr II and a hard disk.

    I didn't plan on buying an SLI setup. I just went a bit nuts after buying one 560ti and then decided to buy a second. I had been led to believe by various review sites that the MSI Twin Frozr II was a very effective cooler that was quiet running. What a lot of ******** that was. Even one of those coolers was annoyingly loud in game and my PC case temps shot up and the GPU was running 75 to 85C+ on kombustor 3d test.

    Turns out that the MSI Frozr II was more hype than anything and had I stuck with my original plan of Gigabyte super overclock 560Ti I would have had quieter and cooler. But anyway, I bought 2 x EK VGA waterblocks and fitted to the 560's, the temps dropped from 80c+ down to 35c full load. Idle temps on air had been 43c+, on liquid they now idle at 27c or lower. Average in game GPU temp is 30c.

    And the noise? The awful MSI Twin Frozr II fans? Gone. My liquid cooling can cool the MSI even with rad fans at 55% or less. Silent SLI gaming.

    For me, liquid cooling means a near silent system. When I walk into the room it sounds like the computer is switched off.

    The other thing is I don't have a massive ugly piece of metal taking up most of the space inside my PC case. I mean, these large heatsinks are an absolute joke.

    So, no to air cooling. Air cooling sucks and it doesn't do it well enough for me.
     
  17. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Water allow a lower delta T than air (especially during damn hot days).

    And their is something that everyone will admit .... everything looks sexier with water ; P
     
  18. tad2008

    tad2008 New Member

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    I've always admired the potential of water cooling but always stuck with the simplicity of air cooling and chosen my fans and cpu cooler carefully to minimise noise.

    Even though I have built my own, removing the coolers of graphics cards has always seemed an ominous and risky prospect.

    My previous gen 8800 GTS ran fairly quiet and my current 6850 card runs admirably quiet by comparison and only becomes noticeable when truly under load.

    There may eventually come a time when water cooling tempts me over to the dark side and may start small with one of the sealed no maintenance units and see how it goes from there, for now though, air cooling works well enough and quiet enough for my HTPC needs.
     
  19. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Air cooling blows. ;):hehe:
     
    Last edited: 13 Jul 2011
  20. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Going by my thread in the forums, watercooling is on the rise. I'm coming up for 11,000 views and several hundred replies, with more and more people wanting to get into it :) And with DIY kits from swiftech and EK, it's become even easile to start :)
    The problem I have, it once you get on a serious watercooling binge, it tends to spiral out of control and the cost spirals upwards...
     
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