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Really want a watercooled CPU rig. But is the leak risk worth it?

VECT0R

39 months ago

Hey everyone. I have ran into this issue I am having in deciding rather or not I should water cool my PC. Right now, the Prolimatech Megahalems Is my go to. But, all these dang watercooled rigs being uploaded in pcpartpicker is making me plain jealous.

No, I am not talking about a custom loop. Just a simple closed loop like Corsair H80i, etc..

I know the leak risk is very rare, and that companies have warranty and are known to replace damaged parts, blah blah blah. I've been told that If I am this worried, I should just stay with air cooling. But I really want to watercool for aesthetics and performance [YES I KNOW BIG AIR COOLERS CAN BEAT WATER COOLERS]. I know that the chance of a leak is there. But can I just get some advice from the community about your opinion or tips?

Thanks all!

Comments

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

One thing to note is that water coolers do generally have a higher failure rate than air coolers, but that does not mean they are likely to leak. There are more points of failure due to more actual mechanical parts, like more fans and a pump. Fans can easily be replaced, but if the pump fails it's easier to just buy another cooler.

You are right in that the risk of actually leaking if you handle the cooler properly is extremely rare, and you really should stick with air cooling if it's something that has you worried.

[YES I KNOW BIG AIR COOLERS CAN BEAT WATER COOLERS]

The thing about this is that it depends on your usage scenario. Yes, a good water cooler will definitely have more cooling capacity than a good air cooler, but unless you're overclocking or your CPU is running particularly hot for some other reason, it probably doesn't matter. If your current CPU cooler is good and runs fairly quietly during a standard load then you may actually notice a water cooler being louder due to having multiple fans instead of just one and the pump having to run at all times. I would sacrifice a little cooling capacity and run them at a lower RPM to at least meet the standards of the old cooler and not sound like a jet engine.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah you have a point. Pumps can be really annoying. And yes, I am expecting not to stab the radiator with screws and all so that I could spring a leak faster :P

I was originally planning to get dual tower coolers like the Cryorig R1 Ultimate. But honestly, I don't want a big, fat, bulky heatsink covering roughly half of my motherboard. So that is where I started wondering on what I should do. I want to kind of balance my aesthetics with my performance.

As you said that it depends on my usage, I roughly use my PC 1-4 hours a day. When it comes to overclocking, I might try to go from 4ghz to around 4.7ghz. [Hoping that I don't kill my $300+ processor from too much voltage]

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

You have a higher risk of the pump dying than a leak, to put it concisely. As adamxaffliction said, there are more mechanical parts in an AIO, and that is really where the fail rate is. There's only 1 mechanical part on an air cooler, or 2 if you have a dual-fan cooler. On some AIOs, there could instantly be 4 mechanical parts that could fail, if you have a 360mm radiator.

So here's my suggestion. Grab an NZXT Kraken X42, X52, or X62. The Krakens have relatively quiet fans stock, they cool well, and have LED accents. Almost all AIOs on PCPP are high quality units which you'll probably want to move on to a different cooler for aesthetics and performance before the current cooler leaks.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

A big benefit of the Kraken is that it is the only AIO to offer a variable-speed pump. That means it's much quieter at non-full loads

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok thanks, the kraken x62 really hooked me since it looks really really nice. I don't hear about them leaking as much as corsair products do [But yeah the chance is still there and will always be there]

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

What is your opinion of the Kraken versus a Swiftech H220 X2? The price range is about the same, the Swiftech gives you the option to open the loop in the future if you want to cool the graphics card, and it has a reservoir.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Can't speak from experience, but I would go with the Kraken X42, 52, or 62. Some of the reviews for the H220 X2 are great, some are terrible, but most are meh / bad.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Also, what fellway said.

...the [Kraken is the] only AIO to offer a variable-speed pump.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

If you build it right, it wont ever leak. I've never had an issue with any of mine. However make sure you do a leak test and if it doesn't leak after the first 24 hours it will never spring a leak unless it is moved, in which case you should again leak test it. it's worth it

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

If you build it right, it wont ever leak.

While I agree that it is very rare that an AIO leaks, I wouldn't say never as there is always a slight possibility even if everything is done correctly.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Well if everything is done correctly and your parts are not faulty then really nothing can go wrong. and even if your parts are faulty then you would see that in a leak test. It would be next to impossible for it to have a "developing" problem. But like you say there is always a risk. but i don't think that risk should stop you from doing it, otherwise you might as well not build a pc because something very unlikely could go wrong.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

What about people that have leaks after some time maybe a year or two and have taken care? You can't say never.. With electronics and computer parts you can't be 100%.

You can say it is very rare but that is about it.

but i don't think that risk should stop you from doing it,

Agree 100%

[comment deleted]
  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the support guys, and yeah. I already overkilled my budget by like $1000+ dollars. So if I go water cooling and it leaks, I told $1000+ dollars good bye :(

So yeah, I think I might stick with air cooling just in case it leaks and the RMA process turns out to be a pain in the ***. Just to find myself with no money and no trust in CLC companies.

Does anyone know an air cooler that is sexy like the Megahalems?

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Best looking IMO is a Dark Rock Pro 3. A Cryorig R1 is also nice looking and you can get different color covers for it. I think the best performing is the Noctura NH-D15 but it is not good looking in the slightest.

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