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Liquid cooling vs air cooling

floridaboz

56 months ago

I have a build that i have planned soon. I have figured out almost everything i want to do. But i am at a loss on the cooling, if i should go with Liquid cooling or air cooling. I know the tech has came a long way, but water inside my computer still makes me a little nervous. I am hoping that this thread will address some of my concerns. I have broke it down to where i have two options left. The main use for this system will be a high end work station. But i will also be using it for gaming. Some of the stuff will be overkill, just because i like the room to grow. Also yes, please no hate but i am a AMD fanboy.

My parts list so far is. The only thing i have not really decided on is the Cooler, If you are wondering about the 3 27 inch monitors, it is just because some of my tasks i do require a large amount of space and dragging windows to where i need them. Believe me, it might look like overkill, but sometimes it is still not enough space. But this thread is about the coolers. I will refine other stuff at a later time.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor $164.99 @ NCIX US
CPU Cooler Cooler Master V8 82.0 CFM CPU Cooler $77.96 @ Amazon
Motherboard MSI 970 GAMING ATX AM3+ Motherboard $99.74 @ Amazon
Memory Kingston HyperX Beast 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $241.74 @ Amazon
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $97.89 @ OutletPC
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $48.75 @ OutletPC
Video Card MSI Radeon R9 290 4GB TWIN FROZR Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) $302.98 @ Newegg
Video Card MSI Radeon R9 290 4GB TWIN FROZR Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) $302.98 @ Newegg
Case Thermaltake Core V71 ATX Full Tower Case $128.99 @ SuperBiiz
Power Supply Thermaltake 1000W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $158.99 @ SuperBiiz
Optical Drive LG GH24NSC0B DVD/CD Writer $9.99 @ Newegg
Operating System Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit) $99.89 @ OutletPC
Case Fan Thermaltake CL-F022-PL14RE-A 60.5 CFM 140mm Fan $16.99 @ Amazon
Monitor Asus VE278Q 27.0" Monitor $219.99 @ Newegg
Monitor Asus VE278Q 27.0" Monitor $219.99 @ Newegg
Monitor Asus VE278Q 27.0" Monitor $219.99 @ Newegg
Keyboard Logitech G710 Wired Gaming Keyboard $89.98 @ NCIX US
Mouse Logitech G502 Wired Optical Mouse $59.99 @ NCIX US
Headphones Logitech G930 7.1 Channel Headset $79.99 @ Newegg
Other Opti-ups 1200W $204.99
Other Belkin pivot plug surge protector $31.34
Other Link depot DIS 15 Display port cable $14.99
Other Link Depot DVI cable $11.99
Other Link Depot DVi cable $11.99
Other Deepcool RGB Lighting $16.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $2934.10
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-06-01 16:44 EDT-0400

Option 1: Cooler Mater V8 GTS. This thing looks cool, and i really like it, it seems to be one of the best air coolers on the market (i could be wrong).

Option 2: Corsair Hydro Series H100i. I know this is not one of the best out, but it will fit within my budget. I like the little light on it and how you can change the colors and heard that the noise issue can be resolved with a simple firmware upgrade.

I would like some detailed and constructive responses on this topic so i can make a honest choice on what i think would be best for my system.

disclaimer: My grammar sucks, sorry. If you want to make fun of it fine, you won't be the first. I have no excuse, i got a D- all through high school in English.

Comments

  • 56 months ago
  • 5 points

I will start with air cooling.

Pros:

-Usually cheaper than water cooling

-The only point of failure is the fan, and even if the fan dies, your CPU won't overheat outright before the system even posts, because you'll still be getting some dissipation from the heatsink.

-More quiet for locked/low TDP CPUs. Since a heatsink doesn't need a pump, it has a much lower minimum noise level, since you can buy a quiet fan and turn it to the lowest RPM possible if you are using a CPU that doesn't put out much heat. Of course, this doesn't apply to you, because you're using a pretty powerful CPU, but it is still a pro for air cooling.

Cons:

-High end air coolers can be HUGE and sometimes some coolers (notably the NH-D15) will even block the top PCIe slot.

-Lower performance ceiling. The highest end air coolers like the NH-D15 and the Phanteks PH-TC14PE perform roughly as well as mid-range liquid coolers. A good 280mm or a thick 240mm AIO will usually beat any air cooler.

-Potential incompatibility/difficult installation. This ties into the first con. Often times cases are not wide enough to support a big air cooler, and memory clearance can be an issue as well. Large coolers are also usually difficult to install (especially the V8 you're looking at. Phanteks has their great looking red PH-TC14PE for a similar price, and it offers better performance, lower noise levels, and a much easier installation method).

Now on to water: Pros:

-Great performance. A tube of flowing water will transfer more heat than a heatpipe will, period.

-Lower noise levels for high end/hot CPUs. Since AIOs often offer a larger dissipation area than air coolers, more fans running at lower RPMs can deliver better performance. Sure, you get a bit of additional noise at idle from the pump, but AIOs tend to be more quiet under load (except the Corsair coolers, but I'll talk about that at the end).

-Aesthetics. This is totally subjective, but it's easier to make a good looking system with an all-in-one liquid cooler than it is with an air cooler (although there are some exceptions, again. Those Phanteks coolers do look pretty damn good in the right build.).

-Ease of installation. A large radiator is easier to install than a large heatsink in most cases, since the water block is the only part you have to mount to the CPU, and there's nothing obstructing the socket.

Cons:

-Additional points of failure. An AIO can leak, or have pump failure. It may seem like the first is worse, but the second can be just as bad, because it often is extremely difficult to identify, because it will cause the CPU to overheat and shut off before it even posts. It's possible for your CPU to die this way, although it isn't likely. This would be a good time to say that this is why people have been telling you to avoid the H100i. The pump on the thing is awful. Nearly every other review on Newegg mentions pump failure. It's easily worth another $10 for a Cooler Master Nepton 240M that will last twice as long, perform better, and be more quiet.

-Case compatibility. This isn't a huge one for most new cases (and shouldn't be with yours), but many old cases don't have fan slots right next to each other, making water cooling a no-go.

So I hope this helps show the pluses and minuses of each method. Unfortunately, the two coolers you have selected are not too great. As already mentioned, the Corsair H100i is something that nobody should buy, not because its poor performance or loud fans, but because it has a higher rate of failure than comparable products. The reality is, 9/10 people will probably own one and never have an issue, but the 10th guy's pump will start to make grinding noises after a month, then his PC won't turn on and his CPU may end up dead (Corsair's warranty doesn't cover this). It's worth it to buy a higher quality unit from a company with better QC than to buy the H100i. As previously mentioned, the Nepton 240M is great, and so is the Enermax Liqtech 240. The Swiftech and NZXT coolers are very good as well, but are more pricey so they're probably out of your range.

Now on to the V8GS. It's frankly not that good of a cooler for the money. This is largely because the mounting system isn't very good, so the cooler may lean slightly when in a case, meaning that the base won't make even contact with the CPU. Phanteks and Noctua both have more quiet, better performing coolers for the same price that are much easier to install and don't suffer from this issue. As already stated, the Phanteks PH-TC14PE is another red cooler for the same price that will beat the V8GS.

Hope this helps!

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

Umm.

I have a few problems

1) Going AMD is silly but if you're gonna go with them at-least get a 990fx board for your 8-core Vishera chip.

2) Both of those coolers are out-performed..... The CM Nepton 240mm defeats the corsair cooler for less and a Noctua or Phanteks cooler beats that V8.

3) Those r9 290's are expensive... get an r9 295x2 for the same price for much better performance.

4)That power supply.... WTF, it's an okay unit but it's expensive.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I been here that that PSU cost more than what it should. It seems like the price on that video card changes every day, i seen it drop as low as 239.00 and just today i seen it spike up to almost 300 dollars. I will look into the r9 295x2

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I would also consider the GTX 980 Ti, has the performance of a Titan X, just a copule of FPS behind it in games but for only $650 and adding another one will have a lot better results than having another R9 295X2.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I forgot about the gtx 980ti..... It's actually very, very competitive.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I am going to have a very hard time recommending the R9 295X2 now because of it.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Yea... Actually, that's a good point. it's only a slight increase of a performance but with all of the Dual gpu problems..... WTF! Nvidia you couldn't just be normal and release to gtx 980ti at a 'reasonable cost' of 900$

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I have heard a lot of good things about the 980ti, but was not sure if anyone messed with it first hand yet

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

It seems to be the only 9xx series gpu worth a damn now.

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

I want to thank everyone for the help and advice. You guys have gave me a lot to think about and even showed me i don't know nearly as much as i thought i did.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Other options if you wish to stick to liquid/AiO cooling:

  • Silverstone TD02-E - 5 year warranty
  • CryOrig A40 - 3 year unregistered/6 year registered warranty, Astek tech (gen5 pump)
  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

That psu is insanely overpriced for its quality, I would recommend a Evga G2 or GS psu.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

i will keep that in mind, I have about 3 months to make plans for that. and that is why i am here. so i can see what others think. I was going to hit the PSU thing next, but wanted to work out the cooler stuff

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Cooler Master V8 GTS. This thing looks cool, and i really like it, it seems to be one of the best air coolers on the market (i could be wrong)

First time I've ever heard someone say that was "one of the best"... Most of the time the "best" air coolers are Noctua's D14/D15 or Phanteks' TC14PE series.

For the most part, AIO coolers are safe and any issues with them will probably occur in shipping. Major issue with them is that they're only rated to "last" ~3 years, so if you plan to use them longer, you may need to replace the whole unit.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

The Nepton series has a five year warranty, and I'm pretty sure Swiftech coolers have something similar.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

3 year warranty for the swiftech coolers

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

First spammer I saw comment on something.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, you gave me a lot to think about on this one. I might revisit this at a later time and ask you a few questions because it seems like you been dealing with this for a while. thank you for that feedback.

[comment deleted by staff]

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