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Thread: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

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    Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    I know that there will be people on both sides of the fence on this one, and possibly with very strong opinions, but I'd like to ask.

    I know there are closed loop options available, the H80i and H100i have my attention, are these much better than a Hyper 212 EVO for example? It would be nice to run a full water loop with GPU blocks since this is where the majority of noise in my case comes from, but the kits I've seen cost easily double the closed loop options and don't include GPU blocks.

    I currently run 2 Noctua NF-F12 fans push/pull on my Hyper 212, so noise isn't really a huge issue - but I'd like to know your stories about observed cooling differences in particular.

    Thanks in advance for your input!

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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    Iv'e recently been looking into water cooling myself, never really was a fan (no pun intended ) and never really agreed with it due to the sheer cost and risks involved.

    However it does depend, there are advantages and disadvantages.

    Air cooling will last for years, it's just a block of fancy metal paired with decent fans and off you go, not very scalable, but the best air coolers out there cost half the amount of the top all in one water cooling kits. But then you do have that issue of noise when things start to heat up.

    Water cooling is scalable but you can't call it future proof in a way because the pump will eventually break as with everything. If you go the cheap route with water cooling you're more unsure of the reliability of it, leaks are the biggest concern. Installation is quite difficult because you have to take the right measurements. Plus you need to fork out a lot of money for those kits if you want superior cooling than the available air coolers.


    Cheaper water cooling kits are good if you require a nice quiet system and won't be doing anything too crazy with it, but you have to wonder where the company has shaved off a few pounds.

    Air cooling: Cheaper, I suppose reliable, but noise and won't scale with heat as well.
    Water cooling: Proper kits and/or custom water cooling is expensive and if installation is done improperly or cheap parts are used you run the risk of leaks, but then you do get superior cooling and a quiet system.


    As for the H80 and H100, they are better, but I do think they're over priced. If you require cooling for many system components I would say custom water cooling is always the way to go, but it is however expensive.


    Me personally, if I did have the money I would go for water cooling purely because of the low noise, appearance and to have a clean system to work with I think

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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    Thanks for your thoughts on this, I can tell that I'm going to be pondering for some time!

    The price/performance of water cooling does seem to drop off quite a lot from air, but I think it's mainly the potential quietness of the GPU which is the biggest draw for me. I should've bought a Gigabyte card when I had the chance

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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    I went for water cooling years ago, imported a load of Koolance gear including controller cards to save on costs a bit, I could have bought another gaming rig for the outlay but that's the cost of getting it right.

    The upside, a near silent pc at idle, and during a round of BF3 with a I7 CPu running at 4ghz and 2 GTX 480's that run very hot I still come under the idle temps of most air cooled rigs.

    this is the idle temps as of now.

    cpu will hit 38 and both video cards (overclocked to 850/1000) will get to 40.

    the fan controller has never needed to get above 50% on the fans.


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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    Not breaking 50% on the fans is extremely impressive! Which fans do you use? I've been reading that the Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 is excellent for radiators, but it's always interesting to hear first hand experiences, especially with a loop which is running as nicely as yours!

    Are there any importing websites and installation guides which you found particularly useful? I'm not sure I'll take the plunge yet, but I'd like to read up on everything.

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    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    Nowadays it's not worth it even though mines water cooled. CPU and gpu are redicolously cool these days compared to my i7 920 and old 480gtx

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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    I think its worth it and the relability of watercooling seems perfectly fine to me, one of my laing ddc pumps is around 5 years old and works fine the other is slightly less and still works .

    It depends entirely on what you want from watercooling, if you want silence and performance at the same time then it is indeed the best way as I personally cannot stand gpu coolers as all of them are fairly loud. Its not cheap if bought new but it lasts a very long time.... you can have something like :

    RX360 ~ £70
    Laing DDC Pump ~ £40
    Swiftech micro res ~ £15
    CPU Block ~ £30
    GPU Block ~ £40
    Fittings ~£20
    Tubing : £5
    Total :220

    The fittings wont need replacing, the gpu block is just a universal one which would allow you to use it on future cards (all you need it ~£5 - £10 of heatsinks for gpu memory and vrm) and alot of the cpu blocks dont need replacing either the only thing that will need replacing is tubing (£5) and your pump if it dies (yet to see it...).

    I got alot of mine second hand, RX360 was £30 and RX240 I have was only £25 and my first pump was £15 the second was £20 from specialtech (good place to buy from!). It could be a good idea to get second hand stuff .

    For temperatures I was getting atleast 70C on my new 7950 on high load but under water It maxes at 33C and its silent! Where as the actual air cooling was quite loud . If you dont mind the sound coming from your pc currently then no its not worth it but if you want to make it quieter and overclock then watercooling is good .
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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubo View Post
    Not breaking 50% on the fans is extremely impressive! Which fans do you use? I've been reading that the Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 is excellent for radiators, but it's always interesting to hear first hand experiences, especially with a loop which is running as nicely as yours!

    Are there any importing websites and installation guides which you found particularly useful? I'm not sure I'll take the plunge yet, but I'd like to read up on everything.
    a mixture of noctua and koolance fans.

    i found chilledpc.co.uk to be a good place for advice on the forums and toms good at sorting out parts and special bits you may need.

    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack
    off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks12 View Post
    I think its worth it and the relability of watercooling seems perfectly fine to me, one of my laing ddc pumps is around 5 years old and works fine the other is slightly less and still works .

    It depends entirely on what you want from watercooling, if you want silence and performance at the same time then it is indeed the best way as I personally cannot stand gpu coolers as all of them are fairly loud. Its not cheap if bought new but it lasts a very long time.... you can have something like :

    RX360 ~ £70
    Laing DDC Pump ~ £40
    Swiftech micro res ~ £15
    CPU Block ~ £30
    GPU Block ~ £40
    Fittings ~£20
    Tubing : £5
    Total :220

    The fittings wont need replacing, the gpu block is just a universal one which would allow you to use it on future cards (all you need it ~£5 - £10 of heatsinks for gpu memory and vrm) and alot of the cpu blocks dont need replacing either the only thing that will need replacing is tubing (£5) and your pump if it dies (yet to see it...).

    I got alot of mine second hand, RX360 was £30 and RX240 I have was only £25 and my first pump was £15 the second was £20 from specialtech (good place to buy from!). It could be a good idea to get second hand stuff .

    For temperatures I was getting atleast 70C on my new 7950 on high load but under water It maxes at 33C and its silent! Where as the actual air cooling was quite loud . If you dont mind the sound coming from your pc currently then no its not worth it but if you want to make it quieter and overclock then watercooling is good .
    This seems much more reasonable than I have been pricing up in my head! Perhaps I've just been looking at some premium blocks. Thanks for this

    GoNz0 thanks for mentioning Koolance, they have some very thorough articles on heat transfer and start up guides on their site, super useful!

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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    even if you dont go koolance it's worth investing in the control hardware they sell, the pumps carry a small hike over the standard ones but plug straight into the board

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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    Watercooling is worth if you've got the time and money to devote towards it as after all it's a hobby so no point splashing out (no pun intended) on it if you don't know what you're doing and just want to look cool. Of course that isn't to say aesthetics isn't an important part of WC as after all it is and one of the reasons people go for it is due to looks. With the tubing and different fluids etc you can make a very nice looking computer (other parts have to look good ). Another reason to go with WC might be due to noise levels but again it depends on what you choose as I've heard some setups can also be loud So yeah it's definitely worth it if you're doing some over-average OCing but I suppose your average joe could also go with WC but an AIO kit might be better such as the Corsair h100i if you don't want to assemble and buy everything separately. Or of course high end air cooling can compete with AIO coolers too but of course not with an expensive custom WC setup

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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    note: i find compressed fittings unreliable. wont be going for those anymore. it basically just pushes into your tube thats it, no locking or clamp mechanism so if your tube bends a bit or u blow on the tube, it leaks
    Last edited by peterb; 17-04-2013 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Language

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    umm all my compression fittings screw down.

    you confusing this with push fit ?

    i finally had a failure last week, a swivel joint o-ring had lost its flexibility and started leaking the seconds i disturbed it

    thank god it was a low point so it dripped on the case and no where else. also glad i had a spare!

    this is 3 years down the line

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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    That does sound extremely reassuring as far as the reliability is concerned! Did you buy many spare fittings? Of course it's always good to have some to hand in case things go horribly wrong.

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    Chillie in here j.o.s.h.1408's Avatar
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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoNz0 View Post
    umm all my compression fittings screw down.

    you confusing this with push fit ?

    i finally had a failure last week, a swivel joint o-ring had lost its flexibility and started leaking the seconds i disturbed it

    thank god it was a low point so it dripped on the case and no where else. also glad i had a spare!

    this is 3 years down the line
    They don screw on tubing .

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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: Water Cooling - Is it worth it?

    How well do you maintain your current PC?

    If its anything less than, 'extremely well'... watercooling is not for you
    You basically have a normal computer with the normal maintenance issues. except you also have to worry about leaks and changing the water on top of the normal worries.

    I think the only area you really gain with watercooling nowadays is on GPU cooling as they get very hot which can make fans spin up and become noisy. The downside here is that the only manufacturer that allows you to remove the stock cooler without voiding you're warranty is EVGA (is this still the case?).

    AIO watercoolers and big air coolers do a great job at cooling CPUs with minimal maintenance
    Chipsets just do not need it anymore unless you are going for extreme overclocks
    Ram... dont make me laugh

    Watercooling is cool (excuse the pun), it looks good, its a really engaging and interesting build experience, you do get a very quiet system and you get lovely pipes structured all around your computer. i mean look at this:

    it's just looks fantastic, and that's not even me trying to find an exceptional example. Our own member piggin has a superb example of custom watercooled system that blows most things out of the water (sorry). It's a proper hobby for proper enthusiasts but the gains are fairly minimal in the greater scheme of things.

    Is it worth it? Im afriad only you can answer that, but for me... no.

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