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Old 06-11-2017, 10:07 AM   #1
FreakStorm!
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Water Cooling still worth it?

Hi all,

I've been rocking the rig in my sig for about 8 years now. I'm itching to upgrade and started looking at the options. I'm tempted by the Ryzen, with so many cores (especially as I want to do GPU pass through from Linux to Windows, so could give both systems a good amount of cores), but single thread performance remains with Intel's offerings.

But, having been out the loop a while, I'm wondering if water cooling is still worth it. I remember water cooling came into being as Intel's Netburst technology started to hit a solid wall on clock speeds with huge amounts of heat being produced. But now, with much more efficient processors, is heat still an issue? Or would water cooling only really buy me a few extra 100Mhz overclocking headroom?
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:47 AM   #2
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Or would water cooling only really buy me a few extra 100Mhz overclocking headroom?

Honestly, yes this is correct. Quality air cooling is nearly as good as water, but water is still worth it if you enjoy the hobby of it specifically.
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Old 06-11-2017, 03:29 PM   #3
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Honestly, yes this is correct. Quality air cooling is nearly as good as water, but water is still worth it if you enjoy the hobby of it specifically.
Its also nice for noise reduction, the cooling capability even from an all in one water cooler is higher with lower noise fans.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:13 PM   #4
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Yeah that's true
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:19 AM   #5
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Another thing to consider is overclocking headroom is nearly non existent anymore. It's not the 50-100% we used to get, and is closer to 10% or less now. I've given up on OCing, and go with lower TDP locked chips now, with a very silent air cooler.
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Old 06-12-2017, 03:58 PM   #6
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From a value perspective, I would say that it is not worth it. As a hobbyist, I watercool all of my computers. You may get a marginal increase of performance due to thermals, but you will be spending $300+ for the average custom loop, and $75-100 over the price of a GREAT air cooler with a good CLC. Average CLC (120, many 240) arent really worth the price increase over the best air coolers that perform similarly with lower noise.

If you enjoy the project, then go for it. But if cooling a 4c 115X intel, or Ryzen, you wont really get much increase in performance from the cooler. HEDT platforms are a little different. Ryzen seems to top out around 4ghz whether on GOOD air or water. Kaby Lake is hit or miss, and after a delid, the limit is more in the voltage and the silicon lottery than keeping it cool once you get to the upper echelon of air coolers.

The old 1366 platform benefited from water because it just dumped heat out. Newer CPUs are more efficient, which lessens the increase from water since they just dont give off enough heat to make it worth the jump to water.

My opinion, is either go custom loop, or go with the best air cooler you can fit. If not water cooling the video card, there is less reason to cool the cpu.

Last edited by EMU; 06-28-2017 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:28 PM   #7
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It's definitely a niche. For me i liked that i was able to hit 4.5ghz on the 3770k and contain temps. Also like that i can push my 780s further than i could on air.

I love the noise reduction and aesthetics. Something about making it your own that i love. I adore clean color themed rigs with mayhems.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:42 PM   #8
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Yeah, it's mostly noise reduction and some thermal. I could not run 3 980s in my case without the WC loop. Way to much of a hot box.
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Old 06-28-2017, 05:35 PM   #9
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The only reason I can come up with (and I was told this before I built a custom water cooling loop years ago) is because you want to. That's it.

Cost-wise, it's not worth it. Time-wise, it's not worth it. Cooling-wise, it's not worth it. But if you find it to be good fun and you want to see what it's all about, I think you'll really enjoy it (for a while).

Good luck.
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Old 06-29-2017, 12:28 PM   #10
Slizzo
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One thing water cooling has going for it is stability in temperatures. Generally, once the loop gets heated up that's it for max temps, generally they'll keep you close to ambient to as long as you have enough radiator and flow to handle it.


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Old 07-07-2017, 04:34 PM   #11
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One thing water cooling has going for it is stability in temperatures. Generally, once the loop gets heated up that's it for max temps, generally they'll keep you close to ambient to as long as you have enough radiator and flow to handle it.


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But the negative on that is that once load is lowered, the heat is still in the water and can take some time to lower. If you have built the look to within 10c Delta T water/ambient, then theres no issues... but if it is 20c+ like some CLC setups can get to, the heat soak and be annoying.

With air, once the load is released, the cooler comes down in temp in seconds... which is reflected on the CPU temp.

For a system that loads in short bursts, most average water loops work fine. For long load times, serious consideration needs to be placed on the design of the loop as far as wattage dissipation. I always overbuild my systems with rad surface area. I can run my fans at 700rpm and still get less than 5c water delta temps at sustained loads for hours.
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