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TheSpectre

Water vs Air Cooling

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TheSpectre
Posted (edited)

I recently ordered parts for my next build and decided to go with the i9-9900k (Yeah, I know, terrible choice) which can reach up to 5GHz OC. I've traditionally gone with air cooling for my builds, sticking with the entry-level CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO CPU fan. However, since it's a strong possibility that I'll eventually end up pushing my processor to that 5GHz level, I thought about going with water-cooling this go around just to be safe, and went ahead and ordered the Corsair H150i PRO . 

 

But then I went over to Linus Tech Tips on Youtube and saw he had this video posted recently. In it, he makes the case that Air Cooling is sufficient. He compared a few water coolers to a few different air coolers and provided the following results:

 

8kPyjpQ.png

 

Now keep in mind, these are the results from running the CPU all the way to 5GHz. According to the graph, the most efficient cooler is the Noctua NH-U12A, a traditional mid-range air cooler. 

 

How much stock should I put into this? I'm tempted to cancel my order for the H150i PRO and just go with the Noctua, but wanted some opinions on whether you guys feel traditional air cooling is sufficient for high-end overclocking. I don't really care about aesthetics, I care about value.

Edited by TheSpectre

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yoječ

In many cases AiO water coolers aren't that much more efficient than top of the range air coolers. However, they don't put as much stress on the motherboard and are arguably more practical, ie. easier to set up, they don't collide with large heatsinks on RAM and VRM, etc.

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sivispacem

Peak temps under artificial load also don't really tell the full story, as they tend to be caused by aggressive spikes in CPU utilisation that aren't reflective or prolonged use.

 

The main reason the Noctua edges out the sound levels is because their fans are so quiet, but there's nothing stopping  one putting their fans on another cooler. 

 

It's also worth noting that the H150i is s good 50% larger than any of the coolers tested above.

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DareYokel

If you choices are between an air cooler and an AIO, I'd go for the high-end air cooler.

 

On 5/18/2019 at 5:59 AM, yoječ said:

are arguably more practical, ie. easier to set up, they don't collide with large heatsinks on RAM and VRM, etc. 

Yes, but on the other hand a lot more could go wrong with an AIO. The only potential point of failure in air coolers is the fan. Some might see that as being more practical.

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Static

Just to point out, they were using a 9700k in the LTT vid you linked, and the 9900k itself stays pretty hot at stock and can easily hit 90°-95° at 5ghz

Personally, I went with a cheap 240mm EVGA AIO, as 90% of name brand AIOs use the same asetek pump/rads, and switched out the fans like Sivis mentioned. 

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sivispacem
10 hours ago, DareYokel said:

If you choices are between an air cooler and an AIO, I'd go for the high-end air cooler.

 

Yes, but on the other hand a lot more could go wrong with an AIO. The only potential point of failure in air coolers is the fan. Some might see that as being more practical.

IMO the biggest issue with large air coolers is the size, weight and lack of bracing. Most of them are 900g plus, and I don't know about you but I'd rather not have a kilo of weight hanging unbraced and unsupported off my £300 motherboard.

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DareYokel
6 hours ago, sivispacem said:

IMO the biggest issue with large air coolers is the size, weight and lack of bracing. Most of them are 900g plus, and I don't know about you but I'd rather not have a kilo of weight hanging unbraced and unsupported off my £300 motherboard.

I don't think there's any real need for those types of air coolers anymore.

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sivispacem
5 minutes ago, DareYokel said:

I don't think there's any real need for those types of air coolers anymore.

All the high end air coolers are pretty big. The NH-D15 is nearly 1.5kg...

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yoječ

Personally, I use Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B with two 140mm fans, which totals 790+2x161 = 1112 grams... so yeah, that's quite a lot. Fortunately Prolimatech mounting brackets are very sturdy, but still.

But still, that in itself doesn't bother me at all. However - my next build will probably feature an AiO of some sort, because I plan to get an ITX case, and the available space is a concern here.

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