Practical advantages of a monoblock?

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by VanGoghComplex, May 18, 2017.

  1. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    I'm considering a Gigabyte Aorus motherboard, and I see EK makes a monoblock for it. My CPU is already under an XSPC Raystorm, which seems to function alright, and I wouldn't mind reusing it. But, as long as one is available for the mobo I'm looking at, I thought I'd ask.

    What's the practical advantage of active VRM cooling? More stable overclocks?
     
  2. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    I've never used a monoblock, so I have no personal experience, but all of my research suggests the following:

    • For most users monoblocks are primarily for aesthetics
    • If you win the silicon lottery and get a CPU that can handle much higher than average overclocks, having the cooler VRM's MIGHT help the system be more stable, but this only applies to a small minority of users.
    • Cooler VRM's may extend motherboard lifespan, but probably beyond the boards active useful life anyway.
    • Most people just do it for peace of mind, so they won't have that nagging feeling in the back of their minds that "maybe 4.9 Ghz would have been stable if I'd only gotten a monoblock". It may not actually help, but at least now they are not doubting themselves for the life of the build.
    This is what I have read, and it makes rational sense to me, so I tend to believe it. I have no hard data to back it up though.
     
  3. DWolvin

    DWolvin [H]ard|Gawd

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    Agreed on all points, and if you are not a monoblock person, brackets holding a fan over the VRM's also works.
     
  4. Bandalo

    Bandalo 2[H]4U

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    It really depends on the airflow in your case. In particular if you're going with a custom WC loop, you might have much lower airflow over the motherboard and socket area than the MB designers expected. I think that was the case with my setup.

    I put one on my Asus X99 build after I noticed the VRMs were sitting at 70-75C. Now they're probably rated to 100C, so I'm sure they were perfectly stable, but I'm a bit paranoid sometimes. I didn't want to rig another fan, or move radiators around to promote more airflow across the VRMs, so I got a EK monoblock. It looks nice, and the temps dropped to the 45C range on the VRMs.

    I've since moved everything to a new case, and I think I'll skip the monoblock on the next upgrade. The new layout has much better airflow across the RAM and VRM blocks.
     
  5. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    Thanks for the replies, guys. Since I'm not doing any balls-to-the-wall overclocking, my case fan situation is a little overboard, and the EK block costs the economy of some smaller countries, I'll pass on it.

    ... for now hahahaha
     
  6. hitched

    hitched [H]Lite

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    I have one of there monoblocks, it looks unbelievably awesome but functionality wise... temps my 1700x seem higher then if I would have just gotten a cpu block... I plan on getting a regular block and seeing what happens
     
  7. vergdm

    vergdm n00bie

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    I recently built a loop with EK blocks/fittings/tubing/rads using ASUS Maximus IX Extreme mobo (which comes with EK monoblock), saw CPU (6700K) temp increase 5-10F under load. I reapplied TIM, made sure IHS/block contact was good and cranked up all case/rad fans to max. Eventually, I threw in the towel and swapped out with a Maximus IX Formula mobo with the pre-installed VRM block (also from EK) and paired with Surpemacy EVO. Temps are better than before and I'm using straight distilled water. The flow meter in the Extreme monoblock also had a clicking noise so maybe it was defect and causing restriction issues. Either way, I'm happier overall with the aesthetics of the Formula board.
     
  8. hitched

    hitched [H]Lite

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    At a 3.8 ghz overclock(1.32 vcore) im getting a 45c idle and highest I have seen it go is 64c and the damn block has its own 360 rad.. while my 1080 ti idles at 24c and and load is 35c..

    I have heard ryzen runs hot but damn... shouldn't be this hot...

    Pump - 360 rad - monoblock - 360 rad - gpu
     
  9. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    Lol, that is considered hot these days? You should see my hexacore Sandy-E i7-3930k at 1.46v and 4.8ghz :p
     
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  10. Chapeau

    Chapeau Gawd

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    Another viewpoint from an SFF perspective - Some teeny tiny cases have pretty poor airflow. Enough that VRM's can get quite toasty!
    I saw your post on potentially doing a SFF water cooled build so I thought I'd chime in. This is probably the only scenario where the monoblock could come in handy.
    My build in an Ncase M1 could definitely benefit from a monoblock...
     
  11. capt_cope

    capt_cope Limp Gawd

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    1.46v?! DAMN that's [H]ard. The most I ever dared to push my 3930k was 1.375v (anything over 1.36v and my asrock x79 extreme-3 would kick into VRM "over-temp protection" mode and revert to stock clocks after 15 minutes of Prime95, I only used 1.375v after moving to a RIVE with full coverage blocks.)
     
  12. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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    Actually, I lied a little. It used to be 1.46v which is what it took to keep it stable at 4.8Ghz. I've stepped it down to 4.6 and about 1.44v now because it made me a little nervous and the fan noise was bothersome :p. (I should probably update my sig)

    That being said, it ran at 4.8Ghz and 1.46v with marginal cooling (various AIO sealed water coolers) for about 5 years without being any worse for the wear. I only put it under a proper custom water loop mid to late last year.

    They don't make CPU's like they used to. The 3930k Sandy-E could take some serious punishment.

    The fact that this has been my most extreme overvolting of a CPU combined with the fact that this CPU has lasted me longer than any previous CPU probably means that it might be the first one I'll ever completely "wear out" in regular use.

    My old standard concept used to be that "sure, overclocking may shorten the life of your CPU, but probably to the point where it is already obsolete anyway" line may no longer be holding true with this badboy.

    I'm still holding off for something worthy to upgrade it to. At 4.6-4.8Ghz there are still rather few chips out there 6+ years later it can't keep up with.

    I had sticker shock at the time when I spent $600 for the CPU and $400 for the motherboard, the most by far I'd ever spent, but 6+ years later with hindsight in mind, this turned out to be a rather good purchase.

    During the golden age of PC overclocking in the early oughts I would never ha e thought that I some day would keep a CPU for 6+ years and it would still be relevant. Back then I was upgrading my CPU every 6 months to a year!
     
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  13. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    A monoblock is a compromise in cooling for easier application of watercooling. It is easier in that you can cool the vrm and cpu in one block and avoid clearance issues. However as all things combined it is a compromise in individual cooling much like a gpu fullcover block is a compromise. Individual blocks cooling components are more efficient at their job than combo blocks. For ex, a gpu only block will typically cool a few Celsius lower than a fullcover block and vice versa. That said the compromise is not a bad one given the small spaces that you can apply a monoblock, give up a few Celsius here or there for easier install and plumbing.
     
  14. Nanook

    Nanook Limp Gawd

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    I have an EK Strix Z270i monoblock and it seem to help with the VRM temperatures. I think the CPU temperature is slightly worse than with the EK Supremacy block.
    And honestly, it's really just the aesthetics. I mean... it's got RGB and can be controlled via Aura. Fancy
     
  15. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    I just ordered a 1950x and Asus Zenith.

    In my case I wont get a mono because the Cpu VRMs and Ram Vrms have active cooling built on board.

    However if testing shows inadequate VRM tempa even with active cooling I will consider it.

    Vrm can make or break stability with high overclocks second to Si lottery. Its worth it if you like to push OC real hard.

    There are separate VRM water blocks to me they look bettwr having the extra waterline running to them. Aesthetics I know. Im also an RGB junkie.