water cooling worth it?

gamer0622

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Is water coolng worth the money if I will be only gaming on my pc for maybe 4 hours I will not be overclocking my cpu or gpu.
 

mnewxcv

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unless you want silence or a higher OC, no, not worth it for any reason.
 

lilfiend

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For every day computing and light gaming water cooling doesn't change much. If you are looking for a high performance PC and want the most out of your computer, you should water cool. If you want a nearly silent build with high performance parts, you should water cool. If you want a midrange/average PC to be silent then get a bigger heatsink or some noctua/low speed fans.
 

Rav3n

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Is water coolng worth the money if I will be only gaming on my pc for maybe 4 hours I will not be overclocking my cpu or gpu.
In your case probably not. And it really depends on what type of water cooling. A custom setup? not at all. A AIO (all in one) perhaps, because the price is around the same as a decent air cooler.
 

Tsumi

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Watercooling is only worth it if you fall into at least one of the following categories:
1. You desire high overclocks not achievable on air.
2. You desire quietness at temps not achievable on air.
3. You desire to watercool for the fun of it.

If none of those statements are true to you, watercooling is NEVER worth it. And when we say watercooling, we mean full custom watercooling. AIO watercooling is no different from air cooling in terms of performance, simplicity, and ease of use.
 

n=1

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Watercooling is only worth it if you fall into at least one of the following categories:
1. You desire high overclocks not achievable on air.
2. You desire quietness at temps not achievable on air.
3. You desire to watercool for the fun of it.

If none of those statements are true to you, watercooling is NEVER worth it. And when we say watercooling, we mean full custom watercooling. AIO watercooling is no different from air cooling in terms of performance, simplicity, and ease of use.
*raises hand* :D

I like tinkering with stuff, and it seems sometimes I enjoy tinkering more than actually using the damn computer :eek:

As for quietness, well in my case I almost ended up ripping apart my loop. Even with just a CPU loop, my computer got so quiet the pump noise from the D5 vario actually started bugging me. My pump/res setup is similar to BIG$pender's except I'm using a Koolance COV-RP450 top. I tried decoupling the pump with some 1/2" hard foam sandwiched between egg carton. This did remove the extremely annoying high-pitched ringing sound but there's still a faint, droning hum. Ironically ramping up the fans just enough to mask the hum was far more fruitful than me trying to add additional foam.

Also discovered that I had to find the sweet spot for pump acoustics. Turning down the D5 to the lowest setting actually resulted in WORSE humming. Somewhere between 4 and 5 the humming on my D5 seems to reach a minimum, and that's where I have it currently.
 

Tsumi

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*raises hand* :D

I like tinkering with stuff, and it seems sometimes I enjoy tinkering more than actually using the damn computer :eek:

As for quietness, well in my case I almost ended up ripping apart my loop. Even with just a CPU loop, my computer got so quiet the pump noise from the D5 vario actually started bugging me. My pump/res setup is similar to BIG$pender's except I'm using a Koolance COV-RP450 top. I tried decoupling the pump with some 1/2" hard foam sandwiched between egg carton. This did remove the extremely annoying high-pitched ringing sound but there's still a faint, droning hum. Ironically ramping up the fans just enough to mask the hum was far more fruitful than me trying to add additional foam.

Also discovered that I had to find the sweet spot for pump acoustics. Turning down the D5 to the lowest setting actually resulted in WORSE humming. Somewhere between 4 and 5 the humming on my D5 seems to reach a minimum, and that's where I have it currently.
I know right? I watercool primarily for the fun of it, and partially for the silence. Speaking of which, I need to update my sig and post some new pictures of my rig, I think it looks quite nice. Spent the entire weekend last weekend putting in a Big Bang Xpower II with Bitspower waterblocks and a 4930k. The Bitspower blocks look so much nicer than the stock heatsinks, and much better than the XSPC waterblock. Plus I now have color changing LEDs in my reservoir and case, so the all black and silver look with clear tubing looks great under the LEDs.
 

doyll

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Honestly the top air coolers are very quiet and do an excellent job. None of the CLC (factory sealed loops) are as good as top air and only the Swiftech H220-X & H240-X match or exceed top air .. and only by a couple of degrees. Maybe the new SWiftech H140-X will also be as good too, but the cost more than top air as well.
 
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I was actually wondering about this, thank goodness i wasn't the only one that was curious. I am also trying to figure out overclocking as i have never done it before and was going to try on my graphics card that i am going to replace because it's so old it isn't worth anything anyway.
Thanks for all of the info though guys, i think if i were to do custom watercooling it would be for the simple fact that i love how it looks.
 

DJ Big T

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Worth it if you get a good quality one, do your research, etc. If not, do your research, get a comparable heatsink for your gpu and cpu, carefully pick your fans... it is same thing for roughly same cost... for quality from scratch water build always will cost more, however.

For reference I use aftermarket cooling on CPU and GPU, silent fans, passive silent heatsink, and a slient case. Love it. Just depends what the end goal is and if you are a gamer and want max OC then go for it...
 

doyll

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There are no "quality" CLCs out there. They all use very low powered pumps, cheap radiators and noisy fans. One company holds patent rights to the CLC & pump on waterblock concepts .. Asetek And they filed suits against anyone using the same.

Air is still the best for the cost.

Custom loops are work very well and can be near silent, but they also cost a small fortune .. sometimes thousands of dollars in components.

I love the look of modern custom loops, but can't justify the expense. A top CPU waterblock is similar in cost to a top air cooler .. add at least that much again for GPU waterblock over cost of GPU .. That's why I dried out. :D
 
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Not worth it unless you are over clocking. You can make a stock computer quiet pretty easy. An over clocked monster custom water cooling is your friend :).. Yes it can get very expensive. About to do a new water cooled system from scratch and it adds up fast. It's more the little things like fittings and stuff. Water cooling is more of a hobbie for a lot of people. For me it's about having a killer OC rig but not being able to hear it when it's on. I work from home and sit next to my rig for 8-12 hours a day. All depends of what you want your rig to do and what your looking at in a finish product. My build is going to be expensive but once it's done I don't plan on messing with it for at least 2 years lol (I say that now).
 

doyll

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My H240X says otherwise...
You need ot read my pervious posts instead of jumping in and interpreting out of context.
Firs of, your H240-X is not a CLC. :rolleyes:

Your H240-X is an AIO, but it is not factory sealed with no options for adding coolant or components.

I have stated twice in this thread that Swiftech AIO coolers are good and are not CLC.

For example,
H240-X has a 6w PWM 1200-3000rpm pump.
The CLCs have pumps that suppliers don't even list any specs for. :D
 

magoo

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For me it's part of the hobby.

I'm about to get into acrylic rigid tubing and/or copper pipes, rather than tubing.

It's great fun and good work for your hands and brain.
It ain't cheap.

I also like to make my own custom braided wiring, so it's more about the design and implementation.

I also like to cut up my cases with the dremmel.;)
 

doyll

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I can definitely appreciate it as a hobby. I love the look of rigid tubing and braided cables.
 
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Is water coolng worth the money if I will be only gaming on my pc for maybe 4 hours I will not be overclocking my cpu or gpu.
Basically NO.

But if you like to tinker, are technically inclined, want to go with O/C's that are higher than those attainable on air and want to eek out every last bit of performance from your system and are willing to spend the time and effort to do so, then the answer to your question would be YES.

For some it's just a hobby... for others it's more for the art of it. Others get into it for performance... and there are those that are after quieting their systems. Some are for a combination of these reasons. Bottom line, it costs $, so most folks get into it for a particular reason and you'll need to evaluate what/why you would want to take the plunge.
 

Kelvarr

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I know that for me, water cooling isn't worth it. Air would suffice. I prefer the AIO/CLC to air mostly for the size/weight. The best air coolers are freaking huge, and can possibly block component slots. I would rather take that size/weight and attach it to the case, and have just the pump/block on the CPU.

I had a H220 that died, and I was going to replace the pump on (insert a new one in-line). Then I came across a H100 for $25, so I got that.
 

XViper

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Really to each their own. I enjoy building my computer and watercooling allows me to push the limits of what it can do. A plus is the fact that it's super quiet now. Have you heard 290x's with 100% fan? I compare it to a 747 on take off.
 

Kelvarr

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Really to each their own. I enjoy building my computer and watercooling allows me to push the limits of what it can do. A plus is the fact that it's super quiet now. Have you heard 290x's with 100% fan? I compare it to a 747 on take off.
Nope. The newest card I have is a 7950. :D
 

Crosshairs

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It's worth it to me......I have a custom loop that has been with me through 4 or 5 systems now ....when I upgrade platforms, I just buy new CPU and GPU blocks...Ive been using the same case, radiator and pump for close to 10 years....its very quiet and very good at cooling.... its a win win for me.
 

Activate: AMD

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Watercooling is only worth it if you fall into at least one of the following categories:
1. You desire high overclocks not achievable on air.
2. You desire quietness at temps not achievable on air.
3. You desire to watercool for the fun of it.

If none of those statements are true to you, watercooling is NEVER worth it. And when we say watercooling, we mean full custom watercooling. AIO watercooling is no different from air cooling in terms of performance, simplicity, and ease of use.
Pretty much. Its the age old, classic set of tradeoffs with custom WC systems: A) Cool B) Quiet C) Low Cost... choose two. The only way to evaluate if its "worth it" is to decide for yourself how much more you'd be willing to spend over a $50 air cooler or a $100 CLC. Unless the answer is (practically speaking) at least $200-300, its not worth it
 

doyll

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Pretty much. Its the age old, classic set of tradeoffs with custom WC systems: A) Cool B) Quiet C) Low Cost... choose two. The only way to evaluate if its "worth it" is to decide for yourself how much more you'd be willing to spend over a $50 air cooler or a $100 CLC. Unless the answer is (practically speaking) at least $200-300, its not worth it
I chose all three with air cooling. 6 core 4GHz system with ASUS GTX580 DirectCU II that in normal use has less than 30dBA noise and at full load is only 35dBA. Loudest things are HDDs.

We need to drop CLCs out of this. They do not cool as well as air, are louder than air, will not last as long as air, are generally more expensive than air, and to cooler both CPU and GPU require 2 complete systems and still need fans to cool other motherboard and GPU components. they are not air cooler, nor are they truely functional H20 loops.
 

Tsumi

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It's worth it to me......I have a custom loop that has been with me through 4 or 5 systems now ....when I upgrade platforms, I just buy new CPU and GPU blocks...Ive been using the same case, radiator and pump for close to 10 years....its very quiet and very good at cooling.... its a win win for me.
A single new GPU block alone costs more than a heatsink bracket, don't you think? And you get a new air heatsink when you get a new GPU anyways. ;)

I chose all three with air cooling. 6 core 4GHz system with ASUS GTX580 DirectCU II that in normal use has less than 30dBA noise and at full load is only 35dBA. Loudest things are HDDs.

We need to drop CLCs out of this. They do not cool as well as air, are louder than air, will not last as long as air, are generally more expensive than air, and to cooler both CPU and GPU require 2 complete systems and still need fans to cool other motherboard and GPU components. they are not air cooler, nor are they truely functional H20 loops.
You're not as cool as watercooling, so you're missing one of the three. Also, you went slightly higher cost by getting a DirectCU II model rather than a reference. So you're partially missing one and almost completely missing the other.

Additionally, while CLCs are not as good as water, they're not as bad as you claim they are. The top end CLCs are as good as top end air, if somewhat more expensive. In general, CLCs compete with heatsinks ~$10-30 cheaper than they are.
 

zombielando

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Additionally, while CLCs are not as good as water, they're not as bad as you claim they are. The top end CLCs are as good as top end air, if somewhat more expensive. In general, CLCs compete with heatsinks ~$10-30 cheaper than they are.
This is very true, I am using a Noctua D14 ATM and it provides similar cooling to high end CLCs. Not sure why the hate on CLCs.
 

FD3SA

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Loudest things are HDDs.
This needs to be shouted from rooftops. Air/water is irrelevant when you have these massive magnetic motors just churning away. I didn't realize this till I built a system that only uses SSDs. Now my loudest component is the damn PSU fan spooling up...

As for water, I've always wanted to do it, but I'm under no illusions that it's for performance or sound. It's the male version of bedazzling. I'm as susceptible to it as anybody, but I've managed to hold off for the greater good because I see 10nm chips on the horizon.

Remember, every dollar spent on blocks, fittings, tubes, pumps and reservoirs could have been put into the 10nm piggybank.
 
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doyll

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You're not as cool as watercooling, so you're missing one of the three. Also, you went slightly higher cost by getting a DirectCU II model rather than a reference. So you're partially missing one and almost completely missing the other.

Additionally, while CLCs are not as good as water, they're not as bad as you claim they are. The top end CLCs are as good as top end air, if somewhat more expensive. In general, CLCs compete with heatsinks ~$10-30 cheaper than they are.
Sounds like a "my dog is cooler than your dog" kind of thing. :D
As CPU idles at 25c and always below 50c with GPU idling at 30c and never above 65c I'm plenty cool. :D

Reference card comparison is really a mute point.


There really isn't a good way to go H2O with CLCs. Their pumps are marginal at best, fans are generally very loud, there are no GPU block CLCs, to do both CPU and GPU requress 2 CLC systems and a fan to cool PCB components.

Look at the number of people who've had CLC pump failures and / or leaks. Compare that to number of people who have had an air cooler failure.

I know of no air cooler failures and only a few fan failures .. usually after years of use.

True, I have not used any CLCs, but used H2O for several years starting about the turn of the century .. when there were almost no specialized component available. We had to make our own water blocks and use car radiators with aquarium or pond pumps.
 

Tsumi

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The reference comparison was for cost purposes. You buying a non-reference card meant you're paying more for better cooling, which negates the cost argument. Yes, you're plenty cool, but not as cool as you would be on water, which also negates your cooling argument.

I've never said CLC matched water. I only said it's an alternative to air, and it is a viable one. Yes, it has its drawbacks, but it has benefits as well. It's up to each individual user whether the benefits are worth the drawbacks. Obviously a heatsink cannot fail from anything short of catastrophic mechanical failure, while pumps by nature of being a moving part will fail over time. But again, each user has their own preferences and needs, and CLCs do have a place, even if they're a bit overhyped and overrated at the moment.
 

doyll

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The reference comparison was for cost purposes. You buying a non-reference card meant you're paying more for better cooling, which negates the cost argument. Yes, you're plenty cool, but not as cool as you would be on water, which also negates your cooling argument.

I've never said CLC matched water. I only said it's an alternative to air, and it is a viable one. Yes, it has its drawbacks, but it has benefits as well. It's up to each individual user whether the benefits are worth the drawbacks. Obviously a heatsink cannot fail from anything short of catastrophic mechanical failure, while pumps by nature of being a moving part will fail over time. But again, each user has their own preferences and needs, and CLCs do have a place, even if they're a bit overhyped and overrated at the moment.
I agree with much of what you've said, but...

An intel CPU running below 50c or below 35c is really a mute issue. Both temps are so low it makes no difference .. none.

The cost difference between a reference card and a better cooling / quieter one is insignificant compared to the cost of even a cheap GPU water block. The slight increase in cost is drop in the ocean of the cost of a H2O loop, or even adding onto an existing loop. A couple of H2O fittings cost as much as reference to good cooling card difference .. it's only nit-picking.

There is little justification for CLC until they become competitive with air in dependability, cost, noise, and performance. At present they are not.
 

magoo

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I agree with much of what you've said, but...

An intel CPU running below 50c or below 35c is really a mute issue. Both temps are so low it makes no difference .. none.

The cost difference between a reference card and a better cooling / quieter one is insignificant compared to the cost of even a cheap GPU water block. The slight increase in cost is drop in the ocean of the cost of a H2O loop, or even adding onto an existing loop. A couple of H2O fittings cost as much as reference to good cooling card difference .. it's only nit-picking.

There is little justification for CLC until they become competitive with air in dependability, cost, noise, and performance. At present they are not.
It's moot, not mute.

an issue is moot, you mute the television.
 

Warrior

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Basically if you have to ask then, no...

AND, If you have to ask, then you'll never be cutout for the custom-watercooling-hobby-awesomeness.
 

Kelvarr

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I agree with much of what you've said, but...

An intel CPU running below 50c or below 35c is really a mute issue. Both temps are so low it makes no difference .. none.

The cost difference between a reference card and a better cooling / quieter one is insignificant compared to the cost of even a cheap GPU water block. The slight increase in cost is drop in the ocean of the cost of a H2O loop, or even adding onto an existing loop. A couple of H2O fittings cost as much as reference to good cooling card difference .. it's only nit-picking.

There is little justification for CLC until they become competitive with air in dependability, cost, noise, and performance. At present they are not.
Well, I gave my primary reason for preferring CLC over air. The size/weight of the thing hanging off the motherboard. In a tower config, it is pulling down on the motherboard constantly, and possibly blocking slots (depending on the cooler, and other components like RAM). In a desktop config, the hanging off the motherboard is moot, but the blocking issue could still stand.

With a CLC, I transfer the vast majority of the weight to the case itself instead of the motherboard. And I have yet to see a CPU block/pump block any other component slots.
 

Elfear

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If you're not going to be overclocking, it probably isn't worth it. I enjoy the hobby itself and the silence and cooling capacity are added bonuses. It is somewhat of a hassle though as others have mentioned.
 

qkslvr221

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The H110 with upgraded fans can still cool nearly as effectively as custom-loops. Not sure why this is being glossed over, many of the highest OCs on various leaderboards are using H110/H240-X CLCs- with temperatures and quiet performance to match. Unless you plan on incorporating the GPU into a custom loop, I see it as a waste of time and money.
 
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The H110 with upgraded fans can still cool nearly as effectively as custom-loops. Not sure why this is being glossed over, many of the highest OCs on various leaderboards are using H110/H240-X CLCs- with temperatures and quiet performance to match. Unless you plan on incorporating the GPU into a custom loop, I see it as a waste of time and money.
I agree with this if your just doing it for cpu it's not worth it. I do custom loops mostly for the gpu. That's the loudest thing in the system. This time around I'll be cooling the MB also , first time in a long time. The cooler on the x79 I have is a pos. Should be able to get maybe anoughter 100-200mghz out of my 3930k. All depends on your end goal. I like to tinker and squeas every last bit out of my systems.
 

n=1

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Well, I gave my primary reason for preferring CLC over air. The size/weight of the thing hanging off the motherboard. In a tower config, it is pulling down on the motherboard constantly, and possibly blocking slots (depending on the cooler, and other components like RAM). In a desktop config, the hanging off the motherboard is moot, but the blocking issue could still stand.

With a CLC, I transfer the vast majority of the weight to the case itself instead of the motherboard. And I have yet to see a CPU block/pump block any other component slots.
Yep exactly. Not everybody wants or cares for the same things, and for some the smaller footprint of a CLC is worth the money alone. As Tsumi already said, it is up to each user to weigh the pros and cons of a CLC vs an air cooler and make their own decision.
 

doyll

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Well, I gave my primary reason for preferring CLC over air. The size/weight of the thing hanging off the motherboard. In a tower config, it is pulling down on the motherboard constantly, and possibly blocking slots (depending on the cooler, and other components like RAM). In a desktop config, the hanging off the motherboard is moot, but the blocking issue could still stand.

With a CLC, I transfer the vast majority of the weight to the case itself instead of the motherboard. And I have yet to see a CPU block/pump block any other component slots.
Your primary reason is not valid. The weight of the biggest heaviest air cooler does not damage the motherboard or cause any problems. Hundreds of thousands of them are in use and I have never seen or heard of one causing damage to the motherboard .. unless it was abused. Therefore it is a mute point.

Yes, some block PCIe slots, but there are many that do not.

RAM issue is easily dealt with by using normal or low profile RAM instead of the blingy tall RAM.

The long and the short of it is CLC are louder, not as dependable, and cost more than similar or better cooling air coolers do.

You prefer using CLC, and that is your choice. Use them all you want. But do not try arguing that they are in any way better than air .. because they are definitely not. :p
 

Nobu

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In certain cases they can be better. If your case isn't setup well for air, then a good clc can cool your processor well and at the same time exhaust that heat directly out of your case, reducing overall system temperature. You'd still need fans to cool the rest of your system, but they wouldn't have as much work to do.

Of course, for about the same price, you could get a better case. Depends on what your goal is.
 

Tsumi

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In certain cases they can be better. If your case isn't setup well for air, then a good clc can cool your processor well and at the same time exhaust that heat directly out of your case, reducing overall system temperature. You'd still need fans to cool the rest of your system, but they wouldn't have as much work to do.

Of course, for about the same price, you could get a better case. Depends on what your goal is.
Two of my systems use a slim case (CM 360). CLCs are the only way to get good cooling in those.
 
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