Worth water cooling GPU and CPU for more FPS?

shadow2761

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
309
To all the overclocking guru's out there, I have a few questions I would like to ask.

Basically, my aim is to maximize the fps I can get gaming in PUBG @ 1440p on a 240Hz Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q-X monitor. I already get upto 240fps, but as you know in PUBG the fps fluctuates considerably. So ultimately I can get anywhere between 140-240fps at any given time. I am not interested in benchmark numbers or anything, just maximum performance in PUBG. I don't wan't to switch to 1080p. I already have all in-game graphical settings pretty much at their lowest, besides Textures on Ultra.

Here is my rig:
Z390 Asus STRIX-E
9900K (stock) cooled with Corsair H115i Platinum RGB
RTX FTW3 ULTRA 3090 (stock)
16GB Trident Z DDR4 @ 3600 C14
Samsung 970 PRO 512GB

I am wondering, if throwing water blocks on the GPU and CPU into a custom loop and overclocking them a bit, would I be able to increase the GPU and CPU clocks enough to translate to a performance gain, or at least more consistent fps in PUBG that will be worth spending the money required for the custom loop setup? Would I be able to run those speeds 24/7 gaming?
 

Monstieur

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
403
You'll get the biggest minimum FPS increase by setting an all-core overclock on your CPU. You can easily do 4.9 to 5 GHz all-core on a 9900K. There won't be much improvement going from a H115i to a custom loop.
The next biggest benefit is from tightening memory timings. You should be able to do 4000 C16 at 1.45V easily, and lower if the RAM is cool enough.
There won't be much improvement from watercooling an FTW3 3090. You can do +748 on the memory in Afterburner to reach 21 Gb/s on GDDR6X.
 
  • Like
Reactions: leone
like this

leone

n00b
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
23
From my experience (since socket A days), you might achieve some (perhaps minor) performance increases, but more importantly increase the threshold of existing performance before thermal throttling kicks in. Or get both some gains while also under-volting (if that's your thing).

I don't think it's a good "worth the money" deal in terms of raw performance, think of it more in terms of a hobby expenditure.
 

Nasgul

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
Messages
130
I considered water cooling the GPU but considering that the GPU has a massive heatsink and 3 fans? Why bother with the extra cost of the GPU block and potentially avoiding the manufacturer's warranty?

It's really not worth it. Not even for the CPU.

And NO! Doing a Loop and overclocking "a bit" will not translate to "performance gain" enough to consider the cost (and time) of doing a Loop. Stick with what you have, except prepare for the AIO to fail in like 3-4 years, and by that time, invest in a superior air cooling, like a Dark Rock Pro 4 by be quiet!

Just save your money......the economy it's about to take a dive.
 

shadow2761

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
309
You'll get the biggest minimum FPS increase by setting an all-core overclock on your CPU. You can easily do 4.9 to 5 GHz all-core on a 9900K. There won't be much improvement going from a H115i to a custom loop.
Interesting. I remember I struggled to OC my 9900K at all a few years back when I got it. I followed all the youtube tutorials on how to OC it, but mine never seemed to be stable, always got crashes when gaming. So I reverted to stock clock settings and never touched it since. Maybe I should revisit this adventure again.

The next biggest benefit is from tightening memory timings. You should be able to do 4000 C16 at 1.45V easily, and lower if the RAM is cool enough.
But are you sure that memory @ 4000 C16 is faster than 3600 C14? If I remember correctly, I thought I read an article where the 3600 C14 is slightly faster than 4000 speed ram, but maybe I am wrong and it was for a higher timing set of RAM.
I considered water cooling the GPU but considering that the GPU has a massive heatsink and 3 fans? Why bother with the extra cost of the GPU block and potentially avoiding the manufacturer's warranty?

It's really not worth it. Not even for the CPU.

And NO! Doing a Loop and overclocking "a bit" will not translate to "performance gain" enough to consider the cost (and time) of doing a Loop. Stick with what you have, except prepare for the AIO to fail in like 3-4 years, and by that time, invest in a superior air cooling, like a Dark Rock Pro 4 by be quiet!

Just save your money......the economy it's about to take a dive.

OK thanks, noted.
What happend to the swiftech cooling company, are they still around? I still have their H240-X cooler from back in 2014. It has been through numerous CPU generations of upgrades, many OC'd CPU runs, and even still today it is running strong, pump never failed or gave me problems. What a beast of a cooler, lol
 

shadow2761

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
309
Also found an interesting video related to my query here.


jump to 11:10, PUBG seems to benefit from the 9900K overclocked @ 1440p.
 

shadow2761

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
309
Also wondering if I should double my RAM to 32GB, seems 32GB in PUBG yields better fps according to this video:

 

JSHamlet234

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
400
That's a misleading video because it compares 1x8GB to 1x16GB to 2X16GB. Of course 2 sticks is faster...
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,485
Compared to simply upgrading your hardware to more powerful components? Nope, never was, never will. Watercooling is for those that consider it a hobby, want to get every last ounce of overclocking performance, and/or want silent cooling of high wattage components.
 

Monstieur

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
403
Interesting. I remember I struggled to OC my 9900K at all a few years back when I got it. I followed all the youtube tutorials on how to OC it, but mine never seemed to be stable, always got crashes when gaming. So I reverted to stock clock settings and never touched it since. Maybe I should revisit this adventure again.


But are you sure that memory @ 4000 C16 is faster than 3600 C14? If I remember correctly, I thought I read an article where the 3600 C14 is slightly faster than 4000 speed ram, but maybe I am wrong and it was for a higher timing set of RAM.
Don't believe anyone who says their OC is stable. You will need 1.425+ V to do 5 GHz all-core, and probably 1.35+ V to do 4.9 GHz. You should use a combination of adaptive + offset voltage otherwise the CPU will not be stable when transitioning between idle and load.

3600 C14 is 7.7 ns and 4000 C16 is 8 ns. However high clock speed wins compared to a small decrease in latency.
 

Light1984

Gawd
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
573
Something else nobody mentioned on the plus side for water-cooling. Keeping temperatures lower should increase the life span of the components. So if you're like me and don't plan on upgrading every year, there's the added benefit of longevity.
 

Enigma

Gawd
Joined
Oct 15, 2003
Messages
758
Something else nobody mentioned on the plus side for water-cooling. Keeping temperatures lower should increase the life span of the components. So if you're like me and don't plan on upgrading every year, there's the added benefit of longevity.

Yet another thing that everyone failed to mention is the lack of noise..... If you setup a loop in the correct manner you can have a near silent pc.
 

Nasgul

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
Messages
130
Also found an interesting video related to my query here.

jump to 11:10, PUBG seems to benefit from the 9900K overclocked @ 1440p.

You can benefit slightly or negligible (like the guy said in the video) when overclocking but the 9900K runs a little too hot, so maybe you can hit 5.0GHz with that AIO. Although I'd suggest Thermal Grizzly Thermal Paste, I had great results with that, better than anything I've had before.


Don't believe anyone who says their OC is stable. You will need 1.425+ V to do 5 GHz all-core, and probably 1.35+ V to do 4.9 GHz. You should use a combination of adaptive + offset voltage otherwise the CPU will not be stable when transitioning between idle and load.

oRLy? ALL of my Intel CPUs have been stable since.......................................E6600, running overclocked and idling at 800MHz. VID Voltage range 0.8500V-1.5V. Yet it never gave me an issue and I switched to a Q6600 which I used for 9 years. 4690K, 7700K, 9900KF, 10700KF, and yet they're stable.


And the Z390 by ASUS motherboards are better at delivering the CPU voltage, unlike the Z490s, but hey, Intel can run fine with a 1.5v, just don't let them get too hot and it's fine. 1.33v for 9900KF to run at 5.0Ghz on air. And a 10700KF running at 800MHz from the 5.2GHz set to overclock.
 

Attachments

  • PRIME 5.0GHz.png
    PRIME 5.0GHz.png
    919 KB · Views: 0
  • CPU Power.png
    CPU Power.png
    394.4 KB · Views: 0
Joined
Mar 29, 2012
Messages
834
I think watercooling doesn't give enough of a performance boost over air cooling to justify using it for high FPS. I've always found that if you're willing to tolerate somewhat loud air coolers, they will get the job done just as well as watercooling. Especially if you have your setup worked out so you can put the computer in a different room than your keyboard and monitor.

I'm pretty sure if you were to take something like a Noctua NH-D15, slap three really high RPM fans onto it to move more air, and put it into a case with really high RPM fans for intake and exhaust on the top and side panel as well as the front and back, you could rival the performance of most water cooling setups.

The big advantage of water cooling in my opinion is that you can get better cooling performance with less noise. But generally if you can handle the noise and you're scared of having water near your motherboard, advanced air cooling and heatsinks can get the job done.

If you want to set world records overclocking, you need liquid nitrogen anyway, so unless you want to go that route, you're not going to get a huge boost.
 
Last edited:

JSHamlet234

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
400
Don't believe anyone who says their OC is stable. You will need 1.425+ V to do 5 GHz all-core, and probably 1.35+ V to do 4.9 GHz. You should use a combination of adaptive + offset voltage otherwise the CPU will not be stable when transitioning between idle and load.

These days, 99% of the time when someone on the internet is saying they have a stable OC, it means that it passed an easy test for an hour, so they're ready to whip out their e-peen. It's a real PITA sifting through all the garbage data that's out there, but that's where we're at right now.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,485
Something else nobody mentioned on the plus side for water-cooling. Keeping temperatures lower should increase the life span of the components. So if you're like me and don't plan on upgrading every year, there's the added benefit of longevity.

Theoretically should... in real life, enough to justify the cost? Not really, unless you're running your components balls to the wall at least 12 hours a day.

Yet another thing that everyone failed to mention is the lack of noise..... If you setup a loop in the correct manner you can have a near silent pc.

See three posts before this...
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
625
These days, 99% of the time when someone on the internet is saying they have a stable OC, it means that it passed an easy test for an hour, so they're ready to whip out their e-peen. It's a real PITA sifting through all the garbage data that's out there, but that's where we're at right now.
I remember the struggles I had with trying to get my Q6600 to 3.6 GHz stable (which, in hindsight, may have been a substandard mobo holding it back), then my 4770K to 4.6 GHz stable, all because everyone made it sound easy - but I was deliberately using Linpack and Prime95 AVX, much as the OCN crowd recommended against those things, precisely because they're worst-case-scenario torture tests that will assure that anything less demanding should be stable.

It didn't help that I never got around to delidding the 4770K. Perhaps I should give it a shot, because that thing sure runs toasty under said tests.

Anyway, all this is partly why I went custom water-cooling (the other reason being that I wanted to try some waterblocked GPUs; unfortunately, they were bricks), and looking at it from a cost-to-performance benefit, it's not all that worth it if you're looking for high FPS specifically. Modern parts don't have the sheer overclocking headroom that my older CPUs did, and modern GPUs generally aren't toasty GTX 400/500 Fermi monstrosities that beg for full-cover copper waterblocks just to not overheat.

However, if you want ease of access around the CPU socket, a much quieter-running system for the same thermal dissipation, and generally a much tidier look inside the case, it can be quite nice. As a bonus, once you have your pump, reservoir and radiator all set up, then all that you should really have to worry about changing as time goes on would be your CPU and GPU blocks, which are no more expensive than performance HSFs in and of themselves.
 

Monstieur

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
403
oRLy? ALL of my Intel CPUs have been stable since.......................................E6600, running overclocked and idling at 800MHz. VID Voltage range 0.8500V-1.5V. Yet it never gave me an issue and I switched to a Q6600 which I used for 9 years. 4690K, 7700K, 9900KF, 10700KF, and yet they're stable.

And the Z390 by ASUS motherboards are better at delivering the CPU voltage, unlike the Z490s, but hey, Intel can run fine with a 1.5v, just don't let them get too hot and it's fine. 1.33v for 9900KF to run at 5.0Ghz on air. And a 10700KF running at 800MHz from the 5.2GHz set to overclock.
I meant people who claim to run low voltage and low temps for 5 GHz. Here are my Prime95 SSE / AVX2 / AVX-512 and Linpack Xtreme stable voltages.
G8YJRd9.png
 

SmokeRngs

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2008
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
17,199
Something else nobody mentioned on the plus side for water-cooling. Keeping temperatures lower should increase the life span of the components. So if you're like me and don't plan on upgrading every year, there's the added benefit of longevity.
Unless you're massively overvolting this isn't likely to come into play. I had three Q6600s all of which were purchased brand new back in the Q6600 heyday. All of them were overclocked with the weakest one at 3.4Ghz and the other two at 3.6Ghz. One of them was practically never turned off and spent almost its whole life at 3.6Ghz and probably 75% of its life running at 100% load 24/7/365 until I finally retired it about a month ago. It was air cooled with a TRUE 120. There wasn't any degradation whatsoever with that CPU and I never noticed any with the other two Q6600s either. All three still work although none are in use anymore.

The moral of the story: running the piss out of an overclocked CPU doesn't need watercooling to increase its life unless you're masively overvolting at which point you have no option but to remove as much heat as possible or the voltage will fry the chip long before it would die normally. Heat and too much voltage combined will degrade a chip fast but only one or the other will have a much lesser effect.
 

FireDemon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
256
An RTX 3090 with 200fps average isn't good enough these days 🤣🤦‍♂️

Can we just go back to the mid 00s?
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
58,342
In short, the answer is "no." There is some small benefit to doing it but the cost is high given the minimal return.

I've got nearly a grand in my cooling setup. That's a high cost for what probably amounts to single digit percentage points of improvement.
 

somebrains

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Messages
1,581
Frame pacing improvements on a BR isn’t something anyone should throw $ at.
Various BRs I play have had noticeable problem areas in map updates that either tanked FPS, or lagged frame pacing.
Various fixes would help until the next major map update started the FPS circus all over again.
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
19,727
It depends what you are looking to gain.
GPUs these days are already overclocked to near their max.
Watercooling improves on this but not by much any more.

The days of huge gains from overclocking with better cooling are long gone.
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Messages
19,727
Compared to simply upgrading your hardware to more powerful components? Nope, never was, never will. Watercooling is for those that consider it a hobby, want to get every last ounce of overclocking performance, and/or want silent cooling of high wattage components.
There are good enough AIO coolers to make it nearer to mainstream.
I used a silent custom water cooler for well over 10 years.
Recently I bought an Arctic 420mm radiator water system, performance is very good while keeping noise low.
It is now beyond hobby, cost vs performance vs sound level is very good.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,485
There are good enough AIO coolers to make it nearer to mainstream.
I used a silent custom water cooler for well over 10 years.
Recently I bought an Arctic 420mm radiator water system, performance is very good while keeping noise low.
It is now beyond hobby, cost vs performance vs sound level is very good.

I consider water cooling and AIO water cooling to be separate things. Water cooling to me means traditional DIY builds. AIOs belong in the same realm as mid to high end air primarily due to similar costs and performance.
 

skline00

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 23, 2012
Messages
274
I really enjoy custom water cooling but the answer is NO.

Spend the $$ on a good air cooled case and fans.

I have my 5900x under water with an Optimus CPU block and my GPU under water with an EK block and backplate. I have a 480mm thick rad and a 360mm thin rad with a D5 pump/res combo housed in a Fractal Define 7 XL case.

I spent extra on really good fans INCLUDING a Noctua 140mm exhaust fan.

Trust me, custom water cooling really adds up dollar wise.
 

THRESHIN

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
3,330
to try and put the train back on the tracks....

to the OP: if you're looking solely at increasing your clocks over what you can do with good air cooling, the returns are minimal - especially with modern hardware. but there's a lot of benefits to having a water setup. sure it's a hobby to some of us (myself included). it's also quieter and even at the max of what your parts can do they're going to run cooler. i'm not a big fan of AIOs myself. i've always felt that the cooling increase over a top end air cooler is small enough to not be worthwhile for the most part. there's also another benefit that many don't acknowledge - longevity of parts! the initial investment for a custom setup is quite high but as time goes on you're going to find that you can keep using it with future hardware. you'll have such a large cooling capacity that it won't even be a consideration for many years if ever. many of my parts are 15 years old and still doing their job. i've had to modify waterblocks to fit and eventually i replaced the CPU block. for GPU i use an old universal block that only cools the GPU itself. add on some copper ram sinks and a quiet 120mm fan for the vregs and good to go. in the past didn't need the fan, but hey that's how newer stuff goes.

so despite the large upfront investment, over the course of 15 years i've replaced a single waterblock and only due to mounting issues with newer hardware. i also splurged on new tubing when i got a new case couple years ago. not bad value if you're in it for the long haul i'd say.
 

shadow2761

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Messages
309
Thanks for the input everyone.

So the answer is quiet obvious now:
No it won't be worthwhile.

Because the custom loop setup cost will be large for minimal increase over the current AIO setup. And because I only care about the fps gains and nothing else such as, noise levels, aesthetics etc, then it will not be worth it for me.

Thanks again everyone!
 

chameleoneel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
4,493
To all the overclocking guru's out there, I have a few questions I would like to ask.

Basically, my aim is to maximize the fps I can get gaming in PUBG @ 1440p on a 240Hz Gigabyte Aorus FI27Q-X monitor. I already get upto 240fps, but as you know in PUBG the fps fluctuates considerably. So ultimately I can get anywhere between 140-240fps at any given time. I am not interested in benchmark numbers or anything, just maximum performance in PUBG. I don't wan't to switch to 1080p. I already have all in-game graphical settings pretty much at their lowest, besides Textures on Ultra.

Here is my rig:
Z390 Asus STRIX-E
9900K (stock) cooled with Corsair H115i Platinum RGB
RTX FTW3 ULTRA 3090 (stock)
16GB Trident Z DDR4 @ 3600 C14
Samsung 970 PRO 512GB

I am wondering, if throwing water blocks on the GPU and CPU into a custom loop and overclocking them a bit, would I be able to increase the GPU and CPU clocks enough to translate to a performance gain, or at least more consistent fps in PUBG that will be worth spending the money required for the custom loop setup? Would I be able to run those speeds 24/7 gaming?
increasing your CPU's all core clock should net you better minimum frames. But rather than moving to watercooling to push things to max in order to get 5.0 or 5.1ghz -- I encourage you to instead open up the power limits and increase the turbo boost time. Which results in effectively infinite turbo time.

At stock, the 9900k is set to 95w tdp. And if your motherboard is respecting the stock turbo and power limits, it will only do 4.7/4.8ghz all-core, for like 60 or 90 seconds and then it will clock down. Now, the games you play may not stress the CPU enough with enough threads or demand enough overall wattage, for your CPU leave turbo and clock down. But....some of your games might.

its worth testing your power limit to 150 - 180w, and increase the turbo time to whatever the max is supported by your motherboard And see if you get better/more consistent framerates. your CPU will basically never leave turbo speeds while gaming. And maybe not even during a sustained workload like a render job or a stress test. it will generate more heat. But a gaming load will be totally fine for your h115i. And doing this will still respect your CPU's boost tables and vcore tables.

overclocking a 3090 isn't worth it, in general.
 

somebrains

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Messages
1,581
increasing your CPU's all core clock should net you better minimum frames. But rather than moving to watercooling to push things to max in order to get 5.0 or 5.1ghz -- I encourage you to instead open up the power limits and increase the turbo boost time. Which results in effectively infinite turbo time.

At stock, the 9900k is set to 95w tdp. And if your motherboard is respecting the stock turbo and power limits, it will only do 4.7/4.8ghz all-core, for like 60 or 90 seconds and then it will clock down. Now, the games you play may not stress the CPU enough with enough threads or demand enough overall wattage, for your CPU leave turbo and clock down. But....some of your games might.

its worth testing your power limit to 150 - 180w, and increase the turbo time to whatever the max is supported by your motherboard And see if you get better/more consistent framerates. your CPU will basically never leave turbo speeds while gaming. And maybe not even during a sustained workload like a render job or a stress test. it will generate more heat. But a gaming load will be totally fine for your h115i. And doing this will still respect your CPU's boost tables and vcore tables.

overclocking a 3090 isn't worth it, in general.
You're going to get more mileage uploading a YouTube video.
 
Top