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  1. #1
    Member Ughmahedhurtz's Avatar
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    Default Air vs water cooling (commodity level) comparison

    Since we regularly see folks asking about components, pricing, and performance in new build scenarios, I thought I'd share this review I tripped on today in my search for the end of the internet.



    Having used Noctua coolers on a bunch of builds before I switched to the H60i and H80i for the three recent builds, I can generally confirm their findings, including the caveats about heat spikes.

    For me, the AIO cooling systems provide two notable benefits: first being the stated thermal mass reducing temp spikes (and because the temp doesn't immediately spike, the fans don't spin up immediately either), and second being that not having the large cooler in the middle of the motherboard makes it easier to route cables and access fan headers and power connections when building/upgrading the PC.

    Even so, I swapped the fans on all of my Corsair H60i/H80i installs to the Noctua high-pressure fans (NF-F12 PWM 4-pin). This results in the benefits of the radiator with the lower-speed/lower-noise benefits of the Noctua fans. A bit more cost doing that but I haven't regretted it a bit.

    [edit] With regards to his comment about the pump failing, I have 4 in use and I have yet to see one fail. Arguably a small sample size, so YMMV.

    Hopefully this will be useful to someone considering upgrades or new builds. /cheers
    Last edited by Ughmahedhurtz : 06-13-2019 at 03:34 PM
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  2. #2
    Multiboxologist MiRai's Avatar
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    I don't like their noise test because they're using two different types of fans and I would guess that Noctua's fans are better than Corsair's fans, which could've easily lead to the small difference in temps, and you do that same as I would do: switch the fans out for something better (Gentle Typhoon, EK Vardar, Noctua, etc.). However, my personal recommendation for AIOs is when you've got the space to install a 240/280/360mm setup, since I don't feel that 120mm AIOs are all that useful, other than for simpler cable routing.
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  3. #3
    Member Ughmahedhurtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiRai View Post
    However, my personal recommendation for AIOs is when you've got the space to install a 240/280/360mm setup, since I don't feel that 120mm AIOs are all that useful, other than for simpler cable routing.
    A fair point. My results using the 120mm radiators with non-OC CPUs (up through i7 7700K) have shown acceptable temps in overnight Prime98 stress tests. Nothing I do in games has yet resulted in the ~70C temps I get with Prime98. Most I see is usually ~62C. Forgot to note that in the OP. If you're going 5GHz like they (and others) do, the 120mm AIO will probably not be sufficient under sustained loads.
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  4. #4
    Multiboxologist MiRai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ughmahedhurtz View Post
    A fair point. My results using the 120mm radiators with non-OC CPUs (up through i7 7700K) have shown acceptable temps in overnight Prime98 stress tests. Nothing I do in games has yet resulted in the ~70C temps I get with Prime98. Most I see is usually ~62C. Forgot to note that in the OP. If you're going 5GHz like they (and others) do, the 120mm AIO will probably not be sufficient under sustained loads.
    Interesting - I guess I didn't consider stock speeds.
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