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Old 2011-11-24, 11:11   #1
schickel
 
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Question Air or water cooling?

I want to upgrade from the retail heatsink that came with my new hexcore AMD. I'm just wondering if I should go water or air cooling, and am hoping there is some experience with both here.

One option would be a Corsair A50. Does a heatpipe/heatsink/fan combination like this give enough cooling performance, or should I just step up to (at least) an H70 liquid cooler.

What I would be worried about with the H70 would be where it gets mounted. The setup came with a cheap(er) case that doesn't have a place to mount a cooling solution in the top of the case, and the rear vents are smaller than 120mm (they're 80), so the radiator would have to be mouted to the side, most likely below the level of the CPU. If it did get mounted that way, what are the chances that it would lose working fluid in the future and run the risk of it trying to pump air through the cold block?

If I went with the A50 I would probably have to run with the case open (depending on how far the heatsink protrudes), which would not be that big an inconvenience, and it would also allow me to keep an eye on the dust buildup (very bad around here...)

And what is the noise level for these? I'm not worried about during the day, but, as I leave my stuff running 24 hours, would they be on the loud side at night?
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Old 2011-11-24, 15:38   #2
Christenson
 
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Heat pipes are very effective at making the temperature of the cold block even. Liquid cooling is very effective at transporting heat to the radiator (just ask any refrigerator or car except a volkswagen). You will need a large enough radiator with enough airflow over it to be effective in any case -- is it possible to move the radiator outside the case, with its small openings?

If you lose fluid in your liquid system, your CPU will overheat....probably well before the pump is damaged.
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Old 2011-11-25, 03:15   #3
LaurV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christenson View Post
just ask any refrigerator or car except a volkswagen
My parents owned a Trabant 40 year ago... How about that one?
Still remember a day when my brother (8 years older then me, and high school that time) wanted the car, but my father told him that he can not have it, as he has no knowledge about the car, except driving it, he did not clean it, take care about, study some mechanics, etc. and they started arguing. At the end, my father agreed, but asked my brother to take a bucket of water and put it into the car's radiator before it goes, to avoid overheating. Then my brother spent the next five minutes of his life looking under the hood, with the bucket full of water on his hand, and a very-crossed look on his face.
The car was air cooled.

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2011-11-25 at 03:19 Reason: typos
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Old 2011-11-28, 09:40   #4
Kaboom
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schickel View Post
I want to upgrade from the retail heatsink that came with my new hexcore AMD. I'm just wondering if I should go water or air cooling, and am hoping there is some experience with both here.
In my experience water cooling is rarely worth its added cost and complexity, unless you plan some extreme overclocking. My suggestion would be to go for this if you have space to spare. Noctua air coolers are among the best I've ever seen and they're whisper quiet, thanks to their special fan blade design. If, on the other hand, space is at a premium in your installation, you can choose this one or this one, they are of comparable size, cooling capacity and noise levels, without being huge. I have the NH-U9B SE2 in one of my rigs and I couldn't be more satisfied.
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Old 2011-11-28, 10:25   #5
LaurV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaboom View Post
In my experience water cooling is rarely worth its added cost and complexity, unless you plan some extreme overclocking. My suggestion would be to go for this if you have space to spare. Noctua air coolers are among the best I've ever seen and they're whisper quiet, thanks to their special fan blade design. If, on the other hand, space is at a premium in your installation, you can choose this one or this one, they are of comparable size, cooling capacity and noise levels, without being huge. I have the NH-U9B SE2 in one of my rigs and I couldn't be more satisfied.
I have coolermaster V series, which looks textually like a "bomb" of about 18x20x25 centimeters, heavy, and (almost) silent, and no problem with (CPU's) cooling. Thai days are quite hot sometime. One of the GPU's (the one on the side) seems to be quite comfortable with (factory default) air cooling system. This GPU and the CPU's never go higher then 56, and usually stay in a 45-50-55 range. But I REALLY consider going to water cooling for the other GPU (the one in the middle). This gets the heat spread from all the sides (above=CPU, below=GPU, etc) and the temp sensor is hovering between 70 and 80, even 86 sometime if the room is hot. It does not go under 50 even when idle (and the other go to almost room temperature). The computer was delivered with the GPU's mounted very close each-other, and no space for the air to go between. They used the "first available" slot. In that configuration, the card in the middle got easily to 86-90C, when was "a bit under stress", not maxed, just 30-40% loaded. I had to separate them, to make some space in between, and as it is now, there is no way that I could install a third card in between. The coolers for the GPU's are also big, each need 2.8 standard slots. That is ok for the card on the side, going "out of the MB", but the one in the middle is covering other 2 slots. There is only one free, and very close to it if I would like to add another (thin) card, for whatever purpose. No way for a third GPU. That is why I really consider to go for water cooling. At least for the middle GPU. Still thinking about. Waiting for Santa.

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2011-11-28 at 10:27
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Old 2011-11-28, 14:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaboom View Post
Noctua air coolers are among the best I've ever seen and they're whisper quiet, thanks to their special fan blade design.
Absolutely.
I have been running a NH-U12P SE for more than 18 months, to my total satisfaction.
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Old 2011-11-28, 15:01   #7
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I would just spend $20 and get a Hyper 212, which has worked fantastically in multiple computers for me.
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Old 2011-11-28, 16:49   #8
Dubslow
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That's my big question, how do the Noctua's compare price wise?
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Old 2011-11-28, 22:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
<snip>
But I REALLY consider going to water cooling for the other GPU (the one in the middle).
<snip>
Still thinking about. Waiting for Santa.
Sounds like you have the specialist need for water there, or some serious extra vents in your case....
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Old 2011-11-28, 23:34   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
That's my big question, how do the Noctua's compare price wise?
Noctua coolers don´t come cheap, but they are top notch quality. Supposed to last for many years without significant degradation (e.g. noisewise).
The NH-U12P SE costed me around 60€. It allows me to run the four cores of an i5-750 flat out (3450 GHz, but also stable at 3700) while keeping the temperature within very reasonable limits (53 ºC in winter, 62-63 in summer, in a room with no air conditioning). This setup is 18 months old now, and it has been rather reliable so far.
I´m pretty sure other good quality coolers could achieve this, or better, but the very low noise level and the excellent build quality of the Noctua convinced me to fork out some extra euros...
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Old 2011-11-28, 23:56   #11
Dubslow
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Well see there's the problem. I'm a college student. I have no money. I'm a college student. I sleep 5 feet from my 24/7 proc. What do?
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