Question 120mm radiator Question

Xwolfgangx

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Hello,
I was wondering if a 120mm radiator, as an intake instead of exhaust setup, would be enough to cool an i7-5960x running about 4 - 4.20GHz on 8 cores below 75 degrees on a full load? from most OC results ive seen it pushes around 210-230W around those speeds. I dont care about prime95 temps, I care about temps when gaming, or when im mining when not gaming
 

Xwolfgangx

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Brain fart moment. I just realized I should post some specs. The cooler Im buying is:
Cooler Master MasterLiquid LC120E
It has a CFM of 67 at 3000RPM, and noise isnt an issue to me, I sleep with a fan on lol.
*RGB isnt a turn on for me, just happened to be the cheapest brand on amazon that was actually trustworthy
but yeah, if I can get the chip to 4 - 4.4 GHz Ill Be happy
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
This is not a particularly good idea. 120mm AIOs are just about the worst value cooling options you can buy, generally getting schooled by most air coolers. This is a cooler for an HTPC or a budget SFF build, not something you use with an LGA 2011 chip and certainly not intended for any kind of overclocking with it.
 

Xwolfgangx

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This is not a particularly good idea. 120mm AIOs are just about the worst value cooling options you can buy, generally getting schooled by most air coolers. This is a cooler for an HTPC or a budget SFF build, not something you use with an LGA 2011 chip and certainly not intended for any kind of overclocking with it.
I figured as much from how much power it draws, this isnt a permanent solution either, I want to upgrade to a 240mm RAD in the future as it will fit my case but they cost almost 2x as much, and atm I am on a budget. My current system is an I7 3770k with 16gb 1600 CL9 and a Radeon RX580, I plan to keep using that gpu for now (as I only 720-1080p game) and seeing as how I got the x99 mobo for free from a friend who upgraded, and a new; never installed 5960x off ebay for $150 and 3000MHz ram for $95 it was cheaper than going any of the new options for an 8 core system. I was just wondering what overclock I could get away with for now until I can afford to get a 240mm RAD? as I stated the chip is brand new, So I dont have to worry about the previous owner degrading the silicon.

I also plan on having the system in a positive pressure state, meaning the rad as an intake; bought 4x3000RPM PWM fans for this purpose
 

iPeekYou

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Jul 7, 2014
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Hello,
I was wondering if a 120mm radiator, as an intake instead of exhaust setup, would be enough to cool an i7-5960x running about 4 - 4.20GHz on 8 cores below 75 degrees on a full load? from most OC results ive seen it pushes around 210-230W around those speeds. I dont care about prime95 temps, I care about temps when gaming, or when im mining when not gaming
Eh, if it's a temporary solution it'll work. Maybe just poor value of money since you're buying one instead of already owning one.

Alternatively, get a cheap 120mm tower cooler like Gammaxx 400 and slap 2 fans on it. Performs just a bit better than stock 120mm AIO for much, much less. Then the price jump from Gammaxx 400 to a 240mm AIO makes more sense as an upgrade.

I do have 120mm AIO in my system. Got it used for dirt cheap, and I use it for much less demanding chip. Temps are 65°C max (not average) in gaming, but again my CPU draws just over a third of 5960X in full bore.
 
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Xwolfgangx

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Eh, if it's a temporary solution it'll work. Maybe just poor value of money since you're buying one instead of already owning one.

Alternatively, get a cheap 120mm tower cooler like Gammaxx 400 and slap 2 fans on it. Performs just a bit better than stock 120mm AIO for much, much less. Then the price jump from Gammaxx 400 to a 240mm AIO makes more sense as an upgrade.

I do have 120mm AIO in my system. Got it used for dirt cheap, and I use it for much less demanding chip. Temps are 65°C max (not average) in gaming, but again my CPU draws just over a third of 5960X in full bore.
hmmm, I hadn't considered air cooling, even though some people still recommend it over the cheaper AIO's; Im using a EVGA CLC 120mm on my 3770k as of now but its nearing the end of its life and decided to buy the new aio instead, but if buying from a reputable brand who will repair your system if coolant leaks it seemed to be a 2x increase in price, the coolermaster 120 was only $50, whereas the coolermaster and other comparable 240mm aio's were over $100-110
 

iPeekYou

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hmmm, I hadn't considered air cooling, even though some people still recommend it over the cheaper AIO's; Im using a EVGA CLC 120mm on my 3770k as of now but its nearing the end of its life and decided to buy the new aio instead, but if buying from a reputable brand who will repair your system if coolant leaks it seemed to be a 2x increase in price, the coolermaster 120 was only $50, whereas the coolermaster and other comparable 240mm aio's were over $100-110
Is the EVGA 120mm dying already? You might be able to use it for the time being while waiting on the 240mm AIO.

If we're strictly talking about price/performance, it's difficult to justify AIOs, really. Especially 120mm models since for the same price you can get air coolers with better (max load) performance. I have a Gammaxx 400 Pro which costs me just under 25 bucks new that performs exactly the same (1 deg C difference, but inconsistent) with a Captain 120EX with the same fans-- an AIO that costs $60-70 new,

A 240mm in push/pull, or 280mm would certainly be a worthy upgrade rather than a new 120mm. Yeah, you also get the warranty; I realize I'm running a risk here but that's on my end. If anything happens I'd just accept my corner-cutting was a bad idea.

On another note, I think newer AIOs are much more resistant to leaking than the early days of AIOs. Most complaints that I know of were from dead pumps. Still, I recognize the risk and the sketchiness of cheaper and/or older AIOs.
 
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DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
I figured as much from how much power it draws, this isnt a permanent solution either, I want to upgrade to a 240mm RAD in the future as it will fit my case but they cost almost 2x as much, and atm I am on a budget. My current system is an I7 3770k with 16gb 1600 CL9 and a Radeon RX580, I plan to keep using that gpu for now (as I only 720-1080p game) and seeing as how I got the x99 mobo for free from a friend who upgraded, and a new; never installed 5960x off ebay for $150 and 3000MHz ram for $95 it was cheaper than going any of the new options for an 8 core system. I was just wondering what overclock I could get away with for now until I can afford to get a 240mm RAD? as I stated the chip is brand new, So I dont have to worry about the previous owner degrading the silicon.

I also plan on having the system in a positive pressure state, meaning the rad as an intake; bought 4x3000RPM PWM fans for this purpose
Do you have the chip in-hand? I'd be suspicious of a chip being sold as brand new from 2014. A lot of times, people simply lie or even worse, it's a scam. There are actually fake CPUs out there.

If cost is an issue, just get an air cooler for now. With this AIO, the amount of overclocking I would do on it is none. There's really no budget level at which a 120mm AIO makes sense unless, again, we're talking about a SFF or HTPC build.
 
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Xwolfgangx

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Do you have the chip in-hand? I'd be suspicious of a chip being sold as brand new from 2014. A lot of times, people simply lie or even worse, it's a scam. There are actually fake CPUs out there.

If cost is an issue, just get an air cooler for now. With this AIO, the amount of overclocking I would do on it is none. There's really no budget level at which a 120mm AIO makes sense unless, again, we're talking about a SFF or HTPC build.
its coming in later today from Houston, Tx, and I live in Austin. The seller was based there, had a 15 year ebay account with 100% positive reviews, and the seller offers a 30 day return for refund, something quite rare on ebay these days, and when I went to their website they seem to be a legit custom pc vendor for enterprise/workstation people, so an unused leftover CPU seems likely as companies with high budgets usually just buy whatever's newest. So If I get scammed on this one Id say they're just really, really good at it lol.

As for the AIO I currently have, it isnt failing or leaking, but the 1st 6 months I had it I had it installed with the RAD below the pump (was unaware at the time that was bad), and ive been pushing my 3770k on it so I figured why not start fresh. and yeah Ive seen the benchmarks about how the high level air coolers are on par with low-mid aio's for 2x the savings, I figured a aio loop would offer at least a more stable curve as the pump can be set with PWM and water is in constant flow in the loop, whereas with air coolers the air is turbulent, the pressure inside and outside the case can change, changing the flow of air through the fans, etc... So wouldn't the water cooling offer a more consistent peak temp while an air cooler could fluctuate in temp more at peak load based on current flows?
 

iPeekYou

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As for the AIO I currently have, it isnt failing or leaking, but the 1st 6 months I had it I had it installed with the RAD below the pump (was unaware at the time that was bad), and ive been pushing my 3770k on it so I figured why not start fresh. and yeah Ive seen the benchmarks about how the high level air coolers are on par with low-mid aio's for 2x the savings, I figured a aio loop would offer at least a more stable curve as the pump can be set with PWM and water is in constant flow in the loop, whereas with air coolers the air is turbulent, the pressure inside and outside the case can change, changing the flow of air through the fans, etc... So wouldn't the water cooling offer a more consistent peak temp while an air cooler could fluctuate in temp more at peak load based on current flows?
If you're talking about peak temps under the same load (like synthetic tests), not really. If the AIO and air cooler is of the same performance, the peak temp measured will be the same.

If you're talking about a realistic load like gaming, yeah. Even a 120mm AIO can delay the fans ramping up more than the equivalent air cooler simply due to water taking longer to heat up. That's why I have different fan profiles for air and AIOs.

The pressure inside a case is practically always the same; we don't have vacuum-sealed cases so pressure won't change depending on airflow. Air pressure will change with temperature change, but AFAIK not to any measurable benefit.
 
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Xwolfgangx

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Well yall were right, 120mm AIO could barely OC to 3.7 and keep it under 85 C, bought the cooler master 240mm aio instead and it's @ 4.4GHz under 78 C on prime95, Sorry for not listening lol
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Well yall were right, 120mm AIO could barely OC to 3.7 and keep it under 85 C, bought the cooler master 240mm aio instead and it's @ 4.4GHz under 78 C on prime95, Sorry for not listening lol
All that matters is that in the end, you got the performance you wanted. 120mm is really tough for hotter, more powerful CPUs; there's just not a lot of surface area to dissipate the heat. Think how much quicker food cools when you have it spread around the plate rather than in a tight little ball.
 
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