[SOLVED] Air Cooler vs AIO CPU Cooler

lukemurtagh1995

Commendable
Oct 7, 2017
129
2
1,685
0
Hello all,

I am looking to get a new PC case and with it a new CPU cooler. I have always gone with air cooling in the past and currently have a Noctua NH-D15. I initially thought of swapping it out for a beQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 as I think I will prefer the all-black aesthetics of the beQuiet! cooler when compared to the Noctua. I have however recently been thinking about AIOs. The Corsair H150i PRO and the CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R have both caught my attention. I am however new to watercooling and so I have a few questions. What maintenance if any do AIOs require? All I do with my current air CPU cooler is just clean the fans and the heatsinks every now and then. Secondly what is the failure rate of modern AIOs? I imagine the worst case scenario would be the coolant leaking and damaging other components such as the GPU. Thirdly what would be your own personal suggestion? Is it worth going for AIOs because they are aesthetically better, or is it safer and easier to just go with a high end air cooled for the CPU?

Thanks!

Specs:
CPU: i7-9700K overclocked to 4.7GHz.
CPU Cooler: See above.
Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (WiFi).
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3200
Storage: Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 SSD and Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD
GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080TI 11GB FTW 3 Ultra
PSU: Corsair RM1000i 1000W 80+ Gold
Case: Fractal Design Meshify S2
 
Hello all,

I am looking to get a new PC case and with it a new CPU cooler. I have always gone with air cooling in the past and currently have a Noctua NH-D15. I initially thought of swapping it out for a beQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 as I think I will prefer the all-black aesthetics of the beQuiet! cooler when compared to the Noctua. I have however recently been thinking about AIOs. The Corsair H150i PRO and the CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R have both caught my attention. I am however new to watercooling and so I have a few questions. What maintenance if any do AIOs require? All I do with my current air CPU cooler is just clean the fans and the heatsinks every now and then. Secondly what is the failure rate of modern AIOs? I imagine the worst case scenario would be the coolant leaking and damaging other components such as the GPU. Thirdly what would be your own personal suggestion? Is it worth going for AIOs because they are aesthetically better, or is it safer and easier to just go with a high end air cooled for the CPU?

Thanks!

Specs:
CPU: i7-9700K overclocked to 4.7GHz.
CPU Cooler: See above.
Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (WiFi).
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3200
Storage: Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 SSD and Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD
GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080TI 11GB FTW 3 Ultra
PSU: Corsair RM1000i 1000W 80+ Gold
Case: Fractal Design Meshify S2
I’d always go air if you have the space. Those coolers are really quite massive.
 

13thmonkey

Titan
Moderator
Performance can be similar.
AIO's have more failures modes:
  1. Leakage
  2. Pump stopping
  3. Coolant flow stopping for other reasons
  4. Fan failing
With an AIO 1-3 leads to dangerously high temps very quickly as there is no thermal mass in the block that attached to the CPU. In contrast with a HSF there might a 700g+ aluminium or copper that can soak heat quite happily for a significant period of time.
 

lukemurtagh1995

Commendable
Oct 7, 2017
129
2
1,685
0
Performance can be similar.
AIO's have more failures modes:
  1. Leakage
  2. Pump stopping
  3. Coolant flow stopping for other reasons
  4. Fan failing
With an AIO 1-3 leads to dangerously high temps very quickly as there is no thermal mass in the block that attached to the CPU. In contrast with a HSF there might a 700g+ aluminium or copper that can soak heat quite happily for a significant period of time.
Thanks for the reply. So you would recommend an air cooler over an AIO? I have seen online in benchmarks that even the best AIOs only seem to be a couple of degrees cooler than the best air coolers, so it does seem silly to go for an AIO which only gives miniscule better temperatures and yet introduces three new elements which could potentially fail.
 

BrownRecluse27

Distinguished
Oct 28, 2010
73
2
18,665
6
Hello all,

I am looking to get a new PC case and with it a new CPU cooler. I have always gone with air cooling in the past and currently have a Noctua NH-D15. I initially thought of swapping it out for a beQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 as I think I will prefer the all-black aesthetics of the beQuiet! cooler when compared to the Noctua. I have however recently been thinking about AIOs. The Corsair H150i PRO and the CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R have both caught my attention. I am however new to watercooling and so I have a few questions. What maintenance if any do AIOs require? All I do with my current air CPU cooler is just clean the fans and the heatsinks every now and then. Secondly what is the failure rate of modern AIOs? I imagine the worst case scenario would be the coolant leaking and damaging other components such as the GPU. Thirdly what would be your own personal suggestion? Is it worth going for AIOs because they are aesthetically better, or is it safer and easier to just go with a high end air cooled for the CPU?

Thanks!

Specs:
CPU: i7-9700K overclocked to 4.7GHz.
CPU Cooler: See above.
Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (WiFi).
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3200
Storage: Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 SSD and Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD
GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080TI 11GB FTW 3 Ultra
PSU: Corsair RM1000i 1000W 80+ Gold
Case: Fractal Design Meshify S2
I tried AIO liquid cooling and hated it, the pumps make strange sounds and always worried in the back of your head ita going to leak. Stick with your D15 i use one and love it. That aio is sitting in my closet collecting dust lol.
 
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