Air Cooling vs. Liquid Cooling for Threadripper?

Jan 8, 2019
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Hey gang!

I purchased a powerhouse of a system this summer for my 3D animation studio. It features a Threadripper 1950x with 4x GTX 1080 Ti's, among the key components.

The guys at the computer store had all suggested a liquid cooling system to go with this CPU. I had never used liquid cooling in my PCs and I was a bit concerned about putting any kind of liquid in my machine. However, I went with their recommendation as they tend to know best and they assured me these are pretty safe coolers.

The machine has worked pretty well until this morning when I noticed it was on but displaying nothing. When I looked in the case through the glass side panel, I saw droplets on the glass and then noticed liquid all over the CPU, motherboard, and dropping onto the GPUs. The liquid is blue so it is clear the liquid cooler broke.

I have no idea what the extent of the damage is but thankfully it is still under warranty and the computer store is now looking at it. They mentioned perhaps an air cooler might be a better solution and I'm wondering why this is being recommended now, as opposed to the liquid cooler I was recommended during the build. Regardless, I am out of the system for at least 2 weeks.

My main concern is that when my system is no longer under warranty, and something like this happens destroying GPUs and other components, I am looking at a very hefty bill as I will have to replace all those parts on my own.

So my question is, should I have them replace the liquid cooler with a new one or should I pay and install an air cooler for this system to ensure no future damage from another incident like this?

I should add that most of the 3D rendering is done on the GPUs so the CPU isn't taxed as much. But a concern for me is noise as the 4 GPUs already produce enough on their own. The guys told me today that air coolers are not as effective as liquid coolers but there is less risk of damage is something like this happens.

I would like to ask for your professional opinions on this.

Thanks!
-Rich
 
My opinion is that the risk of something happening (like happened to you) is more than i care to deal with for the increase in cooling and noise performance.

There are some air coolers out there that I think do a good job.

I'm running a Coolermaster V8 on a 7800X for over a year and so far I haven't hit 60C as far as I know.
 

the nerd 389

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For the 1950X, either way works just fine. Go for a Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3, and don't look back. It's comparable to most liquid coolers in terms of cooling and noise on that CPU.

Don't get a normal air or water cooler, as they don't have a base large enough for threadripper. Get something specifically marked for the TR4 or SP3 socket.
 
Jan 8, 2019
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This is coincidentally the model they recommended to me today and the one they wrote down for me to look into.

You would say it is a solid alternative to liquid cooling? Equally as effective and quiet?

Thanks,
-Rich
 

the nerd 389

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The Noctua outperforms nearly every AIO that wasn't specifically designed to work with ThreadRipper. The Enermax Liqtech TR4 coolers are slightly better in terms of acoustics and cooling, but all Corsairs, Coolermasters, and any other non-TR4 specific AIO is dramatically worse.

To outperform that Noctua by any substantial amount would require an open loop water setup. If you want to overclock, though, go with one of the Enermax AIOs or an open loop.

 
Jan 8, 2019
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Thank you for your recommendation. Very good info to have. I would love to hear anyone else's opinions on the matter but as of now, I will most likely go with your Noctua recommendation.

Thanks,
-Rich
 
Jan 8, 2019
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Hi again;

Unfortunately, the computer store has told me they cannot order the Noctua and they are recommending the Coolermaster Master Air MA621p. I tried to look up some performance results but got a bit lost.

What are your thoughts on this cooler in comparison to the Noctua you recommended?

Thanks,
-Richard
 

the nerd 389

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That cooler should work fine. It's not as good, but is perfectly adequate. For lower noise, I'd still recommend getting the Noctua, though.

With that said, noise isn't linear. That unit should still be quiet enough that you won't hear it over the GPUs.
 

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