[SOLVED] Beginners guide to liquid cooling my CPU

zrkraus

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So since I built my pc back in 2016, I've used air cooling to take care of my cpu. Recently however, I've put some thought into switching over to liquid cooling, mostly due to the low profile and softer noise. I always thought they were a hassle in the past, but honestly I know almost nothing about them. So all im asking for is the need-to-knows of liquid cooling. Specifically: what is a good model to sit on an i7 8700k w/slight OC, what sorts of fluids are used in water cooling, maintenance, and all the basic components that go into it.
 
Stick with air cooling.
Only if you are seeking maximum overclocks might a 360 aio be appropriate and more effective than a good dual tower air cooler.

One problem with max overclocks is necessary higher voltage which will reduce the life of your processor.
With a mechanical pump, reliability of a liquid cooler will be less than a air cooler.
While uncommon, liquid coolers do, on occasion leak.
Here is a link to some images when I googled "h100 leak"
https://www.google.com/search?q=h100+leak&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjz-ITentTnAhVCQKwKHYCBDB0Q_AUoAXoECAwQAw&biw=1653&bih=1305
 

zrkraus

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Are you looking for a all in one liquid (AIO) cooler or build your own?
There is zero maintenance when you get a AIO unit like the Corsair Hydro H100i.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BWNWQKJ
Unless there is some drastic difference in performance btw/ an AIO and a custom built cooler, than I wouldn't mind an AIO then. Like I said, i'm only looking to cool the CPU, and im not really one for big flashy setups with the pipes and all that, and any RGB I have just gets set to red anyways.
 
Unless there is some drastic difference in performance btw/ an AIO and a custom built cooler, than I wouldn't mind an AIO then. Like I said, i'm only looking to cool the CPU, and im not really one for big flashy setups with the pipes and all that, and any RGB I have just gets set to red anyways.
If you are into extreme OCing then it will be a difference, otherwise I would suggest a maintenance free 240mm AIO.
Make sure your case is compatible with the model you decide to get.
Which case do you have?
 

zrkraus

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If you are into extreme OCing then it will be a difference, otherwise I would suggest a maintenance free 240mm AIO.
Make sure your case is compatible with the model you decide to get.
Which case do you have?
I currently have a phantek enthoo pro, but was likely going to upgrade to their enthoo 719 at some point in the near future.
 
What is your objective?
Do you have a budget?
Do you now have a i7-8700K?
How are temperatures now?

There are several motivations to buy a liquid cooler.

Some just want to do something different. I might guess that is you.
That is ok and a good reason.

With a good cooling case like either ethoo case you can mount a top end air cooler that will cool as well as a 240 aio cooler. Something like a noctua NH=D15 will be more reliable and quieter.
No risk of leaking.

A 360 aio cooler will give you the top cooling available, if you are planning on max overclocks. But, you say you are not interested in that.

I like an aio in a space constricted case, but your cases have plenty of room for any air tower you want.

Mounting a radiator is a bit of catch 22.
If you mount it in front to take in fresh air, you will get optimum cooling for your cpu.
You can also filter that front intake to keep your parts cleaner.
But, your motherboard and graphics card will get the hot exhaust to use for cooling.

OTOH, if you mount it on top to exhaust air, your cpu will be using warmer air for cooling.

You may also have some extra cash that you are itching to spend.

Go ahead and scratch that itch.
If you do not have a ssd, that would be my first suggestion.
Or, perhaps a second or better monitor.
 

zrkraus

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What is your objective?
Do you have a budget?
Do you now have a i7-8700K?
How are temperatures now?

There are several motivations to buy a liquid cooler.

Some just want to do something different. I might guess that is you.
That is ok and a good reason.

With a good cooling case like either ethoo case you can mount a top end air cooler that will cool as well as a 240 aio cooler. Something like a noctua NH=D15 will be more reliable and quieter.
No risk of leaking.

A 360 aio cooler will give you the top cooling available, if you are planning on max overclocks. But, you say you are not interested in that.

I like an aio in a space constricted case, but your cases have plenty of room for any air tower you want.

Mounting a radiator is a bit of catch 22.
If you mount it in front to take in fresh air, you will get optimum cooling for your cpu.
You can also filter that front intake to keep your parts cleaner.
But, your motherboard and graphics card will get the hot exhaust to use for cooling.

OTOH, if you mount it on top to exhaust air, your cpu will be using warmer air for cooling.

You may also have some extra cash that you are itching to spend.

Go ahead and scratch that itch.
If you do not have a ssd, that would be my first suggestion.
Or, perhaps a second or better monitor.
Its more or less a mix of having something different, and getting into the field of overclocking. I've sat on my coolermaster 212 evo since I built the computer, but im aware that as you start to push the cpu a little further, that the 212 probably wont cut it. I already have an ssd running my C drive, as well as a 144hz primary monitor, with my old 60hz monitor as my secondary.
 
How well you can overclock a i7-8700K is primarily determined by the quality of your chip.
as of 3/22/2018
What % of I7-8700k chips can oc
at a aggressive vcore near 1.4 or so and delidded
4.9 99%
5.0 88%
5.1 54%
5.2 22%

Note the delidded caveat..
I do not advise delidding yourself; have a professional do it. It costs about $50.

How high you can go is determined by the temperature or by the voltage you will tolerate.

I might suggest experimenting a bit first.
85c. might be the limit for a stress test.
Do not worry too much about overheating.
The processor will throttle or shut down if it detects a dangerous temperature.
That is around 100c
 

zrkraus

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How well you can overclock a i7-8700K is primarily determined by the quality of your chip.
as of 3/22/2018
What % of I7-8700k chips can oc
at a aggressive vcore near 1.4 or so and delidded
4.9 99%
5.0 88%
5.1 54%
5.2 22%

Note the delidded caveat..
I do not advise delidding yourself; have a professional do it. It costs about $50.

How high you can go is determined by the temperature or by the voltage you will tolerate.

I might suggest experimenting a bit first.
85c. might be the limit for a stress test.
Do not worry too much about overheating.
The processor will throttle or shut down if it detects a dangerous temperature.
That is around 100c
Wasnt familiar with delidded, so I looked it up and yup, I would not try that on my own. Also just to clarify, should I run these tests with the 212 evo I have at the moment (and not delidded)?
 
Wasnt familiar with delidded, so I looked it up and yup, I would not try that on my own. Also just to clarify, should I run these tests with the 212 evo I have at the moment (and not delidded)?
Why not??
Keep it simple.
Raise the all core multiplier a bit at a time.
Leave voltages on auto.
Stress test and monitor.
A simple way is to use cpu-Z which will show you vcore and the multplier.
Keep vcore well under 1.4v.
Use Hwmonitor for temperature.
85c. under load should be ok.
CPU-Z has a simple stress test, but there are some more comprehensive and aggressive testers out there too.
Then, back off a notch. After all, how much do you really need that extra multiplier?
 

zrkraus

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Why not??
Keep it simple.
Raise the all core multiplier a bit at a time.
Leave voltages on auto.
Stress test and monitor.
A simple way is to use cpu-Z which will show you vcore and the multplier.
Keep vcore well under 1.4v.
Use Hwmonitor for temperature.
85c. under load should be ok.
CPU-Z has a simple stress test, but there are some more comprehensive and aggressive testers out there too.
Then, back off a notch. After all, how much do you really need that extra multiplier?
Could I control the clock w/ cpu-Z, or is that all taken care of in the BIOS?
 

zrkraus

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No, the bios works best.
Just an opinion.
There are some overclocking apps but I think they may be too aggressive.

Reading and experience will let you overclock better.
My suggestion is only to get you started.
Ill run some simple stress tests tonight. Should I start at the 8700k's 4.7 GHz turbo and work my way up from there?
 
I think you want t raise all cores, not turbo,
The base multiplier, I think is 37. Try 38 to see how the process works.
Then, increase as you feel comfortable in small steps.
When you find your max, back off a notch.
If you implement speedstep, your multiplier and voltage will reduce when there is little to do.
That is a good thing.
 

zrkraus

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I think you want t raise all cores, not turbo,
The base multiplier, I think is 37. Try 38 to see how the process works.
Then, increase as you feel comfortable in small steps.
When you find your max, back off a notch.
If you implement speedstep, your multiplier and voltage will reduce when there is little to do.
That is a good thing.
got comfortable with the multiplier and worked my way up to the 4.7 GHz on all cores. Average around 62-64c, never saw vcore go above 1.2 V. Also had a quick question on what package TDP was, and if that was something I had to monitor as well?
 
Good job.

TDP stands for Thermal Design (Power or Package or Point)
It is a metric of the maximum design point of a processor.
The definition varies as well as the meaning.

Power consumed is directly related to heat so you should monitor load temperatures.

There are stress testers using different instruction sets than the simple CPU-Z test.
Some are designed to generate heat like the Intel burn test.
Prime95 will use some high power instructions.
AVX instructions, while uncommon are particularly heat generating.
I do not know if there is a really representative test of what the average gamer uses.

I might guess 85c. is about as hot as you want to get on a stress test.
The processor will throttle or shut down to protect itself if it detects a dangerous temperature .
That is around 100c.
 

zrkraus

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Mar 9, 2018
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Good job.

TDP stands for Thermal Design (Power or Package or Point)
It is a metric of the maximum design point of a processor.
The definition varies as well as the meaning.

Power consumed is directly related to heat so you should monitor load temperatures.

There are stress testers using different instruction sets than the simple CPU-Z test.
Some are designed to generate heat like the Intel burn test.
Prime95 will use some high power instructions.
AVX instructions, while uncommon are particularly heat generating.
I do not know if there is a really representative test of what the average gamer uses.

I might guess 85c. is about as hot as you want to get on a stress test.
The processor will throttle or shut down to protect itself if it detects a dangerous temperature .
That is around 100c.
So if I see the TDP going above 95W should I be concerned at all? B/C at 4.7 GHz it would jump up to like 101-103 here and there
 
I am not certain I can address 95w.
I just started a stress test on my i5-8600K running at 5.0
On hwmonitor, I see a peak package power of 84W
The max temperature is 71c.
The max vid is 1.23 or so.
I have a well binned delidded chip.
I Think it would be appropriate for the I7 version to use more power.
I would not be worried.
 

zrkraus

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I am not certain I can address 95w.
I just started a stress test on my i5-8600K running at 5.0
On hwmonitor, I see a peak package power of 84W
The max temperature is 71c.
The max vid is 1.23 or so.
I have a well binned delidded chip.
I Think it would be appropriate for the I7 version to use more power.
I would not be worried.
So just to kind of bring up my original question again, would you recommend to stick to air cooling, or go liquid cooling. I know earlier you mentioned the noctua NH-D15, and that its quieter, and more efficient than even the 240 aio.
 
Stick with air cooling.
Only if you are seeking maximum overclocks might a 360 aio be appropriate and more effective than a good dual tower air cooler.

One problem with max overclocks is necessary higher voltage which will reduce the life of your processor.
With a mechanical pump, reliability of a liquid cooler will be less than a air cooler.
While uncommon, liquid coolers do, on occasion leak.
Here is a link to some images when I googled "h100 leak"
https://www.google.com/search?q=h100+leak&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjz-ITentTnAhVCQKwKHYCBDB0Q_AUoAXoECAwQAw&biw=1653&bih=1305
 

zrkraus

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Mar 9, 2018
62
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Stick with air cooling.
Only if you are seeking maximum overclocks might a 360 aio be appropriate and more effective than a good dual tower air cooler.

One problem with max overclocks is necessary higher voltage which will reduce the life of your processor.
With a mechanical pump, reliability of a liquid cooler will be less than a air cooler.
While uncommon, liquid coolers do, on occasion leak.
Here is a link to some images when I googled "h100 leak"
https://www.google.com/search?q=h100+leak&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjz-ITentTnAhVCQKwKHYCBDB0Q_AUoAXoECAwQAw&biw=1653&bih=1305
Sounds good. I dont plan on bringing my cpu to its utmost limit, just wanted to give OC a try, and if air cooling can do that more reliably than liquid, then ill stick with it.
 

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