Question Closed loop vs Heatsink

May 16, 2019
7
0
10
0
So im currently using my stock heatsink that came with my ryzen 5 2600x, and im looking to upgrade to either a closed loop cooling system or a nice heatsink, but nothing too crazy. I guess my question is how reliable is a closed loop system, like do they start leaking after a couple of years or are they generally sturdy and reliable. And a possible follow up question would be is how cooling is compared between the two, does a nice heatsink offer comparable cooling or does closed loop just blow it out of the water, no pun intended. Thanks in advance for any helpful information!
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Lot of factors, but generally the entry point for closed loop coolers is more expensive than high end air coolers that perform better.

The $80+ air coolers are quite competitive to even 240mm radiators, particularly if you noise normalize them.

But the best cooling performance is going to come from the high end $150 closed loop coolers, 240mm and up, or custom cooling. The ones that use all copper/brass radiators rather than aluminum and offer the higher flow rates as compared to the cheap closed loop coolers. Take a look at the expandable closed loop coolers, these will have the best features typically.

As for leaks, usually the pump fails first. But they certainly can leak. Poor installation and running screws into the radiator is a pretty common failure point. The o-ring seals where the tubes attach to the pump housing can be installed under stress and may leak as they age/dry out, crack, etc. Since closed loop coolers aren't strictly serviceable you'll never really know if anything has gone wrong until your computer overheats.

Air coolers have a huge advantage in that you can limp along even if the fan fails with passive cooling and air flow from other fans.

Closed loop coolers are much easier/safer to transport, since the majority of the weight is on the chassis and not the motherboard/CPU/Backplate.
 

lynx1021

Reputable
Feb 17, 2016
484
60
4,790
7
I saw a guy with a closed loop testing recommended fluids and he still had to take it apart and clean the gunk out of it after a year. Bad as having to get your radiator flushed on your car, for me ,no thank you , I will stick to air.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
I saw a guy with a closed loop testing recommended fluids and he still had to take it apart and clean the gunk out of it after a year. Bad as having to get your radiator flushed on your car, for me ,no thank you , I will stick to air.
"I saw a guy"

Fair enough - there are plenty of these videos and images all over the internet. I've also seen an excessive number of photos of people who do not clean their air coolers out and there is an incredible amount of dust buildup. Liquid cooling isn't a build it and forget it forever solution...PC building in general isn't, if I'm being completely honest. Most people with 'gunk' in their liquid cooling systems are using coolants and additives 'to make it look cool, man!' but in reality, that is exactly what causes the buildup - coolants that break down. Most hardcore watercooling guys only use distilled water and some form of anti-microbial solution to prevent growth. This can be in the form of drops as an additive, or clear additive mixed with distilled water.

And by the way - you really should have your car radiator cleaned and flushed on regular occasion as part of regular maintenance, which consequently, is what this would be for PC watercooling. Same thing with your transmission fluid, power steering fluid and transfer case fluid if your vehicle is AWD or 4WD or otherwise requires it. You make this sound like you should never do maintenance on a PC or a car...rather confusing to the casual reader happening across this thread.

So im currently using my stock heatsink that came with my ryzen 5 2600x, and im looking to upgrade to either a closed loop cooling system or a nice heatsink, but nothing too crazy. I guess my question is how reliable is a closed loop system, like do they start leaking after a couple of years or are they generally sturdy and reliable. And a possible follow up question would be is how cooling is compared between the two, does a nice heatsink offer comparable cooling or does closed loop just blow it out of the water, no pun intended. Thanks in advance for any helpful information!
This exact topic has been covered thousands upon thousands of times on nearly every tech forum (including this one, I can attest), so a bit of Google searching can lead you to many debates on the subject.

I've watercooled for nearly 17 years and will continue to do so. I enjoy the hobby and it allows for a great deal of customization and thermal headroom. Please note that watercooling and AIO/closed loop coolers do not perform the same even though they follow the same principles of liquid cooling inside a PC. Please do not get the assumption that because it says 'liquid cooling' on the box it is superior to air cooling, or that a cheap $60 liquid cooler works just as well as a $1000 custom cooling loop.

Budget air coolers and high-end air cooling are often not just relative to cooler size or price. I've tested several moderately priced air coolers intended to be 'high end' and they do not perform as well as smaller air coolers.
 
So im currently using my stock heatsink that came with my ryzen 5 2600x, and im looking to upgrade to either a closed loop cooling system or a nice heatsink, but nothing too crazy
Doesn't the 2600x come with the Wraith Spire? That's a pretty beefy, effective unit in its own right.

Is there any reason you feel it's not doing the job?
 
May 16, 2019
7
0
10
0
sweet, thanks everyone for the replies, probably gonna go with a noctua heatsink/fan as they have amazing reviews, performance, and noise levels. Appreciate all the feedback!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS