Question Cooling an i7-7700k Non-overclocked build

Which CPU cooler should I choose?

  • Noctua NH-U12A

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Kraken X73 (AIO with 360mm radiator)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Noctua NH-D15

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1

ashwinpajankar

Honorable
Jan 12, 2017
20
2
10,515
0
Hello All,
Sorry for the long post. But I really need help.
I have an editing PC with i7 7700k processor. I have not overclocked the processor. It has a Corsair 120mm AIO liquid cooler installed. I built this PC for video editing in April 2017 (more than five years ago as of asking this question).

I use this editing PC to record videos for teaching computer programming, math, physics, electrical, microcontrollers, and electronics etc. I use Camtasia 2022 to record the videos and render them in batches (using the batch production feature in Camtasia). A video batch production job runs for hours as I render 100s of videos at a time. All the videos are strictly 1080p (no higher resolutions). Camtasia records my desktop screen and feed from Sony Alpha 6500.

Let me explain my problem in detail. When I run the batch production job for video rendering, within minutes the i7 7700k becomes too hot. It reaches 100 degree centigrade after sometime. The Tjmax for this processor is 100. I do not know much about processor cooling. However, from what I have read on the forums, this is not good for the life of the processor. I wish to use this build for at least a couple of years as it absolutely crushes 1080p and simple effects such as transitions, noise cancellation, etc as I also have 64 GB RAM and an 1080 Ti (11GB GDDR5) paired with it. It will be sufficient for me for a couple of years to work with this PC and I wish to use it for Linux in the future once I build a new editing workstation as my primary editing system.

Can someone help me to cool this build? I have tried the following stuff,
  1. Changed the stock fans to Arctic F12 PWM. System is quieter now but temperatures have not come down.
  2. I changed the thermal paste too.
  3. I went into the UEFI and changed the core voltage etc after reading on the forums.
None of this helped.

I suspect that the Corsair 120mm radiator AIO must be the culprit (coolant liquid might have evaporated or the pump might have failed). So, I am planning to purchase a new cooler and a compatible case for that. Here is where I need your help. I want the PC to be as quiet and as cool as possible. Budget is not an issue.

I am planning to purchase a NZXT H7 Flow case as it is very big and can accommodate 360mm radiator. Which CPU cooler should I purchase? Noctua NH U12A or Kraken X73 (AIO with 360mm radiator). Sometime later I wish to purchase an AM5 platform and Noctua NH U12A is compatible with AM5. I checked in their compatibility page. I am not sure about Kraken X73. If you have any other CPU cooler in mind that is cooler, quieter, and will be compatible with i7 7700k and AM5 both, please feel free to suggest. For extra airflow, I will add three 140mm fans to the front for intake, one 140mm in the rear, and depending on AIO or Air cooler for the CPU, I will either add three Noctua NF A12x25 120mm PWM or two 140mm fans to the top. This should take care of the airflow. Can anyone suggest improvements to the solution I have in mind for this problem?

Thank you very much.
 
Given your experience up to this moment, do you have any particular attraction to liquid cooling?

Or would you use liquid only because nothing else is adequate.

The Noctua D15 is near the top of the heap for air cooling. The 12A is excellent in its category, but it has only 1 tower. If budget is not an issue, go with the D15 if in doubt assuming it will fit in your case.

I don't know what temps you should expect with your software workload and your existing cooler if it were functioning properly....I'd certainly be suspicious that the 120 mm AIO is haywire.

Noctua D15 performance is typically in the range of what you could get from a 240 mm AIO. The question then becomes is your workload so high as to require more than that...up into the range of a 360 AIO?

My first impulse would be to confirm, yes or no, if the current 120 AIO is defective.

Have temps with that 120 AIO always been very high? Or is this a new development?
 
Last edited:

ashwinpajankar

Honorable
Jan 12, 2017
20
2
10,515
0
Given your experience up to this moment, do you have any particular attraction to liquid cooling?

Or would you use liquid only because nothing else is adequate.

The Noctua D15 is near the top of the heap for air cooling. The 12A is excellent in its category, but it has only 1 tower. If budget is not an issue, go with the D15 if in doubt assuming it will fit in your case.

I don't know what temps you should expect with your software workload and your existing cooler if it were functioning properly....I'd certainly be suspicious that the 120 mm AIO is haywire.

Noctua D15 performance is typically in the range of what you could get from a 240 mm AIO. The question then becomes is your workload so high as to require more than that...up into the range of a 360 AIO?

My first impulse would be to confirm, yes or no, if the current 120 AIO is defective.

Have temps with that 120 AIO always been very high? Or is this a new development?
Thanks a lot for the detailed response.

My rendering load will be quite high so I will need the best cooling. That is why I am asking which one will be better in terms of cooling D15 or 360mm AIO. Even when my system is idle and only 1 browser window is open, the temperatures of all the cores touch 50. I have eliminated all the other factors such as fans and thermal paste, just replaced them both. I have also lowered the CPU core voltage to 1.15V and set the multiplier to 42 manually. So, the only remaining variable in the equation is the AIO.

I am really not sure if the temps with this AIO have always been very high or this is a recent development. After getting new fans and adding more RAM, I checked the temperature with Core Temp program while rendering a 4k video and it started screaming. I then rendered 2k and 1080p videos without editing, it still screamed. I really cannot risk my system by overheating it. So, I thought that for rest of its life I will provide it the best cooling out there.

I tend to use computers for a long duration and even after they are old, I repurpose them to get maximum value out of them. So, I do not mind spending a few extra bucks if I get to use the system for 10 more years (a couple of more years for editing and after that I will use it as a Debian Linux computer for a very long time to come. I will use it for teaching Shell scripting, x86 assembly programming using remote connection with SSH etc).

So with all these things in mind, what should I go for?
 
I don't know if your software use is beyond the capabilities of a Noctua D15 given your case, case fans, ambient temperatures, and so on.

I rarely render anything.

Noctua D15 versus 360mm AIO

Entering the above term in a search engine gave me 77 hits. Some of them might be useful to you.

I would also consider the failure points introduced by liquid cooling that do not apply to air coolers. Perhaps you are indifferent to those factors or perhaps they are highly important to you. You have current experience with a 120 mm AIO, so I'd guess you have a valid opinion.

Somewhat strange that you don't know if the current high temps are a new development. I suppose it is possible temps have been high for months and were not noticed?

I don't use liquid coolers, but my understanding is that there are considerable quality differences between the various AIO choices. Some are notoriously short-lived.

What would I do? I'd use a very high quality air cooler UNLESS I had confirmation (not mere speculation) that air is inadequate in your particular use case. Frankly........that might be very hard to determine without actually testing.

How low would temps have to be to convince you that "temps are OK"?

75, 65, 55, etc. You may be highly worried at 75, while someone else may be indifferent to 75 and not become worried till 85.

Are you willing to try a big air cooler, with the understanding that you could change to 360mm AIO if that proved necessary? Or would budget prohibit that?
 
Last edited:

ashwinpajankar

Honorable
Jan 12, 2017
20
2
10,515
0
I am changing the case and case fans too and new cooler will require a better and bigger case. I have read that 140mm fans are better than 120mm. So I ordered 140 mm fans (Set of four for now).

Screen recording -> editing -> rendering. This is my workflow. Rendering is the last and least time consuming part. If I have 1 hour of video, rendering takes around 17-20 minutes (25 minutes tops if it has lot of effects and editing etc.). But putting all the videos in batches increase the load for a continuous period of two hours. This is when it hits 100.

Thanks for suggesting the search terms. I am on it.

Actually, this is my first AIO cooling build. So, I am not an expert or a very mature person in this area to have an opinion. I really lack expertise to do things practically.

This could be really the case that the temps have been high for months and I noticed it just now. I was upgrading the RAM and I changed the fans too as they were noisy. I just checked the temp and it was screaming. So, I do not really know how long it has been running hot. But as you mentioned, it could be really running hot since beginning too. There is really no way of knowing that. But my build is really stable and I never faced any issue of BSOD or freezing or slowness or slugishness.

I forgot to mention. I live in India. Climate is hot and we had many heat waves recently. And climate is generally hotter than the western Europe and USA. So I want to install the best cooling solution (I do not have an AC). Should my location and weather be deciding factors in choosing the CPU cooler? I do not have much dust issue here.

My intention is to buy a cooler which could also be compatible with AM5 platform in the future. I have just ordered the case, the fans, and the fan controller. Just waiting for more inputs on the CPU cooler before I order one.
 
Entirely possible your new case and case fans will make a considerable difference regardless of cooler. Particularly if you can spin the fans up to their max rpm and you don't much care about noise level.

Didn't officially check its specifications, but I assume the current 7700K would throttle itself to reduce temps rather than run at a temp Intel has deemed dangerous.

Your location and weather are certainly critical factors insofar as it affects temps inside your PC case.

A 10 degree change in ambient temperatures will make a near 10 degree change on interior case temps....in my experience. My ambient is usually quite close to 27 C, with CPU idle temps in the low 40s. High load temps in the 60s. No video card. Modest air cooler. Very low speed case fans, nearly silent.

Keep drilling into the Internet for comments on differences between the best air coolers and 360 mm AIO..............if the difference is say 5 degrees, I wouldn't worry about it and think it is within the margin of error.
 
Reactions: ashwinpajankar

ashwinpajankar

Honorable
Jan 12, 2017
20
2
10,515
0
Entirely possible your new case and case fans will make a considerable difference regardless of cooler. Particularly if you can spin the fans up to their max rpm and you don't much care about noise level.

Didn't officially check its specifications, but I assume the current 7700K would throttle itself to reduce temps rather than run at a temp Intel has deemed dangerous.

Your location and weather are certainly critical factors insofar as it affects temps inside your PC case.

A 10 degree change in ambient temperatures will make a near 10 degree change on interior case temps....in my experience. My ambient is usually quite close to 27 C, with CPU idle temps in the low 40s. High load temps in the 60s. No video card. Modest air cooler. Very low speed case fans, nearly silent.

Keep drilling into the Internet for comments on differences between the best air coolers and 360 mm AIO..............if the difference is say 5 degrees, I wouldn't worry about it and think it is within the margin of error.
Thanks a lot for taking out time to answer my queries. I am indebted to you and this forum.

My next task is to search the term you gave me.

I will share my experience on this thread for the benefit of the community once I upgrade the system.
 

ashwinpajankar

Honorable
Jan 12, 2017
20
2
10,515
0
Oh yes. Completely closed front with minor side vents.
You can not expect a good cooling/air flow with this case.
Oh I see. Thanks a lot. I have ordered NZXT's H7 Flow just now. Will that be good enough? I will install three Arctic 140mm PWM fans in the front and one in the rear. And depending on the cooler I am yet to decide, the top will either have two 140mm fans (if I purchase an air cooler) or three Noctua silent 120mm fans (replacing the stock fans on the radiator if I choose an AIO).

Can you please recommend me if I should go for a 360mm AIO or a big air cooler.
 
I have ordered NZXT's H7 Flow just now. Will that be good enough?
Old case was meant for silence. New one is meant for good cooling. It may be louder in operation though.
Can you please recommend me if I should go for a 360mm AIO or a big air cooler.
I'd go with a good air cooler. It has simpler design and less points of possible failures.
With AIO you can get clogged cpu block, failed pump and they are not user serviceable.
 
Reactions: ashwinpajankar

ashwinpajankar

Honorable
Jan 12, 2017
20
2
10,515
0
Old case was meant for silence. New one is meant for good cooling. It may be louder in operation though.

I'd go with a good air cooler. It has simpler design and less points of possible failures.
With AIO you can get clogged cpu block, failed pump and they are not user serviceable.
Thanks. Actually I had purchased it for quiet operations. I did not know that it would cause heating issues. Now, I just keep the PC in the other room. I use really long cables. With new fans installed it makes noise only at the time of rendering, not when I record videos for teaching. So, whatever little noise is there in recording, not necessarily the pc noise, it is filtered by yhe mic, audio interface, and I clean it in the software. So, noise is really not an issue. I want good cooling to keep my pc cool. When I sleep, I run the batch for rendering. So noise at that time is really not an issue.

Which will cool the setup the best? An AIO or an air cooler.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
Your predicament is one many have been in. Closed off 'silent' cases are imho useless. Components create heat. Everything from cpu, gpu, ram, Sata chipset, Northbridge chipset, VRM's, everything. Silent cases by design block as much sound outlets as possible, but to to so kill airflow, which just traps the heat inside, which causes fans to run higher rpm, which raises noise levels....

Airflow cases solve much of that, but also suffer from increased noise levels as a result. There's only realistically One solution. Better cooling. That's not necessarily bigger cooling, but Better cooling. Noctua and BeQuiet have the 2 most efficient cooling with air, and a side bonus of also having silence optimized fans.

With AIO's, good fans with large coolers offer the lowest rpm, less noise.

NH-D15, DRP4 Pro, NZXT Kraken X63/X73, Arctic II 280mm/360mm, decent silent optimized case fans. And pay attention to fan curves. Setting the kraken's on silent mode lowers rpm, but the last 10% of fan rpm does nothing for performance but doubles noise output.

The trick is having slower fans, that have high outputs, and good air Flow.
 

ashwinpajankar

Honorable
Jan 12, 2017
20
2
10,515
0
Honestly a non-overclocked 7700k will be fine with a simple air cooler like DeepCool's AK400, which is only $30 USD.
Hello Thomas,
Thanks a lot for your input. I already have a liquid cooler AIO 120mm from Corsair. I do not remember the model number. Even with the AIO, it hits 100 in minutes. I really do not wish to take any risk of damaging my CPU.
 
Reactions: Albert.Thomas

ashwinpajankar

Honorable
Jan 12, 2017
20
2
10,515
0
Your predicament is one many have been in. Closed off 'silent' cases are imho useless. Components create heat. Everything from cpu, gpu, ram, Sata chipset, Northbridge chipset, VRM's, everything. Silent cases by design block as much sound outlets as possible, but to to so kill airflow, which just traps the heat inside, which causes fans to run higher rpm, which raises noise levels....

Airflow cases solve much of that, but also suffer from increased noise levels as a result. There's only realistically One solution. Better cooling. That's not necessarily bigger cooling, but Better cooling. Noctua and BeQuiet have the 2 most efficient cooling with air, and a side bonus of also having silence optimized fans.

With AIO's, good fans with large coolers offer the lowest rpm, less noise.

NH-D15, DRP4 Pro, NZXT Kraken X63/X73, Arctic II 280mm/360mm, decent silent optimized case fans. And pay attention to fan curves. Setting the kraken's on silent mode lowers rpm, but the last 10% of fan rpm does nothing for performance but doubles noise output.

The trick is having slower fans, that have high outputs, and good air Flow.
As of now, the noise is not a problem. This is because, the fans will rotate only when I render the video. When I record the videos, the fans are very silent. And I only use Camtasia, Xournal++, and a browser window for recording. It is not much of load for my CPU. So the fans are silent.

Can you please suggest a few silent 140mm fans with good airflow?
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
Regarding fan placements. Gotta think about airflow, a Lot there. Each fan has a job to do. So picture in your mind 2 things, what the air in/out of the fan is going to do, and how that's going to affect your airflow.

Ideally with airflow, you'll want a nice, smooth river of air starting in the front and traveling to the top-rear.

That said, what's going to happen if you put an exhaust fan at the top, next to the front. With a front 360mm AIO, that fan won't affect cpu temps, same flow through the radiator, but with an aircooler and fans in front, that's a disaster. You pull air away from the cooler intake, any air from high front fan just getting sucked straight up and out.

So airflow management is quite important, you want Flow, which is harder to achieve and moderate than just filling every hole with a fan. Good airflow is about maximizing movement while minimizing conflict. Low intakes feed the gpu, high intakes feed the cpu, rear/top rear pulls that heat out of the case.

With fans, high air = low static pressure. Cfm is volume of air moved, static pressure is the force behind the move.

Hold your palm a foot away from your face. Open mouth wide, breathe out. You just moved 2 lungs of air in short time, but has no pressure, no breeze felt on your hand. Purse your mouth and do the same, you still move 2 lungs of air, takes a little longer, but definitely feel the breeze on your hand. Open mouth is cfm, pursed mouth is static pressure.

To feed a gpu requires a balanced/hybrid or static type fan, get the air to the gpu. Exhaust fans should be airflow/cfm type because no-one cares where the air goes once it's out of the case.

3x balanced/static at front intake, 2x balanced/cfm at rear/top rear is ideal for an aircooler setup.

3x top balanced/cfm exhaust, 3x balanced/static front intake is ideal for front mounted aio or 3x balanced/static at front and on top is ideal for top mounted aio. Airflow treated as a chimney affect.

That's a general strategy for most cases. Some will differ, depending on the actual case and design. The nzxt H500 series for instance does far better with No intake fans whatsoever.
 
Aug 10, 2022
32
24
35
0
Hello Thomas,
Thanks a lot for your input. I already have a liquid cooler AIO 120mm from Corsair. I do not remember the model number. Even with the AIO, it hits 100 in minutes. I really do not wish to take any risk of damaging my CPU.
That's a shame. What cooler was this, and in what workload? That shouldn't be happening.

As for DeepCool's AK400 - based on my tests with other CPUs, I believe this cooler should be capable of handing up to 220w with an i7-7700k. I'll be putting together a review of the white model of the AK400 for Tom's Hardware soon.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
Gamersnexus did a review of both the AK400 and AK620. End result is the AK400 is pretty much equitable to the Noctua U12S. Better value.

That's not anywhere close to 220w. It's a really good 65w cpu cooler, it'll tolerate a 105w, but will cap out the same as the other budget coolers around 140w. Same as a 120mm AIO.

You'd need it's big brother AK620 to handle a 220w load.
 
Reactions: ashwinpajankar
Aug 10, 2022
32
24
35
0
End result is the AK400 is pretty much equitable to the Noctua U12S. Better value.

That's not anywhere close to 220w.
The amount that you can cool on it will vary depend on the CPU used, and the process node it was made on. I was able to cool over 200w with a Noctua U12S on a 10900k (14nm) - but attempting the same thing on Alder Lake would be futility.
 
Reactions: ashwinpajankar

ashwinpajankar

Honorable
Jan 12, 2017
20
2
10,515
0
Gamersnexus did a review of both the AK400 and AK620. End result is the AK400 is pretty much equitable to the Noctua U12S. Better value.

That's not anywhere close to 220w. It's a really good 65w cpu cooler, it'll tolerate a 105w, but will cap out the same as the other budget coolers around 140w. Same as a 120mm AIO.

You'd need it's big brother AK620 to handle a 220w load.
Hi,
Thanks for the detailed response. Actually, I ordered X73 Kraken and NZXT H7 Flow. My plan is to use them for now with i7 7700k. Once I upgrade my build with a Ryzen 9 7900x, I will be able to reuse them. Then I will turn my i7 7700k into a dual boot system with Debian and Windows and use it for a long time. For that, I will again need a cooler. That time, I will experiment with an air cooler as you recommended.

This AK620 is better than Noctua's NH u12a? If you say so, I will purchase one while turning my current 7700k build for Linux.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS