Question CPU idle and load temps higher than expected with aio water cooler

Aug 29, 2020
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I recently bought a coolermaster ml120l v2 rgb for my i7-8700. I installed the pump and the radiator correctly and used corsair thermal paste. But whn checking temps, I am getting mid to high 40's and low 50's on idle, and when benchmarking i get arounf 75-85 degrees C with a max of 98 C using an XTU benchmark. What should I do?
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Ambassador
Single slot rads, like your 120mm rad, are only good in mini-ITX builds, where you don't have enough CPU cooler clearance to install mid-sized CPU air cooler. However, these AIOs (120mm and 140mm rads) are almost always outperformed by mid-sized CPU air coolers.

CPU coolers performance, from worst to best, goes more-or-less like this:
  • top-down CPU air coolers (e.g Intel's stock cooler, AMP Wraith and the like)
  • 120mm rad AIO
  • 140mm rad AIO
  • medium-sized CPU air coolers
  • 240mm rad AIO
  • big-sized CPU air coolers / 280mm rad AIO
  • 360mm rad AIO
  • 420mm rad AIO
  • open-loop water cooling (if done correctly)
  • LN2 cooling
For most consumers, medium-sized CPU air cooler is more than enough. For CPU OC'ers, big-sized CPU air cooler is enough. Anything better from that, including open loop, is mainly for showing off. And LN2 is for record breaking.

Your CPU cooler is too weak. That's why you'll see high temps on load. So, if you want lower temps - upgrade your CPU cooler.
 
Reactions: Phaaze88
Aug 29, 2020
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Yes, I know that air coolers outperform aio coolers, but my old air cooler did not fit completely into my case and my components were catching dust. Is there anyway to improve my current situation? For example putting the fan in front of the rad so that is taking in cool air from outside my case instead of the fan taking in hot gpu air? I can't get another cooler. According to one person on Amazon, : "I’m hitting 33 degrees average on idle and playing a game (Rise of the tomb raider on ultra settings) for 20 minutes was hitting around 42-45 degrees. " and another, "This cooler works well with my overclocked Ryzen 7 2700x @ 4.2Ghz. It maintains a steady 29-31C on idle, up to 48C on gaming, and 56C on stress tests. " Can you give me some tips on how I could get my temps to the temps that the other people had without another cooler? Thanks!
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Ambassador
People with similar cpus
By which way, your i7-8700 and R7 2700X are similar CPUs? Other than they both being CPUs, they are completely different. With different: release date, core clock, core amount, thread amount, architecture, socket type, lithography, price, and even different manufacturer for god's sake. You can not possibly ask for the same temps, using the same cooler, out of your i7-8700 as other people are getting out of their R7 2700X.

It's like when you have Audi A8 and other person has Porsche 911 Turbo S and you're asking for the same 0-60 time (5.4 sec vs 2.7 sec), while pointing out that both are cars and must have the same performance. Really?

Can you give me some tips on how I could get my temps to the temps that the other people had without another cooler?
Well, since you want the same temps as you read from amazon reviews, ask them on how they managed to do that. I don't know how they did it.

However, the little what you can do, is adding more, high-end case fans to improve the airflow inside your case. You can also flip the fan on the rad around, so it pulls the cold air in from the top. But that works against natural convection of hot air rising and also creates high positive pressure inside your PC case. While positive pressure is better against the dust intake, it is also worse at cooling than negative pressure is.

Also, if you would have big-sized CPU air cooler or 280mm /360mm rad + ambient temp is 20-30C then, yes, you could get your CPU idle temps around 30C. Otherwise: No.

If your ambient temp is e.g 35C then there's almost no way on earth, where you can get 30C for CPU idle temps, regardless which CPU air cooler, AIO or open loop you use. Since all those coolers are cooled by ambient air. Only way to get your CPU temps lower than ambient temp is when you're using LN2 cooling.
 

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