Does Watercooling Suck?

Track

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Ive always thought that watercooling was the next step in cooling, above air. The "enthusiest" solution if u will.

Now, trying to pick the right coolers for my next ultimate-end PC, i see that watercooling is actually not much better than air-cooling at keeping down temperatures.

This, coupled with the headache that u get with trying to set up watercooling, means to me that watercooling kind of well.. sucks.
I mean watercooling is a lot more expensive than air-cooling, its much more difficult to set up, its noisier, there are a lot more things that u have to worry about.. and frankly, if the cooling isnt better, why bother?

VF900 beats Tide Water

CNPS 9500 beats Big Water

My guess is that air-cooling has come so far in the past year that high-end air coolers, like the Tuniq Tower, the Scythe Infinity, the VF900, the HR-03, and the CNPS 9700, have just become a lot better than noisy watercooling.

Now, im assuming that if u have enough money, u could probably get a watercooling kit that will outdo any air cooler.. but then where is price/performance being concearned? I can buy a Tec9 cooler, or a Liquid Nitrogen cooler, or even build my own for that price.


So does anyone agree with this, or have i just been looking in the wrong place for watercooling (it seems to be the only ones that u can find now-adays)?

Thnx for listening.
 

ouch1

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LOL you are comparing low-end water-cooling kits to high-end air-coolers.

One thing for you to think about though is that standard lquid cooling cannot take your cpu below ambient air temps. That is because the liquid is not cooler than the air it is surrounded by unless you were to put the radiator into a chiller of some sort. My system usually sits within 2-4C of ambient air temps. I would love to see an air cooler do the same thing without relying on a peltier (or other chiiler tech).

Another thing that you are wrong about is you said liquid cooling is noisier than air cooling. You are way wrong there. I have a Gigabyte 3D Galaxy liquid cooling kit and with the fan on the radiator at 1200-1500RPM I cannot hear it. Heck I can hear the fan on my 8800GTS, and the fan on my nForce590 northbridge. But I cannot hear the fan on my radiator, even if I put my ear within 2 feet of it I cannot hear it. Nor can I hear my pump it is pretty much silent as far as I can tell.

Yes I have to empty and flush my cooling system at least once a year. But I feel the superior cooling is worth it. Plus ut us hard to beat the sight of 5/8" OD tubing glowing a bright blue under the light from my UV cold cathode lights.

And inthe past 1.5 years and 2 upgrades I have not had to buy a new heatsink since my liquid cooling kit worked on each type with any modifications. Or having to buy extra hardware.

So I feel that my money has been well spent.

-ouch1

BTW check out the following sites for good water cooling:
http://www.dangerden.com/news.php
http://www.shoppts.com/
http://www.xoxide.com/
http://www.frozencpu.com/
 

Track

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So ur saying that the Thermaltake solutions are "low-end"? Low-end as in what, they have bad waterblocks/inefficient pumps?

Alright, so if medium-end or high-end watercooling is better, then where do i find it? i have not been able to find anything other than "all-in-one" solutions like the Big Water, the Tide Water and the Zalman one that looks like a.. rocket ( :lol: ).

And would these high-end solutions be more costly? If i can build a single watercooling solution and run it through my graphics card AND my CPU, then i think i may just be able to justify the cost.

Thnx again!
 

ouch1

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So ur saying that the Thermaltake solutions are "low-end"? Low-end as in what, they have bad waterblocks/inefficient pumps?
Try thier best pump is only 400Lph (roughly 100GalPH) and thier biggest tubing is 3/8" ID (inner-diameter). Most of Dangerden's kits come with 1/4" ID tubing instead of the 3/8" on some of thier kits. While most mid range pumps do at least 200GalPH (usually around 240-250GalPH) while using 1/2" ID tubing. That means alot more water comes in contact with your CPU's water block over the same given time as the Thermaltake kit can do. Plus most mid range kits have darn near silent pumps.

Track said:
Alright, so if medium-end or high-end watercooling is better, then where do i find it? i have not been able to find anything other than "all-in-one" solutions like the Big Water, the Tide Water and the Zalman one that looks like a.. rocket ( :lol: ).[/url]

Check out these sites and you will find good deals on mid range liquid cooling kits, and if you are up to it high-end liquid cooling too:
DangerDen
Petra's Tech Shop
xOxide
FrozenCPU
Dorectron

And would these high-end solutions be more costly? If i can build a single watercooling solution and run it through my graphics card AND my CPU, then i think i may just be able to justify the cost.

Thnx again!
High-end can be more costly but can allow for way more overclocking than air cooling will give you. Chek out Dangerden or Petra's. They both have some really good stuff.

Heck to give you an idea how much you can OC on water-cooling DangerDen created a waterblock for the 8800GTS video cards (it is finally available), and people have reported 30% overclocks without a problem. That is at least 650MHz on the GPU and 2.1GHz on the RAM compared to a stock 500MHz for the GPU and 1.6GHz for the RAM. All with virtually silent cooling!
 

ninjaquick

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My 130 dollar titan Nikita, modded for better airflow and quieter operation (near silent, quieter than my ultra silent 120mm rear case fan) runs my system a little warmer than air cooling but at a fraction of the noise. My x850xt never goes over 40 degrees (core). Water cooling is just crazy more expensive than air cooling which only really shines in large cases with plenty of cold air coming in. If the air sits in a fully loaded case on air coolers and high end video cards, it gets hot very fast, not to mention noisy. Really, water cooling pwns. My CPU never goes over 40C on hot (30C) days.
 

Track

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Alright..

So having larger tubes is better? The bigger the better?
And having the most Liters per hour? If the noise on the 400 L/hour is roughly 16dbA, i dont see why i cant get even a 2000 L/hour pump.
And then it basicly has to do with how u cool the water, right? I can have a few fans.. or maybe do something more effective.
Thats the whole build right?

I do have a concearn though..
On all the watercooling systems ive seen, the water goes THROUGH the CPU and then into the GPU.. so all the hot water is taken from the CPU and then put onto the GPU. Isnt that pretty bad cooling for the GPU?

And also, im going to have a very large ammount of airflow inside my case. Would air cooling be better than watercooling in that instance?
I really dont see the point in spending twice as much money, only to be able to overclock my CPU to 4.5Ghz, instead of 4.0Ghz..
The GPU however is another story, but i dont see an all-in-one GPU only cooler except the Tide Water wich sucks.
 

Eviltwin17

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meh, watercooling isnt worth the price you pay for it. the cheap models are at high risk of leaking and dont really cool your processor that much better than a high end heatsink and fan. If you want really good cooling youll have to buy the expensive water cooling. To be perfectly honest if your looking to overclock all current processors can overclock well on high end air coolers. You will usually reach a wall in stability issues between the cpu/ram/motherboard before you reach stability issues with heat....just something to think about
 

wun911

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Water is a lot of work and money....

Is it worth it? Only if you OC your C2D past 4Ghz....

Is vapour chill better with less hassels? Probably yes no leaks and better preformance. (good if the power bills are inclusive of the rent)
 

mcain591

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Are you kidding me? If you know anything about watercooling, you would know not to use those two pieces of $h** for a comparison.

Haven't you heard the rule of thumb? "The best aircooler is nearly equal to the worst watercooler".

Its also not that expensive. For a high end set-up (CPU+GPU+NB+3fanrad+2fanrad), it hits around 400. To get a reasonable set-up, (CPU+GPU+2fanrad+1fanrad), you are right below 300.

Regarding phase change, retail units are not worth it for the $$$, and the fact that they cannot handle quad-cores. If you go phase change, save a lot of money, and either build one yourself, or get someone else to.

The reality is, w/cooling is easier to maintain, as you don't need to worry about condensation as with phase change.
 

Track

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Ok, so if i build this, its going to be high-end or it wont be worth the hassle. But that would cost a bundle right?

The best pump ive seen on Swiftech's site is a 350gph and its very expensive. Although ive found a 325gph pump for 15$, does that mean its crap?

And my biggest question is - how can i cool the water to below ambient temperatures? I thought of freezing it, but that would cause condensation in the tubes, due to the difference in temperatures between the inside of the water tank and the outside.. any other suggestions? seems that if i can just cool the water to ambient temperatures, air cooling is a better idea price/performance wise.

One last thing! I saw some guy "boil" his CPU, as in he used watercooling and turned off the pump so the water that came in contact with the CPU came to a quick boil. Then he turned his pump back on and his temperatures went from 30-40C to 3-4C.. and my guess is that he fucked up the sensor chip that was supposed to detect the CPU temperature.. either that or making ur CPU hotter.... makes it colder :?
 

AdamBomb42

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I do have a concearn though..
On all the watercooling systems ive seen, the water goes THROUGH the CPU and then into the GPU.. so all the hot water is taken from the CPU and then put onto the GPU. Isnt that pretty bad cooling for the GPU?
It's not the most effective, but it still works good that way. I have a dual radiator system that goes cpu > rad> gpu > rad > res > pump.

Go get a Swiftech Apogee GT, that block is amazing. I have seen my idle temp dip below ambient temp for a sec but stays about 1-2 degrees above. As for the gpu I recommend the Danger Den Maze 5. I have a suspicion that the temp diode on the 7900 does not read below 30C, because it remains there at idle.

One more thing...my liquid system is far quieter that my air cooled system.
 

proof

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The best water cooling solution is a DIY. The top-of-the-line products are listed in order of their quality IMHO:

Aqua Computer
PolarFlo
DangerDen
Koolance
Thermaltake
 

xrunner123

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Whomever said that watercooling is not as effective as air doesn't really understand physics.

Water will always have better thermal capacity than air.
Why do you think cars use radiators and coolant to remove heat? The question is really what is the best system to use.

The key is to have a good heat exchanger and have the appropriate flow to have a low delta T across it. The higher the flowrate, the lower the drop across the cooler. The larger the heat exchanger/fan combo, the closer to ambient you can get.

To run chilled water you can insulate the water tubes and coat exposed surfaces with insulating rubber. If you reduce surface temperature to below the dew point, you can eliminate condensation problems.
 

cletus_slackjawd

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not much to add here but my own opinion of course.

I agree with the original assumption. Water cooling is potentially dangerous, loud, not really necessary, and more expensive the conventional cooling.

My buddy had water cooling on a very high end custom built system a few years ago and had a leak that destroy his Athlon FX-57, and motherboard which at the time accounted for a loss of about US$1,300.00

I didn't like it either, it was way too loud. Especially today with modern CPU's designed with better thermals and high end air cooled heat sinks that can be nearly impossible to saturated with heat I just don't see the point.

I think water cooling is something to mess with ONLY after you've done everything else you can to a system.
 

BigRollTide

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that sports cars have huge air ducts to get more oxygen into the engine...the air ducts are not for cooling. The engine is cooled 95% by the water in the coolant system which uses is the radiator to cool that water. That water is air cooled and coolant cooled inside the radiator, but the air ducts have nothing to do with that. A car's engine is a "water cooled" system.
 

Gh0stDrag0n

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When done right a water cooled setup will stomp an air cooled setup every time with higher overclocks, overclock stability, and thermal performance. DIY systems are much better than kits, research the components before you buy.
For below ambient temps a peltier with a water block is the way to go, of course with all extreme setups there is the possibility of failure. You can't live on the edge without getting cut every now and then. There are ways to limit the chance of failure and/or minimize the damage but it is always a possibility. It is what being an enthusiast is all about, and we all have the "scars" to prove it.
Water cooling is something noobs should not get involved in, cheap "kits" burn many a noob. Most of whom should have never opened their "dell" in the first place.
 

Fedor

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not much to add here but my own opinion of course.

I agree with the original assumption. Water cooling is potentially dangerous, loud, not really necessary, and more expensive the conventional cooling.

My buddy had water cooling on a very high end custom built system a few years ago and had a leak that destroy his Athlon FX-57, and motherboard which at the time accounted for a loss of about US$1,300.00

I didn't like it either, it was way too loud. Especially today with modern CPU's designed with better thermals and high end air cooled heat sinks that can be nearly impossible to saturated with heat I just don't see the point.

I think water cooling is something to mess with ONLY after you've done everything else you can to a system.
So because your friend had a loud watercooling kit all of them in existence are loud and crappy huh? Heh...

The great thing about watercooling is that you can either buy a kit to your needs, or better yet DIY the system according to your needs precisely - which can mean GREAT cooling with some noise, or very good cooling in near silence. It's completely customisable, which is one of the most appealing factors. If you do buy a whole kit though, don't go with the **** ones the OP mentioned, at least get a Swiftech one.
 

proof

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In a gasolineengine:
The fuel is sprayed into the cylinder in a very fine mist.
The fuel mixes with air from the air intake to create a volitile mixture.
The spark plug(s) ignight the fiel.
The resulting explosion drives the piston downwards.
The piston which is attached to the crank shaft turns the crank shaft.
The crank shaft turns the drive shaft.
The drive shaft turns the wheels.

In a diesel engine:
The diesel is spray into the cylinder in a very fine mist.
The diesel mixes with air from the air intake to create a volitile mixture.
The piston is perfectly timed and calibrated to start it's upward stroke as the diesel is being spray into the cylinder.
The piston compressed the diesel until it explodes which drives the piston downwards.
The piston which is attached to the crank shaft turns the crank shaft.
The crank shaft turns the drive shaft.
The drive shaft turns the wheels.
 

proof

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Well, you do have turbo chargers that force air into the engine at high speed which creates pressure but other than that it is just miniscule amounts. Even with a turbo it is still small.
 

Track

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I still dont know wich pump to buy.. the cheap one that i found can only pump water to a height of 5 feet (whatever that means), and the expensive one can pump it to 10.

And i still havnt found a good radiator and i dont understand how im supposed to use "peltiar". The radiator is the most important part, but everyone keeps saying that the Thermaltake big water sucks, and is "low end", when i cant find a radiator that is better than what they have - a heatsink and a fan.
 

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