Question Myth about Water Cooling

IDProG

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Jul 6, 2016
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DISCLAIMER: This is for standard Mid Tower Case, not some crazy custom water cooling case with dedicated chamber for radiators at the bottom.

Without further ado, here's the myth:
It doesn't matter what fan configuration you implement for your water cooling, it's always not a good thing.

Here's the explanation for the myth:

If a radiator is placed at the intake part of the case (with intake fans), you will be blowing hot air inside the case, increasing the "room" temperature inside the case and worsening the quality of cooling inside the case. Also, in some cases of AIO, you straight up can't mount radiator at the front, because it's too far from the motherboard.

If a radiator is placed at the top of the case (with intake fans), not only you will be blowing hot air directly to your motherboard, you will also be fighting against convection, further worsening the cooling capability.

If a radiator is placed at the top of the case (with exhaust fans), you will be taking hot air from GPU and CPU (even after water cooled, CPU at around 60-70°C will still produce hot air), making cooling capability weaker.

Yes, you can mount radiator at the back with exhaust fans, but you will be taking hot air from CPU, only single fan radiator is supported, and we know that single fan radiator is inferior in performance compared to dual fan radiator.

What do you think about the myth? What is true and false about the myth? Just curious.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
DISCLAIMER: This is for standard Mid Tower Case, not some crazy custom water cooling case with dedicated chamber for radiators at the bottom.

Without further ado, here's the myth:
It doesn't matter what fan configuration you implement for your water cooling, it's always not a good thing.

Here's the explanation for the myth:

If a radiator is placed at the intake part of the case (with intake fans), you will be blowing hot air inside the case, increasing the "room" temperature inside the case and worsening the quality of cooling inside the case. Also, in some cases of AIO, you straight up can't mount radiator at the front, because it's too far from the motherboard.

If a radiator is placed at the top of the case (with intake fans), not only you will be blowing hot air directly to your motherboard, you will also be fighting against convection, further worsening the cooling capability.

If a radiator is placed at the top of the case (with exhaust fans), you will be taking hot air from GPU and CPU (even after water cooled, CPU at around 60-70°C will still produce hot air), making cooling capability weaker.

Yes, you can mount radiator at the back with exhaust fans, but you will be taking hot air from CPU, only single fan radiator is supported, and we know that single fan radiator is inferior in performance compared to dual fan radiator.

What do you think about the myth? What is true and false about the myth? Just curious.
It depends on WHAT is being water cooled. Just the CPU with an AIO? A custom loop with CPU and GPU? Or even a custom loop with CPU, GPU and VRM.
It also depends on how close to the absolute edge of "burning things up" you are pushing. A 5C ambient increase inside the case won't matter in 99% of the usage.
 

IDProG

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Jul 6, 2016
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It depends on WHAT is being water cooled. Just the CPU with an AIO? A custom loop with CPU and GPU? Or even a custom loop with CPU, GPU and VRM.
It also depends on how close to the absolute edge of "burning things up" you are pushing. A 5C ambient increase inside the case won't matter in 99% of the usage.
More so CPU AIO, less so custom water loop.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
More so CPU AIO, less so custom water loop.
Then the second "depends" comes into play. How much total airflow is going through the case. Is it ballanced, positive, or negative pressure? How hard are you pushing it? Where does the GPUs vent? Is it axial fans that use the case for "exhaust" or is it a blower style that uses the back vents for exhaust.
I don't think there is a "myth". There are just design trade-offs.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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What do you think about the myth? What is true and false about the myth? Just curious.
As above, "it depends".
No two parts configurations are exactly the same.

Given the same CPU, AIO, workload...top exhaust might be better in Case A, whereas front intake might be better in Case B.


And from my own admittedly unscientific temp testing, there isn't a whole lot of issue with "heat rises".
I found no more than a couple degrees difference between the temp at the bottom of the case and at the top.

Given sufficient fans, IN the front/OUT the top/back, the air is mixed and exchanged too quickly for that to be an issue.
"sufficient" = don't go overboard...;)
 

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