Water AIO cooler or Air cooler?

lawcheatshen

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Nov 30, 2017
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Hi guys, i am going to build a new pc with i7 8700k and going to o/c it with 5.0ghz.

However, heatsink is very concern when i need to o/c. I do not know which one is the best choice for me...

 

marksavio

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Dec 23, 2017
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well it all boils down to how much are you willing to spend and what looks good and fits to your build. Here are teh popular high end ones currently among z370 builders but im sure there are a couple more to add on the list. the bad thing about 1.5Kg heat sinks on air is that it will break you mobo if you move your case alot of you suddenly drop your case with some force but should be generally okay if you dont move it too much. as for water coolers, the corsair ones (esp the i v2 series) are pretty reliable despite people complaining about leaks and weird pump noises coming from their system. if by some off chance you get a defective one, corsair has a very good warranty and support for you to get a replacement. generally, air coolers will have longer lifespan and easier to maintain close to 10 years but for AIO water coolers i would prefer to get a new by 5 years at most.

1. be quiet! Dark Pro 3
2. Noctua NH-D15
3. Corsair H100i v2
4. nzxt kraken x52/62 series

any of them are good enough to OC to 5Ghz to ave max temps of 75-80C. but i havent upgraded my cooler (H80i v2 front mounted push pull intake) and it handles 5Ghz OC on the asus strix MOBO just fine for me on adaptive offset voltage tho.
 

marksavio

Estimable
Dec 23, 2017
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well it all boils down to how much are you willing to spend and what looks good and fits to your build. Here are teh popular high end ones currently among z370 builders but im sure there are a couple more to add on the list. the bad thing about 1.5Kg heat sinks on air is that it will break you mobo if you move your case alot of you suddenly drop your case with some force but should be generally okay if you dont move it too much. as for water coolers, the corsair ones (esp the i v2 series) are pretty reliable despite people complaining about leaks and weird pump noises coming from their system. if by some off chance you get a defective one, corsair has a very good warranty and support for you to get a replacement. generally, air coolers will have longer lifespan and easier to maintain close to 10 years but for AIO water coolers i would prefer to get a new by 5 years at most.

1. be quiet! Dark Pro 3
2. Noctua NH-D15
3. Corsair H100i v2
4. nzxt kraken x52/62 series

any of them are good enough to OC to 5Ghz to ave max temps of 75-80C. but i havent upgraded my cooler (H80i v2 front mounted push pull intake) and it handles 5Ghz OC on the asus strix MOBO just fine for me on adaptive offset voltage tho.
 

adamscurr

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Apr 6, 2013
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I also use a AIO... I prefer the look to it to be honest... It gives a nice, clean look to your PC and you can see all your parts! :)

I use a Corsair H110i and it's awesome on my 6700k...

Adam
 

adamscurr

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Apr 6, 2013
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I'm not too familiar with the Coolermaster model you mentioned... From just looking at a pic of it, the rad looks thin... But then again, it would be very difficult to tell from pics...

Personally, I would look at user reviews of it... You can normally tell a lot of about a product from reviewers... Skip the people who give it 1 star and rant and those who give it 5 stars and say it is great... Between the two, you can normally find a lot of people who will give it honest reviews...

Adam
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Much of this debate depends on whether you value much difference in AIO coolers and good air coolers. I personally have custom watercooled for 15 years and in the time that AIO coolers have been on the market, the difference in good air and decent, cheap liquid cooling is somewhat minimal. Even with a large radiator, AIO coolers typically require higher speed fans in order to perform well.

I test and review CPU coolers and while you see the words 'liquid cooling', that doesn't mean its 'good liquid cooling' or comparable to anything you can get in a full watercooling loop.

Best bang for your buck is big air on a budget with good fans.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
In testing several AIOs, I've seen some that are fairly decent, but other that haven't impressed me, but the real problem is that once someone reads the words 'liquid cooling' they immediately think it performs like full watercooling, and not more like....decent air cooling, or worse.

I've also seen some air coolers that are really impressive that actually surprise you how well they function, and for lower cost.

The thing about cooling is getting down to how well a cooler is designed and the attention paid for thermal deltas and heat exchange, rather than making it look cool first and performance secondary or even tertiary.
 

mjbn1977

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Aug 20, 2015
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I used to have a Corsair H60 on my old built. It was the loudest part of my system and actually got louder and louder over time. For the new 8700k system that I just built I decided to go with a air/tower cooler. I've settled on the beQuiet Dark Rock Pro 3. That one can do 250W TDP and is absolutely silent. I can only hear it during stress tests when the CPU hits more then 90 degrees C and the CPU fans go 100% and even then it not as loud as my MSI Geforce 970 Gaming 4G under full load. During normal use and overclocked gaming it is inaudible. The all in one water coolers can get a little louder (pump and large fans with high RPMs). Not necessarily bad, especially if you game with loud sound or headphones. Its preference, I like my system to run silent and cool. Also, air coolers are usually a little cheaper, but a bigger pain to install and you need a case that can fit a big brick like that.

But if you want to do overclocking you need to go with either the big boy air cooler or one of the better all-in-one water cooling systems.

I just overclocked my 8700k system using the beQuiet Dark Rock Pro 3. I can run the 8700k absolut stable and quiet at 4.8Ghz with 1.27 Vcore and LLC 4. I can get the system running at 5.0GHz using Vcore 1.35 and LLC 4 (passed Cinebench, Intel Extreme Tuning tool and Prime95 V26.6 stress test, but runs kinda hot under Prime95 V29.4b5 without activated AVX offset). I'm still in the process of tweeking the 5.0 OC.

Private message me if you interested in how I am making out (since I have the same CPU with the same overclocking goal as you).

I am very happy with the Dark Rock Pro 3. I also use beQuiet silent wings 3 fans for my case. Keeps everything nice, cool and silent. And it looks cool in the case ;-)
 

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