I have been doing some research on water cooling and I am still deciding on if I want to go with a custom loop water cooling setup or if I want to use a closed loop setup. I do not plan on cooling my GPU(s). The closed loops are certainly cheaper but there is not as many options for cooling my hardware. How long do closed loops last? Would I be able to keep it for 3-4 years before I build a new system? What are the pro's and con's of water cooling and air cooling. Keep in mind that I like a quiet PC and my air cooled PC is not the best at keeping the noise down.
Closed Loop: Pros:
MUCH easier to install
Easy CPU upgrades
Fits all of today's sockets on just about every model Cons:
Not as good cooling
Will only cool your CPU
Custom System Pros:
Awseome cooling potential
Cools ALL of your components
Knowing how to watercool
Dangerous if you don't do it right
If you don't plan on cooling your GPU(s), I would just get a closed loop system, and save money. The NZXT Kraken X60 runs for about $115USD, and is a great watercooler. I would just pick up some aftermarket fans for it, from Noctua or Corsair, because NZXT fans tend to be loud.
If you just cool the CPU in a closed loop system, your GPU fans will still be spinning, and making lots of noise. If you do a full custom setup, the only fans spinning will be static pressure fanse at 800-1000 rpm, cooling everything.
Firstly, a water cooling loop does not lower the amount of heat coming from the CPU it just dissipates heat more effectively than air. Customer water loops require a lot of expense and in my opinion should only be bought if you want to cool your GPU and maybe other components but if you want to cool only your CPU then a closed loops is more ideal as more profitable. Now water can dissipate heat more effectively than air meaning in terms of sound a water cooling loop is more quiet because it is able to operate the fans at lower rpms to maintain an effective temp of let's say 60C while a CPU fan cooler would run at higher RPMs to maintain the same temperature. Making water cooling a more quieter solution but not really a cooler solution, unless you plan on manually co-ordinate the fan rpms which I highly recommenced you don't. Even for overclocking the cpu the water cooling loop would run quieter but would maintain the same temps of an air cooler but at higher rpms. However these temperatures can differntiate depending on your cooling environment and how your motherboard and/or third-party software operates the fans such as the Corsair program.
You will be able to keep a water cooling loop for an average of 5 years depending on how its maintained.
your air cooled PC being noisy is honestly your fault, an hour of research can save you alot, for example the Cougar 4-Pack 120mm fans, run max at 1200RPM, 17DB and can maintain 60CFM while the Cooler Master Sikleflow runs max at 2000RPM, 19.9 DB and maintain 69CFM. you might think the sikleflows are better but they run at higher RPMs so there much louder while the Cougar fans are quieter and have a much longer lifespan of 150K compares to 50K not to mention they're roughly the same price $7.
When it comes to options for closed loop water cooling, there is quite a number, but like you said your only cooling your CPU, what customization do you really need?