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Should water cooling or Air cool and put the money into better hardware?

Hi All,
I’ve been planning on building a new Micro atx pc for a while and with Ryzen looking promising I might finally do it. This is my current build:

Corsair 500R Case
Z77 Asrock Extreme 4 Motherboard
I5-3570K Processor OC to 4.4Ghz
Corsair h100i – Bit noisy and I’ve learnt alot since this my first build
Samsung 840 EVO 500gb SSD
2Tb 7200rpm HDD
Gigabtye HD 7950

Recently my GPU isn’t working and it’s either the motherboard or the gpu :/ (anyway it’s time for an upgrade).

Getting back to my question I’m wondering a couple of things if I should water cooling or Air cool and put the money into better hardware.?

I’ve done quite alot of research on water cooling and i’d either go with a EK pred with a water cooling block on the GPU say (£250 total). A full EK water cooling system costing say (£350). I could arctic cooler say iii- 140 (£100 and a cpu cooler).
Air Cooling I can get a decent Air cooler (maybe Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 3 for £65) and i can leave my new Vega GPU with gigabyte or MSI air cooling solution. Therefore saving £200 ish. With this £200 more cash i could buy a much better gpu and cpu (currently thinking of spending gpu £350 and cpu £250 roughly) I can leave them not overclocked or even under volt and I would still get better performance.

Basically should I spend extra money on watercooling or Aircool and put the money into better hardware? Any of the components i’ve listed do you think there is a better replacement? I want the build to be silent and i don't really like the look of massive air coolers but maybe I can be convinced :).
34 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about water cooling air cool put money hardware
  1. Aircool and use the money somewhere else.
  2. Watercooling is for coolness, and i don't mean temps.

    If money is an object - there is no question. Get the better hardware.

    There is no point in spending a bunch of money on water cooling if you don't already have top of the line hardware.
  3. rich9573 said:
    Hi All,
    I’ve been planning on building a new Micro atx pc for a while and with Ryzen looking promising I might finally do it. This is my current build:

    Corsair 500R Case
    Z77 Asrock Extreme 4 Motherboard
    I5-3570K Processor OC to 4.4Ghz
    Corsair h100i – Bit noisy and I’ve learnt alot since this my first build
    Samsung 840 EVO 500gb SSD
    2Tb 7200rpm HDD
    Gigabtye HD 7950

    Recently my GPU isn’t working and it’s either the motherboard or the gpu :/ (anyway it’s time for an upgrade).

    Getting back to my question I’m wondering a couple of things if I should water cooling or Air cool and put the money into better hardware.?

    I’ve done quite alot of research on water cooling and i’d either go with a EK pred with a water cooling block on the GPU say (£250 total). A full EK water cooling system costing say (£350). I could arctic cooler say iii- 140 (£100 and a cpu cooler).
    Air Cooling I can get a decent Air cooler (maybe Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 3 for £65) and i can leave my new Vega GPU with gigabyte or MSI air cooling solution. Therefore saving £200 ish. With this £200 more cash i could buy a much better gpu and cpu (currently thinking of spending gpu £350 and cpu £250 roughly) I can leave them not overclocked or even under volt and I would still get better performance.

    Basically should I spend extra money on watercooling or Aircool and put the money into better hardware? Any of the components i’ve listed do you think there is a better replacement? I want the build to be silent and i don't really like the look of massive air coolers but maybe I can be convinced :).


    I have seen too many AIO and custom loop water coolers give unsatisfactory results or catastrophically fail. Even veterans(Jayz2cents---spellcheck?) have failures and when water and electricity meet they never get along. They've tried going to counselors and have taken many anger management courses but nothing works.

    The Pro 3 or Noctua's NH D-14 would be good. BUT I'm not sure the Noctua would fit. It would however keep your CPU relatively cool even when moderately OC'd. The Noctua uses 140mm fans so it can move more air with less noise. I like my little 212 Evo. When I see it it just let's me know my CPU is being taken care of. When I see a water cooler I think it looks neat but is that water circulating and what happens if it springs a leak during a gaming session and how do I explain to EVGA that I burnt their 1080Ti and now I need to exchange this dead card?
  4. Best answer
    Your 3570K is a very good gaming processor, particularly when overclocked.
    I have doubts that you will find anything significantly better in Ryzen.
    But, one can hope.

    Your cpu can run a very much stronger graphics card and I would upgrade that first.
    Modern intel processors will run out of safe vcore limits before they run out of thermal limits.
    That assumes you have a well ventilated case and a decent air cooler.

    If you are looking for a more compact M-ATX case, look at the Silverstone TJ-08E.

    As to liquid cooling:
    My canned rant on liquid cooling:
    ------------------------start of rant-------------------
    You buy a liquid cooler to be able to extract an extra multiplier or two out of your OC.
    How much do you really need?
    I do not much like all in one liquid coolers when a good air cooler like a Noctua or phanteks can do the job just as well.
    A liquid cooler will be expensive, noisy, less reliable, and will not cool any better
    in a well ventilated case.
    Liquid cooling is really air cooling, it just puts the heat exchange in a different place.
    The orientation of the radiator will cause a problem.
    If you orient it to take in cool air from the outside, you will cool the cpu better, but the hot air then circulates inside the case heating up the graphics card and motherboard.
    If you orient it to exhaust(which I think is better) , then your cpu cooling will be less effective because it uses pre heated case air.
    And... I have read too many tales of woe when a liquid cooler leaks.
    google "H100 leak"
    I would support an AIO cooler only in a space restricted case.
    -----------------------end of rant--------------------------

    Your pc will be quieter, more reliable, and will be cooled equally well with a decent air cooler.
  5. ....

    You realize that your car is full of plumbing too? Coolant so hot it would flash off if it weren't laced with ethelyne glycol.

    You know that thing on your sink - the faucet. Did you know there are pipes EVERYWHERE feeding that wonderful liquid all over your home?

    To think that plumbing is somehow dangerous, or accident prone - is absolutely silly.

    Now to be fair - if i sweat my own pipes I make damn sure they don't leak before i pin them up - i'm no plumber right? But that said. leaks RARELY(never?) just "spring" up.

    Think about how many homes you have been in, how many times you ahve flushed the toilet or taken a shower. now think about every person you know, and how often they use plumbing...

    Compression fittings, barbs, sweated copper, galvanized steel, PEX, whatever you use - are all INCREDIBLY reliable - to the point of being damn near failsafe.

    Fear of water is silly - your PC is no more likely to leak than the pipes in your house.
  6. I will have to disagree, i love my custom liquid cooling loop a lot !! if done correctly with quality parts it's worth it. I will have to admit i have sprung a leak lol a bad one. I was in game out of no where started lagging acting weird. i look in case one of the tubes came off was just fire hosing liquid all over the motherboard. What did i do next :), spent 3 hours with a Q tip and rubbing alcohol. Then called asus told them it just randomly stopped working. Got a replacement in a week :) lol. It happened again when i added 1070 to look took out 580gtx. Somehow it got some in the cpu area. it booted shut off immediately. I put a blow dryer on it for 1 hour it booted back up zero issues since.

    https://s23.postimg.org/di052ja17/20161015_103816.jpgupload photo
  7. LOL too funny. What kind of fittings were you using :S
  8. greens said:
    ....

    You realize that your car is full of plumbing too? Coolant so hot it would flash off if it weren't laced with ethelyne glycol.

    You know that thing on your sink - the faucet. Did you know there are pipes EVERYWHERE feeding that wonderful liquid all over your home?

    To think that plumbing is somehow dangerous, or accident prone - is absolutely silly.

    Now to be fair - if i sweat my own pipes I make damn sure they don't leak before i pin them up - i'm no plumber right? But that said. leaks RARELY(never?) just "spring" up.

    Think about how many homes you have been in, how many times you ahve flushed the toilet or taken a shower. now think about every person you know, and how often they use plumbing...

    Compression fittings, barbs, sweated copper, galvanized steel, PEX, whatever you use - are all INCREDIBLY reliable - to the point of being damn near failsafe.

    Fear of water is silly - your PC is no more likely to leak than the pipes in your house.


    Okay. Let's takes Green's truth a little further. I occasionally help out some realtors. Actually brokers. Known them now for about 13 years. They own and or manage about 150 properties. The kitchen sink pops a leak and where does the water go? What about the water heater? The water is cleaned up and usually isn't an issue. What type of outlet's are required near water? Just another code to make houses more expensive. It's also a preventative measure because they know leaks occasionally happen. Not OFTEN like ever year or even 5 but they happen. If I have a $600 gfx card under my sink and I had a choice of air or water above it, I choose air. I've ran thousands of feet of PEX. That stuff in my experience is ALMOST leakproof. About to run some under a house in the next month or so. We're going to insulate it. See how winter treats it.

    I'm not opposed to water cooling. There are companies built on water-cooling. I have also seen the aftermaths when something does go wrong.

    BTW for those that don't know the answer is GFCI.
  9. Greens same exact ones in the pic barbed, i usually throw a zip tie on there also. Well reason it popped off was my fault. i reached in there to add SSDs at the times. i hit the hose with my arm several times. didnt notice i ended up pulling it off completely just the tip was in it. Finally it just popped off after several hours lol. ooopppss worst part was explaining to my Landlord Why i had a Giant red circle on the new white carpet he installed. Yea it came out of my security deposit :( lol
  10. Hey all,

    Thanks for all the really useful info! I think i'll go air cooling this time and put my money on the hardware side :)

    I mean if i want to in the future i can always go water cooling route. Just i'm getting married and buying a house this year so I don't want to go to crazy :p.

    burtman88 thanks for the awesome story and picture!
  11. Burtman, you didn't use hose clamps on your barbed fittings?? That was probably the mistake! :P

    Heck yeah man, i just got married and bought a house.
    Fortunately i had dropped like $2k on my build just weeks prior :D

    Kiss your free time goodbye. I've been a painter for nearly a year now - and some day I hope to finish the damn house. haha.
  12. Lol nope and i am still not using hose clamps, You want to know why?!?!? Because i like to PArty and live life dangerous for me and my PC!!!! Lol i am replacing my lines very soon as i get a new case. i will do with the new lines. Hell yah new pC and congrats with the Marriage .
  13. Liquid cooling is a hobby for people who aren't constrained by a budget. You will get exactly 0 more performance out of modern components by liquid cooling them while spending hundreds of dollars more on parts and adding more unnecessary potential points of failure.
  14. Your thread's body reads out like a paradox, if you want to move for an matx build, don't you think you should be waiting for Ryzen to finally see launch/release? The other question is if you're moving towards an matx build, how much of a radiator space are you contemplating? Now if you're going to shell out on say the EK predator, are you looking at the 360 or the 240mm version? You should keep in mind that the cooler can be a possible candidate for your future build via a transplant...sad thing is without the hardware being in existence(Ryzen) yet it'd be wise to stick with what you have, just long enough for Ryzen to come out.

    Based on the TDP of your selected components you can gauge if going with an aircooler or a custom water cooling build would be worth it. Speaking of which, if you do go for the EK Predator series, you should be looking at the QDC version. Last note, please read through the watercooling stickY(linked in my sig space) to get a better grip on the world of watercooling.
  15. anort3 said:
    Liquid cooling is a hobby for people who aren't constrained by a budget. You will get exactly 0 more performance out of modern components by liquid cooling them while spending hundreds of dollars more on parts and adding more unnecessary potential points of failure.


    Yeah I've done tons of research into it, and you're looking at minimum like $500 for a decent setup if you want to liquid cool your GPU and CPU, and that's not even including pipe fittings, coolant changes, the GPU block and backplate, and all the other equipment you would need to make it work. Air is safer and it will cost you way less in the long run.
  16. Skylake and Kaby Lake reach a hard wall well before heat becomes a problem as does Pascal. Those are the best parts on the market for a reasonable gaming build.

    Broadwell-E doesn't count. Those things are ridiculous heat generators and require liquid for much overclocking but they don't belong in a reasonable gaming build.

    Edit: And obviously the FX 9xxx series but they don't belong in any build. ;)
  17. Well liquid cooling does work well in many different situations. yes it costs more, does't mean it's worthless. I never go over a certain temp point with my video card and CPU. Also yes it is enthusiast build, but i still wont regret buying it. My pc is completely silent, If i want to i turn my fans on max at 3200 rpms and it sounds like it will fly away. Dropping temps 6 C under full load in a non AC hot room. ANOrt have you personally owned a whole Custom looped system with good components?
  18. Nope, don't have the time to devote or the interest. Big air coolers have done me just fine since my first real overclocking back in the early Pentium 4 days some 15 years ago. And I'd rather just spend the money on turning the AC down a few degrees. That makes both me and the computer happy. :)
  19. burtman88 said:
    Well liquid cooling does work well in many different situations. yes it costs more, does't mean it's worthless. I never go over a certain temp point with my video card and CPU. Also yes it is enthusiast build, but i still wont regret buying it. My pc is completely silent, If i want to i turn my fans on max at 3200 rpms and it sounds like it will fly away. Dropping temps 6 C under full load in a non AC hot room. ANOrt have you personally owned a whole Custom looped system with good components?


    I like my 212 Evo. I have some aftermarket fans on either side of it and it too can easily sound like a mini-jet engine ready to take off. I always make sure I have a second opinion where temperatures are concerned
    Normally it's a whisper in the wind that is immediately drowned out with any audio playback. Never a bother. I also adjusted my CPU fan curve and run MSI AB when gaming so it applies the custom curve for my GFX card. I'm glad we all have so many options. Cooling with mineral oil, water or air(in reverse order of popularity) seems the most popular. Ever see those big metal cylinders at the top of some electrical poles? Filled with lots of copper, cardboard, other things and also a lot of mineral oil.



    is what Speccy told me so I look to HwMonitor and it said
  20. Unless you live in the arctic and don't have heat those temps are wrong.

    Use CoreTemp for Intel CPUs.

    http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

    And/or Real Temp.

    https://www.techpowerup.com/download/techpowerup-real-temp/
  21. anort3 said:
    Unless you live in the arctic and don't have heat those temps are wrong.

    Use CoreTemp for Intel CPUs.

    http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

    And/or Real Temp.

    https://www.techpowerup.com/download/techpowerup-real-temp/


    Look beyond what you see. They are right. No foolin' :D

    I Much prefer HwMonitor to Coretemp. I used to use it years ago. Not really my taste. Sure it's small and compact and remembers min and max temps but Hw gives much more info. 3 programs to verify? Bit much. Not a bad idea.
  22. Is it lower than 2C/35F in your room? If not they are wrong. Because physics.

    Edit: My bad one core is reporting 1C/33F so it would have to be in the 20s F for that to be accurate.
  23. anort3 said:
    Is it lower than 2C/35F in your room? If not they are wrong. Because physics.


    I offend logic do I? That wasn't from today. Nor did I visit the arctic. I do however appreciate the advice.
  24. The implication of that post is that you get those temps with a Hyper 212 Evo. Certainly possible if it's below freezing in the room.
  25. lol some impressive numbers :) does it create condensation?
  26. burtman88 said:
    lol some impressive numbers :) does it create condensation?


    No it didn't. The components don't warm up fast enough. The SSD warms up the quickest and none showed. The WD's took a lot longer. Speccy won't show temps below 0C hence the lack of temps for those drives.
  27. I have a cryorig A40, myself, but I did it mostly for looks, vs performance. An H5 ultimate would have been plenty, for my rig.
  28. anort3 said:
    The implication of that post is that you get those temps with a Hyper 212 Evo. Certainly possible if it's below freezing in the room.


    Anonymous said:
    I have a cryorig A40, myself, but I did it mostly for looks, vs performance. An H5 ultimate would have been plenty, for my rig.


    How long have you used AIO closed loop water coolers? You say you didn't choose it for performance. Still I am curious if you switched from an aftermarket air cooler to that cooler? Temps. pretty much identical or?
  29. So i truly done understand what you're doing to get this low of temps. Did you put mineral oil instead of Coolant it your system or something?
  30. burtman88 said:
    So i truly done understand what you're doing to get this low of temps. Did you put mineral oil instead of Coolant it your system or something?


    That was in the past. Not long past. Used the same cooler I have now. Just a cold day.
  31. There hasn't been any explanation. If those temps are with a Hyper 212 then the computer was somewhere ambient temps were below freezing. Obviously putting the computer in a freezer is a terrible idea.

    Even with liquid cooling you can't go below ambient. That basically leaves something like Peltier cooling, opening the window when it's freezing or putting the computer in a freezer.


    Edit: ^ There you go. Wow you got low temps when it was freezing outside. Impressive. :sarcastic:
  32. anort3 said:
    There hasn't been any explanation. If those temps are with a Hyper 212 then the computer was somewhere ambient temps were below freezing. Obviously putting the computer in a freezer is a terrible idea.

    Even with liquid cooling you can't go below ambient. That basically leaves something like Peltier cooling, opening the window when it's freezing or putting the computer in a freezer.


    Edit: ^ There you go. Wow you got low temps when it was freezing outside. Impressive. :sarcastic:


    Yeah, using a freezer to cool a PC like a kegerator for beer is probably the worst idea ever. No need to get bunched about it :d
  33. lol i thought that he was doing that, but condensation gets created some where then zap goes your pc. lol i have put my pc next to AC to get even lower temps with Liquid cooling never put it outside though
  34. aquielisunari said:
    anort3 said:
    The implication of that post is that you get those temps with a Hyper 212 Evo. Certainly possible if it's below freezing in the room.


    Anonymous said:
    I have a cryorig A40, myself, but I did it mostly for looks, vs performance. An H5 ultimate would have been plenty, for my rig.


    How long have you used AIO closed loop water coolers? You say you didn't choose it for performance. Still I am curious if you switched from an aftermarket air cooler to that cooler? Temps. pretty much identical or?


    I have had it about 9-10 months or so. I bought it when I bought my 6700k, so I have never used air on it. I was using a hyper 212 plus, with a 3570k, prior.
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