I decided to consider water cooling over conventional cooling, this cause of the high price for a high quality heat sink for a cpu and cause of noise levels. Since I am not familar with water cooling I wanted to get suggestions for a good custom built one i shall build myself. I have a p4 3ghz, an ATI radeon 9800 pro 128mb, western digital 160gb, thermaltake purepower 450w p/s and a thermaltake xaser III case. I want to have as least fans as possible and the lowest temperture possible (doesnt everyone?).
I personnally think that a hyper6 with 2 fans set on low will be quieter than watercooling, but if your definate you want to do it then you need to consider a few things:
-Are you going to cool CPU, VGA and northbridge? Or Just CPU?
-Are you going to use a single or a dual RAD? If so where are you going to put it?
-How much are you willing to spend? I spent £200 on my watercooling kit here in the UK, in US dollars that is a lot.
If you tell me what case you have and your budget I will try and suggest a few things.
I acutally managed to get off quite cheap cooling only my CPU when i set up my system's watercooling. 1973 Buick Riviera heatercore turned radiator cost $20, the Eheim 1250 pump was $70, and then my DangerDen Maze3 was $40. Total price of US$130. I had a 120mm fan lying around, so that keeps the radiator cooled, at 7V so its quiet, and then I got some 1/2" ID tubing from HomeDepot for about $10 (including clamps), and I've still got about 5 feet of it left, unused.
Watercooling definitely quietted down my system, and ever since its always been me trying to quiet it down even more (120mm fan'ed PSU, GPU waterblock, passive NB heatsink, etc). If you're willing to put the cash down, its definitely worth it.
I did some water block research lately for my P4 and ordered an H20-8600-P Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU Liquid cooling kit - 1/2in. OD from SwifTech (www.swiftnet.com).
Why? The new MCW6000 water block does really well on tests against most all other blocks and is reasonably priced. A good waterblock is where the rubber hits the road all else being the same. The MCW6000 is much better than the already "good" MCW5000 style. Its also improved to an all copper construction for less corrosion. Go to; http://www.procooling.com/reviews/html/swiftech_mcw6000...
and see what you think. I did find a discontinued all silver base plate waterblock from Australia that was slightly better than the MCW6000, but not available and EXPENSIVE!
I ordered the kit for NOISE reduction and NOT overclocking. My system is dead stable with the STOCK P4 fan but noisy as heck in an 80-85F room. I'm not concerned to really be massively better than the stock air cooler, just ZERO noise. Heat should still be better because I'm getting rid of the hottest component (CPU) and venting the hot air directly outside the case. This keeps the VPU cooler, and also improves the air quality going through the power supply so it is also cooler. All this reduces smart fan RPM's and noise on the VPU's and power supply fans.
The kit seems nice because you can either order one MCR80-F1 radiator, and add another later, or order up the big gun Rad676 and mount it external to the PC. Both kits seem reasonably priced, too.
And, you can add waterblocks of your choice to your hearts content to VPU and motherboard chipset, too.