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Is liquid cooling really worth the money?

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December 19, 2006 4:14:35 AM

Is liquid really worth it ? Can CPU fans with Heatsinks still keep a proc. very cool and still have good overclocking standards? If so what are some good CPU fans with Heatsinks, any price is ok...
Thx
December 19, 2006 4:45:16 AM

When you say liquid cooling youre generalizing too much.
Is a disney all-in-one kit worth it? NO
Is a $300 custom loop worth it? If youve got the money, certainly yes.
Is a $140 CPU only loop worth it? Definetly
It all depends on how you do it to make it better than every HSF on the market at a reasonable price.
December 19, 2006 5:04:53 AM

Liquid Cooling can be very effective and cost efficent, if you do your research. This is an important point, because not only can you throughly fry your CPU if you don't know what your doing, you could actually kill your whole system. Research, download documents, and ask questions. Have a clear idea in mind of which parts, how they connect together, and know exactly how they work.

It's not really that hard, but you do need to know how it works, and how to fine tune it to get the best performance.

Good Luck![/u][/i]
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December 19, 2006 7:21:45 PM

For the price of a water block you can get a high-end heat pipe cooler... and since you willl use the same 120mm fan on either setup the noise will be the same.

and then there is a $100 worth of pump, radiator, reservoir, pipes, and time...

for the most part overclockability is determined by vcore.
At normal voltages, say <1.4v on a c2d, there isn't a lot to be gained by lowering core temp a bit. and even stock cooler can move that much heat (maybe not quietly)

IF you are going to try a TEC, its a must, or really high vcore...

I went from water to air, just because 3200Mhz was a nice round number, and I can do with a much simpler system, that and x1900 runs as cool with the hr-03 as it did being second in my single loop.
December 20, 2006 1:48:27 AM

The money you spend on water can probably get you a faster CPU, and you wont have to worry about buying after market HSFs.

water cooling can be a pain to setup... I would only do it if you plan to OC a lot.
December 20, 2006 2:31:55 AM

Yes but you wont nearly reach the OCs youve reach with a E6400 watercooled to a E6600 on stock cooling. Not to mention that water cooling will last you for years to come if you properly maintain it.
December 20, 2006 3:10:40 AM

Quote:
Is liquid really worth it ? Can CPU fans with Heatsinks still keep a proc. very cool and still have good overclocking standards? If so what are some good CPU fans with Heatsinks, any price is ok...
Thx


No. It is not worth it.
December 20, 2006 3:36:54 AM

Woah you sure know how to make a point...
December 20, 2006 3:41:23 AM

yes it is worth the effort if you do it right
dario is not far off .
a custom liquid cooling kit will get nice results and last years maintained.
if you are limited with cash a good swiftech kit will get the results your after and you can mod it later.
my max oc on air was 3400 on the swiftech modded kit the max is in my sig
I run 3.6 GHz 24/7 3.9 for heavy demands all stable.
December 20, 2006 3:46:20 AM

Quote:
if you are limited with cash a good swiftech kit will get the results your after and you can mod it later.
Even Swiftech kits are considering expensive if youre looking for budget.
You can have a loop that will be ~5c over Swiftech for $130, thats what people are paying for those miserable air cooled TECs!
December 20, 2006 3:52:20 AM

I believe the starter kit is around 160.00
and the thermaltake is not worth the effort but better than air
December 20, 2006 4:10:21 AM

Quote:
I believe the starter kit is around 160.00
and the thermaltake is not worth the effort but better than air
$130 is the minimun budget you can get away in a do it yourself loop while keeping top performance, not any complete kit.
I have yet to know a decent ThermalCRAP product with water running trhu it, if it was up to me all of them would be banned from the market for life.
December 20, 2006 4:21:47 AM

Perhaps you should provide him links
after all he's asking for your advise. :wink:
and thermalcrap is not for the weak of heart .
I do admit they work but not something you can leave unattended.
December 20, 2006 4:49:30 AM

Yes, watercooling is worth the money.
Just look at some water cooling reviews, and look at the temp. charts that compare to Air cooling.
You would see that watercooling keeps a very stable temp (some times you can achieve only 10degF in load over idle.

Plus, it lasts a while in 2 ways.
One, keeps your chip alive longer
Two, you can use the parts in upgraded systems for a long time to come.
December 20, 2006 5:01:06 AM

First of all, every thermalcrap product underperforms for its price. You simply cant argue with that statement.

Hm, lets see, the way I would do a budget loop would be:
Via Aqua 2300 $27
Apogee or MP-01 $50
Swiftech MCR120 $24
Delrin fillport $8
tubing $3
Tline and clamps $8
Yate Loon fan $5
Total: $125
You can still go even cheaper by getting a heatercore from a junkyard and a second hand block, but well just settle for retail.
I can ensure that such setup wont be more than 4c over your current water cooling setup.
December 20, 2006 5:02:41 AM

Quote:
you can use the parts in upgraded systems for a long time to come.
And this is one of the companinies main concerns, thats why CoolTechnica and Swiftech are selling AM2 bracket for their blocks 8)
December 20, 2006 6:07:25 AM

Quote:
First of all, every thermalcrap product underperforms for its price. You simply cant argue with that statement.


I could argue.
but hardly worth the effort.(you'll just flame me) 8)
you see I own a thermalcrap.
bigwater se.
99 bucks and it works just fine for the money.
the problem with the acrylic waterblock cracking is by poor retention design.
people overtighten them because there is no spring tention or tension limiting devise .
the poor pump design was revised and for an economy unit it works just fine for a cheap unit.
Problem is 1/4 stock tubing..... I replaced it with 3/8 tubing.
and lapped the waterblock getting another 4C cooler on max oc on my 4.2GHz D920 running since april without a problem and never shuts down.
I wouldnt build such a Rig for a customer but if you actually tested one like I did you might even class it higher than dog dung.
Dont get me wrong ... it is absolutly not recomenable for everyday use unless you watch it closely.
But unlike you I test these dumb quirky units for the hell of it.
So when it comes time to evaluate or help I can give an honest opinion from experience.
I just thought I'd ruffle rour feathers :wink:
December 20, 2006 6:48:18 AM

Quote:
you actually tested one like I did you might even class it higher than dog dung.
And you dont rate it as such after all the problems you mentioned??
When it comes to spending my money and rating hardware I keep my standards high, very high. Thats why something like TT gets the Thermalcrap title for me.

PS: What do you think of my budget loop?
December 21, 2006 5:55:06 PM

So for an extra $100 you can maybe get 5% better oc, outside of superpi you cant even detect that... and that game gets old after a while :) 
December 21, 2006 7:35:39 PM

Actually is up to 15% in some cases.
Of course water cooling isnt for the mainstream, for that case neither is lapping, adding extra fans etc.
We are in tomshardware.com forumz so I can't say im surprised by your reply.
December 21, 2006 8:35:01 PM

Quote:
Actually is up to 15% in some cases.
Of course water cooling isnt for the mainstream, for that case neither is lapping, adding extra fans etc.
We are in tomshardware.com forumz so I can't say im surprised by your reply.


Well. if only for 15% increase, it is not worth it at all. I have my pd 830 running at 3.6 ghz on air over a year. I know i can easily overclok my processor over 4 ghz with liquid cooling, but it is not worth it. The new line of C2D can beat my liquid cooled 4ghz system. So in my opinion unless i am in an overclocking race, i do not see a point to liquid cooling.
December 22, 2006 11:11:26 AM

I would see it as an investment. The 100$ Cooler isn´t going to vanish once you buy a core 2 duo. You can reuse it and overclock the new processor too. You should judge the investment with that in mind.

What cooler do you use on your 830, by the way? I´m considering to overclock my 820 and hope to get it to run in sync with my memory (FSB 266).
December 22, 2006 2:03:04 PM

Quote:
I would see it as an investment. The 100$ Cooler isn´t going to vanish once you buy a core 2 duo. You can reuse it and overclock the new processor too. You should judge the investment with that in mind.

What cooler do you use on your 830, by the way? I´m considering to overclock my 820 and hope to get it to run in sync with my memory (FSB 266).


I will consider liquid cooling if i am in an overclocking race. To me it is not worth it for the extra money and hassle. It is totally acceptable with extra 600 mhz. I am using Thermaltake big typhon. It is really a big one but if you can pair this with the right parts, you can easily go over 600 mhz. I am using Asus p5nd2 sli deluxe. Over the year , i can tell the factor that limits my oc setup is the NB. The NB on the board is way too hot to get higer oc result.

Good luck.

Bye.
December 22, 2006 2:50:17 PM

Is it worth it? Yes, no, maybe, depends.
December 22, 2006 3:12:26 PM

Yes.

Thermaltake BigWater = simple and $100 = oc with no problems (just dont use their crappy coolant)
December 22, 2006 3:16:09 PM

Thats a Mickey Mouse water cooler... Get a Tuniq Tower 120 to outperfom it for the price.
December 22, 2006 3:47:21 PM

Quote:
When you say liquid cooling youre generalizing too much.
Is a disney all-in-one kit worth it? NO
Is a $300 custom loop worth it? If youve got the money, certainly yes.
Is a $140 CPU only loop worth it? Definetly
It all depends on how you do it to make it better than every HSF on the market at a reasonable price.

Actually, I've heard very good things about the Gigabyte all-in-one watercooling solutions out there.
December 22, 2006 3:50:56 PM

Quote:
Is liquid really worth it ? Can CPU fans with Heatsinks still keep a proc. very cool and still have good overclocking standards? If so what are some good CPU fans with Heatsinks, any price is ok...
Thx


No. It is not worth it.
Depends. For a budget system, DEFINITELY not. But if you have dual graphics cards and a really powerful processor you want overclocked, certainly would pay off for the overclocking headroom provided. Cooling graphics cards really is best done by water hands down.
December 22, 2006 5:55:00 PM

Just another water success story.

Max air OC with temps topping at 49C = 4.0ghz *not Prime stable for 24 hours!*

Max water OC with temps topping at 29C = 4.34ghz Prime stable for a year probably :p 

Max max water OC with chilling? 4.4 and climbing...

I keep it where I have it right now because I don't like the vcore over 1.50, but I can raise it up for short times for fun and I'm sure it would be ok, I just have a mental block about it for some reason :p 

I honestly didn't get into water for the cooling ability as much as I did for the experience of it. I like tinkering and it was a great project that was a lot of fun.
December 22, 2006 8:46:14 PM

I bet it was quite an expensive experience tool_462. I'm looking into water cooling myself and it looks really interesting. If I had to figure it out on my own there's no way I'd do it, but there are billions of things to read that tell you almost exactly how to set stuff up, risks, benefits, etc. IMO it's worth it because it's an investment that will last you a while. I have a athlon 64 3500+ and a ATI 1900gt and I can run oblivion at max graphics. You really don't need a 8800 gtx and a core 2 extreme.
December 22, 2006 8:58:37 PM

Yeah, the Galaxy II is the best kit out of the all-in-one ones. It outperforms TT and CoolerMaster.
Still no match for Swiftech and much less custom :wink:
December 22, 2006 9:01:06 PM

And never make the mistake of getting an all in one water cooling setup.
December 22, 2006 9:02:53 PM

Quote:
I honestly didn't get into water for the cooling ability as much as I did for the experience of it. I like tinkering and it was a great project that was a lot of fun.
Congrants! You're beyond everyone here that dont think its worth it because its too much of a "hassle".
December 22, 2006 9:13:19 PM

Quote:
And never make the mistake of getting an all in one water cooling setup.

Did not you read my post?
December 22, 2006 9:24:09 PM

Honestly no, I can't say I did, sorry.
December 22, 2006 9:47:00 PM

Not for the ones with a very high thermal limit, and those arent only expensive but draw so much power that you might need to get a auxiliary PSU, etc etc.
If I ever decide its time to give it a chance I might find a way around it, but for now, for me, it doesnt stack up to $/performance.
December 22, 2006 10:48:12 PM

I must admit, like Tool, I got into the liquid cooling more for the fun 'tinkering' factor over the cooling benefits. I rarely overclock (the proportion of time spent at full load compared to idle or part-load is very small, and I think the gains are minimal - encoding a movie in 12 minutes instead of 10 doesn't take a huge chunk out of my life) but when I did I had a 3.4Gig Prescott (central heating processor) not to mention we get ambient temps here of 40+Celcius so H20 with an external primary rad does help keep CPU and sytem temps down.

I do still have the H20 in (but I don't think this E6600 is even producing any heat!) but with CPU, GPU and Northbridge blocks and 2 rads I must say it's a real pain in the arse if I want to tinker with any hardware - even just getting my RAM out takes a fair bit of slow, delicate maneuvering!

And an opinion - Peltiers suck... and extra 100-250W?!?! My system uses 216W under full load with a ridiculous amount of bells and whistles! Admittedly I do admire efficiency...
December 23, 2006 12:35:23 AM

Its not about the watts, its mainly about the amps that a PSU can provide in a single channel (if they can merge I'd say theres no problem).
As I said, until im done with calculations I cant really tell if its going to be worth it or not, and under what conditions (definetly air is out of the question).
December 23, 2006 1:29:30 AM

Actually my kit wasn't bad. Pump was *new* off eBay for $50 or I would just bought a MAG II LE for $39. Apogee was $32 at the questionable voyeurmods.com and the radiator was ~20 bucks. Throw in tubing for 0.97/foot and a handful of hose clamps for 35 cents at the hardware store and got myself a great performing kit.

It's a fun project though, pretty cool (pun?) to set up and get it running :) 
December 23, 2006 2:09:47 AM

Thats a huge delta tough, not that I would expect less from TEC.

EDIT: If I can get away with a TEC for ~$100 and that lowers an additional 10c minimun, it just MIGHT be worth it.
December 23, 2006 2:02:58 PM

Quote:

not sure how you link up two psus to work together,


That is indeed an interesting question. It´s probably just routing a single wire from one to the other so both get switched on by the same button. Yet, i´d like to see some more material on this, just to be certain. I could look up the pin layout of a PSU, but i find it easier and more reassuring to see an article about it or a tutorial.

So if anyone got something on that, please post! 8O
December 23, 2006 4:18:59 PM

They used the regular TEC method, nothing new. The foam was for insulation purposes also.
Probably he realized he didnt have what it takes to cool a 437W Peltier, in such case its a good call.

Dont even mention that CoolIt crap. To make it simple, its an air cooled TEC thats cooling the water, not even the heat source...
And every review I've seen of it has been done by people who has no idea how a TEC works and the thermodynamics of WC.

Quote:
PS, I'm just wondering, did you get the idea of the thermla grease shoutut based off my thread you commented on?
Ehh, no... I belive it just popped out in a conv with ninja and Drew.


Ive got the whole project down to ~$100 for a 350W (and I'm far from done), this is because idk if ill be able to cool down a ~125c hot plate.
The coldplates on the market dont really satisfy me, im thinking of a new design which ill sketch it soon enough to see what others think.
December 23, 2006 4:48:37 PM

My experience with liquid cooling with AMD procs, is I got the max clock on air with a good after market heatsink, so the liquid cooling didn't really offer anything other than a bit cooler temp. As for Intel procs, if getting an extra 2-400mhz is worth the price premium, then sure, liquid cooling is worth it.

You are really the only one that can answer the question(OP). Is the little extra bit of OC headroom worth it to you?

wes
December 23, 2006 5:13:53 PM

Nice!
But i´m not sure it works the same way with ATX Power supplies. It probably does, but another difference would be that i don´t want to double Voltage or Amperage. I just need more power and two separate PSUs can do that too - all they have to do is power up at the same time. So i just need to connect them to the same switch. I´ve seen adapters that can do the trick (delivered with some of the more expensive and big cases).

Thanks, though! :D 
December 23, 2006 5:17:48 PM

I didn't realise Thermaltake all-in-one products were so bad. I was considering investing in a Thermaltake Bigwater 735 for £60. Seems quite a good deal to me....70,000 hours pump life and better than most air cooling............
December 23, 2006 5:25:55 PM

I believe yould only need to 'trick' one of the PSUs 24-pin for it run (the same way you test for leaks in water pumps).
!