Water cooling or Air? (i7)

Heya, I'd like to consult with you guys on which type of cooling should i build for my ordered system.


Core i7 extreme 965 3.2
Asus rampage 2 X58
two Diamond OC'ed 4870x2 (crossfire/quad)
VelociRaptor 300 GB/10,000 RPM
6 GB 1600, 8-8-8-24 Corsair dominator


My plans are to overclock this to 3.8 or so, nothing too serious.

My question is should i just stick to air cooling or should i install water cooling on this (which is far more complicated for me), also, I would like suggestions for a power supply/case.


Thanks in advance!
9 answers Last reply
More about water cooling
  1. you'll need a 1000-1200watts PSU for that kind of machine.

    Also, according to the latest tom's charts, 2x 4870x2 doesn't really do anything special up until 1920x1200. If you game on a 30'' display, then it'd be a decent idea but anything below = you'll have the noise of a vacuum, the heat of a furnace and the electricity bill of a small town.

    As for air cooling vs watercooling, you also have to remember that the x2 requires either 2x mcw60 blocks with special DIY mounting equipment or a 150$ full plate block. That's on top of the rest of the loop which will cost around 250-350$. On the upside, it'll be less noisy.
  2. IMO water cooling is a waist of time and money, especially in your case when you are only looking at a 20%, 600mhz overclock.
  3. For the moment, overclocking the i7 chips seems to be limited compared to the last round of chips, so heat shouldn't be as much as a problem. I'd stay with air myself, as its cheaper and easier to set up, as well as having less maintenance problems. As antiacid noted, water should be less noisy, but that's not a guarantee, especially if you use quiet fans for the air cooling.

    Also, as previously noted, with those big video cards, you would probably need a 1000-1200wt PSU, and maybe larger. If you actually make such a machine, consider having a dedicated electrical outlet for the computer only, perhaps using a heavier amp rating on the line and circuit breaker as well. That's a lot of power to pull through the standard production lines.
  4. Thank you for your comments. Air it is.


    I'm gonna be using a 47 full HD LCD - so i'll be using the max resolutions on games - hence the two cards.

    Though, don't spoil anything for me and tell me i don't need it, i know i probally don't, but i wanted it and already ordered it :)


    Any suggestions for a case/fans?

    Thanks in advance
  5. a 47inch full hd lcd tv is basically an enlarged 1920x1080 display. a 22inch screen can do that and 24s are 1920x1200. Just thought i'd clarify ;)
  6. You need to watercool the pair of 4870 x2 for lower noise. CPU is not really the focus.

    BTW why don't add a SSD HDD?
  7. For the amount of money you aleady spent why not go water cooling? It looks better, a lot less noisy and you get cooler temps all around with the ability to overclock more aggresively when you want.
  8. as mighty442 pointed out, watercooling is (for me, at least) mostly for noise issues. My current system is watercooled and I'm pretty sure that the only noise I hear is the water in the pipes lol :P

    It's quite a lot less noisy than my old setup.
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