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CPU vs. GPU Liquid Cooling for Gaming

Last response: in Overclocking
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March 20, 2011 11:33:02 AM

Hey there, I'm about to build a new system and I was wondering what would be more important for my build in particular: great CPU liquid cooling or great GPU liquid cooling? The system will be primarily for heavy gaming, playing the newest titles and what not. Also, there will be video editing (a la Premiere).

The CPU I'll be using is the 2600k and I'll be OC'ing to hopefully somewhere around 4.5 - 4.7. I'm not trying to go all out on this one and push it to 5+. I'm also going to be using two nvidia OC'd 580's.

Custom cooling isn't cheap and I was trying to decide which of the components would best benefit from the superior cooling. For the CPU, I could use a closed loop system from Asetek if I went with custom cooling for the GPU's. I'm just not sure which component would fail first and more often if neither had liquid cooling, especially when using the PC for playing very high settings in new title games.

So, what do you guys think?

Thanks!
March 20, 2011 12:41:30 PM

closed loop systems aren't real water cooling and often get outperformed by high end air coolers that are cheaper
if you're going to go water cooling, i'd suggest an all out custom loop which can include your cpu and gpu
that, however will be very costly (expect $300+)
if you want to water cool the cpu, you can get something like the RASA kit for around 100 bucks
the gpu, however, will cost more to cool
if you don't want to spend the extra money getting gpu blocks, then i'd suggest something like:
http://www.gelidsolutions.com/products/index.php?lid=1&...
http://www.arctic.ac/en/p/cooling/vga/18/accelero-xtrem...
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March 20, 2011 4:41:59 PM

Ok, cool. Thanks for all that info.

Would the price difference be minor if I went with a high end air CPU cooler and liquid cooled the two GPUs? i.e. would it not make sense to not include the CPU in the loop if I going to go ahead and liquid cool the GPUs?
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March 21, 2011 1:18:26 AM

First, what is your budget? For a loop you are suggesting, you are looking to spend $300-$350 to get going. Anything less, you'd be better off sticking with some good air cooling. I have a lot of information linked in my signature; give those a good read and see what you think. Good luck.
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