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Liquid cooling- worth it in 2011?

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March 21, 2011 8:40:34 PM

Hi guys,

I hope this (sub) category fits with my question. Anyway, I know that by now, many great air coolers exist- currently I have a hyper 212 plus. I am wondering: is it worth it to get water cooling? For now, I am only going to cool my cpu but if I do buy a watercooling setup, I will probably buy a gpu block as well. I saw that using new distilled water/cooling liquid once a year is ok, which I am fine with. I have never used water cooling before and I just want to know if its worth it, or if its better to spend the money upgrading my gtx 260 (which, I noted performs slightly better in Crysis than a gtx 550ti.) And my cpu is i7 860 @ 3.6Ghz.
Thank you for your help :) 
a c 330 K Overclocking
March 21, 2011 8:51:10 PM

It depends on your budget, honestly. I've watercooled for ~9 years and I'll continue for quite a while, if possible. I have a lot of info in my signature...give them a good read-thru and see if it helps answer your questions.

For a loop of what you are thinking, consider budgeting $250-$300, easily, depending on component choice.

BTW...I'm running a Q6600 CPU and SLI GTX 260's...good times.
March 21, 2011 9:03:52 PM

It really depends on who you are. The biggest advantage to water cooling is the ability to build a totally silent system that can out compete high end air.

You'll find a lot of people water cooling are not necessarily going for the super overclocks bat are doing it because they enjoy it. If you're the kind of person that could get lost in a tub of Lego then you'll probably have a lot of fun.
Related resources
a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2011 9:05:40 PM

I think watercooling might be worth it only for the following type of people:
  • Heavy overclockers
  • Medium overclockers who want really quiet rigs
  • Medium overclockers who are building HTPC and have space constraints
  • Tinkerers who want it for the kick of it

    A watercooling system has a big initial cost, but most components can be reused from build to build, I think only the waterblock retention brackets might need changing.
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 21, 2011 9:06:01 PM

    ^Very true. It is almost as much of a hobbyist venture as it is for actual cooling capability.
    March 21, 2011 9:07:55 PM

    sweet, hi five for the gtx 260 :p . Anyway, thanks for the links. I'll think about water cooling some more
    March 21, 2011 9:10:54 PM

    And thanks for the other comments. I am fearing that it will be over my budget :/ . Which is 300 $. Do you all think I'll be fine with my hyper 212 plus for now?
    March 21, 2011 9:13:04 PM

    The Hyper 212+ is a more than capable cooler.
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 21, 2011 9:13:07 PM

    You'll be fine. You'd also see some improvement by pulling the stock cooler on your GPU and replacing the stock paste with some good thermal paste and re-seating the cooler.

    Good case airflow is also a must.
    March 21, 2011 9:37:43 PM

    Ok, thanks for the help :) 
    Maybe sometime in the future I will reconsider water cooling.. unless I am really convinced now, which is not the case :p 
    a b K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 1:22:35 AM

    Quote:
    Sandy Bridge = No
    Bloomfield = Yes
    Lynnfield = No
    Clarkdale = No
    Thuban = YES
    Denab = YES


    hmmm ?!
    a b K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 1:35:59 AM

    You can get a decent loop for 130 from frozen cpu. I have the xspc rasa 240 and have my cpu oc to 4.1 with great temps. I kinda wished I would have got the one with a 360 rad now considering I am going to water cool my gpu too. You can go all out and spend 3 or 400 dollars on super name brand danger den and all don't get me wrong it's killer stuff but with a killer price.
    March 22, 2011 8:08:38 AM

    Heh, okay I am actually very tempted to buy a watercooling setup now, but what do you mean PhsycoSadie?? Watercooling isnt worth it on Lynnfield?
    March 22, 2011 8:18:01 AM

    +1 for the rasa kit, great beginner setup for first timers. Really should look into that especially for $130. Overclock.net has a whole Thread dedicated to that product, price-to-performance is awesome.
    March 22, 2011 8:25:22 AM

    Is a dual bay reservoir/pump any good? It pumps 750litres/hour! And its significantly cheaper here in Belgium than buying a pump and a radiator..
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 12:40:29 PM

    You need a radiator...please read the info in my signature...I think you aren't quite up to speed on what you are getting into.

    A reservoir simply holds excess water. Pump...pumps. Radiator is the heat exchanger. Waterblocks attach to your CPU, GPU, etc.

    All of these concepts are explained in depth in the links below.
    March 22, 2011 2:42:57 PM

    I know about the radiator and its sizes, the tubing and cpu/gpu blocks. Just wondering if that pump which is IN a radiator (named the XSPC dual bay radiator pump) is a good pump
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 2:50:28 PM

    DangerDen isn't the best stuff available...there are better brands, better performance in almost every component category.

    XSPC Rasa pump is pretty solid. Some people have had issues with theirs making noise, but were able to get RMA replacements. From what I have read, Rasa pumps had an impeller molding flaw that caused some minor issues, but it has been corrected.

    OCN Rasa Owner's Thread
    March 22, 2011 3:07:22 PM

    I have decided I would rather wait for maybe another year or so and buy top of the range products instead of buying cheaper products now. This also seems like a better idea because I want to buy an Nvida kepler gpu- coming out beginnning next year. In the meantime I can stick to my hyper 212 plus. One thing was bothering me though: why does everyine link their cpu block to their gpu block directly? Wouldn't it help to use a (120mm) radiator in between the two? S o going form gpu -> rad -> cpu or cpu -> rad -> gpu? As well as using other rads, ofcourse.
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 3:37:39 PM

    Waiting for the 'next best thing' means you'll just keep waiting. That's fine as long as you're OK with always being on hold.

    Top range products vs. cheaper products...meaning WC components? Depends on your budget and expectations.

    Quote:
    One thing was bothering me though: why does everyine link their cpu block to their gpu block directly? Wouldn't it help to use a (120mm) radiator in between the two? S o going form gpu -> rad -> cpu or cpu -> rad -> gpu? As well as using other rads, ofcourse.


    Link: Loop order does not matter.
    March 22, 2011 4:05:18 PM

    rubix_1011 said:
    Waiting for the 'next best thing' means you'll just keep waiting. That's fine as long as you're OK with always being on hold.

    Top range products vs. cheaper products...meaning WC components? Depends on your budget and expectations.

    Quote:
    One thing was bothering me though: why does everyine link their cpu block to their gpu block directly? Wouldn't it help to use a (120mm) radiator in between the two? S o going form gpu -> rad -> cpu or cpu -> rad -> gpu? As well as using other rads, ofcourse.


    Link: Loop order does not matter.


    yes, meaning WC components. I'll post the links for what parts I was (am) planning on buying so you can all see, in an hour or so :) . I live in Belgium where everything is SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive :/  I hope it wont matter that the links are i Dutch- the name of the product is the same ofcourse. Basically, multiply the price in euros you see by 1.4 or 1.5 to get US $ prices.
    March 22, 2011 4:12:21 PM

    First of all, I think I want the loop to be: pump/reservoir --> 120mm rad --> cpu --> 240mm rad --> back to pump/reservoir. I do not want to WC my gpu yet, since I plan on upgrading, and because of the xtra costs at the moment.

    1. pump/reservoir: http://www.it-service.be/webshop/product_info.php?cPath...

    2. 240 rad: http://www.it-service.be/webshop/product_info.php?cPath...

    3. 120 rad: http://www.it-service.be/webshop/product_info.php?cPath...

    4. cpu block: http://www.it-service.be/webshop/product_info.php?cPath...

    5. tubing: http://www.it-service.be/webshop/product_info.php?cPath...

    6. fittings: http://www.it-service.be/webshop/product_info.php?cPath...

    tell me what you think :) 
    a b K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 4:33:51 PM

    as long you have your pump after res you will be fine, distiled or deionized+silver coil or PT Nuke
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 4:34:41 PM

    You could probably get away with the single 240 rad if you are only running your CPU in the loop at this point. You might consider another 240 if you add your GPU; my general rule of thumb is 1.5-2x the area of a 120mm rad per CPU or GPU. If you overclock at all, consider a 2x120 rad (240 in this case) the bare minimum per component.

    The XSPC pump/res is pretty decent, but you might consider a different pump that would be more powerful if you are going to piece together your own kit.

    Why not just go with an EK kit like this: http://www.it-service.be/webshop/product_info.php?products_id=1033157?

    It has a better pump and contains everything you'll need except water and biocide or killcoil.
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 4:44:25 PM

    OK...meaning? Plenty of people watercool in the HAF. I don't understand your logic of why it wouldn't work.
    March 22, 2011 4:47:20 PM

    The 360 rad won't fit. They do offer a 240 rad though (also the EF all in one kit) however, the pump is not as powerful as the one I showed in the link before, which pumps 750 litres/hour
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 4:50:54 PM

    Flow rate isn't as important as head pressure.

    Where are you planning on mounting the radiator?
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 5:16:38 PM

    You can install on the back with a radbox if you wanted...where would you mount the additional radiator if you ran your GPU in the loop?
    March 22, 2011 5:50:54 PM

    interior as well, on the bottom. ANother 120 rad could be used at the rear exhaust! But I really don't know if its worth it! What do you personally think? Spend money on watercooling? Or new gpu or new screen (I use a full hd 22 inch but only vga :/ )
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 6:04:11 PM

    I've watercooled for 9+ years or so...so I am somewhat biased.

    I personally love it...its a hobby as well as a cooling solution. Depending on your plans, you can continue to use watercooling components as you upgrade...and then depending on how you upgrade and what you current have depends on what you can reuse. CPU blocks often swap out with a $12 bracket. GPU blocks (full-cover) only work for the card they are designed for, while universal blocks can be swapped in the same manner with a bracket swap.
    March 22, 2011 6:11:04 PM

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. How many times a year do you drain your system and apply new distilled water/liquid? I read that doing it yearly is recommended
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 6:14:20 PM

    9-12 months. That's recommended...but there are folks running distilled+PTNuke+killcoil that have gone 2-3 years just fine.
    March 22, 2011 6:21:26 PM

    oh ok. And would you recommend me getting the reservoir/pump which I showed above or getting a seperate reservoir and seperate pump? Which is a lot more expensive
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 6:28:43 PM

    The XSPC Rasa pump/res is the same one that comes in the Rasa kit, which I typically recommend for beginners. If that's the case, just get The XSPC Rasa kit and call it a day...it has everything you'll need, except water, biocide and/or killcoil...which should cost ~maybe~ an additional $12 for all.
    March 22, 2011 6:51:00 PM

    I have an i7 860 ;( so socket 1156, not compatible with ^^. And the included pump/reservoir is version 1, not version 2. But would you say that the pump I gave the link to further above is good enough to cool my i7 860 till 4.2 ghz or so? with a 240 rad? And temps of <70 C? And will it be able to handle one gpu (obviously then with more rad's)? Sorry aout all these questions, I hope you can answer them, I really appeciate your help btw :) 
    March 22, 2011 6:54:34 PM

    olivierhacking said:
    Is a dual bay reservoir/pump any good? It pumps 750litres/hour! And its significantly cheaper here in Belgium than buying a pump and a radiator..


    ... On Earth, Belgium refers to a small country. Throughout the rest of the galaxy, Belgium is the most unspeakably rude word there is.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/belgium.sht...
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 6:57:08 PM

    Quote:
    Compatibility Intel® Processors:
    • Socket 478 (Intel® Northwood P4/EE) via the 4-holes through the motherboard by removing the black plastic heatsink retention frame.
    • Socket 775 (Intel® Socket T Prescott-style LGA) via the 4-holes through the motherboard.
    Socket 1156 - i5 (Intel® Socket T Prescott-style LGA) via the 4-holes through the motherboard.
    • Socket 1366 - i7 (Intel® Socket T Prescott-style LGA) via the 4-holes through the motherboard.
    • Socket 423 (Intel® Willamette P4) via the 4-holes through the motherboard.
    • Socket 771/603/604 (Intel® Xeon™ all versions) via the 4-holes through the motherboard.


    Socket is a socket, correct? Chip doesn't matter, otherwise I'm pretty sure there is a bracket.
    March 22, 2011 7:06:02 PM

    Oh ! I thought it wasnt compatile with 1156. Well, in that case I'll think about it for a bit :) 
    March 22, 2011 7:07:09 PM

    Can I ask, what are your load temps with your hyper 212?
    March 22, 2011 7:30:37 PM

    Well, its running at 3608 Mhz with Intelturboboost. The ambient temperature for the below 2 tests was 18 degrees Celcius (64 degrees Fahrenheit).
    Test 1: 66 67 65 67
    Test 2: 67 67 66 66
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 7:39:30 PM

    Quote:
    Oh ! I thought it wasnt compatile with 1156. Well, in that case I'll think about it for a bit


    I could be wrong, and with the transition of i5/i7's from different sockets it's entirely possible there are differences between supported chips/sockets...what motherboard are you running?
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 7:43:59 PM

    Quote:
    Supported CPU
    CPU Socket Type
    LGA 1156
    CPU Type
    Core i7 (LGA1156)/i5 (LGA1156)
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 7:46:32 PM

    Both are actually the same pump, just one has an acetal top.

    MCP35x is more powerful than the MCP655/D5.
    MCP355/350/DDC<version> are the other versions of the MCP35x and very powerful as well, especially when you add aftermarket tops...it actually has more head pressure than the MCP655/D5's.
    March 22, 2011 7:49:49 PM

    So would you advise me to get the first or the second link?
    a c 330 K Overclocking
    March 22, 2011 8:04:04 PM

    Either way its a good choice. I assume both are actually pumps, and the one is the acetal top...not just a top alone, correct?

    I personally have the D5/MCP655 alone (2nd link, I believe) but either is great...as in the same pump. I like the acetal top which would allow you to port your in/out fittings how you choose...I've seen several like this...nice option over the 90 degree in/out of the stock pump housing.
    !