I'm thinking about water cooling

Currently I'm cooling my i5 2500k with a CM 212+, and I'm really not satisfied with the performance I'm getting. I want to be able to overclock it higher (up to 5GHz if possible), but the temps just get too high after 4.7GHz. I pretty much want to get the highest clock possible, without passing the 1.4V point.

Now I've been doing some small research, and I am not satisfied with what I know. I need/want to know more before I make any decisions, and I don't know how to go about finding information. I know I could just google and read as any topics/articles I could find. But I feel like I'd be finding out to much general information, with a lot of the stuff repeating mainly because I don't know what it is I need to search for.

So far I have watched all the water cooling guide video's from Dazmode, I've gone through about half the stuff in the sticky. I am not really ready to buy anything yet, or set out a budget. I know this will cost me from $100~$400, and I guess that's reasonable.

My build (I can add more if needed):
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932
CPU: i5 2500k
GPU: 2x XFX Radeon HD 6950 (These are not reference cards)

- In terms of space, I have a lot.
- I am thinking about a single loop to the CPU, that can be upgraded later to a multi loop if need be. I know adding the 2 GPU's will not be easy, and will need a lot of research before hand. Which is why I am only looking towards a single loop at the moment.
- I want parts that are reliable that will last through multiple builds, I plan too keep this case and the cooling system for long time.
- I will need a seller who sell in Canada.
6 answers Last reply
More about thinking water cooling
  1. Any time I've ever contemplated water cooling, fortunately a another poster somewhere has had a tale of woe concerning his W/C loop taking a leak in his case. Unless you're a competitive overclocker (??), stick to air. Measure what you might gain (and why) against what you might lose.
  2. I spent the time reading the sticky, doing research. Had all my parts and everything picked out. Eventually I decided against it.

    1. I don't want to have to drain the loop every few(~6) months.
    2. My understanding is that performance tops out pretty much after 4 Ghz, though that may have changed.
    3. It's mostly the video card that determines performance.

    Yeah, it's cool to get super high clocks. Impressing people is important, especially depending on what age you are. It's fun to take things to extremes. Do the research, learn, plan it out, get your shopping list done.

    Then take a bit of time to examine your motivation, and weight it against cost, pain in the butt, and what really is important.

    For me, I had other things to focus on. Maybe it is worth it to you.
  3. jtt283 is right if you run stock there is really no need for it (unless you want your hardware to last longer) it can be expensive and there is always the possibility of a leak
    On the other hand parts now a days seem to be quite well built and as long as you install it all properly you won’t have any issues even with a custom loop. Clamp all your barbs and pressure test it. I have only been water cooling for 3 years but there has never been even a drop of liquid in my case. Others have different stories I’m sure.
  4. corsiar h100?
  5. @Minute

    From my experience and the overclock you'd like with your 2500K, you'll have to go big with a radiator loop setup or you'll still not get where you want and be seriously disappointed.

    If you go mid range or a cheap water cooling solution you'll be wasting your money, you may as well ride down the road and throw it out the window, you'll need a high end water pump, a large radiator maybe 2 and I'm not talking adding the GPUs that 2500K overclocked to 5.0ghz gets hot, a reservoir, and really good CPU water block.

    You'll end up spending easily around the $500.00 range for a traditional rad loop to cool the 2500K enough to run 5.0Ghz, 24/7 or you can come out cheaper.


    It just depends on what you want, and what your goals are.
  6. For 5ghz on a 2500 or 2600 chip, you are going to need a 3x120 rad just for the CPU alone. Consider a 2x120 for each GPU at stock speeds...you could get by with another 3x120 if you left the GPUs at stock and ran faster fans on your rads. Also can consider 140mm sized rads if you'd prefer.

    Single loop is fine...unless you can tell me why dual loops would be any better- I can argue that the same components in a single loop will outperform those same components when split up...in a single loop, everything gets to use all the radiators in the loop, where in a dual loop, they don't.

    No, not a Corsair H100. Seriously?

    Leaks happen...most often to people that rush, cut corners or don't know what they are doing. I lost a video card once because I re-mounted a card and tubing came loose off a barb because I was in a hurry. I got it replaced since I had eVGA replacement coverage.

    There a lot of people in the world that will tell you how bad of an idea watercooling is...they are the same people that don't understand how it works or how great it can perform. If you are interested in it, do your homework, research and understand what you need for your budget and build. I've watercooled for over 9 years...and I will continue to watercool for quite some time to come.
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