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To watercool or not?

Hi,

I might be going down the watercooling road if I am truly convinced by someone. Is it truly worth it? By how much would my temps be reduced? (my rig spec is in my signature). Currently running a max of 69C on the CPU (9hours prime 95) with 28C ambient. Most probably Ill be getting an XSPC rad (240mm I guess) any suggestions? RX, RS, ES? Also get Which pump (Swiftech MCP655 or XSPC X20 450 or 750), and CPU block (XSPC RayStorm or RASA) .

Need suggestions fast please.

Also I want this to last a few years. How long does a loop last?
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  1. Not.

    What's the point, your cpu can keep TWO gtx560's at it's stock speed, and your already at 3.7ghz.
  2. Ok thanks. I was just being convinced by a friend and I need more feedback. If Im right the difference would be about 5-10C? Is this correct?
  3. What would you want to accomplish?

    How much would you need to spend?

    If you are not having any failures, why bother? Perhaps you might be able to squeeze out a few more ghz.
    But, consider the net price for a sandy bridge or ivy bridge upgrade may be less than an expensive and fussy water cooling setup. And will be much more effective.

    Friends sometimes want to share the pain of a doubtful choice.
  4. Hahahaha. I would have wanted to reach 4.2 or so but I can only reach 4.1 on air but temps are too high for my tastes so went to 3.8 since for now its more than enough for my gaming use. Im estimating at most the cost of a loop would be around $400 but im just hoping for at the most $250. hahahah.

    Well Im still not totally convinced if i should get it. Im leaning more on just saving for an SSD or another 560
  5. shoot you said:
    Hahahaha. I would have wanted to reach 4.2 or so but I can only reach 4.1 on air but temps are too high for my tastes so went to 3.8 since for now its more than enough for my gaming use. Im estimating at most the cost of a loop would be around $400 but im just hoping for at the most $250. hahahah.

    Well Im still not totally convinced if i should get it. Im leaning more on just saving for an SSD or another 560


    Just remember that $400 will buy you a 2500K, a motherboard and ram that will blow the i7-960 away. ivy bridge will be even better.
    The upgrade will cost even less with the resale of your old parts.
  6. Yeah Ill just hold off till then i guess. I just want to be totally sure hehehehe.

    Thanks guys I think im more or less keeping my current settings until a later upgrade. (im over the 90% rate of being convinced)
  7. Best answer
    Certainly not worth it when you consider the temperature drop Vs Price, for example your load temps may drop by about 10C but it'll cost you $300

    Also consider that maintaining, building and leak testing a loop takes along time, you also have to research ALOT.
    Then if you want to upgrade your CPU or ig you had your GPU in the loop and wanted to upgrade it, you'd have to drain the loop, dismantle it, install the new component, re-assemble the loop and then leak test...

    High end air cooling these days is pretty good so unless you absolutely must have every single last Mhz or an extremely silent PC then it isn't worth the time, effort or money involved.

    Anyway that all sounds abit negative, watercooling can look really nice, offers excellent temps and can be very quiet (depending on the pump, how you mount it and the Fans you use).
  8. One small alteration Omg,
    You don't usually have to strip the loop to replace a Cpu or redo the thermal paste, at least not when you've designed the loop with enough slack to move the block,
    Gpu your bang on ofc, but even then there are ways round it for the forward -thinking person :P
    But yes, unless Op wants to go wet, theres no real 'need' to in his case
    Moto
  9. Thanks guys. Ill take everything into consideration and see the final price of the offer then decide whether or not to push through with it. But I do think the hassle of changing and draining outweighs everything right now.
  10. Motopsychojdn said:
    One small alteration Omg,
    You don't usually have to strip the loop to replace a Cpu or redo the thermal paste, at least not when you've designed the loop with enough slack to move the block,
    Gpu your bang on ofc, but even then there are ways round it for the forward -thinking person :P
    But yes, unless Op wants to go wet, theres no real 'need' to in his case
    Moto


    Yeah true you might get away with replacing a CPU without draining the loop, however I would advise using good quality rotary fittings as the cheaper rotaries can leak easily if you strain the tubing

    You could also use quick disconnects but I think they look ugly :p
  11. That was my getout for the graphics cards hehe :P
    Moto
  12. Motopsychojdn said:
    That was my getout for the graphics cards hehe :P
    Moto


    Haha, if your after function over form or like the look of them then its a HUGE time saver. :)
  13. That would be the best set up for one who often swaps out gfx cards,
    like a tester/reviewer or constant upgrader, and they would probably opt for universal gfx blocks too, save the costs somewhat.
    I dont plan on having Qdc's on my cards when I can afford to put them in, although plans are often subject to change with my mods :)
    Moto
  14. I would suggest to anyone building a water loop that it IS NOT a choice I recommend doing making quickly.

    What's with people showing up and demanding 'I want to watercool tomorrow- just tell me what to spend my money on and I'll be on my way'. If that's the case, how do you know what you are buying is 1) any good (you might be taking advice from people who don't know any better and 2) would you really go and spend your OWN money on stuff that someone else tells you to without knowing what else is out there that might be better for YOU?
  15. Well for the watercooling part, it has been at the back of my mind since last year and I just saw a good opportunity for building one and my friend asked me if I would be interested. So just wanted to see what others opinions on my current situation. Sorry if my post seems to be a rushed decision but and my friend is leaving soon so I just wanted to get a more definitive decision. I do know that one must research and know what they want. Again I just want to know your suggestions since you guys are more experienced in this field.
  16. "Just remember that $400 will buy you a 2500K, a motherboard and ram that will blow the i7-960 away." I'm not so sure about that - OPs current cpu/ram config is still pretty good. Taking that $400 and selling current GPUs and going to a better single(or two) GPU may be the road to travel. HD7970 is looking pretty sweet - let alone two of them.
    -Bruce
  17. You're better off investing the money in a new rig or a bigger air cooling system if you really want better performance.

    However, if you have money to burn, then go for water cooling.
  18. rubix_1011 said:
    I would suggest to anyone building a water loop that it IS NOT a choice I recommend doing making quickly.

    What's with people showing up and demanding 'I want to watercool tomorrow- just tell me what to spend my money on and I'll be on my way'. If that's the case, how do you know what you are buying is 1) any good (you might be taking advice from people who don't know any better and 2) would you really go and spend your OWN money on stuff that someone else tells you to without knowing what else is out there that might be better for YOU?


    Word! ;)
  19. I'm currently working on my first water cooling loop, not because it's "worth it" performance per dollar but because it's awesome. and fun.

    That, silent builds or extreme OC's (again mostly for being awesome) seem to be the reasons to watercool.

    That's my two cents anyway.
  20. Watercooling and 'silence' aren't usually a 1:1...in fact, they often can be louder than air cooling since you need more fans for the radiators you intend to use. However, this is directly related to the fans you decide to use, so this is where personal choice comes in...you can often do well with lower speed (and lower noise) fans with good performance if you design your loop well.
  21. Ok I just confirmed with another friend on watercooling the 920 and it seems that im just off 8C with about the same OC. I may really stay with air cooling for now.

    But could someone tell me how long do LCS components last? I mean that large an investment should last more that 3 years right?
  22. You are meaning coolers like the H70/H80/H100? I don't know off-hand, but most of the time, components are measured in MTBF by hours...like 50,000 hrs for example.
  23. Hi rubix, Im currently running a Ven X and getting the 69C CPU load temp at 3.8 Ghz and comparing to a friend who has an RS240 kit, it seems im off about 8C but Im not sure on his ambient temps though. Well the reason for me considering an LCS is for the looks and better temps but the price just really gets me like what others have said. So far I have seen reviews and sites that show the temps of water over ambient air and I do not really know how this will translate to my system's CPU temp (vcore 1.275 with BCLK 181x21). Someone told me that if I built a setup with these parts my current temp of 69C will drop below 60C.

    RS240 radiator
    RS120 radiator
    Raystorm cpu block
    X20 750 pump

    Is this true? with an ambient temp of 28C?

    I mean how long to LCS components last before they fail (pumps like the MC655 or the X20 750 and radiators like the EX240 and the like). I would want to find out how long such an investment would last (part of being worth it or not).
  24. Rs series rads are bottom level, throw an RX or EX into the loop and he'll see improvements himself :)
    Rx perform way better than Rs, and EX are the same slim size as the Rs so its for you to think which fits you best

    Radiators won't fail, pumps come with a Mean Time Before Failure as Rubix said, and theres five year old tubing out there still doing its job today,
    W/c isn't a 'cooling solution' like the H50 etc, its a thing that gets into your skull and drives you :)
    Moto
  25. Moto

    Actually if I do build I may go for the EX series instead of the RS since theres just a little difference from RS prices. So you are saying that the 10C or more is possible with my system? I have read on another site that with a 920 C0 at 4 Ghz the 750 RS240 kit gets about 63C @ 1700RPM.

    Also I have read that the EX can perform just as well as the RX given a higher RPM fan like lets say a scythe slipstream (110CFM)?
  26. I think you are somewhat confused on 10C, this is typically referred in delta-T; the water temperature vs. ambient air temperature and almost always a consideration when the entire system is at 100% load. There are several factors that work into this calculation and I have some simple breakdowns in the WC sticky that should help you in this department.

    As for the EX vs RS rads, go with the EX if possible- they are better performance for the value.
  27. Hi rubix I mean a decrease of 10 degrees from my current temps.
  28. +1, the Rs series in my mind were binned when they brought out the EX's
    bear in mind that 9+ fans especially high rpm/cfm jobs is most likely going to destroy any thoughts you harboured of a 'silent' system,
    I am very lucky in that I designed my Rig for looks and the performance to me is almost a side effect, but you seem driven by 'low temps!!' so you are going to need powerful fans and a lot of radspace,
    the fans come with that noise tag I'm afraid
    but as Rubix said you seem to be looking at a 10'c Delta, which simply means that your loop provides you with a running temperature of XX'Ambient plus +-10 degrees,
    so for a delta of say 10'c, if you are in a room thats 30'c, you would have a Cpu at 40 idle, thats your 10'c right there :)
    you generally can't watercool below ambient temperature
    Moto
  29. I achieved around a 10C load temp drop on my i5 750. But that wasn't really the point, for me.

    WC is a hobby in itself. It's bad ass, for one. It also can make your CPU significantly quieter - I run all my fans at a mere 1300rpm.

    But it is pricey and for the performance, not very cost effective either.

    That said... I can't wait to spend more money on it.
  30. ^I run all my fans at lowest, 600rpm I think?depends what my fancontroller kicks at lowest setting,
    except for the mod I did over my Cpu block, that one runs at 1500, and my Rig is still bloody silent haha :P
    Moto
  31. Well for me its performance > noise > looks hehehehe

    I was targeting about 55C load temps with my current OC when I go liquid. So thats a drop of nearly 15C. Thats what Im asking if my load temp could drop to that level. I think if that happens then in my mind I could justify the cost and everything else.

    Also would the X20 750 pump be sufficient for the above set up?
  32. shoot you said:
    Hi rubix, Im currently running a Ven X and getting the 69C CPU load temp at 3.8 Ghz and comparing to a friend who has an RS240 kit, it seems im off about 8C but Im not sure on his ambient temps though. Well the reason for me considering an LCS is for the looks and better temps but the price just really gets me like what others have said. So far I have seen reviews and sites that show the temps of water over ambient air and I do not really know how this will translate to my system's CPU temp (vcore 1.275 with BCLK 181x21). Someone told me that if I built a setup with these parts my current temp of 69C will drop below 60C.

    RS240 radiator
    RS120 radiator
    Raystorm cpu block
    X20 750 pump

    Is this true? with an ambient temp of 28C?

    I mean how long to LCS components last before they fail (pumps like the MC655 or the X20 750 and radiators like the EX240 and the like). I would want to find out how long such an investment would last (part of being worth it or not).



    This really depends on what the actual ambient temps are for you and your friend, what hardware, if it is OC the same, same voltages, etc. I would say that seeing low-mid 50's C is a pretty good temp to shoot for on an overclocked CPU, but this depends on the actual chip, volts, etc. like I mentioned before. Higher speeds require more volts which means more heat. For instance, my Q6600 is overclocked at 3.6ghz which is 1.2ghz over stock. However, it requires a decent amount of voltage increase which causes it to run around 52-55C at 100% load. When I run the same chip around 3-3.2ghz, load temps on the chip are in the mid-high 40's C. My GPUs both run around 42-45C at load.

    It all comes down to what you want to cool, how cool you want it to run and what your overall watercooling budget is. So, with that being said, a 10C drop in temps is possible.

    Quote:
    Also would the X20 750 pump be sufficient for the above set up?


    It's possible, but you may wish to consider a better pump as you move to a larger loop. Those X20 pumps are really designed for a CPU only loop, or maybe a single GPU. As you move to dual GPUs and additional components, having more head pressure and flow is highly beneficial.
  33. For the cooling you want I would say the RX360 rad is more in line with your desires, the 750 will handle things fine but once you've had the loop five minutes you will be looking at upgrading so go for a better pump straight off (like the mcp655), then you can support an extra rad if you wish
    and if noise really isn't an issue,
    http://www.tfc-triebwerk.com/

    Moto
  34. Watercooling is an addiction...no setup is ever enough...no matter how expensive and elaborate...it's the nature of the beast. :)
  35. /agree, I built a watercooled case, and put a pc in just as an afterthought hehe :P
    You seen my gfx card plan yet Rubix?
    Moto
  36. Yeah, but only briefly. I need to read through the entire thread and see what's up.
  37. I was told that this system would not go beyond $300 (with the fittings tube and coolant)

    RS240 radiator
    RS120 radiator
    Raystorm cpu block
    X20 750 pump

    Well for the settings for my CPU I would want to keep my i7-920 D0 at 3.8Ghz (BCLK 181, voltage 1.275, multiplier 21) and from there hope for the 55C ^_^. Aside from this the inside of my PC would look awesome.
  38. Why wouldn't you just get a Rasa RX360 or Raystorm EX 360 kit? Why the 240 and 120 rads when you could just have 1?

    Also, are you including your GPU or not?

    If not, you'd really only need a 240 version.
  39. I really doubt you'll get 55C. For example when I hit the stress tests, water should be at ambient temp initially, yet my CPU temp goes up to 60C or so. It has nothing to do with more rad, just that the CPU block can't transfer the heat fast enough. My pump automatically increases it's speed, too, although only about 30% I think (keep noise down), but it doesn't have much affect on CPU temp.
  40. Well for the GPU maybe later on. The reason for looking at 240 rads is to be able to fit everything inside my case and i dont think the 360 would fit in the CM Sniper without removing too much. (I could fit 2 240 rads plus 1 120).

    wolfram23 said:
    I really doubt you'll get 55C. For example when I hit the stress tests, water should be at ambient temp initially, yet my CPU temp goes up to 60C or so. It has nothing to do with more rad, just that the CPU block can't transfer the heat fast enough. My pump automatically increases it's speed, too, although only about 30% I think (keep noise down), but it doesn't have much affect on CPU temp.


    Wolfram Im guessing that after the initial shock the temp stabilizes below 60C or does it maintain at 60?
  41. There are a lot of variables that are in-play here, so it's difficult to say what you will or will-not achieve. Also remember that temps reported in RealTemp, CoreTemp or other monitoring software is the instant temp of the hardware being reported, not the water temperature. While they are related as a function of one another, your water temperature should always remain within the delta range of your loop in relation to actual ambient room temperature. This will cause your hardware reporting temps to fluctuate a bit as well...like I said, they are related, but not instantly impactive or responsive.
  42. The last results I recorded, core temps maxed out at 66, 65, 61, 63, respectively.

    I think on air I was tipping out around 78C on highest core for the same test. Not 100% sure.
  43. wolfram23 said:
    The last results I recorded, core temps maxed out at 66, 65, 61, 63, respectively.

    I think on air I was tipping out around 78C on highest core for the same test. Not 100% sure.


    May I know What heatsink you used for air cooling?
  44. I had a Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
  45. Guys, a question so with everything that I said looking at my case I could place 2x240mm rads and 1 120mm rad inside of the case. (Bay reservoir) the first 240mm would be below the HDD cage the second at the top and the 120 would be at the back exhaust area. So would using the 120 rad give any additional benefit to the whole system or would it be very minimal benefit over the 2x240mm or would a 120mm and 240mm rad give an OK performance? (this would be cooling the CPU, northbridge and a GPU)

    I may just go with the EX series rads.

    I have yet to decide to go water but want to know any advantages for each of these so when I finally decide I have a better grasp of it.

    So far I do understand the more real estate (rad area) you have the better but adding the area of 120mm how much performance is achieved? Of course a mighty pump should be present to push everything through.

    So the options are

    240 and 120

    240 and 240

    240, 240, and 120

    Block

    XSPC Ray Storm

    Pump

    XSPC X20 750

    or

    Swiftech MCP 655

    Reservoir

    TBD

    Fittings and Tubing

    TBD

    Fans

    Scythe 120 (maybe slip streams. Gentle typhoons are expensive)
  46. For SLI 560's and CPU? You are going to want to go with the 240/240/120 if that is all that will fit your case. (everyone is so concerned about stuff fitting inside their case without modifications...where is the modding/DIY spirit around here?)
    Quote:
    (this would be cooling the CPU, northbridge and a GPU)


    Where did the northbridge block come in and why? Is it 2 GPUs or only 1? You seem rather confused, here.

    You shouldn't consider the X20 pump in a custom loop- if you are getting it, you are already getting a Rasa or Raystorm kit...but don't purchase as part of a custom build, separately.
  47. Buy a dremel with that order and you're all set ;)

    Seriously though, handy tool. I stuck a 240 rad inside the front of my Antec 900 II, and I'm looking at how I can fit more rad... although I might have to just bite the bullet and buy a new case. That Cosmos II is sexy.

    Anyway, I think 2x 240 would be adequate, but I definitely think 5x120 rad space is what you need for good temps. And really, an extra rad, cost wise, isn't that much when you're already spending several hundred on the full setup.

    You can also consider something like the XSPC RASA kit or Swiftech Edge kit, and adding a couple rads to them. I have the Edge kit (220) and it is seriously bad ass. Comes with the MCP355x which has a very high head pressure (especially given it's size) but it's also PWM controlled, so it only speeds up when your temps are high - if you set it up that way. For my i5 750 @ 4ghz it is more than enough. Given the cost, it's way cheaper than buying everything separately. The only thing to consider is that it makes a 240 rad about half a size bigger, so space might be a concern. The dimensions are all on the Swiftech website.
  48. Swiftech Drive/Edge kits are a great alternative to Rasa/Raystorm kits and include a much better pump.

    Good call.
  49. Thanks guys.

    Well so far my system only has 1 560 Ti but I do want to get a second one or buy a higher one and sell the 560 or use it as PhysX and my mobo has a "watercooling" attachement for the northbridge (according to reviews it doesnt do much hehehehe).

    Rubix dont worry Im not too confused Im just putting everything that is readily available in my area and giving it here. Sadly, though I would love to look at the Swiftech system its hard to come by need to still order it from an online site.

    Wolfram, I have a rotary tool (RTX) and other stuff and I do modding as a hobby and will mod my case to fit everything if I do finally decide to push through with this project. (I can see that with a bit of work i could fit 3 240rads and 2 120 rads if I wanted to hehehehehe).
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