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Best type of cooling? (Air vs Water)

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Anonymous
April 18, 2012 4:57:18 PM

Hey,

So I recently upgraded my computer, and now it has an i5-2500k, 2xRadeon 5870's, 2 x 7200rpm hard drives, 1050W PSU, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM.

I'm thinking my next "upgrade" when I need it (it runs everything maxed right now), would just be to get a cooling system and then overclock the CPU and GPU. But to have good solid overclocking improvements and also without reducing the lifespan of any of the parts, what type of cooling should I get? Which one is more economical? I don't want to spend TOO much on cooling (budget would maybe be sub $150).


What cooling should I get? Recommendations for fans/water systems would be nice as well.

Thanks



NOTE:
My system currently does not have a case. I built a small rack out of LEGO to hold my hard drives and optical drive, and I plugged in a case fan and pointed it towards the drives to cool them (since LEGO isn't entirely heat resistant), The mobo and other stuff are just on my desk.

More about : type cooling air water

a b K Overclocking
April 18, 2012 5:17:55 PM

if you want water go for h80 or h100
best air coolers go around that price (noctua heatsinks for example)
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April 18, 2012 5:19:49 PM

There is no need to water cool your setup. Get a solid case with good airflow, add a decent CPU cooler (Noctua, imo) and you will be mid-ranged overclocking of your CPU.

When it come time to OC your GPUs you will be able to get a single card solution that will give you more bang for your buck, use less energy and generate less heat than watercooling and overclocking your two current GPUs.

So purchase priorities (if it were me) would be:

1. Case
2. CPU fan
3. New video card

In that order.

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Anonymous
April 18, 2012 5:35:15 PM

po1nted said:
There is no need to water cool your setup. Get a solid case with good airflow, add a decent CPU cooler (Noctua, imo) and you will be mid-ranged overclocking of your CPU.

When it come time to OC your GPUs you will be able to get a single card solution that will give you more bang for your buck, use less energy and generate less heat than watercooling and overclocking your two current GPUs.

So purchase priorities (if it were me) would be:

1. Case
2. CPU fan
3. New video card

In that order.


My PC is actually a frankenstein PC; I had the 5870 2-3 years ago hooked up to my laptop in a DIY vidock config, but then I took the optical drive from one desktop, two hard drives from two other desktops, the PSU from an xw9400 workstation, and then bought the motherboard CPU 8GB RAM combo for $350 and another 5870 for $150.

I would have gotten a new card and sold my old one if I didn't find a 5870 for $150.

Do GPU's have aftermarket cooling systems that make overclocking better?
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April 18, 2012 6:22:16 PM

Watercooling a "Frankestein" is not a good path. Work towards a proper setup. Your system isnt getting proper cooling, as it is. Why try to upgrade something that isn't optimal in the first place.

I could upgrade my Fiat Pands uno with a twin turbo charger and 16" disc brakes.... but WHY? I won't realize the benefit from any of that, it will be a horrible expensive and not worth the effort attempt.

Yes, you could by aftermarket coolers, but they are designed with PC cases in mind. This for example:

http://www.provantage.com/zalman-tech-vf3000a~7ZALM06J....

But... WHY? I would get setup properly and then worry about upgrading. Sounds like you are asking for component failure, problems and general instability with that setup.

Your cards are 4 years old. Why put moer money into them. Investing that money for 2 fans would go a long way towards a single more efficient and powerful GPU.

Again, my prefered upgrade path if I were in your situation would be:

1. Case
2. CPU fan
3. New single video card

Spending all that money on an improper setup to potentially see marginal improvement in gameplay just seems stupid.
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a c 190 K Overclocking
April 18, 2012 7:28:04 PM

Actually a lot of real W/c rigs are 'Frankenstein' builds, not just pretty alienware tat, its where the scene started and a lot of old-timers remain open to jury-rigging things to a loop,
and given the lego hard drive cage, I think op would fit into the W/c community just fine :) 
unfortunately a low budget is going to restrict you on water options, if you can up it a touch you can grab a swiftech 220 kit or Xspc kit to get you going,
don't bother with All in one set ups like H50/70-100 etc, its dead money once you get the bug :p 
I would read the W/c sticky top of Overclocking section and decide yourself if its something that you want/need and are preapred to invest time and money into,
you can cool your rig with air just fine as mentioned, but water is a whole new playground,
Moto
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April 19, 2012 2:31:20 PM

If you plan to go water cooling dont make a big mistake many have made and go with Corsair H 80 or the 100 there garbage..You use these & theres a 50% chance somthing will screw up on them and youll be stuck with down time..There loud and unreliable..I still can't understand why they place there pumps in there waterblocks just makes no sense..
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Anonymous
April 19, 2012 6:17:45 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
Actually a lot of real W/c rigs are 'Frankenstein' builds, not just pretty alienware tat, its where the scene started and a lot of old-timers remain open to jury-rigging things to a loop,
and given the lego hard drive cage, I think op would fit into the W/c community just fine :) 
unfortunately a low budget is going to restrict you on water options, if you can up it a touch you can grab a swiftech 220 kit or Xspc kit to get you going,
don't bother with All in one set ups like H50/70-100 etc, its dead money once you get the bug :p 
I would read the W/c sticky top of Overclocking section and decide yourself if its something that you want/need and are preapred to invest time and money into,
you can cool your rig with air just fine as mentioned, but water is a whole new playground,
Moto


One problem with the salvaged arts is that I don't know if my power source can be screwed into a regular case, because it is an OEM workstation one. I know for a fact that their IO shield is diffent from standard.

Is budget watercooling worth it, or is fan better?
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a c 190 K Overclocking
April 19, 2012 6:34:52 PM

Measure your Psu, and google the different Psu form factors (sizes)
that will let you know the suitability of it on that particular case (without modding ofc)
and theres no standard I/o shield, each Mobo has their own to suit the ports it has, but the rectangle is a standard size as well, M-atx mobo's will all have the same size cutout, and every Mobo F.F. would follow suit I believe,
there are no problems with salvaged parts, just challenges to overcome :p 
Moto
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April 19, 2012 8:25:15 PM

I agree with these new computer CPU"s & gaming parts that are hitting the market just dont create heat like they use to so there's really no reason to go w/c...I even know a couple of fellow gamers that went back to fan cooling...The only reason im keeping my W/cooling unit is for the past few month i was totally into making my computer silent...10 decibels
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