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How do I know if I should incorporate liquid cooling?

Last response: in Overclocking
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June 14, 2012 12:59:44 PM

INTEL Core™ i5-3570K Quad-Core 3.4 - 3.8GHz TB, HD Graphics 4000, LGA1155, 6MB L3 Cache, 22nm, 77W, EM64T EIST VT-x XD, Retail

Here is my processor. I won't be doing much overclocking, but plan on getting the GTX 670 FTW video card. With this processor and video card, with the strong possibility of SLI-ing in the future, will I need to incorporate a CLCS such as a Hydro H100?

If I can get by with just a CPU fan cooler, which one is recommended? I've heard tons about the CM 212+ and EVO (which I think I'd get the EVO), but is there something better?
a b K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 1:14:36 PM

When contemplating liquid cooling, even closed-loop, three good sources of information include:

1. Benchmark reviews showing that good air is as effective as mediocre liquid.
2. Good liquid is custom, and very expensive. There are overclocking sites out there with more information, but you're looking at hundreds of dollars to "do it right."
3. These and other forums are filled with the tales of woe from those whose liquid cooling systems (even closed-loop) took a leak in their case.
Additionally, in the case of the IB CPU, it has internal thermal issues due to the use of a non-metallic interface, limiting how quickly heat from the processor can pass to the heat spreader. Air or liquid won't be your limiting factors with that chip.
If doubts remain, re-read #3, count the facepalms, and stick with air.
I recommend against ANY CM product because the company has been proven in competent technical reviews to be dishonest. A rational individual does not support dishonesty. Fortunately, there are similarly-priced, similarly-performing alternatives. I use a Xigmatek Gaia, another 120mm direct-touch tower cooler. Noctua and Scythe are other good choices for air coolers.
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June 14, 2012 1:21:02 PM

If you are not overclocking, don't get water cooling.

If you are doing under a 25% overclock, just get a bigger air cooler.

I never run water, air has served me well over the years, I even had a 2.66Ghz intel quad running 3.6Ghz and it ran very well on a Zalman heatsink.
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June 14, 2012 1:30:01 PM

Thanks for the heads up, man. Should I even reconsider a case, other than the HAF X? I may just stick with air, then. I like to play things the safe way.
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June 14, 2012 1:55:11 PM

The HAF-X is a great case. I ran air cooling in my HAF-X on my i5 2500k oc'd to 4 ghz and my temps were fine (Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo heat sink in a push pull setup).
I did go to water cooling though just because my 2 HD 6970 graphics cards sounded like a jet engine under load so water cooling quieted it down a lot. Unless you are planning on switching to a graphic heavy setup id recommend something like

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

All 3 are nice and they give you the benefit of water cooling with out the hassle.

Also just a note, you won't see much of an idle temp change between air and water cooling. Air might even idle a little cooler but you max temp wll be significantly lower on water, and the difference between your idle temp and your max temp will be significantly lower also.
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June 14, 2012 2:28:29 PM

If I don't overclock or superclock the video cards, would they ever be considered "under load" and therefore demand liquid cooling?
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June 14, 2012 2:44:28 PM

Your graphics card is under load whenever you decide to play a game or use it beyond just leaving your computer on.
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a c 121 K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 2:56:43 PM

If you are an enthusiast seeking to see how high you can OC, either the cpu or the graphics card, then do look into liquid cooling. Personally, I would avoid the all in one liquid cooler kits. They are expensive, noisy, not as reliable, and cause case airflow problems. That is because they occupy one or two of the exit fan slots so that fresh air can be drawn in through the radiator. That is good for cpu cooling, but not so good for the other components like the graphics cards. If mounted to exit the hot air, they are no more effective than a good air cooler.

If you are more interested in the results, then simpler, cheaper, and quieter air cooling is better.

On the cpu side, the 3570K is as good as it gets for gaming. At stock, it runs cooler and more efficiently than the predecessor 2500K. When given a conservative OC, say to 4.3 or so, it requires no great cooler. Any tower type $30 cpu cooler with a 120mm fan will do the job. As you start to push it, say past 4.5, the increase in voltage seems to drive the heat generated up very quickly. At that point, you are looking at a $80 cooler like the noctua NH-D14, or prolimatech megahalems.

Any air cooler will be effective in a decently ventilated case. By that, I mean a case with two 120mm intake fans, or the equivalent in output capacity.

The newer 28nm grapnics cards, like the 7970 or GTX670 do not take so much power and run cooler and quieter. I particularly like the direct exhaust cooler in the evga GTX670 ftw. It sends the hot air directly out the back of the case. Other oem coolers do a good job of cooling the graphics cards, but let lots of hot air cireculate in the case. That heats up both the card, and the cpu. Not good.

As to which case, buy one that you love. You will be looking at it for a long time.
From a functional point of view, look at the Antec 300 illusion model for $70:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Some 1300 reviewers will not be far wrong.
For other high quality cases, look at Lian li and silverstone.
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June 14, 2012 2:57:34 PM

Oh ok. I think I would rather spend money that will provide me with a performance upgrade. Since air coolers are pretty on par with liquid cooling, I may just stick with air cooling and try to squeeze more out of the machine without overclocking it.
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a b K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 2:59:03 PM

Rosewill, Antec and Silverstone all make excellent cases with good cooling including room for a lot of fans. This will allow you to avoid the products of a dishonest company, while not paying a price in quality or features.
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June 14, 2012 3:02:07 PM

Well, I do like the Silverstone Raven RV02-EW. However, I know the "guts" of the computer are very unorthodox (90 degree MoBo for a "hot air rises" exhaust). Can this case easily fit a decently sized CPU air cooler?
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June 14, 2012 3:10:34 PM

I'm not sure why I can't edit my messages, but it looks like I would have to upgrade to the Raven RV01B-W. I am assuming that since its a newer model, it'd be better?
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June 14, 2012 7:37:11 PM

Can anyone suggest some more CPU air coolers I can research, please?
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June 14, 2012 7:50:08 PM

The popular one now-a-days would be the Hyper 212 EVO from Coolermaster. Other great air coolers are from brands such as Zalman, Nocturna, and Scythe.

Here's a TH article about the Hyper 212+, the predecessor to the 212 EVO, and some others. TH Article Having a price range pre-set can help you figure out which cooler you should go after.
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a c 324 K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 7:55:24 PM

There are several pieces of information in this discussion that are incorrect or highly skewed without much basis of actual information.

Please read through the watercooling sticky if possible, but this discussion might be best served by having some of the watercooling forum members offer discussions as well.

Quote:
Oh ok. I think I would rather spend money that will provide me with a performance upgrade. Since air coolers are pretty on par with liquid cooling, I may just stick with air cooling and try to squeeze more out of the machine without overclocking it.


For instance, this is quite untrue unless you mean liquid cooling to only include boxed coolers from Corsair or Antec. Actual watercooling has the potential to offer much greater cooling potential. Please use a bit more discretion when offering this advice as it can be construed as highly incorrect.
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a c 145 K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 8:16:11 PM

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Quote:
It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling


That's SB .....Ivy Bridge tends to run quite hot when ya push the OC.....still I am not seeing higher OC's when temp gets taken outta the equation.
Quote:

I've heard tons about the CM 212+ and EVO (which I think I'd get the EVO), but is there something better?


The 212 was very popular because it was cheap. With Sandy Bridge, I'd select coolers as follows base \d upon target OC and budget......


4.4 - 4.5 GHz .... Hyper 212 ($35)
4.6 - 4.7 GHz .... Hyper 612 or Scythe Mugen 3 ($50)
4.8 - 5.0 GHz .... Thermalright Silver Arrow or Phanteks ($85)

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/phanteks_ph_tc14pe...

I always try and select the case and PSU based upon how well they work together and budget. As for case / PSU recommendations:

1st choice - Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow ($290) w/ HX850 ($155) - Expensive but I'd pay $100 for the removable door feature alone. PSU is 10.0 jonnyguru performance rating and better voltage stability and lower ripple tan its successors.
9.55 BMR Rating - http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

2nd Choice - Antec DF-85 ($140) or 1200 V3 ($160) w/ CP850 ($120) - An extremely quiet combination.....10.0 jonnyguru performance PSU PSU has no competition at its price level but only fits 4 Antec Cases. Read how the case / PSU work together here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

3rd Choice - Corsair 500R ($130) w/ Corsair HX850 ($155)
9.25 rating at BMR http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

4th Choice - HAF-XM ($130) w/ Seasonic X-850 ($200)
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Quote:
I won't be doing much overclocking, but plan on getting the GTX 670 FTW video card. With this processor and video card, with the strong possibility of SLI-ing in the future


The Asus 670 DCII Cu TOP (Boost Clock at 1137) is 5% faster than the EVGA 670 FTW (Boost Clock at 1084) and it can be OC'd further than the EVGA cards based upon these comparisons:

EVGA 670 SC http://www.guru3d.com/article/evga-geforce-gtx-670-sc-r...\
Asus 670 TOP http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-geforce-gtx-670-dire...

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a c 110 K Overclocking
June 14, 2012 8:26:21 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
4.4 - 4.5 GHz .... Hyper 212 ($35)


I suppose that's a "comfortable" recommendation (for SB), but I can easily do 4.7 with my 212 Evo in push/pull, I just don't like the voltage required to do it, so I stick to 4.5.

Temps at 4.7 are still right at 70C for me, though.
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