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Big Air or Little Water???

When I built my system, I just went w/ one of the Zalman, decently rated heatsink/fan's, but I want to OC more and push my 2600K.

What has better cooling performance?
a big air cooler, like the Noctua NH-D14?
OR
a closed loop liquid cooling system, like the Corsair H80i?

Clearance issues w/ my RAM or Case?
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231449
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147145
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about water
  1. you can also consider h100i, i'm using the h100...big air and little water sounds equal...custom water cooling is obviously better. I think it comes down to how risky do you feel as your water cooling can always leak :D
  2. I don't want a custom water cooling unit. I move my system around every once in a while and I don't want to knock something loose...
  3. I use a hyper 212+ and at 4.8GHz 100% load (Prime95) I max out in the 65-70c range... How high do you plan to overclock, and what temperatures do you hope to keep the CPU at?
  4. I don't want to break 70c at 100% load.

    So, I'm hoping for more like 4.8GHz. I might test as high as 5.0GHz, if temps stay low.
  5. Well if you don't want to spend a lot of money i would say get the Hyper 212 evo, should get you around what you are hoping for and it is only $30ish. You could go with the Noctua for I think ~$80? but you won't see much difference in the two.
  6. Best answer
    Big air over little water,
    if you go wet you go big or you can easily be disappointed with the results :)
    Moto
  7. I agree. I'd go with a good mid range air cooler or even one of the noctua coolers or phanteks cooler
  8. Always big air.

    There are just WAY too many problems with closed-circuit water coolers that there's no point - especially since their job can be done just as well with less noise and less money with a high-end air cooler.
  9. Best answer selected by ittimjones.
  10. Thank you for B.a. man, glad to help
    Moto
  11. Loving my Noctua!!!

    It dropped my CPU temps and case temps. Since case temps dropped, the GPU temps have also dropped! Now my GPU's actually only get to about 60C as opposed to the 73C'ish they used to get to! CPU is nice and cool, and i did get 4.8, but it wasn't completely stable. I may try squeezing a bit more out as i'm 100% stable now. also working on OC'ing my GPU's since i have the temp headroom now!

    Thanks for all the help guys!!!

    One thing to note though, I did have to remove the 190mm side case fan to install it. And I had to trim the mounts for said fan about 1/2 inch as well. Otherwise, it was a tight, but perfect fit.

    I'm pretty much done w/ upgrading this rig. Just OC'ing now. Next (and only) item on my Amazon wishlist is:
    http://www.amazon.com/TRITTON-Surround-Headset-Xbox-360-6304300/dp/B008H1IFPG
    For Xbox, PS3, and PC gaming
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