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Water cooling vs. Air cooling

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  • Water Cooling
  • Cooling
  • Components
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Which do you use?

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September 30, 2013 1:01:25 AM

Okay I've been reading and learning about water cooling for some time now, and I would like to know what the difference between the benefits of an air cooler and a water cooler is, besides the obvious price difference, which is your preference and why (preferably an in depth description explaining why you chose this)? All opinions are welcome, like I said I am a water cooling person so i really don't know the added benefits for water cooling vs. air cooling. (Besides at night it gets so dead around here something has to keep us entertained).

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September 30, 2013 2:11:06 AM

Kraken x60 over here. As to the why:
Why didn´t I go for an air cooler? While there are some really badass looking air coolers, the case looks just so "crowded" with a big air cooler. Also, the cooling performance isn´t as good as with a liquid cooler.
Why didn´t I go for a custom loop? Way too expensive and too much work for me. But I really like what some of you guys do with it and how it looks.
Why did I choose the Kraken over any other AiO cooler? I tried the H100i which is a great unit but it just can´t compete with the Kraken. Also tried the Swiftech H220 but got a faulty unit and also the installation is just a pain in the a$$.
September 30, 2013 2:11:50 AM

ddbtkd456 said:
Okay I've been reading and learning about water cooling for some time now, and I would like to know what the difference between the benefits of an air cooler and a water cooler is, besides the obvious price difference, which is your preference and why (preferably an in depth description explaining why you chose this)? All opinions are welcome, like I said I am a water cooling person so i really don't know the added benefits for water cooling vs. air cooling. (Besides at night it gets so dead around here something has to keep us entertained).


well water cooling is more quieter and gives you slightly better cooling that a good air cooler.
as for me i chose a high end air cooler, at the end it comes down to what you need care about. i wanted to do a moderate OC, so i decided so save space for the radiators of a future custom water cooling for the GPUs (a gamer instinct), and i didn't care about the exaggerated air cooler noise. alone in the room, with headsets.
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September 30, 2013 2:15:32 AM

A high end air cooler will get your CPU to the same temperature as a water cooling setup. Both systems move air from your CPU into the ambient environment and neither system can get you any cooler with some exotic setups. The primary difference between the two would be fan noise and maximum OC settings (though there is debates about this last one).

Heat is transferred from a warmer medium to a cooler one until both mediums are the same temperature. CPU -> Heat spreader -> Heat Sink -> Air vs CPU -> Heat spreader -> Water Block -> Water -> Radiator -> Air for water. In the first method your transferring the heat direction into the air inside the PC which is then vented out the back. Your limited by surface area of the heat sink and the volume of air your moving across that heat sink. Water cooling provides a much larger heat sink surface area along with the use of many large slow rotating fans. If you go into WCing your GPU's it gets even more apparent as there isn't much space for cooling in the standard 2x slot GPU configuration. Moving the heat transfer mechanism to a water look / radiator setup will result in significantly better temperatures along with reduced noise (GPU fans are notoriously loud at full rotation).
September 30, 2013 2:20:28 AM

That was good information so which one are you, again this is just a discussion however all information is welcome :) 
September 30, 2013 2:22:23 AM

Som3one said:
Kraken x60 over here. As to the why:
Why didn´t I go for an air cooler? While there are some really badass looking air coolers, the case looks just so "crowded" with a big air cooler. Also, the cooling performance isn´t as good as with a liquid cooler.
Why didn´t I go for a custom loop? Way too expensive and too much work for me. But I really like what some of you guys do with it and how it looks.
Why did I choose the Kraken over any other AiO cooler? I tried the H100i which is a great unit but it just can´t compete with the Kraken. Also tried the Swiftech H220 but got a faulty unit and also the installation is just a pain in the a$$.


I do like the Kraken x60 since i run it in my *almost* $2,000 dollar computer, but it seems like I had some issues getting the backplate to mount right. I have a 8350, and the screws weren't long enough for it.
September 30, 2013 2:36:13 AM

ddbtkd456 said:
That was good information so which one are you, again this is just a discussion however all information is welcome :) 


My main gaming system is a water cooled fx8350 with 2 x EVGA GTX 580 hydros. I really don't like the loud whining sound that high end GPU's make when their under load.

My other systems are just air cooled with good coolers.

September 30, 2013 8:12:14 AM

That awesome :) 
September 30, 2013 9:10:56 AM

Water cooled with Antec kuhler 920. Works flawlessly no maintenance at all, super quiet.
September 30, 2013 9:25:50 AM

ldewitt said:
Water cooled with Antec kuhler 920. Works flawlessly no maintenance at all, super quiet.


Wow see I am learning here lol, the quieter the better after all.
September 30, 2013 9:41:01 AM

ddbtkd456 said:
ldewitt said:
Water cooled with Antec kuhler 920. Works flawlessly no maintenance at all, super quiet.


Wow see I am learning here lol, the quieter the better after all.


Yeah i have the AMD FX 8120 8 core processor and the stock cooler that came with it SCREEMED when under load while gaming, worked fine just was loud as hell. So i researched the Kuhler 920 closed loop system and the only noise i get is from my 2 case fans other than that i cant hear the radiator fans on the kuhler until i put my ear next to it. Good investment for performance and noise reasons.
September 30, 2013 9:43:19 AM

For sure, I have a Kraken x60 and the silent profile is acually silent, actually even the extreme is pretty quite.
!