In an interesting experiment, YouTuber Major Hardware watercooled the popular Hyper 212 Evo air cooler to hit sub-ambient temperatures.
Liquid cooling vendors try to make the biggest deal out of even the smallest change to a production water block, stating that one version is optimized for high-volume pumps while another is optimized for high pressure, but the basic focus has always been to provide a greater amount of surface area with the lowest impediment to flow.
YouTuber Major Hardware effectively sidestepped all of those flow-vs-pressure arguments with a cold plate that operates optimally at both low volume and low pressure. More precisely, it simply created the largest available cold plate by using an air-cooling heat sink. Check it out in the video below.
Using aquarium building techniques, the channel built a tank around the Cooler Master’s Hyper 212 EVO (sans fan) and fitted it with a cheap aquarium pump. That pump circulated water through an ice-filled pitcher, allowing a Core i5-2500K overclocked to 4.60 GHz to reach a mere 45 °C under full load.
The ice eventually melted, which we suggest might be solved by adding a large, liquid-cooled thermoelectric cooling element to the pitcher. And perhaps a radiator, rather than another, larger ice-filled container. It’s just a thought.