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Ergroilnin

Why do people cool down mostly the CPU?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have been wondering about this for a while...

 

I have seen tons of people water cooling their CPUs, be it an AIO or custom water loop while either not overclocking at all, or overclocking just mildly.

 

While not so many people out there actually water cool their GPUs, why is that?

I mean unless you go for hardcore CPU overclock (say 5.2 Ghz or so on Intel for example) or run old AMD FX chips, that got incredibly hot under even normal usage, you are unlikely to thermal throttle and actually seriously hurt your performance or the lifespan of the chip.

 

On the other side, GPUs automatically overclock themselves as far as the power limit and temps allows them, so to me it would make much more sense to water cool (either by hybrid card/third party AIO/custom loop) the GPU instead, to get extra performance.

 

As I said, I am not talking about people who get custom water cooling for the whole PC, that obviously makes sense if you do have the money and patience to clean the loop every once in a while,

 

So is this some still living trend from like early 2000's or something or am I missing something completely obvious there?

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It's significantly harder to cool the graphics card with an aftermarket cooler. You need to get one that fits, then remove a ton more screws than you'd need to for a cpu cooler, and you also need little independent heat sinks for the memory modules and VRMs. On top of that, graphics card coolers are already quite beefy, designs like Strix and Nitro+ are really good at what they do.


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1. Ryzen chips can boost higher with better thermal headroom, so you can actually get better performance without manually overclocking on them.

2. It's way, way easier to water cool a CPU; there are lots and lots of pre made solutions. Water cooling a GPU is much more finicky and almost certainly requires some kind of custom solution, assuming that a block is even available for your card.

3. Manual GPU overvolting for Nvidia GPUs (at least in a way that materially increases heat) is pretty much dead.

But let's not forget the most important factor:

0. It looks cool.


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27 minutes ago, Ergroilnin said:

On the other side, GPUs automatically overclock themselves as far as the power limit and temps allows them, so to me it would make much more sense to water cool (either by hybrid card/third party AIO/custom loop) the GPU instead, to get extra performance.

GPU in recent gens arent that hot, at such point that temps arent really a limiting factor.

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6 minutes ago, dgsddfgdfhgs said:

GPU in recent gens aren't that hot, at such point that temps aren't really a limiting factor.

Try rendering on them, you will change your mind.


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I cannot speak for others, and only speak for myself.

I am using an AIO on my CPU and have a hybrid 1080.

 

The reason i went for this was not so much overclocking, but the lifespan of the components.

This is following the logic, the cooler you keep your parts, the longer they will perform right.

At the same time, i do not have to clean a traditional air cooler only the radiators and its fans (if at all, due to dust filters). And they are much more accesible for me.

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If it's true that founders edition cards are the highest binned then it seems to me smart gamers would buy them and slap on g12 brackets and aio coolers.

 

I am currently running a kraken frankenstein cooler on my 1080 Armor with an X52 pump, x61 rad, and an xspc 5.2" bay reservoir. CPU is air cooled with a CM Hyper 212 Evo.


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21 hours ago, Caennanu said:

I cannot speak for others, and only speak for myself.

I am using an AIO on my CPU and have a hybrid 1080.

 

The reason i went for this was not so much overclocking, but the lifespan of the components.

This is following the logic, the cooler you keep your parts, the longer they will perform right.

At the same time, i do not have to clean a traditional air cooler only the radiators and its fans (if at all, due to dust filters). And they are much more accesible for me.

To a certain point, of course.  If you're cooling at 60c vs 80c on a GPU, they won't noticeably degrade from each other.  Once you are "cool enough", you don't really gain life by cooling further.  Most electronics and mechanical systems have a thermal ceiling, and once under that you're good for the normal operating life of the thing.

 

@Ergroilnin - CPU's and GPU's cool differently for the main reason that the GPU already comes with a cooling solution built on.  The rare individual will take the time and energy and expense to remove that solution and replace it with another.  A CPU doesn't come with one attached out of the box, so you are required to install one, of your choice.

 

Same reason a people don't replace the radiator and cooling solutions in cars, they're already there and good enough.  But if you were building a car or even just the engine... you'd put thought into the cooling system a lot more.

 

 


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Many of the GPUs available are what's called "Partner AIB" or "partner add-in boards", I.E.: MSI, Asus, XFX, etc graphics cards.

 

These are usually made with custom PCBs and non-reference cooling solutions, which means you need to source a waterblock specifically to fit your particular model of card. For example, a block that will fit an MSI RX580 may not fit an Asus RX580, and definitely will not fit an RTX2070. This is mainly due to mounting hole spacing and component layout.

 

Motherboard CPU cooler mounting is generally a standard, however, so a CPU cooler is generally interchangeable between a Gigabyte or Asrock motherboard, including parts to fit AMD's or Intel's various socket sizes. Therefore a company can produce one product that can reasonably expected to fit your CPU and motherboard combination regardless.

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Accessibility and cost.

 

CPU water cooling is relatively easy.

 

While i dont include AIO's in that statement as they are a rather questionable choice for performance over air, a normal entry level custom loop for the CPU only is very easy to pull of.

 

When you move to the GPU things become a bit more problematic.

GPU waterblocks tend to be very specific on what they can be used on, as such future upgrades become more expensive as a new block is required for each new card.This isnt always the case with CPU's as the CPU blocks for most part are somewhat universal, with the exception of recent Threadripper blocks due to size.

 

In addition, due to needing a new block each time for the GPU, it becomes only reasonably financially worthwhile when using high end GPU's. While its relatively easy to justify a CPU block for a mid range CPU as u can re use the block going forward, a full cover block for a mid range GPU becomes less viable as the blocks cost the same regardless of the card in question. As such u can end up spending a significant % of the total cost of the card if its only mid range, cost which could go into upgrading to something far better.

 

This results in most people using a full custom loop running high end hardware, of which those people are a minority, and those running a CPU only loop generally speaking not finding it worth while due to cost for each GPU upgrade and thus being a larger group , though still a minority vs ur average air cooled system.

 

 

Now if u include AIO's into this discussion it becomes even more obvious why, AIO's are pritty much only designed for CPU's, and due to marketing many people outright believe they are better than air and so go with them. As for why they dont use AIO's on GPU's , well it requires further items to use one on a GPU, and they look rather ugly tbh, and lets face it , alot of people outright state they choose an AIO over a dual tower heatsink air cooler due to aesthetics, so they aint about to make a Frankenstein AIO cooled GPU.


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On 8/19/2019 at 12:44 AM, NineEyeRon said:

Cost, cpu cheap, GPU expensive

CPU easier than GPU as well. If you can place an air cooler on a CPU, you can install an AIO or water block. The GPU is... a bit more involved.


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