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Abyssal Radon

Is Liquid Cooling Worth It?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello LTT Members,

 

Recently I have been looking into water cooling my CPU (i7 5930K). Currently using a Noctua NH-U14S, but I have been looking around at a variety of AIO water cooling solutions. For those who has AIO setups, what are the pros/cons of owning AIO water coolers? My case is a Fractal Define R6, so I was thinking of mounting the radiator on the top area of the case. My case allegedly supports up to 480mm radiators on the top, should I go with a 240 mm, 280 mm, 360 mm, or a 480 mm setup? I am mostly wondering if it’s worth upgrading or should I stick with my NH-U14S? My current heat sink is doing more than enough to keep my 5930K cool at a clock speed of 4Ghz. So you could say I’m wondering if it would be a ‘upgrade’ or a ’side-grade’ type of situation.

 

Thank you,

AR


Case: Fractal Define R6 USB-C Tempered Glass CPU: i7 5930K @ 4.0GHz Motherboard: EVGA X99 Classified RAM: 48GB DDR4 2666MHz G.Skill GPU: MSi GTX 980 Ti Lightning Edition PSU: Corsair HX1000i 80+ Platinum Drives: 500GB SSD (2x), 960GB SSD, 120GB SSD, 2TB (2x) HDD, 4TB HDD, & 500GB HDD Displays: Acer Predator 27" XB271HU 165Hz G-Sync (1440p) & 2x Dell P2715Q 27" (2160p) 

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IMO if you already have a higher end air cooler, it's better to hop straight to a custom loop. An AIO is going to add more failure points and more cost as well as likely more noise for a marginal performance gain vs similar level air coolers. They're good for aesthetics or cases without the clearance for a 160mm or so large tower cooler. 

What voltage are you running that 5930K at, and what are your temps typically like? You may be able to push it a bit higher on air, or if it gets too hot, that's a justification for a larger cooler (at which point you'd need to decide between a new larger air tower or AIO). 

Or you say fuck being optimal and get a 280/360mm AIO or large tower cooler, whichever you like best. 


X58-X79-X99-X299 lads: Intel HEDT Xeon/i7 Megathread

 

Big Rig (Completed) - (Current) - i7 5960X - 4.7Ghz/3.7Ghz ~ 1.3v/1.1v core/uncore - 76-78C under RealBench load- Custom Loop: 2x 360GTS with EK-ZMT/Stubbies and EK D5 pump/res combo - EVGA X99 Classified - 32GB (4x8GB) HyperX Predator DDR4 - 3200MHz CL16 - AMD Radeon VII (best TimeSpy so far: here) - 1TB 970 Evo - Corsair RM1000i - Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX TG - 6x iPPC NF-F12 2000 - 45" 4K LG TV

 

Planned Desk Rig - i7 5820K - Noctua NH-L12S - EVGA X99 Micro 2 - 16GB (4x4GB) EVGA SSC DDR4 - EVGA XC Ultra 1660 Ti - 250GB 960 Evo - Seagate Firecuda 2TB - Seagate BarraCuda Pro 1TB - Corsair CX550 - Fractal Design Meshify C Mini - LG 25UM56-P - 25" 2560x1080 at 75Hz

X79 (waiting on mobo/CPU/RAM) - i7 4930K - EVGA CLC 280 - EVGA X79 Dark - 16GBGB (4x4GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 - 2x EVGA Classified 780s - MX500 1TB - EVGA 1600W T2 - Corsair Air 540 - 3x NF-P12 Redux 

 

Planned X58 rig - Xeon X5670 - NH-D15S - EVGA X58 Classified SLI 4-Way - 24GB (3x8GB) HyperX Savage Red DDR3 - Undecided GPUS - probably a basic SSD - EVGA 1000W G3 - Undecided Case

 

I lowkey enjoy HEDT

 

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I had a R6 and used a 280mm corsair AIO when i had it, worked great. Also I dont think a 480 fit, 420 maybe but I dont recall their being room for 480.


CPU Ryzen 3600, MB MSI MEG Ace x570, RAM Corsair Vengence Pro 32gb @ 3200 mhz, Custom Loop, Thermal Take Core P5 TG, GPU EVGA RTX2080 Ti XC  PC Part Picker list for complete build https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/j86vTB

 

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Decent pump like a D5 with flex tubing if you want simple first time building is more than enough.

That pump will last you a good 8-10 years, always run your loop with water in it, never run the pump dry. when filling the system top up res, when it runs to the bottom of the res turn off the pump.

You do that and run the liquid temp 50C or less it will last forever.

 

AIO's are easy to install but are sealed, liquid does evaporate through the tubes slowly over time, you must install the pump at the lowest point which is on the block for most.

They aren't usually designed to be reused over and over so taking it off and back on again might be an issue.

AIO pumps are far cheaper than custom pumps so you would expect 2-5 years out of an AIO Pump.

 

General rule is a 240mm per device being cooled, 1xCPU 240mm, 1xCPU and 1xGPU 480mm.

Some kind of extreme overclocking of 1xCPU and 1xGPU you might go 2x480mm depending on the heat output of your device you are cooling.

 

the EKWB configuration on their website is good at showing what size rads are required for your components if you are look at a future build.

https://www.ekwb.com/custom-loop-configurator/

 


CPU | Intel i7-8086K Overclocked 5.4Ghz @ 1.44v | GPU | EVGA 1080 FTW2 Overclocked 2190Mhz | PSU | Corsair RM850i | RAM | 4x8GB Corsair Vengeance 3200MHz |MOTHERBOARD | Asus ROG Maximus X Formula | STORAGE | 2x Samsung EvO 256GB NVME  | COOLING | Hard Line Custom Loop D5 Pump Monsta 480mm Radiator  | MONITOR | Acer Predator X34 | OS | Windows 10

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few things.

 

1. You should upgrade to the e5-1660 v3 (5960x)

 

2. 4GHz is a bad OC. All CPUs can hit 4.3 and most can hit 4.4. My 5820k hits 4.7 at 1.36v. But I usually run it at 4.4 lower voltage.

 

3. I would get a Noctua NH-D15 over the NH-U14S. I ran an H100i and it was too small for this CPU. With that said, I don't like AIOs because they are too noisy. So if you're going to upgrade, get a better Noctua or the Dark Rock Pro or a custom setup. But I don't think water cooling makes sense unless you also watercool the GPUs,

 

4. The 980s Ti are pretty weak by modern standard. Should upgrade to an RTX 3080 when they come out.  

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
18 hours ago, bomerr said:

few things.

 

1. You should upgrade to the e5-1660 v3 (5960x)

 

2. 4GHz is a bad OC. All CPUs can hit 4.3 and most can hit 4.4. My 5820k hits 4.7 at 1.36v. But I usually run it at 4.4 lower voltage.

 

3. I would get a Noctua NH-D15 over the NH-U14S. I ran an H100i and it was too small for this CPU. With that said, I don't like AIOs because they are too noisy. So if you're going to upgrade, get a better Noctua or the Dark Rock Pro or a custom setup. But I don't think water cooling makes sense unless you also watercool the GPUs,

 

4. The 980s Ti are pretty weak by modern standard. Should upgrade to an RTX 3080 when they come out.  

 

 

1. Not going to upgrade CPU for the time being mostly because my current CPU does not under perform in any applications I use.

 

2. I might OC my CPU some more, but I'm probably going to run CPU stress test at it's current clock speed to get an idea of the temps.

 

3. I already have a NH-U14S, but I saw the NH-D15 Chromax (black edition) that looks tempting. I should probably check the clearance with my case/ram.

4. I'm planning on waiting for nVidia RTX 3XXX series and will determine if they end up being a worthy upgrade. 


Case: Fractal Define R6 USB-C Tempered Glass CPU: i7 5930K @ 4.0GHz Motherboard: EVGA X99 Classified RAM: 48GB DDR4 2666MHz G.Skill GPU: MSi GTX 980 Ti Lightning Edition PSU: Corsair HX1000i 80+ Platinum Drives: 500GB SSD (2x), 960GB SSD, 120GB SSD, 2TB (2x) HDD, 4TB HDD, & 500GB HDD Displays: Acer Predator 27" XB271HU 165Hz G-Sync (1440p) & 2x Dell P2715Q 27" (2160p) 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
19 hours ago, Maticks said:

Decent pump like a D5 with flex tubing if you want simple first time building is more than enough.

That pump will last you a good 8-10 years, always run your loop with water in it, never run the pump dry. when filling the system top up res, when it runs to the bottom of the res turn off the pump.

You do that and run the liquid temp 50C or less it will last forever.

 

AIO's are easy to install but are sealed, liquid does evaporate through the tubes slowly over time, you must install the pump at the lowest point which is on the block for most.

They aren't usually designed to be reused over and over so taking it off and back on again might be an issue.

AIO pumps are far cheaper than custom pumps so you would expect 2-5 years out of an AIO Pump.

 

General rule is a 240mm per device being cooled, 1xCPU 240mm, 1xCPU and 1xGPU 480mm.

Some kind of extreme overclocking of 1xCPU and 1xGPU you might go 2x480mm depending on the heat output of your device you are cooling.

 

the EKWB configuration on their website is good at showing what size rads are required for your components if you are look at a future build.

https://www.ekwb.com/custom-loop-configurator/

 

It seems like I should probably stick with air cooling then lol.


Case: Fractal Define R6 USB-C Tempered Glass CPU: i7 5930K @ 4.0GHz Motherboard: EVGA X99 Classified RAM: 48GB DDR4 2666MHz G.Skill GPU: MSi GTX 980 Ti Lightning Edition PSU: Corsair HX1000i 80+ Platinum Drives: 500GB SSD (2x), 960GB SSD, 120GB SSD, 2TB (2x) HDD, 4TB HDD, & 500GB HDD Displays: Acer Predator 27" XB271HU 165Hz G-Sync (1440p) & 2x Dell P2715Q 27" (2160p) 

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3 hours ago, Abyssal Radon said:

1. Not going to upgrade CPU for the time being mostly because my current CPU does not under perform in any applications I use.

The e5-1660 v3 is going for 175 on eBay right now. You can sell the 5820k for ~80-120. So it's only ~$100 for 33% more power. Totally worth it.  

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