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Pikatchu

Custom Loop vs AIOs

On 2/13/2020 at 10:10 PM, InnerBeast Gaming said:

Not really. It'll just take longer to heat up with more water. neither aio's or watercooling is the answer sometimes. Sometimes, just save some money, and get a nice air cooler. aio's don't really have much of an advantage, and water cooling really is for the flex/asthetic unless you go pretty high-end, or your componet's arn't demanding... But then who would want to buy $600 worth of watercooling? In a nutshell watercooling is for the looks, silence, or preformance (if you can afford it) Getting a "custom" loop and putting like a 240mm rad, and doing a gpu/cpu loop then blowing $100 on a pump really isn't worth it. Try getting a premade kit, It'll be cheaper and it will have everything you need, such as the ekwb 360mm starter kit, or just get a air cooler, unless you really REALLY want a bit of extra preformance or silence (a few degrees C lower temps, a few DB lower noise, even with custom loop cooling) 

There is more to it than just looks. Water cooling lets you have access to fresh ambient air which alone reduces the temp of your cpu by a few C alone or you can just choose to vent the heat straight from your case which will also reduce the internal temp of your case which has a similar effect to fresh air.

 

So it allows you to have more control over the temp of the air your radiator is getting. You also have the ability to add much more surface area than what a air cooler can provide and on a custom loop even more than an AIO can provide.

 

Now while in some scenarios an AIO and custom loop can have similar temps the main difference comes down to noise and possible deltaT. Your average AIO is in the 12-15C deltaT range. That means the liquid in your loop is underload about 15c higher than ambient air. In a custom loop the average comes to 5-8C deltaT with some going down to 2-3c. So if you have a loop with a 5c deltaT it will make all of your components 10c cooler than an AIO at 15c. 

 

AIOs are also limited on the radiator side. If you go custom you can go with a smaller, but thicker rad, or even one with a much higher FPI. That means that even though you are doing with a 240mm rad it can perform better than a 360mm AIO. 

 

Math!

Custom Rad 240x120x60 = 1,728,000 mm surface area

AIO Rad 360x120x30 = 1,296,000 mm surface area

 

Now the first will need either higher rpm fans or a nice push pull setup, but it has more cooling capability without even considering FPI.

 

So to sum this all up. Custom loops are for more than just looks. They have real advantages over air coolers or even AIOs if you are willing to pay the price. The quality of components I also generally higher as well which adds up. You might gain an additional 1-2c from the higher flow of a quality pump, 2-3C from the better designed blocks that can move more heat away more quickly, and then w/e you can gain by being able to dissipate more heat via radiators that are of higher quality. You also have the factor of custom loops having more liquid in them so it takes longer for temps to hit equilibrium which reduces temp spikes.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey guys,

 

I am recently planning to upgrade my GPU to the up coming releases of GPUs. (Ampere or Big Navi)

On that note, I want to full on custom loop water cool my entire system with that upgrade.

A. I want to test waters (hehe), and try it out. I do not mind tinkering and messing around with my PC.

B. I finally have the funds to spend for a decent custom loop configuration, after drooling for years. (Using the configuration tool from Ekwb, my config would be about $600 USD.) 

 

As far as I know, for a newbie, both have a pump, a CPU block, and a radiator. (Reservoir is a... want? not a need? IDK)

The pump is responsible for transferring the liquid to and from radiators, and the radiator dissipates the heat.

 

I seen Youtube videos that uses a CPU block with built in pump for custom loops (Alphacool CPU block pump), which also include quick connects.

 

My question is:

What differs the two to allow Custom Loop Water Cooling to further lowering temperature of components? (More in depth explanation would be appreciated)

How different are the CPU block pump builds from AIOs? Since both contains the same amount of components.

 

Both questions are aimed more towards CPU cooling, as oppose to GPU.

But GPU cooling difference are also appreciated if is explained. (Kraken G12 mod vs Hybrid vs Custom Loop)

 

My guess:

Spoiler

My guess is that the quality of said block and radiator are different.

Like, the fin designs of a custom loop block would allow more heat transfer. Or, the fin design and copper base radiator allow for easier cooling.

 

Maybe the pump have more pressure, it allows the loop to cycle more quickly.

 

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Custom loops have the potential (they aren't always better) for lower temps relative to AIO's. A 240mm AIO will perform similarly to a custom loop with a 240 mm rad, likely a few degrees warmer. 2 main reasons for this. 

First, individual components in a custom loop are generally of better quality than an AIO. 

Second, there's simply more room inside a custom loop. Thus hot liquid temperature is distributed among more liquid decreasing the maximum liquid temperature and max component temperature relative to an AIO. 

Lastly, a reservoir is necessary for your loop. This is where your liquid is stored. Some companies sell pump/res combos. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Airdragonz said:

Lastly, a reservoir is necessary for your loop. This is where your liquid is stored. Some companies sell pump/res combos. 

Couldn't I fill and drain using radiators? (The other side where tubes are not attached) What I had in mind was filling the loop with liquid, and close it off like AIO. Which is why I brought up the CPU block/pump combo.

 

Would this lower the temperature performance because the loop now houses less liquid?

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1 minute ago, Pikatchu said:

Couldn't I fill and drain using radiators?

 

Yes, but it's going to be significantly more difficult filling and draining. You're likely going to need a splitter, a valve, spare tubes, and a bunch of towels. Or you could get those "quick disconnect" tubes. Not entirely sure how those work though.

3 minutes ago, Pikatchu said:

Would this lower the temperature performance because the loop now houses less liquid?

Yes, but only marginally less. If you're going to go this approach (without a res), you're probably better off buying an AIO. It'll be cheaper, performance only a couple degrees warmer, and you won't have to go through the process of assembling and maintaining the loop. 


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Mainly you can add more radiator space

2 minutes ago, Pikatchu said:

Couldn't I fill and drain using radiators? (The other side where tubes are not attached) What I had in mind was filling the loop with liquid, and close it off like AIO. Which is why I brought up the CPU block/pump combo.

 

Would this lower the temperature performance because the loop now houses less liquid?

For a simple loop, yes. However if you have a more complex loop with both CPU, GPU blocks and multiple radiators. Filling the loop using the radiator is an absolute pain in the ass.

 

A loop with more liquid will take longer to reach an equilibrium state. The amount of liquid in a loop doesn't affect the temperature once the equilibrium is reached.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 minutes ago, Deli said:

Mainly you can add more radiator space

For a simple loop, yes. However if you have a more complex loop with both CPU, GPU blocks and multiple radiators. Filling the loop using the radiator is an absolute pain in the ass.

 

A loop with more liquid will take longer to reach an equilibrium state. The amount of liquid in a loop doesn't affect the temperature once the equilibrium is reached.

I see... so 360mm worth of radiator is not worth it to go custom loop then? I would need to swap my case to accommodate more radiators.

 

I am looking forward to cool gpu and cpu in the same loop.

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1 minute ago, Pikatchu said:

I see... so 360mm worth of radiator is not worth it to go custom loop then? I would need to swap my case to accommodate more radiators.

For cooling performance, a loop with single 360mm rad, will be similar to a 360mm AIO. Many times, the purpose of custom loop is for aesthetic. It just looks cool with all the shiny fittings and color fuild. Also there are many choices of radiators in term of thickness and fin density, etc.

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17 minutes ago, Pikatchu said:

Couldn't I fill and drain using radiators? (The other side where tubes are not attached) What I had in mind was filling the loop with liquid, and close it off like AIO. Which is why I brought up the CPU block/pump combo.

 

Would this lower the temperature performance because the loop now houses less liquid?

Not really. It'll just take longer to heat up with more water. neither aio's or watercooling is the answer sometimes. Sometimes, just save some money, and get a nice air cooler. aio's don't really have much of an advantage, and water cooling really is for the flex/asthetic unless you go pretty high-end, or your componet's arn't demanding... But then who would want to buy $600 worth of watercooling? In a nutshell watercooling is for the looks, silence, or preformance (if you can afford it) Getting a "custom" loop and putting like a 240mm rad, and doing a gpu/cpu loop then blowing $100 on a pump really isn't worth it. Try getting a premade kit, It'll be cheaper and it will have everything you need, such as the ekwb 360mm starter kit, or just get a air cooler, unless you really REALLY want a bit of extra preformance or silence (a few degrees C lower temps, a few DB lower noise, even with custom loop cooling) 


 

When I ask for more specs, don't expect me to know the answer!
I'm just helping YOU to help YOURSELF!
(The more info you give the easier it is for others to help you out!)

 

Build: Craptastic Intel i7-4785T, 12gb of Laptop 1333 mhz ddr3 Ram, and HD 4000 Graphics. 

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Flow is a big factor. Even for small loops. Most aio’s have small and/or thin rads. Ek has a few with bigger ones. 
Aio’s only exist for simplicity and looks combined.  

I prefer to be more involved with the building of my rigs so custom is always the way to go. Also prefer to beat temp to noise ratio which neither air or an aio will come close to. 


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Spare RIg Corsair Air 540, I7 4770K, Asus Maximus VI Extreme, G.Skill Ares 32Gb, EVGA 1080sc & 1060 SSC, Corsair CX850M, Acer KG251Q 1920x1080@240hz 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
9 hours ago, InnerBeast Gaming said:

Not really. It'll just take longer to heat up with more water. neither aio's or watercooling is the answer sometimes. Sometimes, just save some money, and get a nice air cooler. aio's don't really have much of an advantage, and water cooling really is for the flex/asthetic unless you go pretty high-end, or your componet's arn't demanding... But then who would want to buy $600 worth of watercooling? In a nutshell watercooling is for the looks, silence, or preformance (if you can afford it) Getting a "custom" loop and putting like a 240mm rad, and doing a gpu/cpu loop then blowing $100 on a pump really isn't worth it. Try getting a premade kit, It'll be cheaper and it will have everything you need, such as the ekwb 360mm starter kit, or just get a air cooler, unless you really REALLY want a bit of extra preformance or silence (a few degrees C lower temps, a few DB lower noise, even with custom loop cooling) 

 

9 hours ago, Deli said:

For cooling performance, a loop with single 360mm rad, will be similar to a 360mm AIO. Many times, the purpose of custom loop is for aesthetic. It just looks cool with all the shiny fittings and color fuild. Also there are many choices of radiators in term of thickness and fin density, etc.

I can see what you mean, but I really want to water cool my GPU.

I would have a loop just for GPU if that is what it takes to make it work.

 

The only loud thing in my system is my GPU fan. (I am aware coil whine will be more noticeable with water cooling)

I am using a Founders Edition and their cooling isn't the best, yes.

I am limited to a 2 slot card due to vertical mount.

 

In my shoes, if I were to go air cooling for my GPU.

Which is the best 2 slot card? (Length under 300m)

 

Also, how do you guys view the hybrid cards? (I kind of want a 240mm instead of a 120mm which most hybrids are using.)

How well will the Kraken G12 do? Considering there is no heat sink for the VRAM and power deliveries.

 

P.S. The card itself can be wider than 2 slot, but it must only use 2 PCIE bracket slots.

 

Sorry for so many questions.

 

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8 hours ago, Pikatchu said:

 

I can see what you mean, but I really want to water cool my GPU.

I would have a loop just for GPU if that is what it takes to make it work.

 

The only loud thing in my system is my GPU fan. (I am aware coil whine will be more noticeable with water cooling)

I am using a Founders Edition and their cooling isn't the best, yes.

I am limited to a 2 slot card due to vertical mount.

 

In my shoes, if I were to go air cooling for my GPU.

Which is the best 2 slot card? (Length under 300m)

 

Also, how do you guys view the hybrid cards? (I kind of want a 240mm instead of a 120mm which most hybrids are using.)

How well will the Kraken G12 do? Considering there is no heat sink for the VRAM and power deliveries.

 

P.S. The card itself can be wider than 2 slot, but it must only use 2 PCIE bracket slots.

 

Sorry for so many questions.

 

Last year I built a workstation for my brother-in-law with a 2950X and 2080Ti. A custom loop with two 240mm rad for both CPU and GPU. My brother-in-law loves it. It's very quiet and the temp is good.

 

My own rig only the CPU is water cooled.

 

It's your money. No one can tell you how to spend it. If you want to build a custom loop for your PC, go for it. And enjoy your build.

 

If I were you, I'll get a full water block from EK for the GPU. If you want to watercool, do it the right way. Don't bother with the Kraken G12. Get a EK D5 pump with reservoir and HW Labs Nemesis GTS 360mm rad. Some good fans. Hard or soft tubing is up to you.

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Posted · Best Answer
On 2/13/2020 at 10:10 PM, InnerBeast Gaming said:

Not really. It'll just take longer to heat up with more water. neither aio's or watercooling is the answer sometimes. Sometimes, just save some money, and get a nice air cooler. aio's don't really have much of an advantage, and water cooling really is for the flex/asthetic unless you go pretty high-end, or your componet's arn't demanding... But then who would want to buy $600 worth of watercooling? In a nutshell watercooling is for the looks, silence, or preformance (if you can afford it) Getting a "custom" loop and putting like a 240mm rad, and doing a gpu/cpu loop then blowing $100 on a pump really isn't worth it. Try getting a premade kit, It'll be cheaper and it will have everything you need, such as the ekwb 360mm starter kit, or just get a air cooler, unless you really REALLY want a bit of extra preformance or silence (a few degrees C lower temps, a few DB lower noise, even with custom loop cooling) 

There is more to it than just looks. Water cooling lets you have access to fresh ambient air which alone reduces the temp of your cpu by a few C alone or you can just choose to vent the heat straight from your case which will also reduce the internal temp of your case which has a similar effect to fresh air.

 

So it allows you to have more control over the temp of the air your radiator is getting. You also have the ability to add much more surface area than what a air cooler can provide and on a custom loop even more than an AIO can provide.

 

Now while in some scenarios an AIO and custom loop can have similar temps the main difference comes down to noise and possible deltaT. Your average AIO is in the 12-15C deltaT range. That means the liquid in your loop is underload about 15c higher than ambient air. In a custom loop the average comes to 5-8C deltaT with some going down to 2-3c. So if you have a loop with a 5c deltaT it will make all of your components 10c cooler than an AIO at 15c. 

 

AIOs are also limited on the radiator side. If you go custom you can go with a smaller, but thicker rad, or even one with a much higher FPI. That means that even though you are doing with a 240mm rad it can perform better than a 360mm AIO. 

 

Math!

Custom Rad 240x120x60 = 1,728,000 mm surface area

AIO Rad 360x120x30 = 1,296,000 mm surface area

 

Now the first will need either higher rpm fans or a nice push pull setup, but it has more cooling capability without even considering FPI.

 

So to sum this all up. Custom loops are for more than just looks. They have real advantages over air coolers or even AIOs if you are willing to pay the price. The quality of components I also generally higher as well which adds up. You might gain an additional 1-2c from the higher flow of a quality pump, 2-3C from the better designed blocks that can move more heat away more quickly, and then w/e you can gain by being able to dissipate more heat via radiators that are of higher quality. You also have the factor of custom loops having more liquid in them so it takes longer for temps to hit equilibrium which reduces temp spikes.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

It is frustrating to me that most kits are design for CPU loops (could not find a GPU kit). My main goal with custom loop is to cool my GPU. My Noctua cooler for my CPU is quiet idle or load, but GPU is not.

 

That is why I thought of the Kraken G12 mods, or hybrids. 

 

But since cooling the CPU as well is just adding another block at that point, mind as well do a full loop.

 

Also, I was planning on doing this loop in a NZXT H210i. So it would be 1 Ekwb slim 240mm and 1 Ekwb slim 120mm. I am not sure if the 120 would be added yet.

 

@AngryBeaver

@Deli

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11 hours ago, Pikatchu said:

It is frustrating to me that most kits are design for CPU loops (could not find a GPU kit). My main goal with custom loop is to cool my GPU. My Noctua cooler for my CPU is quiet idle or load, but GPU is not.

 

That is why I thought of the Kraken G12 mods, or hybrids. 

 

But since cooling the CPU as well is just adding another block at that point, mind as well do a full loop.

 

Also, I was planning on doing this loop in a NZXT H210i. So it would be 1 Ekwb slim 240mm and 1 Ekwb slim 120mm. I am not sure if the 120 would be added yet.

 

@AngryBeaver

@Deli

Just get a cpu kit, add a gpu waterblock, and maybe another rad, get some more tubing if you feel uncomfortable, but ek and thermaltake I know for certain will give you more than enough in their kits, about 2x+ more then what you really need to do what they have shown for their kit.


 

When I ask for more specs, don't expect me to know the answer!
I'm just helping YOU to help YOURSELF!
(The more info you give the easier it is for others to help you out!)

 

Build: Craptastic Intel i7-4785T, 12gb of Laptop 1333 mhz ddr3 Ram, and HD 4000 Graphics. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, InnerBeast Gaming said:

Just get a cpu kit, add a gpu waterblock, and maybe another rad, get some more tubing if you feel uncomfortable, but ek and thermaltake I know for certain will give you more than enough in their kits, about 2x+ more then what you really need to do what they have shown for their kit.

Is Ekwbs aluminum worth a try? their kit includes a gpu block and its only 200.

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