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At what point does a system need water-cooling?

#1TwiliLord666Posted 11/3/2013 6:27:54 PM
Thinking about building a PC, since my current (rather outdated) one is starting to experience processing problems, and I would rather just build a new PC.

So, my question is: If I build a relatively high-end PC (looking at $1500+) with an overclock, how do know my PC can handle regular air-cooling? Do I just try it and see if it heats up too much?

Also, do all water-cooling units have their own PSUs? I'm not really liking the idea having of two PSUs...
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#2ShubPosted 11/3/2013 6:31:56 PM
It's pretty much never needed, actually. Those off-the-shelf water coolers perform similarly to high-end air coolers. Either way, it'll handle overclocking fine.
If you want to get fancy (and spend hundreds of dollars), you can get into the world of custom water loops where you buy the pump, reservoir, tubes, radiator, fittings, etc. as individual parts and put them together.
Watercooling units don't have their own PSUs. They draw their power directly from the computer's PSU. It's all +12VDC.
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#3TwiliLord666(Topic Creator)Posted 11/3/2013 6:36:12 PM
Shub posted...
It's pretty much never needed, actually. Those off-the-shelf water coolers perform similarly to high-end air coolers. Either way, it'll handle overclocking fine.
If you want to get fancy (and spend hundreds of dollars), you can get into the world of custom water loops where you buy the pump, reservoir, tubes, radiator, fittings, etc. as individual parts and put them together.
Watercooling units don't have their own PSUs. They draw their power directly from the computer's PSU. It's all +12VDC.


Oh I see. That clears things up. Idk if I'm willing to go that far; I'll probably just pick up a high-end air cooler then.

Thanks man.
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#4cuteboi100Posted 11/3/2013 6:44:36 PM(edited)
yeah, it's funny because water coolers are essentially just air coolers. I mean great that you're using water and it has high specific heat capacity but you've still got to use air to cool that water. The only positives I see to watercooling are increased surface area (which, if you want to mount the radiator inside your case, is pretty much moot).
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#5daftpunk_mk5Posted 11/3/2013 6:48:13 PM
Water coolers are cumbersome and rarely worth the trouble.

You should get a case called the Antec 900. It has fantastic airflow: 3x120mm and 1x200mm fans, It also has 2 brackets for additional 120mm fans if you need more cooling. Plus, the fans all have 3 speeds to choose from. It's probably the best midtower you get get for a reasonable price.
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#6EpicKingdom_Posted 11/3/2013 6:49:08 PM
It's just for decorations.
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#7ShubPosted 11/3/2013 6:52:04 PM
daftpunk_mk5 posted...
You should get a case called the Antec 900. [...] It's probably the best midtower you get get for a reasonable price.


Sorry but no. Yes, it has good airflow, but that's where it ends, and as far as airflow is concerned, it's nothing special these days. But more importantly, the Antec 900 is overpriced and has terrible, terrible cable management.
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#8Devil_wings00Posted 11/3/2013 7:07:22 PM
cuteboi100 posted...
yeah, it's funny because water coolers are essentially just air coolers. I mean great that you're using water and it has high specific heat capacity but you've still got to use air to cool that water. The only positives I see to watercooling are increased surface area (which, if you want to mount the radiator inside your case, is pretty much moot).


Most people place radiators in the case these days. Even extreme guys rarely have giant radiator boxes or anything now. Even my Arc midi R2 can fit 2 thick 280mm rad's and a thick 140mm rad, if you get creative, inside the system without modding and that is going to decimate any air cooler/aio available.

Also high end air coolers and AIO are pretty much the same price these days and perform pretty much the same (although high end AIO's do preform better). For me personally I just hate having a giant hunk of metal hanging off my MB when I have the option of mounting a rad out of the way directly to my case. Still if you are looking for a cheaper alternative decent air coolers have a much cheaper entry price.
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#9SnadadosPosted 11/3/2013 7:40:01 PM
Water coolers are useful if you have a smaller case that can't fit one of those large air coolers but has at least a 120mm intake or exhaust port.

Water coolers can also offer the same cooling as an air cooler but with less noise.

A good custom water cooler can offer better cooling than any air cooler.
It is good if you are a serious overclocker or just want you system to run as cool as possible.
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#10AlleRacingPosted 11/3/2013 7:52:23 PM
The top air coolers perform about as well as a Corsair H100i for ~$20 less. I don't really see much point in going with a CLC unless your case can't fit a large air cooler.
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