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Which Cooling Solution do you prefer?

#1KamenRiderBladePosted 1/9/2014 2:12:01 PM(edited)
Whenever somebody builds a rig, there are two major options, which one do you prefer? - Results (134 votes)
Heatsink / Heatpipe
62.69% (84 votes)
84
Water Cooling (All In One, ready to go solutions, easy setup)
26.12% (35 votes)
35
Water Cooling (Custom Setup for the absolute best in performance)
11.19% (15 votes)
15
This poll is now closed.
Heatsink / Heatpipe
PROs:
- Absolute reliability with no moving parts other than the fan
- Fans are usually modular, so you can get what you want
- Usually you don't need more than 1-2 fans
- Some solutions are quieter than your average Water Cooling setup
CONs:
- Potentially not the highest performing solution
- There can be some clearance issues with certain tall RAM heat spreaders
- There may be some clearances with GPU's in the top slot depending on model
- There can be some clearance issues with the case depending on model

Water Cooling
PROs:
- Depending on radiator / pump setup, the potential for the best in cooling performance
- CPU block is usually brain dead easy compared to some HSF setups
- There's never any RAM heat spreader clearance issues
- There's never any GPU slot conflict due to the water block
- Usually better than HSF performance for top end setups
CONs:
- You might need more fans (2-6) depending on the size of the radiator than a equivalent HSF setup
- Pumps usually have a finite life time since it's a mechanical part, ergo there is always the danger of one more mechanical part failing, especially a critical part
- Potential for leakages
- Water Cooling tubes add more complexity to a build and the potential for leakages increases based on the total length of your tubes
- If the cooling fluid isn't done right, it may damage your components if it leaks out while the machine is running
- It's usually more expensive for a higher end setup
- Potential to be noiser than HSF setups depending on your fan configuration and number of fans
- The setup can be more complicated if you're not doing a All-In-One prebuilt solution
- Some cases (mostly older cases) aren't designed to handle Radiators, although that's starting to not be an issue in this day and age


My personal preference is Heatpipes + Fans, I prefer absolute long term reliability since there is no moving part other than the fan with a HSF setup.
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#2Killah PriestPosted 1/9/2014 2:12:49 PM
none of the above.

fans are loud and water coolers have the pump noise.
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#3KamenRiderBlade(Topic Creator)Posted 1/9/2014 2:14:08 PM
Killah Priest posted...
none of the above.

fans are loud and water coolers have the pump noise.


Ah you prefer passive cooling, I don't see many people who opt for that route due to the limited hardware selection.
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#4AltmadragonPosted 1/9/2014 2:21:06 PM
putting clc an custom loops pros/con together is wrong....
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#5Orestes417Posted 1/9/2014 2:24:21 PM
Don't see much reason to include the potential complications of a water cooling setup when a simple 212 evo or comparable will do the job perfectly well on a standard setup. Now if we're talking higher end overclocks things change, but for normal usage the simpler the better.
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#6KamenRiderBlade(Topic Creator)Posted 1/9/2014 2:31:58 PM
Altmadragon posted...
putting clc an custom loops pros/con together is wrong....


The PRO's / CON's don't very by alot between the two Water Cooling options.

AIO Water Cooling:
- Easier to setup
- Might not have the best cooling performance compared to a custom Water Cooling setup
- Fixed tube length which limits setup options
- Usually there is only one pump, and it's most likely built into the water block or radiator, if it goes down, then you have to RMA the entire setup

Custom Water Cooling:
- More complicated to setup
- Potential to have the best cooling performance short of Liquid Nitrogen rigs that are only for OC competitions and nobody in their sane mind would use for s 24/7/365 operational rig.
- Variable tube length with allows a limitless setup potential
- If the pump is seperate and it goes down, you can usually swap the pump easily if you have it on Quick Disconnect fittings.


Other than that, there isn't that much difference in all honesty between the two.
Most of the PROs / CONs for water cooling apply to both setups compared to HSF setups.
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#7KamenRiderBlade(Topic Creator)Posted 1/9/2014 2:33:40 PM
Orestes417 posted...
Don't see much reason to include the potential complications of a water cooling setup when a simple 212 evo or comparable will do the job perfectly well on a standard setup. Now if we're talking higher end overclocks things change, but for normal usage the simpler the better.


I'm with you on that.

I prefer my Noctua HPF's with quiet Noctua fans and a mild overclock. A level of overclock that would be good for 24/7/365 operation.
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#8Killah PriestPosted 1/9/2014 2:35:10 PM(edited)
Ah you prefer passive cooling, I don't see many people who opt for that route due to the limited hardware selection.

no, more of a no preference because they all have their pros and cons.
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#9PraetorXynPosted 1/9/2014 2:42:06 PM
Custom water. If you decouple your pumps from the case, you will not hear them. Not if you get a good pump anyhow.

Sure there are loud assed pumps, just like there are loud assed fans.

CLC have no point, because they only beat high end air like the Phanteks TC-14PE by 2-3 degrees centigrade but they are FAR louder because of the pumps.

In my water builds, I prefer to use at least 2 pumps and have more rads than necessary. The reason for this is because I'd rather run more things at lower noise to get the same performance as less things at higher noise. Not to mention the way I do it gives me lots of headroom if I want to ramp things up.

The biggest reason I prefer water is because GPU coolers, no matter which ones, are loud as hell under load compared to decoupled pumps.

You also forgot LN2 in your poll, but that's too expensive and I'm scared of it TBH >_>.
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#10KamenRiderBlade(Topic Creator)Posted 1/9/2014 3:03:57 PM
PraetorXyn posted...
Custom water. If you decouple your pumps from the case, you will not hear them. Not if you get a good pump anyhow.

Sure there are loud assed pumps, just like there are loud assed fans.

CLC have no point, because they only beat high end air like the Phanteks TC-14PE by 2-3 degrees centigrade but they are FAR louder because of the pumps.

In my water builds, I prefer to use at least 2 pumps and have more rads than necessary. The reason for this is because I'd rather run more things at lower noise to get the same performance as less things at higher noise. Not to mention the way I do it gives me lots of headroom if I want to ramp things up.

The biggest reason I prefer water is because GPU coolers, no matter which ones, are loud as hell under load compared to decoupled pumps.

You also forgot LN2 in your poll, but that's too expensive and I'm scared of it TBH >_>.


I only mention LN2 in passing because I have not seen a person run LN2 as their 24/7/365 rig.
I've only seen those in OC competitions to get record setting OC's, they're not used for rigs that are your daily use machines.

I agree with you on the CLC point, they usually don't win over high end HSF setups by a huge margin, where as custom Water Cooling solutions offer the best performance compared to noise ratio.

I also agree with you on the GPU coolers point.

The only reason I never liked old school water cooling was that pre "Quick Disconnect" era, maintenance, removal, and changing of MB / CPU was a pain.

Now that QD fittings are common and you have many options, servicing is quite easy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtbxvl9zn2k

That's the kind of custom water cooling setup I can get behind and agree with.

He has QD mounts at every end point, it makes servicing simple.

Cost might be high, but the value of making it very easy to service is priceless IMO.
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