Hi, Chris. My name is Paul.
I wanted to know the best cooling for overclocking. What's the difference between air cooling and water cooling? I was thinking of doing water cooling, but I heard it's bad.
Answer by catchatyou · Jul 14, 2010 at 03:00 AM
If you really wanted to contact Chris, you could always email him. This is a community powered site. Chris doesn't respond to every question...Especially when you don't have proper capitalization and punctuation.
Answer by Seb · Jul 14, 2010 at 03:39 AM
You've been misinformed.
Water is around about 200 times more thermoconductive than air, so liquid cooling is great for overclockers. Even wood is more thermoconductive than air (by at least 2x). There are also liquids such as mineral oil (which is used as a form of coolant), which has dielectric properties so if it leaks it won't ruin your mainboard (though it'll still make a mess).
A fan has to do more work to pump (if you like) the air around quicker than a pump would have to. If you're going to become an overclock hobbyist, I suggest finding a case that is built for liquid cooling. Pumps last longer than fans, are quieter and use less electricity (and generate less heat, too).
edit: as it turns out according to this site, even the insulative plastic foam found in those foam cups is better at conducting heat than air is...
Answer by blackbird307 · Jul 14, 2010 at 04:08 AM
Water cooling is really good. Nice, cool and quiet. Problems are that it can damage system if leaks, and it's expense. There are some air fans out there that are effective and maintain a low noise level.
Answer by Jon Bach · Jul 14, 2010 at 06:48 PM
At Puget Systems, we think of water cooling as a great way to make extreme configurations (or overclocked configurations) quiet. If quiet is not a factor, then air cooling is simpler, cheaper, and less risk. With a standard or low end PC, air cooling is preferred, and done right is much quieter than liquid cooling. Simplicity is the key to reliability! So if you don't NEED water cooling, don't.
Or you can go the exact opposite route, and dunk it all in mineral oil :)
Answer by Razor512 · Jul 15, 2010 at 01:49 AM
Many air coolers now perform better than those liquid cooling kits. The only real belefit of liquid cooling is that you are able to have more radiators.
The last liquid cooling system I did for someone (about 1.5 years ago), had a quality pump and 3 radiators
it went like this. CPU> 120mm Radiator> GPU> 120mm Radiator > dual 120mm radiator
The top of the case had a area for a radiator then the back of the case had 2 mounding areas for 120mm fans so I added 2 radiators. Couldn't get the piping really neat due to the setup but it cooled well.
With air cooling, theres a limit to how much copper you can stack on your CPU as space is limited and the mounting areas can only handle a small amount of weight.
With liquid cooling you only get a benefit when you can provide a larger surface area for heat dissipation. You also have to take into account how much weight the pump can handle.
Also liquid cooling does not mean you can avoid case fans, as your chipsets and other various ships on the motherboard and the hard drive need to be cooled.
another warning. You can not place an external radiator outside of a window in the winter to boost cooling. The fluid will freeze and the fan will fail (I know people who tried)
For the size, a radiator provides more surface area than a standard air cooled heatsink due to it's design. (a air cooled heatpipe design cant work in a radiator as heatpipes are not efficient enough at transferring heat at that length)
Overall liquid cooling will provide better cooling but the systems are expensive and are high maintenance.
An air cooled system is significantly cheaper and provides cooling very close to that of a decent liquid cooling system.
Answer by Mousey · Jul 15, 2010 at 05:25 PM
Liquid cooling is fantastic if you're planning the clock the nuts off your hardware because it's incredibly efficient if your setup is done properly and is leak proof. However, With Overclocking brings the risk of blowing out hardware (As we all know), And with blowing out hardware brings replacing hardware, Which also brings having to unhook, drain, bleed, clean, re-attach, fill, bleed, test for leaks ect.
The only thing that'd put me off going for a liquid cooling setup is that my system's hardly ever fully assembled at any one time lol, It's a lot of maintenence but for keeping your temperatures in those lovely teens it's the best option short of hooking up a phase change system :P
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