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Is liquid cooling worth it?

feo2inator
  • 25 months ago

My build only has the stock cooler, and I think it is working well. I haven't checked recently, but it runs around 40 degrees. The question is if liquid cooling is worth the extra price. Any thoughts?

Comments

  • 25 months ago
  • 3 points

The proper term for a "air cooler" is a HSF which stands for HeatSink and Fan which makes a lot more sense because a AIO also uses air to help cool and a HSF (assuming it has heatpipes) uses liquid to help cool too.

HSF

Pros.

  • Usually provide better bang for your buck. Coolers such as the ~$50 ThermalRight Macho, the Scythe Fuma, and the Scythe Mugen 5 come close performance wise to a lot of 240MM AIO's or even a bit ahead(the Fuma) while being a lot cheaper.

  • Usually are quieter due to less moving parts.

  • Can't leak and will last basically forever minus the fans.

Cons

  • If you want the best cooler possible and price or bang for your buck isn't a issue you won't want a HSF.

  • Some people don't think they look good although you can definitely get a good looking one imo.

  • Blocks view some of the motherboard

  • Ram can be a issue depending on the HSF in question.

  • Not going to mention size compatibly issues since well that can a issue for both and easily avoided by research.

AIO

Pros

  • If you want the best performance possible you can get it with a 280MM or 360MM rad which usually better than a dual tower HSF. With a 240MM it really just depends on which one, some are worst and some are barely better.

  • They can definitely look better

  • They can offer a better view of your motherboard.

  • Ram clearance isn't a issue.

Cons

  • They often have a worst bang for your buck. This especially goes for 120MM/140MM AIO's.

  • They generally are louder due to more moving parts.

  • They can leak but its super rare to happen.

It really comes down to if you want a better bang for your buck and can live with the downsides of a HSF or if you want the best performance possible and/or care about looks.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

You got downvoted.. not sure why, excellent info. Had no idea heat pipes had something in them. +1

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

You don't have to go with liquid cooling unless you like the look if you are at 40C with a stock cooler considering most stock coolers are fairly bad. If you wanted better cooling for a few bucks lots of sub $35 HSF will perform much better than a stock cooler. Some AIOs will actually be worse than decent HSF set ups while being more expensive. Better quality AIOs will perform extremely well but they will cost quite a bit more.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Liquid cooling normally dissipates heat better and more efficiently provided that you have enough radiators/fans to expulse the heat from the liquid. Theres a few more variables like radiator thicness, fin desntity and contact plate size (and more!) which can determine how a liquid loop will perform. Some are worse than cheaper regular air coolers but they generally dont have the hassle of the sheer size conflicting with RAM, motherboard cases and so on.

AIO have come a long way and are usually very reliable at this point provided that you manipulate and install them appropriately.

As to whether or not its worth it, if your PC runs at 40C with a stock cooler, I cant imagine you needing anything of the sort. If you want better temps, you can look at a 212 EVO, a Cryorig H7 or an Arctic ESport cooler for slightly better thermals and/or noise.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Forget about the 212 EVO. There are better options for the same amount of money.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

What is your CPU? Have you overclocked at all, and is it a locked processor? If it is unlocked and you want to overclock, then yes, a 240 or 280 mm rad will help, or a nice air cooler.

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