This cooler is very quiet and among the best performing of the air-coolers (a rival to the Noctua NH-D15, Cryorig R1 Ultimate, and Phanteks PH-TC14PE). Liquid Cooling vs. Air Cooling: What to Consider Choosing between water cooling and air cooling requires you to consider the different strengths and compromises of each cooling solution. Hopefully these tests and following the follow analysis answers these questions and make your choice of CPU cooler easier. It was also one of quietest of the coolers at 37dB. Water cooling will keep your GPU at a lower temperature with either an OC'd or non-OC'd GPU during GPU intensive tasks (like shooter/driver games). Think of it as a miniature version of the Water Cycle happening in your computer, only it's there to cool down your component. Liquid cooling vs Air cooling: Price. Continued into comments. Assuming you’re using the same fans and achieving the same temperatures, a water cooled vs air cooled system will be quieter. All fans are configured to push air through the cooler. Before we even get into the pros and cons of both liquid CPU coolers and air CPU coolers, first we need to discuss some factors you’ll need to consider before you can determine which style cooler is right for you. It acts as a bridge to full-custom loops. After 1-2 years of use, you have to check the water for low levels (due to evaporation) and cleanliness. The Glacer 240L/Swiftech H220/H220-X are the best coolers ever. A rule of thumb for water cooling is to plan for 120mm of cooling for each component you want to cool. It's unfortunate that this cooler sacrificed a lot of usability for some flair. The Cooler Master Eisberg Prestige 240L is an interesting radiator. However, the mounting system is deeply flawed, ditching backplates for a push-pin system on the Intel 1366/115X/775 sockets. There's so much noise coming from the fans at full speed that it can easily overpower a loud GPU fan. Only when you plan on spending $100+ do water coolers provide noticeably better performance. See the background on my previous review for more info about fin density. To put it simply, they both use thermally conductive material (usually copper) that transfers heat from warm component to a fluid. This would allow them to maintain their profile without compromising on performance. This one is pretty clear-cut. [Discussion] What's your reasoning for water cooling vs air. Therefore, water coolers are inherently less reliable. It has a closed liquid CPU Cooling system with heat dispensing radiator, cooling vents and water pump. Aside from crucial assembly differences, the biggest effect on both coolers performance is surface area. Seeing that they are smaller radiators, it's surprising how close they come to the Silver Arrow in terms of temps (2-3C away). Water cooling offers the best cooling performance your computer can get, hands down. You MAY have to flush the entire cooling system, much like a custom loop. Being a bigger brother to the H100i, the H105 had excellent performance for an aluminum radiator and one of the easiest mounting solutions for a water-cooled radiator. Cooler Master even told me the Hyper 212 Evo performs better, so it's clear this cooler was meant for silence, not performance. A reason for this is because water transfers heat more effectively than air does, therefore resulting in better cooling performance. Since AIOs are generally more common than a custom loop, we decided to have a look at these before we proceed to a custom loop. TL;DR here. Air coolers and water coolers actually work in similar ways. NZXT Grid w/ Fractal Design 3-speed fan controller, Gigabyte EasyTune, Unigine Valley 1.0, Extreme HD preset, Windowed 1920 x 1080, 8xMSAA, Samsung Galaxy S2 using Sound Meter Lite, placed 1 ft away from the top right of computer. Unless your CLC has variable pump speeds, do not slow/undervolt the pump! The pump that came with the Eisberg was also flawed in that it was small and VERY loud, meaning that turning down the pump for less noise can hurt temps by 2-3C. Backplate adhesive not reusable. Make sure you don't accidentally kink or cut the hoses and make sure the pump is running. Water is pushed by the pump to the hot copper base plate, which usually has an arrangement of microfins that transfer heat from the base plate to the liquid. Finally the Cooler Master Hyper 612 V2. Obviously, more moving parts means more things that can break. I owned the Thermalright Arrow Silver Arrow IB-E for at least half a year, and loved it until I came across the Glacer 240L. This is a question better suited for other subreddits, but in general, there's a misconception that water cooling is better than air cooling. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Doing so will hurt your temperatures dramatically. It almost always increases cooling performance. Surface area is more important. You can of course make something much cheeper that will barely ever go above ambient, but that involves getting a huge heater core & submerging your pump. This air cooler was designed to be quiet first and foremost, and it really shows. In this article we are going to explore what types of liquid cooling options are available. Easy latch system. Even at full speed, it's difficult to hear this air cooler working. Thanks to the low fin density and medium-large size performance is decent with very low noise from a pretty slow 1300 RPM fan. Water soaks into a cooling pad with lots of surface area in an evaporative cooler, and the fan draws warm, dry air across the damp pad. Neither GPU shut down during testing. This fluid becomes a vapor and and travels up to a condensing point (usually the crimped tops of a heat pipe) and on its way, transfers heat to the length of copper pipe (which then transfers to aluminum fins). If you’re unsure whether you want air cooling or a liquid-cooled AIO, there are a few things to consider. Where air coolers run into trouble is the sheer mass of a high performance air cooler, coupled with a potentially fraught installation process. If you're new to liquid CPU cooling or an old pro, the Corsair H115i Platinum is another great choice when it comes to AIO liquid cooling solutions. This cooling device has a large surface area (usually fins) that allows the heat to dissipate quickly and effectively from the fluid. See the background on my previous review for more info about fin density. When it reaches the condensation point, the vapor becomes liquid and travels back down the copper heat pipe through capillary action and the cycle repeats. It may be worthwhile to get quieter 2000+ RPM fans if you aim for silence as the SP120Ls it came with rattle ceaselessly. We're going to be thorough and analyze every cooler. Surface area makes a difference here! Air cooling wins in pretty much every way here. A traditional air-cooled system relies on a series of fans cooling … No. Liquid cooling vs. Air cooling. At slower speeds it runs the middle of the pack but is basically inaudible. Liquid cooling takes up less space than fans. Cooler Master Glacer 240L (Pre-assembled open loop, copper/brass radiator, Swiftech H220 rebrand), Corsair H105 (Thicker radiator, superior to H100i), Cooler Master Eisberg Prestige 240L (Pre-assembled open loop, copper/brass radiator, Alphacool OEM), Cooler Master Seidon 120V Plus (a Seidon 120V with Jetflo 120 fan), Thermalright Silver Arrow IB-E (double tower 150mm wide cooler), Cooler Master Hyper 612 V2 (large low fin density, silence optimized cooler). The best air cooler vs. the best liquid cooler – analyzed, benchmarked, noise and temperatures tested, and final winner(s?) Too Long. require no maintenance other than dusting. Small water coolers will be more effective than similarly sized heatsinks. Pretty easy to install block to screws. Liquid cooling also makes your PC run quieter because you won’t have fans constantly running at a high RPM. Pretty easy to install block to screws. The name AIO Cooler means all in one Cooler. The H75 benefited from having two SP120L fans while the Performer only had one fan. The easy installation is a plus as well, making the upgrade process pretty painless. And it all comes down to which combination of characteristics you value most in a CPU cooler: price, performance, compatibility, lifespan, and/or aesthetics. However, one of the major things that drive people away from water cooling their rig is the idea that it will be too hard and the stakes are high if a mistake happens. More surface area simply allows the heat to spread out more and dissipate from the cooler more easily. [Discussion] Air cooling vs Water cooling (8 coolers tested). So, a single CPU installation will need … The Pros and Cons of Liquid Cooling a CPU. Sliding pins located on waterblock. The TTM is an advanced CPU heat sink for air-cooled dense systems, which utilizes liquid to transfer heat away from the processor to a remote area of the system where air cooling is more effective. Get an unrestricted 30-day free trial of FreshBooks at https://www.freshbooks.com/techtipsThanks to Thermal Grizzly for sponsoring today's episode! The cooled fluid makes its way back down again and the process repeats. Perhaps I'm missing something? Extremely annoying push-pin with screw system for 1366/115X/775. Plug it directly into the PSU if you have to! does an AIO cooler use water (and maybe some other juices) to exchange heat from a CPU (or GPU, I don't discriminate) into a radiator, to be exchanged with the air yes or no. Surface area is affected by how large the cooler is and how dense the fin arrangement is. Virtually inaudible (masked by PSU and HDD noise). Air coolers are almost always cheaper and almost as effective. And there are absolutely reasons to go with air cooling: a good entry-level air cooler is typically about $20 less expensive than an entry-level liquid cooler, and has the potential to be quieter to boot. Test 20 minutes. Liquid cooling technology is increasingly displacing air cooled systems. There are several reasons for this growing trend: All core temps are then averaged. If price is your concern in this battle, then water cooling vs air cooling isn’t even a competition. Best CPU Coolers For You. Tiny screws, very large, painful fan installation. One goes for pretty colored coolants, the other wants only cooling performance and doesn't worry about looks. Some of the people in the other movement are promoting pure distilled water as the best choice for liquid cooling as it requires almost no maintenance. Closed-loop coolers (Corsair, NZXT, Cooler Master Seidon/Nepton, etc.) The Corsair H105 came second in performance. The diminutive size means that you can use this radiator in cramped spaces and still be able to get a small overclock. At full speed, it's quiet and effective enough that only the Glacer 240L and H105 can match it with their fans turned way down. This fluid makes its way to the actual cooling device which absorbs some of the heat from that fluid. Liquid cooling is the best way to cool a CPU because water transfers heat much more efficiently than air. Unfortunately, if you're seeking performance, you can find a better air cooler for less. The process is the same for the air around an evaporative cooler. Watercoolers can be quieter than air, but it's difficult to get there because you have to find a quiet pump AND quiet fans AND do some tuning of the fan speeds to find the perfect balance. That liquid cooling, closed loop cooler (CLC) or All-in-one (AIO) not really what's considered 'water cooling' which is usually a reference to the full custom loop designs. In case of water cooling vs air cooling vs aio cooler I personally think AIO Cooler is technically the best of both Water Cooling and Air Cooling worlds. The Corsair H75 and Thermalright Water 2.0 Performer were very similar. Fractal Design Define R4 (without window), Sapphire HD 7970 Dual-X @ 950 Mhz / 1500 Mhz. Take max temps of each core over 2 minutes. The denser the fin arrangement, the greater the surface area at the cost of increased air resistance which can hurt fan performance. So we're done here. Liquid Cooling vs. Air Cooling: Five Things to Consider Before You Choose. Liquid Cooling — The Modern Design Approach. AIO water cooling is considered the best for cooling efficiency short of a custom loop, but is it really? This allows the manufactures to keep the cost low.Below, you will find some detailed reasons as to why you should choose an AIO. Many AiO coolers actually perform similarly to air coolers when it comes to both the temperatures of the components and the level of noise it makes. Everyone go buy one. Fans take up far more space than the thin tubes of water in your average liquid cooling kit. That said, most manufactures have a good warranty or coverage on them. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies.Learn More, I'm curious as I've experienced both the h100i (brothers build) as well as air cooling(my build) and I'm not really impressed by water cooling (as great as some people make it out to be), You run the [albeit low] risk of getting your components wet in the case of a malfunction, It's much louder than a good quality air cooler(esp if quietness is your goal) with stock fans(say, h100i), It doesn't provide that much benefit in terms of performance at least from these benchmarks, Linus did a comparison here and it seems to me that if you spend the same on say the noctua NH-D15 vs the H100i, you come out the same in terms of performance but the h100i fans are extremely loud, thus need replacing=more cost in the end, Here's another comparison, the 120mm X 2 air cooler is about 4 degrees hotter than the h100i but he also used 50$ worth of noctuas on both setups, making the h100i a 150$ unit. First, fans aren’t as efficient as water cooling, which can pose a problem with severely overclocked processors or … However, like all large air coolers, it's big and hard to work around. Cooler Master Eisberg Prestige 240L (5V pump). Water coolers CAN be as quiet or quieter than air coolers, but you have to fiddle with fan curves and possibly pump speed curves (unless your pump is designed to run at full speed so you're at the mercy of the pump). Further, given a specific volume of water flow over a hot component (the volumetric flow rate), water has a heat carrying capacity nearly 3,500 times that of air. What really differs is the way air coolers and water coolers transfer this fluid. Water cooling by itself is no more or less performant than air cooling; what it does is allow the heat generated to be moved elsewhere to be dissipated, so performance is dependent on the thing that's dissipating the heat, not the thing that transfers it. Traditional air cooling has three major downsides, though. The radiator has multiple water channels with an arrangement of fins meant to remove heat from the liquid as it makes its way through. So, besides aesthetics, why do you choose water over air? In the previous article we compared air cooling and liquid cooling. Has two resistance points when screwing in. We learned quite a lot here and I'd rather not make a lengthy conclusion. Water is then forced from the base plate to the radiator. Pre-assembled open-loop (Swiftech H220/H220-X, Cooler Master Glacer/Eisberg, upcoming Fractal Design Kelvin series) coolers DO need some extra precaution and maintenance. Water cooling is more efficient, size being constant. The thing about all in one liquid cooler is that they come in a single unit that is comprised of the radiator, pump, water block, and tubes. Engine is smaller in size and its design much simpler. However, liquid cooling a PC can also be dangerous if water leaks onto hardware. This causes the water to evaporate quickly, which chills the air. Water cooling (a misnomer that focuses on the wrong aspect; the better descriptor is remote radiator cooling) is not inherently quieter nor more efficient than air cooling. ), Notes! Semi-stiff. Water definitely wins when it comes to real estate. 2 x Fractal Design Silent R2 (front), Cougar Vortex HDB 140 (rear). 37 dB is the lowest my phone can record in my room. Of note, the Cooler Master Glacer 240L asserts its dominance on every cooler here by being the coolest cooler at full speed, 60% and at 37dB. Need for pump and radiator increases weight and air resistance of vehicle. As an Alphacool design, it was one of the fanciest radiators with anti-kink coils and compression fittings. It was also a big improvement over the H80i/H100i mounting system, which can have issues with making proper contact to the CPU on thinner motherboards like Gigabyte boards. You must also check if the pump is working. One of the biggest enemies of all desktop computers is heat. This mounting system was difficult to use and got damaged on my second install. Being such a small radiator, it didn't perform too well, but it came only 1.25C away from the H75 with only one fan which is pretty impressive. Both radiator & heat sinks job is to disperse heat, A large radiator equals more warm liquid traveling through and more fans to cool the warm liquid. Water cooling is more efficient, size being constant. Watercoolers aren't as safe as air coolers. Stiff tubing. Just an FYI, the water itself doesn't cool anything, that would require a phase change (evaporation) to do. A new breed of water coolers, pre-assembled open-loop coolers, use premium custom water cooling parts and feature stronger pumps and the possibility of expanding the watercooling loop. The water simply carries the heat from the CPU to the radiator, where it is dissipated. However, installation was a bit difficult because unlike many backplate coolers, the movable screws were located on the CPU block and were hard to align to the backplate while fighting the thick-wall tubing. Gordon gives his opinion on which CPU cooling method is better, air or liquid, and why you might want to choose one over the other. One of the things that you’re bound to be faced with when working with a new build is the question of the cooling solution. I've always gone with air, because the difference is pretty mild when you factor in the time it takes to make a water loop, and the low level component danger involved, and the negligible difference in sound, and the fact that you could use the money and time it would take to get a water cooled rig, and just get better components in a cheap, functional case. Air coolers use copper heat pipes (attached to a base plate or directly touching a component) to transfer heat to a fluid. Water makes its way back out of the radiator and down into either more radiators, a reservoir, a pump, or another component until the cycle completes itself. In fact, they use the same radiator! The problem with liquid cooling is that not all systems are made equal. I can sum up the points easily and if you need more details, look back to the analysis (or ask a question!). Even easier fan installation system. The cheapest AIO liquid cooling setups can cost as much as the best air coolers on the market. Radiators are mounted to push air out of the case (single radiators push out the rear of the case while double radiators exhaust from the top. In the water cooling world, there are two tides. None of the coolers I tested had any failures. Make sure it gets full 12V power. With a large enough cooler, whether air or water, you will be hard pressed to fully saturate the coolers anyways. Therefore weight is reduced. We suggest you go read it, just to be familiar with advantages of liquid cooling over traditional air cooling. However, it's rare for something to go wrong. It features dual 140mm fans that move up to 97 cubic feet of air per minute, allowing the radiator to draw tons of … It only lost at idle noise because the pump ran at full speed. Water coolers CAN be as quiet or quieter than air coolers , but you have to fiddle with fan curves and possibly pump speed curves (unless your pump is designed to run at full speed so you're at the mercy of the pump). Air Cooling Water Cooling; Due to direct transfer of heat from engine to air, no water jacket, radiator and water pump are required. The Reserator is pretty damn quiet, but wont cool much better than average air cooling (expect 40-50*C). Lastly, the radiator itself is slightly larger thanks to the built-in reservoir. In the past, when custom water cooling was the only option, this may have been true. Air cooling … The statement that any AiO is better than an air cooler is simply wrong. It just allows the last part of the heat transfer (fins to ambient air) to be decoupled from atop the chip to be cooled, to anywhere you are can mount the radiator/fan assembly. It cooled pretty well too considering that its radiator core is quite thin in comparison to the Glacer 240L and H105 radiators. Coolers of varying efficiencies, sizes, and types can all be had, but when it comes down to cooling performance and silence, they all perform very uniquely. Small water coolers will be more effective than similarly sized heatsinks. You must check for leaks before using it. 1. Cooler Master Eisberg Prestige 240L (100% pump), Cooler Master Eisberg Prestige 240L (42% pump / 5V). The Cooler Master Seidon 120V Plus is very similar to the normal Seidon 120V, but instead uses the Jetflo 120 fan for more performance. The downside is that they had to run much louder than Silver Arrow to achieve similar temps. Water coolers use a combination of pumps, tubes, and radiator water channels to move water around the cooling system. It also didn't help that this cooler had small screws and a very difficult fan-mounting system. When it comes to CPU coolers there's a lot to choose from. 240L is an interesting radiator use copper heat pipes ( attached to a fluid idle noise because the pump running. N'T accidentally kink or cut the hoses and make sure the pump ran at full.. Cooling device which absorbs some of the coolers I tested had any failures device absorbs! Master Eisberg Prestige 240L ( 100 % pump / 5V ) is running a base plate or directly a. That this cooler had small screws and a very difficult fan-mounting system and! If price is your concern in this article we are going to explore what types of liquid options. Front ), Sapphire HD 7970 Dual-X @ 950 Mhz / 1500 Mhz will. 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