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(Solved, Thanks) Water Cooling vs Air Cooling, is the noise level any different?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I know water cooling can yield great temperature results, but what about noise?

Ignoring setups where people have 3 or 4 GPUs linked up, in a moderate build, like my own, is there any noise benefit to going water cooled?

All I see is people with massive radiators and tons of fans and it seems to me that all those fans would result in a much louder setup?

Pardon my ignorance, just curious as I'm planning out my next build.
Edited by [\/]Paris - 5/15/11 at 10:13pm
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post #2 of 11
Depends on the fans and what speed you run them at - if you get some quiet fans, then its going to be quiet smile.gif If you get some Ultra Kaze 3000rpm fan's its probably going to be louder biggrin.gif

Best thing about water cooling is the ability to transfer more heat, and more surface area thus the lower temperatures.
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post #3 of 11
The only real advantage of water cooling is the potential of increased surface area. More surface area means lower temps. If you can deal with higher temps, an air cooler like a Silver Arrow can be just as quiet.

Water cooling also means you do not have a giant heatsink hanging off the motherboard in an ATX case. The heavy radiator full of water is secured to the case chassis. Having a huge heatsink hanging off the motherboard should not matter unless you are shipping a computer though.

There are also radiators with different fin densities. Lower density finned radiators can use much quieter fans. More densely finned radiators require faster (and louder) fans.
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleg33k85;13519782 
Depends on the fans and what speed you run them at - if you get some quiet fans, then its going to be quiet smile.gif If you get some Ultra Kaze 3000rpm fan's its probably going to be louder biggrin.gif

Or to put it another way, more rads means more fans to cool them but the theory is a lot of fans running at low speeds is quieter than a few fans running at faster speeds with better heat dispersal.
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post #5 of 11
It also really depends what fans you use, certain fan blades cut the air creating less noise. Also makes you use rubber pads to eliminate vibration.
    
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Alright thanks for the replys everyone. What I may consider is getting a large side fan, since a larger fan at lower RPM seems like it could be a good compromise.

I've seen those monster ones like Antec's 200mm models, would that be a smart way to get nice sound reduction without compromising cooling?

antec_bigboy.jpg

0
Edited by [\/]Paris - 5/15/11 at 8:12pm
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post #7 of 11
It depends...

With low fin per inch radiators, and quiet low speed fans, you can put together a water cooling system that is much quieter and has better cooling performance than a high end air cooler.

There are a lot of systems out there that are set up for maximum cooling performance though, those are the ones that sound like a leaf blower.

You can have very quiet AND very high cooling performance, but it will cost you significantly more.
I've got about $1200 in my WC loop to achieve that goal, but it also has to deal with 100% CPU/GPU load 24/7, on a highly overclocked system, in some pretty high ambient temps.

If you also want BLING, the costs escalate quickly.

This is assuming highly overclocked hardware. If you are running at stock, or moderate overclocks, quiet water cooling is super easy.
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleal;13520012 
It depends...

With low fin per inch radiators, and quiet low speed fans, you can put together a water cooling system that is much quieter and has better cooling performance than a high end air cooler.

There are a lot of systems out there that are set up for maximum cooling performance though, those are the ones that sound like a leaf blower.

You can have very quiet AND very high cooling performance, but it will cost you significantly more.
I've got about $1200 in my WC loop to achieve that goal, but it also has to deal with 100% CPU/GPU load 24/7, on a highly overclocked system, in some pretty high ambient temps.

If you also want BLING, the costs escalate quickly.

This is assuming highly overclocked hardware. If you are running at stock, or moderate overclocks, quiet water cooling is super easy.

Thanks a lot for all your insight. I guess this is why I was thinking that a large side fan might work just as well, since it's a fairly cheap investment and pushes a lot of air into the case at a low noise factor.

I don't consider myself an extreme overclocker, I just want a rig that's not going to keep me up at night.
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post #9 of 11
I went to watercooling because my GPU fan was driving me nuts, especially when I went eyefinity... I believe you can generally get quiet CPU setups and keep temps well under control, however with GPUs, air cooling options, while quiet, tend to be as complicated if not more complicated than waterblocks for GPUs, and after seeing how many people broke their cards with the recent acceleros (I think those are the ones... It was one of the popular brands, and there was a huge uproar about it), it just gave me more motivation to go watercooling.

Now instead of those pesky jet engines on my 6950s with a moderately quiet CPU cooler, I've got 3 120mm fans (pretty cheap ones, not even that quiet relative to their competition) controlled via PWM from my mobo, and at their loudest they're as loud as my GPU fans used to be at 25-30% if that, and that's comfortably cooling OCed CPU and 2 OCed GPUs.

And, it's a lot of fun to mess around/tinker with smile.gif I gotta add that, cause for me that's also a big part.

Also, your icon rocks.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.GumbyM.D.;13520514 
I went to watercooling because my GPU fan was driving me nuts, especially when I went eyefinity... I believe you can generally get quiet CPU setups and keep temps well under control, however with GPUs, air cooling options, while quiet, tend to be as complicated if not more complicated than waterblocks for GPUs, and after seeing how many people broke their cards with the recent acceleros (I think those are the ones... It was one of the popular brands, and there was a huge uproar about it), it just gave me more motivation to go watercooling.

Now instead of those pesky jet engines on my 6950s with a moderately quiet CPU cooler, I've got 3 120mm fans (pretty cheap ones, not even that quiet relative to their competition) controlled via PWM from my mobo, and at their loudest they're as loud as my GPU fans used to be at 25-30% if that, and that's comfortably cooling OCed CPU and 2 OCed GPUs.

And, it's a lot of fun to mess around/tinker with smile.gif I gotta add that, cause for me that's also a big part.

Also, your icon rocks.

Yeah thats how it was for me when I was using 2 gtx260's, freaking jet turbine every time I ran BC2. Probably the #1 reason I could see doing water cooling next time. Going to take my time on this build and decide my game plan soon, thanks for the insight.

And thanks. smile.gif
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