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Is water cooling ever necessary? - Page 2

post #11 of 21
At top-tier clocks it's a more effective, generally quieter way to make sure everything stays cool. Especially for something like a northbridge chip on a 775 rig. As the dies keep shrinking (and clock cooler as a result) and everything goes on-die however it's less and less a "requirement".

I think it's the best way to cool GPUs especially, but gamers like me change GPUs so often it's not a practical way to cool GPUs unless you have extra money for blocks and the free time to break and rebuild your loop once/year.
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post #12 of 21
Usually not, provided it is in a normal environment and OC'ing is not an intent or reality. Even with warmer ambient temps you can almost always get your CPU stable and under a safe temperature on air cooling, even without a fancy cooler most of the time.

But

There are a lot of variables that can change that

For example

A setup in a very small case that has little to no circulation. Maybe due to placement like a custom setup in a car, or due to a custom case that is being sealed from the outside for the most part besides specific intake and exhaust opening. Again, especially true when you get into Crossfire, SLI, and or OC'ing anything.

A very hot run environment. Say you like to leave your computer on while at work while the A/C is off and you live in a very hot area. That could also be viable.

For the most part... It's just because people like to OC, and sometimes you need water to stay away from recommended max temperatures while doing that. Even when you don't reach or exceed them, many would rather stay safe than sorry so they opt for watercooling.

There is also the "cool factor". Look around at this site and the things we all do for no other reason than "we want to". I'm sure the cool factor accounts for 50% of watercooled setups, with the other 50% being mostly OC'ers who OC the CF or SLI setups and OC the CPU also which in turn requires it.
Edited by DizturbedOne - 8/15/11 at 6:34pm
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post #13 of 21
24/7 folding at the overclocks my CPUs and GPUs are running would not be possible with air cooling at normal room temperatures, and certainly not in the up to 31ºC ambient temperatures my systems see almost every afternoon.
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post #14 of 21
For me it was necessary, my room has high ambient temperatures compared to the rest of my house. Air cooling was doing little as my CPU was idling at 40-50C. Hence I needed to watercool to overclock my hardware without suffering long term damage.

Now with my radiators outside I can take advantage of the cooler temperatures, use Delta's without going deaf and have a much cooler room. Win-win.
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post #15 of 21
II experimented with WC on my current system. It was not a worthwhile improvement (about 100MHz on the CPU) and had some serious catches (was almost impossible to cool my memory and chipset). Watercooling my GTX 480 was much more practical, but still not really worthwhile.

In my experience, high ambients is not a real justification, as it affects WC very similarly to air. I do all my testing in 35C ambients.

I can see a real need for WC only when certain space considerations become a real issue.
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post #16 of 21
I'm personally not watercooling strictly for the temperature difference (though stability of higher overclocks is a side effect I take advantage of) - I'm watercooling because it's a way to ensure I have a virtually "silent" PC. Idle and load, I have the exact same acoustic threshold and it especially is worthwhile for replacing the noisy GPU coolers on the high-end GPU's like the GTX580. So for me, it's a must have. Can't ever go back unless they drastically reduce the sound footprint of the GPU coolers in the future.
post #17 of 21
if you can shell off some dollars for water cooling your system, for achieving great temps results, for satisfaction, do it, otherwise, be content on what air cooling can do for you.
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post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post
In my experience, high ambients is not a real justification, as it affects WC very similarly to air. I do all my testing in 35C ambients.
Somewhat true, but with WC in high ambient temps, you can add more radiator area to lower the temperature difference between the air and water, thus lowering CPU/GPU temperatures.
The very best of the best air coolers can't come anywhere close to a good custom WC system.

Quote:
I can see a real need for WC only when certain space considerations become a real issue.
Those of us running highly OCed systems under 100% GPU/CPU load 24/7 would disagree.
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post #19 of 21
Way back in the mid-eighties I worked with a guy from the UK (we both lived is Switzerland with our women). Well this guy had a business that relocated IBM mainframes,hard disk controllers,and the actual hdd's. Each of these pieces of equipment was as big as a telephone booth. IBM felt for some reason it worked out better for the cpu's to be water cooled,things got quite complicated and interesting at the same time.So you ask is watercooling ever mandantory for a home PC,it really depends on the parameters you put around the operation of the equipment.Watercooling is a blast,you should give it a try.
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post #20 of 21
With Intel's new cpu lineup and Amd's cpu offerings, its not crucial. So, straight answer for this is no.

For gpu, if you are running highend gpu(s), especially more than one, I think its worth it, so yes. I hate having a sandwich of 580s dumping a whole bunch of heat
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