As someone who has achieved 5ghz 24/7 on air with a Phanteks TC14PE, I must say the H110, H100i, etc are really overrated on here and around the web.
I get better temps than most benchmarks get on higher volts than they used. (Most of the time on benchmarks, they'll use an open bench with 4.5 or 4.8ghz, not 5.0)
Now if you're talking about a real custom loop or at the bare minimum one of the higher end swifttech models, then we're talking an improvement.
But for a Phanteks with a fan upgrade it's like $125. An H100/etc with a fan upgrade will likely run you similar or more cash, and the H220 definitely will. Any bare bones water kit is going to run you $200 too, and it might not even be that good since it's a very low end kit.
To conclude, any non-expandable water cooling solution (closed loop) is extremely overrated. The Noctua, Phanteks and Silver Arrow are all very powerful air coolers and with the right fans can cool like crazy, especially if you delid.
Check the thread, sort by cooling. Check the clocks people get, the temps they have. Only problem is it doesn't specify if they've delidded or not.
An easy example:
Solonowarion 5000.2mhz 1.528v 23hrs 71-77-75-71 WATER - EK Supreme 3570k
bebimbap 5100.5mhz 1.520v 18hrs 74-83-85-81 AIR - Noctua NH-D14 3770k
A Noctua versus a real kit, true it's the 3570k vs a 3770k, but still. We're talking 3-10c difference between the D14 and a real custom loop.
For the record, 1.52v for 18hrs of prime not breaking 85c is amazing. With my ambient right now I'll hit 88 at 5ghz at 1.45v on the phanteks. During the winter I'll likely hit around 83. Not bad at all imo for air.Edited by neofury - 7/22/13 at 7:08am