Originally Posted by bond32
You guys are thinking in terms of CPU speeds when, to answer this burning question of "how does X cooler perform to remove heat" you need to be thinking in terms of voltage. Consider 3 identical setups, air water and nitrogen, running the CPU at STOCK speeds but jack the voltage through the roof. They will ALL BE PRODUCING THE SAME AMOUNT OF HEAT. You simply cannot compare the cooling solutions of different systems if you are adjusting voltages, speeds all kinds of things. Yes, I fully understand that the more extreme cooling solutions will allow the CPU (more with AMD) to run at a desired speed with lower voltages. But that doesn't tell us anything when we are comparing. Heck if it helps you understand better, completely disregard that you're cooling a CPU and rather just think of some electric coils that do nothing but produce heat.
So Red1776, to answer your question, think of that heat leaving the GPU core itself as energy. When using an air cooler, that energy (heat) is going to go to an area of lower temperature rather quickly. When you are cooling with water however, that water itself is holding on to the majority of that energy - it is being released to the ambient much slower hence why you feel the temperature increase of air cooling. This of course neglects humidity which is also a key player of "what do I feel". The amount of heat being produced in all cooling cases is the same, however this is a transient process which means it is affected by time. The heat produced will still find its way to the ambient in all cases, only when cooling with water that process will be much slower as opposed to air. Why? Because water can hold on to that energy magnitudes better than air.
Think of this too, if your water cooled pc is off, then you turn it on at full load. The fluid temps themselves will likely only increase 5-10 degrees then level out. This is due to the heat capacity of water. When cooling with air, not having any medium, that heat is going to find an area of lower temperature as quickly as possible, so you will actually feel it as it goes through the room.
Yes d1nky, you are correct. The water is able to hold that energy much better than air. Heat will always travel from an area of higher temp to an area of lower temperature.
So to sum up, I believe myself and perhaps others are thinking in terms of the heat produced itself which is a direct result of voltage where as seems many people are thinking in terms of CPU speeds. To understand any of this, you need to be thinking in terms of voltage not speed. We don't care if CPU A with air cooling needs 1.5 times more voltage to be as stable as CPU B, set both the same so both are producing the EXACT same amount of heat.