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What's the deal with watercooling?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Are the manufacturers just pulling the prices out of their asses?
I mean I understand water cooling was kind of an exotic thing a few years ago, but now most of the pc enthusiasts have water cooling, and at the rate at which cheap air heat sinks develop in performance, you'd think water cooling would counter that by dropping prices no?
Yes, I know my post sounds a little like a rant or whatever, but I've just been wondering about this for some time now, it seems that even though it's more accessible than before, it's not cheaper.

Sure, I understand that the equipment for producing this stuff is probably expensive, but still it just feels stupid to pay 100€ for a slab of metal, especially since this is nothing new we're dealing with?
What's the reason for water cooling being so expensive? You can get air cooling with the same-ish performance for around half the price. I would understand if you could get a decent custom loop for 100€, but you can't get anything that performs as good as a h100 with that. I mean a h100 isn't any more nice looking than a fat heat sink with bling bling fans, people pay for aesthetics as well (but since it's not related here, I miss the reason again).

What are your thoughts on this? Is it just that expensive, because they can make it that expensive?
And again, didn't mean to post a rant, just asking smile.gif
Edited by naikee - 12/11/12 at 6:15pm
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post #2 of 16
Its for a variety of reasons.
1. Someone with high-end hardware is willing to spend the money.
2. Watercooling in general is not very popular.
3. The cost of research, testing, and promotions.
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I think water cooling is becoming really popular, I mean most people now days who get a decent CPU and intend to overclock, get a h100 or something similar.
How long does a ware cooling system usually last? Maybe that could be one reason.
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post #4 of 16
The price of the blocks is due to the manufacturing costs, it take a lot more time to machine a waterblock than it does it machine a heatsink.

L/C components can last for years, One of my pumps has been running for 3 years.

The AIO coolers like the H100 are not real water cooling IMO.
post #5 of 16
To answer your question as to why - its quieter than an equivalent air cooler. You don't need to have high-speed fans to get the same level of cooling performance. A standard XSPC Rasa 750 kit will equal or outperform a D14, yes - But have you seen those Xinrulian fans? LOL
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post #6 of 16
If you're considering stock clocks, then yes, high-end air CPU coolers are more or less on par with AIO watercooling solutions, and can get much more silent if the user to ready to accent slightly higher temperatures. Then again, those premium heatsinks cost about the same as AIO kits, but have much more stringent clearance requirements, especially if operating a SFF system.

One can aircool effectively a 680 / 7970 or even a 690 / 7970X2, but the price to pay is the noise level. Whenever large amounts of Watt (i.e. highly overclocked CPUs and/or GPUs) enter the equation, watercooling is the way to go to get a quiet and stable system.

Premium CPU heatsinks and aftermarket GPU heatsinks are very heavy, some don't like the strain they place on the PCBs and prefer waterblocks, which are much lighter.

Then the fun/coolness factor comes into the equation and yes, a CPU/GPU watercooled system looks way better (IMHO) than the same aircooled system.
post #7 of 16
You gotta pay to play. For me, I do it for aesthetics and because its fun assembling a custom loop. I don't even play that many games or planning to overclock that much even though I spent almost $1k on watercooling components. You can ask the same questions why do some people mod thier cars even though they don't take it to the track.
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post #8 of 16
You'd be surprised how much a actual milling machine cost, then there's the upkeep, maintenance.. oh and don't forget, a factory location to put it at.. There is the design phase, research and development, Testing, Price of Copper per pound, sales and shipping, salary..

Taken all that into consideration, blocks aren't really that expensive. biggrin.gif
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitemarks and bloodstains View Post

The price of the blocks is due to the manufacturing costs, it take a lot more time to machine a waterblock than it does it machine a heatsink.
L/C components can last for years, One of my pumps has been running for 3 years.
The AIO coolers like the H100 are not real water cooling IMO.

The water blocks have no more time invested in them over a typical HS and with heat pipes the HS might even take more time and material.

L/C can last for years and be moved to other applications

AIO's are in fact real watercooling just people like me have built our own and put a lot of time effort and pride into building it and people like bitemarks bought the pieces and put it together them self's so would rather not recognize them as true water cooling .

I wouldn't think that the prices are not to out of line considering supply and demand , its not like Wallmart is buying in bulk from the manufactures, heck even major PC store only carry the odd item ..
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by frank anderson View Post

You'd be surprised how much a actual milling machine cost, then there's the upkeep, maintenance.. oh and don't forget, a factory location to put it at.. There is the design phase, research and development, Testing, Price of Copper per pound, sales and shipping, salary..
Taken all that into consideration, blocks aren't really that expensive. biggrin.gif

Came here to post...your exact response. Well said.

And custom loop watercooling is still incredibly niche. It's not too far of a reach from the "enthusiast" levels of other hobbies either. That said, having followed others through the process of having custom blocks machined--the cost of consumer level waterblocks is very reasonable.
     
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