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Watercooling a mATX i7-4770k

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Gigabyte GA-Z87M-D3H LGA 1150 CrossFireX DVI/HDMI mATX
Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz
G.Skill Sniper Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200)
GeForce GTX 760 (4GB 256-bit GDDR5)
SanDisk Extreme II 240 GB SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" SSD
Pioneer BDR-209DBK 16x Blu-Ray/CD/DVD Writer
Win7Pro x64 SP1

With the help of a friend, I started 24/7 overclocking my CPU to 4.3 GHz to help with heavy duty graphics tasks (primarily focus stacking). This was achieved by adjusting the 'CPU Upgrade' value in the UEFI BIOS under the 'Performance' tab. Idle and stress temps were well within normal range with the installation of a Cooler Master Hyper TX3, but are now peaking at 93c, prompting me to look into simple-assembly water cooling options along the lines of the Corsair H50/H60/H70/H80/H100 and Antec Kuhler H2O 620/920. My questions are:

1. Can I expect better temperatures with one of the above listed water cooling systems, or would I be better off with either a better air cooling system or adjustments to my existing one?

2. What options am I limited to given the space restrictions of a Fractal Design Core 1000 tower?

3. Given that there have been no significant changes in the orientation or position of the tower or the temperature of the room in which it's kept, what might have caused this spike in idle and stress temperatures?

4. I've read elsewhere that water cooling systems such as those listed above may not provide much needed cooling for the motherboard. How, if at all, should I compensate for this?

Can provide any additional information upon request.

Many thanks in advance,


**NOTE**: Speccy screenshot and OpenHardwareMonitor report reflect idle state. BIOS screenshot was borrowed from another source, and does not necessarily directly represent my exact settings, but shows the location of the 'CPU Upgrade' setting (mine is set to 4.3).

BIOS.jpg 128k .jpg file

SpeccyIdle.png 214k .png file

OpenHardwareMonitor.Report.txt 32k .txt file
post #2 of 5
You may find the lack of overclocking results improvement underwhelming. 4770K is not a great overclocker and will be limited by the quality of thermal compound under the IHS. Now if you take a delid route, that's a different story. But whether it is really worth all the efforts is still a question.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by cmpxchg8b View Post

You may find the lack of overclocking results improvement underwhelming.

Sorry, I do not understand this sentence.
post #4 of 5
I meant, watercooling a 4770K won't push it much further in terms of how well it overclocks. Nor would it improve core temps much.
post #5 of 5
Given the limitations of the case, you can only fit a 120mm radiator in there. So, essentially you wind up with the performance of a good ~$30 air cooler just with a lot more noise. Personally, I would go with something like a Cryorig H5 for $49 and be done with it. Better cooling and quieter than any 120mm CLC on the market. The fact that a cooler has tubes does not make it better.
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