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What is better than an h80i?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi, im sure i can find this answer by simply searching, but i had a few questions about water cooling in general that i wanted to know the answers to.

First things first my i5 4690k is overclocked at 4.6 Ghz (i think the voltage is 1.300 if im not mistaken). At idle, its ~53 C' in bios and corsair link and core temp (although core temp shows a range from around 45 c to around 50 c) but any way, is this too hot in idle? It seems that way. Its fairly old, ive had it for abput a year and a half now. When running prime 95, the temps instantly (the exact moment i start the test) shoot to 89-92 ish C' and im assuming that is way too hot considering i have an h80i. Should i re apply thermal paste? Or is it time for a new cooler? Also, it might be worth mentioning that the only thing i do on my pc is play csgo which is very very very less demanding than a prime 95 test. While csgo is open the temps go up to maybe 56-58 C' at the hottest.

For my next few questions:
What would be a better cooler than an h80i? I got it assuming that it would be pretty decent, which it was for a while.

Ive seen people say liquid cooling, and water cooling. Is there a difference?

What thermal pastes are the best?

Should i be cleaning anything regularly on my h80i? If so, what?

If my specs are needed, they are below:
i5 4690k @ 4.6 ghz
Z97-a mobo
Gtx 960
300 gb ssd (sandisk i think?)
H80i cooler
Edited by Xystus - 5/30/16 at 4:38pm
post #2 of 14
It's sadly a far too common misconception that CLC coolers are better then air coolers when its fact the other way around.
If you want a better cooler forget everything about CLC coolers as you can get air coolers that are better cheaper more quiet and more reliable.

You can get a Noctua NH-U14S for slightly less then a new H80i and its a far better cooler as well as more quiet at high loads.
A Noctua NH-D15 is slightly more then a H80i but it also leaves the H80i behind in the dust and its also way more quiet then the H80i is.

If you dont like Noctua colors there are lots of other options that are just as good and still much better then the mediocre CLC cooler you have now.
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for the reply. I didn't know that air cooling was better, I was told (as well as assumed) that water cooling is far better than air cooling, although i was told this a few years back and stuck with me ever sense, so maybe it was true at the time, but now it isn't.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xystus View Post

thanks for the reply. I didn't know that air cooling was better, I was told (as well as assumed) that water cooling is far better than air cooling, although i was told this a few years back and stuck with me ever sense, so maybe it was true at the time, but now it isn't.
CLC cooles are not the same thing as a custom liquid loop so i think you have been told a misunderstood half truth.
CLC coolers like yours never have are not and never will be as good as good high end air coolers (there are a few exceptions but they are all pretty loud at that point)

Sure they look better but thats about the only thing they actually do better.
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post #5 of 14
Watercooling IS better than air cooling.

The problem with CLCs like the H80i is they are the most useless beyond garbage watercooling imaginable, and they are being sold in 2016, when air coolers have had a lot of time to mature and get just about as good as they possibly can get while also being pretty affordable.

If the current CLCs hit the market 15 years ago when the best air coolers were akin to today's stock OEM HSFs, they might have actually made some sense. As it currently stands, with great air coolers like the Phanteks PH-TC14PE (highly recommended) weighing in at approximately the same cost, they are only good for very specific usage cases.

Now, if you spend about 50% more than a CLC costs, you can build a low end real liquid loop that will wipe the floor with both CLCs and even the best air coolers.
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post #6 of 14
Those temperatures look normal to me. P95 is the CPU version of Furmark in the sense that it will generate a ton of heat and an overall unrealistic load on your CPU. A more realistic stress tester for your chip is RealBench. It uses real-world applications to stress your cpu, and I find that it is an excellent stability tester.

Anyway, I don't think you need to change anything. The temps look fine, and the H80i is still a good cooler.


Edit: reread the post. Those temps don't look right. However, an H80i shouldn't be performing that badly. As Ultisym said, I'd do some troubleshooting before making any purchase.

If you want to stick with water, the H80i Gt, any of the newer 240/280mm coolers, and the Semi-custom coolers that are the Swiftech H220/320 and EK Predator 240/360 are great coolers.

For air, I recommend the U14S. It really is a great cooler. Don't let it's small size fool you because it cools just as well as most of the dual tower coolers out there when you add another fan. Alternatively, you have the Thermalright TRUE 140 which is essentially a beefed up U14S, but the height limits case compatibility.

For dual tower coolers, you can't go wrong with the D15/S, PH-TC14PE, and Cryorig R1. They all perform about the same, and the main temperature differences are coming from the fans used.

The best thermal paste currently is Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. You can pick up some from Performance-Pcs.com. The second best would be the Gelid GC-Extreme. I own and frequently use both. The GC-Extreme is slightly easier to apply. There are too many variables at play for me to try to compare the two, but more controlled reviews out there have the Grizzly edging out the Gelid. You can't go wrong with either.

The main thing that you should clean regularly are just the rad and fans. If you live in a dusty environment with a dust-filter protected case like me, I'd give it a quick blow every month or so.
Edited by airisom2 - 5/30/16 at 5:23pm
post #7 of 14
I have a H80i GT cooling a 4.5Ghz 5820k, which has 50% more cores than your CPU.

Is it the best thermal solution? No. Is it the best 120mm solution that doesn't crowd the CPU/RAM area of my board like a giant air cooler would? Yep.
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post #8 of 14
This is one of those things where every ones going to have an opinion, some based on fact, some based on experience, some based on tech articles and some based on nothing more than what they hear others say in web forums. Ultimately however, they are all being cooled with air.

Working with what you already have, please answer a couple questions. Are the fans on the radiator set to intake or exhaust? Have you been maintaining the system by cleaning the dust out of it and the radiator. You say it worked well for a while, now not. this could be a maintenance issue or it could be one of the issues with CLCs, evaporation. IMO, before i started throwing money at changes, the first thing to try would be making sure the dust is cleaned off the system and radiator, then re-seating with new thermal paste.
   
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post #9 of 14
I had a similar cooler like you, the H75 which is slightly smaller, running my 8320 @ 4.5 a little too warm for comfort now that summer swung around. Now where I live has no A/C in the rooms and with the outside temps rising, so do the bedroom temps. I'd be jumping to 60s under short load at these clocks and even turning it down to 4Ghz with a voltage drop was still a little too warm for comfort. I'd been considering an actual custom loop for a while, perhaps starting with the H220X, however just decided against worrying about the hassle. Now I don't know about you but me personally I'm not comfortable having a large heavy metal block hanging off my board 24/7. Anyways, I decided to look around in Microcenter and ended up coming home with a H100i V2 and I have to say I'm impressed. I've been running my chip back at 4.5 Ghz and now under load I don't see higher than low 40s, even with my room being uncomfortably warmer due to the summer time.


A lot of people always have something to say about CLC coolers but let's face it, not everybody likes to deal with the hassle of a custom loop (setup, leak testing, constant checking and maintenance if necessary). If you have the room for it I'd definitely recommend it. I'm considering trying to push my chip further past 4.5 now that I can comfortably run these clocks under load in the summer time.

Just my 2cents.gif
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CS14 View Post

I had a similar cooler like you, the H75 which is slightly smaller, running my 8320 @ 4.5 a little too warm for comfort now that summer swung around. Now where I live has no A/C in the rooms and with the outside temps rising, so do the bedroom temps. I'd be jumping to 60s under short load at these clocks and even turning it down to 4Ghz with a voltage drop was still a little too warm for comfort. I'd been considering an actual custom loop for a while, perhaps starting with the H220X, however just decided against worrying about the hassle. Now I don't know about you but me personally I'm not comfortable having a large heavy metal block hanging off my board 24/7. Anyways, I decided to look around in Microcenter and ended up coming home with a H100i V2 and I have to say I'm impressed. I've been running my chip back at 4.5 Ghz and now under load I don't see higher than low 40s, even with my room being uncomfortably warmer due to the summer time.


A lot of people always have something to say about CLC coolers but let's face it, not everybody likes to deal with the hassle of a custom loop (setup, leak testing, constant checking and maintenance if necessary). If you have the room for it I'd definitely recommend it. I'm considering trying to push my chip further past 4.5 now that I can comfortably run these clocks under load in the summer time.

Just my 2cents.gif

Don't confuse the ability to perform maintenance with a requirement to do so.

You are 100% capable of treating a custom loop exactly the same way you would treat a CLC. It will still perform better and last longer than any CLC. You shouldn't do that, because maintenance is very simple and will extend the lifespan of your system by an order of magnitude, but it is still ultimately a choice - a choice you don't actually get to make with CLCs.

The only thing you "have" to do with a proper loop that you don't have to do with a CLC is initial setup, which while relatively painless for anyone who is capable of installing their own video card, can still be avoided by buying one of the pre-assembled kits like the EK Predator, one of the several Swiftech options, etc.
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