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What is the Difference between AIO and Customized?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello All!

This has been bugging me for awhile now, and I think I may have an idea, but I want to know for certain...

I want to know what the real differences are between an AIO water cooler like the corsair H series and a custom loop water cooler. I don't care about the differences as it relates to quality of parts (I'm sure custom has the better options). I'm more concerned as to why an AIO cooler doesn't need it's water to ever be replaced while a custom loop cooler does?

Reasons I ask:

I am pretty stinkin lazy... I LOVE the concept that AIO coolers don't require maintenance, but it doesn't make sense that they wouldn't while custom coolers would? I hear it's because the AIO is a closed loop and isn't really exposed to the elements like a custom loops is. That doesn't make all that much sense to me though because it had to be exposed to the elements during it's manufacturing. And won't nature find a way to corrupt the internal parts of the AIO where it would probably require maintenance anyway? Only now you can't service it unless you want to void a warranty? I figured this must be the case, and that AIO coolers just slowly lose performance over time because of this. Am I right?

Thanks in advance!
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Nightwing
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post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gohan_Nightwing View Post

Hello All!

This has been bugging me for awhile now, and I think I may have an idea, but I want to know for certain...

I want to know what the real differences are between an AIO water cooler like the corsair H series and a custom loop water cooler. I don't care about the differences as it relates to quality of parts (I'm sure custom has the better options). I'm more concerned as to why an AIO cooler doesn't need it's water to ever be replaced while a custom loop cooler does?

Reasons I ask:

I am pretty stinkin lazy... I LOVE the concept that AIO coolers don't require maintenance, but it doesn't make sense that they wouldn't while custom coolers would? I hear it's because the AIO is a closed loop and isn't really exposed to the elements like a custom loops is. That doesn't make all that much sense to me though because it had to be exposed to the elements during it's manufacturing. And won't nature find a way to corrupt the internal parts of the AIO where it would probably require maintenance anyway? Only now you can't service it unless you want to void a warranty? I figured this must be the case, and that AIO coolers just slowly lose performance over time because of this. Am I right?

Thanks in advance!

I'm more concerned as to why an AIO cooler doesn't need it's water to ever be replaced while a custom loop cooler does? a antifreeze coolant mix is used in AIO units.

Only now you can't service it unless you want to void a warranty? I figured this must be the case, and that AIO coolers just slowly lose performance over time because of this. Am I right? yes, AIO units still suffer from evaporation of the coolant, AIO units are designed to function for about 3 years and fail.
post #3 of 8
There are actually several threads on here already that discuss the differences, they should be really easy to find.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help! So my H70 has probably lost a lot of it's coolant over the 7 years I've had it....
Nightwing
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Nightwing
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MSI 290X Lightning G.SKILL PI Series 6GB WD Caviar Black HDD Crucial C300 SSD 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Clickfree External HDD HP BD240I Blu Ray Combo Drive Corsair H70 with GT AP-15's in Push/Pull Intake... Scythe Kama Flex SA1325FDB12H Case Fan 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition Alienware Optx AW2310 Deck Legend - Ice - Linear PS/2 Interface Corsair AX750 Modular Power Supply 
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Enthoo Luxe Logitech MX 518 Gaming-Grade Optical Mouse SteelSeries SX Game Pad Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD  
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gohan_Nightwing View Post

Thanks for the help! So my H70 has probably lost a lot of it's coolant over the 7 years I've had it....

absolutely. wink.gif
I might be a good idea to figure out a way to refill that system. thumb.gif
the pump will not last long if too much air gets into the water loop. redface.gif
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by toolmaker03 View Post

AIO units are designed to function for about 3 years and fail.

Not 100% true. I have an corsair h50 purchased soon after they were released. Its been running near 24/7 for going on 8ish years. I haven't seen any noticeable degradation in cooling performance. This computer was used and a gaming computer when new. Its is now mainly web surfer, file server and banking.
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post #7 of 8
Custom loops cool better because they have more thermal mass. Longer tubing plus a larger reservoir means significantly more fluid to dissipate the heat.

Quality of components is also a factor. AIO are trying to hit a specific price point where custom loops typically favor quality over cost. But, it’s mostly the size of the loop as a whole. Most people compare radiator size and fan rpm, but forget that all that extra tubing and the addition of a reservoir in a custom loop increases the fluid amount drastically and provides better cooling.
post #8 of 8
Not all AIOs are the same. A majority of the mainstream AIOs are in the Close Loop Cooler(CLC) class, like Corsair, NZXT, etc. Than there are AIOs a step above the CLCs like from Swiftech & EK. And there's another AIO class above the Swiftech & EK. The Airplex D5 pump version from Aquacomputer, basically a custom loop in AIO form, only the reservoir is proprietary. But won't outperform a custom loop of similar price.
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