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What direction should my computer take?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm in the market for upgrading my computer. Not particularly looking for extra performance - I'm right where it's at on that measure. I'm more looking for looks and noise.

In short, when I bought the PC (1.5 years ago) I was persuaded to go the high-airflow + flashy look by buying a Cosmos S, fitting a window and 6 red led fans. Problem is, the PC isn't particularly quiet.

I'd like to go for a P180/Lian Li V2100 style thing. I just like the whole concept of having a quiet, unassuming case that can just fit in anywhere - I don't want it to take attention.

My question is whether I should go full tower watercooled or midi-tower aircooled.

I've been looking at two cases - the Lian Li v2120 and the Fractal R3. The Lian Li would be watercooled, probably with a triple rad in the top and up to 2 quad rads in the main compartment. The Fractal would be air cooled, probably with a Noctua NH-D14.

My three questions are:

Which would be quieter (after fan control tuning)? (for the same temperatures)
Which would look better? (in your opinion)
Based on your answers to the first two, which would you buy? (ie not on a 'WATER COOLING IS COOL' viewpoint).

Also, if you watercool, how 'zero-maintenance is it?'. Can it be?

Assume that value for money isn't important - it is, but this discussion is purely about looks and cooling performance.
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post #2 of 6
the water cooling way isnt going to be that quiet, from what you have said, 360mm rad and 2 480mm rads on the inside, youll be looking at 11 120mm fans. thats a lot of fans. how ever after the first month of paranoid checking, watercooling is pretty much maintenance free (as long as your cleaver with were you mount your rads and use dust filters). compared to air cooling, were dust is more easily blown in and around the case. and the heat sinks tend to get full of it.

However, water cooling does have its drawbacks, no fans means other areas like your Mosfets and Northbridge will suffer from more heat. also water cooling is more prone to ambient temperature. if your in a 40*C climate then your water cooling suffers.
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal777 View Post
the water cooling way isnt going to be that quiet, from what you have said, 360mm rad and 2 480mm rads on the inside, youll be looking at 11 120mm fans. thats a lot of fans. how ever after the first month of paranoid checking, watercooling is pretty much maintenance free (as long as your cleaver with were you mount your rads and use dust filters). compared to air cooling, were dust is more easily blown in and around the case. and the heat sinks tend to get full of it.

However, water cooling does have its drawbacks, no fans means other areas like your Mosfets and Northbridge will suffer from more heat. also water cooling is more prone to ambient temperature. if your in a 40*C climate then your water cooling suffers.
Wouldn't I be able to run the fans at much slower speeds on the air cooled case?
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Corsair Vengeance LP Crucial M4 Some Samsung Custom Water Cooling 
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Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit NEC 30 inch Razer Black Widow Corsair AX850W 
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post #4 of 6
I'd go with the Fractal Design case. You'd have to get some really nice fans, though.
post #5 of 6
Quieter is one of big advantages WC could offer you. With enough rads(at least 3 you mentioned), you can choose/set low speed fans thus making your machine dead quiet. That's not possible with air cooling.

My answer would be 1) WC is quieter and 2) WC looks better, IMO.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalvin37 View Post
Quieter is one of big advantages WC could offer you. With enough rads(at least 3 you mentioned), you can choose/set low speed fans thus making your machine dead quiet. That's not possible with air cooling.

My answer would be 1) WC is quieter and 2) WC looks better, IMO.
Remember, if I go watercooling I won't have a window, so I won't see the tubes that often.

I think I've decided on the Fractal. The Noctua NH-D14 is about as quiet as you can get anyway, and it's got sound deadening foam and the like to try and make it as quiet as possible. It won't be perfect, but it'll probably be a lot better than what I've got.
Current PC
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i5 2500k Asus Maximus IV Extreme KFA2 GTX 580 Point of View GTX 580 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair Vengeance LP Crucial M4 Some Samsung Custom Water Cooling 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit NEC 30 inch Razer Black Widow Corsair AX850W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Silverstone TJ07-S Steelseries Xai Razer Destructor Sennheiser HD 800 
Audio
Asus Xonar STX 
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Current PC
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i5 2500k Asus Maximus IV Extreme KFA2 GTX 580 Point of View GTX 580 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair Vengeance LP Crucial M4 Some Samsung Custom Water Cooling 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit NEC 30 inch Razer Black Widow Corsair AX850W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Silverstone TJ07-S Steelseries Xai Razer Destructor Sennheiser HD 800 
Audio
Asus Xonar STX 
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