Desk PC - Air or water?
[Help me make the decision between air or water cooling for my future desk-pc, so I can get to the design stage. Is there anything I've forgotten? What would you do and what are the reasons behind it? Any ideas or opinions are greatly appreciated.]
The last time I touched my computer was in 2015 when I switched it over to a custom water cooled loop. I haven't even turned it on in over a year because I've been otherwise occupied building my own house and haven't had time for gaming. It's nothing too fancy... i7-3820, MSI 950, 16GB GSKILL Sniper 1866 RAM, 500GB WD Blue and a CM 850W Silent Pro. It's using an XSPC single bay reservoir, XSPC Raystorm, Phobya DC12-400 pump and an XSPC-EX120 radiator connected with PETG and monsoon hardline fittings (which seem to have been discontinued). Apparently one of my fittings had a tiny tiny leak which never showed up during my initial leak tests and has drained most of my system over the year of sitting there not running. I need to build a desk for the office anyway so I figure why not go ahead and put the computer in it to save some floor space, though I did think of a wall PC, but don't trust the cat and I'm pretty sure the wife would object to the aesthetic.
So with all of that out of the way and since I'll be dismantling the computer anyway, I can't decide to go with air cooling or water cooling.
Air cooling would probably be the easiest to set up, cheapest, possibly quietest and easiest maintenance, but will not be as nice looking, will require a bulkier desk to accommodate the CPU cooler (I'm thinking something like a Dark Rock Pro 4), and will not run as cool as water cooling.
On the other side, liquid cooling will still be very quiet (if I get a better pump), run cooler, look a lot better and allow me to have a more sleek/modern desk, but the maintenance could suck, have to be concerned with the possibility of leaks, more expensive and a PITA to set up the first time ESPECIALLY if I use hard lines again.
The maintenance is a big one because there will be a 20G fish tank sitting on this desk and it would absolutely suck to have to completely pull the top off to clean radiators and I don't want them to be external.
Edit: And yes, I will be giving this poor thing an SSD while I'm at it.
Last edited by Animag771; 07-14-2019 at 09:27 AM.