I'm upgrading my computer soon but I'm completely torn about cooling it. Currently I have Noctua NH-C14. Would water cooling make a huge difference compared to the C14?
I see. So if I want improvement I have to throw a lot more money in it. Thanks for the comparisons it will help me decide for sure.Originally Posted by ciarlatano
It depends what your goal is. You have a top tier air cooler with one of the best noise profiles possible. A small custom loop would give you better temps, and would have a similar noise profile, and would run you $200-300. A quality AiO like the Swiftech or EK would give you better performance with slightly more noise, and cost would be $140 for a Swiftech, or $200 for the EK (which is odd given that the Swiftech is the better performer and quieter). A CLC would give you similar performance to what you have now and be significantly louder at a cost of ~$100-120.
So, you have two directions that could be seen as an improvement, and one that will simply cost you money to make your build louder.
So you're saying I should stick with my Noctua if I'm not doing this for the looks?Originally Posted by Cavey00
The bigger question you need to ask yourself is if it's worth the trouble as well as the expense. Personally my WC rig is set up partially for performance but mostly for asthetics. I love the way it all looks. If it's not a windowed case being proudly displayed on your desk I wouldn't bother. I like what companies have done with the hybrid cooling on the graphics cards nowadays. That's where most of the benefit is, but if you are going to custom WC your card you might as well include the processor, right?
Truth, unless you have a cube case and have all your rads on the bottom then swapping out anything is actually quite quick. I removed my waterblock for cleaning and only lost the water that was in the tube from the cpu block to the gpu block. Thermaltake Core X5 so my mobo sits horizontal and the water levels arent far above the blocks like in a typical vertical case. Yes i know its messy and mismatching (for now haha)Originally Posted by Cavey00
If you aren't going to include your gpu, totally just stick with air. Now if it's something you genuinely have an interest in trying for fun then by all means go for it. Stick with flexible tubing and it will be fun setting up but just be aware of the maintenance you will have to do. I'm not a fan of CLC's although they have come along quite a bit from when I last tried one, but since you already have a top of the line air cooler I'm sure there are some people that will tell you that the performance is about the same. First loop was flex tubing for me and I quite enjoyed doing that. Second loop I did hard line, which looks spectacular but the work involved in that is more than I care to repeat. No one has mentioned it yet I don't think but the largest obstacle comes when you want to change something. It usually involves new blocks, tearing the entire system down, reassembling and checking for leaks, etc. Just troubleshooting something that involves a graphics card swap turns from a 5 minute job to hours, if even possible. Just things to consider. I'm not bashing WC'ing because obviously I'm WC'ing one of my rigs, I'm just throwing some obstacles I've come across at you.