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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?
 

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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.
 
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Originally Posted by ciarlatano View Post

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.
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.
 

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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?
 

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Originally Posted by Cavey00 View Post

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?
So you're saying I should stick with my Noctua if I'm not doing this for the looks?
 

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Ive had both. I went from an nh-u14s to a custom full loop. The temp the noctua was doing stock im getting at 1.2v and 4.5ghz but also running bare die, for cpu temps you wont see much difference unless running at least a 240 and up. A d5 pump at full speed is dead quiet in my case and i have a dozen fans.

It can run as quiet as an air cooler provided you have the raditator surface area for it. NOW mine with 12 fans is still quieter then my R9 390 nitro was running and only had 2 intake fans. The biggest temp difference youll see in water cooling is GPUs and thats where the noise really is.

For a general idea ,y cpu temp under water bare die runs the same temp as stock but with 1.2v instead of 1.06 or so. But now my gpu went from 71 to 41C so thats HUGE and a whole lot quieter even though my fans are always at 1200rpm. I forgot how much i spent but ive gotta be in the 400-500$ area but it was totally worth it on a temp and noise margin.
 

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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.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavey00 View Post

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.
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)

I went for function over form. You can see how both blocks sit above the front rad and the output wont leak water unless the pump is actually on.
 

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I did watercooling for a while (4 years).

Reason to WC: High & quiet overclock.

The thing is that I don't even need a super duper high overclock. 4.2 or 4.4 is just fine and my Noctua D14 is more than enough for that. I also have a custom air cooler for my GPU that allow high overclock and quiet operation. GPU don't scale that much with voltage or temperature... you can easily reach your max overclock on stock cooler with 100% fan and a relatively low ambient temperature.

The thing is that my air cooler Noctua D14 is doing a pretty good job with my i7 at 4.4 GHz and my custom air cooler for my GPU. It's as quiet as my watercooling system so I really don't see the point unless you got multiple GPU and a very big CPU.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys. I decided I'll stick with air cooling for now. Rep to all of you for guidance.
 
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