question easy liquid cooling?

Adcadet

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Anybody familar with the liquid cooling kits currently available (like Corsair H series)? Are they easy to use and reliable enough for prime time use? Could it be left for a long weekend running, without fear of finding a wet, shorted out computer?

I'm wondering if a switch from my Hyper 212 with dual fans (one of which spins to noisy levels when temps get high) to a cheap liquid kit would keep the noise a little lower, or at a minimum, work more efficiently as the heat capacity (correct term?) of the water would buffer the brief episodes of increased heat production.
 

MaxBurn

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It would be the only thing I would consider if I was to go liquid. HOCP has reviews of the corsair units and there are plenty of liquid cooling freaks on the forum there. Likely get more answers there.
 

ddrueding

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I ran liquid cooling for quite a while. The only reason I stopped was that I was tired of rebuilding the whole thing every time I swapped out some bits.

I was very paranoid about leaks, so I ordered top-end bits and did everything myself.
 

sdbardwick

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Anybody familar with the liquid cooling kits currently available (like Corsair H series)? Are they easy to use and reliable enough for prime time use? Could it be left for a long weekend running, without fear of finding a wet, shorted out computer?

I'm wondering if a switch from my Hyper 212 with dual fans (one of which spins to noisy levels when temps get high) to a cheap liquid kit would keep the noise a little lower, or at a minimum, work more efficiently as the heat capacity (correct term?) of the water would buffer the brief episodes of increased heat production.
I've got a Corsair H60 and an Antec Kuhler 920 to install next week on new i5-2500k and i7-2600k builds respectively. The tubing and fittings seem to be fine (good quality, secure), and they both survived UPS without leaking. If they are not leaking upon purchase, I don't think you need to worry too much about them developing a leak under normal use; I'm not losing any sleep over it.

One of them, if not both, will be on 24/7 at high loads, so we'll see quickly if the pumps get noisy under extended loads. The fans are not very loud at all at the lower speeds.
 

CougTek

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Liquid cooling not worth it IMO.

What SPCR thinks about it
FINAL THOUGHTS
The Antec Kühler H20 620/920 is a big improvement over the first fully-assembled one piece CPU water cooler we reviewed, the Corsair Hydro H50. The pumps on both units are considerably quieter, particular on the 620. This allows Kühler users to run their fans faster and produce better temperatures at similar noise levels to the H50. The smooth, non-corrugated tubing also gives them greater flexibility than the stiff plastic hoses of the Hydro series.
Despite these improvements, our final tests results were not compelling. Neither managed to match the majority of comparably priced tower coolers on our heatsink test platform. Given its street price of about US$60, the 620's main competition are premium single 120/140 mm fan heatsinks. Of the 22 we've tested in the past couple of years, 20 of them outperformed the 620. The larger 920, with its thicker radiator, second fan, and fan/LED controller goes for US$100, making it fair game for expensive dual 14 cm fan coolers. We've reviewed only six of these beasts but they all outpaced the 920 by a large margin.
These units are popular amongst DIY enthusiasts who can't afford or lack the technical expertise or dedication to construct a proper water cooling system, but from what we've seen so far, they just aren't efficient enough. The Kühler H20 620/920, even though they have quieter pumps than the H50, are still handicapped by the additional noise source of the pump, making them impossible to succeed as super-quiet CPU coolers.
You're better off spending your money on quieter fans, like the Thermalright TY-140 (with holes positioned like 120mm fans). Or swap your Hyper 212+ with a Thermalright HR02 Macho that comes with a TY-140 and cost ~40$. Cheaper and more effective than any popular water cooling kit. Ditto for a Prolimatech Megahalems (~50$) or Super Mega (~60-70$), a Noctua NH-C14 (~80$) or a Thermalright Venomous-X Silent (~60-70$).
 

LunarMist

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I don't think so either. It's not like you gain huge MHz anymore from liquid vs. a large HSF.
 

CougTek

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The Noctua NH-C14 is a bit superior (1-2C) to the tower-style NH-D14 and cost the same. Noctua, though, doesn't make the quietest 140mm fans. A few Scythe models as well as the Thermalright TY-140 and the Prolimatech Blue/Red Vortex generate less noise at equal CFM.
 

CougTek

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His CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ won't be sufficient to cool off his processor without a fan. He'd need something like a Thermalright HR02 for that (~80$).
 

Adcadet

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I'm using two 120 mm Scythe fans on my Hyper 212. I tweaked the fan setting to run the second, noisy fan, at 50% at lower temps and to increase to 100% when temps get to 70C. This fan at 50% is hardly audible, but when run at 100% it's mildly annoying. It doesn't help that the case is sitting on my desk 2 feet from my ears.
 

LunarMist

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Can you put the case on the floor? I'm not a fan of towers on desktops.
 

LunarMist

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I moved to the floor about 11 years ago when the number of drives started to accumulate and they had ball bearings back then. The orginal Atlas 10K drive was just too noisy at close range.
 

ddrueding

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I won't let any of my users put their machines on the floor. The additional dust/etc the machine picks up is unacceptable. I've gone SFF where possible, and if the machine needs to be under the desk I block it up at least 8" using bricks or whatever else I can get my hands on.
 

LunarMist

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I won't let any of my users put their machines on the floor. The additional dust/etc the machine picks up is unacceptable. I've gone SFF where possible, and if the machine needs to be under the desk I block it up at least 8" using bricks or whatever else I can get my hands on.

Yes, but at work most machines don't have a bunch of hard drives or other noisy/hot internals.
 

CougTek

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If true, Asetek stroke quite a deal. Shipping the retail cooler with Intel CPUs insures quite a volume. I don't believe it will be a very quiet cooling solution under load though, but their current LGA1155 and LGA1366 aren't either so...
 

sechs

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His CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ won't be sufficient to cool off his processor without a fan. He'd need something like a Thermalright HR02 for that (~80$).
I paid a little over $40 for my heatsink that runs passively. Surely there's a cheaper option out there.
 

sechs

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I'm using two 120 mm Scythe fans on my Hyper 212. I tweaked the fan setting to run the second, noisy fan, at 50% at lower temps and to increase to 100% when temps get to 70C. This fan at 50% is hardly audible, but when run at 100% it's mildly annoying.
Why is your processor getting to 70? I don't think the processor in my desktop has ever been that hot.

Maybe you need to input more air into your case, rather than fooling around with CPU cooler.
 

sechs

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It depends what the processor is and what is its power rating. I don't know what processor you have.
It's a Phenom X6.

I'm not sure how power rating would figure into the cost of a cooler, given that the processor runs cool enough to be passively cooled.
 

CougTek

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Is it an invitation to be pedant or what? The higher the power rating of the processor, the harder it will be to cool it passively. While a i3 2100, a 65W CPU, could probably be cooled passively by a 25$ Cooler Master 212+ without its fan, a CPU dissipating 125W would need a much bigger (and pricier) heatsink be cooled passively.

Your processor has a TDP of ~125W IIRC. What 40$ heatsink did you use to cool it? A Scythe Ninja 3 or Mugen 2?
 

Adcadet

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I typically run my 2600K at 103x43 at 1.30V (per the Asus utility), in a CoolerMaster HAF-X with 2 large intake fans and 3 large exhaust fans, and a Hyper212 with two 120 mm fans (one push, one pull). It is typically around 33C during normal use, and goes up to about 64C after a "standard" run of Intel BurnTest (a Linpack client from what I can tell, using 1024 MB of RAM, takes about 100 second). Using these settings, my second fan fan on the heatsink stays at 50% power as I only tell it to go higher when temps hit 70C. When BurnTest is done, the temps nicely drop back into the 30s. My motherboard sits around 28C and doesn't change during BurnTest, and my work area is usually in the 20-22C range (per a wall clock), although I suppose near my monitors (LCDs) it might be slightly warmer).

My CPU will hit 80C only when I let it - and that's when I'm trying to get >4.8 GHz. My success has been limited, although for a while I found settings that would let me do 4.7 GHz with stability, but I'd have to deal with that noisy fan more often.

The large case fans are quiet enough that when the second 120 mm fan on the HSF goes from 50% power to 100% power it bugs me a little. I was wondering if liquid has gone prime time. I was hoping that the liquid reservoir would be large enough that the temps would rarely spike during short bursts of heavy use (e.g.-when I'm editing videos, which is commonly when I notice the fan on the heatsink kick into high gear). Hence the question about liquid cooling.
 

sdbardwick

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Finally got a chance to install the Antec 920 on my 2600K. I only installed it with one fan to start as I don't have time right now to tweak OC settings, and I figured it would be fine on one fan at stock speeds.

Under most uses, the 120mm fan runs at 600-1000 r.p.m. - I can't hear it or the pump. In fact, I can't hear the computer at all when web browsing, watching MKV video, etc.; even the 6870's fan makes no noise in 2D applications, and the AX650 PSU fan doesn't spin up at low loads.

Fan speeds ramp slowly due to thermal inertia; while running Prime95's torture test it took about 2 minutes for the fan speed to stabilize at 1500 r.p.m. with a subdued low frequency "woosh". Core temps running the torture test are 60-63C and H2O temp is steady at 45C.

So far I am happily surprised at the performance.
 

sdbardwick

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Just for kicks bumped the multiplier to 43 @ 1.272V (4290MHz) and got 68C max at same 1800 r.p.m. fan speed. Water temp bumped up to 46C. Prime95 stable over 15 minutes.
 

CougTek

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1800rpm? Must be disturbingly noisy? None of the fans in my computers rotate faster than 1200rpm, except the stock fan on the retail heatsink in my secondary FAH box.
 

sechs

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I typically run my 2600K at 103x43 at 1.30V (per the Asus utility), in a CoolerMaster HAF-X with 2 large intake fans and 3 large exhaust fans, and a Hyper212 with two 120 mm fans (one push, one pull).
It sounds like your case is set up to have negative pressure. What's the spacial relationship between the exhaust fans and the cooler?

My CPU will hit 80C only when I let it - and that's when I'm trying to get >4.8 GHz. My success has been limited, although for a while I found settings that would let me do 4.7 GHz with stability, but I'd have to deal with that noisy fan more often.
I guess that would be easy to solve by not letting it.

I was wondering if liquid has gone prime time. I was hoping that the liquid reservoir would be large enough that the temps would rarely spike during short bursts of heavy use (e.g.-when I'm editing videos, which is commonly when I notice the fan on the heatsink kick into high gear). Hence the question about liquid cooling.
I agree that these liquid coolers are unlikely to run the CPU cooler, but they might be able to get it to run quieter. It depends on how noisy the pump is, and if the case fans need to run differently.
 

sechs

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If you have a GPU that vents out the back, try flipping the top fans to intake, and see if that makes a difference for you.

Since the cooler doesn't appear to be symmetric, I imagine that the orientation of the fins may make a difference. If you had one on the liquid coolers with the radiator strapped to the rear exhaust, it would probably work better.
 

Bozo

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If you are using water cooling for the cpu, how do you get around the BIOS not detecting a fan?
 
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