Liquid cooling

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by nero99, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. nero99
    OP

    nero99 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Member
    1,905
    866
    Sep 18, 2014
    United States
    I would like to hear ever-ones view and experiences with liquid cooling their computer. what set ups do you have? what type of coolant do you use? what brand of cooler/pump do you use?

    A little about my pc; i have a ddr3 asrock mobo with an 95 watt 8 core and am using the corsair h60 set up and am getting temps on idle at 45-60 degrees Fahrenheit and on load while gaming it only gets up to about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. also, my thermal paste I use is shin etsu brand.

    Please, share your stories and history of liquid cooling.
     
  2. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

    Member
    5,341
    780
    Apr 21, 2008
    London, UK
    I started with an i5-2500K and a Corsair H60 in an Antec 1200 case. It worked well and I never saw real temps above above 60 (my motherboard at the time had thermal probes that I placed next to the CPU).
    Now I'm on an i7-4790K and a Corsair H110 in a Corsair Graphite 760T case. Idles at 35C. Load is around 60-70C, however that's just core temperatures. I can't tell the real temperatures without a thermal probe.

    Something to remember about liquid cooling, they have a "thermal cap". The coolant can only absorb a certain amount of heat before liquid cooling becomes liquid cooking. The size of the radiator helps how much heat it can dissipate (which is why the H100 and H110 are so much better than the H60/80) but ultimately there's only so much coolant in the loop. That's one of the reasons why custom liquid cooling setups tend to have larger reservoirs.
     
    Last edited by Originality, Aug 16, 2016
    nero99 likes this.
  3. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

    Member
    3,586
    1,551
    Aug 28, 2003
    United Kingdom
    I've found the results of most AIO units to be underwhelming. High end air cooling (dual towers like the dh-15 for example) are normally within a few C of them, while being far quiter. Great for smaller builds, but outside that, custom loop or high end air is the way to go.
     
  4. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

    Member
    5,341
    780
    Apr 21, 2008
    London, UK
    When talking about the noise a cooling system makes, it's best to compare like for like. Air coolers that use 120mm fans will be almost just as noisy as the AIO (I usually hear them called CLCs) units that use 120mm fans like the H60/80/100, where as the air coolers and AIO units (like the H110) that use 140mm fans are much quieter. The only difference is the sound of the pump, which in my experience is usually inaudible (compared to the sound of my case fans at least... or even to the sound of my HDDs).

    Edit: that said, high end air coolers are much cheaper and I generally recommend them more. The main advantage of AIO units, IMHO, is that they look much better through the window of my case.
     
    Last edited by Originality, Aug 16, 2016
  5. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

    Member
    3,586
    1,551
    Aug 28, 2003
    United Kingdom
    I was. It's hard to find temp & noise for liquid vs air for some reason, but 140mm vs 140mm generally holds true with the air cooler being within a couple of C, while the liqud unit is louder.


    H110

    5C cooler than the dh-15, but 3db louder.

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2015/03/02/corsair_hydro_series_h110_280mm_aio_cpu_cooler_review/3

    Others like the kraken x51 (only 140mm fan unit on test) are much louder

    http://www.relaxedtech.com/reviews/noctua/nh-d15-versus-closed-loop-liquid-coolers/2

    9C difference in temp, but a huge 16db in noise.

    Obviously I've not checked every unit, but everytime I've thought of going across (currently have similar dual tower cooler) and looked up reviews for what I can find, the story always seems similar. Slightly cooler vs noiser.



    I'll agree there, but for me it adds to them being underwhelming. Difference between the the dh-15 and the h110 is £30 or so and for what , "it looks nicer". The dh-14 will give most a good fight as well (generally 2C or so to the 15) and that came out in 2009. It should be embrassing for the companies putting them out, that the new tech can barely offer anything over 7 year old air coolers other than "looks nice".
     
    Last edited by Armadillo, Aug 16, 2016
    Originality and TheKawaiiDesu like this.
  6. astrangeone

    astrangeone GBAtemp Addict

    Member
    2,029
    586
    Dec 1, 2009
    Canada
    Canada
    I so want to build a custom liquid cooling rig for my laptop (because it's aging and all I use it for is at the desk), but I don't know where the hell to start...
     
  7. gnmmarechal

    gnmmarechal Kirigiri > Naoto

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    gnmmarechal is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    4,543
    2,721
    Jul 13, 2014
    Portugal
    https://gs2012.xyz
    I got a surface pro 4, does it count ? :P
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,359
    9,149
    Nov 21, 2005
    Three main approaches to such systems

    1) Closed system liquid cooling

    2) Open system liquid cooling

    3) Phase change cooling. For computers some prefer to call it another thing, anybody else dealing in cooling for other things would probably laugh at the notion of separating it.

    Open was favoured in the early days but has since dropped in popularity, mainly as it you have to maintain it (no leaks, possibly pull out air bubbles, top up cooling reservoir) and no kid wants to do that. Theoretically it would last longer and being modular in nature you stand a small chance of being able to replace components which have failed rather than junking the whole system or making friends with a machinist.

    Closed tends to involve buying in a complete system, maybe with some rubber hoses connecting things around and installing it much like a normal fan system. It tends not to last as long as a well maintained version of the other (usually nice pinholes in your radiator) and in many cases can be nice and custom enough -- my nice fan breaks tomorrow (I say having pretty much exclusively used stock fans for years now) and I go down the local rip off merchants and live with the lawnmower on my desk for a few days while things get shipped.

    Phase change is one of two things. It makes use of the idea of latent heat and works either similar to your fridge (condenses and then runs some kind of nasty refrigerant through the system which then evaporates and cools things in the process) or uses some static wax type substances that variously melt or go through glass/wax temperatures and then onto something else (or maybe that is the sole thing). Said nasty refrigerant does not have to be one of the various classical gases for it and can also be liquid nitrogen, though like most things that are not equipment costing more than your house/you earn in a few years it is mostly because it looks cool, though you can get some nice numbers on the overclocking front.

    You can go further and look into things like Peltier cooling. They are not efficient but they are quiet and lack moving parts which makes them very appealing for certain uses. You can also get very silly and look at things like immersion cooling but frankly most of that is because it looks cool on your computer website/forum rather than anything terribly practical.

    In most cases it is a noise and looks cool thing rather than any major cooling capacity. Industrially they can do far better but this is not that. Equally if you have a certain use cases -- it gets tedious to have to blow out computers deep in a factory or workshop so if I can seal it and use cooling like water cooling and dodge that* then that is nice. Noise is not a given though; leaving aside other fans in the case (not blowing something over your hard drives? Or are you a monster) then many liquid cooling systems will have a nice big fan to cool the radiator.

    *strictly speaking I could filter the input and try for so called positive pressure inside the case but that is a pain too, not to mention nobody would ever clean the filter.

    If it sounds like I am jaded and cynical it is because I am, cooling enthusiasts are not as bad as audio enthusiasts that have gone off the deep end as you at least have some objective measurements to fall back on but their approaches to the science are not good, and most of it is because it looks cool on industrial systems, just like people bolt on crap to their car because it looks cool on racing cars. There are some perks to doing it as a normal person and it is cheap enough to be a bit of fun but it is not some hidden magic field that only the best know of.

    I don't think there are any custom builders that will do something like that for sensible money. The short version is remove the back, cut a hole in the shell if you prefer in the end, find the location of either the head sources or the heat sinks (they can be quite far apart on laptops), maybe bypass any fan sensors or temperature sensors, stick on a heatsink connected to said liquid cooling (buy in a system, though you might want to look into HTPC stuff to get the size down) and hook it up. You may want one of those laptop cooling pads or docking stations to raise it up a big and gain some space. Frankly though if you ripped the back of the laptop and got a nice heatsink on there instead you would probably gain a lot for your trouble.