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Thread: Starting in water cooling

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Starting in water cooling

    Hi guys

    Apologies in advance for the NOOB questions. Very much grateful however for any pointers.
    In brief, want to build a new system, with a Z390 motherboard and a Thermaltake P3 case. Main focus is on being quiet (yes, I know the case is not a closed one...). It would only be used to cool the CPU as can't be bothered with messing around to make it also work for my graphics card.
    I'm used to aircooling, as well as, on my current system, water cooling (Corsair H80:

    Now (and here come the NOOB questions....) what is better to get with the above (i.e. focus on quiet) on mind?
    Is it just the 'water ring' (which really is the same as the Corsair H80 I have now, but with a bigger radiator):
    or a pump like here, which also has a radiator and fans:

    What's the advantage of one over the other? What are the basic characteristics? (e.g. 'never get a pump because it's just too loud and really there only for visual effect' or 'get the pump as does better cooling'
    Also, what is an AIO (all in one) pump? Should I be insisting on getting a Z390 motherboard with an AIO header therefore?

    Have been reading around and also understand that, for example, corrosion is an issue - am not interested in a system that I may have to fix in say three years as don't have the time to mess around, just want it to work.

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Wichita, KS
    sorry been out of all this for a while, but I would stay away from all-in-ones.
    my corroded 2 coppers

  3. #3
    Dothan FTW!
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    London, UK
    I really can't recommend Thermaltake for watercooling-I'm still scarred from a bad experience with a Thermaltake kit back in 2004 that leaked and killed an entire system!

    I'd also say to to avoid all-in-one units because of corrosion from mixed metals. The Pacific kit you have linked comes with a good pump (Laing D5) which has been used in PC watercooling for well over a decade and has proven to be very reliable. The D5 is bigger than the AIO pumps so there will be some vibrations, but the noise depends on how you mount the pump.

    I wouldn't trust the Thermaltake waterblock or radiator for the same reason of mixed metals, there are better options out there for the same money, like an EKWB kit, or XSPC.

    Are you looking into watercooling for noise reasons, or for the way it looks? Air cooling has come a long way in the last few years and a high end air cooler would perform very well at the same or less noise level with minimal maintenance (just clean the dust out of it once in a while).

    With any watercooling kit you need to check on the coolant level regularly as it evaporates over time, even with a "sealed" all in one. A custom kit with a reservoir is easier to maintain but you should really be changing the coolant once a year, and topping it up every few months, or you will find all sorts of stuff growing in the tubing, which can clog the waterblocks and even stop the pump from working. If you don't do the maintenance, you will have big problems in 2-3 years!
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  4. #4
    Xtreme Owner Charles Wirth's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
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    I saw many new designs at CES but the one I would go with now is the Corsair AIO for quiet/performance/quality.
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  5. #5
    I am Xtreme zanzabar's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    SF bay area, CA
    I would skip the AOI. If you want a kit for cheap grab the swiftech h220x or h240x
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