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 Post subject: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:21 am
Posts: 40
When I compare the amount of posts on this forum to the activity on other fora on this website, it seems to indicate that water-cooling isn't very popular any more ? Am I right ?

I used to have a fully water-cooled system. E8500 + 8800gtx + water-cooled PSU and a Zalman Resorator. No fans at all. Ran great for 6 months. Then I got a blockage in the EK waterblock on the 8800gtx, and the videocard melted. I used a wrong metal clip to keep the pump in the Resorator in place. That clip rusted like crazy, and the rust particles blocked the EK waterblock. (Dumb pins inside the block, pfff). I abandoned water-cooling.

I'm trying to decide how to build my next machine. I'm kinda waiting for the next generation of videocards (AMD 7000 series, or maybe even the nVidia 600 series). I'll buy a 2500k or an Ivy Bridge cpu. The question is: how do I cool my system ? Am I gonna bother with watercooling ?

I have my old Zalman waterblock for my socket 775 E8500. I believe that that block will fit on a socket 1155 cpu and motherboard. (I might need a new mount-clip, but I think I already have that). So I can reuse my waterblock, tubes and Resorator. All I need is a new pump. (The old one(s) broke and started rattling). Anyone got a suggestion for a good replacement pump for the Resorator1 ? One that is silent, doesn't use too much power, lasts a while, and can be put inside the Resorator1 reservoir ?

The bad thing about water-cooling seems to be: support for waterblocks for modern videocards seems to slow down. EK is the only company that seems to make them. I'm uncertain I can mix the materials of their blocks with the Zalman, without causing corrosion. I don't think there's a waterblock for a gtx560ti, so support for the next generation videocards might be bothersome. Also it seems there are hardly any PSUs with watercooling anymore. So even if I cool my CPU with watercooling, I'll still have fans in my system for the videocard and PSU. And running without case-fans can be done, but it is risky. So as long as I have to have fans, why bother with watercooling ?

What do others think ? Do they follow my reasoning ? Is that the reason why watercooling seems to lose popularity on this website ? Too much trouble, and you'll still have fans in your PC ? Is an all-fan solution, with large and slow fans, better ?


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 Post subject: Re: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:57 pm 
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I've never bothered with water-cooling. I don't overclock/overvolt to an extent where it adds value over an air-cooled CPU in a decent case and I guess I have an adversion to what can go wrong with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:21 am
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Well, the lack of responses certainly seems to indicate that water-cooling is less alive amongst the silentpc enthousiasts. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:16 pm
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The usual complaint I hear is about pump noise. Never done water cooling myself -- never built a system that draws >200W under any load.


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 Post subject: Re: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:47 am
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Location: Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Gryzemuis wrote:
Well, the lack of responses certainly seems to indicate that water-cooling is less alive amongst the silentpc enthousiasts. :(


You know, the question is - why bother ? These days air cooling can be as silent as water cooling, and the fact that instead of 50C under load you get 65C - who cares ? The fact that graphics card makes noise under load, while i wear headphones ? Can't really care. And most users fall in these areas, so water cooling is dropping in popularity :wink:. Once the best thing you could buy were those crazy Zalman coolers - compare that to NH-D14. There was a huge noise difference back then - there is a small difference now.


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 Post subject: Re: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:56 am
Posts: 323
Location: USA
There is less activity here because there are less active watercoolers (for whatever reason) on this board than others. I tend to frequent Xtremesystems and lurk Overclockers for my watercooling fix. The amount and quality of posters here is just not what it is at those other places.

FWIW, I would not be able to operate my machine like I do with air cooling, but I'm a fringe case (recording computer, composition workstation, family PC, folding powerhouse and game machine all in one box).

re: pump noise

The Laing DDC series of pumps is pretty good (especially the 3.0) when decoupled, but the Jingway pumps have them beat by a wide margin for acoustics. Never had an Aquastream pump (souped up Eheim), but those are supposed to be very good as well. Had two Laing D5s; both whistled. The Laing pumps are very, very popular in watercooling circles (especially the noiser, faster DDCs), and are probably the root of most perception regarding H2o pump noise.

The pump noise issue is greatly overblown once you know where to look for what, and how to install them.

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 Post subject: Re: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:40 am 
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For your next PC, unless you are going for Crossfire 6970s or SLI 580s. There's no need to pick watercooling for noise or performance. You will find it hard to beat the performance of a thermalright archon + Shamon. Even warriorpoets PC doesn't NEED watercooling

I don't think silentpcreview ever had a water cooling following, even back in the days of the biege boxes and swiftech rod CPUs. Few watercooling products were targeted at the silencing crowd (i only remember the reservator you had) and the overclocking goal of designed assumed dense fin spacing that don't perform great with lower pressure fans.

Waterblock for GPU designs haven't slowed down. Rather, increasing temps of VRM and varying designs have made it harder for the enthusiasts to recycle a GPU block like before.

The increasing efficiency of air cooling is also a factor. It almost only makes sense to go big (triple rads) and huge on watercooling, which is as expensive as ever.

Overall, watercooling is fading away along with desktop PCs. I am not surprised if many people on these forums back in 2003 have since switched to a laptop and moved on with their lives. That being said, I always find my self being drawn back to watercooling for the sake of tinkering with things.


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 Post subject: Re: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Modern air cooling is water cooling. The heat pipes inside modern heat sinks contain water under low pressure. It's actually more efficient than a water block because the water actually boils at the hot spots. So the difference boils down to (sorry) how a slow fan on a heat-pipe HSF compares to a pump + fan on the water system.

Unless the wattage being cooled is outrageous, a well-designed air-cooled system will be quieter.

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 Post subject: Re: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:21 am
Posts: 40
Thanks for all the replies. So it seems my gut feeling was right. These days it is easier/cheaper/more convenient to work with good air-cooling than with water-cooling. So my next system will be totally air-cooled.

Now all I have to do is figure out what the best case, best case-fans, best cpu-cooler+fan and best motherboard are for air-cooling. :-) With MSI-Afterburner and Speedfan I should be able to tweak the fans so that the system will be pretty quiet (when not gaming). I just wish Speedfan had a better UI.


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 Post subject: Re: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:56 am
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Location: USA
Blood wrote:
For your next PC, unless you are going for Crossfire 6970s or SLI 580s. There's no need to pick watercooling for noise or performance. You will find it hard to beat the performance of a thermalright archon + Shamon. Even warriorpoets PC doesn't NEED watercooling
I do if I want to record next to the thing ;)

Again, I don't claim to be anything but a fringe case, so view the necessity of my setup in my circumstances in the same light. Most of the time, there is no NEED for esoteric cooling, but I simply cannot get to where I need to be on air (silent -really silent- for recording, powerful and beefy for the hobbies/ folding).

Quote:
I don't think silentpcreview ever had a water cooling following, even back in the days of the biege boxes and swiftech rod CPUs. Few watercooling products were targeted at the silencing crowd (i only remember the reservator you had) and the overclocking goal of designed assumed dense fin spacing that don't perform great with lower pressure fans.
A lot of the current stuff is designed with quiet operation in mind. Look for wide-body radiators with loose fin spacing (FPI) for best operation with low-speed fans. Swiftech MCR-QP rads are a nice price/ performance compromise, but not as quiet friendly as, say, an XSPC RX series rad.

Quote:
Waterblock for GPU designs haven't slowed down. Rather, increasing temps of VRM and varying designs have made it harder for the enthusiasts to recycle a GPU block like before.
True, but now it doesn't matter how much airflow you have going over the GPU, allowing for lower airflow/ quieter systems with much faster/ hotter components.

Quote:
The increasing efficiency of air cooling is also a factor. It almost only makes sense to go big (triple rads) and huge on watercooling, which is as expensive as ever.
1st part: yes. Air cooling has gotten much, much better with the advent of heatpipe coolers and massive tower heatsinks. Add in tweaks that were once only for water coolers (bowed heatsink bases, high mounting pressure, solid mounts), and there is a very real difference between air coolers from three years ago and today.

counterpoint to the "expensive as ever" argument:

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/ ... s_id=30280
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/ ... s_id=30017
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/ ... s_id=26994

Note that all of these use high quality components good for several generations worth of upgrades and enough cooling capacity for additional components (like a GPU). Also not that the included fans are way too stinkin' loud :p

Quote:
Overall, watercooling is fading away along with desktop PCs. I am not surprised if many people on these forums back in 2003 have since switched to a laptop and moved on with their lives. That being said, I always find my self being drawn back to watercooling for the sake of tinkering with things.
Whoah there. Many laptops are WAY too loud, but they do offer a nice balance of useability, and out of our four computers three are laptops. HOWEVER, no laptop can surf the cutting edge; not even close.

crazy thing is that watercooling has gotten so much easier and less expensive at the very moment mainstream components require less cooling. That's not to say it's not still worthwhile, just that it's harder to expect the long-range investment perspective necessary to justify the added upfront cost. Add to the perception that most of the casually interested check out all-in-one kits first, and the increasingly negative perspectives seem justified (and they are in the case of the all-in-ones).

And then there's the need for either increased size or an enterprising modding spirit...

In any case, a well-researched custom liquid cooling system is well worth a look for the hobbyist, the tinkerer and the fringe user, but for most it's the last 15% of performance for 30% greater outlay. It's up to you to determine whether that ratio is worthwhile.

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 Post subject: Re: Did people abandon watercooling for their silent PCs ?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:31 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Finland
I'm still using watercooling. My system has now been running for a couple of years and I haven't upgraded my components so I'm in no need for changing something that works. Oh, last year I was 6 months away and stuff in a warehouse, after that had to change the pump. Zalman Reserator, AMD 4850e CPU, ATI HD 4670 and 3 hard disks with diy waterblocks. No fans inside. Change water once a year or two. My systems hard disk is at constant 37C.


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