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QOTW: CPU Cooling - Liquid or Air?

by Parm Mann on 19 July 2013, 16:30

Tags: Corsair, Noctua, Thermalright, Arctic, Thermaltake (3540.TWO), be-quiet, NZXT, Antec, Enermax (8093.TWO), CoolIT

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabyvj

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The heatwave is not letting up, folks. So now's as good a time as any to query the hive mind over CPU cooling.

Looking past passive solutions - which, sadly, aren't quite feasible for high-end, overclocked chips - which cooling method do you tend to prefer: air or liquid?

The latter was once a premium solution that applied only to the hardened enthusiast, but the lines between the two have become increasingly blurred in recent years.

Today's enthusiast chassis tend to have more radiator mounting opportunities than the local Plumb Center, and as a result of all-in-one kits such as Corsair's Hydro Series, liquid cooling has become more accessible than ever before.

On the flip side, air-based heatsinks haven't stood still. Today's coolers come in all shapes and sizes - some huge, some small - and you can easily find an affordable solution that cools well, keeps quiet and fits into your build.

Horses for courses, swings and roundabouts, that sort of thing. So to shed some light on the matter, we're putting the question to you: based on your own experiences, which CPU cooling method do you prefer - air or liquid? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to vote in our dedicated forum poll.



HEXUS Forums :: 64 Comments

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Liquid - but only if you cool the GPU the same way.

To be honest air cooling is simpler, less likely to go wrong and, for CPU only cooling, just as quiet as liquid at least until you overclock.

By cooling GPU with liquid as well on a proper loop, you get better performance and much less noise
Liquid for me with a monster rad so my PC is quite idling and gaming.
cjs150
Liquid - but only if you cool the GPU the same way.

To be honest air cooling is simpler, less likely to go wrong and, for CPU only cooling, just as quiet as liquid at least until you overclock.

By cooling GPU with liquid as well on a proper loop, you get better performance and much less noise

+1

Full loop and enough rad to withstand load temps at low fan speeds. Some AIO coolers may cool more efficiently than HSFs but are not quieter.


p.s. Why can't I vote in the poll?
Spreadie
+1

p.s. Why can't I vote in the poll?

I seem to be able to, perhaps you can try again?
I just don't like to mix electricity with water, or maybe its cos i'm cheap.