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Old 10-02-2012, 07:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Performance difference between "water cooled" heatsink and normal heatsink?

What is the performance difference between a water cooled heatsink such as a corsair h80 or h100 and an air cooled heatsink such as a Xigmatek Dark Knight 2 or Noctua NH-D14? They both have heatsinks with fans attached. The only difference is that a water cooled heatsink air cools water which is connected to the processor instead of the heatsink being directly on top of the processor.
What difference does that make other than just being able to say your pc has water cooling? That's like scaling a 640x480 video to 1920x1080 and calling it hd.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance difference between "water cooled" heatsink and normal heatsink?

If you got an H80 or H100 they have double the amount of fins compared to most standard air coolers. With an air cooler all of the heat is dumped in one area and you need fast fans with good FPI to get the heat out quickly and efficiently. If you are overclocking it makes it worse as the heat comes on stronger. With water based units not only can you place where you want the heat to be, but these rads have double and triple pass systems. In other words, instead of heat being dumped directly on the CPU and put into the rest of the system (air cooler), the heat is transferred via tubes to a radiator that can dump the heat directly out of the system via an exhaust 120mm fan port. Not only that, but with how many passes through the rad the water goes through it has more time to disperse heat than a standard air cooler. So you can essentially use slower fans with good FPI and still get better cooling than an air cooler and have a quieter system.
Finally, as soon as the water leaves the water block it stars cooling off like when you take a boiling pot off a burner. The whole time the water makes to pass through the loop it is cooling itself off until it gets back to the CPU block. The cooling capacity of an H50 is actually more than 90% of air coolers out there today.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance difference between "water cooled" heatsink and normal heatsink?

I see in your profile info that you have an h50 on your impressive system. What are your average cpu temperatures?
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance difference between "water cooled" heatsink and normal heatsink?

And for that matter, how many processes are you running at once? You must run alot at once to need such an advanced cooling system.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance difference between "water cooled" heatsink and normal heatsink?

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Originally Posted by kjsisco View Post
And for that matter, how many processes are you running at once? You must run alot at once to need such an advanced cooling system.
Right now I just have an Intel Pentium D. It runs at a max of 130F when running prime95 for like an hour. I'm not planning on putting an expensive water cooling unit on that thing.
I am planning to get a new motherboard and cpu for that system one of these days. Maybe with an overclock-able Core i7-3770k. So that's why I was wondering how much better a water cooler would be than a big ol' heatsink. Especially with a small overclock.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Performance difference between "water cooled" heatsink and normal heatsink?

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I see in your profile info that you have an h50 on your impressive system. What are your average cpu temperatures?
Idle around 34C, load near 60C with a mild OC of 3.9ghz with HT on. The 3960x is a 130w CPU so it puts off a ton of heat. At stock running Intelburntest I load around 53c or lower. Ambient temps around 72F.
I ran my 2500k at 4.9ghz on my H50 with a load temp of around 64C which considering the clock isn't bad at all.

Another thing to take into consideration is the weight of the units. These little coolers are so much lighter all around. A large mammoth heatsink puts all the weight right around your CPU socket and is overall just heavier in general during transport.
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