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Lbt564

intel I7700K liquid cooler or Air cooler

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Hi guys!

I'm planning to buy a new PC soon but i'm still wondering if i should stick with air cooling or water cooling. I have bad experience with liquid cooling in my two former builds so i'm thinking about buying the Noctua NH-D15. How would the NH-D15 perform against the Corsair Hydro H115? Keep in my that i'm going to overclock the 7700k.

Best Regards

Mohamed K

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Which water coolers have you previously used? What were the problems?

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i have the h80i on my current build, i have loud noise and high temperatures :)

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Do you have a silent case or an high airflow case?  The nice thing about water coolers is that heat is directed to a radiator and then out of your case which better supports a silent case vs fans and a heat sink that will circulate the heat within the case.  If you go the later ideally you'll want to have a high airflow case.  The down side as it sounds like you're experiencing is you add a water pump to the list things that can fail.

I've been running an Antec water cooler now for about 5 years.. no issues.  With a heatsink/fan my system with 6 HDD and 2 SSD's in a High flow case was suffering from sound stutters on heavy load, the water cooler totally resolved that issue along with a reduction in noise even with push/pull on the radiator.   If it failed, I'd be buying another water cooler.

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thanks for replying :) my future build will be on Corsair 750D airflow edition. Current build is on fractal define R4

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I'm currently building in a Corsair Air 740 (great airflow) and I'm going to be using the Corsair H115i to cool my overclocked 7700k for sure - I think for best results at higher overclocks (say 5Ghz) water cooling is the way to go.

The good thing with Corsair too is that if they fail, they're generally well known to replace any damaged components i.e. they stand by the reliability of their products. The only thing I am doing to reduce noise with this set up is to replace the stock 140mm Corsair fans with Noctua silent ones - totally unnecessary but I wanted the best silent performance I could get. 

Hope that helps.

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17 hours ago, Lbt564 said:

Hi guys!

I'm planning to buy a new PC soon but i'm still wondering if i should stick with air cooling or water cooling. I have bad experience with liquid cooling in my two former builds so i'm thinking about buying the Noctua NH-D15. How would the NH-D15 perform against the Corsair Hydro H115? Keep in my that i'm going to overclock the 7700k.

Best Regards

Mohamed K

 

 

I would recommend the NH-D15S, although it does of course depend on your overclocking expectations. The H115i is a few degrees cooler than D15, so if you were "on the edge" with your temps due to very high overclocks, you may decide you need those few degrees. 

The other variable is delidding. Drop 15-30 degrees by delidding and the D15 would be even more viable even at very high overclocks.

The "S" variant is Noctua's high compatibility version. It's an offset design, so that it has much more clearance between the cooler and uppermost PCIe slot. In addition, it has one fan instead of two. Not an issue though for a few reasons. Whether it's the D14, D15 or any cooler with two fans, the difference in CPU temp between one fan and two fans is minimal. And I mean really minimal! For the D15S, it's a mere two degrees warmer with one fan. In addition, you can add a second fan if you wish.

I have a 6700K overclocked to 4.6, however, it will run at 4.7 without issues and the temps are very low. In RealBench at 4.6 I see low 70's. It's also VERY quiet. Unlike most AIO's that like to cheat with high RPM noisy fans [as you've discovered in the past] the Noctua fans are lower RPM and quiet. As I type this, my rig is silent. Fans configured with Asus Fan Xpert. Under load, again, very quiet. Case fans and graphics card fans loader. All in all a very quiet overclocked rig.

You would need to translate the above to your 7700K of course. But to help you...

Against the Kraken X61 the D15 is 4 degrees warmer according to this review.

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

Those on the forum that have opted for the 7700K and D15 combo report good temps except at very high overclocks. So how high do you intend to overclock? 

Couldn't find a comparison with the H115 but if I were going AIO it would indeed be the H115i!

Doubt I would, as even a small risk of leaks is pointless to me, given that the D15S does everything I need and does it quietly, with zero chance of leaks, pump failure or pump noise.

The H115i will indeed cool somewhat better, but not as much as you might think.

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, JamesHongKong said:

The only thing I am doing to reduce noise with this set up is to replace the stock 140mm Corsair fans with Noctua silent ones - totally unnecessary but I wanted the best silent performance I could get. 

Hope that helps.

 

But James... one of the reasons the H115i cools "somewhat" better than the Noctua, is that it utilises SP140L PWM 2000 rpm fans. By opting for lower RPM Noctua fans your CPU temp under load will be higher. Thus negating the reason you went for the H115i in the first place. If you want quieter Noctua fans then you may as well have gone for the D15 and zero chance of leaks. Unless of course you like the aesthetics of an AIO.

Worth remembering, that to determine the true capabilities of a cooler, we need to consider the fan variable. The best way to do that is to use the same fans on an AIO and air cooler and compare the results. This tells us the capabilities of the heat sink or rad/pump. Unfortunately reviews never do that, so certain manufacturers are free to proclaim how awesome their coolers are, while relying more on noisy high RPM fans that rad/pump efficiency.

 

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I can't speak for the Noctua cooler, but my delidded 7700k is just fine on an H115 corsair, max temp @ 4.9 ghz is 65c during stress test and 100% stable while gaming/sim.  And that is with quiet Noctua fans.  I would recommend if your case can accommodate.

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20 hours ago, Lbt564 said:

my future build will be on Corsair 750D airflow edition.

Before you buy, it's definitely worth taking a look at the Phanteks Enthoo Pro case - see https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cBhmn21ylkc for a review. I also originally planned to use the Corsair 750D on my current build but opted for the Enthoo Pro instead after seeing the reviews. Far and away the easiest to build in and the most flexible (my previous two were Lian Li) with so many cooling options. Much less expensive than the Corsair but definitely not cheaply made. I have a Corsair H110i cooler and would highly recommend it. My i7-6700k rarely gets above 60C when gaming and is very quiet as the fans stay at low RPM at this temp.

 

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18 hours ago, vortex681 said:

Before you buy, it's definitely worth taking a look at the Phanteks Enthoo Pro case - see https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cBhmn21ylkc for a review. I also originally planned to use the Corsair 750D on my current build but opted for the Enthoo Pro instead after seeing the reviews. Far and away the easiest to build in and the most flexible (my previous two were Lian Li) with so many cooling options. Much less expensive than the Corsair but definitely not cheaply made. I have a Corsair H110i cooler and would highly recommend it. My i7-6700k rarely gets above 60C when gaming and is very quiet as the fans stay at low RPM at this temp.

 

 

What a nice case.

Would have been nice to have front rad compatibility though, as latest tests have revealed that with modern open shroud graphics cards it's the best place for a rad, lower GPU temps.

 

Might be something the OP should consider if he decides to go AIO.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, martin-w said:

Would have been nice to have front rad compatibility though

It can also take a 240mm rad in the front - see http://www.phanteks.com/Enthoo-Pro.html. The hard drive bays just unscrew and lift out in two pieces. The beauty of the case is that it's almost all screwed together rather than rivetted so you can customise virtually any part of it.

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17 hours ago, vortex681 said:

It can also take a 240mm rad in the front - see http://www.phanteks.com/Enthoo-Pro.html. The hard drive bays just unscrew and lift out in two pieces. The beauty of the case is that it's almost all screwed together rather than rivetted so you can customise virtually any part of it.

 

Oh right. I love that you can unscrew, dismantle it. Wish more manufacturers would do that. With My Lian Li X510 I had to drill out rivets to mod.

For a 280 rad I guess it might be possible to mod the Enthoo in that respect. I would imagine there are also other Phanteks cases similarly as capable that do have front 280 support.

That would be my advice to the OP if he wishes to go AIO, namely a case that supports a 280 rad at the front. Something like the Enthoo Pro M witch I believe will accommodate a 240 rad at the front.

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On 3/21/2017 at 7:01 AM, martin-w said:

Would have been nice to have front rad compatibility though, as latest tests have revealed that with modern open shroud graphics cards it's the best place for a rad, lower GPU temps.

The video you referenced brings up so very good points Martin. On my last build (3770k in 2013) I specifically got a blow through 780 GTX so all the GPU heat would be exhausted out the back of my case and would not be heating the cooling air to my Noctua CPU air cooler and the other components in the case. One point that is not mentioned in the video is that the CPU is not the only other component in the case that needs cooling besides the GPU. Increasing the case air temperature from a case air intake mounted radiator and an open ventilation design GPU also increases the operating temperatures of the RAM and the other chips on the motherboard.

Ted

 

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Yep, true enough Ted, although RAM and chipset have quite a high tolerance so not usually a huge issue. VRM's of course need to be considered if overclocking highly.

Personally, my recent graphics cards have all been EVGA, so ACX 2.0 coolers. Some of the air is blown out of the back but much of it vents inside the case. I have to say it hasn't been an issue, CPU temp has always been low for me. I think for the OP, such things as rad placement, blowing rad air in or out, or top mounted or front mounted should be considered, because  it makes sense to do so with a new build, optimal is always best, but there's rarely a huge issue regardless. Graphics cards are usually quite happy running a bit warm.

I have a Lian Li X510 case. Three Noctua 120 fans blowing in and two 120's at the rear exhausting. EVGA GTX 980 Ti Classified with ACX 2.0 cooler. And of course 6700K cooled by the D15S. Graphics card runs cool enough and CPU is very cool at 4.6 GHz. So the fact that the ACX 2.0 dumps most of it's heat into the case isn't in practice an issue. VRM temps are quite low, well within the norm. PCH and MB sensors all read well within the specs.

I reckon although the graphics card is dumping heat into the case, if you have fans at the front directing cool air to the D15, and you are exhausting warm air efficiently it's not a problem. And of course the nice thing about the D15 is that the centrally mounted 150 fan blows loads of air across the VRM's, as it overlaps the heat sink purposely.

 

 

 

 

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I'm interested in the radiator place discussion - I was planning on a placement at the top of the case venting out of the top but having seen the video it suggests a front radiator panel could be more beneficial. More so as I plan to get a non-blower 1080Ti. Is this really going to impact temperatures on the CPU?

 

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As Martin said, and I agree, if you have enough ventilation into and out of your case as he does, that should keep your case air temperatures down.

Ted

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17 hours ago, JamesHongKong said:

I'm interested in the radiator place discussion - I was planning on a placement at the top of the case venting out of the top but having seen the video it suggests a front radiator panel could be more beneficial. More so as I plan to get a non-blower 1080Ti. Is this really going to impact temperatures on the CPU?

 

 

The point is James, we aren't talking about huge temp differences, no show stoppers. But yes, if you want to optimise your rig when you build it, radiator position is something to consider. But I notice that in that video he didn't consider rad fans blowing  in or out, which is probably more of a consideration than front or top mounting. More on that in next post.

Re the non-reference graphics cards that dump a significant percentage of their heat into the case, it's not an issue, and I can give you three personal experiences to back that up.

1) Quite a few years ago, I had an i7 920 system that had an EVGA GTX 580. It was the reference design with blower cooler. EVGA had overclocked it. Trouble was the card generated a ton of heat, so EVGA decided to set the fan to 100%. I'm sure you can imagine, the noise was horrendous, damned annoying. So I ditched the blower cooler and fitted a Thermalright GPU cooler. The Thermalright exhausted all, 100%, of it's heat into the case. Yet I had no issues at all with any temps. And this was a heavily overclocked CPU. In fact this is the only time I've been lucky enough to have a "golden" chip that I could throw anything at.

2) My old system [now owned by my son] was a 3770K overclocked, with an EVGA GTX 770. A non-blower style card. I'm guessing but I reckon it dumps about 70% of it's heat into the case. Again, no issues at all with temps, all temps low. CPU temp was very low with a Noctua NH-D14 cooler. And here's the thing, the case was a Lian Li case with just TWO 120 fans. One at the front and one at the rear. 

3) Current system, 6700K at 4.6 GHz. EVGA GTX 980 Ti Classified. ACX 2.0 cooler exhausting most of it's air into the case. CPU temp running BF4 and Elite Dangerous is VERY low. Even a tough Realbench stress test at 4.6 GHz only generates low 70's. This is with the NH-D15S. All temps low. And yes, my case has three 120 fans at the front and two at the back, but they reraely spin at anything like their max RPM. I have a fan curve configured with Fan Xpert so that the system is VERY quiet. The only time it's a bit louder is when I run Elite Dangerous, and that's because ED is very heavy on the graphics card, so the graphics card fan ramps up.

Sorry to babble on, as I usually do, but you can see from the above that a graphics card with a non-reference cooler that exhausts much of it's air into the case is rarely an issue. Surprisingly any increase in temp is minimal. Now if you were running SLI, or triple SLI, it may well be a different proposition.

Also worth considering that there are literally thousands of non-reference cards out there and most of them exhaust a lot of heat into the case. It's a proven design that rarely causes issues. In fact, I'd without doubt, advise you buy a non-reference design card from the likes of EVGA Asus etc. They have uprated components and cooling and are often factory overclocked.

 

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Regarding radiator orientation and position. The video I posted does seem to suggest that front radiator mounting is the best option. But there are countless systems out there with top mounted rad's that have no issues, so I don't think it's something you should worry about if top mounting is your easiest option.

A front mounted radiator will suck cool air into the rad and blow it into the case of course. Unless you go for a non-standard setup with case airflow reversed. So essentially warm radiator air is being blown into the case, thus, theoretically increasing internal component temps. But again, shouldn't t be a show stopper.

Re top mounted rads, same applies. Fans orientated so that they draw cool air from outside, across the radiator and into the case, result in lowest CPU temp but higher internal case temps. Corsair advise this orientation and for obvious reasons, they want their AIO coolers to be seen to generate their lowest temp. They're biased you see, so ignore that and decide for yourself. 

Conversely, if your top mounted radiator fans draw warmer air out of the case to the outside, it results in lower case temps but higher CPU temps.

Up to you to choose which you prefer. But don't panic, whatever you choose your system will cool fine.

Not such a problem with an air cooler. My Noctua D15S for example is aligned with the front case fan and rear case fan. So three fans all aligned and exhausting out of the case. So I suspect that there's not much CPU heat spill over.

 

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My Thermaltake Water 2.0 has just died (sprung a leak actually) & although it's four years old Tt are looking into a replacement. Hopefully I'll get an answer today whether they will or not.

In the meantime I've been researching & was considering a corsair however hear they are very noisy.

Came across this unit that get's very good reviews & out performs the Corsairs & is much quieter:

http://www.swiftech.com/h220x2.aspx

Could be worth considering.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Rossco said:

In the meantime I've been researching & was considering a corsair however hear they are very noisy.

I think the older models were. I have the H110iGT and I run it in Quiet mode through the Corsair Link software and it's inaudible. Idle CPU temp around 24C and load around 65C and still quiet. The fans can be quite noisy if you run them in Performance mode but I've never needed to do so. It has a 5-year warranty as well.

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I have a noctua NH-D15S that cools my i7 7700k and it allows a stable overclock at 5ghz, I suspect I have enough temperature headroom to even go slightly higher though I haven't tried yet.

In short, I think I won the silicon lottery, but notwithstanding that it's a great cooler!

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Hi Martin,

Thanks as always for your advice - I think I'll go with a front mounted radiator with fans pulling air in as an intake and standard fans as an exhaust on the back and top. I have enough room in the case. It's a great case for Airflow anyway (hence the name 740 Air). I may do a bit of testing but as you say, the temp difference is likely to be negligible.

James

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6 hours ago, JamesHongKong said:

Hi Martin,

Thanks as always for your advice - I think I'll go with a front mounted radiator with fans pulling air in as an intake and standard fans as an exhaust on the back and top. I have enough room in the case. It's a great case for Airflow anyway (hence the name 740 Air). I may do a bit of testing but as you say, the temp difference is likely to be negligible.

James

 

Okay James.

Something else to consider of course is positive or negative case pressure. I have to say, that the slightly positive case pressure of my Lian Li case has been great regarding dust ingestion. Virtually nothing inside. Just a slight fine dust. No carpets in the room though which helps tremendously.

Looking at your Air 540, I see it has two 140 fans on top and one 140 on the rear, so configured for negative pressure.  If you'd prefer a slight positive pressure, you would have to lower the top two 140 fan RPM's.  Or alternatively, install just one 140 fan at the top. The other alternative is top two fans blowing in, which may be a bit over the top re positive pressure.

Something to consider anyway, but you may decide to accept a negative pressure and somewhat more dust ingress.

 

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8 hours ago, regis9 said:

I have a noctua NH-D15S that cools my i7 7700k and it allows a stable overclock at 5ghz, I suspect I have enough temperature headroom to even go slightly higher though I haven't tried yet.

In short, I think I won the silicon lottery, but notwithstanding that it's a great cooler!

 

Yep, same cooler as me. I babble on about how great it is all the time, so much so that I was once accused of having a connection to the company. :biggrin: Not true of course, but when I come across a device that is well engineered and performs well I'm impressed. Love their fans too, and not sure why many hate the colour scheme, I actually like it. Although I believe they do black fans now.

Incidentally, I understand that Noctua are involved in an "Active Noise Cancellation" project. Basically the fan emits inverted phase frequencies that cancel out fan noise. Phase cancellation, or destructive interference, technically.

Not sure inf any other manufactures are looking into this. Probably are.

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