High end air vs AIO in 2018

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by ayles, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. ayles

    ayles Member

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    Hi guys,

    Haven't reviewed this for 2-3 years, have AIO caught up yet? Or better off staying with my ultra120 extreme? Googled but couldn't find a recent benchmark.

    My old 2500k @ 5g hits 85c benching or 70c gaming, hot but stable. Might jump to a 8700k or next few cpu after a 1440p 144hz screen upgrade.

    Had a custom loop with a 240 and d5 back in the day but with my PC based at the office these days, cbf going custom again.
     
  2. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Havng just had a look at a Frostytech review of your cooler, its a bee's dick ahead of the Coolermaster Hyper 212. The Hyper 212 Evo LED is a more recent cooler, and superior to the original Hyper 212 and your TT cooler as well, while also being quieter. I have some experience with the later version of the 212, and can compare it to various AIO's I've had on the same chip (7700K, I've not owned anything more recent from Intel since I moved to Ryzen).

    I've run a delidded 7700K @ 5.3GHz on a H60 with no issues at all, check the delidding link in my sig if you want more info on that.

    I'd place the humble Corsair H60 above the later model 212, which would make it superior to your cooler. I'm going to go with yes, pretty much any decent quality current AIO, particularly if you are willing to go for a 240, is going to be superior to your cooler. The H60, although only a slim 120, punches a little above its weight in its category, but there are better options. The H60 may only be marginally better in performance vs your air cooler, but will be significantly quieter.


    The Coolermaster ML120L is a decent 120mm cooler @ ~$80, and comes with quite a decent pump and better than average fan. It also has lots of bling if that's your thing.

    If you want something better, in a 140mm size, then take a look at a Kraken X42 for ~$180. A bit expensive by comparison, but a significant performance jump and still relatively compact in a small case, should you not have room for a dual fan AIO.

    Assuming you are going to keep your current case, since it will fit your TT cooler, I assume you can fit at least a 240 rad though, which is a better option for both cooling and silence generally.

    If you can fit a 240, then the Corsair H100i is a decent cooler @ ~$150, but keep in mind that you will probably want to change out the fans on most Corsair coolers. In the 280mm range, the Corsair 115i @ ~$170 is also pretty decent, but again, you may want to change the fans. This could be a personal bias mind you, I just think the stock fans that come with these coolers are crap.

    I think if I were buying a cooler for an 8700K I'd actually be looking at the Coolermaster ML240L, the dual fan 240mm version of the ML120L. At about 100 bucks, with a decent pump and fans, it will run cool and quiet, and not cost a mint.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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  3. havabeer

    havabeer Member

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    A noctua nh d14 is basically just as good as most of the 240 AIO out there, but it costs almost the same as them as well
     
  4. SSJ4

    SSJ4 Member

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    Was going to recommend the same cooler. I have no hands on experience with it. But at $100 its not much more than a quality Air cooler, cheaper than most brand name AIO's, and has RGB fans. Plus its cooler master. I cannot really see a reason to spend the extra 50-60 on the NZXT for example tbh.

    https://www.pccasegear.com/products/40356/cooler-master-masterliquid-ml240l-rgb-aio-cooler
     
  5. O-B-E-L-I-X

    O-B-E-L-I-X Member

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    What sort of Voltage are you using to get that 5GHz? Thanks.
     
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  6. OP
    OP
    ayles

    ayles Member

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    Thanks for the responses team, appreciated. I'll check out the ML240.

    I bought this chip at launch so she's had a fairly hard life running 24/7 high voltage for about 5 years now, but haven't mined/folded on it, it was at 5.2 under water for 18 months at 1.36V. I've benched as high as 1.4V but couldn't get much over 5.2.

    These days on air it sits at bios 1.325, CPU-Z is 1.33ish idle, 1.38ishV under load, I run heavy LLC to give some heat relief off-load.

    The chipset and other voltages have allowed me to drop vcore a touch. My last chip is a Q6600 I had for years, pour in the volts baby :lol:
     
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  7. self_slaughter

    self_slaughter Member

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    Depends how much voltage etc you are running.
    Just built an 8700k system and had a temp coolermaster hyper 212x air cooler, followed by a 280mm corsair h110i AIO.

    At my chips comfort zone overclock of 4.7Ghz at 1.24-1.28V there's not much difference in it.
    Crank the volts to like 1.4V and the AIO does a lot better short term.
    Still too much voltage for me to run for very long, so I dunno how long the aio can keep the water temps down and maintain reasonable temps at that voltage.

    That ML240 looks like good bang for buck though. $89 + RGB or $139 + Addressable RGB. Can't go wrong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  8. combatant3219

    combatant3219 Member

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    My 4790k runs at 4.7ghz, can't remember exact voltage off hand but approx 1.255v.

    Recently went from a Corsair H110 (280mm rad) to a beQuiet DarkRock Pro3 due to a case change. Tested both coolers in the old case first to see what difference there was. Literally a bee's dick in it. I did keep a record but from what I remember I got pretty much identical temps give or take 1-2C and the Dark Rock Pro3 is quieter. At higher voltages it might be different though.

    Delidding my chip shaved off an extra 10-15C depending on load scenario.
     
  9. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    By the looks from reviews Noctua's latest offering beats out most of the AIO competition. But comes at the expense of being massive.
     
  10. Kyorisu

    Kyorisu Member

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    Go big or go home. There was always the issue of RAM clearance but later models fixed that up.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    ayles

    ayles Member

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    Yes sir, this was my last cooler on the Q6600 running 1.65V haha

    You guys remember the Tuniq Tower:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Kyorisu

    Kyorisu Member

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    I had one of those on my E6600 if I recall correctly. Currently using a DH-14.
     
  13. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    I’m trying to get rid of my DH14. Too many problems with ram clearance.
     
  14. crepuscular

    crepuscular Member

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    bigass air coolers are pretty much on par with AIO in terms of performance
    like everyone mentioned above, ram clearance can be an issue.
    the other being the weight of cooler
     
  15. Insert Gibberish

    Insert Gibberish Member

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    The ONLY positive about all BIG Air Coolers is that they will NEVER leak or wear down under any circumstance.

    In fact you can keep on using any Large Noctua, Thermalright or Phantek Cooler. They simply work 24/7 for decades ahead, you just need to change the grey goop once in a while under the cooler.
     
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  16. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Big air coolers are better than most AIO and on par with the more bigger and expensive AIO units. For the minimalistic look AIO’s take the cake but in terms of reliability air coolers have the advantage. If the fan on your air cooled heatsink breaks down, the heatsink fins and design still radiates heat away from the cpu, different story if the motor pump in the cpu block of an AIO breaks down, you’d only notice till your pc crashes due to high temps.
     
  17. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    In either case with modern components there would be no damage. The computer gets too hot, it shuts down, end of story.

    In the case of a $100 AIO, you'd just replace it with a newer model and have the old fans spare... assuming its the pump that dies rather than a fan. Downside would be a bit of extra fitting time, and the $100 full replacement cost.

    Often the fans aren't as good as the aircooler fans though, and need swapping out before you start. That's finally starting to change though, as manufacturers realise they won't sell as well without decent fans. Most people buy AIO's for their silence, a noisy AIO won't sell well. Read reviews and choose well.

    A noisy air cooler faces the same issue, but the big high end air coolers have great fans and are just as quiet as a good AIO. A cheap air cooler is typically much louder at high load than a similarly priced AIO, assuming they are both fitted with similar fans.

    Performance wise, there is little in it. The difference between a $100 AIO, a $120 air cooler, and a $250 AIO is a few degrees at best.

    In the case of the high end air cooler, its still going to cost $30-$40 or more to replace one fan if it dies, possibly double if your OCD required you buy more than one if the original fans had been superceded. Upside might be simpler fitting.. you shouldn't need to remove the cooler to replace a fan... and of course you will only need a max of 2 fans, so a max of $60-$80. Note that if it was a fan on the AIO that died rather than the pump, you'd be in an identical position...

    Of course you might find the purchase cost of that high end air cooler to be the kicker, slightly more expensive than the $100 you paid for the AIO.

    Downside of an air cooler could be the sheer weight of it, if the board is vertical. A lot of stress on the mobo which you won't get from an AIO. A large air cooler can make a machine a bitch to work on sometimes too.

    Upside of an AIO, air is usually exhausting from the case, helping other components. A big Noctua doesn't do that, it uses warm case air and exhausts the same air back into the case. No big issue of course, that's what case fans are for, but the AIO helps. An AIO also doesn't make it impossible to reach all the rest of the components,

    I prefer AIO's, but everyone has different needs and wants.

    TL;DR A high end air cooler is just as capable and quiet as an AIO which is just as capable and quiet as a high end air cooler. They both have advantages and disadvantages. Even aesthetics come into it of course. We all have our own tastes. Horses for courses.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  18. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    I haven’t come across a $100 air cooler on the market that has acceptable cooling performance for a long time but for comparison, the U9S, C12, D14 used to retail under $65AUD and reigned supreme for many years until Asetek (the original guys who patented and designed the AIO design), Coolermaster and CoolIT (OEM for Corsair Hydro AIO’s) came out with bigger AIO’s (better pumps, bigger radiators etc) which cost more and coolers such as the D14 still beat it by few degrees under load and overclocked conditions, AIO’s such as the H50, 70, 80 lost in comparison and only the original H100 with better fans at max rpm could compare on par with the D14.

    But the problem with the air coolers is they came at the expense of being big (small cases and high profile ram a no go).

    The AIO’s nowadays have matured with different block pumps and slight design changes so the gap in comparison to the best air coolers is smaller in terms of cooling performance to what it was in 2009-2015.
     
  19. doreelol

    doreelol Member

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    AIOs and any water cooler pumps hot air out of the case directly where as air coolers dump the heat into the surrounding and relies on case fans to remove that heat. Can potentially make ur GPU a tad hotter vs AIO/WC
     
  20. Insert Gibberish

    Insert Gibberish Member

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    Totally incorrect.

    I have an ancient Silverstone case which is inverted so that the motherboard IO area is facing upwards with all the PCIe slots.

    In this case I only have 3 Fans running - Two Fans (Noctua NF-A15 PWMs) on an old Noctua NH-U14S cooling down my Ryzen 1800X (around 31C idling at current seasonal temps) and one Noiseblocker NB-eLoop Fan B14-2 for the case opening above them. My Gigabyte 8GB 1070Ti sits at 28C idling and with any Gaming tops out at 39C. The heat easily evaporates out of the case, so the heat never re-circulates inside, like most other traditionally designed cases. Hence why I continue to use this case after six upgrades starting with Intel gear and now filling it only with the current Ryzen stuff.

    Altogether this setup is barely audible and I am only one meter away from it. I have two 180mm fans situated down on the floor of the case but hardly ever use them due to the temps being quite low.

    Choose the right case and air cooling instead of falling for anyone's inept suggestions for using cheap AIO systems. Might as well go full Water Cooling using a customized setup instead of trying to push useless AIO's with their horrible noise and cheap pumps. AIO's are never going to match the noise or temp output of a well setup Air Cooled system, it's just plain fact that it's far more reliable and robust than any cheapo AIO pretending to be quiet and dependable, which they are certainly not.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018

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