Become a part of the elite liquid cooling club and achieve low temperatures and high frame rates … in total silence! But sealed closed-loop water cooling kits are now available, bringing down the price and reducing the chances of issues. To combat both of those downsides, a setup called closed-loop liquid-cooling has been gaining popularity in the last few years. While gaming, this heat causes air cooler fans to run at a very high speed, producing noise. Liquid cooling is also more expensive and can leak and cause damage to components which is why some people stay away from it. In terms of overclocking, that’s a lot, especially when you consider that the radiator takes up a similar area. The tubing comes connected and goes between the two. Firstly, the radiator, can your case hold a 360mm or 480mm radiator? H100I – A Retail Corsair Hydro H100I with 2 x Corsair 31-000403 Fans Luckily, most fluids out there are non-corrosive so it SHOULDN’T affect your parts if this happens, but funnily enough, we don’t want to test that, nor do we recommend it. I'll run through the basics of both options. I’m not going to lie, they can be a right pig to submerge. 1. In trade, they offer more limited options and performance -- most CPUs can be cooled this way, and select video cards, but that’s about it. H60 – A Retail Corsair Hydro H60 with 1 x Corsair 31-000403 Fan Once its all in, the last bit to do is tube it up! Water cooling systems -- whether they are a custom loop or an AIO-- all follow the same basic principles. The H45 and H80i have single radiators, the H45 holding one fan, the H80i holding two (one either side), the H100i has a dual radiator holding two fans that both go on the same side. Visit http://www.jayztwocents.com - JayzTwoCents is currently Fundraising for CES Coverage this January! Overclocking ability is perhaps the most the most tangible benefit of liquid-cooling, but there are other reasons some folks are interested in it: liquid-cooling can make a computer look very stylish, for example, or allow operation of more hot-running components than a chassis could normally keep cool. Or are you limited to 240mm? In this article, we are going to compare the two, giving you an in depth analysis into water cooling, offering pros and cons in a round by round points system for both sides leaving us with a conclusion of what will be best for yourself. These are all connected via tubing specially cut to fit the exact hardware setup. In terms of in game performance, if you are on stock settings, don’t expect to have a game run faster simply because you have a H100I compared to someone who has a H60, it doesn’t quite work like that. Corsair provides impressively competitive custom watercooling components and a new customization website to help you configure your next cooling loop. Its not a jaw dropping, bums off seats overclock, but it is still a healthy and very respectable 33.3% CPU performance bump. Here at UK Gaming Computers, we get a lot of interest in the venturing to the world of water cooling, but we often get asked, “What is the difference between a closed and an open loop”. If, however, you’re looking for the crème de la crème, you want that flashy look to your system, want the ability to customize the set up now or in the future, want your CPU to put up with intense workloads or want to water cool your graphics card(s) we’d defiantly recommend an open loop. We’ll start with a closed loop. The difference between the 3 comes when fitting the radiator. Our technical deep-dive for today serves as a means to fully detail liquid cooling and how it works, drilling down to piano-wire granularity (literally). The price is also a giveaway: as mentioned above, traditional liquid-cooling adds several hundreds of dollars to the price of a computer - whereas the smaller, self-contained units are on-par with high-end air cooling units in terms of price. Novice installers/Easy to fit builds Here at UK Gaming Computers, we currently offer closed loop options in the form of the Corsair Hydro (non X) series and Cooler Master Masterliquid series however there are many other brands out there. A rule that we tend to go by here when creating a loop, is to slightly overcut the tubing then cut it down to size, the amount of tubing you get will allow that. Your choice of case is important when it comes to water cooling. However, the large amount of separate parts involved and complexity of setting it up added substantially to the cost of a computer. For closed loops, there are two parts that you need to connect up, the CPU block which acts as the pump and the radiator. There is only one clear winner here and it goes to the custom open loop water cooling solution for its first point. Closed loop systems are cheaper, period. The pump/reservoir is also something that varies considerably. There is also the risk of a coolant leak, as there are many seals which could degrade or loosen over time. A similar 240mm Custom loop without cutting corners starts at £150.00 and can easily move north of £1000 for complex loop. For this, we’re going to give the point in this section to closed loops, it’s a lot easier to install, while it doesn’t have the customization of an open loop, having everything pre assembled is too much of an inconvenience to overlook in this section. Shop now. Pumps are another area where a custom loop considerably excels over a closed loop. The screws do have springs and washers that are also required to go in place. Before installing any part, you’ll want to install the fittings to each loop component before you install it to the case, take it from my experience, it’s a heck of a lot easier this way round. Since AIOs are generally more common than a custom loop, we decided to have a look at these before we proceed to a custom loop. Not only do kits have all the core parts, but are usually less expensive than getting the exact same parts stand­alone due to combined packaging and unified documentation. Best Water Cooling Cases to build a Water Cooled PC for Gaming and Overclocking. Make no mistake, a KIT solution is already a full custom loop solution for liquid cooling your CPU. You can get expert service for the water in your closed-loop cooling system. Having said that, a bigger pump will generate more heat, this heat has to go somewhere, it is transferred to the coolant inside the loop, but because of the bigger pump, the coolant can flow much faster, meaning there is less turbulent flow when the fluid is in a vessel (CPU block, pump, and radiator) which is a good thing, fluid gets from A to B to C and back to A much faster, meaning that the fluid is spending less time heating up, keeping the overall temps of the system down. Low CPU Overclocks or standard clock speeds, Highly overclocked CPU builds From this, we have decided to add an overclock to the CPU and compare the performances again, we’ve clocked the CPU to 4.4GHz and put 1.26 voltage through the system. There are ways you can help counteract the temps on a ‘lesser cooler’, adding high flow case fans to the case, ensuring the system is kept clean and a high standard of cable management will all help improve the system, whether it gives current air flow a more direct path or adds to the air flow, it will all help drop the temps a bit, but don’t kid yourself into thinking that you can get that H100I to perform to the levels of the Lang D5 and custom 240 Radiator setup, you can help close the gap a bit, but they won’t become equals. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Every other cooler was pretty comfortable to be fair, if we’re honest, we probably didn’t expect the Corsair H80I to keep up but it’s proved us wrong here, its on the verge of warranting an eye being kept on it but at 66°c, as long as the system is well maintained, the cooler will be fine. Once cut, it either has to be used, cut to size or written off. That being said, open loops will go completely the opposite of a closed loop GPU, firstly, it is customizable, if you have dual, tri or quad SLI or Crossfire in your system, you can cool all the cards, you just need a separate block for each. For each setup we booted into Windows and after 15 minutes recorded the CPU idle temperature using HW Monitor. It’s impressive, considering it isn’t a light clock we’ve put it through, that’s a pretty beefy clock considering it’s a 6 core processor that’s churning out those numbers. Similar to open-loop, closed-loop cooling uses surrounding water to cool off the engine. There's no filling, no flushing, no need to monitor it really. Lack to tools to build a custom loop Visually interesting setups ... (at least for a custom loop). We’ve set up a testing rig for this article, we’ve put together a pretty spicy system, an X99 set up, we have the I7 5820K, sitting in the Asus X99-A, married with a whopping 32GB of Corsair DDR4 Quad channel 2400MHz RAM, Powered by a Corsair RM750x, a Corsair 250GB SSD for that speedy performance, topped off nicely with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 4GB running in a Windows 10 environment. With these coolers, there isn’t anything you need to do yourself apart from installing them to your system; this does make them very un-modular, however it is an easy option for water cooling. Traditional liquid-cooling can reduce the noise level on a system with extremely high-end hardware (particularly video cards) when air-cooling would make copious amounts of noise. We are also wary of fitting the closed loop brackets as things like the VRAM don’t really get properly cooled. Closed loop (AIO) and custom loop setups greatly differ in terms of performance and required setup, maintenance, space, etc. Let’s start with closed loops. From what we get here, the choice in cooler isn’t going to affect your systems physical performance, bench scores won’t come out as the same number every single time so changes of a few hundred isn’t a problem, changes of a few thousand is when it starts to become noticeable. For a basic custom CPU loop you can expect a price of $300. For PC on the PC, a GameFAQs message board topic titled "Water Cooling: "Closed Loop" vs "Custom Loop"". The tubing you get with an open water cooling kit isn’t unlimited; you do have to be careful. The Corsair H100I has survived, just, and when we say just, its on the edge. That isn’t quite where an open loop ends however, whether you get a photon cylinder reservoir, or a front bay reservoir, you’ll need a large Phillips flathead screwdriver to open to lid for when you fill the system and to seal it back up. Of course there are some other methods like passive cooling or mineral oil, but those are in really small portion. How well do these coolers all perform against each other. So, if that’s a closed loop, what is an open loop? In terms of Performance, it’s a no brainer here, the closed loop H100I set up kept up for a while but ended up falling to the open loops when really put to the test, the H80I and H60 never really cut the grade when put next to them. Each setup then had the CPU loaded with a workload using Aida 64, after 15 minutes the highest recorded temperature was recorded. You have to be a bit careful here though, certain cards require certain blocks, if your card and your block aren’t compatible, you aren’t going to be cooling much. If that is your goal, something along the lines of our Serenity systems is the best way to go. Because it’s a heck of a lot easier and a lot less risk involved, we’re awarding the point this round to closed loops. With custom water-cooling, you are going to get amazing overclocking potential, something that a closed loop liquid cooler will not be able to give you the same potential mainly because of the limited potential. Puget Systems builds custom PCs tailor-made for your workflow. You have to ensure that the ends of the tubes are flush and when installing them and they are pushed right to the end of each fitting, only then is the loop ready to be filled! The TechSpot gang is taking the age old Water Cooling vs. Air Cooling debate head on by pitting several new all-in-one watercoolng kits against a few high-end heatsinks. All the screws you need come with the kit that you’d buy, all you need is a standard Phillips cross head screwdriver. As the same suggests, Custom built loops offer more, a lot more! That’s the same for nearly every closed loop solution such as anything from Corsair or CoolerMaster. If your chosen case happens to be something like a Corsair 1000D, you aren’t going to have much of a problem; you can probably get yourself inside that case! The water in your cooling or heating system dramatically affects performance. You can change the fans for higher or lower flow fans, RGB fans or add a better thermal paste, but that’s pretty much it, it will install the same way and there isn’t anything else you can add on or take off that helps improve its performance. Essentially, a closed loop is a pre built water cooling loop that you don’t have to put together yourself, it comes pre made out of the box and is installed to a system by simply attaching the radiator/fans to the case and a CPU block usually via a specific bracket. There’s a lot more to installing an open loop than a closed loop, bearing in mind these are very brief overviews of the installation process, we’re going to go on the record and say we don’t recommend attempting the open loop at home as it can be stressful and a lot of work if it goes wrong! If you’re planning on putting your GPU underwater, you’ll also need to get your hands on a GPU water block that’s compatible with your GPU, extra fittings and tubing. A CPU water block can be $130, and the radiator for that part can be another $130. Since I've already reviewed the Noctua NH-D15, I wanted to do a separate review where I compare the NH-D15 against five high end closed loop coolers. If you are more inclined towards an open loop, you have more factors to think about. A system cooled in this way can easily cost $1000 more than the same hardware with standard air-cooling components. Take the popular Corsair Hydro H45, H80i and H100i. Water loss through evaporation is either reduced or eliminated, depending on the type of closed loop cooling equipment selected. These systems are really more like souped-up heatsinks than traditional liquid-cooling systems. For a truly quiet system air-cooling is often better, but it has to be done very carefully. Custom Loop Water Cooling PC: In general, there are three methods to cool your PC: air, AIO (all-in-one water cooling), and custom loop water cooling. IMPORTANT CHRISTMAS ORDER AND COVID-19 INFORMATION, The Depths of Steam: 4 Brilliant PC Games You’re Completely Overlooking. Monitoring the water quality of your cooling or heating system may not be a task you have the experience or equipment to do yourself, though. Our closed-loop CPU liquid-cooling unit, the Puget Hydro, is shown on the air-cooling configure pages instead - as our top-end CPU cooling option. To make these tests fair, we have tested each cooling solution on the same set up, in the same location, on the same day, keeping the same room temperature with our swish climate control and using the same thermal paste so everything is given a fair, level playing field. Now we really have separated the men from the boys, this clock has really put daylight between coolers that were once pretty close. No RGB at all. A water-based coolant is able to transfer heat away from hot components like the processor (CPU) and video card (GPU) more quickly than air alone would. Or many graphics cards! This is also going to add noise to the system, as you’ll need to double your fans and pumps to accommodate for the 2nd radiator. Some people said that if you got a premium air cooler like the Noctua NH-D14 that it would perform just like the closed loop system except it would be quieter than a closed loop system, cheaper than a closed loop system, and that it would last a lot longer than a closed loop system because apparently closed loop water cooling systems need to be replaced every 3-5 years. If you’re using a tube reservoir, providing it’s compatible, you can use the provided screw mounts, just make sure that the pump is tightened to the reservoir (if there is one), don’t trust that it’ll come out the box like it! With the custom loop, you've already doubled your cost with just one more part. However, with a closed-loop cooling system, the external water never enters the Sea-Doo’s engine! Make your custom water cooling kit with our online configurator. If you’re looking to put your CPU under a bit of load, or just want to keep those temps down for peace of mind, we’d say go for a high end closed loop cooler and you won’t be disappointed. A big drawback though, if you have two or more graphics cards and want them both closed loop water cooled, you need two separate loops, this can be a real pain. Most the screws you need will come with the components you purchase but you’ll need to get your hand on some tube cutters, flat head screw drivers, potentially a drill to make the reservoir/pump mounts, fluid to flush the loop, tape measure and a 24pin jumper if you plan on leak testing. H80I – A Retail Corsair Hydro H80I with 2 x Corsair 31-000403 Fans The water block for a graphics card isn’t the easiest thing in the world to fit, its something that, like everything with open loops, you have to get 100% correct, if you’re 1% out, its either going to either leak or not sufficiently cool the graphics card resulting in a failed graphics card. Plus, you are adding noise in the form of a pump to provide circulation. If you see yourself as a bit of an Evel Knievel, you’ll probably be pretty happy with a clock at those temps, if we’re completely honest, you can get away with it, not that we’d recommend it , but what is interesting is the temps from the H100I when compared to the 240 and 360 Radiator, 3 coolers which, at the start of the tests, were pretty close, the H100I and 240 Radiator especially. With a closed loop the “get what you are given” applies as where an open loop will present you with dozens of choices that all vary in flow rate, pressure, size & shape and mounting options. I got fed up with the pc case industry so I designed and 3d printed one. We also used CPU-Z to keep an eye on voltages and frequencies, whilst it was not really necessary when testing the CPU at stock performance it was handy to check our overclock tests and generally keep an eye on what the CPU was up to. Budget controlled builds The 2 open loop set ups undoubtedly trounce the closed loops here, the 240 loop runs 13°c cooler giving it plenty of room to play with and the 360, the 360 radiator has nearly 20°c to play with! In a closed loop cooling system, as the engine never gets in direct contact with water, the life of the machine increases exponentially. As a custom computer manufacturer, we’ve sold liquid-cooled systems from well before I joined the company. Don’t worry. We also benchmarked each system using 3D Mark11 and 3D Mark Firestrike to give a bench mark score, however this will give a benchmark score for the system as a whole as opposed to just the CPU. It isn’t customizable. A water-cooled PC not only looks great but it also provides much better cooling to your major components that include your CPU and Graphics Card (Water block ones). You can’t make this cooler fit in with the design theme that the rest of your system has, the only real way to make it match is by making the system match the GPU cooler, you can’t do it the other way around, it limits your options. … Watercooling is often used to remove the heat above that which the air cooling is able to handle. The long and short of it, is they’re not very customizable. That added cooling is appealing for folks who want to push their systems beyond design specifications. Radiator, cooler, loop– all handled for you. If you regularly monitor and treat the water in the cooling mechanism, it will reduce problems from water deposits. This is something we want to put to the test. This section’s a complete no brainer, custom open loops run away with it here, when your CPU is put to the sword, the temps are kept a lot lower. You can have your pump/reservoir either in the front of your PC which takes a front bay or you can go for a Tube Cylinder pump/reservoir, which is much larger than its front bay counterpart but it actually sits more inside the system than the front bay pump/reservoir. Provided you manage to get yourself the right block, open loop GPUs look a lot nicer than a closed loop solution/bracket. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Closed loop solutions may add close to $200 to the cost of the PC, while custom loops can be upwards of $2,000; Water cooling may only provide a marginal advantage for many mainstream users given the recent improvement of … 51°C was the highest load temperature out of all the setups and in the real world, this is well within threshold so in this kind of setup there is little to be gained by having a big custom loop but there is a clear correlation between better cooling setups and lower temperatures. The same is true for water treatment chemicals and/or systems; closed loop technology can help to dramatically reduce or even eliminate the need for … Because of this, we want to put the coolers through an extreme clock, we’re losing sympathy for the lesser models, this clock is going to be made just to simply test the limits of the 5 coolers, if we’re being honest, its mainly just to test the Corsair H100I up against the 240 and 360 Radiators, we’ll still run the Corsair H60 and H80I because you never know they may surprise us but we’re not holding hope. Closed loop systems are cheaper, period. The ability to customize a custom built PC has been a right since day one. It looks bland, not unlike the CPU closed loops. The Hydro coolers are quite nice and easy to set up, the radiators can sometimes be a bit tight to get in depending on your case but that’s not too much of a problem, ideally, you’d only need to take it off when upgrading and taking it off isn’t as fiddly as putting it on. This is where, for the home user trying to install their own set up, things can start to get complicated. With open loops, you have to be careful that the tubing you cut is fairly accurate. We do blur the line a little in our Deluge gaming computer line, where we have configurations both with the more affordable Hydro and the full cooling options, but it is usually clear from the pictures and naming what each computer uses. In this guide, we dive into the perks, aesthetics, and necessary components of water cooling, so you can decide whether your custom PC can benefit from the little law of thermal and fluid mechanics. The content applies to all liquid coolers, but particularly focuses on closed-loop products; all concepts herein can be applied to CLCs across the industry from various suppliers and manufacturers. For a closed loop it isn’t a problem. Going on this information, open loops can be a bit of a headache, it all has to be 100%, if you go wrong, you can find yourself re-buying parts or worse, if it leaks where its not all fitted correct, liquid can get everywhere and you don’t need me to tell you, liquid and computer components tend not to go well together. Water Cooling for PCs Water cooling is an alternative to using air cooling to remove the heat from computer components. These Liquid Cooled PC Cases support both Custom Water Cooling Loop and Closed Loop AIO Liquid Coolers. The thing about all in one liquid cooler is that they come in a single unit that is comprised of the radiator, pump, water block, and tubes. Tubing options vary massively and is a hugely popular varied choice when it comes to deciding on a systems colour scheme. Closed-loop systems are a single fixed unit, not a conglomerate of customizable parts. These systems are really more like souped-up heatsinks than traditional liquid-cooling systems. Unlike air coolers, water cooling doesn't blow hot air around your case. We’ve bumped the CPU up to 4.7GHz and have now put 1.35 voltage through the CPU. Today, liquid cooling has become a bonafide trend in custom builds. Typically you can expect closed loop coolers and all in one systems to range in the mid 100 dollar range. Now let’s compare this to open loops. This allows the manufactures to keep the cost low.Below, you will find some detailed reasons as to why you should choose an AIO. A custom loop cooling system is custom. Custom CPU & GPU Loop is the sweet spot of liquid cooling, where you cool the CPU and the graphics card. Now we have our results. A water cooling loop follows the same principle an air cooler does: it takes heat from a hardware (e.g., a CPU die) and dissipates it into the air. The gap between the Corsair H100I and the 240 Radiator is still pretty close although the gap has increased ever so slightly. To more easily understand the difference, we’ll put it this way: A closed loop cooler is all-in-one. The CPU can produce a lot of heat and is kept within a preset level by thermal sensors. As previously mentioned, tubing is a bit of a dark art to get right, we recommend over cutting slightly then cutting down to size, it’s a heck of a lot easier than trying to jam a roll of tube in the system just to get 10 inches of tubing cut. You can cool your GPU in the closed or the open loop flavour and, like with most of this article, there are cons and pros to both. We’ve touched on it already but almost every component in the loop is changeable and upgradable. 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