Is watercooling quieter than fan cooled?

The alternative to direct air cooling

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armornone
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Is watercooling quieter than fan cooled?

Post by armornone » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:32 am

Is water cooling quieter than fan cooled or is it mostly for the coolness factor of having it water cooled?

My understanding is they both need a fan. One way its a fan to cool the heat sink and the other way its a fan to cool the water.


Please let me know

Thanks.

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Post by Big Pimp Daddy » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:51 am

Simple answer: it depends.

For the long answer, search the forums. Many an in-depth discussion has already taken place.
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:57 am

If you have a lot of money to spend initially, watercooling is much quieter.

It very much depends on what cpu and vga card you use.

Also note that avg temps are HIGHER with water, but max temps are LOWER.

People say "wc setups still need fans to cool the radiators" .... this is said by people who dont own gaming systems + wc setups! Yes you may need to use fans, but the radiator is in the open air and the heat is not building up in the case! This means that your psu, if it has a fan, will not get warm ever, the case stays cool, and the hd stays basically near room temperature. Fans, if used on the radiators, are on very low settings, should be inaudible.

WC rocks, especially for systems that are on 24/7, I have had great experiences with gaming systems on Zalman's Reserator. It can handle around 200-250 watts on load. Water cools better than air.... could be why they stopped air cooling car engines after 1960's.....

I have said this before in other threads, but i thought I would answer this one as it's been a while. IF you have a dual core, no higher end video card and only like 1-2 hds, wc is a luxary I couldnt fathom bothering with as air could be silent.

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Post by JackyPerformance.com » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:48 am

It's been proven mathmatically and physically that water cooling (Convection) is more effective at heat transfer compared to air cooling (Conduction). With that said, if the water cooling setup is not optimized for that computer, it can be louder than a very good air cooled setup.

So, the trick to water cool a computer properly is:

1. Best cooling radiator that can fit your case.
2. Most quiet fans (radiators can allow larger diameter / more quiet fans than 'traditional' air coolers)
3. Most quiet fluid pump
4. A big enough fluid reservoir for the coolant/water.
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tim851
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Post by tim851 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:50 am

JackyPerformance.com wrote:It's been proven mathmatically and physically that water cooling (Convection) is more effective at heat transfer compared to air cooling (Conduction).
:shock:

Water cooling as it is done in a PC is actually quite the same as air cooling. A copper block (predominantly) takes the heat off the chip, transfers it to a conductor (heatpipes or water) which is then run through a set of fins (heatsink or raditator) through which air is forced to cool it.

The advantages of water cooling are the flexible and variable placement of the radiator and the possibility to control the flow speed of the water, which itself is one of the better heat conductors.

Modo
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Re: Is watercooling quieter than fan cooled?

Post by Modo » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:28 am

armornone wrote:Is water cooling quieter than fan cooled or is it mostly for the coolness factor of having it water cooled?

My understanding is they both need a fan. One way its a fan to cool the heat sink and the other way its a fan to cool the water.
The difference is performance. Watercooling allows you to use high overclocks and powerfu graphics cards with very little noise. It won't help in systems without heavy overclocking or a high-end graphics card.
Can you keep it down? I'm having trouble hearing the artillery.

Current rig
Old PC

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Post by JackyPerformance.com » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:55 pm

tim851 wrote:Water cooling as it is done in a PC is actually quite the same as air cooling. A copper block (predominantly) takes the heat off the chip, transfers it to a conductor (heatpipes or water) which is then run through a set of fins (heatsink or raditator) through which air is forced to cool it.

The advantages of water cooling are the flexible and variable placement of the radiator and the possibility to control the flow speed of the water, which itself is one of the better heat conductors.
I don't disagree with what you're saying at all :). When I phrased "water" and "air" cooling I was referring to the typical computer cooling setups and not the specific water and air mediums themselves.
tim851 wrote:...water cooling...itself is one of the better heat conductors.
Acknowledging that water and air are both fluids, Yes, water has a much higher thermal conductivity and higher specific heat capacity than air. I mention convection because within a fluid (like water) it's my understanding forced convection (via fluid pump) transfers heat over a distance faster than pure conduction. Plus, convection describes the sum effects of fluid flow with conduction anyways. Thus it's no suprise more volume and velocity of the fluid flow (air or water) through that block (or "air heatsink) increases cooling effectiveness too.
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:29 pm

there's more mass going by the chip and so it has more heat capacity and therefore takes off more heat as it goes by.

realistically, a chip doesnt create all that much heat, it just is SUPER concentrated. That is why a large heatsink works so well as it dissipates that concentrated source of heat.

wc is quiet and can be done with 1 fan on a system and no fans on radiator if radiator is separate from case.

for high power systems, it is the only cold way to run near silently.

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:29 pm

................................

Series-8
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Re: Is watercooling quieter than fan cooled?

Post by Series-8 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:11 am

Using passive external radiators - e.g. the Zalman Reservator (sp?),

Only the pump (which can be padded) will make any 'noise' (vibration/harmonics are a different issue).

Also Liquid cooling systems always idle LOWER than Air (usually -5 or more from a 'normal' high-end Aircooler at the same ambient).

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Re: Is watercooling quieter than fan cooled?

Post by Cyäegha » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:26 am

Wow, way to bump up an old thread... :mrgreen:

In that case, I'm going to add my two cents about this:
JackyPerformance.com wrote:
tim851 wrote:Water cooling as it is done in a PC is actually quite the same as air cooling. A copper block (predominantly) takes the heat off the chip, transfers it to a conductor (heatpipes or water) which is then run through a set of fins (heatsink or raditator) through which air is forced to cool it.

The advantages of water cooling are the flexible and variable placement of the radiator and the possibility to control the flow speed of the water, which itself is one of the better heat conductors.
I don't disagree with what you're saying at all :). When I phrased "water" and "air" cooling I was referring to the typical computer cooling setups and not the specific water and air mediums themselves.
Actually, in a typical, SPCR-compatible, air cooling setup, in the only place where the physical mechanisms used are different from water cooling, it's air cooling that uses the theoretically superior method, not the other way round... The only difference of that kind is that air cooling uses water evaporation & condensation (in heatpipes) to transfer heat from the base to the fins, which should allow to carry a lot more heat than an otherwise equivalent liquid water loop. Every other parts rely on the same physical principles in air cooling and water cooling setups. Of course there are tons of other differences which can (and do) make a good water cooling setup better than air cooling, but it's not about the basic physical principles used - it's about the practical constraints.

1398342003
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Re: Is watercooling quieter than fan cooled?

Post by 1398342003 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:24 pm

That's true, but watercooling doesn't have the same restraints that aircooling does. You can add more radiating area with ease.

So, modern aircooling uses a superior method, but modern watercooling can bruteforce it's way to the top. (and can do it pretty quietly)

Watercooling's main benefit is GPUs anyways. They can produce more heat than the CPU, but can't have a heatsink that's nearly as large.

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