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  1. #1
    Member Tw00sh's Avatar
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    How is Water-Cooling quieter?

    I think most people switch to water-cooling to lower there system temperatures, but I also see people making the switch for a quiter system? This would be the main reason for me to switch over.

    What i do not understand or maybe I am overlooking the issue, is how is it quieter?

    You have to have fans for the Radiator, right? Are these not the same type of fans you would have in your case? They put out the same noise level as a regular fan mounted on the case, assuming it is the same fan type? What about the powersupply fan, it is not changing at all?

    Also, doesn't the pump make some kind of noise? Humming or something? I cannot see how it would be completely quiet? My fishtank pump even makes a humming noise while it is working.

    My point is, how can it be any more quiet than a regular case with a couple case fans, if the fans are the same and the pump makes noise while working?

    Am I missing the big picture somewhere?
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  2. #2
    Member obsolete's Avatar
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    Hey Tw00sh,

    I think you are some what missing the picture. If you have a high end system & you overclock you are going to need proper cooling. Take into consideration the CPU fan........I have a 4800 rpm fan mounted on my heatsink. That gets pretty loud under full throttle. I also have TWO 4800 rpm fans mounted in the back of my case for exhaust. In addition to this I have one 4800 rpm fan custom mounted into the side window of my PC case. Run those all at full speed & you have a jet plane getting ready for take off.

    How quiet your computer is would all depend on what components you have in your system & how much "cooling" your components need. Also room tempature would make a huge difference. The fan or fan(s) for a radiator are 120 mm fans. You can purchase low noise 120 mm fans or any "low noise" fans in any size. Pumps to make noise but I highly doubt a pump would make more noise then a 4800 rpm fan. Not all people use these kina fans, but I do.

    I do not really think people are stressing that a water cooled system is "totally" quiet, but I can tell you for sure it would be quieter then high end fans. Or in my scenario water cooling would definately be quieter.

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  3. #3
    Member JimmyG's Avatar
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    The physics behind water cooling is that the radiator is a much larger surface area than the specific hot spots that need cooling. The water blocks take the heat away from the hot spots and move it to the radiator. Because the surface area of the radiator is very large, you use larger (120mm +) fans that move a lot of air with the blades turning much slower. Because the fans turn slower, they are much quieter than typical 80mm and 40mm fans that are used with air cooling.
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  4. #4
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    And to chime in my .02 -

    When WC you're generally using outside air to cool the radiator. With air cooling you're using the air inside the case to cool the heatsink.

    My WC system is much quieter because I can run the 120mm fan @ low speed & still achieve good cooling. Also, the rest of the case doesn't need as much airflow so I can turn down the other fans.
    Also, doesn't the pump make some kind of noise? Humming or something? I cannot see how it would be completely quiet? My fishtank pump even makes a humming noise while it is working
    Isolate the pump from the case & most likely you won't be able to hear it more than a few inches away (if that).

  5. #5
    Member Tw00sh's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bailey
    And to chime in my .02 -

    When WC you're generally using outside air to cool the radiator. With air cooling you're using the air inside the case to cool the heatsink.

    Does this mean I should have air sucking into the radiator from outside the case?

    I am considering a WC setup, just was hoping it would be quiter along with cooler.

    I was not too sure the bigger fans make less noise. I was thinking they would make MORE noise because they are bigger. I can see where the fans would need to turn slower to produce the same amount of air as a smaller fan. This just did not occur to me before.
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  6. #6
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    Does this mean I should have air sucking into the radiator from outside the case?
    Yes, that's the preferred method.
    I was not too sure the bigger fans make less noise. I was thinking they would make MORE noise because they are bigger. I can see where the fans would need to turn slower to produce the same amount of air as a smaller fan. This just did not occur to me before
    Exactly, for example a 12cm fan runs @ 2000 rpm moving 70cfm of air - if an 8cm fan could move that much air it would have to spin very fast = more noise.

    If you're only cooling the CPU you can easily run the fan @ 7v or so & then a 12cm fan will run @ about 1200 rpm = very quiet. Also by using a rad & shroud you cut down on a good bit of the air turbulance noise associated with fans.

    Running my fan w/ a controller I can run it at less than half speed (5 - 7v) and still get good cooling - it's very quiet.

  7. #7
    Member Soja's Avatar
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    The pitch of 120mm fans is usually much lower than smaller fans. Usually there's no high pitched whine even at high speeds.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Cathar's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Soja
    The pitch of 120mm fans is usually much lower than smaller fans. Usually there's no high pitched whine even at high speeds.
    Indeed, lower pitched noise are typically far more tolerable than higher pitched noises, even if the lower pitched noises are technically louder when measured with a sound meter.

    I remember my old Honda VTR1000 motorbike with an Indigo Sports full exhaust system on it. It was LOUD, but nobody really complained because the pitch of the noise was like rumbling thunder on the horizon. The you'd have the in-line 4-cyl motorbikes with a race-exhaust on, and the higher-pitched wail was very shrill and grating, even though in terms of sound pressure (volume) the two were about the same.

    Sorry for getting off-topic. I loved the the sound of my bike. I even used to get Ducati owners coming up and asking me why my bike sounded better than theirs. *sigh*

  9. #9
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    All you gotta do is stop your Cpu, Northbridge or Gpu fan for a second and notice how much quieter it is. Believe me the slight noise from 2 120mm's is nothing compared to loud noises each of those fans make.
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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Cathar


    Indeed, lower pitched noise are typically far more tolerable than higher pitched noises, even if the lower pitched noises are technically louder when measured with a sound meter.

    I remember my old Honda VTR1000 motorbike with an Indigo Sports full exhaust system on it. It was LOUD, but nobody really complained because the pitch of the noise was like rumbling thunder on the horizon. The you'd have the in-line 4-cyl motorbikes with a race-exhaust on, and the higher-pitched wail was very shrill and grating, even though in terms of sound pressure (volume) the two were about the same.

    Sorry for getting off-topic. I loved the the sound of my bike. I even used to get Ducati owners coming up and asking me why my bike sounded better than theirs. *sigh*
    i hope you made a recording before you said goodbye to it.....

  11. #11
    Member deathBOB's Avatar
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    Since i wont be including a NB block when I make my WC setup and i hate noise... any passive radiators for NB that will cool as well or better than the stock IC7-G fan???

  12. #12
    Registered CevJuan's Avatar
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    My system is extremely quite with only the pump making any real significant noise....but even the pump has a mod to silence the motor.


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  13. #13
    Your company's computer guy Nick Burns's Avatar
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    What is your pump and how did you silence the motor? Did it lose any performance?

  14. #14
    Underwater Senior Member
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    Another benefit to watercooling that wasn't mentioned, is that you can pump the water (and cpu heat) to another location where a good fan can't be heard by anyone.
    Mine's in the basement with a Pabst 120mm going full bore. The cooler ambient temps in the basement also mean that my CPU has yet to hit 30C, usually 28C fully loaded.
    My pump is isolated in my wall-mount reservior that's hanging from rubber straps to further silence it.

    The only thing I can hear from my case (Sonata) is the psu fan, and that's slowed/silenced with a temperature sensor that keeps it easily much lower than a whisper from the next room.

    Ahhh, Blessed Silence.

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