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AIO or Air cooling , what to take?

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ysfm17

Registered
Joined
May 18, 2017
hi

this is my first time building power pc, and am confused between AIO or air cooling as both has ups and downs.

I've gone through many reviews but still not sure what to take. I know it depends on the preference but I think more clarification would help.

Am building AMD Ryzen 1800X
case Zalman n11 neo, with 8 fans
GPU 1080 TI
Motherboard : GIGABYTE AX370 Gaming K7

I want to chose between on of these :
1- noctua nh-d15 se-am4
2- EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240

What make me confused, as much as I prefer the air as its more safe but I was thinking
the size of the Noctua, isn't gonna be a problem for air flow which may make it hot inside the case? also it will be so close to the GPU , the hot air going out of it will go directly
to the heat sink, is this gonna effect anything?

one last think , the weight, it weight 1.3 kg with both fans installed , is this gonna damage the motherboard in long term?

about liquid cooling, everything seems great, specially with the hi

this is my first time building power pc, and am confused between AIO or air cooling as both has ups and downs.

I've gone through many reviews but still not sure what to take. I know it depends on the preference but I think more clarification would help.

Am building AMD Ryzen 1800X
case Zalman n11 neo, with 8 fans
GPU 1080 TI
Motherboard : GIGABYTE AX370 Gaming K7

I want to chose between on of these :
1- noctua nh-d15 se-am4
2- EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240

What make me confused, as much as I prefer the air as its more safe but I was thinking
the size of the Noctua, isn't gonna be a problem for air flow which may make it hot inside the case? also it will be so close to the GPU , the hot air going out of it will go directly
to the heat sink, is this gonna effect anything?

one last think , the weight, it's 1.3 kg with both fans installed, is this gonna damage the motherboard in long term?

on the other hand , liquid cooling sounds great in performance ,the EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 does amazing job, there is no size problem, no weight problem.
But it has the maintenance problem, the water pump , the leakage.

am not saying any of these will happen, but there is a possibility , any failure may cause big damage for the system.

I know this question has been asked many times, and there is no exact answer, but hope to find here better guidance.

Regards
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
The EDWB Predator is a nice cooler but there are many others that will give you essentially the same cooling power but for much less money. In water cooling, overwhelmingly the only thing that matters much from a performance perspective is the radiator surface area. All water coolers with a 240mm radiator will cool about the same with the same fans. Fans can make a difference too but unless the fans are not doing a good job of pushing air through to the other side of the radiator, changing them for noisier, more powerful fans or adding "pull" fans on the backside will not make much difference.

People go to AIO water cooling units over air coolers mainly because it opens up the interior of the case and makes it much easier to work on things. To me this is a big drawing card for AIO coolers.

If you have good ventilation from case fans in the back, top and front the circulation of air inside the case will be sufficient either with a large air cooler like the Noctua D15 or with an AIO.

The best 240 AIO coolers might give you slightly better temps than the best air coolers.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
I would also add that the limiting factor for overclocking the Ryzen CPUs doesn't seem to be temps. I wouldn't spend too much time and energy choosing a cooling solution because it probably won't matter much. The Ryzen chips just don't have much overclocking headroom. They are binned pretty high from the factory already.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
I would use water cooling only if there was graphics card in the loop. Actually high performance graphics cards need better cooling more than CPU. If you only need cooling for CPU then Noctua cooler provides about the same as any better AIO water cooling ( personally tested it vs 240/280 AIO ).
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Pay close attention to the QVC RAM list to make sure you don't have any compatibility issues with higher speed RAM. This has been the number one issue with Ryzen so far.
 

Tgrable

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Location
Minneapolis, MN
This question mostly comes down to personal preference.

Temperature wise they will be very similar. The AIO might have a slight edge in maximum performance, but not enough to make it the ultimate decision.

The NH is known for having great temps and being really quiet. The low noise level is what makes this so appealing. Most of the AIO's can tie or beat it in thermal performance, but a lot of them make a lot of noise to do so.

The NH is also heavy and frankly is much more heavy than anything I would want sitting on my chip/board, but this again is personal preference. You could just as easily get a leak in an AIO as you are to have the NH damage your chip/board.

One really nice thing though is the ability to expand the EKWB later. So if you get a nice GPU and want to water cool it... all your need is the block (if it isn't already a water blocked card) , fittings, tube, and another radiator.

So if you for example purchased a card with a waterblock already you could run a full custom loop for about $120 or so more. That is a pretty good value for a gpu/cpu loop btw.


In the end I think the question is do you prefer risk of damage via weight or water. Then the last big question is do you feel like you will ever want to expand the system to include a gpu. If you answered Yes to the last then the EKWB is the best choice. If not then the NH is the cheaper options and probably the better price/performance option as well.
 

WhitehawkEQ

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
Can you turn the NH-D15 so the fans blow to the rear of the case and not on the GPU?

Like this:
DSCN0723_.JPG
Air comes in from the right side and out the left side right in to the rear fan.

p.s. this pic is from my last build.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
This is standard installation direction described in the manual. On most motherboards you can install it in both directions without issues.