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Does anyone use air cooling on modern CPUs?

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Beamed Me Up!
Jun 9, 2013
Thermalright True 140 Power on my 3900X. No problem benching @ 4.4 @ 1.375vcore and staying under 80c.

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Sep 20, 2001
I have two modern air coolers in use. A Dark Rock Pro 4 and a Cryorig C7Cu with a 3D printed 92mm fan frame and a Noctua PWM on it.

On my 8086K the DRP4 would work great on any non-AVX stress test. Running at 5GHz and adding AVX you would jump up to 200W and bump into 100C thermal throttle. This is with a delidded, binned CPU rated for 5.3GHz.

Right now I have that same chip with the Cryorig heatsink doing non-AVX Prime and staying under 80C and the fan well under it's 2000rpm limit while pulling 90W. With AVX2 that jumps to 120W and 90C.

Like everyone has stated above, the power densities are absurd now. More heatsink and more radiator doesn't always net you more performance. IHS'es are also a hindrance. I'd rather return to the days of bare die CPUs. My 9900KS loves running that way on water.


Premium Member
Dec 6, 2010
It's sorta semi modern, V6GT from CoolerMaster on 3 X99 Designare-EX MB's with i7 6800K clocked at 4GHZ




"That Backfired" Senior Member
Jun 5, 2013
Go Blue!
Liquid cooling is much effective to remove excess heat and distilled water can be used. As water transfers heat much more efficiently than air it is highly effective also you won't get disturbed by the sound of constantly running fans with high rpms.

There are fans on both water and air coolers. The myth that water cooling is quieter is exactly that, a myth. As far as noise is concerned, it is easier to keep a fan quiet on an air heatsink than mounted on a radiator.


Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Dec 15, 2008
I think the point is that for the same amount of cooling, you can run fans lower when using water because it's more efficient at removing heat. For example, 2 of the same fans on a 2x120 mm rad or or heatsink, chances are the radiator is going to cool better while using a lower fan speed (obviously there are exceptions to this).
Dec 13, 2005
Got air cooling on my 6700K, and with a couple Noctuas on a Scythe Ninja it's actually quieter @ 4.4 than the 2600 in my HTPC is undervolted.

Though that could be because the Node 202 my HTPC's in isn't exactly the pinnacle of thermal efficiency...