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Finally thinking of biting the bullet on an AIO. Any recommendations?

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Vishera

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
So, summer's made it very apparent that my tower cooler is a bit...lacking. The fan died on it, but I never did anything that overly stressed the CPU, plus it sticks out right in front of my front panel fans, so I've just had it mounted fanless, as a passive cooler, and that's worked fine. Even now, my computer isn't exactly overheating, just getting a bit toastier than I'd like. I'd like to get an AIO to replace the tower cooler, but I'm not really sure which one, or how wide of a radiator, I should get. I think I'm gonna want a 240mm? I've OC'd my CPU to 3.7GHz, around 1.3v, so I'd imagine a 120mm might be a little too small. Not sure though.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
I've been happy with my arctic 280mm AIO. Doesn't have an the RGB crap either, so costs a good chunk less for the same it better performance.

 

freeagent

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Location
Winnipeg!
I looked at the Arctic's and Galahad's.. I just cant bring myself to buy one. If you do buy one, make sure its either got a long warranty, or a fill port so you can top it up.. Permeation is real. Mind you the CPU you are running right now is a pretty easy load. After we are done our road trip I will probably put together my first loop.
 
OP
Vishera

Vishera

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
I looked at the Arctic's and Galahad's.. I just cant bring myself to buy one. If you do buy one, make sure its either got a long warranty, or a fill port so you can top it up.. Permeation is real. Mind you the CPU you are running right now is a pretty easy load. After we are done our road trip I will probably put together my first loop.

See, I considered custom as well, but that's really daunting, and spending a few hundred dollars on cooling doesn't exactly sit right with me. Plus, my GPU doesn't exactly need to be water cooled, so if I'm just doing the CPU anyways, an AIO seems like it'd do just fine. I guess being able to top up the loop whenever I want would be a nice bonus, but I'm not too concerned about it right now.

I've been happy with my arctic 280mm AIO. Doesn't have an the RGB crap either, so costs a good chunk less for the same it better performance.

I actually just checked my case specs, a 280 could go up top, but I don't think I have the motherboard clearance. So I'm limited to 120, 240, or 360mm on the front, and 120 on the back.
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
240 will be fine. Arctic seem to be pretty good coolers, they've been out for a bit now (well over a year) and horror stories haven't been coming out like we saw with Ennermax. The old advice was that they're all the same except for the fans (they were all made by the same company, asetek, but recently companies have found more ways around the patent.

I feel like Gamer's Nexus used to do a better job of making articles to back their videos for reference, but either way this is a pretty up to date comparison of AIOs available.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
See, I considered custom as well, but that's really daunting, and spending a few hundred dollars on cooling doesn't exactly sit right with me. Plus, my GPU doesn't exactly need to be water cooled, so if I'm just doing the CPU anyways, an AIO seems like it'd do just fine. I guess being able to top up the loop whenever I want would be a nice bonus, but I'm not too concerned about it right now.



I actually just checked my case specs, a 280 could go up top, but I don't think I have the motherboard clearance. So I'm limited to 120, 240, or 360mm on the front, and 120 on the back.
They offer different sizes, I just run a 280 in my case, for example.

For what it's worth if you watch the gamers Nexus video about the cooler, it is my understand that there has been revisions to make the install far easier. (Mounting the cooler on the cpu was a 3-hand-job for me on my Ryzen).

 

freeagent

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Location
Winnipeg!
See, I considered custom as well, but that's really daunting, and spending a few hundred dollars on cooling doesn't exactly sit right with me.

I feel you man.. Its why I still run an air cooler :D

Like I said, make sure the one you buy has either a fill port or a good warranty, or both :D

I have my very light H100 down in the basement as a reminder to myself.
 

(G{in}[AK)TION]

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
I know its been mentioned here already, but please make super sure your case can handle an AIO.

I have a Corsair 570x that said it can handle a 280 or 360 on top of the case but when I tried to fit it in there, Neither would fit well due to clearnece with the motherboard.

So I would also look into getting a more spacious case. Full-ATX if possible.
 

MaddMutt

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
I feel you man.. Its why I still run an air cooler :D

Like I said, make sure the one you buy has either a fill port or a good warranty, or both :D

I have my very light H100 down in the basement as a reminder to myself.

^ I had BOTH of my H100 (V2)'s die within ~ 2 months of each other. They BOTH gave ~ 5yrs of light/moderate OCing. For the $100.00 each I paid for them, it was well worth it.
I would take your problem in steps. - 1) Purchase a new case that can run a 240mm/360mm up top and a 240mm/360mm in front (for later upgrades). - 2) Pick your AIO for current + later use (Can that MB run a better/hotter cpu??). - 3)You can also pick up a GPU AIO for your GTX-1660 later and know that it will fit in your case.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
The case clearance thing is a pretty big thing to consider. My old Phanteks Evo Pro [I believe] case couldn't clear the CPU PSU cable to the motherboard, or barely could. I moved to the Lian Li Dynamic XL and it can fit it, but it's still a bit tight against the top. Some radiators are thinner so would give more clearance. Granted, in my case (hah) I could use the side/back mount for a 120mm-(sized (120/240/360) which is what I use for my EVGA 3080 Hybrid.
 
OP
Vishera

Vishera

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
^ I had BOTH of my H100 (V2)'s die within ~ 2 months of each other. They BOTH gave ~ 5yrs of light/moderate OCing. For the $100.00 each I paid for them, it was well worth it.
I would take your problem in steps. - 1) Purchase a new case that can run a 240mm/360mm up top and a 240mm/360mm in front (for later upgrades). - 2) Pick your AIO for current + later use (Can that MB run a better/hotter cpu??). - 3)You can also pick up a GPU AIO for your GTX-1660 later and know that it will fit in your case.

The case clearance thing is a pretty big thing to consider. My old Phanteks Evo Pro [I believe] case couldn't clear the CPU PSU cable to the motherboard, or barely could. I moved to the Lian Li Dynamic XL and it can fit it, but it's still a bit tight against the top. Some radiators are thinner so would give more clearance. Granted, in my case (hah) I could use the side/back mount for a 120mm-(sized (120/240/360) which is what I use for my EVGA 3080 Hybrid.

Bigger case isn't really in the cards for the time being due to space constraints in my glorified closet of a bedroom. I am considering buying a used 3070 once the GPU market finishes plummeting, though, so maybe a full loop isn't quite as unjustified as I previously thought. The front of my case can support up to 2.5 inches of fan and radiator combined, and there's a 120 mount on the back that can pretty much be as thick as I like. Would I realistically need any more radiator space than that? I don't plan on overclocking my CPU any further than I already have, I just don't have the patience to do all of the various tweaking and rebooting and stress testing, and I don't see a 3070 generating an absurd amount of heat.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
Frankly I don't think it is overly needed. I went with AIO to make getting to my RAM a bit easier and for a cleaner look. The temps are fine, but I'm also not overclocking my 5900x, so it doesn't really matter.

Ultimately you will just have to measure the case clearances [top vs front] and then look at various AIOs to see what their thickness is + fan depth and go from there.
 

notarat

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
There's a guy on YouTube who used a bunch of parts from AlphaCool to create his own AIO which performed better than the pre-made ones.

I don't have the link handy but it looked easy to do and did perform better than any of the ones on the market.