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Replacing motherboard, need new cooling.

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Jan 19, 2004
I'm replacing the motherboard for my i7 2600k. It's been doomed to stock speeds due to a slowly failing motherboard, and now that I'm at the point where half the USB ports are dead and the Gb Ethernet port has quit on me, I've decided to hold off on upgrading and instead spend the money on cooling and replacing the board.

I know all I *need* is air cooling to get good speeds out of this processor, but I'm contemplating trying to water cool it or even go for extreme cooling. A good cooling system seems like something that I can keep using when I do finally upgrade, particularly if the loop is custom. I've never done it before, though, and have zero experience on things like phase-change cooling either.

General cooling:

Is it worth it to specifically cool the SSD, HDD, or RAM these days? If so, what is the best way to go about it?

Air cooling:

Years ago, the Vantec Tornado was boss for air cooling, though it sounded like an engine. Is a comparable product available now that can haul the CFM?

Shroud or don't shroud the CPU?

I have two EVGA 760's in SLI. Is there a better air cooler than the stock one they have?

Water cooling:

Do I want a closed loop system?

Are AIO loops inferior to custom ones?

Do I want to connect the video cards to the same loop, have a separate loop for them, or leave them on air? (Space is not an issue at all)

Extreme Cooling:

What thread should I be looking at as a starting point for this CPU and socket fit?

I'm a bit of a fish out of water on this aspect of things and I've done so much research toward my purpose I feel like my brain is missing some key bits of information.:confused: Help!


Apr 26, 2012
New York, USA
If you really want water, go custom. I wouldn't bother watercooling the GPUs, as they're pretty old and it's going to be difficult to find blocks for them. However, if you spend the money on putting the CPU under water, most modern blocks will fit any CPU, and when you upgrade GPUs you can add more rad (if needed), and add the GPU to the loop if you want.

It gets expensive quick though, so you may wish to just go with an NH-D15 and call it a day.