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Should I Air Cool, or Water Cool?

Air Coolers versus Water Coolers

Descriptive explanation of the benefits, and downfalls of air and water cooling solutions.

Episode #4-33 released on May 3, 2014

This is a very hot topic, literally. Processors emit a lot of heat, and dealing with that heat can be tricky. Most processors come with a generic fan, that usually is fine, but some power users will push those fans to the limit. Overclockers, like myself, can, also, push the temperature up high if we were to stick with the generic fan the processor came with, so what is a person to do?

Well, we have a choice between air cool, and water cool solutions. Many get confused about the two solutions, because the majority of users presume water cooling to either be better, or more dangerous that air cooling. The truth is, ambient temperature reins king.

Let's talk about air coolers before we talk about water cooling solutions. First, air coolers are generally easier to install, although some huge heat sinks may cause installation issues if the computer chassis is smaller than usual. Installation are fairly rare since we can either install the air cooler outside the computer chassis onto the motherboard, and then install the main board, or they come with tools to make the job easier. Usually equipped with a single fan, some with two. Usually pretty efficient are cooling, however higher temperatures off processors may cause the heat sink to be excessively hot affecting other components reducing the life time of each of the devices. Does add some weight, flexing the mainboard in some cases, especially when mainboard is vertically installed.

Water coolers, their best quality is the fact that we displace the heat from immediately near other sensitive electronic components to the chassis, sometimes outside the chassis. Coming in a range of sizes usually with fans of either 120 or 140mm for each segment of the radiator, most have 1, 2 or 3 segments in prefilled, closed loops. Harder to install, requiring the help of another person in most cases, virtually impossible to install outside the box onto the board before hand, however does not add much weight to the mainboard reducing the likely hood that the traces in the mainboard become damaged. It has happened that some water cooling kits have leaked in the past, no technology is absolutely flawless.

Either way, if you are willing to spend a little extra time with the installation process of a professional air cooler, or water cooler, you will experience lower temperatures when gaming, heavy work loads, even overclocking.

Remember to have fun, and take your time installing the hardware in your computer.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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