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Old February 5, 2016, 08:41 AM
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Question Need advice for AIO cpu cooler (I'm all over the place)

So if you've been to cases, air cooling and now here, you know that I'm still looking for a final downgrade from HAF-X to possibly Design S.

I've seen a lot of water cooling posts and I don't want to go into a complicated setup with many parts that can fail. I know, it's safer than I think.

But I do like the clean look of a water cooled cpu. I guess, if I go that route, I'd be getting an AIO unit.

But which one. I like when things run cool and silent. That being said I don't (and can't) OC. I just like the look of it. Are AIO reliable? What is their lifespan? Which unit should I get for silent running and clean look.
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Old February 5, 2016, 09:07 AM
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Quiet AIOs are in the 280mm range since 140mm fans spin slower than 120mm fans. Those coolers would be the NZXT Kraken x61 and Corsair H110i GT.

The thing is these AIO's fans have to spin at max RPM which is loud, to keep with the dual tower air coolers like Noctua NH-D15 and Phanteks PH-TC14PE which are very quiet.
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Old February 5, 2016, 09:13 AM
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I have been very pleased with my Swiftech AIO coolers. I started out with an original H220 and now am running a H240-X.

My original H220, I was a very early adopter, has some issues but the support from Swiftech was beyond great. Whole story there, I won't bore you with details, but enough to say that support alone keeps me looking at their products.

The H240-X runs quiet for me, even under load. Now in my experience with these AIO coolers they are quiet but because you add the pump I believe a large fan air cooler or a custom loop can be quieter. The latter because although you have pump noise you have more control over placement so you can put it low in your case, away from openings etc. to make the pump noise less noticiable. I had an air cooled system with a large dual fan heatsink and it was very quiet. But like you I love the look of a AIO cooled CPU. Let's you see more of your montherboard, RAM, etc. So my two cents, very happy with Swiftech. They are expandable to a custom loop if you want to go that way in future. They have several new impressive looking units displayed at CES2016 I believe it was. They are on their site now, the H220 X2, H240 X2, Prestige etc. Very snazzy looking

In terms of maintenance, for the models I have Swiftech recommends flushing and cleaning every 3 years. Because of the design of their AIO this isn't a hard process. Did it once before on the H220. Otherwise it is pretty much install and forget. Pump is supposed to have long life, 3 year warranty. Plus theirs comes with a niffy PWM fan header/splitter that is handy.
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Old February 5, 2016, 09:14 AM
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If you are not overclocking, the stock intel air cooler (I am assuming intel) works fine. The majority of computers use the stock cooler.

If like the look of the AIO units you have to decide on a price point.

I tend to steer people towards the NZXT line simply because it has a six year warranty.

Corsair is 5 years.
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Old February 5, 2016, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweenytodd View Post
Quiet AIOs are in the 280mm range since 140mm fans spin slower than 120mm fans. Those coolers would be the NZXT Kraken x61 and Corsair H110i GT.

The thing is these AIO's fans have to spin at max RPM which is loud, to keep with the dual tower air coolers like Noctua NH-D15 and Phanteks PH-TC14PE which are very quiet.
Just comment on this, my fans on the Swiftech AIO don't have to spin at max. They are hooked up to behave PWM as is the pump so everything just spins up as necessary. When my system is idling you would hardly know it's on unless you were right now with your ear next to it. Do you mean they have to spin at max to keep up with air cooling options? Not sure that is true either but that would require some research. I get significantly better cooling with my AIO than I did with my air cooled setup, but the air cooled wasn't a Noctua.
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Old February 5, 2016, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysrin View Post
Just comment on this, my fans on the Swiftech AIO don't have to spin at max. They are hooked up to behave PWM as is the pump so everything just spins up as necessary. When my system is idling you would hardly know it's on unless you were right now with your ear next to it. Do you mean they have to spin at max to keep up with air cooling options? Not sure that is true either but that would require some research. I get significantly better cooling with my AIO than I did with my air cooled setup, but the air cooled wasn't a Noctua.
It's different for CLCs (closed loop coolers) and you have a Swiftech which is an AIO.





Just imagine a the H100i which is loud as hell.
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Old February 5, 2016, 09:26 AM
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He's correct. When overclocking and at load, the NH-D15 is actually quieter than 240/280 sealed solutions, unless you manually modify their operational range, at which point they won't perform as well.

This is a combination of PWM and the upper rpm range allowed on the fan models they use more so than anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayoo View Post
So if you've been to cases, air cooling and now here, you know that I'm still looking for a final downgrade from HAF-X to possibly Design S.

I've seen a lot of water cooling posts and I don't want to go into a complicated setup with many parts that can fail. I know, it's safer than I think.

But I do like the clean look of a water cooled cpu. I guess, if I go that route, I'd be getting an AIO unit.

But which one. I like when things run cool and silent. That being said I don't (and can't) OC. I just like the look of it. Are AIO reliable? What is their lifespan? Which unit should I get for silent running and clean look.
You're running stock. Get a single tower cooler (Hyper 212, U12S) and call it a day. Small, clean, quiet, little to no maintenance, and only 1 point of failure (the fan).

If you are adamant about AIO, literally everything on the market will work fine for you.

If you want something REALLY clean, get the NH-D9L. It conforms to the keep out zones of the socket and will run better than the stock cooler, but don't expect miracles. I don't think I have any photos of mine in my M1, so I can't show you how it looks directly, but a google search will show you the heatsink on a variety of different sized motherboards. It will allow easy access to all components on the board, but so will the single tower, and you will certainly have plenty of room in a Define S anyway.
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Old February 5, 2016, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweenytodd View Post
It's different for CLCs (closed loop coolers) and you have a Swiftech which is an AIO.
You know I didn't realise there was that significant a difference between a CLC and an AIO, and to be honest I am sure I have seen people use the terms interchangably. Aside from the performance behaviour difference is the AIO expandable and CLC not? Is that the difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vittra View Post
You're running stock. Get a single tower cooler (Hyper 212, U12S) and call it a day. Small, clean, quiet, little to no maintenance, and only 1 point of failure (the fan).
I had one of the bolded 212 Evo air coolers and it is still great. Installed in my daughter's PC. Very cheap, great performance for the price and as Vittra said quiet. I think they are still less than $50, even cheaper on sale.

The consequence of failure in custom loop or an AIO is something that does still cross my mind. A leak could be expensive. With the air ones at least you still have the time provided by the big heatsink if the fans fail and there is nothing to leak onto your other expensive components!
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Old February 5, 2016, 10:39 AM
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The Scythe products are a great alternative in the game between the Hyper 212 Evo / Nocuta U12S, but unfortunately they are very hard to procure in Canada, and pointless to do so with the exchange rate.

Otherwise, the Kotetsu and Mugen4 are great options. I believe the Ashura is the older version prior to the Kotetsu.

I just don't see the point of an AIO/CLC at all for a CPU running stock, unless you are space constrained... which is not the case in a Define S. They have a lot of downsides for just aesthetic preference. Shrug.
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Old February 5, 2016, 12:21 PM
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Thanks everyone, I think I made up my mind about this. I'll stick to air unless I go OC one day.

I've read and I apreciated all answers.
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