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AIO liquid coolers worth a damn


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Trying to plan out a new computer. Long story short, need to run a liquid cooler, couldn't find a TR4 compatible air cooler with the cooling capacity I wanted that wouldn't block the first PCIe lane. So I'm looking into an AIO as I don't have the desire or means to mess with a custom loop. However, the issue I'm running into is I keep finding them with mixed metals. Things like a copper cold plate and an aluminum radiator. I'm starting to go a bit cross eyed trying to find one that's either all copper or all aluminum. 

So what's out there? Are there any with homogeneous metals in the loop?

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I have run the Corsair 240mm AiO's and I have now run the alphacool Eisbaer 360mm.

The corsair started having temperature fluctuations that I wont tolerate, so I got the alphacool unit.

They both perform well, with the alphacool being cooler due to larger capacity. 

The alphacool is all copper as far as I know, no idea about the corsair.

I do like the idea of expandable water cooler's, but parts for gpu's from each company may be difficult to get. (waiting for gpu waterblock right now for the alphacool setup)

EKWB makes some kits and I am sure several other companies do as well. 

 

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Your not going to get away from the mixed metals in the basic bitch AIO market, hell there will always be some sort of different metal even in custom loops. Radiators, blocks, pumps, fittings, etc 

I know EKWB had one as well that you could upgrade/add too, but it was also plagued by the same mixed metals problem too, but I swear I remember them discontinuing/upgrading it, so that maybe a possibility to do some research on https://www.ekwb.com/solutions/all-in-one/#phoenix-liquid-cooling They also have these kits starting at a decent price too https://www.ekwb.com/solutions/kits/ 

Really though if you use a fluid with anti-corrosive properties and change it every couple 6-12 months (depending on pc up time of coarse) there shouldnt be any real issues.
That being said since all the shit AIOs that are the same with a different logo for the most part cant have fluid added or changed unless you put a valve inline on one of the tubes or you buy the new Enermax Liqfusion which has a filll port on the radiator. https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835214084&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=11552995&PID=8504176&SID= But for $118 the EK solution seems like a better value.

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Also the Corsair AIO are shit as far as Im concerned 
They last about a year until you need to RMA them for pump failures due to crap pumps, or cooling badly due to evaporated water.

I sold my old one to a guy on the forums here after only using it a couple months before doing a real loop. I had RMA'ed the unit 2 times already for him, so he is on his 3rd one (including the original one he bought from me and 2 replacements)!
At least he keeps getting the updated model each time, but it is a pita to ship it to me to then ship to corsair then have them ship it back to me so I can then ship it to him so they honor the warranty.

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AIO and custom water coolers are mostly just for show and an excuse to spend money frivolously.  The $100+ you spend on the cooler will not let the overclocked extra speed be more than if you just spent $100 more on the next couple steps up of CPU....so you should just spend that extra $100+ on the better cpu and not overclock it.  You'll retain the warranty and your computer won't look like a Nogales special, replete with curb feelers and boomerang antennae.

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The 2 main companies that make AIO water coolers are Asetek and CoolIt that make them for almost all the brands that sell an AIO with a different logo. CoolerMaster use to be in that boat too, but for the last few gens they been doing their own, though a couple models are still made by others.


A quality air cooler such as Noctua will be on par if not better than most AIO water coolers and will come with a better grade fan in most scenarios. 

When you think about it you buy a AIO that is 240mm radiator with 2 120mm fans or you buy a cooler with multiple heatpipes going to each of the 2 large stacks that have a 120mm fan mounted on both... Surface area is bout the same in both scenarios and will come down to fan technology that can move the most air the most efficient way while remaining quietest and Ill put my money on Noctua fans anyday for doing just that. Normally coolers will have a wattage rating on them or mentioned in the specs for how much heat they can dissipate so that is something to keep an eye out for.

Granted taking that $100ish dollars and buying the next step up CPU is not always a viable option unless your buying a lower tier/model chip to begin with, and when thats the case for Intel you wont be able to overclock it unless the model number ends in a K or X which means its unlocked for overclocking.

That being said, I still firmly believe you need a quality cooler and not some random piece of crap because the lower you can keep your temps the higher the cpu will boost up to in speed. If its running hot its not going to boost up much if any and will most likely throttle if cooling is not adequate.

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4 hours ago, audiofanaticz said:

The 2 main companies that make AIO water coolers are Asetek and CoolIt that make them for almost all the brands that sell an AIO with a different logo. CoolerMaster use to be in that boat too, but for the last few gens they been doing their own, though a couple models are still made by others.


A quality air cooler such as Noctua will be on par if not better than most AIO water coolers and will come with a better grade fan in most scenarios. 

When you think about it you buy a AIO that is 240mm radiator with 2 120mm fans or you buy a cooler with multiple heatpipes going to each of the 2 large stacks that have a 120mm fan mounted on both... Surface area is bout the same in both scenarios and will come down to fan technology that can move the most air the most efficient way while remaining quietest and Ill put my money on Noctua fans anyday for doing just that. Normally coolers will have a wattage rating on them or mentioned in the specs for how much heat they can dissipate so that is something to keep an eye out for.

Granted taking that $100ish dollars and buying the next step up CPU is not always a viable option unless your buying a lower tier/model chip to begin with, and when thats the case for Intel you wont be able to overclock it unless the model number ends in a K or X which means its unlocked for overclocking.

That being said, I still firmly believe you need a quality cooler and not some random piece of crap because the lower you can keep your temps the higher the cpu will boost up to in speed. If its running hot its not going to boost up much if any and will most likely throttle if cooling is not adequate.

Yeah my first choice was air. But there's a space constraint in play that won't allow me to fit a large enough air cooler

Was looking at NZXT. 6 year warranty is pretty appealing but supposedly both them and Corsair are made by asetek, which just adds to the confusion when there's a lot of talk about corsair having weak pumps. Lots of stuff to think about.

 

If you have any first hand experience with some I'm all ears. Always tough to narrow something down in a huge market. The 2 points I'm looking for are a 360mm radiator and TR4 socket compatibility 

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Ive only messed with the corsair for a temp setup until I ordered all the parts for a small real loop, then redid it all later with hardline tubing and 3 radiators.

I think the corsair unit had something like a 5 year warranty on it too, but when your on the 3rd updated model what good is said warranty. Sure they replace it free of charge and you just pay shipping to to rma it, but then there you sit for 2-4 weeks without a cooler which usually means without a running machine unless you got a backup to toss in there.

I would go with the modular EKWB setup, 360mm rad with integrated pump, tr4 socket for $264. Quick disconnect fittings so you could even add a gpu waterblock if you wanted. You can configure it how you want it. https://www.ekwb.com/solutions/all-in-one/#phoenix-qdc
At the end of the day EK WaterBlocks is one of the best names in water cooling, BitsPower is alright too but they dont have a AIO solution I dont think.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been running this Corsair H100i for about 5 years now.  The biggest issue I see with them is people dont go into the bios and turn off the thermal fan speed throttling, then wonder why they're overheating.

I've had zero issues with it.

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