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Cooling Issue?

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#1 theonlybuster


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Posted 10 September 2014 - 02:00 PM

I've been toggling between high end air cooling and simple water cooling my PC, more specifically my CPU.  I've read time and time again that there's really no need to water cool unless you're overclocking OR the environment is hot.  Now I'm not planning on overclocking, if I do it'll be very reserved. So needless to say I'm teetering more towards air cooling than water cooling.

The only thing is after beginning to buy parts, I haven't noticed much change with my temperatures. 
Now I know you can't cool the computer lower than room temperature via air cooling.


The room is roughly 76 degrees F, my computer is running over 100 degrees F while idle.  Again, it's not an insane set up, it's not even really a gaming set up.  It's more or a less a simple computer running a Core I3 with 8GB of RAM.  Like I said, simple build. 


Now every so often I do put a strain on it by playing a game every now and then; older less intense games.  Of course I put my fans on 100% and try to limit my gaming so internal components don't get too hot for too long. 

My life story out of the way, I had a few questions.
Should I get an all-in-one water-cooler for the CPU to cool it down or will that do little more than the fans?
Should I add more directed fans?
Am I over-thinking this?



Case is a Cooler Master HAF X w/ the stock fans
Intake: Front (230mm), Side(200mm).  Outtake: Top(200mm), Back(140mm). Additional (140mm) fan "free floating" blowing on GPU
Current Heat Sink: Evo 212 (in push-pull)

Wiring is mostly out of the way of all fans by design
Case is on a table so lots of space
Room Temperature 76 degrees F

Not over-clocked (though considering it in the future)

Edited by theonlybuster, 10 September 2014 - 02:01 PM.

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#2 jonuk76


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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:46 PM

The idle temperature is not so important.  It's on the warm side compared to my i5, but where I am is a heck of a lot colder than South Florida :)  What you need to look at in more detail are the load temperatures.


FWIW, I don't think water cooling is required nor would it really benefit your setup.  A Core i3 is not a particularly difficult processor to cool.  If it had been an FX-9590 or i7-4960X or something of that nature then yes, these are hot running chips and they can need a lot of cooling.  In tests I've seen, the Evo 212 has similar cooling ability to the more basic all in one water cooling kits anyway.


What is important is that whatever you have is fitted properly, so using a minimal amount of good quality thermal paste and everything tightened down properly so that there is good cpu to heatsink contact.  Here's an interesting article on thermal compound application I hadn't seen before.  Perhaps the "X" is a way to go.  In recent years I've settled on the rice grain blob in the middle of the CPU, which seems to work quite well.  You might have to modify the amount with exposed heatpipe coolers, as there are larger gaps involved.


BTW If you want to really push the CPU to see what it heats up to under load, Prime 95 will do it (set to Small FFT's for maximum stress...)

Edited by jonuk76, 10 September 2014 - 09:58 PM.


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