I'm curious what you guys think!
I started with a simple prefilled Liquid CPU Cooling system but then upgraded to the XSPC custom liquid cooling kit (with the hopes of liquid cooling my graphics card one day). This said, I've always stuck with liquid cooling, but for those of you who have used air cooling, or both, what's your opinions on them? Which do you prefer?
This is the current liquid cooling system I have. =)
I'm a newb when it comes to building so for now, Air-Cooled. Noise really isn't an issue but heat is. Maybe next summer I'll add a liquid cooler to my set up.
Nice loop! Liquid is simply more efficient than air, and the cost has come down so much that I think liquid just makes sense. Most of these kits are easier to install than many high-end air coolers and the lower temps are worth it. I don't have time/patience for custom loops, but off-the-shelf closed-loop liquid coolers clearly win in my book.
CPU i will always put it under custom Water Cooling because upgrading CPU/MB is not something you do very often. Also even if you upgrade the block will most likely work for the new system. For GPUs is a bit different. I would thing dont spend more then 25% of the cards price on a Water Block. For example with Blocks priced ~ $100-120 it means you should have a least a $400 priced card. Some card benefit more form going Water then other. General rule is dont spend the extra money to watercool a card when you can use that money to buy the next Tier card. I have 2 x 290X under water and the case for me was that stock coolers sucked so not only i got better cooling and performance but also reduced noise. If you buy something like a 390X today the coolers are much much better so going water will not be optimal. Another thing is that buy going water make sure you are going to keep those cards for long time.
From using both Air and Liquid, I'll honestly say that looks is a pretty big difference. The good thing about Air cooling is that its generally less expensive and it isn't as high maintenance as a liquid cooler is (if running a custom loop). Really good air cooling manufacturers like Noctua are worth it if you want amazing performance with an air cooler. Now what I love about water coolers is how they look. I replace my heat sink and fan with a Corsair H80i and I gotta say that it looked amazing in my phanteks enthoo pro, and thanks to the RBG lighting it matched with many of the hardware changes I did. Now moving from CLC's we go to Full on custom loops which I currently run ATM, and honestly I think are very worth it. Although you do have the price premium of the custom loop which can be a drawback. The fact that expand ability is an option and you have something to call yours is definitely a plus. If I ever want to decide to cool my GPU or add some more overclocking headroom by adding an extra rad I can (which is something you cant do with normal CLC's and aircoolers)
When it comes to performance they all fall around the same range, but if you want connivance, expand ability, and awesomeness, Ill personally say that custom loops are awesome!
personally the first pc i did a loop with got me hooked on it . i always use watercooling now . i also use the xspc raystorm and the razor gpu waterblocks to match .
I apologize for my foolish gesture, If you want to save money, and get maximum air cooling quality, use a case with "Zonda" airflow, straight from the front to the back.