Question PC ATX Cooling - what are the options?

Dec 11, 2020
4
1
15
Hello there :)
I'm slightly rebuilding and preparing for a new rig...when there is stock ( LOL )
My current PC is relatively old, but still in the game. What I want to understand is the following:
1. Cooling - liquid? Air? which is better?
2. Which brand and product is good? Better? Best?
3. I wish (I know, I know...) to RGB the whole case a little. So RGB cooling is my 2nd step (the case is Razer Tomahawk, so it started) and I wonder what to buy.

final detail is that i'm fine with most prices, want to outfit better parts, but I do consider quality over price over quality.

P.S.
not sure if needed, the specs are:
MB MSI Gaming Pro b150
NVIDIA 1060
i7 CPU 6700 @3.40gGHz

THANK YOU for any help or advice :)
 

Kaamos_Llama

Moderator
Jan 31, 2020
808
803
1,780
Hi and welcome!

1. It depends on the situation.
2. Best is a custom loop with copper radiators and a proper pump. There are some semi custom, open loop coolers available with copper rads and better quality pumps which sit as a half step down to the aluminium radiators with cheaper pumps of the normal CLC's you'll find on the market from Corsair, NZXT et al.
3. For RGB and ease of installation you're better off with an closed loop water cooler(CLC) for best visual effect.

If you go AIO get at very least a 240mm model, anything smaller is not worth it unless you are going for a compact ITX build when compared to air coolers.

Dual tower air coolers like the Noctua NHD-15 will perform around the same as a 240mm CLC for the most part.

CLC's are much more compatible with large RAM heat spreaders and slimmer cases, they also make it easier to work in your system. They will need to be replaced eventually as the liquid will slowly evaporate over time, and the pump will give out one day. A large air cooler is hard to work around and less compatible. However air coolers will last literally forever, and have zero chance of leaking.

Depending on the workload, any overclocking, voltage used, ambient room temperatures, airflow in case etc etc, a 240mm CLC or large dual tower air cooler should be enough for anything on the market. Personally I'd prefer to go with a 280mm cooler to be on the safe side if I was going to be upgrading to an 11700K/Ryzen 5900 or above. Below that 240mm/large air should be sufficient for anything.

Your 6700 will be easily cooled at stock by pretty much any air cooler or CLC.

If you still would like to go with an air cooler, the NHD-15S has no front fan for RAM compatibility and the heatsink is offset to allow for more space between it and your GPU. You can add a fan if you like for a couple degrees extra cooling, it comes with clips but you'd have to buy an extra fan.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15S 82.52 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.95 @ Amazon)
Total: $89.95
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-11 13:14 EDT-0400

Other dual towers are available and just as good, but this is the most compatible, there's a Chromax black edition thats hard to find at the moment that looks better if you could find it..

I'm not to up on the best CLC models to choose these days as they iterate all the time on very similar designs, in fact many are made by the same couple of OEMs and rebranded by companies like Corsair. However I do know this one reviewed well at Gamers Nexus and has plenty of RGB for you.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM 97 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($129.99 @ Corsair)
Total: $129.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-11 13:50 EDT-0400

If you wont overclock anything to the bleeding edge and you don't want an air cooler, a 240mm CLC should be sufficient for anything on the market:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Deepcool GAMERSTORM CAPTAIN 240PRO V2 69.34 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($105.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $105.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-11 14:10 EDT-0400

This one reviews well enough for performance, although I have to say I know absolutely nothing about RGB controls and the like. No judgement intended just not my bag.

If you have more questions let me know, I do go on sometimes :p
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: nallatheryth
Dec 11, 2020
4
1
15
Hi and welcome!

1. It depends on the situation.
2. Best is a custom loop with copper radiators and a proper pump. There are some semi custom, open loop coolers available with copper rads and better quality pumps which sit as a half step down to the aluminium radiators with cheaper pumps of the normal CLC's you'll find on the market from Corsair, NZXT et al.
3. For RGB and ease of installation you're better off with an closed loop water cooler(CLC) for best visual effect.

If you go AIO get at very least a 240mm model, anything smaller is not worth it unless you are going for a compact ITX build when compared to air coolers.

Dual tower air coolers like the Noctua NHD-15 will perform around the same as a 240mm CLC for the most part.

CLC's are much more compatible with large RAM heat spreaders and slimmer cases, they also make it easier to work in your system. They will need to be replaced eventually as the liquid will slowly evaporate over time, and the pump will give out one day. A large air cooler is hard to work around and less compatible. However air coolers will last literally forever, and have zero chance of leaking.

Depending on the workload, any overclocking, voltage used, ambient room temperatures, airflow in case etc etc, a 240mm CLC or large dual tower air cooler should be enough for anything on the market. Personally I'd prefer to go with a 280mm cooler to be on the safe side if I was going to be upgrading to an 11700K/Ryzen 5900 or above. Below that 240mm/large air should be sufficient for anything.

Your 6700 will be easily cooled at stock by pretty much any air cooler or CLC.

If you still would like to go with an air cooler, the NHD-15S has no front fan for RAM compatibility and the heatsink is offset to allow for more space between it and your GPU. You can add a fan if you like for a couple degrees extra cooling, it comes with clips but you'd have to buy an extra fan.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15S 82.52 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.95 @ Amazon)
Total: $89.95
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-11 13:14 EDT-0400


Other dual towers are available and just as good, but this is the most compatible, there's a Chromax black edition thats hard to find at the moment that looks better if you could find it..

I'm not to up on the best CLC models to choose these days as they iterate all the time on very similar designs, in fact many are made by the same couple of OEMs and rebranded by companies like Corsair. However I do know this one reviewed well at Gamers Nexus and has plenty of RGB for you.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM 97 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($129.99 @ Corsair)
Total: $129.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-11 13:50 EDT-0400


If you wont overclock anything to the bleeding edge and you don't want an air cooler, a 240mm CLC should be sufficient for anything on the market:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Deepcool GAMERSTORM CAPTAIN 240PRO V2 69.34 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($105.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $105.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-11 14:10 EDT-0400


This one reviews well enough for performance, although I have to say I know absolutely nothing about RGB controls and the like. No judgement intended just not my bag.

If you have more questions let me know, I do go on sometimes :p
THANK YOU! I'm on in researching and finding the parts nearby. Checking compatibility etc. I am thinking of doing an overkill, because soon I will changer MB, CPU and GPU (basically the PC itself) and cooling will be more essential :)

Thank you again Kaamos!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kaamos_Llama
Dec 11, 2020
4
1
15
Hi and welcome!

1. It depends on the situation.
2. Best is a custom loop with copper radiators and a proper pump. There are some semi custom, open loop coolers available with copper rads and better quality pumps which sit as a half step down to the aluminium radiators with cheaper pumps of the normal CLC's you'll find on the market from Corsair, NZXT et al.
3. For RGB and ease of installation you're better off with an closed loop water cooler(CLC) for best visual effect.

If you go AIO get at very least a 240mm model, anything smaller is not worth it unless you are going for a compact ITX build when compared to air coolers.

Dual tower air coolers like the Noctua NHD-15 will perform around the same as a 240mm CLC for the most part.

CLC's are much more compatible with large RAM heat spreaders and slimmer cases, they also make it easier to work in your system. They will need to be replaced eventually as the liquid will slowly evaporate over time, and the pump will give out one day. A large air cooler is hard to work around and less compatible. However air coolers will last literally forever, and have zero chance of leaking.

Depending on the workload, any overclocking, voltage used, ambient room temperatures, airflow in case etc etc, a 240mm CLC or large dual tower air cooler should be enough for anything on the market. Personally I'd prefer to go with a 280mm cooler to be on the safe side if I was going to be upgrading to an 11700K/Ryzen 5900 or above. Below that 240mm/large air should be sufficient for anything.

Your 6700 will be easily cooled at stock by pretty much any air cooler or CLC.

If you still would like to go with an air cooler, the NHD-15S has no front fan for RAM compatibility and the heatsink is offset to allow for more space between it and your GPU. You can add a fan if you like for a couple degrees extra cooling, it comes with clips but you'd have to buy an extra fan.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15S 82.52 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.95 @ Amazon)
Total: $89.95
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-11 13:14 EDT-0400


Other dual towers are available and just as good, but this is the most compatible, there's a Chromax black edition thats hard to find at the moment that looks better if you could find it..

I'm not to up on the best CLC models to choose these days as they iterate all the time on very similar designs, in fact many are made by the same couple of OEMs and rebranded by companies like Corsair. However I do know this one reviewed well at Gamers Nexus and has plenty of RGB for you.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM 97 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($129.99 @ Corsair)
Total: $129.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-11 13:50 EDT-0400


If you wont overclock anything to the bleeding edge and you don't want an air cooler, a 240mm CLC should be sufficient for anything on the market:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Deepcool GAMERSTORM CAPTAIN 240PRO V2 69.34 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($105.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $105.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-11 14:10 EDT-0400


This one reviews well enough for performance, although I have to say I know absolutely nothing about RGB controls and the like. No judgement intended just not my bag.

If you have more questions let me know, I do go on sometimes :p

After a week of thinking and research, I remain with the following concept and follow-up questions:
1. Upgrade the whole cooling system, once I get a new MB, CPU & GPU (who know what will change by the time there IS stock :( )
2 . The AIO CLC are best for stock ( I never liked overclocking and probably never will do it)
Questions:
1. https://lian-li.com/ - is that provider good as well? I see his parts often. Razer Tomahawk is...a rip-off of Lian Li case hahaha
2. From the brands, what should I be aware to keep away from?

the support of the case is as follows:
...up to a 360mm-long liquid-cooling radiator behind the front panel ...
...a radiator up to 240mm long can be mounted up top ...
so summing it up, I will want to add TOP & FRONT coolers, where TOP = air, FRONT= liquid

and finally, in your honest opinion, how much should I be hurrying to upgrade? ...considering the upgrading will net me around € 3000-€ 4000...

...if, and actually WHEN I upgrade, it will be either with current or latest gen of all parts (RAM probably included as 16 GB are not enough nowadays)



P.S. consider I am in Europe and more importantly, in Bulgaria. Deliveries from the US are sometimes more expensive than the item :/ sux...I know
 

Kaamos_Llama

Moderator
Jan 31, 2020
808
803
1,780
Sorry to leave you hanging, I've been busy and forgot. I'm in Europe myself we'll manage O.K :)

Whether you should be rushing to upgrade is entirely up to you. an I7 6700 might be a few years old but it can still play everything out there. IMO Its time to upgrade when your performance is not as good as you want it to be and when you have the money spare for it. I dont think anyone can decide those things for you ,)

I've never used a Lian Li case but people like them, and they are considered to be very well built. As long as a case provides enough room for your parts and decent airflow then go for whatever you like the look of. You can usually find a few reviews of whatever you're looking at and decide from there. If its a really bad one for cooling it will be easy to find out about if its from one of the major brands in Google.

What cooling you will need will depend on which CPU you go with in the end, so bear in mind I was assuming based on your budget you'd be getting a Ryzen 5800x or an Intel 11600 or up... Below that you can go with a mid range air cooler quite happily and not lose anything much in performance.

All 240mm CLC radiator are generally going to perform around the same as other 240mm radiators.

Look for reviews on Techpowerup, Guru 3d, KitGuru, Gamers Nexus (Youtube) Vortez. Places that compare the coolers to many others give you a much better idea of how they perform for noise

The main difference is usually in the fan noise. Loud high RPM fans make performance numbers look better on a graph, but its better to have a CPU 5-10 C warmer without a jet engine running next to you while gaming. It wont actually affect performance much, if at all. There is nuance here too as fans dont have to be run at 100% but its worth noting.

This one is apparently decent if you want a specific recommendation.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU Cooler: Deepcool Castle 240 RGB V2 69.34 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler (€101.89 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Total: €101.89
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-22 20:34 CEST+0200


Finally its fine to mount the cooler at the front, but make sure that the pump block is not the highest point of the cooler. Air bubbles in the pump will wear it out more quickly. Heres a vid explaining what I mean.
 

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