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H100i V2 disappointed.


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Previous cooler was a $35.00 Enermax ETS-T40F-TB (4 pile air, single fan)

On my I7-3770K overclocked to 4.5 GHZ, it maintained 30c at idle and 68-70 under 100% load.

 

I was hoping the AIO cooler would do a bit better, but it gets me 31-35c idle and 67-73 full load, slightly worse.

 

Pump is performance mode, fans are at balanced mode speed. Setting the fans to performance mode has no effect.

 

Case temp (Just below fans) is 27c Coolant is 33.3, and outlet air temp is 30.

 

I've remounted the pump several times with varying amounts of TIM, and can see an even coat every time I remove it with very little squeeze out.

 

I expected a significant improvement over my cheap heat pipe air cooler.

 

I'm planning on decapping the 3770 to redo the TIM once I get the tool and new goo.

(If I break it, then I have an excuse to do a new build :)

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" even coat every time I remove it with very little squeeze out."

 

I have never had any TIM squeezed out, you only need to use a "small pea" sized blob in the centre and it doesn't need to cover the whole surface of the cpu. Too much is as bad (possibly worse) than too little.

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Idle temperatures are going to be more or less the same for all sorts of different coolers. With most people enabling c-states and/or adaptive voltage, there is a minimal amount of heat/wattage to get rid off. Your daily fluctuation in room/case temperature will have more of an effect on the idle result than the fan/cooler settings. This is not the place to make comparisons.

 

You didn't say what you used for load testing or for how long. Regardless of what kind of cooler you have, the heat must be conducted from the cores to lid/heat spreader to TIM to cold plate on the cooler before the cooling system has a say. Your normal peak voltage/temp spikes are going to be a function of the CPU, the voltage, and the type of instruction. The thermal transference is more or the less the same between all consumer coolers. If you want an extra -3C from the cold plate, you will pay for it dearly in terms of cost. Not an easy place to make gains. So, if I mess about for a little while browsing, playing music, a few minutes of gaming, the peak values are going to be more or less the same between various coolers. The ability to remove heat from the system is not being tested. Those core temps spikes cannot be managed through any type of cooler. I wish it did work. Then we could all strap 720mm coolers on and run 6.0GHz. Sadly, the limitation is elsewhere.

 

Where an water cooler has an advantage is in two places. 1) the ability to hold more heat in a given moment than any air cooler; 2) the ability to transfer that heat directly to an exit point in the case.

 

The bigger the air tower, the more heat it can hold, but even a larger tower can't hold as much as a water system. So, you need your air tower fans to blow constantly and react quickly. You do not need the radiator fans to burn at 2000 rpm nor do they need to react to every CPU blip. Slow and steady is the goal. The second part is self explanatory. You can dump your CPU heat directly out of the case. The air tower has to blow it out with help from other exhaust fans. In most set-ups, you will have a cooler internal case temperature with exhaust water cooling than with an air blower.

 

So, it's not too surprising to see similar low and peak values between the coolers. However, what should be substantially different is your average CPU temp over the course of time. Use any of the various monitoring programs and clear the display before starting something: a game, a long duration stress test, etc. The longer you go, the better the water system should be in terms of average CPU temp. Hopefully this will give you a better sense of the value of the cooler. A water cooler may not be for everyone. A small air tower will always be quieter and depending on your uses, it may be perfectly sufficient.

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