The Worth

Maximum PC - - LIQUID COOLING -

So, the big ques­tion: Is it worth it? The short an­swer is: It de­pends. Ul­ti­mately, all cool­ing op­er­ates via a form of con­vec­tion. If you’re us­ing an air tower or stock cooler to chill your GPUs and CPUs, cool va­por be­comes heated at the cen­ter of the GPU or CPU, rises through the heat pipes to the outer edges of the block, where it’s cooled by a fan, and then sinks down once more to draw heat away from the pro­ces­sor again, in a con­tin­u­ous cy­cle. Liq­uid cool­ing op­er­ates in a very sim­i­lar fash­ion, just on a far grander scale. The cool­ing fins or sur­face area are far greater, due to the use of thicker, larger ra­di­a­tors, and the va­por is re­placed with coolant, ca­pa­ble of trans­fer­ring a far greater amount of heat than its low-key coun­ter­part.

The ad­van­tages of that, apart from the greater sur­face area avail­able to a ra­di­a­tor, is that the heat is then dis­persed away from the com­po­nents in­volved, rather than right next to them, mean­ing tem­per­a­tures drop much faster. Ad­di­tion­ally, in con­trast to an air tower or GPU stock cooler, you can run ra­di­a­tor fans at a fixed speed. As long as air is pass­ing over the fins, due to the vast quan­ti­ties of coolant, com­bined with that larger sur­face area we men­tioned, the ra­di­a­tor does its job ef­fec­tively and ra­di­ates heat away from your com­po­nents. And be­cause you don’t need to run your fans on such an ag­gres­sive pro­file, it also means you re­duce noise lev­els in the process as well.

In the end, what you’re left with is your very own be­spoke sys­tem, de­signed to your spec, with a color of coolant you want, that’s far qui­eter and cooler than if you were to operate at stock.

Of course, it’s still go­ing to cost you, so whether liq­uid cool­ing is worth it to you de­pends on how much you value lower tem­per­a­tures and less noise. We can drop analo­gies, metaphors, and sim­i­les all day about how much more en­joy­able a liq­uid-cooled sys­tem is, but you have to ex­pe­ri­ence it to un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence go­ing from an AIO to a cus­tom loop.

Is it worth it? Hell, yes!

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