Homer707070 Mar 8, 2014 @ 12:07pm
Is a watercooler really needed for OCing?
Hey guys,
I want to build a new pc and I'm aiming for an i7 4770k (or 4790k if that one really comes out this year). Since that one is a K cpu, I want to OC it. My question now is: How far can I OC with the best air cooler availabe? I don't care about the price. I would like to go up to something like 4.5ghz, so do I need a watercooler? I just don't like the idea of having anything liquid in my case and if I just google the words Corsair H100i and leaks, there are way more threads in forums regarding this problem than I would like to see... Some people even said 1/10 watercoolers are faulty and will start to leak after some time.
Is watercooling your components really such a big risk? Should I buy a watercooler (H100i or Enermax Liqtech 240) for cooling and overclocking my cpu?
Thanks for any help :)
Last edited by Homer707070; Mar 8, 2014 @ 12:09pm
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Homer707070 Mar 8, 2014 @ 12:27pm 
It's not that I'm not into liquid cooling, I read alot about it, I think it's really interesting and I would really like to have a liquid cooler for OCing. It doesn't appear to be to complicated to me to install a self-contained liquid cooler with no maintenance needed afterwards. The only thing I'm concerned about is the risk of leaking.
TeKraken Mar 8, 2014 @ 12:33pm 
If you cant afford to replace it all stick to air. Whilst the risk is small there are no guarantees.

Also if you search for radiator+leaks you are bound to get links about radiators with leaks.
Rumpelcrutchskin Mar 8, 2014 @ 12:38pm 
For 4.5 Ghz you would need watercooler. I would not go much higher then 4.2 Ghz with air cooling. Corsair H100i or H105 would work fine for 4.5 Ghz, smaller units like H60 are pointless since they dont have much more cooling power then good air coolers.
Last edited by Rumpelcrutchskin; Mar 8, 2014 @ 12:39pm
Azza ☠ Mar 8, 2014 @ 1:25pm 
You do NOT need to overclock 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Gen PCs, FULL STOP... go back to the 90s if you want to overclock and see any difference. You already running at 60FPS+ on ultra, what more is 1-2fps going to really do, except for half your hardware life and increase noise levels?

Anyways as for liquid cooling, it's easiest to get one of the self-contained, zero maintaince ones just for the CPU, linked to a single or duel fan on a huge heat sink, stuck to the back or top of your case. They are very low risk and not a problem for most. Corsair H105 is quite good and quiet.

Noctua fans are great and silence (extremely low dba). Whatever fans you get, ensure it's at least 120mm (140mm is ideal), larger the better airflow and more quiet they are.

For the CPU, scrap of that crappy standard thermal grease that came with it. Draw a line of Arctic Silver 5 premium thermal compound down it and rotate lock the heatsink in place (this will create an oval shape from the thermal compound when pressed together, which best transfers the heat). Different CPUs will have best techniques to do this, so look it up online. Arctic Silver 5 will drop the CPU temperture greatly - up to 12 degrees differences.

The rest all depends on the PC case itself. PSU with detactable cables, etc, always helps airflow. Cable management behind the motherboard is another.

If you want something real and extreme however, you would do it all yourself, heat block the CPU, Memory and Graphics card, etc - linking them all to liquid cooling. Gaming motherboards, high end graphic cards with the liquid cooling option, etc, better support this idea, but can be costly and overkill in most cases.

I've personal done all that, but still don't overclock, as no need...

It is much better to look and remove bottlenecks with your money. Such as check Windows Experience Index for starts (if you don't have any real benchmark). I'm currently getting a 7.8/7.9 overall performance, before that only 5.9 on my hard drive - the last bottleneck, which I added a small 120GB SSD (Solid State Drive) caching in front of to boost it greatly.

For memory, 8GB 1600MHz CL7 or CL8 timing with 1.5 volts is ideal for gaming purposes. Standard CL9 is fine, but lower is better (more over the MHz). Slower tends to bottleneck, but faster won't show more than a 1% increase toward gaming purposes and normally just a waste of cash.

The graphics card is where it all goes, get a good one here depending on what resolution you want to go up to. Nvidia GTX 780 is a beast, the Ti version is overkill, the Black Titan is holy ****** ****!

Next Gen PCs link the CPU to memory as well as CPU to graphic processing, to reduce all that bottleneck for you. 60-80% performance increase over 1st Gen PCs and less need to overclock.
Last edited by Azza ☠; Mar 8, 2014 @ 1:39pm
rotNdude Mar 8, 2014 @ 1:56pm 
Water leaks on most good closed loop coolers are generally non existent. I wouldn't worry about that. However, most closed loop water kits aren't much better than a good air cooler for your CPU.
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Date Posted: Mar 8, 2014 @ 12:07pm
Posts: 5