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Okay here's the deal I live in Nebraska and I am a PC enthusiast. Now as the rest of my fellow Nebraskans hit the corn fields this summer I mess with my PC to figure out the best way to cool it. First off I have a Cooler Master Storm Scout case that has mounts for five fans with the configuration being 3 120 mm fans to pull air in and a 120 mm fan to push hot air out the back and a single 140 mm fan to push it out of the top. My room's ambient temperature is about 78 F on a normal day but it can get hotter or colder. My issue is that my CPU is running at 38 C and while for some this is great for me it is too high as I am used to 30 C. I reapplied my thermal paste and I have the fans cranked to full and cannot seem to break 37 C. My question is would it be better to get a larger air cooler on my CPU vs the stock one from Intel I have now or would it be better to get an AIO liquid cooler from either Asetek or Corsair? I am curious because it would be pushing around the same hot humid air whether it be through the heatsink or the radiator so I am wondering would either bring any gains in cooler temps over the other since it is the same air no matter what?

I also have a large oscilating fan blowing air onto the side window of my chassis in order to get more airflow. As of now my temps are as follows: Mobo: 31 C CPU: currently 35 C but it gets a lot warmer around mid day GPU: 30 C All fans at 100% (Case, CPU, GPU)

My normal temps that I recorded over winter and fall are as follows:
Mobo: 23 C
CPU: 28-30C
GPU: 26 C
All fans at default settings

My specs are as follows:
ASUS Maximus VI Hero
Intel Core i5-4670K
Corsair Vengeance 16 GB RAM
XFX AMD Radeon R9 270X Double Dissipation
Windows 8.1

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Just an observation, but large temperature change just as bad for electronics as excessive heat. It might do more good if you try control the range of temperature change, and see what you can do about keeping it nice and warm at no load and at full-load. So let it clime as high and 49 C, and see if you can keep it from dipping under 40 C. Besides, humidity matters to biological heat-exchange, but I am not so sure about CPUs. I suspect it matters little or none. –  arch-abit May 22 at 5:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

When you use liquid cooling, you can have a bigger heatsink (can even mount a radiator from a car if you want to) than what you usually can place on a CPU (or GPU). This allows you to use a bigger fan and either get more cooling (bigger fan can push more air than a small one) or the same cooling but quieter operation (bigger fan at lower RPM can push the same amount of air, but will be quieter than a small fan which spins faster).

However, you cannot get temperatures that are lower than the air you push in. To do that, you need to use AC (or a small one just for your PC).

However, 35C is not hot by any means.

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The liquid cooler will get you slightly lower temps than you are getting now only because it enables you to have more heatsink surface area and larger fans are able to move more air. It is impossible to get it lower than the ambient temperature though, which you said was 78F (25C). So your difference in temp (ΔT) is only 10C anyway, which is very low.

But why obsess about a couple of degrees when your temps are so low anyway?

Personally I try to get my pc as quiet as possible using large fans running slowly. I don't even think about it until the CPU hit about 55C. CPUs are designed to take over 70C safely, and modern CPUs are (as far as I know) almost unkillable, because they will lower the clockspeed automatically if they get too hot. There was an article in an enthusiast pc magazine that tested some CPUs with the heatsink removed.

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