Windows 10: Is water cooling quieter?

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  1.    07 Mar 2015 #21

    Mystere said: View Post
    ... Other than passive air cooling with an SSD and no Optical drive, one simply can't expect 0 noise ...
    True, which is why I find that much of the advertised products that suggest silence are NOT silent.

    When a user declares that their system is dead silent with fans running,
    I would suggest a hearing problem.

    Just between us, I can expect total silence and my systems are ZERO decibel systems.

    Of course, my expectations are not typical.

    The monitor I am looking at generates an almost undetectable sound that requires I put my ear up to it to hear it. There is a florescent light making noise in the room. I can hear the raindrops, the wind and passing cars outside. My refrigerator makes noise I can hear from another room.
    Noise tolerance is personal and varies.

    My PC and components have no moving parts unless a keyboard and mouse are considered moving parts.
    No optical, SSD only, fanless PSU, passive CPU cooling etc...

    As far as performance, an i7-3770k rocks and stays cool as it is a low max TDP cpu (TDP 77 watts).
    Overclocking is not an option for typical silent use.
    Neither are 3rd party fan cooled GPU's.

    One does not normally overclock or need a high performance graphics processor
    to do business transactions, email, web, or spreadsheets.

    On occasion, I connect an external drive that is safely removed and shut off when done with.

    Mystere said: View Post
    ... And passive air cooling severely limits the performance capabilities of your system ...
    A severe limitation suggests that a limitation exists.
    I have not experienced this and have been fanless for years.

    Performance and cooling capabilities are scaled on a bell curve as defined by CPU characteristics. An atom cpu passively cooled in a mini ITX box can perform admirably in the proper scenario. A properly heat sinked passively cooled xeon cpu running a server can run for years dust free and within acceptable limits.

    It all depends on whether a cpu is properly heat sinked.

    Of course, a gamer, or a user that demands a hot cpu a.k.a. > 140 watt TDP < will be well served with an active cooling system. It depends on the definition of performance. An instant on app can happen with an atom cpu. How much processing power that is required to accomplish a task depends on the task. An overclocking extremist is not typical. Neither is GDDR3 / 5 and GB's + of video memory to do normal work. Comparatively, to do video conversions or massive file movements or handle streaming network traffic, fan cooled GPU's depend on CPU capabilities to function accordingly and as such are not always needed to get a high performance grade result.

    Heat sinks can be the computer case itself, which is a concept that not many users are aware of.
    Passively cooled systems can last for years and remain dust free, and are quite common in industry and server farms that are not typically well suited to fan cooling within server blades although they do exist.

    Actively cooled systems are a magnet for dust.

    So the concept of severe limitations on performance capabilities falls short if a passively cooled system is properly designed and used in accordance with the capabilities of a given cpu.

    A fanless passively cooled system can perform without limitation
    and remain silent, clean and dustfree for years.

    Quiet PCs and Quiet Computer Parts | End PC Noise
    Last edited by nt62; 14 Mar 2015 at 15:30.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    07 Mar 2015 #22

    Mystere said: View Post
    ...I use varisters to lower the fan speeds...
    Actually, the term is variable resistors (aka, potentiometers or pots), not varisters. A varister is use to clamp transients on a power line. It works similar to a zener diode except it isn't polarity sensitive, allowing it to be used on AC circuits. The generally look like ceramic disk capacitors.

    I prefer controlling my fan speeds via the MOBO. I've tried using pots but it's too fiddly. I prefer letting the MOBO do all the work.
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  3.    07 Mar 2015 #23

    You're right, my electronics terminology is ancient and got stuck somewhere in my head.

    What I actually use is a switch with 3 speed settings.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. caperjack's Avatar
    Posts : 3,988
    insider build 10586.3 win10 pro 64
       07 Mar 2015 #24

    my tv makes more noise than my computer ,but if I turn it down then I don't know what going on ,lol

    they gotta make some noise ,better fans is a cheap alternative ..

    and if you think your power supply fan is the noises then perhaps its getting dirty in there and needs the dust blown out of it ,and I have at one time or another used 3in 0ne oil on the bearings to quiet them down a bit
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Posts : 587
    ,7,8.1 10TP 10upgrade,MINT
       07 Mar 2015 #25

    The downside of water cooling over conventional is that there are two sources of sound. People forget that the water pump makes some noise. I have a Corsair H50 sitting in it's box because the pump made more noise then the fan.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    07 Mar 2015 #26


    I've never noticed much noise from my water cooler pump, but I did have one start to leak.
    Fortunately it leaked very slowly and evaporated almost as soon as it came out because of the temperature.

    One day my computer shut down, and when I rebooted it told me that it had shut down because it had hit the heat cutoff.

    When I investigated I found white deposits where the water was leaking out, but it didn't get into the electronics.

    It took me about an hour to change it, and it's worked fine ever since.

    The dual fans on the radiators do make some noise though.
    My computer's noise doesn't bother me, but it might bother some people, I just got used to it and don't notice.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Dude's Avatar
    Posts : 12,235
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       07 Mar 2015 #27

    That has always been a big fear of mine with water cooling. Thankfully I have never had a leak . I a actually getting a little hard of hearing over the years, but I like the looks of a water cooler bettter
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    07 Mar 2015 #28

    My old PC was purely fan cooled and was rather noisy. My current pc is water cooled and is a lot quieter. One thing I did do was replaced the fans that were included with the water cooler with quiet Corsair ones and it made a lot of difference.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9. badrobot's Avatar
    Posts : 5,135
    Win 10 Pro x64
       07 Mar 2015 #29

    I always have music in the background that's why I hardly notice the fan noise. Great thread here. I've learned some pointers. But if noise is the only issue and not the cooling itself, is there just a fan as quiet as water coolers? Some guys here made a valid point about using only water coolers if you stress out your CPU a lot. So, I think looking for quieter fans will easily solve the noise problem. And that insulation thing is not a bad idea, too.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    08 Mar 2015 #30

    badrobot said: View Post
    is there just a fan as quiet as water coolers? Some guys here made a valid point about using only water coolers if you stress out your CPU a lot.
    Fans vary a lot depending on size, rpm, brand, and model. Some are meant to take in or exhaust air from the case and others are intended to mount onto a CPU cooler.

    If you are looking to lower noise, use larger fans (120 mm or larger) at relatively low rpm---preferably under 1000 rpm. Above that, they can become annoying quickly. Unfortunately, many older cases don't have mounts for 120 mm fans.

    Investigate PWM fans that spin only as fast as necessary.

    Better low noise brands include Nexus, Scythe, Noctua, Noiseblocker, and BeQuiet.

    Some motherboards offer a higher degree of fan control from the BIOS than others. The last I heard, Asus had the best fan control package, but I haven't kept up recently.

    Try to start with quiet components rather than trying to make loud components quiet. Quieting strategies can have some effect, but it involves money, time, experimentation, and dealing with marketing fluff and exaggeration. So you may not be satisfied with the payoff relative to buying quieter stuff to begin with. If you enjoy tinkering, give it a try.

    Here's a review of 103 fans:
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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