So i decided to go from water cooling to air cooling. Mostly because it was a lot to do with the water cooling, like my GPU block started leaking and i had to replace the water pump because my old one broke. I think that my system was some quiet, but after i got the new pump everything changed, it made som much noise. Even though the pump looks like my old one, it is not from the same company, so you should be careful on which pump you buy.
My GPU block was leaking
In my last post i recommended a great GPU block, this is the one i bought after my last one started leaking. The first one i bought was a fully black very thin block, and after i opened it i understand how bad quality this was. And this is also one of my reasons i decided going from water cooling to air cooling. I do not want any more leaks. I was lucky that i had my PSU facing the fan downwards, if not the water would leak directly to the PSU and that could have gone wrong.
But i do recommend the last GPU block that i bought, the 43-61mm GPU Water Cooling Block Waterblock. I believe that you can find it for about $15 USD in my last post on ebay, they also look the same. It is definitely worth the price if you have a card similar to me that makes so much noise with the stock cooler.
I decided to go for the best this time, no more going for the 2nd best. Noctua! I bought three Noctua fans, two for the front and one for the back of my computer. They have a really good reputation if you follow this link to one of the one i bought at Amazon Noctua 120mm NF-S12A FLX, you can see that it got 4.8 of 5 stars which is amazing.
So when i got the fans i was really impressed of the packaging, it felt like i really bought a high premium fan. So i went for one of the Noctua 120mm NF-S12A FLX and two of the Noctua NF-P12 120mm x 25mm.
High static pressure or not?
The Noctua NF-P12 is a high static pressure fan, so this would fit great in the front of your PC. What is basically does is if you have harddrives or air filters in front of the fan, it is recommended to have high static pressure. If you have nothing in front or back of the fan, i would recommend the NF-S12A. Also the NF-S12A is some quieter than the NF-P12, but you still cannot hear any of them.
If you have water cooling, and a radiator. I would recommend buying a extreme high pressure fan for the radiator. It have even more static pressure than the NF-P12. A great example on this is the Noctua NF-F12 PWM. But this one make a bit more noise than the NF-P12.
So this basically sums it to three different fans:
- If you have nothing in front or back of the fan. Go for the Noctua 120mm NF-S12A FLX.
- If you have an air filter, hard drive or something like that in front or in the back of the fan. Go for the Noctua NF-P12 120mm x 25mm.
- If you have a radiator, heatsink or similar. Go for the Noctua NF-F12 PWM.
Noctua CPU cooler
I also got a CPU cooler from Noctua. It looked so big when i got it, but when it was intalled, it did not look that big any more. The CPU cooler is a Noctua NH-D9L, and it is as quiet as the rest of the fans. Under load you may hear it. But i am also very glad i bought this with the other Noctua fans.
Something i did not realise, is that the CPU cooler did include package of Noctua thermal paste, but i bought an additional Noctua thermal paste. It is not the same amount inside, but i do not think that i would need the additional one, but it is great to have.
The noise – Water cooling vs air cooling
As i said earlier, the new water pump did make a lot of noise. So going to this Noctua setup was a dream. As long as i do not game. Because the graphics card i have now makes a lot of noise when i am gaming. When i am not gaming i did actually set the fan in SpeedFan to idle, so the fan does not spin when the graphics card is not used. When i am gaming, it is a pain. A fair statement from me, is that if you get a good pump for your water cooling, it will be silent. But if you do as me, install only Noctua fans, and get a graphics card with silent fans you will have the quietest computer in your neighbourhood.
But there was still some noise, and that was the PSU fan. And i know I should not open an PSU (disclaimer: Your should not either!). But i did it anyway, and changed the fan to be a more silent one. I can still hear that it makes some noise, but I will survive until i can afford a new fan for the power supply.
Having water cooling vs having air cooling
Am i missing water cooling? Absolutely not, I just wanted to try it. And having an air cooled computer is so much easier. You do not need to think that your computer some day get wet because of an leakage, you do not need to think that your pump suddenly break and this kind of stuff. So if you are not thinking of doing some serious overclocking, I will recommend you to go for air cooling. And like i said, your computer will be more silent with just fans.
I did some benchmarking before and after, and the temperature on the CPU was actually lower after I installed air cooling. The GPU did not have any mayor diffrence. And i feel like the other components on the graphics card and mother board is more cooler now when i have more fans.
Replacing the GPU?
I am actually thinking of replacing the GPU, not only because of the noise. But getting 30 fps on medium settings on GTA V, is not that fun anymore. My R7 260X have done its job, and i am thinking of replacing it with something like an RX 480 or similar.
Products used in this post
- 43-61mm GPU Water Cooling Block Waterblock
- Noctua 120mm NF-S12A FLX
- Noctua NF-P12 120mm x 25mm
- Noctua NF-F12 PWM
- Noctua NH-D9L
- Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound