Are water coolers really better?

So I have a i5-7600K that I might plan to OC soon. I had already gone way over budget when I built my PC (originally planned to get a Pentium G4560), so I had to go with a H110m mobo and a Corsair H45. Can't really OC with the mobo but I never went above 50C (and rarely go above 40C) even when using it at full load with Intel's turbo boost (which is 4.2 Ghz).

I feel I should have gotten the H60 since it isn't much more expensive than the H45, but I guess it's worked out so far. I'm planning to get a Z270 mobo with a better cooler though. I was looking at the H60 but I've heard that the Hyper 212 evo is just as effective when it comes to cooling but has better reviews.

Also, if I OC my 7600K with a Hyper 212, how far can I go with safe temps? I've heard mixed responses. Some say that I can't go very far but some seem to suggest I can go up to 5GHz and still stay below 80C.

My PSU is 650W, so I'm not really worried about that.

So here is what I wanna know

1. How much can I OC to with my current cooler?
2. How much will the H60 or Hyper 212 let me OC to? If they're just as effective, should I just get the 212 because it's cheaper?
3. Are there any better coolers for the same price range?

As you can guess, I'm kind of a noob at overclocking. Never done it before.
Reply to MonstrousOgre
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about water coolers
  1. So, let me clarify before we go any further that the reference of 'liquid coolers' (at least in my mind) pertains to boxed, all in one units like the ones you mention above. They typically perform, on average, about as well as good air coolers costing the same or less money. Also, these boxed liquid coolers typically do not perform as well as full watercooling loops. What I am trying to say is that not all liquid cooling is good liquid cooling. You definitely get what you pay for in terms of these solutions.

    1. No one can know what OC you can reach but you. Each PC is different because every single piece of hardware is different. The term 'silicon lottery' applies to not only good CPU specimens, but also motherboards, RAM and power supplies, as well.

    2. No idea. This mainly depends on your level of OC expertise. You will never achieve the higher limits of your CPU without using manual changes within the BIOS and making small adjustments.

    3. From my perspective, if you are spending less than $130 US, then go with a good air cooler. Otherwise, the lowest point I would begin is the Swiftech H220 X2 line.

    I am not a fan of all in one boxed coolers. In my opinion, they're cheaply made, they use inferior components such as an aluminum radiator and/or very low flowing pump. They appeal to beginners and novices because they provide the ability to say 'I liquid cool my PC!'. Most test and benches show that even the best performing AIO coolers still perform about the same as high end air coolers that still cost less.
    Reply to rubix_1011
  2. Best answer
    I have used a Hyper 212 evo for all of the computer's I have built in the last 7 years.

    Currently I have a 4930k, a 130 watt stock tdp, overclocked from 3.4 gigahertz to 4.0 gigahertz.
    Could have gone higher but I'm happy with the performance @ 4ghz.

    I can't guarantee a similar overclock for yours, but nonetheless the Hyper 212 evo is a capable cooler.

    What some computer builders and overclockers sometimes fail to realize is that the heat has to go somewhere meaning your case needs to have decent ventilation to get the heat out of the case.

    Once the heat has vacated the case it is now in your room heating that area.

    You probably won't notice the difference with a single computer, but it highly noticeable with 3+ computers in the same room, overclocked or not.

    If I close my door and turn on all 4 of my computers the temperature of my room can climb to near 80°.
    If I open the door the temperature stabilizes around 74°
    Reply to derekullo
  3. The inexpensive All in One water coolers don't work much better than a good (and even less expensive) air cooler. A good custom loop with multiple fans and big radiators can produce big re$ult$.
    Reply to william p
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