CPU AIO cooler improvements

As the max temperature of my (overclocked) CPU was a bit higher than expected – at least, following some data found on the net – I tried to find out why it happened… and, guess what? There were two (actually, three) main reasons:

  • alternate fans: I used not the original fans, because I had two ones with red LEDs that I wanted to use… they worked well, BUT… their speed and air flow were not up to the task, so I switched back to the original Enermax ones – that are faster – and max temps went down by two or three degrees
  • push or pull? The default setup is push – it means that fans push hot air from inside the case through the radiator, then out of the case; the pull option is to take the fresh air through radiator from outside the case, and release it inside the case; I went for a third option, pushing fresh air from the outside, with fans on top of the radiator instead on bottom, like in the first row, second column of the following image; temp went down another few degrees

  • pump connector: the right one in my motherboard was quite distant, so, reading on the net, I discovered that many connected it to the CPU_OPT connector, near the CPU_FAN; as it worked, I thought it was the same. WRONG! The fact is, the CPU_OPT it’s just the same as CPU_FAN; it’s just a second connector that “follows” the other, so the pump was not always at the full speed (as it must be), but was following the fans speed; I strongly suspect this was the cause of many unexpected crash; after I switched it to a SATA->3pin connector, hence let the pump go at full speed, temp went down other degrees.

(it must be noted that I can’t be sure that CPU could be damaged by letting the pump not to go full speed all the time, but it seems that the pump will last less and IMHO the damage will come, sooner or later; even if probably you will switch to a more powerful CPU in the meanwhile, it would be nice to NOT sell an half-baked CPU to an innocent buyer…)

All in all, fixing the previous three steps helped me to lower the max temperature from around 85°C to around 76°C! Now, I know that this max temp is reached occasionally in normal use (and often in benchmarks), and far from being dangerous – I read that the ThreadRipper will start to throttle around 85°C and will shut down at 95°C – but I guess that using the 360mm radiator with three fans should lower temp by another four or five degrees… so, I’m thinking about replacing the “honest” 240mm rad!

EDIT: I wanted to see if I can lower even further the temperatures with my actual hardware, so I took the two old 120mm fans back, and tried a push-pull configuration – like in the image before, third row second column; well, incredibly I got 4°C less on load, taking the max temp a bit below 72°C! This is a great result IMHO – from initial 85°C to final 72°C is 13°C decrease! And it should be more or less the same result of getting a new Enermax LiqTech TR4 II 360mm – I guess before the 240mm radiator is thicker, and had a quite benefit using two further fans, while a thinner radiator like 280mm and 360mm probably will not benefit such temp decrease; so, now I’m thinking to test this configuration for few days, and decide eventually if use it definitely, or switch to the 360mm.


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