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I want to build a silent PC, high end, mainly for playing games and working. With working I mean Visual Studio 2017, about 3 virtual machines and my average 20+ Chrome tabs running at once.

I assume liquid cooling is much more silent for 2 reasons:

  • The information I got around. Everyone seems to conclude water cooling is more efficient and much more silent. My current system.
  • Case-mounted fans are too loud, even when I set the level to minimum (it features 3 levels).

The catch is I've never mounted a liquid cooling system before, so aside from theory I have nothing to work with. I'll walk you through my soon-to-be rig components, just in case there are any restrictions:

  • GPU: Asus ROG Strix Geforce GTX 1070. No real choice here, because it's my current one.
  • CPU: i7 8700K. Mainly chosen over Ryzen 2700x because this one has spent some time out there, and it reportedly performs well.
  • Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus X Hero Wifi AC. For various reasons: It's a very reliable brand, has a lot of features I can use, the documentation is pretty easy to navigate...

I don't know if any other components might be important towards the current matter (which is liquid cooling), please let me know if there's any problem with that.

So all in all, what I want to know is what cooling kit or components should I look for in order to achieve a good result according to what I'm looking for, which is a righ that doesn't make much noise (I also want lower temperatures when running OC components, because I'm going to OC both the CPU and RAM at least, plus the GPU if my model even allow for it, but that's out of this question).

Edit 2018-04-08: Added an EK custom loop, which I deem overexpensive for this purpose. I also changed my motherboard option to Asus ROG Maximus X Hero Wifi AC. I have no idea about liquid cooling, if someone could enlighten me a bit about parts I may not need, or could change to lean the final price to a lower number, that would be awesome.

  • Water cooling is a pretty good reason to get water cooling on its own. Also water cooling means a water cooler will be attached instead of an actual fan, so yes it is "silent". – Bennett Yeo Apr 8 '18 at 1:35
  • @BennettYeo, a water cooler still has a fan and radiators, not to mention a pump. For many applications, air cooling will be cheaper and quieter, with similar dissipation, through an overclocked high TDP system may benefit from extra dissipation. – timuzhti Apr 12 '18 at 8:48
  • @Alpha3031 True, I probably should have specified "silent" more specifically from a "vs. cpu fan standpoint" as the radiator is usually mounted to a fan which makes noise. I personally have found the sound of a water cooling pump to be less of a noticeable sound than cpu fan, but this might just be because I am an OC-addict. – Bennett Yeo Apr 12 '18 at 18:15
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It may be a touch more efficient due to the water convection of the heat works but water cooling still relies on fans to cool a radiator that cools the water. The thermal capacity of a liquid cooling solution, however, is a bit higher than just that of a heatpipe and a fan.

You should see a marked improvement of both thermal capacity and overclocking potential of the machine with a water cooling solution but I would suggest that if this is new to you that you go for a self contained solution like this.

The radiator is quite large though, so you may prefer one of it's smaller versions depending on the size of your case.

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  • I would agree that since this is your first foray into watercooling, an AIO or other kit solution might be the best approach. It's worth pointing out, however, that the radiator needs fans in most cases, and that prevents WC from being silent. Air cooling and watercooling are similar in efficiency once you get into the upper end of each, and both can run very quietly, but neither is silent unless your solution is totally fanless. – CDove Apr 9 '18 at 12:11

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