Do Not Water Cool Your PC

Do Not Water Cool Your PC | DON’T Water Cool Your PC!
Intel’s Core i9-12900K is a beast that needs taming, and the IceGiant team thinks they might have a solution. Can ANY of our coolers keep up?

Yeah
oh my god
if you want to tame the hottest gaming
cpus the marketing says that you want
water cooling but i’ma let you in on a
little secret that’s not actually true
this is a thermosyphon and it is not
your grandma’s air cooler unless your
grandma’s a physicist and rides a bad
ass motorcycle
and reads you awesome bedtime stories
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the problem is that intel’s top of the
line gaming cpu the core i9 12 900k runs
so hot
that even the legendary nhd15 the king
of air coolers can’t keep up with it i
mean you could turn off performance mode
or multi-core enhancement but at that
point why did you pay 600 us dollars for
a processor only to leave performance on
the table oh and did i mention you’ll
still be maxing out at 95 degrees on an
open-air test bench that means you’re
probably thermal throttling the second
you close your side panel
water cooling has advanced to help us
tackle these ever hotter cpus in a
number of ways stronger pumps more
efficient cold plate designs larger
radiators and by mounting them to the
intake of a case we get to use the
coolest air available to tackle the
hottest parts of our machines but
compared to traditional heat sinks even
all-in-one water coolers like this one
are more challenging to install
expensive and they have more points of
failure oh rate leaks are rare these
days but a failed pump could easily put
you out of commission for a while the
good news is that while water cooling
has been stealing all the headlines air
cooling has been quietly improving in
the background ice giant’s first product
the pro siphon elite blew us away by
outperforming both this guy
and 240 millimeter aio liquid coolers it
works by using heat from the cpu to boil
fluid inside the evaporator here that
vapor makes its way to the condenser
this large finned heatsink array up here
where it cools liquefies and then falls
back down to the evaporator creating a
cooling loop with no moving parts the
principle is actually similar to a heat
pipe but almost simpler in a way because
the liquid is moved back to the heat
source by gravity rather than by
capillary action thermosyphons must be
mounted in the correct orientation but
the upside is that they are not nearly
as easily overwhelmed by a strong heat
source enough about the old though
where’d it go oh here it is let’s talk
about what’s new ice giant just sent
over a prototype thermosyphon elite with
some really exciting upgrades the most
obvious one is right here goodbye
aluminum hello copper that was a good
idea
someone suggest that to them
could be anyway this was done to improve
heat conduction from the cpu into the
thermosyphon but even more important are
the boiling enhancements that they’ve
made to the evaporator they’ve
completely changed the layout of the
fins inside here to create more surface
area and they’ve added tiny pieces of
sintered copper there as well not only
do these also create more surface area
for nucleation sites but these particles
act as a wick to help distribute
condensed liquid on the return trip
sounds pretty cool but
i wouldn’t recommend buying one and
certainly wouldn’t recommend investing
in ice giant apparently is undergoing a
funding round right now until
i have validated it for myself
so
we grabbed this
a high-end test bench our frame from
thermal grizzly more on that later and
we slapped on all of our coolers testing
them at around the same noise levels of
a maxed out though still very quiet and
hd15 that’s roughly 47 decibels our og
aluminum pro siphon elite was
unfortunately the only cooler to thermal
throttle in our 2000 sample classroom
blender test disqualifying it outright
but as you can see here our copper unit
comes out on top beading knocked to us
best by a whopping 5 degrees it was also
the only cooler in our test that brought
our 12 900k below 90 degrees under load
admittedly this is on an open test bench
where it doesn’t have to contend with
heat from other components swirling
around it but it’s still impressive
however
cranking things up a notch by enabling
performance mode on our motherboard
caused our cpu to draw another 20 to 30
watts resulting in a fail result for all
three of our coolers to be fair 250
watts is a lot of power and if you want
that kind of performance it’s fair to
say that you might have to make some
sacrifices
namely noise
in an attempt to tame the beast we
unlocked our ekaio and our copper
prototype allowing their fans to ramp up
to around 2100 rpm and then we re-ran
our tests in both default and
performance mode
it cost us about 10 decibels in both
cases but at intel’s stock power limit
the copper prototype thermosyphon pulled
ahead even further with a maximum
package temperature of just 85 degrees
celsius
that’s downright reasonable
unfortunately it’s still thermal
throttled in performance mode but as our
friend slave pointed out to us
performance mode is a pretty ham-fisted
way of optimizing your cpu
by tuning the 12900k operating voltage
load line calibration and turbo ratios
he managed to use the extra thermal
headroom of the copper prototype to
squeeze out even better performance than
performance mode and without any thermal
throttling now full disclosure splave is
invested as a partner with ice giant
but that also kind of speaks volumes
doesn’t it if it’s good enough for him
it’s probably good enough for me and so
is our new short circuit hoodie check it
out at lttstore.com
conversation here though copper thermal
siphon very legal and very cool
hopefully it makes it to market without
costing too much more than the old
aluminum one but i feel like there’s an
elephant in the room what is going on
with computer chips right now amd is
jacking up their power targets for am5
nvidia is rumored to be hitting 600 to
800 watts on their upcoming 4000 series
and intel is already shipping consumer
products that are basically uncoolable
unless you resort to this
but you just cooled it linus with that
you might say
well yeah but i used a prototype cooler
on an open test bench and i did a bunch
of other stuff that’s not reasonable for
the average consumer okay first up i’m
using top of the line thermal grizzly
thermal paste and second i have likely
voided the warranty on both my
motherboard and my cpu by installing
thermal grizzly’s cpu contact frame that
thing i alluded to before
in a nutshell it’s a modification to the
lga 1700 socket that ensures even
retention pressure on the cpu for better
thermal contact we’d like to do a
dedicated video on it at some point but
the short version is that without it
we’d likely be running five or so
degrees hotter during all of our tests
that means thermal throttling on the
12900k right out of the box
but hold on linus you might say there
are better water coolers out there that
surely would handle the 12 900k without
any of this nonsense everyone knows that
240 millimeter rads like this one are
weak sauce now well to that i would
respond a no one says weak sauce anymore
come on and b we actually pulled out an
ek aio elite 360 for our comparison as
well and found that it performed no
better than our thermal siphon a little
worse actually
i’ve never seen that before i tried to
pull it off the thing but instead of
unplugging it ripped right out of the
fan
do you need to run any more tests with
this i don’t think so but
yeah we can fix it i
now all of this modification nonsense
might be a price that you’re willing to
pay but
frankly i’m getting kind of sick of
hardware manufacturers redlining their
gear out of the box to the point where
we’re forced to buy and install exotic
modifications just to get the
performance that we saw in a review i
mean intel can hide behind their default
turbo behavior which
does consume a lot less power but the
truth is that all performance mode is
doing is allowing these unlocked 12
series chips to turbo at around 240
watts forever which is a behavior that
intel enables one behavior i’m okay with
by the way is signing up at
floatplane.com for exclusive videos and
behind the scenes like the extended cut
of our call me chris collab
back to until 12th gen though you
shouldn’t have to spend an extra several
hundred dollars just to keep your 600
cpu at a reasonable temperature under
load but since you do it’s still too
early to say how much the copper
thermosyphon will cost but the original
was around 170 so expecting a small
increase from there it’s actually
looking like a pretty darn good solution
but it’s not perfect
ram clearance is pretty good but it’s
going to cover up any rgb modules you
might have and you can forget about
installing this over top of corsair
dominator style dimms we’ve also
complained to their team about their
smooth standoffs and they’re considering
adding some knurling or striping to help
install or remove stuck bits now that
motherboards are getting so crowded
around the cpu socket area another
annoyance we really had to screw this
thing down tight to ensure good contact
that’s even with the updated bracket and
with the frame though it’s a pretty easy
to use mounting solution otherwise and
finally we’re hoping that the teammate
ice giant can sneak i don’t know what to
call it but a bit more tolerance for
user error into the design before it
starts shipping worldwide it can be a
little bit finicky to get a perfect
mount
on that subject i would strongly
recommend against shipping your system
with one of these already installed in
it that is a key benefit of aio liquid
coolers that can’t be ignored
not nearly as much weight on the socket
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if you guys enjoyed this video make sure
to check out the 6.9 gigahertz cpu video
that splave helped us out with that was
a lot of fun
hopefully it makes it to market without
costing too much more than the old
illuminate
i’m gonna
just snap one day

 

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