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Cooling: CPU and general - please advise

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Hello Forum,


It's been a good couple of years since I last posted, and the system you guys helped me build has been running great!  :)

It has got to that point when I want to OC my CPU (i5-2500k) to the 4.5GHz mark, so I've been taking a long hard look at water cooling. I know that in general water cooling is more expensive, harder to maintain and more of a risk than air cooling, but I'm really keen on the idea of not have a massive fan right in the middle of my case. I understand that external water cooling is the true way to go for performance, but I'm primarily considering AIO cooling as I don't really have the time or will (or money) to go external... for now.


There's space at the top of my case for a 420mm radiator, although I've only been able to find one such specimen: Eisbaer


I'm a fan of bigger fans (oh the puns) seeing as they're generally quieter + more efficient, and the larger the radiator the greater the heat distribution, so I probably wouldn't want to go lower than a 280mm rad. A lot of stuff made by Corsair, NZXT etc. seems to really be made by Asetek, would anyone advise going with one of their various AIOs? My budget is a flexible £200; I'm looking at this as an investment that I can use in future builds.


I'm definitely open to suggestions to go with air, or even to upgrade the mobo and CPU, it's just that I'd like to keep an open area inside my case for the rest of the airflow, and because I haven't yet tried water cooling and kinda want to give it a shot. And because it'll get pretty hot at 4.5GHz.




OS: Windows 7 64-bit

MOBO: Asus P8Z77-V LX

CPU: Intel i5-2500k @Stock


PSU: Evga Supernova 750W B1

RAM: Kingston - HyperX Fury Blue 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 @1600MHz

SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 500Gb

CASE: Phanteks Enthoo Pro

MNTR: Samsung S22D390HS 21.5 inch


This is my case's fan set up:




I also want to get a 140mm intake fan for the bottom; am I right in thinking that airflow is more important than static pressure for this fan, seeing as it's not having to push through any radiators/drive bays etc?


Any advice is greatly appreciated! Cheers in advance :)



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1) Corsair Hydro Series H90 140mm High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler - $59.99 (USD)


2) The airflow through the case is in the front bottom and out through the top back.

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