Water cooling Vs Air Cooling on a budget

Im building a new desktop. My first since i sold my x99 gaming rig because the company i worked for went into liquidation and i needed to pay my rent. The only decision i need to make is if i should custom build a water loop or if i just stick to air cooling. Ive already selected and began to accrue parts. I already have about 50% of the stuff i would need for water cooling lying around from previous builds but air cooling would obviously still be cheaper. So I've decided to leave it up to you lot. What are your thoughts?

Wait if you're on a budget why go for a custom loop?

I'd return what you can and just stick to a stock cooler, performance wise it's not going to matter much

The stuff i already have is some spare tube and a random assortment of fittings, its more hassle than its worth to resell. I suppose i wasn't very clear in my topic description. Sorry. I really mean that i need the best performance on the least amount of money, not that i actually have an upper limit. I really need someone to tell me if they think i can get more longevity out of my build if i go for water cooling and overclocking or if i would be better going for air cooling and upgrading in 18-24 months. I've changed my mind a ridiculous amount of times.

Well a water cooling loop generally requires more maintenance and has things that can go wrong, if you wanted it for the cooling capabilities just grab an HR-22 and call it a day


Hmm.... Interesting, so you think that i would be better just air cooling my build? I'm aware i sound idiotic but i just needed someone to tell me. I'm too indecisive :(

You don't really have to worry about leaks with air cooling

On a budget just stick with aircooling.

  • Noctua NH-D15
  • Cryorig R1 Ultimate
  • Phanteks PH-TC14PE

There are top of the line aircoolers, which are totaly capable to keep a Haswell-E cpu cool at arround 4.2 Ghz to 4.3GHz ish.
Those airoolers are even better them some of the aio´s.
You can allways go with custom loop lateron if you realy like to.

Also what are you main goals with this system other then gaming?
Because if the main thing you care about is gaming, you might also look into Skylake.

Edit: i see that you allready have some of the parts.


there is no such thing as a budget custom water loop. If they are going to be better than an AIO water cooler, they will be very costly. going cheep will leave you with a nightmare leaky underperforming loop that has to be maintained a few times a year.

Yeah, custom loops are not budget friendly and it's not worth doing unless you are going to be cooling 3 components or more in my opinion (CPU & 2 GPU's or MB, CPU, & GPU). An AIO water cooler or decent air cooler would be the best way to go for just cooling the cpu on a budget.

Unless you want to go all-out redneck, there is no doing water-cooling on the cheap. I mean, I have done it with a 5 gallon water bucket, a radiator from a civic and some clear tubing and a fish tank water pump. But it was quite loud and cumbersome; Had nice temps though.

Well air cooling full stop is cheaper, and will allow you to easily upgrade in the future when you have more money, seems sensible?