An air heater consists of a block of aluminum foil and copper heat pipes (with a few exceptions), that is, except for the fan, it has no parts mobile. An AIO liquid cooler, on the other hand, has a pump constantly pushing the liquid, with moving parts that wear out; On top of that, and despite the fact that it is a tight closed circuit, over time it produces some evaporation of the liquid, and over the days there is less and less of it. interior, which considerably reduces its performance.
Why should you change an AIO liquid cooling?
As we mentioned a moment ago, this type of heat sink, to put it in a way, has an expiration date, and while they can last in good condition for many years to come, the irreparable moment will come when you will have to change it. Obviously, if you have cleaned and maintained the device properly, it can last for many years to function in good condition, but that depends a lot on the quality of the product, the environmental conditions and the maintenance given to it.
Before we get down to business, let’s take a look at the effectiveness or efficiency of these types of heat sinks. If the question arises as to how effective they are, the answer is that, in some cases at least, an AIO liquid cooled heatsink provides better service than a live heatsink. For the user who is building their PC on their own or for customizing a PC, this type of heatsink is also a great option as they are easy to install and aesthetically allow us to better see the hardware we have installed, even if it is. it is true that they also have their disadvantages.
There are two main reasons why you should start to suspect that something is wrong and it might be time to change devices:
- Temperature increase: When you start to see that your processor is getting too hot, much more so than when you started using liquid AIO, it is an indication that something is wrong. Cleaning the radiator and fans and changing the thermal paste may solve it, but it can also be an indication that the pump is too worn out and is not pushing enough liquid or that there is no more enough liquid for good heat. dissipation… And both reasons indicate that the time has come to change the AIO liquid cooling.
- Too much noise– A significant increase in noise at the radiator can also be a sign of a malfunction. The noise does not usually come from the fans (and if it is, you just need to clean them well and check it) but from the pump: when it already reaches the end of its useful life, it begins to make a lot of noise, as if something is rubbing, indicating that it is no longer able to push the liquid properly or that too much liquid has evaporated and too little does not reach it, remaining “in the air “.
Wear of liquid cooling components;
Most AIO liquid cooled heaters do not need to be replaced frequently and will generally last as long as other PC components. However, there are some important things to keep in mind regarding this type of heat sinks, such as the fact that most are made up of tightly closed circuits, which means there is no way to change or replace them. refill the liquid when and when it evaporates. will have no choice but to change the liquid cooling.
There may be many reasons why you feel the need to replace the entire device, but since there are many that are not fully closed, we are going to list the reasons why and when you should replace each. room.
- Fans– All liquid cooled heatsinks have at least one fan to cool the heatsink. Sometimes the edges of fans get stuck with dust and soot and start to lose efficiency and make noise, but usually a good cleaning every six months is enough to keep them in good condition for many years to come.
- Radiator: the work of the radiator is the most important when it comes to dissipating heat, it is an essential part of the assembly and as it is in contact with the fans it can easily become a deposit of dust that blocks the passage of the air of these. For this reason, it is also advisable to do a good cleaning every six months.
- Bomb: the crucial part of any liquid-cooled heat sink, as it is responsible for pushing the liquid through the entire circuit. This part could leak, start running slower and louder, or stop functioning altogether, and the bad news is that there isn’t any specific maintenance we can do on it. If it fails, there is no choice but to change it.
- Cooling liquid: the liquid is responsible for collecting the heat of the processor and bringing it to the radiator to cool it. AIO liquid cooling systems are not 100% leak-proof, but experience very slight evaporation which over time is no longer so slight, as on many days losing some liquid causes huge bubbles to form. air at the end and the radiator loses its efficiency and makes a lot of noise. If your AIO kit allows you to refill the fluid, experts recommend doing this every two years.
- Water block– Some heatsinks use water blocking technology which greatly protects them from leakage or oxidation. Therefore, you should check that the parts are in good condition, that they are not dirty, and that the thermal paste is in good condition. Experts recommend cleaning every six months and changing the thermal paste once a year.
How often is it necessary to change it?
As we’ve said before, it’s not that there comes a point where you know your heat sink has “expired” and you need to change it, but there are clear indications that will tell you that it has reached the end of its useful life and you will find yourself obligated to do so. As a general rule of thumb, and if you give it good maintenance, you won’t need to change your AIO liquid-cooled heatsink for at least five years, although this obviously depends on many factors and it could well take 3 years. or even 8 or even 10.
What is clear is that unlike air cooled heatsinks, a liquid cooled heatsink (in this case either AIO or custom) cannot run indefinitely and there will come a time when it will “say goodbye” instead. that You will have no choice but to change it for a new one.