Here at CoolNation we care about cooling. A lot. The question of air versus liquid is always an open one, and is often best answered by individual circumstances; your rig, your computer’s placement and setting, etc. Performance differences are almost always noticeable in favor of liquid cooling, but it’s never an absolute certainty.
Which is why we love seeing when partners and readers try it out for themselves. Alienware, which uses the Asetek Liquid Cooling CPU Pump and which we saw back when the machine first released, has just published two videos showing the difference in framerate and thermal performance between air and liquid cooling options, both of which are available on the Aurora.
The results are interesting, mostly because the performance is almost identical except for more significant fluctuation on air cooling. As you watch the videos, especially the 2nd one focused on refresh rate differences, you’ll see that air cooling has at times outperformed the liquid cooling machine but that the temperature stays a good 2-5 degrees celsius cooler. This means there’s plenty of room for overclocking to increase performance with the liquid cooling option while maintaining even frametimes and less fluctuation.
It’s important to note that CPUs and GPUs tend to perform better at higher temperatures (to a point), and in both videos, the Aurora isn’t reaching a thermal danger point, which would account for some of the air cooling performance wins over to the liquid option.
Play around with the customization yourself, if only for the fun of it. Let us know what you think for the Aurora, whether you’d prefer air vs liquid and why, in the comments!