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View Full Version : Is ProCooling dead???


plywood99
08-02-2006, 05:37 PM
Hey all,

What has happend to the once great Procooling? Seems the site is about to wither and die. Shame really, no other site comes close to the honesty and factual information found here.

Imo things got gloomy with the review of the Apogee by Robotech, which sparked a nice feud between some folks, and well, things have been downhill since. Plus no reviews or anything coming from here. There is no perfect test bed but even a slightly flawed test is better than no testing at all.

Anywho, would really like to see this site get back on it's feet...


Ply

Joe
08-02-2006, 06:06 PM
I agree on all points. I dont have much time to dedicate to the site currently, but I open the floor to anyone who does! The site has a content posting system, and the ability for anyone to write an article/review and do stuff on the site that we give access to.

Unfortunately a couple selfish, pigheaded people did **** the site over nicely with their feud of ego's. Nothing productive was achieved but it alienated people like mad.

So heres the deal. If you want to review or write articles for procooling, let me know! We can talk and work out something. I know pH has lost most all his Mojo for writing cooling articles (busy with other stuff), I would like to but dont have the time to spend (doing outside stuff, and also possibly changing jobs very very soon here causing quite a big change for me).

Heres the deal... I am all for the site coming back to life, and will support what ever it takes to do it as long as I get some assitance from GOOD, RELIABLE writers and staff.

I spent 6+ monts writihg a site that is dynamic in how its updated, and very flexible. Its time for that to be used more ;)

Joe
08-02-2006, 06:40 PM
http://forums.procooling.com/vbb/showthread.php?p=159972#post159972

There is the thread for the "Save ProCooling" thing :)

jaydee
08-02-2006, 07:16 PM
I think there is a lot more to it than just the personal issues. PC water cooling has taken a huge step backward with commercialization and simply the lack of need for it all together. That with a dwindling need for computer upgrades has slown the PC cooling scene down.

The real water cooling target right now should be GPU's however dropping the temps 30C on them seem not to help OC much but it can quiet the system down.

Also IMO the hobby got to technical for most around here and the fun was removed from it.

I know I have not thought a lot about cooling projects in a while. I have been doing a lot of other stuff. Just got back from a fishing derby on the WA coast in fact. Bought a new kayak and been fishing on most of my free time and have some other Internet related hobbies going on.

However I did mill a new Die sim and just received a DIY block to test against some of the other commercial blocks I got so I will be getting back into it a bit but not as seriously as before.

ProCooling has some serious potential left in it though.

Mokmef
08-07-2006, 04:47 AM
Great information

Joe
08-07-2006, 11:09 AM
I agree and disagree with Jaydee's take on the industry. I know 4 people who recently water cooled their HTPC's, and home PC's to remove noise. Yes you are right that the people who use it for insane cooling levels are dwindling. The people who use it for silent computing though are going up and up.

For that reason I see reviewing cooling systems to be less a practice in .001C resolution and accuracy, 2000 samplings a second, millions of data points, to a more realistic... general testing of a systems capabilities. Yes the puritans of data will find little value in testing like that... but the people who still post and visit the site Would, and we would attract more of the mainstream readers.

Focusing on acoustics, ease of install, long term reliability, quality construction, and price (comparison against the cost of a similar air setup) I see as the way we move forward on testing this stuff. With CPU temp's gathered as good as reasonable but not wasting thousands of dollars on environmental chambers, die's, lab quality testing hardware, etc...

Let’s be serious here. PC is not what it was a year ago... and it was only the way it was because of a vocal minority of the reader base (Technical to the fringe). People just want to know what works, and see stuff in use. Giving them data they can use and evaluate purchasing decisions on.

I think this is the road map for PC coming back into the fold as a major player in the cooling market as well as a major player in the review industry in general.

jaydee
08-07-2006, 07:03 PM
Sounds about right to me Joe. I think silent water cooling has a lot of potential but maybe over hyped a bit. I really like the Swiftech Apogee 1U low profile block. I think that would fit in a nice small case for a file server or HTPC. Lot of very good quiet air coolers though. Comps still need airflow IMO for reliability.

Agree on the testing to. I started testing again but have decided to keep it unofficial. I am confident the results are accurate enough to tell what works and basic idea what the performance level is. It is not pH level but plenty good for what most of us want I think.

Blackeagle
08-08-2006, 07:29 PM
I am very sorry to read this thread about the site having a rough patch.

While it has been quite some time from my last post I want you guys to know this is still the best site for accurate info on cooling I've ever been to.

I also agree with Joe's last post. I'll be the first to admit a good deal was going over my head in some of the last discussions I read here.

I've not been missing due to any issues regarding disagreements with anyone here, hell I've dissagreed/argued with others here myself severel times.

But I've 2 daughters in collage now, and overtime at work takes much of my spare time.

I hope to never see the day when I click to come here & can't.

All the best to each of you.

CYberDruid
08-09-2006, 09:13 PM
Clear! Whap Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep Clear! Whap Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep ...

I wouldn't pull the plug just yet....

But I do miss the energy...

And considering most of the useful technical posts are well over a year old it is a clear sign that the site has lost a lot of it's mojo.

Just my luck...I had gotten enough under my belt to understand 50% of what you all had to say...

resago
08-11-2006, 01:56 AM
Just my luck...I had gotten enough under my belt to understand 50% of what you all had to say...

Well thats about 90% of what there is to know, the rest is BS:D :p

plywood99
08-14-2006, 02:52 PM
I agree and disagree with Jaydee's take on the industry. I know 4 people who recently water cooled their HTPC's, and home PC's to remove noise. Yes you are right that the people who use it for insane cooling levels are dwindling. The people who use it for silent computing though are going up and up.

For that reason I see reviewing cooling systems to be less a practice in .001C resolution and accuracy, 2000 samplings a second, millions of data points, to a more realistic... general testing of a systems capabilities. Yes the puritans of data will find little value in testing like that... but the people who still post and visit the site Would, and we would attract more of the mainstream readers.

Focusing on acoustics, ease of install, long term reliability, quality construction, and price (comparison against the cost of a similar air setup) I see as the way we move forward on testing this stuff. With CPU temp's gathered as good as reasonable but not wasting thousands of dollars on environmental chambers, die's, lab quality testing hardware, etc...

Let’s be serious here. PC is not what it was a year ago... and it was only the way it was because of a vocal minority of the reader base (Technical to the fringe). People just want to know what works, and see stuff in use. Giving them data they can use and evaluate purchasing decisions on.

I think this is the road map for PC coming back into the fold as a major player in the cooling market as well as a major player in the review industry in general.

Totally agree Joe, HTPC is where it's at right now. Noise, ease of installation and reliability should be focussed on, along with a decent die sim or some other test bed. I think .1C should be more than enough accuracy for what we want to do.


During the Apogee episode I had my own test bench setup. Nothing fancy mind you, but I could tell the difference between the blocks I had tested on it, Swifty 6000, Zalman WB2, and my own blocks. Kinda lost the zeal for it though, not because I was no longer interested, but things happened yadda yadda.

Oh well, I need to look at the thread you put in your earlier post...

Cathar
08-25-2006, 07:19 PM
I believe that it is extremely short-sighted to look to blame one or two individuals. To think that a couple of people have that much power over a forum, even when they've been absent for so long, is to fool oneself. A certain individual pursued a personally abusive vendetta against me at every forum I posted on. Those forums are all still active and alive, so clearly the issue has nothing at all to do with the content of two threads here on PC. To think that it did is downright childish, and merely searching for something to lash out at.

In the context and hope of being productive, and without resorting to pointing blame at people, but rather at the situation, here's what I suggested in the other thread.

I think the issue here is that Procooling itself is not becoming irrelevant, it's that water-cooling overall has stagnated, at least from a technical point of view.

Taking a look at the XtremeSystems w/c forums the interest levels seem to have moved from the DIY design and technical aspects, and so on, and have moved more towards general system building from DIY parts. Sure, people are still interested in how stuff performs, but they're heavily factoring in size and noise into that equation too.

This is also reflected in the market-place. How many new blocks are on the market nowadays? Some companies are running products from 2 to 3 years ago, albeit slightly refined with the odd tweak here and there, but overall the marketplace hasn't moved to any great deal.

We've all analysed the crap out of pumps, fans, blocks, radiators, tubing, and so on, and slowly but surely as a community we've narrowed down the choices to the good stuff, and the average stuff. What is there left to do? PC water-cooling overall is closish to a "known quantity" now. Sure there are quirks and debates over testing methods, and the strength of each side of the debate gets backed up by real-world evidence for both cases. Take a look at the SG overclockers w/b review. Higher overclocks (more stable cooling of the core) yet with higher reported temperatures. Go figure. I do believe that those debates were really more of a symptom of the lack of real things to talk about. Everyone's fighting over the scraps of what there was left to do.

That's all besides the point though. PC was heavily aligned with the bleeding edge of w/c development and attracted the audience it did because advances were coming thick and fast for quite a while there. That's no longer true, both in the market-place and in the DIY case. This is the real reason for the decline. It actually started over 2 years back when PC was split into sub-sections in an attempt to spur additional debate in various sub-areas. Instead all I feel that it has achieved is split the sub-interest areas up into ways in which people HAVE TO first have an interest in some sub-section before they'll even click on some thread. i.e. the PC site seems to now be so sub-diversified that it somewhat inhibits the lively cross-pollination that occurred between sub-interest groups.

Is there an answer? I don't know. Get back to roots maybe. It's never going to be the place it once was. That's not anyone's fault, that's just the way the market place has taken us all. I'd say get back to a singular technical discussion forum format. Put it back in one place where people can easily see the content and contribute. Also, raise the default "Show past 30 days" only, and increase that to 1 year. It might re-spark some interest in topics that have slid by the way-side and are less easy to find for the casual browser.

Take a look at OCForums, XTremeSystems, Hocp, and OCAU. While some here may look on those sites with a certain level of contempt, they are still active and somewhat lively. I don't mean look to replicate them, but look to see just what it is that people are posting about. Not all of it is non-technical. People are really more focused on system-building. The correct matching of components, and so on. If you want to attract the masses, start talking the about stuff that is interesting to the masses.

PC has backed itself into an elitist corner. Again, I don't believe that this is anyone's fault, but there sure was room here for the focused technical forums alongside with more mass-interest discussions. PC's forum user base generally eschewed the mass-interest group and as a result once the technical aspects declined, just as they were always going to one day, it's left without the support base that it's looking for. I mean take a look at where a number of the more technical posters here started posting. It was on those sites, so having mass appeal people isn't all bad.

Look around the web. Look at what's working today. Refocus the technical aspects, and hopefully something will be salvaged.

DX2
08-28-2006, 04:37 PM
Regarding market stagnation,
sure the market has slowed down. Just a year ago we were expecting Intel Tejas core with well over 100Watt thermal dissipation. Now the focus has shifted towards power efficiency. Ofcourse thus reducing the "need" for water cooling. its been ages since tomshardware or anandtech etc reviewed watercooling products.

Regarding DIY.
Im still working on my little home made block, dremeling it was quite possible, just ive run out of interest for the moment. In part to the fact im hardly saving money infact DIYing a block costs more than buying a cheap ready made one which goes for as little as 19 €uro

http://www.alternate.de/pix/prodpic/450x450/h/hxzn15.jpg
http://www.alternate.de/ (http://www.alternate.de/html/productDetails.html?artno=HXZN15)

Direction forward?:
I agree a more consumercentric site would increase the monthly hit count. Id also think more guides and how tos. If the wikki can be expanded that would be great too, maybe WC coling jargon dictionary etc. I love the interactive block charts, it be great to have a one klick kit comparison.

Personal reason for comming back?
The waterblock "charts"
the great DIY water block forum, (just love that shiny copper)

I can't say i have any valuable skills set that might help the site out. Might see if i have anything to contribute in the wikki. We all need todo our part. try anyway :)

Rusty075
08-28-2006, 11:52 PM
As mostly an observer of life over here at PC, I've got a couple of theories about what had led to the decline:

Lack of new front page content has killed casual traffic. Over at SCPR we see a dramatic "saw edge" traffic pattern when we put up new articles. It jumps up very quickly, then slowly fades over the next few days until the next article appears. It's during the "fades" that users who first came to the site to read the article start exploring the rest of the site, and some of them stick around long enough to add fresh blood to the forums. If the forums have content it keeps the new people around longer, and they start to contribute. Good forums are a perpetual-motion machine of a site.

But the forums are part of the problem here at PC. For too long the forums here have been at best "anti newb", and usually downright hostile to newcomers. It's been the same tiny core group arguing the same meaningless arguments. At best a newcomer might get an eyeroll and a "Use the Search, we've discussed that a thousand time already" response. But personality is hard to change. Just look at these two "save PC" threads....it took all of about 10 posts for the debate over testing rigs to start being discussed again. :rolleyes:

Solutions? Hell, I dunno. I'd start by pushing out front-page articles. Any articles, and any topic, just to get some fresh meat in through the door. I'd move away from the WC scene entirely. WC is dying. For the last couple of years there's been a big sign on the watercooling world that says, "There's nothing new to see here, move along". Overlcocking isn't far behind. The entire "gamer"-driven PC enthusiast market is slowly, painfully dying. PC Games sales are dropping, motherboard sales are dropping, GPU sales are dropping. PC gamers make up less then 5% of the PC-using market, and that percentage is dropping.

So where to then? There's ergonomics. That's the niche spcr has been chasing from the beginning. There's "sponsored advertising" sites, like THG.

But really, PC needs to decide what it is. Is it a a hardware review site? There's lots of those. Is it super-techy theoretical cooling discussion group? That's a perfectly valid path, but when nothing new is happening in cooling, like what is happening right now, the cobwebs are going to start to grow. (like what is happening right now)

Joe
08-31-2006, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the replies, I have been busy and out of town a bit recently, but I do agree with much of what is said.

And it is all about direction.

Some of the comments about the forums being anti newb was true before. But now I think it's much more tame. I dont think PC can afford to remain a niche site that only caters to technical cooling discussion. the era for that is gone. It was a good run. I think getting into the more semi technical overall system reviews/editorials is a solid direction to take our content, while the forums remain a repository of good highly technical data, and technical people.

If we can get a readerbase back up, it makes our options much more open on how we want to move forward.

Unfortunately, it seems like its only me and maybe one or two other people who would or can write for the site. pH is off doing other things, Bri is busy, Warpath is a slacker, and myself... I just am now starting to get back into the PC thing.. and this fall/winter I may be writing more.

As it stands my summer is booked solid with other stuff I am doing, so it leaves little time for me to write. I also am broke, I have very expensive hobbies and it leaves no money to do stuff out of pocket on procooling.

I think the target we should aim for is a technical review site. Not one of those run of the mill cookie cutter ones. But something thats a bit lighter, realistic, and sensible but also looking a lil deeper into the topics than others do.

thanks for the feed back guys!

jontz
09-07-2006, 06:33 PM
I agreee with everything that has been said, but there is something to be said for also having a niche market. The Snap forum is doing quite well because there isn't any other place on the web that people can get any useful information. There can be a happy medium of niche technical stuff (water cooling, Snap stuff)and also a broader, more general tech review content base as well.