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Recommended CPU Cooler for an Overclocked Intel i7-3770K

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April 11, 2013 2:14:56 PM

This is my first time building a PC, and I am considering an overclock later on. My CPU is an Intel i7-3770K with a base clock speed of 3.5GHz, and an ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard. I would like to do a pretty high overclock, as high as a noob like myself could get it. I was wondering what CPU cooler I should get if I do overclock. I would prefer water cooling because I like the way it looks better, but if high-end air cooling is better, i might get that too. I am not, however, going to make a custom water cooling loop because I don't want to spend that much money. also, My case has plenty of space for a large air cooler, it is an NZXT Phantom and I doubt I will put the 200mm-230mm fan on the door of the case.
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April 11, 2013 2:16:44 PM

Performance wise:

1. Noctua NH-D14 or
2. Hyper 212 Evo.

Both are Excellent Air Cooler for the processor.
Push and pull fan config gives the best result.
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April 11, 2013 2:45:55 PM

From a value perspective, air coolers are far superior to water-cooling; that's largely due to the fact that they're a lot more expensive than most air-coolers. From an absolute-performance standpoint, there's not a lot that beats out closed-loop coolers - see both of TH's benches, as well as FrostyTech's latest charts.

Liquid coolers are not quiet, though - if you want quiet, you'll definitely want something like the Noctua NH-C14 or Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme, if you're looking at the high-end of air-cooling.

Back to the value position, I'd say the Hyper 212 EVO and Xigmatek Dark Knight II are your best options there.
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April 11, 2013 3:39:32 PM

Thanks! I think I am gonna get the Hyper 212 Evo due to it's low price. how much of a difference does adding a second fan make, and would you would recommend it?
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a b K Overclocking
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April 11, 2013 4:06:08 PM

I couldn't find any benchmarks that tested 1-fan and 2-fan configurations with it, but depending on your case's airflow and the fans you use, it'll probably drop the temperature by a few degrees. Simply put: if your temperatures with one fan don't worry you, then there's no need to add another.
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