Seeking help for ways to reduce AMD cooler volume.(i have read the threads but am still lost)

Hi fellow forumers,

I recently built a PC after seeking help on the SYSTEMS forum.

This system is running great for my purposes. I really don't have much to complain about it. Aside that it runs slower than my other SSD computer, but i do understand that is due to me running a HDD with 16mb of cache.

Now i'm stucked with another problem and will like to seek your expertise.

When building this system, I had 3 heatsink coolers available to me, the Coolermaster hyper 212+, the AMD 965 Phenom 2 stock cooler, and the AMD A6-6400k stock cooler.

The Coolermaster cooler was unable to fit in the MITX case, thus that was a NO.
The Phenom 2 cooler slightly bigger, with copper heatpipes and base, and rated for 125W.
The A6-6400K cooler was just a block of aluminium with a smaller fan on top, and rated for 65W.

Therefore, I chose the Phenom 2 to fit in this build, copper piping seems to be a better option, and using a 125W cooler for a 65W Processor seems to be a good idea.

However, now I come to realise the Phenom 2 cooler is loud, real loud. And i'm seeking ways to resolve this.

I do not intend to overclock the system.
Current temperature readings show it idles at 38 Celsius, and 48 Celsius under load. Ambient temperature of my country is approximately 28-30 Celsius

Let me list my options and reasons behind them,

1) I could swap out the Phenom 2 for the A6-6400k Cooler, however, I do not know if it would reduce the volume produced by the fan

Is the A6-6400k significantly quieter, and sufficient to cool the system?

2) I could add an inline resistor to the Phenom 2 cooler, but once again i do not know if it would make a difference, or will it result in overheating

3) I could swap out the PWM fan on the Phenom 2

PWM fans are really hard to find in my country, especially small sized ones.

4) I could swap the cooler for a "Cooler master x dream 117i" type of cooler, but i do not know of any existing cooler as such that is AMD FM2 compatible..

I'm seeking your opinions as i really want to do it once, and do it right, the MITX form factor is really really hard to work with. Cables, and space limitation makes me unable to install coolers like the Geminii II M4, or Xigmatek Praeton LD964. The Phenom 2 is pretty much the biggest cooler that can fit in it.

Phenom 2 = 92 x 91 x 62 mm (L x W x H)

If anyone could help me get some insight and get it right once and for all, it will be greatly greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about seeking ways reduce amd cooler volume read threads lost
  1. Small fans tend to be louder than big fans when moving the same amount of air. That and the blade design is the main reason the stock AMD cooler is loud. Do you have Cool and Quiet enabled in BIOS?

    You could go to water cooling if you have the room for the radiator. The pump/heat sync is very low profile on WC systems. If you aren't into heavy overclocking, look into a single radiator style. The single radiator WC's fan simply can replace the rear fan in your case if room is an issue.
  2. Hi clutchc,

    Thank you for your input, however, there's really no space for any form of radiator or aftermarket cooler solutions.

    Pretty much the only options i'm left to, is either i fit the APU stock cooler in place, and remove the Phenom 2 cooler.

    Or to replace the phenom 2 heatsink fan with an aftermarket fan.

    Or plug in one of the inline resistors that reduces fan speed..

    I guess i should put my questions more straight forward.

    so here goes:

    1) is AMD A6-6400k stock cooler quieter than the Phenom 2 while still being sufficient?

    2) will plugging in a in-line resistor to the Phenom 2 heatsink be quieter than using the AMD APU cooler?

    Note: the Phenom 2 cooler is rated for 125w TDP
    my A6-6400K processor is rated for 65W TDP

    3) Is there any AMD aftermarket cooler that doesnt exceed the size of the Phenom 2 stock cooler?

    Thank you so much.
  3. The stock A6 cooler will be sufficient if you have plenty of air flow, but it isn't too much quieter than the Phenom II cooler from my experience. A bit, but not enough to call it "quiet". Did you check to see if C&Q was enabled in BIOS?

    What case are you using?
  4. Hi Clutchc, Yes, Cool and Quiet Enabled. I'm using the In-win Bp655 Case.

    I can't increase the width of the cooler as the side of my Phenom 2 cooler is already hitting the sata cable from my optical drive.

    Height wise, isn't a good thing too with a mere 3" clearance. The Phenom 2 cooler is 2.25" high approximately.

    Cables are also pretty much stretch to the limit around the stock cooler, therefore, I believe i cant increase the size(Length x Width) of it.

    Its really nice to get an affirmation from first hand experience that the A6 isnt much quieter than the Phenom 2. I thank you greatly for that. At least i wont go through the trouble of replacing it and realising no difference is made.

    There goes option 1), outta the window.

    Maybe i should try the inline resistor thing,

    or is there any aftermarket coolers you guys know off within the specs of 92x91x75(Length x width x height)?
  5. Would one of these coolers fit? 60mm tall 60mm tall 59mm tall

    To answer your other question, yes adding a resistor in series will work. But I don't know how that would affect the BIOS logic since the fan speed is controlled by Pulse Width Modulation and not voltage. It may mess up the temp control. I've never done that on a PWM fan. Only 3 wire variable voltage controlled fans.
  6. The Zalman and the gelid one will definitely hit the optical drive..

    It makes sense to not use the resistor with PWM since its still temperature control.. so the motherboard will just up the voltage to make up for the same fan speed i'm guessing thats what you mean.

    In that case, any good 70mm pwm fans to recommend? maybe i should just change the fan, since no aftermarket cooler seem to fit..
  7. hey, further more, i think i may try to reduce the fan speed in bios, But i also read that if the fan speed is set too low, fan will not be detected and bios will refuse to post.

    if this true? if so, how low can i go without effectively killing my motherboard?
  8. Best answer
    Are you still using the MSI FM2-A75IA-E53 motherboard? I don't think that BIOS has CPU fan speed control other than automatic thru C&Q, but I'm not sure. You'll have to check. But If all else fails, try the stock A6 cooler with C&Q enabled. It might be quiet enough to satisfy you.

    As far as 70mm fans go, I never purchased one that small. But if you look at someplace like Newegg and then look for the ones with the lowest decibel ratings, you might get lucky.
  9. hey clutchc,

    yes, i'm using the MSI FM2-A75IA-E53 board. It has smart fan control and CnQ enabled.

    I manage to resolve the noise issue by enabling the smart fan control, its not as extravagant as the better boards, it merely has

    Target temp - set at 50 celsius
    Min - set at 50%

    I believe that once the temp hits 50 celsius, the CPU fan running speed will increase from 50% to 100%. more of a step increase than a gradient increase like the better motherboards.

    Normal usage yesterday didn't encounter the fans running above 50% thus i believe the setting is alright. It seems to hover around 47 celsius under normal usage. I assume this is right as i read that in bios, the bios loads the cpu.. Thus i left it on bios for about 20minutes and it still maintains a steady 47 celsius.

    I assume this is safe. I say assume because AMD did not state the maximum operating temperature on their site. The only place i could find it was here, and it stated 70 degrees celsius.

    I believe a further improvement that could be done will to either switch the Phenom 2 cooler with the A6 cooler, however this loses the great 'copper heatsink design' on the Phenom 2 as oppose to a 'aluminium block design' on the A6. On the plus side, the A6 cooler is smaller, giving more working space with the cables.

    Thus i think the next better step i could try is to fit the A6 heatsink fan onto the Phenom 2 cooler, since they're using the same size fan, only that the A6 is slightly quieter. Thus keeping the copper heatsink design and the quieter fan at the same time.

    But also, i'm quite fearful of disassembling the system. It took me 4 hours just to fit the itx motherboard, system, wires and everything in.. To do that again, for a slight decrease in sound may not be worth it.. since you specifically mentioned it isnt alot quieter.

    Do let me know what you think.

    Thanks clutchc and Tom'shardware for being a great help.


  10. Yes, that is what I was trying to get you to look into; C&Q and working with the board's CPU fan speed. But I didn't know if that board had separate speed control you could pick from. I tried to download the MB manual for that board, but their site was down when I tried. 50% should be fine. I have used that myself on some boards to quiet the fans. The speed will still ramp up when needed. You can even go lower. Just keep an eye on temps for awhile in that small case. Heat builds up fast in small confines.

    Yes, the bigger AMD cooler with the 4 heat pipes is a much better stock cooler. If the fan noise is within limits, it will probably cool better than the stock A6 cooler.
  11. Hey Clutchc,

    are you stalking me or something? haha, jokes aside, i really appreciate you walking through this step by step with me..

    yeah i was looking through the msi site, even the global site is down.

    i'm thinking of running some video conversions tonight, that is typically the highest cpu loaded program i ever use. and look at the coretemp temperatures to determine how low i could go.

    maybe i can hit
    Target 55 celsius
    Min 25%

    hahahaha. fingers cross... i guess using a 125tdp rated heatsink on a 65tdp processor does have it perks. i might even remove the fan entirely if its not required. and just let the aluminium block be the heatsink. but the weight and space constraints that comes with it does present a problem. but well.. its one or the other.

    thanks clutchc. will update after the video conversion is tested.


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