I'm looking at my CPU temps in game and think I could lower them a bit. They aren't high, I can run prime95 for 16h before getting close to temperature threshold. I currently have the Hyper 212 Evo, which presses slightly against the side window of my case. So I want to replace it. I'm between the H55 ($45~) and the H80i ($80~?). Will the H55 cool my system any better then the Hyper 212 Evo does? I'm only worried that it won't because the Evo is massive, and the H55 is a lower power liquid cooler, the Evo is a pretty high (ish) end air cooler. Is the h55 going to be better than the Evo? How much will temps drop? And is there a better option I'm missing?
I am currently stuck with only one 120mm slot to stick a fan without losing two case fans. I could lose two case fans and probably be fine (radiator would just have to suck extra case heat out).
If you can support a 2-slot radiator then do that, but make sure to measure carefully the screw spacing and make sure it fits.
However, make sure you have some air blowing NEAR your CPU or your motherboard voltage regulators for the CPU may overheat. That's a problem with liquid cooling, especially if you overclock the CPU.
Some people suck air IN to the case via the CPU radiator to get more air over those regulators. It lowers the regulator temp but adds air to the case overall thus requiring OTHER case fans to properly suck it out (thus you might want other fans as EXHAUST instead of INTAKE effectively REVERSING your airflow design in part.)
So liquid cooling has the quirk of removing airflow from the motherboard, so really the entire case design needs to be rethought (it's happening; maybe the SteamOS custom case will be good for liquid cooling).
If your only "problem" is that the side of the case hits the CPU cooler then maybe just put a very thin piece of rubber or foam between the two to stop any vibration.