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Looking for Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler that Fits: Suggestions Please

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March 14, 2014 10:28:08 AM

Does anyone here have any first hand experience/suggestions as to which CPU cooling unit would be extremely quiet, cool well enough for moderate overclocking, yet still fit inside a mid-size case, specifically on an ASUS P8Z68 Pro mobo, with all 4 Vengeance memory sticks installed?

Finding this solution has proven much more difficult than I ever imagined. As per my previous post, I essentially ruined my very nice previous mobo (ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe/Gen3) trying to cram a Zalman Ultra Quiet 8900 into the available space. It almost fit, but ended up pushing the RAM sticks together, bending the pins, and likely contributing to the instant death of the mobo; a very expensive lesson.
I am replacing the mobo with the Pro version of the P8z68 (an unfortunate step down) but still need to solve the noise issue that I found with my previous liquid cooling solution (Corsair H80) The H80 cooled well, but was too loud for my needs, a home recording studio where I need the computer to be as close to silent as possible.
So, I've been combing all of the CPU cooler reviews on all the usual sites, including this one, and have seen many interesting contenders among the quiet/efficient/affordable choices. However, in almost every case, if you read far enough, someone will complain that practically all of the cooling solutions end up encroaching on, pushing up against, or otherwise interfering with their RAM, graphics card, or some other essential component making the cooler unusable for their systems. There are many, many complaints along those lines so manufacturers really need to start doing a better job of understanding that people who are trying to get performance out of their machines, might be using more and taller RAM, etc.
Anyway, the coolers I've been considering most closely, are most of the Scythe ones (Mine Rev. B, Katana, Kama Cross, etc) that are ranked among the quietest on this FrostyTech list everyone passes around: http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=213...
However, I'm afraid of having the same problem with the Scythe's that I had with the Zalman. And everyone says that the Scythes are huge so I'm not optimistic they'll fit on my new mobo even though my case is a decent size. (Thermaltake Armor A60)
So, if anyone here has any direct knowledge or experience with any of the CPU coolers that are rated as ultra quiet, yet will still cool well enough to allow a certain amount of overclocking, specifically while using an ASUS P8Z68 Pro with all 4 sticks of RAM in place, please let me know.
Thanks!
a b à CPUs
March 14, 2014 10:41:49 AM

I'd suggest the Noctua NHD14. I also like the Phanteks TC14PE but it is larger and slightly louder. I think you'll be happy with the Noctua.
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March 15, 2014 1:09:21 PM

maddogfargo said:
I'd suggest the Noctua NHD14. I also like the Phanteks TC14PE but it is larger and slightly louder. I think you'll be happy with the Noctua.


Thanks for the suggestions, I'm not absolutely sure the NHD14 will fit my configuration but I will definitely check these out.
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a b à CPUs
March 22, 2014 9:41:16 PM

keep the h-80, swap out the fans for noctua NF-P12 PWM's. Leave the h-80 set to high and control the fans through software/bios. Its the absolute quietest possibility with best temps that will positively clear all your ram.
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March 23, 2014 2:36:09 PM

Karadjgne said:
keep the h-80, swap out the fans for noctua NF-P12 PWM's. Leave the h-80 set to high and control the fans through software/bios. Its the absolute quietest possibility with best temps that will positively clear all your ram.


You're right, what you've suggested would likely be a really great solution. I wish I had thought of it or that someone would have suggested it sooner. But I did end up already purchasing another CPU cooler. After doing a lot of research I ordered a Thermalright ARCHON SB-E X 2 which, according to multiple reviews, bench tests,decibel and thermal measurements,etc., is supposed to be an extremely quiet and effective unit that Thermalright promises will clear all of your RAM sticks.

It arrives tomorrow. At this point, I'm inclined to simply install that rather than try to return it, pay the return shipping and restocking fees and all of that even though if I went went with your solution, I still may end up money ahead after all is said and done. However, if the Thermalright ends up not being as advertised, I will definitely try your suggestion, it makes a lot of sense. I appreciate your response. Thanks!
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March 24, 2014 10:09:25 AM

Storage222 said:
I strongly recommend you to go with either the NH-D14 or NH-U14S since they are of the best air coolers you can buy. Here are two in depth reviews of the nh-d14 and nh-u14s handling a 3770K at 4.6Ghz.

http://www.relaxedtech.com/reviews/noctua/nh-u14s/1
http://www.relaxedtech.com/reviews/noctua/nh-l9i-nh-d14...


Thanks for the recommendations, these are, from all accounts, excellent and quiet cooling solutions and I seriously considered the NH-U14S before ultimately deciding on the Thermalright Archon SB-E 2X. The reason I didn't select the Noctuas is that I read on some other forums from users with setups similar to mine, as well as a couple review sites that there may be some issues with either of the Noctuas fitting on my motherboard without blocking at least one of the RAM slots and possibly one of the PCI-e slots. I didn't want to take that chance. The Thermalright was rated on several different sites as highly as the Noctua in actual use tests in both cooling ability and quiet operation, even under heavy load, and the particular model that I got promises to fit any mobo without sacrificing RAM slots. But the Noctuas are certainly supposed to be terrific so definitely not a bad suggestion provided they fit. That was my biggest concern. Thanks for your response though.
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