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What is my best choice for replacing the stock heat sink in my slim case?

Last response: in Components
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April 15, 2014 12:52:10 PM

Hi,
So, a slight lack of foresight has left me with a bit of a conundrum.

It's you don't want to read too much; here's a brief summary just for you...
I have an fx 8350's stock cooler which I want to replace but I don't have much room in the case height-wise (10-13cm). I also have a 140mm side fan which I want to keep and I don't want to disrupt airflow.

Other fans include two 80mm in front of the HDD bays (bottom, front) and a 120mm exhaust on the rear of the case.

What heat sink could you suggest for me?

Now for story time....
I have an AMD fx 8350 currently fitted with the stock cooler it shipped with and I'm finding that the cooling it provides is adequate but the noise level could certainly be lower.

The problem with replacing it soon arises as the total width of my current case is 20cm but I also have a side fan to contend with mounted on the window. Not only does this remove some of the head room for a potential tall heat sink but it also creates the issue of a still forming between the side fan and any low profile, sideways blowing (towards the window) heat sink. The side fan is offset to the bottom right of the case relative to the CPU, though a larger radius heat sink would cause the corners of each fan to blow into one another.

At an estimate I'd say that I have around 13 cm to play with tops.

I am prepared to replace the case (though I happen rather to like this one) and I have also considered mounting the side fan on the exterior of the case, though that's something I'd rather avoid. The case is already modded as it used to only support an 80mm side fan and now it has a 140mm.

Ideally I wand a low profile cooler that will exhaust air via the rear of the case that's around 10cm in height. Price is (as good as) no object, though I'm not one for overdoing it.
The machine is not intended to be overclocked and I favor quieter over temperature reduction. The machine may however need to run for a long duration of time under relatively heavy load for the purpose of rendering from graphics software.

So, what cooler fits the bill?

Thank you if you read all of this! =)
April 15, 2014 1:00:21 PM

100m tower cooler? I don't think you'll find one that's sufficient. Even a 140mm tall cooler has only a 92mm fan. You need something like the Noctua C14 that is a top-down cooler, but will get good cool air from the side fan you have.
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April 15, 2014 1:20:38 PM

HiTechObsessed said:
100m tower cooler? I don't think you'll find one that's sufficient.


So a tower cooler that will do the job is out of the window then?
Most people seem to be recommending them.

HiTechObsessed said:
You need something like the Noctua C14 that is a top-down cooler, but will get good cool air from the side fan you have.


I was myself looking at the Noctua as people seem to hold them in high regard. So, what you're saying is that if I set up the fans to blow down onto the CPU then my side case fan could actually benefit CPU cooling?
I've never used a low profile heat sink before (discounting stock ones) so I'm a tad wary.

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Best solution

April 15, 2014 1:51:40 PM

The C14 is a great cooler, comes in just a couple degrees warmer than the H70 water cooler on overclocked load. Noctua makes phenomenal products.

A benefit with top down coolers is you get motherboard component cooling as well.

But about the side fan, you would probably see better temps with a top down cooler, as the tower fan would really block the flow from the side fan, whereas the top-down cooler would benefit from the cooler air being directed at it.
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April 15, 2014 3:29:55 PM

Thank you very much.

I'm going to get hold of the C14, as Noctua seems to have nothing but positive reviews anyway I think it will be a good investment.
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April 15, 2014 5:23:14 PM

Yeah, you can't go wrong with anything from noctua. You pay for it, but you get what you pay for in quality and service.

Just realized that sounds like I'm being paid to say that lol but anyway, enjoy it! Be sure to look at their website first, they have a RAM and motherboard compatibility guide; double check the RAM and motherboard won't be effected.
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