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thermalright or Zalman?

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September 25, 2005 9:42:23 PM

I have narrowed my decision for a CPU HSF to either the Thermalright SI-120 or the Zalman CNPS9500. I would pair the SI-120 with the silverstone fm121 fan. Both will cost me about the same. Which do you think will give me better temps when I start to OC my A64 3000(winnie)? Thanks for any help.

My Rig:
Lian Li V1000 Plus
A64 3000
DFI NF4 Ultra-D
Patriot PC3200LLK 2x512mb
ATI X850XT
Sapphire Theatrix 550 Pro TV Tuner
Seagate 160GB SATA HD
Lite-On SOHW-832S
NEC 3540A
Fortron Source Blue Storm AX500-A

More about : thermalright zalman

September 26, 2005 12:05:14 AM

si-120

<font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
September 26, 2005 12:16:03 AM

so the efficiency of the 9500 isn't really that much better than the SI-120?
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September 26, 2005 12:34:13 AM

i personally think 9500 is a better engineered product, but performance wise, si-120 comes out on top

<font color=red>gforce mx100/200 @ 230/440 =]</font color=red>
September 26, 2005 3:34:21 AM

thanks for the help guys. I will go ahead and get the SI-120 since it will give me pretty much the same performance with less noise because of the 120mm fan. Thanks again.
November 23, 2005 3:51:03 AM

It blocks the 4x PCIe....what the hell is anyone going to use in that sloy anyway?
November 23, 2005 3:51:32 AM

thats the xp120 not si120 dude
November 23, 2005 8:12:48 PM

I did say post #8.
It's a SI 120.
a b K Overclocking
November 24, 2005 8:26:43 AM

Is it an open-ended 4x slot? Those are PERFECT for adding a second graphics card!
December 27, 2005 8:17:28 AM

Here is a new twist . . neither the Thermalright or the Zalman. I use a stock cooler with my Opteron. It works very well with system and the temps are not an issue. I have found that supplemental and exotic heatsinks are not necessary at stock speeds (no overclocking). BUT . . . I plan on overclocking my Opteron to the max and also my 7800GT video card. Heat will be the main issue then . .why go half way with cooling solutions ? either go stock or cool things to the max with watercooling. Halfway measures always have you watching temps and seeking a slightly better heatsink. Get serious or leave the issue alone !!! For a few dollars more you can have a very quiet system (little or no fan noise) and also a very cool CPU / GPU. Watercooling is basically trouble free and doesnt suffer from dust and dust bunnies making homes on cooling fins that degrade cooling ability. I am running my system at stock speeds for now . . then to get a Swiftech 220 Apex and then take the whole system to the max limit. Max performance AND max cooling . .. they are sweethearts together.
a b K Overclocking
December 27, 2005 8:48:18 AM

Here's a new twist: You sound stupid! How about that one?

What if someone doesn't want the hassel of water? Have you ever installed a water cooling system? Another twist for you, water cooling is NOT THAT MUCH DIFFERENT!

Oh, you might argue, but it won't do you any good. A 120mm radiator is a 120mm radiator. I don't care if it's ON the CPU or mounted remotely, it's still a 120mm radiator.

But you say, the water radiator can be mounted on an intake fan and get cooler air than the CPU fan? You can duct your CPU cooler to the outside as easily.

And the more you think about it, the more ridiculous it seems: If you're limitted to internal coolers, about as much as you'll accomplish is to use a 120mm radiator. But with water you have all the trouble of mounting the pump and running hoses, congratulations! Why not stick the 120mm radiator on top of the CPU?

Of course with water cooling you always have the chance of overheating your motherboard's voltage regulators. That's nice. You could put the radiator over the voltage regulator, as an intake fan, to alleviate the issue, but wait, that's where the radiator from a 120mm heatsink cooler would also be!

So in the end you're just making a mess of your system, with hoses, a reservior, and pump, for nothing. Might as well just get a 120mm air cooler to begin with.

But in case this hasn't sunk in yet, a 120mm radiator attached directly to the CPU does the same job as a 120mm radiator attached to a water pump. Water isn't magic, and water does NOT make things cooler.

Then why do cars use water cooling? So they can run HOT! An air-cooled car engine, designed to never overheat and only reach 110C in the worst circumstances, will spend most of its life running around 50-70C. Meanwhile, a water cooled engine has better temperature control so it can run at 100C all the time. And a hotter engine provides cleaner combustion.

We're not worried about "fouling the plugs" on our PC's, we want to keep them cool. The simpler the better. While water cooling allows one to move the radiator to a more convenient location, that's all it does. It adds the inconvenience of extra hardware.

Now, the factory sink is great. You can even get good overclocking from a factory sink. But for those who want something quieter, there's big air, then there's water for 2x the price, 2x the installation hassel, and the only advantage is you get to mount the radiator where you want it, if you can find the room. You'd be better off just porting your 120mm air cooler out the side panel.

Now, I use an external water cooler...because of its huge passive radiator. But most of these guys want their systems at least somewhat portable, hence internal cooling only.

Now about your ridiculous claim of never having to clean the radiator of your water cooler...
December 27, 2005 9:38:39 AM

If you have an external radiator (behind the case) then heat is carried outside of the system and case. Easily cleaned with compressed air in 20 seconds . . . opening a case to clean heatsinks is neither fun nor fast.

Water cools better than air . . a fact.

An external radiator allows cleaning of cooling fins without opening the case. Neat clean and everything is cool inside cuz there is not restricted airflow inside the case.

Massive air cooling heatsinks restricts airflow inside case . . cooler CPU but then you have overheated hard drives / chipsets / GPUs. You swap only where the overheating occurs if you restrict air flow or you add multiple large fans to compensate. More noise and more load on the PSU.

Extra hardware ? Yes . . . But who has space for massive heatsinks ?

Watercooling is not without drawbacks . . especially during installation . . but a 24 hour test run reveals problems (with no power to motherboard).
This is where care and skill guage the modders ability. Separates the newbie from the experienced. After it is installed it is almost maint free.

If you dont overclock then you dont need any of this but if you do then you have to deal with these problems . . one solution or another and watercooling is the most efficient.

The fastest overclocked systems (and stable while overclocked) are all watercooled. Air cant do that . .. period. Now there is the twist. One man's "stupidity" is another man's wisdom !! Think of Oroville Wright.
a b K Overclocking
December 27, 2005 6:43:37 PM

Like I said, most of these guys need at least "some" portability, so they're going to use internal water cooling, if they use water cooling.

"Water coolers" can't cool "better than air" because they USE air. Water only transfers heat to a radiator, it's the radiator that does the cooling.

You should read my Thermaltake Big Typhoon cooler review at SysOpt. 3.8GHz from a 3.0GHz P4, fairly cool and nearly silent. The CPU just won't go any higher, it's an early P4 530 and those were known to crap out between 3.6GHz and 3.8GHz even when kept cool.

Certainly an external water cooler could have dropped the temperatures a couple degree using the same radiator fan. But that small drop doesn't justify the hassel of setting it up.

And certainly some really powerfull water coolers could have dropped it up to 10C, but that's mostly because they use more powerfull radiator fans. Oh, you can put a fast fan on the Big Typhoon too, if you'd like. And with both coolers using the same fan, you'll find a minimal temperature difference.

The only good reason I can find to use water cooling for the typical overclocking hobyist is that the big air coolers block access to components underneath. The main reason I can appreciate anyone choosing the Thermalright SI-120 instead of the Thermaltake Big Typhoon is it's better attachment hardware. But either of these coolers has a huge advantage over external water coolers: They both cool the RAM, northbridge, and VRM. You'd have to add yet another fan to the case in order to get the same benefit with external water cooling.

Noise to noise the 120mm sinks are within a few degrees of an external 120mm water cooler radiator. The water cooler also adds the noise of a pump, and being external, makes the system virtually non-portable. And that's why people choose internal water coolers, which have similar temperatures to a 120mm sink.

Anyone considering an internal water cooler can get similar results by putting a hole in the side of their case and using an air cooler with the same size radiator. External cooling isn't easily portable and while it has some benefits in achieving ultimate clock speed, it's not a good option for the majority.
December 27, 2005 7:07:20 PM

Quote:
If you have an external radiator (behind the case) then heat is carried outside of the system and case. Easily cleaned with compressed air in 20 seconds . . . opening a case to clean heatsinks is neither fun nor fast.


Takes me 30 secconds to clean out my case and all the stuff inside.

Quote:

Water cools better than air . . a fact.


Yeah, to get any gains you need a large radiator with multiple large fans going at a noisy speed!

Quote:

An external radiator allows cleaning of cooling fins without opening the case. Neat clean and everything is cool inside cuz there is not restricted airflow inside the case.


External = Not portable. It sucks having to drain the system, moving it, fill it, run it for 24hrs (like you said) to catch leaks.

Quote:

Massive air cooling heatsinks restricts airflow inside case . . cooler CPU but then you have overheated hard drives / chipsets / GPUs. You swap only where the overheating occurs if you restrict air flow or you add multiple large fans to compensate. More noise and more load on the PSU.


Complete bullshit... I have two inaudible fans keeping everything very cool over my Massive heatsink that cools = to cheap watercooling. Harddrives overheating... ROFLMMFGDAO! Load on the PSU again with the ROFLMMFGDAO... Fans draw almost nothing and never have I had any effect on my PSU with running an assload of fans just for the fun of it!

Quote:

Extra hardware ? Yes . . . But who has space for massive heatsinks ?


I could say the same about hoses running every witch direction!

Quote:

Watercooling is not without drawbacks . . especially during installation . . but a 24 hour test run reveals problems (with no power to motherboard).
This is where care and skill guage the modders ability. Separates the newbie from the experienced. After it is installed it is almost maint free.


Again... Sucks to wait 24hrs at a lanparty after you refill your system because you had to take off your external radiator. And if you dont drain, then your not too bright. Everyone knows what happens when your car hits a nice bump and sends your waterfilled PC flying!

Quote:

If you dont overclock then you dont need any of this but if you do then you have to deal with these problems . . one solution or another and watercooling is the most efficient.

The fastest overclocked systems (and stable while overclocked) are all watercooled. Air cant do that . .. period. Now there is the twist. One man's "stupidity" is another man's wisdom !! Think of Oroville Wright.


Again, Bullshit. I could go so many directions with as to why, but I would rather not since most of them are obvious!
a b K Overclocking
December 27, 2005 7:57:15 PM

Hello Clob! I still have my passive external water cooler on my non-movable desktop. It's only connected to the CPU now because I changed video card and mounting a GPU cooler sux. Besides, I didn't want to overheat my GPU RAM by reducing airflow between the cards, and adding a side fan would just be more hassel...
December 28, 2005 12:39:19 AM

Hello Crashman!! lol...

I was thinking about a summer setup that I attach a radiator to the front of my window unit that blows very cold air across it! Would be fun to do since my room gets like 85F during the summer lol.
January 2, 2006 6:03:53 PM

lol funny how semi hijacked this post got =) Should have an all out water cooling vs heatsink/fan war postings.
!