Do I need a CPU cooler?

I'm designing the first computer that I will build, and I haven't found a good answer to this question in my research. There are so many options for CPU coolers, and I'm pretty sure the CPU itself will come with a fan. Do I need more than that? Are CPU coolers just for overclocking, or are there other advantages to them?

Here's a quick rundown of what I'll be putting together at this point:

Antec P180
Antec TruePower 2.0 550W
ASUS A8N-E
Athlon 64 4000+
GigaByte GeForce 7800 GTX
Corsair 2GB DDR400 XMS3200
Western Digital Caviar RE2 400 GB
Plextor PX-712SA DVD-RW

Any other comments on my component choices would be welcome as well.
27 answers Last reply
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  1. I dont know if it is of any concern but ram that runs at 1t probably would be better if you going to spend that much money on the CPU and GPU.
  2. Quote:
    I dont know if it is of any concern but ram that runs at 1t probably would be better if you going to spend that much money on the CPU and GPU.


    Sorry, I'm pretty much a noob. I'm not sure what that means. Is there any particular ram you would recommend?
  3. well if you are buying a retail box (PIB, processor in a box) then it will come with a cooler,m and because this is AMD the cooler is suffcient for even medium-high overclocking (although IMO if you are doing heavy OC, the stock fan is a little too loud....) and if you are a noob at building computers, then don't get any of the flashy aftermarket coolers because they are more likely to be a pain to install.... and IMO ASUS is overrated... they price their stuff, which is equally good to abit, gigabyte and less of a performer/features than DFI, much much more (except for DFI, their pricing is not exactly low either, but it comes with a shat load of feature, very good tweaking option, but somwhow do not support corsair ram or the ntune default OC software that comes with nVidia chipsets...) IMO get a Abit board or a gigabye. Or if you are like me, likes the "trial by fire" approch, get a DFI expert :) if you get this thing up and running, overclocked, then you will be considered a pro (because of all the little hting that could screw you up if you didn't research them completly)

    for ram i suggest an of OCZ's VX (voltage extreme) series, they can acheive speed of 250 (DDR500) easily so easier to OC at a higher voltage of 3.2-3.3V, or if you are looking for stability (or should i say less chance of breaking due to heat/voltage) get their GX (gamers extreme) series ram, which runs at a lower 2.8V

    hope this helps

    btw just because of this one post dosen't mean you research is done, even if you don't get the DFI board, its best to cruise some forums that is made for specific components (like the mobo forum for abit) and see if there is any compatibility issues or stability issues...
  4. Thanks for all the input, I'll give those things some thought. That ties up my query about coolers at least. I don't plan on overclocking right away, just building a straight out-of-the-box system to get my feet wet, so I'll just stick with the fan that comes with the CPU. I'll definitely research motherboards some more though, thanks for those ideas.
  5. and if you want a kickass socket 939 motherboard one of the best for stability and overclocking options is the dfi lanparty nf4 series.

    cpu cooler the OEM solution is fine up to moderate overclocks as the power/heat output isnt too bad from the A64 chips. decent OC's and/or hot operating conditions deserve a better cooler.

    i use the thermaltake big typhoon as a very quiet and effective solution.
  6. Quote:
    decent OC's and/or hot operating conditions deserve a better cooler.


    What would cause hot operating systems besides overclocking?
  7. CPU coolers, such as a heatsink&fan, is necassary for your computers lifespan. Without said heatsink&fan your computer will last approximetly 5 seconds.

    Quote:
    I'm designing the first computer that I will build, and I haven't found a good answer to this question in my research. There are so many options for CPU coolers, and I'm pretty sure the CPU itself will come with a fan. Do I need more than that? Are CPU coolers just for overclocking, or are there other advantages to them?

    Here's a quick rundown of what I'll be putting together at this point:

    Antec P180
    Antec TruePower 2.0 550W
    ASUS A8N-E
    Athlon 64 4000+
    GigaByte GeForce 7800 GTX
    Corsair 2GB DDR400 XMS3200
    Western Digital Caviar RE2 400 GB
    Plextor PX-712SA DVD-RW

    Any other comments on my component choices would be welcome as well.
  8. Quote:
    What would cause hot operating systems besides overclocking?

    Having the computer in an oven? :lol:

    Seriously though, Intel Prescott cores need more cooling than a Dothan core, or you live in the desert without air conditioning, or...

    Mike.
  9. Quote:
    and if you want a kickass socket 939 motherboard one of the best for stability and overclocking options is the dfi lanparty nf4 series.

    cpu cooler the OEM solution is fine up to moderate overclocks as the power/heat output isnt too bad from the A64 chips. decent OC's and/or hot operating conditions deserve a better cooler.

    i use the thermaltake big typhoon as a very quiet and effective solution.


    the reason we have DFI NF4s is to make it unstable then make it stable!

    BTW if you got no experince with building computer and don't want a trial by fire approch (about 20 pages+ worths of post from me asking questions and getting flamed by old timers because i had chosen a mobo that is too hard a newbie build... but i cam out triumuph in the end (nice OCes too, not just makeing it work)) don't get DFI!! get abit or gigabye or something, although if you do get it, meet me and many other people at www.dfi-street.com so we cna help ya :)
  10. Quote:
    BTW if you got no experince with building computer and don't want a trial by fire approch (about 20 pages+ worths of post from me asking questions and getting flamed by old timers because i had chosen a mobo that is too hard a newbie build... but i cam out triumuph in the end (nice OCes too, not just makeing it work)) don't get DFI!! get abit or gigabye or something, although if you do get it, meet me and many other people at www.dfi-street.com so we cna help ya :)


    Thanks for the tip. I have to admit though, I'm starting to feel like a little scolding would be worth it to do things the "hard way" and end up with a better/more satisfying system in the end. I'll definitely check out that site.
  11. I'm undecided re. cooling for my forthcoming athlon 4000+ single core san diego. might go with cooler master's aluminium praetorian 732 case, pending comments (if any) on here. I also have the option of a Akasa AK856 heatsink for better cooling. however, found a review for a large range of cpu coolers on this site:

    http://www.custompc.co.uk/

    You need to register for this site to see reviews i think, and also search for the lab reports done on the selection of custom coolers. however, it is a good read if you want to know more about this subject. the report said the akasa ak856 cooled the cpu to 5ûC less than the standard amd cooler. does this mean 5 degrees C less?
  12. Akasa AK856 sounds like a no name hsf that is used for replacing dead retail hsf..... these no name brand hsf perform worst than AMD retail box cooler most of the time, or are really loud... if you are a newbie at putitng on aftermarket hsf, then get a zalaman (all the fans they have is one piece, ez to install as i heard, but expensive for the performance you get), if you are a little more confident in your ability to install a aftermaket hsf (eg, knows how much AS5 to apply, how much push is too much and will crack core, how to swap the stander retainer for a speciual one if needed, and mobo compatibility) then get a SI-120 with a nice 120mm fan (harder to setup cuz its huge!) or a xp-90 with a 90mm fan

    BTW i got bad spelling and grammer so sorry if i made a mess of things in my post :)
  13. Quote:
    for ram i suggest an of OCZ's VX (voltage extreme) series, they can acheive speed of 250 (DDR500) easily so easier to OC at a higher voltage of 3.2-3.3V, or if you are looking for stability (or should i say less chance of breaking due to heat/voltage) get their GX (gamers extreme) series ram, which runs at a lower 2.8V


    I started looking at the OCZ RAM you mentioned, and I have a few questions. First, I notice they have "Gold" and "Platinum" lines... I know that's just marketing, but why do you recommend the "Gold" RAM? Also, the VX doesn't offer a 2GB kit, just 1GB. In your opinion does the voltage cabability make up for that? Finally, is there any chance someone could give a quick explanation of the meanings and relative significance of capacity, voltage, bandwidth, latency, and single vs. dual channel when choosing RAM?
  14. Bump
  15. There once was a time where the CPU didn't need a cooler at all (glances at his P1 system)! Now, it seems, they need a radiator just to keep them cooler than an oven. Then again, the new Pentium 4's run hot enough you can bake a cake with them!
  16. I'd recommend a nice nForce4 motherboard from ASUS, Abit or another good mfg and a 939 4000+ with the stock heatsink and fan.

    For the RAM consider a dual channel kit of Corsair XMS PC3200 or OCZ.

    If you are on a budget get Corsair value-select or Crucial.

    happy building and happy holidayz
  17. The Pentiums did require a heatsink and fan.

    Every Intel CPU since the i486DX-2 has required a heatsink and fan.

    The i486DX-33 did not require a heatsink or a fan.

    live long and prosper
  18. yeah, but the heat sink on the P1 is nothing compared to the monster coolers these days.
  19. Yes, this is true.

    And Copper heatsinks were unheard of back in those days.
  20. hey, just thort i wud mention this link to put a smile on your faces :) http://www.phys.ncku.edu.tw/%7Ehtsu/humor/fry_egg.html


    Happy xmas ppl
  21. Not exactly true. 486DX2/66 normally came with a thin passive sink. Pentium 75 could run without a sink, I refurbished a lot of those systems by installing faster processors. Pentium 90 normally came with just a small sink. Pentium 100-166 normally came with just a medium sized sink. Pentium 200 normally came with just a large sink. These are OEM configurations, as retail boxed Pentiums usually came with an extremely small fan cooler to save space.

    Remember, I have experience with around 1000 of these OEM Pentium systems from all the major brands.
  22. Aye, OEMs always like to cut corners to save $.

    Oftentimes OEMs use a giant heatsink and create a wind tunnel in the case so the PSU exhaust fan can actually cool the CPU also.

    Every system I have owned since my i486DX-2 66 has had a heatsink and fan.
  23. Great Feed ! (no pun intended)

    I'd prefer to use a Prescott for this though. It'l cook faster and won't self destruct. :lol:
  24. Yeah, AMD chips wont cook faster, but will run faster and cooler and last just as long!
    It is not true anymore, that Intel rigs are more stable than AMD built machines. It is true tho, that their are quirks in different chipsets and manufacturers of either AMD or Intel.
    But both are reliable.
  25. Exactly!

    Cool, quiet and stable are major issues for me. Sorting out what components work together used to be much easier - buy Intel and you're home free. Now it's not so simple.

    Even on my 2.4 Northwood box the noisiest part is the HSF.
  26. Yup, AMD has awesome price/performance and great stability if you buy the right components :-)

    AMD64 939 + nForce4 is almost always a safe bet. VIA is good too.

    SiS and ULI are usually ok.
  27. Generally speaking Intel usually has the advantage of having full authority and control over both the CPU and chipset however there are more players in the Intel chipset market now and have a bigger market share than they used to.

    Intel CPU + Intel chipset used to be a safe bet..... well kinda....

    Even "all Intel" platforms have had problems ranging anywhere from very severe to minor. The i840 chipset + DRAM debacle comes to mind. All the Pentium bugs... yadda yadda yadda

    Intel is known to sacrifice performance for stability most of the time.
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