I've recently built a home theatre PC using the Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Pro, however the system is too noisy using the stock CPU cooler. Now my problem is that with this mobo, is that I think the placement of the northbridge chipset retricts the size of the CPU cooler I can place on the mobo.
Also, do to the fact that mobo is in a HTPC box, I need to blow vertically upwards and I have about 10/11 cm in vertical height for fan/heatsink.
I've been searching for ages to a suitable quiet heatsink for this but I'm at wits end cause I don't want to take a risk and buy something that won't fit, so I'd really appreciate if somebody could help out. Any ideas what others have used with this board.
On a side note, what would you recommend for a quiet northbridge chipset fan. The stock one that came with the board is also a little noisy.
Sorry to bring this up, but you most clearly "Failed to plan, so you planned to fail".
Noise output on an HTPC should have been the single biggest consideration when designing and building this box. A great deal of time and effort should have been applied to this subject. The most recent silent gaming box I built for a CAD/Gaming system with 2x Samsung 244T 24" widescreens took me over 20 hours of planning before I was happy to order the parts.
Now - on to your issue.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the Thermaltake Sonic Tower might be too large to fit in your case. It is passive - so relies on case air flow.
I hope you have 120mm fans cooling this thing, a passive video card and a very quiet PSU. Because if you don't, it is probably not worth fixing the CPU cooler - as this will merely make the next most noisy thing in the box sound loud...
North bridge cooling MUST be passive in any HTPC box - tiny fans simply can not cool at low rpm - and high rpms make them whine like biotches!