Been doing research on CPU cooling, and found these were among favorites among users in no particular order:
-Tuniq Tower 120 possibly paired with SILVERSTONE FM120
-Zalman CNPS9700 LED - comes with fan
-Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro - comes with fan, or maybe pair it with the Silverstone?
-Scythe "Infinity" - comes with fan
There are more that just aren't coming to the top of my head right now.
I'm building a new computer for the holiday season and since I'm not going water-cooling, I pretty much want the best air-cooling I can get(considering i'm not that talented on how to set up a water-cooling system).
Unless someone might have some extra time on their hands and could possibly help me out with finding exactly what parts I would need to buy(seems like a hassle) I would probably end up getting one of these.
So which Heat sink/fan combo around is the best? Regardless if it's anything I listed or not.
Going to go for the Core 2 Duo E6600 processor.
EDIT: Also, how would this compare to an easy watercooling installation kit such as the Gigabyte 3d Galaxy II, or something similar?
The Tuniq Tower 120 is undoubtfully the king, Newegg is expecting a shipment in a couple of days.
The Scythe Inifiny is a top performer, but it might be too tall for some cases.
The budget range has a new king, the Cooler Master Hyper TX, it has even outperformed a Ultra-120 in some benchmarks (can get myself to understand how). So this definetly leaves the Arctic Cooling Freezer series out of the game for now.
The Zalman 9500/9700 are simply overpriced for their performance, not worth looking at IMO.
On your selection the Tuniq Tower 120 is the best one.Thermalright Ultra 120 would be a good cooler and pair that with the FM121 fan then you got a very good and silent cpu cooler. I highly recommend the FM121 for the Tuniq or Thermalright, it's quite and high cfm. I used it myself for my Big Typhoon and now for my radiator. Both are very good cooler.
But if you don't overclock or not going to, then any of your on the four you listed selection would be good enough for the E6600. Make sure you use a good thermal paste like AS5.
As for watercooling well, if you don't overclock then go for the air cooling since it's way more reliable and low maintenance. Make have used Thermaltake Big Water kit and have said it's a good water cooling kit for it's price.
Yea i agree the Scythe heatsinks are very nice. I personally own the Zalaman CNPS9500, mainly because i was not a fan of the retention clip design used by Scythe. It is the same designed used my intel for the stock hsf. But considering the Intel HSF do not have the weight and size issues of the Scythe. Price wise you can get the Zalman CNPS9500 for a little less then some of the Scythe. I can say though I thought my Zalman was a huge heatsink it doesn't have anything on the Scythe Ninja and Infinity. From just about all the reviews i have read recently these heatsinks run very close to each other in performance.
My 2 cents on the subject - I am currently running stock cooling on a E6600 which resides on an Asus P5B. With no overclock(266x9), I barely reach 45C at load, with a 14% overclock (310x9) I touch 55C.
I only run a 10% overclock, and the stock cooling is just fine. I would NOT trust it for anything beyond that as an operational setting - as I am a bit conservative.
The only reason you would need an aftermarket cooler is if you get an OEM processor or you wish to safely overclock beyond 10%. The Core2Duo has done a fine job of thermal management - and is a quantum leap above the Prescot series (which I have a Zalman 9500 on a P4 3.2Mhz).
I am quite happy with the slight overclock - and honestly do not see much of a performance increase - just better benchmark scores.
It's your decision - get the big bad cooler - but you will hard pressed to find an application which requires a serious overclock of the E6600.
(I just upgraded my cooling to the AC Freezer Pro 7 - I am very happy with this - as I have dropped about 8-12 degrees on both idle and Load)