Chipset/mobo cooling?


I have a question about chipset cooling. First, relevant deets - I have a P5W DH mobo and an E6600, currently with stock HSF. They're inside a reasonably well ventilated Antec P180 case (2 x 120 exhausts, 1 x 120 intake).

I have just picked Noctua NH-U12F, a tower-type cooler. (The recent spate of Tuniqs dried up, particularly up here in Canada, while I was waiting for a stolen credit card to be replaced, so meh).

So what I want to know is this: I've read that in general, while providing excellent cooling, 'Towers' (like the Noctua) have the slight drawback of NOT blowing down on to the mobo (which the Intel stock one DOES, as do coolers like the Big Typhoon), so you lose the cooling on other motherboard components (e.g. northbridge).

Since I'll be yanking out the mobo to install the Noctua anyway, I figured I'd fit a NB cooler at the same time - and I was thinking of a fanless solution like the Thermalright HR-05, or the Zalman ZN-NBF47 (if it fits). But will a fanless sink be sufficient, without the air movement from the CPU HSF? Also, are there any other areas of the mobo that will require extra cooling, since my CPU HSF will no longer be blowing down on the case?

I don't particularly want to be installing fans just for the sake of it (I like quiet), so I don't really want responses along the lines of 'Ah just suspend a couple more fans to blow on the mobo and you're good'. But if there's something specific that needs to be considered, I'd appreciate the advice. Thanks!
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More about chipset mobo cooling
  1. Well.... I assume you have case fans.... which will cool your chipset heatsink.... right?

    Most likely your standard heatsink should be fine. It might get a little hot, but nothing too alarming. I know the P5W-DH comes with a small fan that you can use, but that would be up to you.

    Also, are you planning on going XFire, because there might be interference there and you should do a rough estimate first.
  2. The following link details an excellent cooling mod for the P5W DH, and having performed this mod, I consider it essential if you intend to OC.

    Since the cooling mod has you remove the useless (but very decorative) covers from the chipsets, I took it a step further by installing a 40mm fan on the northbridge. Comp USA has the Cooler Master Blue Ice SLC-S41-U1 on the shelf for $10.00. Just remove the fan from the heat sink, and install it on the northbridge, using the same screws. It's a perfect fit, and having three wires, the motherboard will monitor the RPM.

    I chose the Zalman because it has good reviews, and it's excellent radial design also cools components adjacent to the CPU socket, including the voltage regulator heat sink. I recommend it highly.
  3. Hey thanks guys!

    Dough: Yes, I do have decent airflow with the P180 (quite roomy, and fairly tidy inside) - so you're right, the case fans may well be sufficient.
    I'm not planning on crossfire - I have a X1900XTX which is doing just fine so far, and by the time I upgrade again I imagine I'll be getting a card with 2 processors on the same card, rather than getting a 2nd card.

    I have to be honest, I really don't want to go with any more fans than absolutely necessary - particularly small whiney ones. But I totally forgot about that little one that comes with the mobo - I can try it out, see if it has any effect, and then take it from there.

    Compu: Thank you SO MUCH for posting that link. I remembered seeing it a month or so ago, and was hunting for it without success for ~ an hour lol.

    Anyways, maybe a good path forward would be clean up those NB and SB sinks, re-seat with AS5, and see what happens. Then, maybe try out with the fan that Dough mentioned above. I came really close to buying the Zalman 9700, but the difference in price with the Noctua was 74 vs 44 (CAD). And I don't think there'll be much performance difference. (And if there is, it'll be more dependent on how competently I install the thing ;)
  4. Your welcome. Let me know if you have any questions about performing the mod.
  5. Awesome thanks!

    btw, just to clarify, the price diff (44 vs 74 CAD) between Noctua and Zalman was particularly pronounced when I bought it, because I found a good deal on the Noc. Whereas I couldn't find one locally on the Zalman. I know it wouldn't normally be such a big diff.
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