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Best Air Coolers??

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  • Heatsinks
  • Cooling
  • Overclocking
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April 5, 2007 8:30:22 PM

Alright, this is spawning off of my search for a good water cooler. I was told that I should just go air. See Bigwater 745 vs 3D Galaxy II in here. Now that I am starting to look for air cooling, what is the best out for that.

It can NOT :

Be Loud
Run hot
Be Unreasonably large
Odd in Color
Copper and Aluminum (it can be either or, not both...)

This site shows a list of 5 top performers in temp and top 5 in noise.
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

People keep talking about this "Tuniq Tower" but when I looked, the sites that had review didn't work, and why is it not on that list?

So..... What are your opinions on heat sink fans?

I personally like the Zalmen 9700.

More about : air coolers

April 7, 2007 2:01:31 AM

Quote:
I personally like the Zalmen 9700.


Zalman's are overpriced and not worth it and beside Tuniq Tower is WAY better than the Zalman 9700 or if you don't like those you can either choose from Scythe Infinite or Ninja they are still better and cheaper than the Zalman 9700.
April 7, 2007 2:04:22 AM

With the top few aftermarket air coolers, the temps are within a few degrees C, and it comes down to personal preference.
I chose the Zalman 9700 for its design and look, plus it is near silent inside the case and stays on low fan speed even when OC'd.
Related resources
April 7, 2007 2:33:18 AM

I like the Zalman myself. It was on sale when I got it, so the price was good. Its quiet enough that I don't notice the fan noise at all and it cools my FX60 sufficiently well. A Tuniq Tower or a ThermalTake Ultra may do a slightly better job, but they also weigh a bunch more. If you've got a C2D and you're overclocking very high, than the Tower or the Ultra will no doubt do a better job than a Zalman. It depends a lot on how much cooling you need, and how much you value low noise levels.
April 7, 2007 4:20:32 AM

I personally like the 9700, it is quiet, as hell (my friend just bought one and we cant hear it when he closes his case side (3D aurora 570).

The tuniq tower... it is big, but is it quiet?

and for over clocking... i want to push it to about 3ghz until this fall when I am buying a Q6600 ($266!!!). So it has to be able to cool that as well.

I am also looking at water cooling, you can see how that thread is going (Bigwater 745 vs 3D Galaxy II) if you are interested in one of those.

Ok... i have no idea what i just said and it is past my bed time, the misses will kill me if i don't get to bed now....

until nexterday!
April 7, 2007 12:54:25 PM

Is it smart to have copper and aluminum? Wont that cause it to... do... that... thing where the... yeah... Or is it better to have a solid copper or solid aluminum?

I looked at that Noctua NH-U12F and it looks just like the top 1 of the site that i had linked to this. Dose copper and aluminum cool better?
a b K Overclocking
April 7, 2007 1:53:29 PM

Quote:
Is it smart to have copper and aluminum? Wont that cause it to... do... that... thing where the... yeah... Or is it better to have a solid copper or solid aluminum?



Using a Al-Cu combination HS will not cause an explosion if that's what you're worried about. It kinda offers the best of both worlds. Copper is a better conductor of heat, but aluminum is not as heavy as copper.

Personally, I use the Scythe Ninja+ HSF.
April 7, 2007 5:30:50 PM

Quote:
Is it smart to have copper and aluminum? Wont that cause it to... do... that... thing where the... yeah... Or is it better to have a solid copper or solid aluminum?

I looked at that Noctua NH-U12F and it looks just like the top 1 of the site that i had linked to this. Dose copper and aluminum cool better?


I think its best to be either all aluminum or all copper. That way there isn't a problem of electrolysis. Copper usually cools better, but aluminum is cheaper.
April 7, 2007 5:33:51 PM

Here are a couple great coolers, just the ones off the top of my head. They're more or less in order of thermal performance.

Thermalright Ultra 120+ (not available yet)
Tuniq Tower 120
Thermalright Ultra 120
Asus Silent Night
Sythe Infinity

And reviews, in the same order as the list.

http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?i=2943
http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?i=2906
http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?i=2941
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/asus-silent-knight.html
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/zalman-scythe_11.html

The 9700 is a decent cooler, but overpriced for what your getting. I have a Tuniq Tower and love it. Even with the stock fan at 2000rpm (the max) its still really quiet.

EDIT: Thermalright, not Thermaltake.
April 7, 2007 5:42:02 PM

Quote:
I love my 9500 Socket Am2 Zalman no problems on my OCed to 3.2 ghz stable X2 6000+


I have a 9500 on my FX60 and it keeps things cool to 3.1 ghz. I would have gotten a 9700 at the time, but the 9500 was on sale for about half the price of a 9700. I haven't regretted the purchase of the 9500 one bit, but when I finally upgrade to a higher performing cpu, I'll either be looking for something like a Tuniq Tower or go with watercooling.
April 7, 2007 6:07:10 PM

Quote:
Here are a couple great coolers, just the ones off the top of my head. They're more or less in order of thermal performance.

Thermaltake Ultra 120+ (not available yet)
...
Thermaltake Ultra 120
...

I think those two are from Thermalright, not Thermaltake. Or are they secretly the same company?

Edit: Fixed overzealous use of delete key
April 7, 2007 6:19:52 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Here are a couple great coolers, just the ones off the top of my head. They're more or less in order of thermal performance.

Thermaltake Ultra 120+ (not available yet)
...
Thermaltake Ultra 120
...
quote]
I think those two are from Thermalright, not Thermaltake. Or are they secretly the same company?


You're right, they are from Thermalright. The names are too similar.
April 7, 2007 6:23:49 PM

Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out.
April 7, 2007 6:28:47 PM

Quote:
Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out.


I've made the same mistake in the past. That's why I like the "edit" button. You can make a mistake and if you fix it fast enough, nobody knows.
April 7, 2007 6:39:05 PM

I've read a few good things about the Enzotech Ultra-X. Anyone have any experience with it?
April 7, 2007 7:37:33 PM

Quote:
I've read a few good things about the Enzotech Ultra-X. Anyone have any experience with it?


i have it, i Oc'ed my X2 3800 to 2.6Mhz no problems, and not really that loud, it also has a fan speed controller. It is small enough, and has a sexy black top. it is a great deal, also come with Artic sliver 5. :D  :D  :D 
April 7, 2007 8:19:15 PM

I love my Tuniq 120 it's big yes and if you jack it up on high with the throttle it can be kinda loud but I don't want my CPU fan running on low. It's got my E6600 stable at 3.5 and that's just fine for me.
April 12, 2007 8:52:46 PM

Quote:
Is it smart to have copper and aluminum? Wont that cause it to... do... that... thing where the... yeah... Or is it better to have a solid copper or solid aluminum?

I looked at that Noctua NH-U12F and it looks just like the top 1 of the site that i had linked to this. Dose copper and aluminum cool better?


I think its best to be either all aluminum or all copper. That way there isn't a problem of electrolysis. Copper usually cools better, but aluminum is cheaper.

That is not exactly correct. Copper absorbs heat somewhat better than aluminum. Aluminum disipates heat somewhat better than copper. That is why copper is used on the actual heatsink plate and aluminum for the fins. Copper tubing is ony used for heatpipes because it is more malable than aluminum and stronger.
April 18, 2007 1:17:56 AM

Well it has been a while since i have said anything so I will let the you people know that I am choosing to go with the Tuniq Tower 120. It took me a lot of research, time, and prying myself from the sleek look of the Zalman 9700, but I think I will be happy with the Tuniq tower 120.
April 18, 2007 4:38:05 AM

Nice choice. Great hsf, the mounting hardware leaves a little to be desired though...
April 18, 2007 1:26:46 PM

With Air Cooling, usually BIGGER is BETTER. Well as long as the design is good. Thermalright has their head on straight, I have a new found love for them and their crazy coolers. The Ultra-120 is good with the extreme version 1-2C cooler. They actually have a new one comming out on their page that GIGANTIC and even has a piece that adhears to teh back side of the board and has 2 flat heatpipes comming around to a cooler. Ok now that is just a little extreme but they do know what they are doing. You wont find a light good cooler without sacraficing some cooling performance. My old Acrtic Freezer Pro 7 was pretty good but just wasn't enough once I started increasing the voltage. Ok so it WAS enough, I just prefer cooler temps.
April 18, 2007 1:49:58 PM

I have heard that the screws that tighten down the hsf on the tuniq tower are a little shabby. The heads keep pooping off or something. Do you think that this may be a problem for me?
April 18, 2007 1:52:38 PM

I have been looking around for a while and it seems that Tuniq can beat the thermalright by a couple of degrees here and there. So do you say that I should go with thermalright or Tuniq? (there will be lots of convincing for me to go to thermalright)
April 18, 2007 2:54:53 PM

As for the screws, you can either be very careful not to overtighten them or just use one piece screws for another source. From what I've read in the reviews, both the Tuniq and the Thermalright are about neck and neck, one ahead in one review, the other in a different review. I'd choose the Tower at the moment, but Thermalright is said to have a new model that is slightly better. I don't know the details on that at the moment.
April 18, 2007 5:09:10 PM



I seen the reference ad for that cooler as well. But with it not being available and no reviews of its performance, I just ignore it for now. Besides, I have and AMD cpu and the ones listed for sale are for Intel only, besides being out of stock.
April 18, 2007 5:58:37 PM

Where did you guys find the reviews of the IFX-14 vs the Tuniq Tower? The network at my work wont let me view most of the sites. I want the benchmarks for it not the forums where they are talking about it. Also, when is the release date?


Another question but about the Tuniq Tower. They say not to switch out the fan that they have... why? Does anybody know how much air it pushes? Then the next question is if I can find a fan that pushes more air, should I switch it out?
April 18, 2007 6:07:44 PM

Quote:


It can NOT :

Be Loud
Run hot
Be Unreasonably large
Odd in Color
Copper and Aluminum (it can be either or, not both...)



The part in bold above may be a problem for most top end air coolers. Of those listed here already they are all huge. You will want to make sure you know what you are dealing with here and if you have room in your case.

I own the Thermalright Ultra120 and it is great, especially since you can pair whatever 120mm fan you want with it.
April 18, 2007 6:31:08 PM

I'm running th ezalman 9500 or 9700 (cant rmmember atm) and it'e not that spendy and works great.
April 18, 2007 6:35:03 PM

I haven't seen any reviews comparing the IFX-14 and the Tower. They may be out there, but I haven't seen them. As for the Tower and not using other fans, that may just be from the standpoint of their liability lawyers. In other words, they can talk about performance with their own fan, but not guarentee the performance with someone else's fan. Besides, switching fans means that someone buys the fan from someone else besides them.
April 18, 2007 6:35:47 PM

Quote:


It can NOT :

Be Loud
Run hot
Be Unreasonably large
Odd in Color
Copper and Aluminum (it can be either or, not both...)



The part in bold above may be a problem for most top end air coolers. Of those listed here already they are all huge. You will want to make sure you know what you are dealing with here and if you have room in your case.

I own the Thermalright Ultra120 and it is great, especially since you can pair whatever 120mm fan you want with it.

I once had a dream to have a nice small air cooler that was quiet and sleek looking.... that dream died and now I want something that will keep me as cold as possible. The case I am getting is the 3D Arura 570. If that case dose not have enough room.... then I don't think anything will.

I looked at the Zalmen 9700 and the Tuniq tower is normally cheaper and keeps the CPU colder.
April 18, 2007 6:37:49 PM

Quote:
I'm running th ezalman 9500 or 9700 (cant rmmember atm) and it'e not that spendy and works great.


I have a Zalman 9500 on my FX60 and it works great, but my overclock is limited to about 3.2 ghz and it doesn't put out that much heat. These large coolers work best for Intel cpus that are pushing 3.6-4 ghz.
April 18, 2007 7:33:45 PM

Do you think that the Tuniq tower 120 will keep the q6600 cold enough?
April 18, 2007 7:53:54 PM

That depends upon the amount of overclock you try. From what I've read, it should support up to 3.8 ghz, give or take a few. Like the EPA stickers on cars say, your mileage (overclock) may vary.
April 18, 2007 8:01:02 PM

i am not a serious over clocker, i will be pushing it up to 3ghz. if i notice the applications needing more i want to know that i can give it some more... and still be cold.
April 18, 2007 8:36:50 PM

I thought that the home page for the ifx-14 said it takes a 140 on the main cpu cooler and a 120 on the secondary one... I may have it backwards. I would personally start looking at something that moves at least 78-80+ cfm. Newegg has a large selection of fans for the 120 and not such a great selection for 140. But you can probably get a better deal somewhere else.
April 18, 2007 11:00:19 PM

Quote:
i am not a serious over clocker, i will be pushing it up to 3ghz. if i notice the applications needing more i want to know that i can give it some more... and still be cold.


If you're only going to 3 ghz, you should run cool enough.
April 19, 2007 12:04:34 AM

Quote:
As for the screws, you can either be very careful not to overtighten them or just use one piece screws for another source.


Go for the latter, when I got my Tuniq the head on one was already loose, I could easily pull it off. Super glue worked in reattaching it, but I probably should have used JB Weld, much stronger when binding metal.

1 1/2" long machine screws, and wingnuts to match, that's what im going to use. Im getting the hardware this weekend, no matter what.
April 19, 2007 12:22:06 AM

should I maybe then just look for other screws on newegg?? I don't know the area I am around so I have no idea where a hardware store is. It would just be more convenient to by replacement screws when I order the Tuniq Tower.
April 19, 2007 2:08:53 AM

I saw someone mention this cooler on the 1st page. After two days of digging through reviews this looks like the best thing out there as far as I can tell. I like the fact that it's open around the base so air can move around the NB and the rest of the area near the socket.

http://www.virtual-hideout.net/reviews/Enzotech_Ultra-X...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/scythe...

I had planned on getting scythe ninja or thermalright, but this one seems to be just as good with the added benefit of blowing more air around the board. Might change out the stock fan for a scythe flex

I found one on coolerguys.com (kind of nervous about using a site I've never heard of - anybody used them before?

I can keep my 4200 x2 stable at 2.5+, but can't seem to get it over that. Hoping something better than the stock HSF will help.

Also looking for a VGA cooler for an x1800GTO2 - anybody using the Arctic Cooling Accelero X2? I've seen some sites that recommend it and some that like the Zalman VF900 - not really sure which way to go here.

--
AM2 x2 4200
Epox MF 570 SLI
1GB OCZ 6400
Sapphire x1800GTO2
Thermaltake 500W PSU
CoolerMaster Centurian case
2x120mm, 2 x 80 mm case fans
April 19, 2007 3:34:57 AM

frosty tech is correct the ultra-120 is top dog and now you have the ultra-120-e extreme you can use a quiet fan it does not need a high speed one to achive excelent performance you may even want two add a second fan

and wit the bolt through kit that now comes included with it there is no worries about it being to heavy.

simply Thermalright is the best

perfect combination of performance, quiet and no worry if it is too heavy
Thermalrigh ULTRA-120-E Extreme Edition
http://www.acousticpc.com/thermalright_ultra120e_extrem...

one or two of these Noctua quiet fans
http://www.acousticpc.com/noctua_1200_rpm_120mm_fan.htm...


You will be happy.
April 19, 2007 4:31:47 AM

Quote:
I have been looking around for a while and it seems that Tuniq can beat the thermalright by a couple of degrees here and there. So do you say that I should go with thermalright or Tuniq? (there will be lots of convincing for me to go to thermalright)


http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?i=294...

Here is a review that shows the Thermalright beating the Tuniq by a few degrees. The Ultra-120 beat it by 1C at load and the Ultra-120 extreme beat it by 2C. Which really isn't that much and there has to be a buffer for different setups so basically they are both in the same ball park. I found my Thermalright cooler to be VERY nice and give me the performance I need. It does not come with a fan so you have to purchase one of your choice. I suggest a 1800-2200rpm fan. I did have one problem with this cooler. Wel NOT actually a problem with the cooler technically. The cooler was EXTREMELY flat on the contact point. And my Core 2 was concave. I ended up lapping them both so that i got some good contact. When i lapped the cooler it sanded almost perfectly even the entire time. So technically that was intels fault.

Anyways, they are both good, i say its personaly preference and if you think one looks cooler over the other.
April 19, 2007 4:34:43 AM

I don't know that I would use the Noctua fans for HSF applications. The Noctua's design seems that it cannot provide the necessary airflow/pressure in an enclosed space, such as a HSF, that is necessary for proper cooling. Albeit, the Noctua's seem to be a good fan for case cooling though.

If you search (I.E. Google it), you will find many references to this issue with Noctua fans.
April 19, 2007 4:37:18 AM

i have a tuniq tower with fan set below medium, my e6600 idles at 38c and never went past 50c load.. and it's oc'd at 3.35. i also had no issues with mounting it, so i guess it depends on who you're talking to, as my screws seem fine by any estimate.

but, if the thermalright ultra+ was available when i was going on my shopping spree, that would've been my pick.

but, i love my tuniq :D 

also, make sure your case is big enough to handle it, as i've heard people not being able to close their cases because of its size, as i only had about 1 1/2 inch of space left in mine.

April 19, 2007 8:48:38 AM

The thermalright ultima-90 looks sweet. Small (relatively) and effective, too bad it wont be out for a while.

I've also been considering the AC7 Pro (~$30 shipped), but I dont think it can cool enough for a good OC, been looking at the Scythe ANDY (~$40 shipped) as well, I'd probably get an enzotech if it wasn't so damn expensive (~$65 shipped). I might end up just trying out retail for a while then deciding when the ultima-90 is out.
April 19, 2007 10:14:18 AM

Worth a look at the Noctua offering. They are renowned for their amazingly quiet and efficient case fans. I have a older Zalman CNPS7700 which is a fantastic cooler - allows my ageing S939 AMD to be really overclocked, and is fairly quiet. I'm looking out for a new build atm, with quietness a priority and I'm leaning towards the Noctua cooler.

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

It also beats out the Zalman 9700 in many reviews.
http://www.cpu3d.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=...
However, your categories say it can't be large - yet you like the Zalman??? lol
April 19, 2007 3:05:32 PM

When you say for a while, you mean LONG time? i was planning to build new within 1 month or less lol
April 19, 2007 4:26:12 PM

Ok.... so now I am considering the thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme. What is the best fan... err.... what fan did they use in the test where it beat out the Tuniq Tower 120?
April 19, 2007 4:27:42 PM

on anandtech, they used a scythe i believe.
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