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suggestions for CPU cooler

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April 25, 2007 11:28:02 PM

I'm finally putting a new system together but previous to this i've generally used the stock coolers...but for this particular system i'd rather go with something after market...so as the title says any suggestions would be helpful...i've looked up various reviews on various coolers but have found varying opinions on every fan and brand

are there any units that stand above the rest?

i'd like to keep the price under $80 but if not i'm not too concerned...right now just looking for any suggestions

here are my system specs so far

CPU: intel e6600
motherboard: evga 680i or 680i LT
ram: 2gb corsair ddr2
vga: evga 880gtx
psu: corsair hx 620
case: gigabyte aurora 570

More about : suggestions cpu cooler

April 26, 2007 5:42:16 AM

So far, the Zalman 9500 is the bang-for-the-buck champ in air-cooling. Even better, they work in everything from LGA775 and AM2 setups to the old-school S478 (Intel) and S754 (AMD) setups (albeit with mid-tower or larger cases). I was looking at aftermarket air-cooling options for a new build I am planning, and read up on the Zalman 9500 (surprisingly, I read the review on Tom's *last*; my first stop was the EVGA message boards). Even more surprising, I checked the S478 compatibility list (just for yuks) and noticed my current ASUS P4C800E sitting on it! (I have a P4 2.6 Northwood-C with the stock HSF mounted; the entire setup, including ATI AIW 9700 Pro, Audigy 2 ZS, Maxtor SATA HD, dual optical drives, ATI HDTV Wonder, and 1.44 MB floppy is in a Lian-Li mid-tower case driven by an Antec SmartPower 420 PSU.) Given that, I'm actually considering *two* 9500s (one for the new build, and one for the old).
April 26, 2007 2:33:40 PM

No offense from the above but Zalmans are not the greatest and you pay through the teeth for them.

My first question would be whether you are looking to Overclock your CPU or not. And if you are looking to overclock it, how extreme?

My suggestion would be a Thermalright Ultra-90 if you are planning stock speed of just a mild overclock. You need to buy a 92mm fan of your choice for it but its not a GIGANTIC cooler like the top performers, but for the size its amazing.

If you want to OC or want a big gorilla, get a Thermalright Ultra-120 or Ultra-120 Extreme. you will need a 120mm fan of your choic for this as well.

Check out Tom's reviews and also anandtech for the review of top coolers and there performance. some of the top coolers are just enormous and a smaller one does just as good. THat and its personal preferece at some point as long as its a good cooler in the end.
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April 26, 2007 8:13:48 PM

Best inexpensive heatsinks are the Cooler Master Hyper 6+ and the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. For the ACF7 Pro, go to Ebay. You can pick one up for just under 28 bucks.

You can get the Scythe Infiniti if you want to squeeze another 20 MHz or so, but I don't think it's worth it.

Benchmarks.
April 27, 2007 3:27:45 PM

If you are interested I have my Arctic Cooler Freezer 7 that I took off before I got the Thermalright U120. I had it about 5 months if you are interested. I'd ship it for $30 flat.
April 27, 2007 4:17:50 PM

I'd recommend either Zalman 9500 or Zalman 9700. Very compatible. Quiet. Good cooling. Price range for one of them is about $40-$55, which is under your $80.
April 27, 2007 4:57:48 PM

Right now the best one is the Ultra 120 Extreme from Thermalright. It's sold out currently as it was just launched this week. Wait for it to restock or preorder one. It's very worth it.
April 27, 2007 6:03:53 PM

Quote:
Right now the best one is the Ultra 120 Extreme from Thermalright. It's sold out currently as it was just launched this week. Wait for it to restock or preorder one. It's very worth it.


Or wait till thermalright comes out with that Fire Extinguisher one which is just rediculously enormous. It has a cooler to the REAR of the MB. I mean ITS GIGANTIC.. look..

http://www.thermalright.com/a_page/main_product_ifx14.h...

By the way i wish i waited for the extreme but it only has 2 more heatpipe giving it about 1-2C better performance. Woooopiieeeee.
April 29, 2007 12:56:51 AM

Quote:
I'm finally putting a new system together but previous to this i've generally used the stock coolers...but for this particular system i'd rather go with something after market...so as the title says any suggestions would be helpful...i've looked up various reviews on various coolers but have found varying opinions on every fan and brand

are there any units that stand above the rest?

i'd like to keep the price under $80 but if not i'm not too concerned...right now just looking for any suggestions

here are my system specs so far

CPU: intel e6600
motherboard: evga 680i or 680i LT
ram: 2gb corsair ddr2
vga: evga 880gtx
psu: corsair hx 620
case: gigabyte aurora 570
Since you did not say why you want an after-market cooler, maybe some more resources can help:

Focus on Quiet:
SilentPCReview: HSF section:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/section11.html

Focus on Cooling Performance:
Various other HSF review sites:
http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=getarticle&articID=556
http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/
http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/coolers/index.html

Focus on Pretty:
Well, these reviews will be hard to find. I think the Zalman9700/9500 would win here though. Decent cooling, very pretty, not the quietest.
The Thermaltake Blue Orb II is also decent and pretty.
!