Looking for CPU Cooler Suggestions

Hi folks -

I'm going to be purchasing a new computer soon, and I'm having trouble deciding on a cooler. Here's the relevant specs.

CPU: Intel QX6600
MB: Gigabyte GA-P35-DSR3
Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel

I plan on overclocking the CPU. I've been building machines for years but have never attempted to overclock anything. Can you recommend a good CPU cooler? I'd prefer one that was easy to install and did not require me to do any modding to my case.

I did a little bit of research on my own, and I've seen the following:

Scythe Ninja

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro

Turniq Tower 120

Thermaltake CL-P0310

I don't really know if any of these will do the job, or if they're easy to install (almost every CPU I've come across has at least a few people who say it was hard to install!). Any reccommendations would be most welcome. Thank-you!
20 answers Last reply
More about looking cooler suggestions
  1. For a Quad, the Tuniq Tower should be okay, and I'd also recommend the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme CPU Cooler:


    Which should be about or better as well as lighter then the Tuniq.
  2. Another vote for the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme and you also might want to check out the Thermalright IFX-14.
  3. I got the arctic cooler. Works well and is only 20 bucks.
  4. I have a scythe ninja Rev. B and the installation is pretty easy and it works very well.
  5. All will do the job, and will fit in your case without modding. They are much better than the stock cooler. I prefer coolers that use larger 120mm fans because they move more air at lower rpm's, and are therefore more quiet. I also like coolers that direct the heated air directly out the rear of the case. The thermalright ultra 120 extreme seems to be the best one out there today, although a bit expensive. You will have to mount a backing plate with the mobo outside of the case, but with screws, it will be a more secure mount. The scythe ninja is also very good, but you have to be very careful that the push-pin mount is on properly; it is best done outside of the case so you can inspect the underside of the mobo to verify that all the pins are properly through.
    ---good luck---
  6. I also have the Ninja Rev. B and i couldnt be more pleased.
  7. If you're overclocking goals are in the 3.0Ghz range then an AC Freezer 7 Pro or a CoolerMaster Hyper TX2 are good values and very easy to install. Both do not require a motherboard backing plate and come with the thermal compound preinstalled. AC F7 Pro & CM Hyper TX2 review The Hyper TX2 is on sale now at Newegg for 29.99 plus $20 rebate.

    The Thermaltake CL-P0310 Mini-Typhon is a step up from the AC F7 Pro and CM Hyper TX2 and would also make a good choice for the moderate overclocking range.

    A Thermalright Ultima 90 also worth a close look at a midsize HSF that gives very good performance. Ultima 90 review

    If you want to try pushing the Q6600 above 3.2Ghz you'll want to look at the bigger HSFs
    Hexus.net did a review not long ago that looked at a bunch of coolers and included review of things like time to install and other factors. Its worth a look Hexus.net review of 775 socket coolers
  8. Uhhg... not so sure about that review.

    It did crack me up when they stated Intels limit on weight of 450g. :lol: . o O (I know the tuniq is abit heavy)

    Back to why I say about the temps for idle/load. My idle temps for example:

    E4400 OC @ 2.8ghz - Speed Step on (1.68ghz idle)
    22C - sensor for center of the 2 cores
    35C - core 0
    38C - core 1

    Room temp 76-77 F atm

    So it's really hard to say what you really want to trust on what other site or people say about their temps. And I also ended up using the thermal grease that came with my Tuniq (TX-1). I should stress it was a pain to put on. It was like... putting silly puddy on the CPU, but it wouldn't stick. :lol:
  9. :ouch: . o O (wow)
  10. Wow, thanks for all the input, guys! It seems like I have a *LOT* of options.

    Here's a little bit more information. My primary use for this computer is going to be gaming. Also, I was hoping to keep the OC range around 3.0ghz. My hope is that this would give me performance pretty comparable to an e6850 and will make the processor more viable when more applications take advantadge of quad-processors.

    Anyway, I've done some reading up on the sinks you've all suggested. The reviews I've read lead me to believe that a lot of them are heavy, and some seem to require some installation steps that I know I would struggle with. I'm not really all that handy and have a bad track record with installing heat sinks! Anyway, I think I'd like to go with:

    ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro

    Will this cool my system adequately? Do you think I will need additional fans? And if so, any suggestions? Also, do you have any pointers you might be able to give a guy who's trying to do his first OC? I've already skimmed over a few guides, but I know some of you have enough experience that you might be able to point out a few "gotchas" that a regular guide might miss.

    Thanks again guys. You've been very helpful!
  11. Ach, I'm gonna reply to myself here. 08nwsula - I just assumed you were joking when you linked a heat sink that was FREE... but I guess it's actually a good heat sink. I've read a couple of reviews from people who have my case and they said it fits ok. Although this thing seems like it's a pain in the butt to install (much harder than the AC Freezer 7 Pro), is it a significantly better cooling solution?
  12. The COOLER MASTER GeminII (II= 2xfans?) is patterned after the Thermaltake Big Typhoon with an extra fan.
    And it looks to be a very good cooler hanging in there with even the top air coolers.
    You'll need to factor in the price of 2 fans ~$8 each.
    Its probably more cooling than you need for your goals, but hey! It's free.
    Here is a review of the GeminII @ Xbit Labs.

    edit; fixed link to review
  13. Sabran said:
    Do you think I will need additional fans? And if so, any suggestions? Also, do you have any pointers you might be able to give a guy who's trying to do his first OC? I've already skimmed over a few guides, but I know some of you have enough experience that you might be able to point out a few "gotchas" that a regular guide might miss.
    With your case choice's good cooling I dont expect you'll need any extra fans for cooling.
    You picked a good CPU for your first OC attempt. Even better if its the Q6600 G0 stepping. (Even the B3 stepping should meet your OC goal.) You're goal of 3.0Ghz is only a "moderate" (for a C2D/C2Q) 25% OC.
    The stock FSB of 266.5Mhz and the CPU multiplier of 9 gives you the CPU frequency 266.5x9=2398Mhz or 2.4Ghz
    Pushing the FSB to 333Mhz with the CPU multi of 9 will give you 2997Mhz or 3.0Ghz (and a FSB of 333x4 or 1333).
    The C2D/C2Q Overclocking guide in the OC section should give you all the hints you need to know. My only suggestion is to run your system at stock for a week or two then another week or two at 300FSB before going higher.
  14. Here's more links than you want to know...

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/articleindex under cooling section

    Last, but certainly not least...

    Goto http://www.hardware.info/
    Click "Case Fans"
    Click "Click here to compare specifications, test results and prices of 67 case fans in our product database."
    Click Tested since: change to All
    Near the Compare Specs button, Click to select All fans
    Click "Compare Specs"
    See actual CFM and DB test results for 67 case fans!
    You could copy and paste it to Excel

    You had to ask.
  15. I myself have my own CPU cooler which rocks. The Zalman CPNS 9700 all copper.


    I installed a Zalman CPNS 9500 on my old P4 EE 3.4GHz and it stayed at 34c idle and 45c load.

    This one keeps mye OC'ed (to 2.7GHz for now) Q6600 at 34c idle and 42-44c load.

    Its a really great cooler and the price is good for the quality of it. It also has a blue LED fan and speed control.
  16. There's no such thing as too much information! The GeminII seems like a pretty good bet at this point. It's hard to beat the price of FREE, and it seems like I could push the CPU even higher than 3.0 if I started to feel comfortable with it. I'm really hoping for a Q6600 G0 stepping, but since I'm most likely ordering from NewEgg within the next few days, that might not happen. Probably not such a big deal for me, but it would be nice!

    I'm still a little nervous about the installtion, but the guide from Xbit seems pretty comprehensive (thanks WR2!). Since this thing doesn't come with fans, I'll start doing some research into what fans are good. I'm going to start with your guide, dspear.

    Thanks again for all your posts. I really appreciate it!
  17. Sabran said:
    I'm still a little nervous about the installtion, but the guide from Xbit seems pretty comprehensive (thanks WR2!). Since this thing doesn't come with fans, I'll start doing some research into what fans are good. I'm going to start with your guide, dspear.
    The Xbit Labs review does show recommended fans so use that as a starting point for comparison as you research other fans. Considering your case choice maybe a couple LED fans if you're looking for a little case "bling". Give the Antec case fans a hard look. Using identical fans in a case can sometimes "sound" better to your ear than having different fans even if run at the same speed.
  18. for fans - I got one of these things for my case.

    Nice and quiet, and moves a huge amount of air.
  19. My experience is based on an E6600 (2.4 GHz). The stock Intel HSF is pretty good. It got me to 3 GHz - with good temps, especially since I was able to reduce vcore from 1.35 volts to less than 1.25 volts.

    I bought all my parts last December while home on vacation. I included an AC7 Freezer Pro. I have a pretty good hand-me-down case here, and I wasn't sure that anything larger would fit. That got me to 3.3 GHz with good stability. Excellent economy HSF.

    Last vacation, I brought back an Ultra 120 Extreme. The base was not quite flat - kind of sloppy machine work. I hand lapped the base, starting with 400 grit paper down to 1500 grit paper. Extra bonus - flattening the base also removed the thin layer of aluminum, exposing bare copper. Teamed it with an S-Flex fan. That got me to 3.6 GHz. with good stability.Orthos runs without crashing. After 2 hours, CPU temp is 40 degrees C. I have a weird mouse problem that goes away when I drop the speed to 3.5 GHz. I haven't figured out whats going on yet.

    Downside of the 120 Extreme - it's big, and it's relatively heavy. In an existing build, you need to remove the motherboard. I am not happy with the fan mouting wire clips. And especially considering that it does not come with a fan , it is expensive.

    I have no experience with quad cores, but I figure that with 4 cores under the heat spreader instead of two, I would go with somehing better than an AC7 Frezer Pro.
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