I'm looking for a replacement CPU HSF for my HTPC system.
1) Must be at least as effective as the stock cooler.
2) Must be quieter than stock cooler.
3) (and this is the biggie) Must fit within this case.
4) Must fit an Intel E6600 Core2Duo processor and GA-965GM-S2 motherboard
Preferably, the new HSF will NOT have any illumination.
After running 24/7 for the last few days, the CPU Temp has risen from 35.5C to 40C idle, so I'm not overly concerned about the rig overheating. I just want it quieter. At the same time, I will probably be picking up new (silent) case fans and I'm thinking of replacing the HD2600Pro with something fanless, but for now, the primary concern is the HSF.
I just recently bought 2 Asus 9600GT Silents to run in SLI after I upgrade those I will put one in my wife's computer and the other in a HTPC I will be building. It's silent and with good air movement runs about 38°C. It also has a hdmi conversion plug for the DVI.
I suggest you remove the CPU duct on your case and put a horizontal path HSF in that case since you have those two exhaust fans right there. Take a look at the Scythe Mini Ninja. It will fit in any case that can take full size PCI cards but the duct would have to go. I'm using that HSF in my HTPC with success, however I changed out the bundled fan for a PWM controlled Arctic Cooling 80mm fan to decrease the noise.
Thanks for the suggestions! I like the Zalman suggested by jtt283, but I don't think it would fit. The current (stock) HSF is right next to the north bridge heat sink with barely enough room for the fan's power wires to sit between. Unfortunately (and the link provided doesn't show it), the north bridge heat sink is a good inch and a half in height. So I'm probably going to go with the Scythe Ninja Mini.
Cisco - The 9600GT is a good card, but the problem (again) is the case. The card you linked has the heat pipe rising up and over the card. My case cover leaves no room above the top of my current card (the HD2600Pro). With that heat pipe sticking up, I wouldn't be able to close the case. I'll keep looking there.
Guys (and gals?), I appreciate the advice you've given me so far, but I have one more noise culprit that I hadn't even thought about. My power supply. It's an Antec. I think (can't check the sticker) it's a SmartPower 2.0 450watt. Now that I'm home and have the case cover off, I'm pretty sure that's where most of the noise is coming from.
Anyone have a suggestion for a quiet, quality power supply with at least one PCI-E and a minimum of three SATA power connectors? Does anyone have a link for the Tiered Power Supply web site?
Thanks again for your advice. I'm off to look at fanless graphic cards.
If you want to keep things tidy, maybe check out modular PSU like the Enermax Liberty, SeaSonic M12's, or modular Corsairs. All are quiet and Tier 2. If your power requirements are low enough, the 400W Liberty can be had for around $70. If you want to forego modular, then any SeaSonic or the Corsair 450W would be a good choice.
For the video card, how much horsepower do you need? If you don't intend to game, then an ATI HD3450/3470 or nVidia 8500/8600 would be plenty for HTPC use and have UVD. You can find plenty of those with single slot passive coolers without heat-pipes going over the side. Or you can get a quiet Zalman VGA cooler to replace the stock cooling on your 2600PRO.
I have it's bigger brother, the Scythe Ninja (6 inches tall), cooling my E6600 OCed to 3.0GHz passively, meaning no fan, in my HTPC case. Currently the ambient temp of my room is 23C, using Core Temp to measure the CPU's temp I get 39C when idle. After stressing my CPU with two instances of CPUBurn (100% load) for 30 minutes, the CPU temp is 58C. I also block all side air vents.
I would assume you can get similar results with the mini and using the fan as well. If you feel that the mini + fan gives you good results, then you can try it without the fan. Just keep in mind that the ambient temperature during the summer (without air conditioning) will be warmer so if you are cooling your CPU passively, you should check to CPU temp when under 100% to determine if attaching the fan is warranted.
In case you are wondering my HTPC case is the SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum Crown Series CW02B-MXR:
Wolf, try a quiet power supply before spending money on a new CPU cooler. For the PS, just be sure to get one with 80+ percent efficiency (thus, it runs cooler, needing less airflow) and with a 120mm fan (larger-diameter fan is quieter).
Rather than actually spending money on a new power supply (just yet), I'm wondering if it's possible/advisable to open a power supply unit and get in there with a can of compressed air. The new hard drive I picked up for this system should arrive today and I'll be diving into the system when I get home tonight.
P.S. RWPritchett - No. Not an EQ fan. Not sure where I picked up that up.