I just got done testing 3 coolers, thermalright ultra-120 (i have used thermal right as my main coolers since 2004 with the xp-90) the Xigmatek Achilles and the zerotherm niverana.
I started this thread after i got an email and a post about a cooler i used and posted in photo so i thought i comment on all.
Thermalright is the cooler all others copy and few can beat, the ultra-90 is probably the best cooler out there for almost any sane overclocker. When insanity hits and 3.6-4Ghz of quad core power is only being cooled by air then the ultra 120 is the answer and the big brother of the ultra 90.
You may have seen the new ultima 90, keep in mind the fasteners are from the down force SI-128 and will interfere with the capacitors on many asus mobos such as the maximus or striker ii. Push pins rock as far as fit all!
The Xigma and thermal right cool about the same at mid load and both are very quiet. The Zerotherm is much louder with build in fan and when the fan speed is reduced its not as good as Thermalright or Xigma.
Hey i typed this up in few mins it by no mean a pro review, but i recommend the Xigma due to lower cost - the fan is included.
If you need every drop of cooling then then thermalright is your answer but its amost 50% higher when you factor in a good fan.
$35 bucks after rebate will get you to 3.6ghz on quad no problems!
o ya the plastic
i forgot the remove the plastic protector on the zig, the system would not boot and i kept getting errors - i reduce and the speed to 3.4ghz and i got a temp of 70c from 30c - wow!
yes from 93 f to 170f from a piece of plastic, the thermal compound could not make the thermal interface from the cpu cooler to the cpu steel package (what u see is not the cpu but a steel box) - the temps jumped 80 f.
I've personally been a fan of the xigmatek coolers ever since I saw the review of the S1283 (which I am currently using) on frostytech - combining the basic design concept of the thermalright ultra with their own ideas about heatpipes being in direct contact with the heat-producing surface for increased heat transfer.
Plus the fan that ships with the xigmatek is a nice and quiet 120mm xigmatek PWM fan
How to install the Xig cooler - x bit got it wrong!
You have to double install it:
1) install the cooler with more compound then normal - run it while and remove it. run it hot - at full load to force the compound into the heat pipe cracks
the xig has exposed heat pipes and you need the TC to wet/flow and fill the cracks.
remove it and lightly wipe off the compound off the cooler and cpu- you do not want to remove it from the cracks from the hsf. you want to prep the surface for the surface layer like a normal hsf.
reapply layer 1 to the cpu, you should use a double bb - spread it from the center even to all edges. You want to trowl it like cement even - like a sidewalk!
reapply a small amout to the center and spread half way to the edges work it too the edges more in the center is good!
you now have compound completely on the entire cpu, you have it mound ed slightly in the center
this pushes air out and your sure to fill all surface junctions - excess will flow out. use arctic silver with this hs you need the flow and long term elasticity.
This may go agains what you read but with the best coolers this works - try it with thermalright (you do not need to remove it and reapply) and xig (here you install once to fill the cracks and the second to bound the suface of the cpu and hsf)
system build last night
at 100% 4 cores running 3 stess programs at 3.4ghz with q6600 in 78-82 f room 55 max per core with core temp and p35 mobo. 40-44 idle with 100orpm 120mm stock orange xig fan shown above
Hi guys -- ok i got email from my site: this is the installation procedure we use for i7 systems set to 3.8ghz (3.6-4ghz).
if you follow this method and use the double fan, use exta thermal compound and burn it in flat you get the same results we get!!!! do not skip on running the system flat, do not skip on extra compound - it makes a big difference sometimes!!!
ever think to turn off a core? think about it!!!!!
see photo below:
1) gaskets: cut small triangles from black acoustic foam and put on all 4 corners - 2 fans - these go against the hs - make sure you blow the air out the back. remember these go on different sides!
the double fan drops temps 10c allows for 4ghz+ i7 >hence my box says i7 and 4ghz
2) install the TC on the HSF push it into the pipe cracks and wipe off the surface os the voids fill (yes you putting thermal compound on both the cpu in the mobo and on the hsf) -
note: run the cpu/mobo flat in the bios at 4ghz for 24 hours to force the thermal compound up into the heat sink, and to spread evenly. if you stand the computer up and run the mobo vertically you not get the same result everytime -sometimes the temps will be high
3) use the double TC method - spread it evenly and thin then second amount mounded size of penny in the middle. You have to get the compound up into the heat pipe cracks to get the extra zing!
4)zip the 2 fans together to get pressure and compress the foam - eliminates vibration - zip time method in black looks fine - i use the rubber mounts on one fan too
5) make sure it faces toward the back - the push pull fan really completes the process - thermalright true is twice the weight and the hs is too heavy. The Xig is the perfect heat sink.
note: we use 90mm fans in the 120mm fan door slot!!! - we hot glue them
finally cut a think piece of accoustic foam to seal the crack on all three sides on both fans
you just learned how to build the fastest air cooled computer in world!