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Please help with making a decent decision.

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June 24, 2008 8:06:43 PM

Hi, I’m shopping for a new computer system and first let me be honest and say that I hate learning about different products for the sake of making a descent purchasing decision. I don’t know which sites to trust and whom to believe. Right now I’m trying to choose a good but not the most expensive CPU heat sink cooler and after a Google search I checked this review http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?i=300... with performance results comparing cooling products and got interested about a Sunbeam Tuniq Tower from this manufacturer http://www.tuniq.com.tw/Home/home.htm then I searched for review s about it on this site and was disappointed that I didn’t find not only this product but also its manufacturer in these reviews http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Components,1/Coolin... . They say that they reviewed only products that manufacturers sent to them. So I’m not sure if that means popular, reputable, etc manufactures or just some randomly selected products.
Anyway to make the long story short I need help and will appreciate any tips for selecting decent products and sources of information. I need to select a case, psu, and a cpu cooling system.

More about : making decent decision

June 24, 2008 8:24:44 PM

what are you planning to do will you new build?
whats your budget?
OC?
a b V Motherboard
June 24, 2008 8:42:19 PM

Man, relax, you worry way too much.

What country are you in?
How much do you want to spend?
Will you just play games?
Do you play Flight Simulator X?
Will you overclock?

The Tuniq Tower is a very good cooler. However, it's not the best as far as temperatures/cost/noise. I think the best balance there is offered by the Xigmatek HDT-S1283.

Edit: you do realize you posted this in the motherboard section, right? :) 
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June 24, 2008 9:16:25 PM

Hey, i prefer (and so do many others) the zalman 9700.
June 24, 2008 9:31:03 PM

Thanks for your reply guys and sorry for showing my frustration in my previous post. I,m building a computer to use it for creating 3D and 2D graphics. I already got a motherboard rampage formula and q9450 processor. I still need to get a case, psu, and something to cool the processor since it came without a fan and I plan to overclock. For CPU cooling I would like to get something for about $50 Canadian (this almost = $50 USD) and prefer to order from Canada unless I find a better deal from US which is hard after including shipping and duties. Ideally I'm looking for the best cooler $50 can buy. I still have no idea about the case (searching for 2 days now) and looking to spend around $100 for it. For the PSU my last choice is this http://www.shopbot.ca/p-55462-1132875.html and my decision was influenced mostly from this review: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/451/10 I have no idea if what they say in the review is true but it looks exactly what I need.

aevm and DeCrypt. thanks for the advice. I would like to ask why you think this these are good coolers, did you read some nice reviews about it?

Iim not sure if this is the best forum to place these kind of questions and I will appreciate your suggestions.
June 24, 2008 10:05:42 PM

aevm, after a quick search about Xigmatek HDT-S1283 I found this review http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=223... which says nice things about this cooler and the price is sweet too http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=25530AC5457&v...

DeCrypt, I found a good review for ZALMAN CNPS9700 too, http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/zalmancnps9700/index5.... but its double the price of Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and they compared it only with the stock AMD fan and several other products mostly from Zalman too. So its hard to say how it performs against many other products. And in this performance charts the results from other Zalman models are scary listed at the bottom. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-cooler-charts-2...

Any other ideas also very welcome
June 24, 2008 10:31:19 PM

Found this one too and I'm scratching my head and wondering if I should believe it. http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm It seems that every site has its own list of favorites and the same products are not in the same place of the different lists.

What do you think about that?
June 24, 2008 10:52:32 PM

I like Frostytech because they feature both quiet ratings and cooling ratings. I personally am not as interested in the coolest HSF if it sounds like a freaking freight train running through my computer room. The Xigmatek HDT-s1283 gets good ratings for both coolness and quiet. I'd also use the mounting bracket since i hate pushpin mounting.
June 24, 2008 11:18:18 PM

thanks dirtmounta. Regarding Frostytech, what's the product?
a b V Motherboard
June 24, 2008 11:50:12 PM

The best air cooler in the world is $103 at NCIX US, $60 at NCIX Canada, and if you read this within the next 4 hours you can get it for $50 (the promoid expires today):

Noctua NH-U12P LGA775 AM2 Heatsink Heatpipe Cooler W/ NF-P12 120MM Fan -12.6-19.8DBA
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=27130&vpn=NH%2DU12P&manufacture=Noctua&promoid=1060

A review here:
http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i=3268

It's pretty big, but so are the Tuniq and Xigmatek and Zalman.
June 25, 2008 12:27:02 AM

aevm, sounds great and very tempting to pick up the phone and order, the only thing that I'm still thinking is why this product is not listed on this site
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm
the first 2 items in the temperature list there are about $15 less than the current great promotion from NCIX for Noctua NH-U12P.
My goodness I don't know that to think
June 25, 2008 12:34:07 AM

Emil3D said:
aevm, sounds great and very tempting to pick up the phone and order, the only thing that I'm still thinking is why this product is not listed on this site
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm
the first 2 items in the temperature list there are about $15 less than the current great promotion from NCIX for Noctua NH-U12P.
My goodness I don't know that to think

You should go with one of the known models listed on that list. 19.8dba max sound doesn't seem realistic on that same size 120mm fan. It'll either sound louder or underperform.
a b V Motherboard
June 25, 2008 12:41:54 AM

I'm guessing it's because there are so many products out there that no site can afford to review them all.

I'm having some doubts about Frostytech's top 10, by the way. They say the HDT-S1283 is #2 as far as temperatures among the coolers they tested, while Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme is only #6. According to every review I've read of those two, that's wrong. The Xigmatek is better value because it's a lot cheaper, but the Thermalright cools better AFAIK.

What kind of case do you have? Might as well see which coolers fit in it first.

a b V Motherboard
June 25, 2008 12:49:18 AM

dagger said:
You should go with one of the known models listed on that list. 19.8dba max sound doesn't seem realistic on that same size 120mm fan. It'll either sound louder or underperform.


LOL, that's exactly what the Anandtech reviewers thought too, before they ran the tests. That's what I thought too, when I started reading. However, we're talking about Noctua. Read this quote from their conclusion:

Quote:
Noctua on the other hand has a sterling reputation for developing the lowest noise coolers around. Their fans are masters of low noise, with respectable performance that is always near the top but rarely challenging for first place performance. For this reason, we were a bit skeptical when Noctua claimed top performance with incredibly low published noise levels. Noctua is capable of some brilliant engineering so we did not dismiss the claim, but we really didn't expect to fully validate their claims in our testing.

We are happy to report that our skepticism was not justified in this case. Noctua really has produced a top-performing cooler with incredibly low noise in the NH-U12P. The combination of staggered Vortex Control notches, SC Drive, and SSO bearings in a nine-blade design does the trick as promised. Paired with the venerable and continually refined Noctua heatsink, performance of the stock Noctua NH-U12P mirrors the top Thermalright all the way to 3.91GHz. Noise remains below our system noise floor throughout the entire range of testing.


Just a crazy idea: Emil, if you're not looking for a very high overclock, you may want to look at the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. It's quiet, small, easy to install, pretty cheap too.
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=3210&p=1

June 25, 2008 12:49:27 AM

aevm said:
I'm guessing it's because there are so many products out there that no site can afford to review them all.

I'm having some doubts about Frostytech's top 10, by the way. They say the HDT-S1283 is #2 as far as temperatures among the coolers they tested, while Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme is only #6. According to every review I've read of those two, that's wrong. The Xigmatek is better value because it's a lot cheaper, but the Thermalright cools better AFAIK.

What kind of case do you have? Might as well see which coolers fit in it first.

Nothing wrong with that review. There is a very good reason for the TRUE's situation. Frostytech made it their policy to not "temper" with coolers in any way, so every one's tested as is. This means they're unwilling to lap that TRUE, which, with it's rounded base, would be at a big disadvantage to other coolers, some of which have mirror finished contact plate. If lapped, the TRUE may very well be #1.
June 25, 2008 12:49:55 AM

I don't have a case yet and looking for one. So far only a motherboard - the Asus rampage formula and q9450 processor. I'm looking for a case around $100
June 25, 2008 1:40:18 AM

You guys are great. I really appreciate your help.
I tried to order the Noctua NH-U12P with an email, because I already have an order with a few items on hold with NCIX and can add items only over the phone speaking to the shipping department. But they are closed for today and the sales department can't access placed orders. So I hope tomorrow they will respect today's price and my email.

I'm going to check the cases they look good
Thanks again.
June 25, 2008 2:53:49 AM

Emil3D said:
You guys are great. I really appreciate your help.
I tried to order the Noctua NH-U12P with an email, because I already have an order with a few items on hold with NCIX and can add items only over the phone speaking to the shipping department. But they are closed for today and the sales department can't access placed orders. So I hope tomorrow they will respect today's price and my email.

I'm going to check the cases they look good
Thanks again.


The Noctua is ok, but over rated and over priced. Too many people take the promo material as being true, if you research and read several reviews on this product you will find that it doesn't perform as well as the OCZ V2, or the Xigmatek 1283. FrostyTech's reviewing policy makes its reviews not of heatsinks but of cpu coolers as delivered, not taking into account the fact that the manufacturer may ship a very good heatsink with a lousy fan. That said, either of the two I noted will give you excellent overclocked cooling without being noisy.

You didn't say where you are, it would be easier to give you product sources if you stated what city you are in. I, for instance, will buy locally instead of online if a local vendor, such as Canada Computers, has a competitive price.
June 25, 2008 2:13:01 PM

Thanks for your reply rgsaunders,
Quote:
...Too many people take the promo material as being true, if you research and read several reviews on this product you will find that ...
I don't take anything for being true and believe most people will think like me after they check different reviews because all reviews show different favorites for different reasons. I can't afford to spend days reading lengthy reviews and digging the thruth for something that cost around 50 bucks. All I can afford is to check a few reviews and make sure that the product I'm choosing is not at the bottom of the lists in all reviews and ask in the forums to make sure I'm not making a really bad choice. From what I read so far I gather that the good CPU coolers can be rated higher or lower depending on particular test. Regarding the noise level I don't see what good a low noise level will do when my case will have at least 3 other fans plus the fan of my psu. If one of these fans is louder, having a quiet cpu cooler fan doesn't do any good, does it?

edit: This got me thinking for a moment. LOL. I can't answer this question: if several fans with the same loudness are louder than one. What's the answer?
a b V Motherboard
June 25, 2008 2:25:38 PM

Good point. It's very hard to make a quiet PC with air cooling, especially if you want it powerful. For example if you have an 8800GTX in there that produces 62 dB under load, it's really not that important if the PSU/HSF/case fans do 20 dB or 40 dB.
!