Best CPU Air Cooler for i7?

I'm building a new high-end system and i intend to overclock the i7 920. I need to know which one is the absolute best and drops the temperature as low as possible.

I hear Zalman 9900 Coolermaster V8 and Noctua u12P are among the best ones.

Which one would you narrow it down, which will be second to none?
33 answers Last reply
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  1. I have a TRUE, and love it. It is quite expensive though...
  2. If you read reviews you'll see that the Thermalright Extreme and the Noctua are both quite good. They are almost the same price.

    Don't go with Zalman, it's overrated and doesn't give good temps.
  3. Yeah i keep hearing about the thermaright extreme. Also is there any difference between this and Prolimatech Megahalems.

    And what about the Vigor Monsson III?
  4. Thermalright Xtreme, known as the TRUE. Two people have already said the TRUE is the best, and Noctua is good. Why ask about any others?

    http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm
  5. Since i want to overclock and i want to avoid water cooling i need to be certain of the cooler i'm getting. My questions so far.

    -Any idea what's the difference between ultra-120 Extreme and TRUE Black? It looks like it's the same thing plus 10 EUR.
    -There seems to be another coler made by people leaving the Thermalright Team and making something that resembles the ultra-120 while being even better. IT's called Prolimatech Megahelems
    -And Finally what's the difference between heatsinks and TEC Coolers?

    I would realy appreciate it, if could get some answers in order to clear my head of these concerns. Thank you.
  6. TEC coolers use a special material which is hot on one side and cold on the other, a cooler is on the hot side and the colder the hotter side is, the colder the colder side is, until the hot side reaches 0c and they switch and you've just lost a PC.

    the True black, has an anodized coating iirc which helps stop corrosion etc.

    also have you thought about getting a compact water cooler like the CoolIt ALC? they may not give better temps than air cooling but they're a tonne quieter and if you had a high-end fan on one then you'd probably knock 3-5c off of a high-end air cooler.

    edit: first paragraph didn't make sense.
  7. Thanx for your answer.

    Well i decided not to bother with water cooling and deal with all these cables and installation mess.

    I will be probably getting the Ultra True but i heard that Vigor Monsoon III is recommended for extreme gaming systes and that's why i bothered to ask. Thanx for explaining to me what it actually is. Any experience as to how it performs and if it's worth it, over air-cooling?
  8. We never trust what a retail site says. It's in the unbiased independant testing done by trusted experianced testers. If the TRUE in tests pulls more heat from the CPU than pretty much anything else, isn't it best for an extreme gaming system, also known as a PC enthusiasts machine?

    The Vigor is just a big square heatpipe heatsink with fans on it. It's air cooling........, no matter what the retail marketing guys type in their description.

    Maybe it's better than the TRUE, maybe not.

    http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1701/vigor_monsoon_iii_lt_dual_120mm_cpu_cooler/index6.html

    You did go to this link provided above and spend a while?

    http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm
  9. FYI

    Painting or Coating Black helps dissipate heat.

    The reason black paint or coating dissipates heat more than any other color is that black is the most capably dissipative color for infra-red (heat) wavelengths. As we all know, back is very absorbent when energy rays (visible AND invisible) such as sunlight hit it. It is also able to cast off the most heat energy, all of its radiation being in the infra-red part of the energy wavelength spectrum. Single colors tend to focus their ability to both absorb AND dissipate in the wavelength of their color, and far less in the infra-red compared to black. One last thing about black: It absorbs energy better than it dissipates it, which is likely why the effect of black dissipating heat is less known.
  10. uhh??

    Sure...cheap water still easily puts u in the $300 range easy
    Just a tad more than a $60 TRUE :lol:
  11. Conumdrum said:
    We never trust what a retail site says. It's in the unbiased independant testing done by trusted experianced testers. If the TRUE in tests pulls more heat from the CPU than pretty much anything else, isn't it best for an extreme gaming system, also known as a PC enthusiasts machine?

    The Vigor is just a big square heatpipe heatsink with fans on it. It's air cooling........, no matter what the retail marketing guys type in their description.

    Maybe it's better than the TRUE, maybe not.

    http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1701/vigor_monsoon_iii_lt_dual_120mm_cpu_cooler/index6.html

    You did go to this link provided above and spend a while?

    http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm


    Based on the tweaktown charts it runs almost hooter than most. Dunno if it's cause of the low setting

  12. No offense...but thats a pretty pathetic Water Cooler
  13. Quote:
    I'm using an 80 dollar coolit domino. :)



    Yea, and temps barely better than a TRUE in testing. It's not a real WC setup, just a slap on kit. And didn't you add another rad and pump or something like that?

    Meh, it works for you great.
  14. Exactly...in terms of water cooling its not exactly top of the line
  15. Because to get the real benefits of watercooling, a full custom setup gives the best results
    As conundrum said...its just a slap on kit...

    And id hate to break it but 78F is not really that high ambient...its only 25C
  16. If you want the Vigor monsoon III LT I sugest you replace the 2 120mm fans to a higher quality fan. They have the right Idea but it is not the best. I get 54c 75%CPU load at 3.8GHz on my Core 2 Quad Q9650
  17. blackpanther, do you own the Vigor Monson? What would be a better choice?

    And i stil dont get why the review above shows thermalright performing averagely, it confused me even further.
  18. low cfm fans

    It shines with high performance fans
  19. therock003 said:
    I'm building a new high-end system and i intend to overclock the i7 920. I need to know which one is the absolute best and drops the temperature as low as possible.

    I hear Zalman 9900 Coolermaster V8 and Noctua u12P are among the best ones.

    Which one would you narrow it down, which will be second to none?


    Scythe Mugen 2 is supposed to be awesome as is the ThermoLab BARAM. The Scythe is also very reasonably priced and comes with a slipstream fan. Full review here: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/scythe-mugen-2.html
  20. Silverion77 said:
    low cfm fans

    It shines with high performance fans


    Which ones would you recommend?
  21. Something that is 38mm thick vs. the traditional 25mm
    2 is also better for some gains if u really dont care about noise

    The Scythe Ultra Kaze's have good cfm and nice on the pocket.
    Higher end would be deltas but those are loud for their high end...lol
  22. i cant seem to find them. The best i can get are the noctua fans.

    But are they good enough? They're even more expensive than the scythe's.

    http://www.plaisio.gr/product.aspx?catalog=20&category=69977823&product=1113968

    Alternatively, i can find the slipstreams but these are 25 and are best suited as case fans.
  23. Well the second part to the TRUE is that it does well at high CFM, but is able to do better "silent" operation with something like the Noctuas compared to others

    The reason theyre more expensive is because they are silent operation...special design etc.
  24. But is it a good choice? Cause i cant find the ultra kaze and i'm just about to order 2x noctua.
  25. Its a fine choice

    Its similar to the Scythe S-Flex which show great results for many
    Out of that website, those are probably ur best bet
  26. I have heard great things about the Xigmatek Dark Knight and Scythe Mugen 2. The advantage to those coolers is that they are only $40, and in the review i read they offer better performance than some of the $60 coolers.

    However, if you are an overclocking fanatic, you might want to make an investment in the TRUE or even a water cooling system.

    I can't find the articles that i read, but i know those two coolers are supposed to offer great performance for their price. However you might need more depending on what you want to do. If i was going to overclock to 3.4 or 3.5, i would be fine with either of those two coolers. And that is exactly what i plan on doing when i get my i7 build :)
  27. I do own th vigor monsoon and I can tell you this. If you do get it replace the fans with a fan that has more airflow.
  28. I've got the Coolermaster V8 cooling my i7 920 (*not overclocked yet) and would highly recommend it. I can play Crysis on Enthusiast settings at 2x AA for several hours and still only see a 10-15 degree increase over the ambient temperature. Water cooling is overrated AND overpriced, plus if the pump should ever fail... there is in nothing to keep the CPU from frying itself.
  29. razor117 said:
    I've got the Coolermaster V8 cooling my i7 920 (*not overclocked yet) and would highly recommend it. I can play Crysis on Enthusiast settings at 2x AA for several hours and still only see a 10-15 degree increase over the ambient temperature. Water cooling is overrated AND overpriced, plus if the pump should ever fail... there is in nothing to keep the CPU from frying itself.


    Well, Intel CPUs (I'm not sure about the AMD - I think this is true for them too though) are actually good enough at thermal throttling that they won't even fry if run without a heatsink. That doesn't mean I recommend it, but if a pump fails, you aren't completely screwed.
  30. Exactly. And you can have water for the price of air. http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8505/ex-wat-142/CoolIT_Systems_Domino_Advanced_Liquid_Cooling_System_-_Socket_LGA_1366_775_AM2_DM-1000.html?id=WtkeDXEE

    I'm thinking of getting this setup when I get the money. They claim it only takes up 7watts too. And one person has this Cooler with an i7 on the CPU overclocking forums. i7 @3.6GHz I belive.
  31. Guys i also read something about lapping the aircooler to smoothen its surface. Do i really hae to do that when i get the TRUE?
  32. NO. You always mount it first and check temps. If outside limits you have found by doing lots od forum brousing then you use approved methods to check your CPU and HS surfaces. If they are outside general limits, you then read up on how to lap the surfaces.
  33. blackpanther26 said:
    Exactly. And you can have water for the price of air. http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8505/ex-wat-142/CoolIT_Systems_Domino_Advanced_Liquid_Cooling_System_-_Socket_LGA_1366_775_AM2_DM-1000.html?id=WtkeDXEE

    I'm thinking of getting this setup when I get the money. They claim it only takes up 7watts too. And one person has this Cooler with an i7 on the CPU overclocking forums. i7 @3.6GHz I belive.


    Right......, spend the $$ to get maybe TRUE temps. Do you only read what the retailers say? Like a car salesman or lawyer. You trust them?

    Your money. An i7, which one? What mobo? What are the ambient temps? It's not like buying a brick, you need to really know specifics.

    It's been reviewed and run by real humans, not markety types. It can't keep up well. Uses 7 watts. OMG, thats on idle before the TEC kick in, and a few replace the fan that comes with it right away.
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