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Air Cooler for i7 920, Asus P6T, Antec 900 II

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May 9, 2009 2:27:42 AM

Starting to purchase parts for a new build. Case is an Antec 900 II (or 902, or 900-2 or whatever), mobo is an Asus P6T with a Core i7 920.

After research, the three coolers I'm looking at are:

Xigmatech Dark Knight

Noctua NH-U12P

Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme

I'm also entertaining suggestions that have been made for the Scythe MUGEN-2 and Sunbeam CR-CCTF, though I've reader fewer reviews on those.

Q1: I'm not populating all six RAM slots to start with, but I intend to do so in a year or two. Will any of the above coolers block any RAM slots? The first batch of RAM I'm purchasing is likely to be the OCZ Platinum triple-channel 6GB kit.

Q2: Will any of these coolers not fit in the Antec case? I've found confirmation that the TRUE will fit in the 900 though one may have to remove or downsize the side 120 mm fan.

Q3: Do I need to purchase any additional fans for any of those coolers? It looks like some may come with one fan with the option of adding a second for push-pull, but it's hard to tell from the descriptions.

Q4: Is the TRUE worth the premium price over the Xigmatech ($75 from FrozenCPU vs. $40 for the Dark Knight from Newegg? Similarly, is the Noctua that much quieter than the others...and will I be giving up overclock potential if I go with it?

Q5: More generally: there are a lot of drivebay rheostat fan controls on the shelf at Micro Center. Are these useful additions to a build? The 900 II has tiny switches on the top-back edge of the case to control some of the fans. Can fans be controlled by software (particularly, can they be automatically controlled by the OS) or are hardware switches and knobs the only option?

Thanks very much for any thoughts! These forums are a fantastic resource.
a b K Overclocking
May 9, 2009 3:02:21 AM

The Antec 900 II is a fairly good size case. Any of the cpu heatsinks you listed should fit.

The OCZ memory modules have standard size heatsinks so you should be okay. Here's a tip - Install the memory modules first. Install the cpu and heatsink second. Then install the motherboard (with memory and heatsink already in place) in the pc case. It will save you a lot of aggravation.

Usually cpu heatsinks come with a fans. There are some exceptions.

I have an original Thermalright 120. It was one of the original if not the original tower style cpu heatsink. I bought two 120mm fans for it. It still works like a champ and results are excellent. The Dark Knight is supposed to be very good. If money is an issue go with the Dark Knight.

I don't use drivebay rheostats so I cannot say anything about them. Depending on your motherboard, BIOS, and type of fan connectors you could control the cpu heatsink fan(s) and perhaps several additional fans through the BIOS. It just depends.

I take it since you've done some research that you've visited Frosty Tech:

http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm
May 10, 2009 1:13:24 AM

Thanks!

A bit more research, and I think I've settled on the Dark Knight. I'm spending a bit more than I originally intended on the monitors, so I might as well shave off a few bucks here, as it looks like the Xig will still give good cooling performance and reasonably low noise.
Related resources
May 10, 2009 11:28:16 AM

I have a Asus P6T deluxe V2, i7 950@3.9 and Coolit water cooler and my temps are 39c-41c idle and 69c-71c 100% load. The load temps are a little high right now but I'm working on it! I'm new at this and just had my 48th birthday and I think I'm hooked on overclocking, reminds me of the feeling I had in my youth when wrenching on hot rod ,lovin it!!!!!!! OLD GUY
a b K Overclocking
May 10, 2009 4:38:56 PM

mark_k - I see you have an Intel Corei7 system. Did you have any problems with the cpu heatsink clearing the chipset heatsinks surrounding the cpu? It looks like those chipset heatsinks are not a problem with tower style cpu heatsinks.
May 10, 2009 8:56:05 PM

No problem at all.

It does look big thow dont it?

It works great and looks cool......lol...... :sol: 
!