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Need CPU Cooling Advice

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August 29, 2009 9:38:12 AM

I have bought a Radeon HD 4890 to upgrade my PC. I am going to overclock my Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 to 3.2-3.4 GHz to accommodate the new GPU speed.

I am overclocking for the first time so I still have the Core 2 Duo stock cooler. Therefore, I need to install a new cooler & maybe other cooling components.

I need advice on cooling since I have an Antec Sonata III case which some people say is notorious for bad airflow due to poor design for airflow (and to make matters worse cable management can be tricky obstructing airflow). It has 1 120mm Antec TriCool fan in back. I could optionally install a fan in the fan slot in front of the case behind the hard drive cage, but it may not be worth it since it wouldn’t cool the hard drives and one review said that it might just blow hot air onto the motherboard. Hence do you recommend a second 120mm fan for this case and what kind?

The biggest help I need is in choosing a proper CPU cooler. I would like something that isn’t too noisy as well as something that is not a huge pain to install. I would prefer sub-$60 if possible.

The Sunbeam Core-Contact Freezer is popular but it does NOT work well with Gigabyte motherboards like mine (see one of the last posts at: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265692-28-upgrade-upg...)

The Xigmatec Dark Knight has been recommended to me but it comes with its own issues.

I found that the following two LGA775 socket cooler rankings are very helpful:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

However, any advice anyone can give me would save me a lot of time (and potential frustration) as I ever have never installed a cooler before. Also, what accessories (like thermal paste) or extra case fans should I consider buying along with the cpu cooler?

Here are my full PC specs:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 @ 2.66 GHz (will overclock to 3.2-3.4 GHz)
Soon-to-Be GPU: Radeon HD 4890
Memory: 4 GB of RAM, DDR2 1066 Mhz (PC2 8500), Dual Chanel
Motherboard: Gigabyte P35-DS3L
Hard Drives: Two 465 GB, 7200 rpm, 32 MB cache hard drives in Raid 1 configuration, One 640 GB, 7200 rpm, 32 MB cache hard drive
Power Supply: Antec EA 500W PSU (came with Sonata III case), 17A on +12V1 and 17A on +12V2
Note: Based on my research and comments from others, I believe that my power supply can handle the Radeon HD 4890 since it is a very high quality PSU
Computer Case: Antec Sonata III
Display: V2400W 24” 1920x1200 (Note I mainly play Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in 1920x1200 with maxed out settings and a few hundred mods including fps-intensive ones such as texture replacers, distant object mods, etc.)

More about : cpu cooling advice

a c 197 K Overclocking
August 29, 2009 2:21:45 PM

The heatsink on my gaming machine is TRUE with the Scythe S-Flex SFF21F fan. This was bought before the Xig HDT S1283 came to market. I have a Xig Dark Knight on my second computer.

I think the TRUE is a little better. OTOH, A TRUE and good fan is nearly twice as expensive. Can't beat the Xig for the money.

I have the Xig mounted vertically (Antec 900 case) on a GA-EP45-UD3L motherboard.
August 29, 2009 2:35:19 PM

Scythe Ninja 2 would do for you, but if you can afford take mugen 2, i dont see any other reasonable choice for you since you cant buy ccf.
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a b K Overclocking
August 31, 2009 3:19:18 PM

What do you mean you can't use the CCF on the P35-DS3L!?!?!?? Sure it takes up one RAM slot but you'r only running 4GB (2*2GB). See my sig. I use the P35-DS3L and have installed, TRUE, CCF, S1283, WCing(GTZ + DIY block),Vanquisher with out problems (the P35-DS3L is my test bed).

And yes, the EA500 can power the 4890 BUT you are getting very close to the limit of the PSU. I recommend a good 650W (ie 650TX) just to be safe and for future upgrades. A system with a 4890 draws ~300-350W: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2009/04/03/ra...
August 31, 2009 9:44:40 PM

Shadow703793 said:
What do you mean you can't use the CCF on the P35-DS3L!?!?!?? Sure it takes up one RAM slot but you'r only running 4GB (2*2GB). See my sig. I use the P35-DS3L and have installed, TRUE, CCF, S1283, WCing(GTZ + DIY block),Vanquisher with out problems (the P35-DS3L is my test bed).

And yes, the EA500 can power the 4890 BUT you are getting very close to the limit of the PSU. I recommend a good 650W (ie 650TX) just to be safe and for future upgrades. A system with a 4890 draws ~300-350W: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2009/04/03/ra...


The reason why I say I don't want to use the Sunbeam is based on the advice zipzoomfly offered me on another forum. When I asked him why he didn't recommend the Sunbeam, he said:

"They just dont seem to fit on Gigabyte mobo's. If you read the reviews at newegg you'll see.

My experience was this. I had to bend 2 capacitors to get the first clip on. Then I had to dremmel 2 fins off my northbridge heatsink to get the second clip on. Now theres no way I can get it back off without removing the motherboard.

The first one I ordered only spun at 700rpm, so I rma'd the fan controller and the fan and kept the heatsink. I got the new fan controller and fan and this one only spun at 1000rpm.

The specs clearly state 1000-2000 rpm. So out of two different ones I got only 700-1000rpm.

Not only that, Sunbeamtech had the worst tech support I've ever dealt with (or not dealt with) 2 emails I sent them in one week concerning this problem. Never received a response whatsoever. Its been nearly 4 weeks now. "

After much research, I decided to get the Mugen 2 because it had excellent reviews on newegg (including this glowing review: http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/2736/scythe_mugen_2_cp...). It has been proven to be very quiet, cool well even at high overclocks, and was only $37 (+ shipping) which wasn't too bad of a price. Nevertheless, the sunbeam got excellent reviews as well and was a very tempting choice.

Thanks for your info on my PSU. If I can take it with my current setup, I would like to not upgrade my PSU. I have no need to be future-proof as far as PSU right now, since the past week I have invested $400 to upgrade my current PC to last me another 1-2 years. At that time, I would probably build a new PC from the ground up. Hopefully, by then there will be even better PSU's available and so I would want to wait to buy a future PSU until then if possible. Do you think my PC will get by fine with my current one? I would hate plunking down another $80+ if I don't have to. I used a detailed power supply calculator filling in all the components of my system, including overclocking my CPU, and it said that I needed about 340W. Someone else in another forum also ran an estimate for me and got 320W. Considering that my PSU is 500W and is very high quality, I think I'll be fine. But I would like to know if you think there would be problems.
August 31, 2009 9:49:04 PM

MRFS said:
> I need to install a new cooler & maybe other cooling components.

Very cost-effective solution here:

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/lgbowiscsp.html


For background research, see also:

http://www.supremelaw.org/systems/heatsinks/warning.htm


MRFS



Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, that won't work for me in my case since I'm planning on overclocking my CPU and even the increased cooling benefits of that I don't think will sufficiently cool my CPU. I bought the Mugen 2 cpu cooler & it comes with its own unique attaching mechanism which I think overcomes the problems with the stock intel mechanism. You can see pictures of it on the newegg website or reviews of Mugen 2.
August 31, 2009 9:59:31 PM

szymek said:
Scythe Ninja 2 would do for you, but if you can afford take mugen 2, i dont see any other reasonable choice for you since you cant buy ccf.



Thanks for the tip. I researched the Mugen 2 and ended up getting it.
August 31, 2009 11:49:38 PM

Scythe Mugen 2
Scythe Mugen 2
Scythe Mugen 2
September 1, 2009 12:44:52 AM

Thanks, I bought the Mugen 2
September 1, 2009 12:46:29 AM

good for you. it is freaky quiet and can handle my phenom II 955 @ 3.6ghz easily.
!