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Best <$40 CPU Cooler? (Fan included)

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September 15, 2009 8:58:39 PM

So i'm looking for a well priced socket 775 CPU cooling system, and it has to have a fan along with a heatsink. I plan to buy locally and I live in Canada, although if you wish to post a link to something like newegg.ca, just to show me the actual product I would of course embrase that.

Memory Express has the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro going for $34.99, so you can see why that would be appealing to me. I am also buying the Arctic Silver 5 High Density Thermal Compound for $9.99, not sure what sort of difference that wuold make, but maybe it is worth mentioning lol.

If you haven't already caught on, what I'm asking is if this is a good cooling solution. I do plan to OC my Intel C2Q q9400, although only moderatey, no benchmark breakers here. What I am wondering is whether this is a bit outdated of a solution. I need something quiet, not something that can support the cpu equivalant of the heat of the sun. I have the Cooler Master cm690 as a case, so size probably isn't a huge issue, but I don't want to have to buy an extra mounting kit. Based on reviews, it seems as though this CPU cooler really performs in my areas of need, and for the price I am tempted to head out this very instant, but patience is a virtue, as is posting my questions on Tom's Hardware :) 

P.S. I intend on saving money by buying the 3.5g thermal compound, but how long will this last me? Obviously it will give me enough for one install but I am first putting together my pc and making it work with the stock cpu cooler before I run out and get the new one (whichever you help me decide upon), so my thermal compound might have to give me 2-3 seperate installs. Other than that it only comes in 12g's, but thats $24.99.


EDIT
I have changed up the title and point of this thread, so don't get confused by the previous posts, I just didn't want to start a new thread, because this one was already heading in that direction. Now I am looking for something more specific.
I have found with experience that always, as soon as I buy a component I see something better for the same price, or it going on a huge sale, so I would like to make sure I am positive that for under $40, on the current or soon upcoming market, I am buying the best CPU cooler. So I now change up the question, for under or at $40 canadian, on the current or soon upcoming market, which is the best CPU cooler (fan included).
September 15, 2009 10:39:59 PM

Ya I had already looked through that list, most of them are out of my economical league. K so I m going to list some cpu coolers I've come across and maybe you can give some feedback on them. Firstly, Zalman has great products, but they are all extremely expensive, and for the ones that are under $40, they are even still to expensive for what else you can find of an equal caliber. I had heard many great things about scythe , and there are even a few on sale that look pretty good.

The scythe ninja mini, http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX18611(ME).aspx is on a big sale right now, and it looks like a good product although many people said the fan is not great quality.

The scythe reeven http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX22982(ME).aspx?curtab=0 looks alright. Product said it was for entry level to mainstream users so maybe it wasn't meant for any OC'ing.

The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX25192(ME).aspx?curtab=0 has a bit of a smaller fan I think, not sure if it would make to much of a difference. Hear good things about cooler master and I have a few products by them myself, so if brand name was anything to go off these look like pretty good contenders.

This Zalman http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX12304(ME).aspx again seems great, but one review said that the Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 does the same job for cheaper.

Ease of installation is also nice, as I'm no expert. If there are any others I have not mentioned of this price range, please let me know, as in the past I have regretted buying a certain component out of ignorance for my lack of knowledge about the wider market. Hopefully I can avoid that happening this time :) 
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September 15, 2009 11:08:25 PM

Here is another great cooler :

Sunbeam CR-CCTF92-4 92mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you have to buy the cooler from ME then I would suggest either the AC Freezer or Hyper 212 .... Those are the only 2 coolers that I personally have used and can recommend......

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September 16, 2009 12:06:38 AM

I used the original Coolermaster Hyper 212 in a HAF 932 case mod I did last year. Worked great. Theresults were were excellent. I still use my original Thermalright Ultra 120 for my personal system. Cooling is outstanding.

A lot of times the temperature difference between cpu heatsinks in only a matter of 2C or 3C. Unless you are a hardcore gamer into serious overclocking for a suicide mission to save the planet from alien invaders then a few degrees won't make much difference.
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September 16, 2009 12:28:58 AM

Ok I just read a review that did the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus way more justice than needed to seal the deal but I just want to be sure. Read this review and maybe see if it can help you help me decide between my narrowed down, two options. It is either the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro, or the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus. Here is the link to the review, please put in your opinion.
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
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September 16, 2009 12:35:50 AM

maybe now it would be wise to give you a bit more criteria as to how to help me. OvrCklr you said you have used both of these coolers, so I would ask you: which one is quieter (and is it a significant difference), which one is easier to install?
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September 16, 2009 1:47:19 AM

The F7P was a great cooler when first introduced, retailing for $25 and coming with pre-applied paste. It was a layup for rookies to install, and cooled very well.

Its price has gone up now, but it will still suffice for the moderate OC you contemplate. It comes with pre-applied paste, no need to change it.

If the other coolers recommended fit your budget, fine. If not, the F7P will work OK.
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September 16, 2009 2:03:26 AM

ckaz said:
maybe now it would be wise to give you a bit more criteria as to how to help me. OvrCklr you said you have used both of these coolers, so I would ask you: which one is quieter (and is it a significant difference), which one is easier to install?


Both were a pain to install due to the push pins but as far as noise goes the AC Freezer was a bit lower....

Maybe Twoboxer can help you out with some tips on how to install the cooler, I just don't understand why Intel does not use a latch (AMD), dam push pins are a headache ..........
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September 16, 2009 2:31:23 AM

twoboxer the isue there is that it might be 2 and half weeks or so before I buy whichever aftermarket cooler I choose, and right now I need a new thermal paste to re-instal my current cpu and cooler because I had to RMA my motherboard, if that makes sense..

I'm sooo tempted to go with the cooler master, simply because it accounts for upgrade-ability , it is newer so I get a bit more longetivity with it when more advanced coolers start coming out, but the noise might be an issue. OvrClkr you said that you had these coolers, what caused you to get rid of them, and which cons besides the push pins would you say were present in the cooler master. Would this extra noise be enough to validate a quiet-pc-user not buying it based off that itself?
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September 16, 2009 4:04:13 AM

OvrClkr said:
Both were a pain to install due to the push pins but as far as noise goes the AC Freezer was a bit lower....Maybe Twoboxer can help you out with some tips on how to install the cooler, I just don't understand why Intel does not use a latch (AMD), dam push pins are a headache ..........
Each leg of the stock Intel cooler (et al) has 3 pins:
1) Two fixed, white pins with barbs (eg, fish hook) set on opposite sides.
2) One black pin that can move up and down between the two white pins.

To install any leg of the cooler,
1) Insert the white pins through the mobo, pushing until the barbs are *behind* the mobo, then
2) Push the black pin down. This forces the white pins to move aside so the barbs will hook behind the mobo and lock in place.

Install any leg first, then the leg diagonally opposite. Then install the remaining two legs.

Cake.
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September 16, 2009 3:19:48 PM

Use a roll of packing tape/duct tape to support the motherboard while pushing on the pins. Avoids motherboard flexing.
To your consolation, i5 push pins are real easy to install.
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September 16, 2009 10:49:43 PM

So upon reading more reviews I found that everyone agreed that the 212 Plus was a bit noisy, and I don't necessarily want to go for that. Also I heard that the groves on the part where the heatsink attaches to the cpu while being more heat efficient it makes it very hard to apply the thermal paste. Some people were saying installation was hard as well.

So I have been doing more research, does anybody know anything about the scythe mugen 2? I have heard relatively good things so I would ask a few things about it. Is it so much better than the previous ones we had discussed that it validates spending the extra money (ten bucks to be exact)? Is it quite, and how is it in terms of ease of install.
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September 17, 2009 12:40:49 AM

Mugen 2 is IMO the best bang for your buck cooler. About the performance of an unlapped True. It's huge though.
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September 17, 2009 1:00:35 AM

The Mugen 2 is around 45 bucks after shipping.... Id rather get a CCF or XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 using dual slipstreams push/pull and crank up the fans.....
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September 17, 2009 9:31:11 PM

Ok all of your help has been greatly appreciated but now that I have come to the realization that I most likely won't be using the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro, I am going to change up the title so hopefully I can get a few new opinions.
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September 30, 2009 7:53:04 PM

Do you think that little water cooler can keep up with an overclock quad?
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October 1, 2009 12:41:58 AM

to be honest I think that anything that is labeled "all in one" is basically a joke....

@ 3.6Ghz my temps never reach 38c, and I use a cheap 30 dollar cooler.....

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October 1, 2009 1:55:30 AM

Just to be sure, I recently got my computer up and running (YAY!) and I am using Arctic Cooling Silver 5 Thermal Paste. I have yet to go out and buy my new cooler, so I am still using the stock fan. I had read that this paste was really great, and dropped your temps significantly. My question is:
- Is it normal that my cpu temps are still at like 58? I had though my thermal paste would do a little bit more than that :( 
- If this is not normal, then I probably applied it wrong. When applied correctly, what is a normal temp.
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October 1, 2009 6:42:00 AM

ckaz said:
Just to be sure, I recently got my computer up and running (YAY!) and I am using Arctic Cooling Silver 5 Thermal Paste. I have yet to go out and buy my new cooler, so I am still using the stock fan. I had read that this paste was really great, and dropped your temps significantly. My question is:
- Is it normal that my cpu temps are still at like 58? I had though my thermal paste would do a little bit more than that :( 
- If this is not normal, then I probably applied it wrong. When applied correctly, what is a normal temp.


Well, just make sure you go by CPU temp and not by individual core temp.....

For example:



as long as your CPU temp stays below 58/60c you are fine....
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October 1, 2009 6:57:05 AM

Yeah, with the stock cooler temps run a bit hot and it's quite noisy. I like the Scythe Mugen 2. I just recently bought one myself and idle temps are around 35C and prime95 load never reaching past 45C all on stock clocks and voltages. @ 1.45V-1.5V on 3.857 ghz brings 41-43C idle and around 50-53C loaded. This is on a PII 955 and I have yet to get the Arctic Silver 5 to burn it, so temps will probably drop and I can finally get stable OCs. Case is Antec 902, if that helps you compare.
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October 1, 2009 7:10:11 AM

yea you need to ditch the stock cooler if you really want to see some major gains at low temps..... anyways the Mugen is an excellent cooler and the brand is just top notch.... If I had money to burn I would try it myself just for the hell of it.....
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October 1, 2009 7:13:01 AM

kokin said:
Yeah, with the stock cooler temps run a bit hot and it's quite noisy. I like the Scythe Mugen 2. I just recently bought one myself and idle temps are around 35C and prime95 load never reaching past 45C all on stock clocks and voltages. @ 1.45V-1.5V on 3.857 ghz brings 41-43C idle and around 50-53C loaded. This is on a PII 955 and I have yet to get the Arctic Silver 5 to burn it, so temps will probably drop and I can finally get stable OCs. Case is Antec 902, if that helps you compare.


what fans do you have installed in your case? and what is your ambient temp???
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