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Need help picking the best aftermarket heatsink.

Last response: in Overclocking
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April 5, 2010 12:45:51 AM

My dilemma, spend $100 on the Noctua NH-14 or spend 300+ on a water-cooling setup.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835608018

My question to the community.

Will water-cooling perform that much better than air?

Enough to justify 3x the price?

Also what aftermarket coolers would you guys suggest other than the Noctua?

Thanks for your help.


a c 163 K Overclocking
April 5, 2010 12:53:51 AM

Are you looking to break 4.4 Ghz with a 920 ? If not air cooling is fine.

I like the DH-14's performance but it's weight was a bit scary and the install might be challenging for 1st time builders..... For performance and ease of installation, the Prolimatech Megahalems fits both criteria. Here's what I'm putting in new builds Mega w/ IC Diamond TIM and twin Scythe PWMfans (make sure ya MoBo can handle the fan wattage). ($65 for the HS, $7 for TIM, $11 each for two PWM fans and $7 for a Y cable splitter).

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Proli...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7038/thr-41/Innovatio...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10026/fan-639/Scythe_...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8418/cab-150/FrozenCP...

If that's a budget breaker, look at the Xigmnatec S1283 or one of the others here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSI...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

pick a TIM from the top few here:
http://www.hwreviewlabs.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/therma...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

My son's Prolimatech has core temps in mid 50's at 3.7 Ghz on his "everyday" OC profile. Other profiles run to 4.2 and 4.4 and run in the low 70's.
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April 5, 2010 12:54:45 AM

No I'm happy with only 4ghz ;) 
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April 5, 2010 2:30:57 AM

so you are telling me that it would be better to buy a single fan heatsink and add an extra fan to it? That would be about $20 cheaper than buying the Noctua. I think the Noctua comes with that Y splitter cable though.

Can I hook up the PWM connector into one of those 5.25 bay drive fan controllers?
That would be cool.

I've seen some other heatsinks that come with PCI slot fan controllers. But I kind of want to get one of those 5.25 bay fan controllers. If I want to hook up my CPU heatsink to a fan controller would something like this work?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b K Overclocking
April 5, 2010 6:03:15 AM

Here is a link to a recent Tom's Hardware article with useful information about 10 popular cpu heatsinks:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lga-1156-heatsink,2...

I know the article states Intel LGA 1156 heatsinks but just about all of them are also compatible with Intel LGA 1366 cpu's

Here is a link to a very good web site with more useful information about cpu heatsinks that will help you make an informed decision:

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

You can use the Google embedded search feature at the web site to find more information about heatsinks for specific cpu sockets.

Currently the best value is the Coolermaster Hyper 212+. You can usually find it on sale in the USA for $29.99.
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April 5, 2010 1:13:28 PM

The Scythe Mugen2 Revision B is an excellent cooler and usually sells for $38+/- USD at most retailers. Just make sure your case is large enough, the Mugen2 is HUGE!

I've oc'd my i7-920 to 4.2GHz and run 8 instances of Prime95 (100% cpu usage on all 8 threads for 12hrs) and the Mugen2 never lever it go over 61C.

I highly recommend it!
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a c 163 K Overclocking
April 5, 2010 9:10:14 PM

noobz1lla said:
so you are telling me that it would be better to buy a single fan heatsink and add an extra fan to it? That would be about $20 cheaper than buying the Noctua. I think the Noctua comes with that Y splitter cable though.


Actually, the one I recommended comes with no fans....buy one for moderate OC's, add a 2nd a a splitter for heavy OC's. You wnat the splitter so the MoBo can control fan speeds.
Quote:

Can I hook up the PWM connector into one of those 5.25 bay drive fan controllers?


Kinda defeats the purpose tho....don't need fancy-smancy PWM for a fan controller.


Quote:
I've seen some other heatsinks that come with PCI slot fan controllers. But I kind of want to get one of those 5.25 bay fan controllers. If I want to hook up my CPU heatsink to a fan controller would something like this work?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


This is a good one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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April 6, 2010 12:41:20 AM

Is PWM fan control that big of a deal? What is it exactly.
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a c 86 K Overclocking
April 6, 2010 3:28:41 AM

PWM is a better fan control supported by Mobos. It doesn't just speed up the fan by controlling voltages. It sends a pulsed signal to the fan circuit to exactly control the fan. It uses less amps and some say with the right fan less noise due to less hum. Dunno about the noise part.

Not all fans support PWM. Most 4 pins do, all 3 pins DON'T.

There is tons on good info on Wiki if you want to expand your brain.

Wiki is better than asking a question many times. Google too.
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April 6, 2010 4:00:31 AM

noobz1lla said:
Is PWM fan control that big of a deal? What is it exactly.


for lack of better terms...its a rheostat. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/501162/rheost...


i have no clue where you are getting the $300 watercooled system but you can get a decent one that will out perform any air cooled setup. lemme find you some items that wont break the budget.

pump/res $62.99
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/6473/ex-res-130/XSPC_...

radiator $48.95
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/4084/ex-rad-85/Black_...
usually a single 120mm radiator would do the job of OC a single component but hell...this one only $5 bucks more then the single 120mm

cpu waterblock $40-100+
from my experience, the waterblock despite what everyone claims, a $40 wont under perform a $140 water block by much. its the difference between 2-3C but if you really care about that much of a difference then by all means go for it.

fittings, tube, and other hardware you can either pay a crap load of cash online or u can go to your local hardware store and buy some for very cheap. i bought all my fittings for about $0.85 a piece and they were all g1/4 with a 1/2inch barb on the other end.(assuming for some wierd reason ur parts dont already come with fittings) tubing was 5/8inch diameter with 1/2 ID for $0.98 a foot.

non-conductive fluid $20 MAX!!
any non-conductive fluid will do. you can always add UV reactive stuff or w/e you want but just plain fluid is fine.

fans for rad: $20
for two decent fans. u dont need a typhoon blowing through your rad.

summery: $150-200 for a system.
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April 7, 2010 2:51:26 AM

I ended up ordering a Noctua NH-14. I wish it had PWM support but I guess I'll have to live without it.
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April 7, 2010 3:39:05 AM

I used the review at http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,2535.html along with some others. There is also a website www.frostytech.com that reviews practically all CPU coolers. They have a list of results obtained on 2 test platforms.

As a result, I chose the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus and my AMD Phenom II 965 BE processor running @ 4GHz is running as low at 28C at idle and 48C full load. I have added the 2nd 12CM fan to the Hyper 212 Plus as suggested on Frostytech.com, which tends to indicate that in this configuration, it cant be beat.

Not a bad cooler for only $35 Canadian... and easy to install
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April 8, 2010 5:04:13 AM

Dragon965 said:
I used the review at http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] ,2535.html along with some others. There is also a website www.frostytech.com that reviews practically all CPU coolers. They have a list of results obtained on 2 test platforms.

As a result, I chose the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus and my AMD Phenom II 965 BE processor running @ 4GHz is running as low at 28C at idle and 48C full load. I have added the 2nd 12CM fan to the Hyper 212 Plus as suggested on Frostytech.com, which tends to indicate that in this configuration, it cant be beat.

Not a bad cooler for only $35 Canadian... and easy to install


I agree the Hyper 212 looked like a great deal and it best of all it has a tiny footprint. I get the Noctua tomorrow in the mail and I'm really worried about how big it is. My memory is pretty low profile but on my next build I prolly won't be able to buy Corsair Dominators that's for sure.

Hows your DIMM clearance with your CM?
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April 9, 2010 2:06:09 AM

I am beyond dissented today.

I just installed my NH 14 Noctua.

The problem I'm having is my fans don't seem to work. I can only get one of the two fans to work. I plugged the smaller fan into the CPU fan port on my Mobo. The problem is the fan doesn't work unless....
GET THIS. The fan doesn't work unless I spin it once myself. After I push the fan it has no problem working. This is not normal!!!

I don't know if I have something hooked up wrong or if the fan is faulty or if it's my mobo.

Argh. It's gonna take a while to diagnose this problem...
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a c 163 K Overclocking
April 9, 2010 3:44:27 AM

Been seeing more and more of this....which is why I went to PWM....I dunno if more and more BIOS's are expecting PWM, it can't handle the ganged fan leads or what.....my previous build's fans spin at 100% all the time.....no matter what I set in BIOS. That's why I pretty much resigned myself to PWM .... have yet to hear of rig w/ them having issue.
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