Antec 300 case, 4 120MM fans, Time for a good cooler!

So as the title may suggest, I need some help choosing a cooler for my AMD Phenom II X6 1055T in my Antec 300 case. At the moment I have a NZXT Sentry 2 fan controller and have 4 120MM fans hooked to it, as well as the stock 140MM top fan. All my fans are tri-cools and generally I leave them on the medium settings and leave my fan controller at auto. My case ambient temp is usually about 80 F (23 C or so). I'm not complaining. But Uncle Sam just sent me a little cash for my tax refund and I wanted to put a little bit to use on my PC.

At the moment I plan on keeping the CPU at stock voltage (1.4V, per AMD's website) and I was a little pissed when I looked under "Normal" in my BIOS and I was getting 1.475V to my CPU (My motherboard is a GA-890GPA-UD3H Rev. 1, BIOS F7B) so I adjusted it accordingly. Also I did not use the stock thermal pad. I used Arctic Silver 5 (a good old standby. I know there are better but I had it on hand.) I also use Patriot DDR3 1600 gamer memory set to 7-7-7-20 @ 1.7885V. As par for the course with Patriot it needed a little extra juice to run stable (They say on their website that these memory modules can take 1.7-1.9V to be stable. )

Anyhow, I am currently running prime 95, stock with the stock heatsink and fans set to auto at 43 C on max heat. Not terrible, but I want to go lower without undervolting or water cooling so I began looking into the Noctua NH-D14. It seems OK but I have some concerns. Would one fit in my case with the type of memory I have (Gamer memory has heat fins)? I looked around at the mounting system doesn't seem to require you to remove the motherboard and install a secondary backplate. However it will require removing the stock plastic shroud (if thats the right term. The plastic bit that stock heatsink clamp onto.) and you will have to install 2 "C" looking clamps. Then it appears very straight forward. Although I imagine installing the center fan will be nightmarish once installed in the case.

Anyhow I haven't seen any review regarding performance of this particular heatsink on the hexa-core CPU's but it seems OK. I also admit to being a bit concerned with weight and it bending the motherboard with time. I've used the Coolermaster 212 Hyper+ and the Corsair H50 in the past on my i5 750 and both proved decent but I thought I would try for something that won't require me to remove the motherboard and get very nice and quiet results.

Also if anyone has any suggestions for alternate thermal paste or heatsinks I should look into, I would greatly appreciate being pointed in the right direction.

Thanks guys!
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  1. Wow, really? Over 50 views an no advice?
  2. I'm using the Xigmatek Thor's Hammer on my AM3 720BE X3 and have been very happy with it. I'd also suggest having a look at Scythe Mugen 2 or the MegaHalems. The MegaHalems would be a good choice if you're really after the best and want to push that X6 to the max on air :]
  3. First of all, 43c at load temps is not high at all, especially for the stock HSF. You will get lower with a better cooler, but don't expect a massive drop in temps unless you go with a quality liquid setup. Undervolting is not harmful, and if a CPU will pass stress testing undervolted, then any voltage above that level is unnecessary, and only adds extra heat/aging

    Second, it is always hard to say if a cooler will fit unless running the exact same components as you. Measuring tape is your friend, all specifications are available online for any reputable HSF.

    Third, there are FAR more lurkers and advice seekers on this website than there are those of us willing to put in the time to try answer questions. The middle of the afternoon, in my experience, is one of the slower times for answers in the overclocking forum. I don't scan the site all day, so I do my best to scroll through the front page looking questions I might be able to answer, that haven't been satisfied yet. Patience is a virtue. :D

    As a side note, I am currently waiting on the exact same motherboard (first one was DOA) and plan on putting a 1090t into it within a month or two. I am very interested to hear futher results running a Hexa on it.
  4. I decided to re-use an old Zalmann 9900A I had laying around and it worked well enough. I like it because I didn't have to remove the motherboard (while I DID have to remove my video card to install it. I have fat hands!) but I noticed the clip to secure the heatsink to base (little L shaped bracket) was hitting my northbridge heatsink a little. More like scraping it, actually.

    Anyhow I've decided to overclock my 1055T and I am running the (presumably) "stock" voltage of 1.475 (I believe thats normal voltage when the CPU is in "Turbo" mode) and the Zalmann allowed me to do this relatively well.
    I have a nice AM3 base for a Corsair H50 cooler I had to pay $5 to have shipped to me (some H50's didn't come with AMD brackets when they first came out.) and I am running a H50 on my i5 750 setup, so I might bight the bullet and grab another one and install it on my hexacore. At full load with OCCT running for 2 hours (OCCT<P95!) I managed to get the hexacore to 4004 Mhz and hitting 54C. Just under the 55C max temp most OC'ers recommend. However I noticed my north and south bridges were about 62C or so. A little warm, but I think it'll handle it.

    Easy to do the overclock once you understand what needs to be done. CPU northbridge and HT Link should be set to x7 (or 7X) change your memory to it's lowest setting (DDR3 800 in my case) and you'll get a nice 2:1 ratio for OCing. FSB speed to 286 Mhz and manually set the voltage to 1.475 and don't forget to adjust your memory timings and voltage as required.

    Lastly, turn OFF turbo, C1E, Cool n' Quiet and set the CPU fan to run 100%. If your lucky, you'll hit 4 Ghz and be good to go!

    Also note, my 890GPA-UD3H was running the F6 Bios. I see there is a F7C available, but I will wait till it gets to be a final version before I flash. All I gotta say is this thing is smokin' fast. Encoded a full movie (2 hours 2 Minutes) into a M4V file using HandBrake in just 7 minutes! Very nice! Maybe having a Raid 0 helped, but I doubt it.
  5. Quote:
    I idle at 40c so I don't see the problem. I live in the hottest part of the USA.

    The best heatsinks will require removing the motherboard. That's the whole point. And when it's installed that way you don't have to worry about weight.

    Incorrect, Zip. I was able to install my H50 with the "enhanced" AM3 (the one you have to buy for $5 from Corsair) and although it came with a base, I didn't need it. The stock base was fine, just unscrew the screws and remove the retainer block (in my case it's blue, the plastic bit that you clip the stock heat sink onto) and the H50 retainer went in nice as you please. maybe I got lucky but they were threaded the same and no signs of stripping! So I would say under most circumstances you would be correct, not in this one!

    Oh and in push/pull with antec tri-cools, under max load I am getting only 47C at 4 Ghz! Not bad, eh?
  6. I don't want to hijack, just have a question for the OP, or any of you guys for that matter. I too have an Antec 300 and I purchased 2 tri-cools for the front. I have those both pulling in air, and the top 140 and rear 120 pulling out air. My hope was that with negative pressure, fresh air would be sucked in the side vent. Do you think it would be better to put another 120 on the side, pulling in air as well? I feel like it might help cool the GPU better? What are your thoughts on that?
  7. Any positive pressure = pooling and recycling of heated air. Overly negative pressure will force the air through the case, but it the higher the negative pressure, the greater the chance of the air whipping through as the crows fly, and not taking part in turblulence and mixing of heat coming off the components.

    IMO, the best config is to run balanced to just slightly negative pressures.
  8. Thanks Jofa, sounds like keeping the 4 fans is the best bet then, as there is a slightly negative pressure right now.
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