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THE BEST heatsink under $40 USD (incl. shipping)?

Hello everyone, as stated my budget is $40 (including shipping). That means it would obviously help to get something with free shipping, but if you find one that fits within $40 it's fine!!


Preferred site: Any as long as it's within the budget! :)


CPU: Intel Core i7-920, Currently runs at 45-55 C with stock heatsink+fan depending on where I clock it. I am trying to run it at 4 GHz but I can't do that safely unless I get a new heatsink+fan. Right now I am at 3.6 GHz.

Motherboard: ASRock X58 Extreme

RAM: 3x2gb OCZ3P1600LV6GK

CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion


This is the one I have had in mind: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm Ceramic CPU Cooler


If you need to know anything else tell me! Other than that, I just need to know what the best cooler would be for my budget of $40 USD (including shipping). Obviously I just want to lower the temps as much as possible, so if you know for sure of a cooler that fits my budget and will give me good results, please let me know! :)
47 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    If your in the US, The hypermaster 212+ 20+6=26 Microcenter
    http://www.microcenter.com/shopping_bag/shopping_bag.phtml?addsku=303198
    Its gotten to popular at Newegg.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065&cm_re=212%2b-_-35-103-065-_-Product

    Heres the video to install it :
  2. Hey notty, 2 things.. :)


    1) That link you gave me doesn't work. I went to microcenter website and I do not see that product anywhere.. Can you please link me to the microcenter product page for that heatsink?

    2) How would you compare it to this?: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm Ceramic CPU Cooler

    Also, SORRY I FORGOT TO NOTE: I am trying to run it at 4 GHz but I can't do that safely unless I get a new heatsink+fan. Right now I am at 3.6 GHz.
  3. I got my CM 212 hyper + for $28 with free shipping from amazon if you're willing to wait about a week for delivery. Hands down the best cooler in the price range in my opinion.
  4. In that price range you have the 212+ or the CCF, both are good coolers for the money and both will do a MUCH better job than Arctic Cooling Freezer.

    If you can find the 212+ for under $30, you aren't going to beat it for the money.

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0315397

    I would pick up a second fan for it, unless you have one laying around, the push-pull will help with the i7's heat output.
  5. I agree with the suggestions on the 212+. I don't own one, but I have heard great things about it. This site definitely thinks very highly of that particular heatsink. Plus, you really can't go wrong with its awesome price.
  6. Alright, so far it seems like everyone is saying the Hyper 212 Plus from Cooler Master..

    Is the Hyper 212 Plus better than the Hyper N250? What are everyone's opinions on that?
  7. Sunbeamcore 120mm is what I have. I bought it for $40-$15mail in rebate=$25

    What I like about this compared to the hyper 212 is it comes with awesome thermal grease. Comes with the Tuniq TX-2 Thermal which is better than what coolermaster gives.
  8. The hyper 212 has a larger heatsink than the n520. I had the N520 and it came with two fans, but it was smaller.

    I think it's a toss up between coolermaster 212 vs the sunbeamtech 120mm. The Coolermaster 212 allows you to put a second fan on it while the sunbeamtech comes with better thermal paste.
  9. Here is the sunbeamtech

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835207004

    Pros: comes with good thermal grease Tuniq TX-2. Comes with a fan controller that installs into a pci slot.
    Cons: can only attach 1 fan(unless you use zipties to hook on another fan


    Heres the coolermaster 212(don't buy from newegg, they raised price to $45 now. You can get cheaper elsewhere)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    Pros: can attach second fan(optional)
    Cons: The thermal grease coolermaster gives out is not as good as the tuniq tx2 you get with sunbeam tech.


    Just wanted to add that the sunbeamtech didn't require me to remove the back plate on my AM3 motherboard. It clipped right on. The coolermaster 212 requires removal of backplate.
  10. Thanks tuesday!

    So far I am leaning towards the Hyper 212 Plus from Cooler Master. The only concern I have is removing my old thermal paste and reapplying the new one.. I hope I do it right! Anyway, anyone else please continue to give opinions on the best cpu heatsink+fan for $40 or less (including shipping)!!
  11. Like said above, the Hyper 212 or Core Contact Freezer 120mm.
  12. Hyper 212 Plus vs. Cogage True Spirit vs. Core Contact Freezer 120

    ...thoughts? I am really torn between a few choices right now.. I know a lot of people are recommending the Hyper 212 plus, but the thing is that when I use google shopping results I am seeing plenty of choices for $40 or under!
  13. Hardocp lists the true spirit as the best i7 cooler. Not sure if its under $40.

    Interesting vid on the cooler install. I feel he missed some steps however as he failed to show how to use the grease properly.
  14. Yep, that's why I am so torn...I am really seeing different opinions on the best cooler for my budget.. I just don't know which one to pick!!

    How do you guys feel about Noctua? Something tells me they are really good, but the cheaper ones get outperformed by other brands..

    Please, everyone, continue to help me! :P
  15. You realize that the best ones all score within a degree or two of each other right? Pick one from a list that you like and get it. Worrying over 52 at load vs 53 is pretty pointless.
  16. I appreciate the input you have given 4745454b, but I am very picky about what I spend money on. I never take money for granted anymore (not saying that you do). I want to get something that will be the BEST for my budget; I don't want any regrets. That is why I am going through this process of getting as much input as I possibly can.

    That being said, I am still unsure if I should get the Hyper 212 Plus, Cogage True Spirit, Sunbeam 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer...OR anything else..I am just not sure yet.. This is the first time I am looking into heatsinks...

    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus: 21.2 - 76.8 CFM

    Sunbeam 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer: 90.65 CFM (Max)

    Cogage True Spirit 120mm: 35 - 66.5CFM

    I would think that the best thing to go by is the CFM value..Right? Does the highest CFM equate to the best cooling?

    I would greatly appreciate anyone else giving their opinions or reviews or test results on the best cooling I can get for my budget! Thank you very much for taking the time to help me out! :)
  17. You could think that. 90.65 being pointed at a brick of aluminum isn't going to cool as well as a 55CFM being sent through a well designed set of fins. Besides, if the fan dies you'll have to replace it, and if you can't find that 90.65 miracle fan what then?

    Have you seen this link?

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/02/05/tuniq_propeller_vs_thermalright_venemous_x/4

    I would argue that all those coolers that have a load temp of 37-39 degrees are equal. The next grouping are those that are 44-45, with the last grouping from 51+. This means all those in the first "group" should be considered the same. Your talking about a degree, perhaps two difference between them. I doubt you will ever see/feel it. If you want the "best" of those thats under $40 including shipping, start at the top and work your way down. True spirit is out as its over $40 once you have shipping in, unless you can buy it somewhere else then the link you provided. As seen in the OC'd graph, it is a great cooler however.
  18. Thanks for that link, I am checking it out now! :)

    I wish they included the Hyper 212 Plus and the other ones that I have been looking at, though! Either way I appreciate you trying to help! Please let me know if you see anything else that compares and will help me decide. :)

    As far as the True Spirit, I only used that link for reference, there are places that sell cheaper though. :)


    UPDATE: I think I may have it narrowed down to two choices, but FEEL FREE to give me any other options if you feel like I am overlooking any!!

    1) Thermalright Cogage True Spirit

    2) Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

    3) Sunbeam Core-Contact Freezer
  19. Because it performed so well on the OC test I really like the spirit. When there is LOTS of heat being pumped out, the spirit can handle it. Under stock situations however you can see that its not "the best". I still argue that any of those in that main cluster will be fine. Find one that's <$40 shipped and you have your sink.

    For the record I like spending as little as possible on a computer. I also just bought the Hyper 212. Didn't spend a lot of thought on it, was more of an impulse buy.
  20. To be honest that one was at the bottom of my choice... I was actually leaning more towards the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus or the Sunbeam Core-Contact Freezer.. Which one would you say out of those two? (Let's keep price out of the picture when comparing them)
  21. +1 CM Hyper 212+ can't be beat for value and performance
  22. Thanks Davcon, I would actually like to keep price out of the picture when comparing these final two choices!

    So with price aside--Which is the better choice?

    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus WITH Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound..

    -OR-

    Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer with thermal grease that it comes with (TX-2 Thermal Grease)..

    Remember, don't even consider price. I just want to know which option people think will lower my temps the most!
  23. Back when I was looking at a/m coolers it was between the 212 and the ccf for me also. With my older case overall cooler height was the deciding factor me. I love my ccf, but if had plenty of clearance I would have bought the 212. With thee ability to mount a second pull fan on the 212 you could drop temps another 3 or 4c. (I think that's about what 212 owners have said??) With that second fan it might catch up to the ccf lol j/k. If your going after 4GHz, I would think the 212 and 2 fans would do a better job.

    As a side note, I was trying to help a ccf owner on another forum who was getting higher temps than desired. He finally gave up on the ccf and bought a H50. He reported 4c drop at idle and 8c on load, which is still higher than my rig at a similar oc and similar ambient AND he has a better case. Guess that just "shows to go ye" every rig is different...
  24. trancetunes said:
    Thanks Davcon, I would actually like to keep price out of the picture when comparing these final two choices!

    So with price aside--Which is the better choice?

    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus WITH Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound..

    -OR-

    Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer with thermal grease that it comes with (TX-2 Thermal Grease)..

    Remember, don't even consider price. I just want to know which option people think will lower my temps the most!

    One more thing you gotta remember. The Core Contact Freezer doesn't come with a LGA1366 bracket. In terms of performance, the CCF is ranked #10 here: http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2521&page=5 and the 212+ is ranked #17.
  25. Thanks for the input green300!! I think the 212 Plus is slightly smaller than the Sunbeam CCF! In terms of size I have more chances of fitting the 212! :)


    Shadow703793, thanks for that chart. Here's the factor to keep in mind though: It's only .8 C better, and I will be using Arctic Silver 5 with my 212 Plus. Considering the superior thermal paste, I believe I may get better results with the 212 Plus.


    QUESTION FOR ALL: Can I take my stock Intel fan off the heatsink and place it as a second fan on the Hyper 212??
  26. Why? it will be loud you can get a decent quiet second fan for $10.
    Scythe,Nexus,might cost slightly more.
    I use Thermalrights they're cheap and quiet.

    http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=14650AC3095&vpn=TR-FDB-12-1000&manufacture=THERMALRIGHT
  27. Lol... I appreciate that, but that doesn't answer the question.. If you must know why, it's because, as stated above, I only have a budget of 40 dollars and I have hit it with the Hyper 212 + Arctic Silver 5.

    That being said, anyone please let me know? Can the stock i7 fan be placed on the hyper 212 plus? I know it may sound silly, but I just want to know please! :P
  28. +1 Cooler Master Hyper 212+
  29. trancetunes said:
    Lol... I appreciate that, but that doesn't answer the question.. If you must know why, it's because, as stated above, I only have a budget of 40 dollars and I have hit it with the Hyper 212 + Arctic Silver 5.

    That being said, anyone please let me know? Can the stock i7 fan be placed on the hyper 212 plus? I know it may sound silly, but I just want to know please! :P

    You can with some type of modding. However, doing so would mean the air would be blowing the wrong way, usually this is not a good thing.

    As for AS5, if you can, grab the IC Diamond here: http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/ic-diamond-7-carat-thermal-compound-15-gram-p-16605.html

    The IC Diamond is quite a bit better than the AS5, about 1-3C cooler than AS5.

    At any rate, go with the Hyper 212+.
  30. Thanks 4ryan6!

    I think I am almost 100% decided on the Hyper 212 Plus w/ Arctic Silver 5. :)

    Everyone, my only question now is: Can I take the fan from my stock Intel i7 HSF and put it as a second on the Hyper 212 Plus? I'm just wondering if that is a possibility. Please let me know!
  31. I dont' think so. Not without a lot of modding.
  32. Ah, sucks :P However, I pretty much expected that..

    I AM ALMOST SET everyone! Last decision is the thermal compound! Shadow703793 claims that IC Diamond is better than Arctic Silver 5. Thoughts?

    This is my last decision, so thank you all for sticking around! Help me choose the thermal compound and we are done! :P
  33. Best answer selected by trancetunes.
  34. Cancel that. I am decided!

    Since I want to make the order easy and get everything at the same time, I am just going to get the Arctic Silver 5 with a Hyper 212 Plus from amazon.com! :)

    The total comes out to 38 dollars after shipping!

    EVERYONE, thank you very much for helping me. I appreciate it very much! These forums have never let me down. :D


    PS--Award goes to notty for being the first one to suggest the 212 Plus, but that doesn't mean the rest of you didn't help me just as much! :) Thanks again!
  35. trancetunes said:
    Thanks for the input green300!! I think the 212 Plus is slightly smaller than the Sunbeam CCF! In terms of size I have more chances of fitting the 212...

    ccf
    Heatsink & Fan Dim: 153x125x104mm
    Weight: 590 grams

    212+
    Heatsink & Fan Dim: 161x120x77mm
    Weight: 626 grams

    ;) shorter and fatter.

    I'm sure you will like the 212
  36. trancetunes said:
    Ah, sucks :P However, I pretty much expected that..

    I AM ALMOST SET everyone! Last decision is the thermal compound! Shadow703793 claims that IC Diamond is better than Arctic Silver 5. Thoughts?

    This is my last decision, so thank you all for sticking around! Help me choose the thermal compound and we are done! :P

    See: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/282002-28-diamond-test-results

    This is the on going test thread for IC Diamond. There are other reviews for example, the trusty skeene labs: http://skinneelabs.com/tim-v2.html

    Do note that application method,etc determines a lot in terms of temperature gain/loss when applying TIM.

    If you want the best, grab the Shin Etsi, it's quite hard to find that specific type of Shin Etsu btw.
  37. AS5 has lost its step over the years. (has it been years?) Tx-2 is considered as good as, while the new Tx-3 is better. Then there is diamond, OCZs freeze, and god only knows what else. Like with the sinks however we are talking minimal difference in temps, perhaps a degree or two. My choice for buying is one that isn't electrically conductive. That way if it spills somewhere you don't short anything out. I think AS5 is, the TX grease isn't. (I'll let you guess what I'm running with my 212.)
  38. Well, the only thing is that I want to make the ordering process easy and get everything from one site. I am limiting myself to amazon.com because they have the cheapest price for the 212 plus. I looked for the other recommended thermal compounds (IC Diamond, TX-2, and OCZ freeze or whatever it was called) and they all unfortunately make my order go above 40 dollars.

    I've always heard good things with Arctic Silver 5, but if I can get a better one before I have to order I will try! I want to try and order either tomorrow (June 2) or the next day (June 3). :)
  39. It looks like Microcenter is cheaper..........$25 W/Shipping
    Amazon.............................$34 W/Shipping

    Tell you what, since I gave you such a hard time before (not my fault though :) ) you decided to get a cooler, I have a new (sealed) tube of MX-2 here that I got from Newegg when they had a buy one get one free sale. I've only used less than 1/2 of the first tube and now this second tube is just gathering dust. So, if you want it for $5.00 shipped to you, PM me and i'll give you my address. This way your total will only be $30 and the MX-2 is non-conductive and does just as good at cooling if not better than AS5.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020

    If your the paranoid type I can send you a picture of the sealed package if you like.
  40. Where are you seeing the Hyper 212 Plus on microcenter's website?? I am just not seeing it. Every time I look for it no results come up! :X

    About the thermal grease, thanks! I'll have to PM you as soon as I am ready to order and see what's up. I won't lie though, I am sort of looking forward to Arctic Silver 5 or a diamond compound :P If I don't go with that I will definitely PM you about it though! I appreciate that a lot!

    Please let me know the exact product link for the Hyper 212 Plus on microcenter's website though? I just can't find it there.. :|

    PS--Price for the Hyper 212 Plus w/ AS5 thermal compound on amazon was $38 total for me (after shipping/tax). However I am also looking into buying the Hyper 212 Plus over here. It is $26 after shipping.. If you find me the link for the microcenter one though, I think I would rather go with that since they are more recognized!
  41. Ah, thank you! I figured it out..It is in stock if I get it shipped to me instead of in-store pickup..which works out because the closest store is 45minutes away from me!
  42. Nvm

    EDIT2: Heh, it is funny because I also just found that out as well heh.
  43. Sweet. I am almost 100% decided on getting the IC Diamond 7 thermal compound with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus. Thanks for the help! Micro Center has the best price/reliability in my opinion so I will go with them!

    TOTAL: $40.62 ..Right on my budget :D
  44. Beat ya budget by 5 cents ....

    http://www.platinummicro.com/product.asp?pf_id=CCSCMG2100

    but that doesn't include the TIM....so unless you can get in on this giveaway.....the TIM will put you over ....worthwhile investment IMO tho.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/280452-28-diamond-carat-thermal-compound-giveaway

    The Scythe 2100 tops the 212 as can be seen at link below:

    Ya have to go back thru the old reviews to see the numbers ...as I recall, you're gonna see about 4 degrees difference between the two

    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=432&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=23

    Best CPU Cooler Conclusion

    Ignoring budget and the hardware envolved, my suggestions can be based purely on cooling performance.

    1. ProlimaTech Megahalems: Using the best mounting system I've ever tested, this cooler delivers extraordinary contact surface pressure between the processor and polished finish on the heatsink base. As of March 2010 the ProlimaTech Megahalems was available at FrozenCPU for $65. AMD users will also want the AM2/AM2+/AM3 mounting kit for an extra $10. Adding two Yate Loon D12SH-12 fans in a push-pull configuration for $7 each will make Megahalems unstoppable.
    2. Thermalright Venomous-X: The new mounting system offers incredible contact pressure, and pairs a polished contact surface to densely packed heatsink that supports two 120mm cooling fans. The heatsink alone costs $70, and the optional AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3 adds another $10, plus you'll need to purchase fans. Once installed, Venomous-X delivers on its years of past design experience.
    3. Scythe Mugen-2 SCMG-2000: Trailing right behind the two leaders is the $35 Mugen-II cooler, which already includes AMD mounting hardware and a premium Scythe Kaze-Jyuni Slip-Stream fan... all for only half the cost of the the other two options. The SCMG-2000 model has already received honorable mention for our Editors Choice Award pertaining to value, and it consistently finishes at the very top.

    EDITOR'S NOTE: The Scythe Mugen-2 Revision B model SCMG-2100 heatsink is identical to the first version, model SCMG-2000. The only difference is that Mugen-2 Rev. B uses a newly developed F.M.S.B. (Flip Mount Super Back-Plate) for more convenient mounting onto the motherboard. There should not be any cooling performance between these two models, despite marketing hype.


    If you're looking to cool your overclocked CPU on a budget, and the $35 Scythe Mugen-II is too large for your application, then consider the Cogage TRUE-Spirit, but four heat-pipe rods may limit the thermal range this cooler can handle compared to more robust coolers. You'll want a better fan (or two), and the aftermarket Thermalright LGA1366 Bolt-Thru Kit for an extra $10, but there's certainly some performance to be had from the TRUE Spirit. Once inventory is available, the Zalman CNPS10X-Performa is a cooler worth considerating. Beyond these, there are only a handful of other CPU coolers I might consider worthy of high-temperature overclocking projects on the LGA1366 socket. Xigmatek's HDT-S1284EE offers four 8mm heatpipe rods in the base, and sells for $40, and the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus isn't a bad deal for $29.


    I'll echo the IC Diamond stuff .... son's box has it w/ a Megahalems and seeing 920 core temps at 3.77 Ghz (everyday profile) of low 50's .... low 70's at 4.0 - 4.2 Ghz

    OCZ Freeze would be my next choice.

    http://www.hwreviewlabs.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64%3Amega-44-thermal-paste-round-up&catid=32%3Around-ups&Itemid=47&limitstart=3
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/thermal-interface-roundup_10.html#sect1
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=138&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=3
  45. Well, it has definitely made me think about the option..so thanks for the input.. I also didn't realize TH was giving away IC Diamond.. However...

    After putting in some thought, I have decided to stick to my choice.. The reason is because for literally the same price, I am getting the Hyper 212 Plus, IC Diamond 7, and a second 120mm fan for the heatsink.. So the Hyper 212 Plus with 2 120mm fans and IC Diamond 7 should probably do me some justice! :)

    Thanks for the input!! Feel free to respond with any further comments! :)
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