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I need some advice on air cooling components for a new box.

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August 15, 2010 8:31:36 PM

I need some advice on which components to purchase for air cooling. The last time I built a complete box was a while ago (before Prescott was released) and I did not OC, so cooling was not an issue at the time. I purchased the components for a new rig last night (minus the monitor and the cooling components).

This is the hardware that I chose:

Case: Lian Li PC-9F-B (Mid-Tower)
PSU: Corsair HX1000W (I could have gone with an 850, but I would like some room to OC and the calculator gave me an estimate of 891W without OC).
Mobo: ASUS P6X58D-E
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 (I would like to get this up to ~3.6-4.0 GHz)
RAM: 2x3GB Corsair Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D
GPU: 2x EVGA GeForce GTX 470 SuperClocked+ 012-P3-1475-AR (I chose this over the 1470 or 1472 for the High Flow Bracket + Backplate)
SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX (I might add another of these into r0)
DVD: Samsung SH-S243N

So, that is the configuration. The two cooling components that I know I am going to purchase are a Yate Loon 140mm x 25mm Fan (optional slot on the top of the case) and Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound (unless someone has a better suggestion).

What I would appreciate help with is choosing the replacement for the stock CPU fan/heatsink and advice on other components that might be needed. I do not want to watercool (for now). Feel free to use technical language.

Thanks!

P.S. I cross-posted this on one other forum because I love both sites :) 
August 15, 2010 9:12:06 PM

Many to choose from - Noctua NH D14, Thermalight True, Corsair H50, Prolimatech Megahalems, Cooler Master Hyper 212...
Good Luck!
a c 182 K Overclocking
August 15, 2010 9:51:15 PM

The top 3 air coolers are generally considered to be the Noctua NH-D14
Prolimatech Megahalems or Armageddon
Thermalright Venomous X and the new Silver Arrow
A cheaper high performance unit that makes the cut is the Scythe Mugen 2 rev b.
Note the Noctua and Silver Arrow are huge
Related resources
August 15, 2010 9:51:42 PM

just_me981 said:
Many to choose from - Noctua NH D14, Thermalight True, Corsair H50, Prolimatech Megahalems, Cooler Master Hyper 212...
Good Luck!


Hmm... I thought the Corsair H50 was for watercooling (and when I go that route I will get the separate components).

Forgive my ignorance, but could you explain the difference between the 'tower' heatsinks and and the 'box' fan+heatsinks? Where does the fan go for the 'tower' heatsinks (Prolimatech/Thermalright)? Which solution is more ideal?

I suppose this is a difficult question unless one owns the same case, but will the larger products fit inside the Lian Li PC-9F-B? Does the case itself provide adequate airflow? I looked at the Antec 900 after reading another thread and it seems much more open (but I love the minimalist design of Lian Li and have been satisfied with them in the past).

Are there other components that would be helpful? I often see mention of fan controllers and 'push/pull'. Could someone elaborate? Thanks again.
August 16, 2010 5:39:04 AM

i'm not sure exactly what size your case is but for mid towers, my suggestion would be the prolimatech megahalems rev b
not exacty sure of the difference between box and tower but there really isn't going to be much difference in temperature
for the megahalems, the fans mount on 2 sides of the tower
the megahalems is probably the best you're going to get for air cooling and for size,
you'd have to get 2 fans to go with it though
August 16, 2010 7:46:31 AM

dhongkool1 said:
i'm not sure exactly what size your case is but for mid towers, my suggestion would be the prolimatech megahalems rev b
not exacty sure of the difference between box and tower but there really isn't going to be much difference in temperature
for the megahalems, the fans mount on 2 sides of the tower
the megahalems is probably the best you're going to get for air cooling and for size,
you'd have to get 2 fans to go with it though


Forget about the whole 'tower' and 'box' comments. I was referring to the shape of the sinks and the lack of included fans. The pictures do not seem to represent the actual size (the Megahalems look a a lot larger than the Noctua, but that does not seem to be the case). Any suggestions for fans? I am still a bit fuzzy on the 'push/pull' concept, but I will look into it further. Also, is the thermal compound that is included inferior to Arctic Silver 5, or is it recommended to use the packaged TIM? Thanks, almost solved... :) 
August 16, 2010 3:05:02 PM

Arctic Silver 5 is definately better than the packaged thermal compound
i would recommend Arctic Cooling MX-2 or MX-3 rather than the AS5
you'll get around a 3 degree improvement with the MX-2 compared with AS5 and around 5 degrees for the MX-3, that's if you're willing to spend 10 bucks more
a b K Overclocking
August 17, 2010 9:26:24 PM

Keep in mind that your Dominator RAM has heatsinks attached to the top. With a tower type cooler (I have the Corsair A70), you will cover one or two of your RAM slots. This page has details on this issue with the A70 and RAM clearance. Most tower type coolers will have the same or worse problem: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1389/4/

This will bring up the issue of orientation of the fans; should they blow out towards the back of the case, or towards the top. For me, and the RAM clearance issue, I could only aim the fans toward the top. This covered only one RAM slot, as opposed to two. In order for the RAM to fit in the covered slot, I had to remove the RAM heatsink. The Dominator RAM also came with a pair of cooling fans, so the whole thing was a tight fit, but worked out fine... minus the one RAM heatsink.
August 18, 2010 10:27:41 AM

Thanks, I appreciate the responses. I ended up purchasing the Corsair H70 (just restocked at Newegg). I am curious as to whether the pre-applied TIM should be replaced with Arctic Cooling MX-3. I am most concerned about the thermal signature of the 2x GTX 470s, but would the Corsair CMXAF1 fans help out for the RAM?. Could someone recommend a decent fan controller, too?
August 18, 2010 3:32:13 PM

i'm sure about replacing it with MX-3 but i'm not so sure about the H70
with that money you probably could of gone with a full on liquid cooling kit
if you're really worried about the graphic cards temps then you can go get some aftermarket cooling i'll help you research a bit tomorrow when i get up
a b K Overclocking
August 18, 2010 5:22:07 PM

If you have reference-type GTX 470's, they will exhaust the heat outside the box. The custom cooling that I have seen so far exhaust the heat inside of the case. While they cool the cards, they increase the ambient temperature of the case.

The H70 also sucks air into the case (in its default configuration), so with custom cooling on your graphics cards, you would have both the CPU and GTX 470's adding to the ambient heat inside the case. Of course none of this would be much of a problem if you have good airflow and at least a couple extra case fans exhausting the heat outside the case. There are ways to configure the H70 to act as an exhaust as well.

The ambient heat issue is something to consider in your configuration and will require you to decide between stock vs custom cooling on the graphics, exhaust vs intake on the H70, and overall case airflow.

The H70 water cooler does not cover any RAM slots, so any RAM cooler should fit much more easily. (I just noticed that you have 3 sticks of RAM, so blocking the first DIMM is even less of a problem.)
!