Hi Guys, almost a year ago i built an i7 920 HTPC case using the silverstone LC-17 HTPC case, i used 2x SilverStone Suscol SC00L81 Ultra Quiet Fan for the HDD cases (but i feel i did not install them correctly so i might do that when i install the new cpu cooler which is the subject of this thread). The HTPC case holds the following: asus p6T deluxe v2 MB, i7 920 with normal intel cooler and fan, sapphire ati 4890 1GB video card, OCZ OCZ3P1600LV6GK DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz 6GB Platinum XTC Triple Channel Kit, Thermaltake Toughpower XT 750W Modular Power Supply, 2 seagate 1TB drives, and an auzentech home theatre HD sound card. a bluray writer and I have used the Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound for the Intel cpu fan mount.
Currently i am not doing any cpu frequency overclocking, i am using the ddr3 at 1600 MHZ though, and i diminished the CPU voltage to 1 volt, the system is stable for my kind of usage, i think i have tested for few minutes with prime 95 and didnt get problems, but didnt do long time test, i do play C&C4 at 1080p and need for speed shift with no problems. The current cpu temperature using speedfan is around 44 degrees C at normal internet usage and powerdvd and other stuff (room temp around 26), however the motherboards temp is around 50!. The HTPC case is inside a cabinet (around 7 cm from each side) so the temperatures seems acceptable taking the location of the case, the cabinet is open from front (i keep the door open)but not sides, and the rear is slightly opened for cables and some air flow (but is 15 cm from the wall). When i had the cpu at default voltage, the temperatures would go high sometimes because i am using the asus fan control software (i dont recall the name now at work , it is the one with the rocket or car or person icon depending on the speed.
I have the following questions that need your kind help:
1. What would be my best choise amongst the following cpu coolers (Noctua NH-C12P SE14 or Noctua NH-U9B SE 2) taking into consideration the size of my HTPC case?
2. will i be able to overclock if i needed to?
3. will any of these cpu coolers help as well in cooling the surrounding motherboard components? which would do that better?
4. i have bought the arctic silver 5 almost a year and a half before, would it be still usable or am i better of with the thermal paste that comes with the noctua?
5. what is the best way to remove the intel cpu cooler and arctic silver 5?can i do that without removing the CPU itself?
1. I wouldn't actually pick either of those CPU coolers I'd actually pick the Cooler Master Hyper 212+. It's only 25$ on amazon and has great performance/price value. It is also comparable to CPU heatsinks that are much higher in cost than itself (IE the Fenrir, Zalman 9900 QX, and its brother if you will the Hyper N590.
The review shows that it can possibly compete with the NH-U12P, of course if it can compete with that it can compete with the NH-U9B SE 2. Of course once you put two fans that perform great it'll do even better. Plus with the money you save from not buying the NH-C12P SE14 you could get a Mid-tower case.
This review shows it's temps load in comparison to the U9B and it's actual only a few temps lower so if you don't like the Hyper 212+ i'd rather save a little and go with the U9B SE2. But the Hyper 212+ should have no problem fitting in your HTPC case. I'd get a mid-tower though if I were you airflow is kind of bad in HTPC's =P
2. Yes either the NH-C12P SE14 or the NH-U9B SE 2, even the Hyper 212+ will OC very well.
3. I'm pretty sure all of em will fit, except perhaps the NH-C12P SE14 seeing as the fan is kinda big. The Hyper 212+ or the U9B SE2 would do better in sizing.
5.Try youtube "How to clean thermal paste" IF you don't want to search it. Here's a word guide XD
Step 1: Take off the stock heatsink.
Step 2: Take a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and apply it to a napkin.
Step 3: Take the napkin and rub off the thermal paste off the CPU.
Step 4: Apply the new thermal paste
Step 5: Spread the paste with a card or something like that until its flat, even and a thin layer on the CPU
Step 6: Place the heatsink (correctly)
Since the Hyper 212+ is only 25$ vs your highest pricing NH-C12P SE14 if you do actually buy the Hyper 212+ (REMEMBER AMAZON NEWEGG IS STEALING MONIES!) the NH-C12P SE14 is 72$ you'll save practically 50$ and be able to get those gaming cases for under 50$ XD GJ for tom on making that article just as I posted this response XD
thank you aznshinobi for the response. I agree with the logic you are using, however i have to point out few things:
1. I did have a larger case which was pretty cool (Thermaltake Armor MX+ Black) and i had a q6600 inside of it but i sold the whole rig, the main idea about the current case is the fact that it is smaller and fits nicely into the HT vitrine and has a better WAF. It is acceptably good on temperatures at stock speed and noise level is very good when using the asus fan control software.
2. the noise factor is very important for me, so i dont know how the Hyper 212+ compares to the noctuas. the noctuas were higly praised in the reviews i have seen taking noise as factor.
3. the height of the 212 is around 15.85 cm which most probably might not fit in my 17cm(outside dimensions height case, i.e. with feet i think), i have read in a post on the internet that the maximum size should be around 13.5 or 14 cm from someone using the case.
4. I did read that both the noctuas are used with a case like mine, nevertheless it seems that the c12p seems to be a better fit from what i have seen in pictures and youtube. Unfortunately i did not keep track of the sites i visited, but the u9b might not fit with both fans (but am not sure, it should, the pic i have seen did have only one fan in my case)
5. would the larger cp12 fan blowing downwards act better in cooling the motherboard, something i will definetly benefit from
6. yes amazon prices are sometimes higher, but unfortunately it is one of the rare sites accepting international credit cards.
7. saving money would be definetly good but my priorities are better cooling and lower noise, if there is a cpu cooler that is 10 to 15 % far from the noctuas qualities and fits in my rig, i will save the money, if not i have no foreseen other choise.
Well ok then, the definite choice for me would be the CP12 since it has better cooling performance and yes Noctua is a quiet/silent air cooling brand.
If the Hyper 212+ would fit, it'd actually be a better buy, because since you like silent, you could get two 120mm Noctua fans for silent cooling and put em on the Hyper 212+ for dual fan, that'll cool nice quiet and good XD. Each fan would be 20$ and 40$+25$ would still put you a good 7$ below the CP12. Too bad it doesn't fit
I would recommend the CP12, I have a Noctua NH-U12P SE2 and find that is works incredibly well while remaining almost silent. I cannot say that I was going for complete quiet because my two 5850 sound like a pair of turbines winding up when under extreme load. The U12P that I have cools quickly and reaches room case temperature in a few minutes. I would skip the Hyper 212+ and go with the CP12 as it looks like a better fit and Noctura fans are the best you can get for sound vs air flow.
I don't quite know why people are pushing the Hyper 212+ so much, it is a good heat sink but doesn't fill every case and $7 less isn't that much of a savings.
thanks guys for the input. the price is high i have to say but seems a good step forwards better then the intel stock cooler. and at least it will be a reason to dismental the PC and work on it (i hope i dont mess anything up), my main concern is the old paste, i dont know if i put too much last time i mounted the intel cooler, so i hope things are not smashy overy the cpu mount.
other then that i think i will need to take everything from the case and re-install, good time to clean. I am planning to put an asus (sata 6gb and usb 3 pcie card) and possibly a 2terra hdd), dont know if i can boot from an hdd connected to an add on card!!!?