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HSFs - The truth

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May 22, 2009 2:40:46 PM

Hello - so, my Q9550 idles at 58, and after 40 mins of idle, reaches 87 or auto-shuts down (over 90c). I've been advised to simply get a new cooler - which is a must anyhow really, so this part is dedicated to choosing coolers for Q9550 (which comes with overclocking software etc too).


To get Akasa nero 967 or Titan Fenrir - that is the question... unless anyone knows of other possibilities with cooling/cost/noise priorities in that order.

These two HSFs are mentioned quite alot, but when I look into it, reviews say nothing on which is better at what - and the user reviews are all over the place, from 5c improvements to 50c improvements for one, and between 8c improvements and 20c improvements for the other - the user review's diversity disallows me from believing any of them.


p.s.
If anyone has any suggestions with my Q9550 issue - please message me or post here. I'm only concerned because my computer constantly makes noises now and theres quite alot of blue dust inside the thermal paste now. God dam my luck.

More about : hsfs truth

May 22, 2009 2:44:30 PM

What case are you using?
May 22, 2009 2:46:09 PM

Probably a good idea to list all the rest of your components inside the case as well.
Related resources
May 22, 2009 3:19:19 PM

ASUS P5N-D 750i motherboard
Intel Q9550 CPU
Cool Master Real Power M620 power supply
XFX 260 graphics card


It's a generic business case - 430mm tall, 440mm from back to front and 200mm wide. I measured and I have about 165mm from CPU chip to the facing panel.

2 vents on the side (back end of) - facing the GPU side and MB fan, 3 vents on the back - one for Power supply, one for a 90 degree HSF, one for GPU back end (or so).



p.s. It seems the distributor of my motherboard gave me a defect "return" - this could account for some overheating. So, concentrate on real evaluations of the HSFs :D 
May 22, 2009 4:58:27 PM

At 58c idle your HSF is not secured properly, my Q9550 idles at 35c - 39c with an Arctic Freezer Pro 7, cheap and functional.
May 22, 2009 6:16:55 PM

Honour3 said:

It's a generic business case - 430mm tall, 440mm from back to front and 200mm wide. I measured and I have about 165mm from CPU chip to the facing panel
How many fans on the case? What size are they?

May 22, 2009 6:44:49 PM

No fans on the case itself, I've opperated the PC with the side panel off, and the room was about 16c - so yeah, there are no case fans taking up room.

Any suggestions on HSFs at all?? especially the 2 aforementioned???
May 22, 2009 7:16:48 PM

Honour3 said:
theres quite alot of blue dust inside the thermal paste now.
I wonder how you know this. And I wonder how its possible that the dust managed to get into the thermal paste.
I'm thinking mousemonkey is right that the CPU cooler isn't attached correctly.
You left out mentioning what CPU cooler you're currently using - any reason for that? What thermal compound are you using?

With only ~165mm of case clearance I'm still not sure the 156mm Titan Fenrir or 160mm Akasa Nero AK-967 are a good match for your case.

But I am sure your "generic business case" is NOT a good match for your high performance (hot) computer parts.





May 22, 2009 8:18:30 PM

I agree. 58 C on idle is most like a result of the cooler mounts or pins not being secured or tight, no pressure on the CPU for it to transfer heat to the cooler.
May 22, 2009 8:28:53 PM

The reviews you mentioned don't mention anything really comparible, as I said before, and the reviews are utterly useless, they are ridiculously diverse (per HSF).

Wonder how I know if there is dust in the paste? because i took the HSF off.

CPU cooler is attatched properly, I'm very sure.

But I'm not trying to query a problem here, I'm trying to eval HSF's, any input into them? lest I have to make a new topic..

CPU cooler is the stock intel HSF.

thermal compound came with the Q9550.

howcome they wouldn't be a good match? they fit and the fan is facing the back where a vent is. Could the panel conduct much heat from the HSF? there's still about 10mm between them (the akasa) or more (the titan).

yeah the normal case won't be good but I can remove the case panel if need be - as I said, the temperature has nothing to do with the venting - I could attatch a case fan later on but it will be fine for now, the room temp is 16c and the case doesn't heat much at all.
Once a panel is off it's better than any custom case really.
May 22, 2009 8:41:44 PM

The stock Intel heat sink & fan is perfectly capable of keeping the Q9550 cool at idle AND during heavy loads.
Honour3 said:
- as I said, the temperature has nothing to do with the venting -
It has everything to do with venting. If your case was adequately ventilated and the cooler installed correctly as you claim it is the stock cooler wouldn't be turning in such a poor performance.






May 22, 2009 8:43:47 PM

Honour3 said:
The reviews you mentioned don't mention anything really comparible, as I said before, and the reviews are utterly useless, they are ridiculously diverse (per HSF).
Can you explain what you mean?
Those FrostyTech reviews are considered thorough and excellent comparisons of cooling potential.

May 22, 2009 9:01:29 PM

Honour3 said:
Wonder how I know if there is dust in the paste? because i took the HSF off

Did you clean it and the CPU and then apply a fresh layer of paste before reattaching it to the mobo?
May 22, 2009 9:01:32 PM

Honour3 said:

Wonder how I know if there is dust in the paste? because i took the HSF off.

CPU cooler is attatched properly, I'm very sure.

Did you clean off the heatsink and replace the thermal paste before installing it again?

EDIT: mousemonkey got there first ;) 
May 23, 2009 12:45:12 PM

Ok - please forget my case, can you answer the topic question or is this intentional avoidance?

@ WR2 It has nothing to do with venting - i ran the pc WITHOUT THE SIDE PANEL IN A 16 celcius room.

the user "reviews" of the components at frosty tech are retardedly different, as i stated in the OP. check it yourself - and frosty just says "it's quite good" to both. I see no surely comparible details except stats - so I'm asking for users of the HSFs or people who know about them to comment themselves, here.

and I didn't clean the CPU or anything because I havn't reinstalled the HSF, i havn't used it since. The temperatures are too extreme. I would have mentioned if so.

I mentioned all relevant information - howcome nothing is being done about the OP? exclude my case please.
May 23, 2009 1:48:28 PM

Honour3 said:
the user "reviews" of the components at frosty tech are retardedly different, as i stated in the OP. check it yourself - and frosty just says "it's quite good" to both. I see no surely comparible details except stats - so I'm asking for users of the HSFs or people who know about them to comment themselves, here.

and I didn't clean the CPU or anything because I havn't reinstalled the HSF, i havn't used it since. The temperatures are too extreme. I would have mentioned if so..


lol... Frostytech tests heatsinks with the same repeatable methods and thus those results are comparable, lower the better...
Titan TTC-NK85TZ 15.5
Akasa Nero AK967 17.9
so titan is 2,4ÂșC cooler at 150W heatload... at high fan speed

and if you were to reinstall the stock heatsink again in the meantime, you should clean the old paste and apply new layer. The stock hsf will keep the cpu cool enough if mounted properly!
May 23, 2009 2:10:10 PM



I have a Zalman CNPS9700 and I am happy with its performance. The reviews on Newegg are some of the highest ratings for HSF. One suggestion might be to consider this cooler.

It doesn't come with any overclocking software. Which motherboard are you using?
May 23, 2009 3:54:02 PM

Honour3 said:
@ WR2 It has nothing to do with venting - i ran the pc WITHOUT THE SIDE PANEL IN A 16 celcius room.
So taking the side panel off didn't quite work out for you? And the cooler is installed and mounted correctly? What do you imagine the problem is?
From 16C to 87C @ IDLE is a 71C rise above ambient

As Kari rightly points out FrostyTech gives better comparisons between HSF actual cooling ability than you'd ever get from an owner who might only own that one cooler, and probably have a different CPU and other system components than you. Its about the rise above ambient temps, not the actual temps themselves which are highly variable, based on CPU, CPU workload and lots of other factors.

But if you put a good CPU cooler inside a very hot case you're going to get poor performance because of the ambient temps in the case. And that my friend IS everything to do with case venting and case fans.










May 23, 2009 4:27:28 PM

A few quick checks.
It looks like the stock Q9550 HSF should run about ~15-20C above ambient at idle and about ~35-45C above ambient fully loaded.
May 23, 2009 7:38:30 PM

Thanks Kari, just didn't like Frosty tech having not specifided the test CPUs...

My motherboard is ASUS P5N-D 750i @ HundredIslandsBoy
I'll look up the Zalman, thx.

Yeah WR2, some user reviews mention 50 degree decrease with the HSF, so they live in 80c ambient. But yes, point noted, thanks.

Ambient temp in case is quite cold though as the panel is off. Inside of the case never seems to even give off any real temperature. Large cold room with open window solved that.
Yeah, clearly heated fan won't help as much. :) 

HOWEVER people, which HSF is best for ASUS P5N-D 750i and Q9550 overclocked (using GTX 260 too)?


Having my CPU replaced - I also had a faulty motherboard thanks to my seller's recklessness.
May 23, 2009 9:39:37 PM

Honour3 said:

Ambient temp in case is quite cold though as the panel is off. Inside of the case never seems to even give off any real temperature. Large cold room with open window solved that.
Yeah, clearly heated fan won't help as much. :) 



The issue isn't really the panel being off, it's the air flow as some tried to point out. If the air doesn't move, having a -15c room will not matter as the heat will just slow rise, staying in the case. So even with a better heatsink (will not be that far better then the stock-just better), it will show little difference because of required airflow needed to perform well.
May 23, 2009 10:20:46 PM

Ahhhaaa - My bad. Sorry then guys.
So a case fan is necessary - okay. but also one of the 90 degree turned HSFs blowing all the direct air out should do okay? maybe install a fan on the side (back area of) panel of the case?

I don't have a gaming-specialised case, this is a serious problem???
I just didn't want to spend much at all. Is this case useless then?

Note that I can make a constant draft in the room - so the room renews air after a few mins.
May 23, 2009 11:54:26 PM

Honour3 said:

I don't have a gaming-specialised case, this is a serious problem???

No. I have a 680i SLI motherboard with an E6600 currently being used as a server/secondary gaming PC in an old whitebox case (one intake, one exhaust). The ambient temperature within it is tolerable, but the overclocking potential it has is somewhat limited because the temperature is considerably higher compared to my Antec 900. I wouldn't suggest extreme overclocking with it, but a boost of a couple hundred Mhz will not be an issue, as long as temperatures are reasonably low and within specs.
June 5, 2009 3:52:13 PM

Okay, I now have the new motherboard enroute.

1. Heavy draft in the room
2. Either side panel off, or 2 circulatory case fans.
3. Titan Fenrir TTC-NK85TZ HSF on my Q9550.

I'm all set? Theorhetically, should this be sufficient?


I may even dare to overclock it if the temperature is consistent!
June 11, 2009 4:04:20 PM

bump for final answer plz
!