Looking for best cooling for quiet gaming rig

I'm starting think about my next gaming rig and want it to be as quiet as possible.

I currently have a Q9450 running at 3.6 GHz in an Antec P182 case with all the fans running. Initially the idle temps were in the 60's so I replaced the air cooling with the CoolIT Freezone. Temps are now 39-41 at idle and 55-64 at load. While my temps are fine now, I get *a lot* of fan noise.

My next rig will be moderately high-end. I will try to choose the best components I can without getting ridiculous in price. I will probably wait for Sandy Bridge for the CPU / Mb. I will do a moedrate overclock but not try to push it too far.

Any suggestions / insight regarding the best cooling for this solution or case recommendations to keep the performance up and the noise down would be appreciated.
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  1. Hi VisionX302 and welcome to Tom's forum.

    What cooler CPU do u have? because the stock cooler of the CPU never is enough for good temps.
  2. I'm mainly getting ideas for my next rig, but for my current build, I started with an Arctic Freezer 7 Pro and later upgraded it to the CoolIT Freezone liquid cooler to get the temps down. It did get the temps down, but rather than be really quiet as I expected, it was actually a lot louder. I am running it at max to keep the temps down and that is contributing to the added noise.
    For my next build I want to find a solution that will keep a moderately high-end build cool while also being as quiet as possible. I would also like to avoid the 'trial and error' approach I used with my current build. I'm hoping you guys will have some really great suggestions based on what is working for you.

  3. I would take a look at the corsair h50 and h70 they are really quiet, or you could replace the fan for your freezon with a silenx or noctua fan.
  4. Thermalright coolers are well known for excellent cooling and quiet operation.
    Most models operate well under 30 decibels.
    Some operate at 20db.
  5. Best answer
    @leadtrombone Not to sound blunt or mean but... Wrong. H70 is louder than stock cooling on an Hyper 212+ and H50 is only like 1 dBa quieter than the Hyper 212+. The H70 runs at 45 dBa max speed on low it runs about 42 dBa while the H50 runs at 41.5 dBa all around the loudness of a Hyper 212+ (30$) stock cooling. I'd pick the Noctua's imo. The reason being, the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 it's quiet and at the price of an H50 but cools chips EXTREMLY well. Of course you could go with Hyper 212+ with two Noctua's that'll run you around the same price as the NH-U12P SE2. So... Either way good to go.

    Source for dBa:

    Review of U12P-SE2:
    Justification: Although the U12P is actually at the dBa rating for the H70 and H50, the price justifies it to be the choice over the H70 (along with the fact that you'll hear the H70's radiator more than the U12P's Fans) but also the both the H70 and 50 have chance to leak, although a small chance, i've heard many say it's leaked and killed there comps. Plus with ULNA its super quiet.
    Hyper 212+:
    Justification: At the price its unbeatable, plus the performance is phenomenal. Stick 2 Scythe Slipstreams on it and it'll cool great which will run you at 50$. Plus just stick a fan controller if its too loud.
  6. none of that will matter more then a smidgin until you do something about the GPU, which will be the loudest thing in the box if you are getting any of the higher end cards which will most likely have noisy exhaust fans. an after market cooler or non reference HSF is the most economical solution, but the quietest it WC. if you aren't OC'ing, you can look on frosty tech's website, which has a list of quiet CPU HSFs too.
  7. I think that u should try 1st a new TIM before buy a new CPU cooler.
  8. OH lol I just read your post a bit more too... Um sorry don't listen to my suggestions, just change the fans. Stock cooling on "Water cooling" like the Corsair or Coolit products usually have loud stock fans. So just get some Noctuas that or some Thermalright FDB-120mm-2000 (2000rpm) That or Scythe slipstreams.

    That or get better TIM (Thermal paste) like Saint19 said. I recommend IC7 or IC24. Great paste. I use it got it for free :D

    Where to buy:
  9. Thanks for the feedback everyone. I had been thinking about the Corsair H70 for the next build but after the last Tom's article on cooling performance, maybe the Zalman CNPS 10x Quiet might be a better option.
    I may try some different fans on the CoolIT unit in my current build to see if it will help.

  10. For the GPU, I'm running one GTX 280 now. For the next build I will probably go with two GTX 460's depending on what changes between now and then.
  11. Corsair H70 costs more than high end air coolers and performs about the it's loud if you get fans to be able to get it to work 1/2 way decently. IMO...its a pile of crap. For close to similar price, you'd be better off getting into beginner watercooling with the XSPC Rasa kit: Similar price, much better performance...much more quiet operation.

    Coolers like CoolIT, H50/H70, Thermaltake Bigwater...etc...all aren't recommended as 'watercooling' by 99% of the watercooling community. They all have issues and each are prone to failure.
  12. H50/H70 and CoolIT are sealed liquid cooling and don't have a very good price/performance ratio even in some forums are taken as air cooler and not liquid cooling since like rubix_1011 says performs very similar to high end cooler but with high price.
  13. ^Yeah, about double the price, similar performance to high end air coolers. I'd first work on your case airflow; no cooler will perform well without cool air...regardless of design.
  14. Best answer selected by VisionX302.
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