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Is it worth upgrading my Zalman 9900?

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February 19, 2011 10:32:28 PM

When I change out my P8P67Pro mobo for the replacement board when available, would it be a worthwhile to upgrade my Zalman 9900A LED cooler for something better.
I only want to do this if it makes sense. I had originally bought a CM V6GT but when doing y new I7-2600K build, I feared it wouldn't fit in my Smilodon mid-tower. I went to my local Microcenter and just looked for a cooler that looked like it would be decent and be a bit smaller than the V6. I purchased the Zalman based on the dimensions and reputation of other models. Since then I've purchase a CM HAF 932 so I have oodles of space for something better. I have to swap the CPU out into a new board so it would be the ideal time if I was to do it.
If I did it it would have to be a fairly quiet cooler and clear my Ripjaw ram, but that shouldn't be a problem as I'm using slots 2 and 4.
Short list is:

Scythe Mugen2
The V6GT I originally bought (I hear conflicting reviews about how loud it is)
Zalman CNPS 10X

I don't want to approach the $100 mark for this. I'm hoping one of these, or another in a similar price range, will do more than just drop my temps 1C.
a b K Overclocking
February 20, 2011 1:09:48 AM

You don't really say what you are doing with your rig, but, assuming your are doing mild overclocks to the tune of say...4GHz, then the Zalman will be....adequate.
I am not a big fan of that cooler due to it's mounting bracket, but if it is working for you then I doubt the i7-2600k will exceed it's capabilities.
That said, now that you definitely have the room, a Noctua NH-D14 or a VenomousX would fit, and work much better - considering how much space the Zalman is consuming alreadly! :) 

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a c 131 K Overclocking
February 20, 2011 1:55:43 AM
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The V6 GT is the current top performer .... but yes it is a bit loud. The following are in its class from a cooling perspective:

Prolimatech Megahalems
Venemous X RT
Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B
Antec Kuhler 620

here's how they stacked up in a recent test when all were fitted w/ identical Delta fan

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Thermaltake Jing 69.7
Corsair H50 68.1
Coolit Vantage A.L.C. 67.8
Corsair H70 64.7
Coolit ECO A.L.C. 64.3
Cooler Master V6 GT 59.5
Prolimatech Super Mega 59.4
Antec Kühler H2O 620 58.7
Thermalright Venomous X 58.0


Lower is better. Notice the drop off between the bolded and non bolded ones.

I'd keep the V6 GT, it's an excellent cooler and performs better than all the other options w/ stock fans. If noise is the overriding consideration, consider the Kuhler 620, it's made by Asetek, same company that makes the H50 and H70 for Corsair.

Kuhler 620 $70 http://store.antec.com/Product/cooling-cpu_cooler/kuhle...
Delta AFC1212D $22 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you mount it between the HAF-932's rear case fan and the Antec provided fan, my guess is you will approach the performance of the Delta
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a c 182 K Overclocking
February 20, 2011 2:05:51 AM

Since you now have the HAF case you might as well go with the V6GT.
It's definitely one of the better air-coolers and the best cooler CM makes.
The fan speed can also be adjusted.
Plus it would look dead-sexy in your case.
February 20, 2011 8:14:02 AM

Thanks for the responses.
I wasn't considering the Megahalems due to the cost ($60+ before buying fans) and same goes for the Noctua @$90 and VenomousX @ $75.
I had bought the V6GT for $49.99 before returning it because I thought it wouldn't fit my case a the time. The Zalman is doing OK right now. After an hour of Prime 95 one or two cores would peek over 61-62C for a couple of moments before it would come back down and hang in the mid 50's.
One thing that intrigued me about the Scythe was the ability to change the fan orientation to blow up and out of the top of my case towards my 240mm exhaust fan rather than the 140mm on the back. Any others capable of this? Is it a better option for my case?
I should also add I'm using MX-3 thermal paste.
February 20, 2011 8:17:39 AM

davcon said:
Since you now have the HAF case you might as well go with the V6GT.
It's definitely one of the better air-coolers and the best cooler CM makes.
The fan speed can also be adjusted.
Plus it would look dead-sexy in your case.



Yes it did look awesome! If it's a toss up on performance, then its good looks will be the tiebreaker.
February 20, 2011 8:22:04 AM

Noworldorder said:
You don't really say what you are doing with your rig, but, assuming your are doing mild overclocks to the tune of say...4GHz, then the Zalman will be....adequate.
I am not a big fan of that cooler due to it's mounting bracket, but if it is working for you then I doubt the i7-2600k will exceed it's capabilities.
That said, now that you definitely have the room, a Noctua NH-D14 or a VenomousX would fit, and work much better - considering how much space the Zalman is consuming alreadly! :) 



I didn't like the bracket either. You also captured my motivation for wanting better. It's doing an "adequate" job.
a b K Overclocking
February 20, 2011 9:17:58 AM

Ripthruster said:
I didn't like the bracket either. You also captured my motivation for wanting better. It's doing an "adequate" job.

I hope you find a good solution that pleases you from the many good suggestions made here. There is much to consider what with all of the choices available.
The V6GT is a much more attractive cooler, and scores well. But there are repeated reports of it's noise and difficulties being mounted in even full-sized cases.
I will stick with my recommendation of the Noctua NH-D14. It is dead quiet when used with the ULNA adapters, comes with 2 of the finest quality fans made today, and will definitely fit your case, and Noctua shows it fitting your P8P67 MB as well. As for the Ripjaws ram, you would have to perform Noctua's suggested modification to their spreaders no matter what humongous cooler you used.
I only use Noctua's 140mm fan with the cooler because using the second 120mm with it only lowered the CPU temps by 2 degrees. It is now a silent intake fan for my case :) 
Best of luck and have fun!
February 20, 2011 12:14:45 PM

I got the ASUS P8P67 Pro and using a Noctua DH14 - working great and silent (also fits perfect), they have to be second to none for manufacturing and care taken in there products, i will keep them in mind the next rebuild i have, same goes for corsair for psu's.
a c 182 K Overclocking
February 20, 2011 7:31:24 PM

Ripthruster said:
Yes it did look awesome! If it's a toss up on performance, then its good looks will be the tiebreaker.

The V6GT is louder then most if that's a concern but price and performance wise it's one of the best.
February 21, 2011 3:29:10 PM

I'm really loathe to spend $75 plus on a new cooler after blowing $60 already. I shouldn't say blowing because the 9900A is doing OK.. I have to decide if the noise of a V6 is something I can live with or if another less expensive cooler would do better for me like the Scythe Mugen B, or Ninja3?
Anyone out there have a V6 that can testify to the noise levels and how often you hear it ramp up? In other words, does the cooler work well enough that it only gets to an annoying level at heavy loads or across the board?
a c 182 K Overclocking
February 22, 2011 12:53:13 AM

Ripthruster said:
I'm really loathe to spend $75 plus on a new cooler after blowing $60 already. I shouldn't say blowing because the 9900A is doing OK.. I have to decide if the noise of a V6 is something I can live with or if another less expensive cooler would do better for me like the Scythe Mugen B, or Ninja3?
Anyone out there have a V6 that can testify to the noise levels and how often you hear it ramp up? In other words, does the cooler work well enough that it only gets to an annoying level at heavy loads or across the board?

Dude just keep the Zalman it's a good cooler!
No point losing sleep lol!
a c 105 K Overclocking
February 22, 2011 1:31:48 AM

I am very happy with my Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B. It's only $40 too. It is almost silent.
February 27, 2011 11:16:39 AM

Best answer selected by ripthruster.
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