Houston, we may have a problem! Heatsink/Case...

This is my 1st build.

Parts just started to show up today. I may have an issue with the tower (NZXT Guardian 921) and heatsink (Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm) though. I have a 120mm side fan in the tower, and had no idea the heatsink would be so huge. I'm not sure it will fit.

Would the box intel heatsink be OK to overclock with or should I get a different, smaller 3rd party one? I kind of wanted to see inside of case anyway, gigantic heatsink sort of puts a damper on that.

Would WoW even need to be overclocked to run at max settings (E5200, HD4770, 22" LCD)?

Would I be able to return this heatsink to newegg if box was opened, but inner plastic container was not?

Should I try to somehow take the side fan off this tower and stick with the Sunbeam?

Will the Sunbeam just barely fit and I'm freaking out over nothing? I don't want to open it just to see, and haven't put the MOBO in yet to be able to get accurate measurements.

Thanks guys,
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  1. take the side fan off if its in the way
  2. The Sunbeam will fit no problem in the Guardian, as Outlander says you may have to remove the side fan. Nothing says Happy CPU as much as a good quality cooler like the Sunbeam core cooler.
  3. Side fans are generally just to help poor little stock coolers. Sure you can go with a smaller heatsink, but that means less overclocking and higher temps. Looks like that case is about as big as my X-Dreamer. The Sunbeam should fit, but you will probably have to take off the side fan. Since you say your side fan is 120mm, I think you should use it as the second fan on that Sunbeam because that's what I would do ^_^
  4. That side fan is positioned in a way that it may not interfere with the heatsink, its not directly over where the heatsink would be placed in your case. Try it with the fan first, if it doesn't work, then just take it off, its not a big deal unless you are planning on SLI or Crossfire.
  5. By all means, move the side fan elsewhere. There's a good chance, that even if the side fan fits, it may interfere with the air flow inside your case.

    Normal airflow is in from the lower front and out the upper back. Bottom mounted PSU just splits that. A side fan blowing in may act as an air dam (the same way "air" doors in buildings work).

    Aside: The Sunbeam is an HDT-style cooler like the Xig, yes? Suggestions about how to apply thermal compound:
  6. I don't think I can take off the side fan without busting the plastic pegs it's mounted with. I'm not 100% opposed to busting it off, but I just spent a lot of time and money on this...I don't want to wreck it or make it look cheap with a busted off side fan.

    Are there any other alternative heatsinks that look similar to the stock intel one that I'd be able to overclock with? Or...do I even need to overclock to play WoW on max settings?
  7. The side fan doesn't screw on? Lame.

    You should probably overclock some, but you don't necessarily need that heatsink to do it. Make sure that heatsink doesn't work first though before you go replacing it. You can OC to probably 3.2ghz or so though on the stock cooler without having heat issues, I did it on the stock cooler and temps peaked in Prime 95 at about 62C, which is acceptable. If you decide you want to push it higher (and it an go a LOT higher than that) then you should get a different cooler. Zalman coolers are typically a little shorter than the top of the line big heatsinks so that may work for you. Measure how much room you have from the top of the CPU to the side fan and then take a look at these coolers:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103046 <== I have this one and its pretty good, E5200 @ 3.5ghz, 59C peak in Prime95
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233014 + http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233019
  8. OK, I think I'm done freaking out. I told a friend of mine's kid that he could watch me put it together...kind of like a big brother type thing. Dad's not around too much. So, I was kind of concerned about timing issues if I had to return the heatsink...and, you basically need to mount it before you can get to anything else. But, I think he'll be happy to hang out no matter what we end up doing.

    Anyway, I need to know which direction the Sunbeam will face. I'm assuming fan will be blowing through the fins toward the back of the case. Or can you mount it to point up instead?

    Scenario A) If it fits blowing toward the back of the case...will the fan blowing in from the side be disrupting the airflow? If it fits, I think the side case fan will be blowing in just in front of the heatsink fan.

    Scenario B) If it doesn't fit, I was thinking about modifying the case to have the fan blow out from the top. I haven't exactly figured out how to do this yet, but if there was a way...would/could I face the heatsink fan to blow up towards the top of the case? Would it help to draw heat away from the GFX card?

    Scenario C) If it doesn't fit, somehow just remove the side fan and do nothing else. I like this scenario the least because dangit...I paid for a side led fan, and I wanna use it somehow.

    Scenario D) It doesn't fit. Return it and get a different heatsink that works better for this particular case. Screw chancing wrecking the case over this.

    Thanks for all the help/advice guys. You rock.
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