I built two systems that I intended to overclock a little over a year. Yea... The burn in period was a little longer than expected... I was busy.
This week I started to look into overclocking and start on the two machines. But the reality is that both machines are running way too hot on just idle! We are talking an average of 45 C on all cores with both machines. Any overclocking shoots both machines' CPU cores to + 90 C. Basically I stopped trying last night because it is worthless to try and overclock when the temps are so high on idle with both machines. Are the Dark Knights that bad? Right now both machines are back to the XMP profile.
For simplicity's sake, I am going to call the machines His and Hers. I would like to get the His machine an overclock of around 3.8 or 4.0 depending on what type of cooler I would need. I would like to get Hers to at least 3.6. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Dark Knights will not work for both machines. I'm looking at recommendations on Coolers for overclocking. Both machine specs are pretty close and are below. Both have the Xigmatek Dark Knight (S1283V). Not looking forward to getting the Arctic Silver compound off the CPUs. Thanks in advance!
CPU: Intel Core i7 920
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D Premium
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-1000HX
RAM: Corsair TR3X6G1600C7D 6GB
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 5970
Case: Coolmaster HAF 932
If you had an Intel i7-800 series, their only 95watt chip, I can easily push into the 4Ghz range on my i7-860 using the smaller Noctua cooler I have...... any basic cooler will do. I've even used 212+ to with great results.
But the i7-900 series are 125watt chips and run hot as hell. You can turn off hyperthreading and easily get into the low 4Ghz range without temp issues (lowers temps 10--12C). But, with all 8 threads cooking on Prime95 it's just too hot. For some folks, "stable in games" is their goal and that's also achievable....as gaming loads will be 10-15C cooler than Prime95
You'll need the best available cooler to do the job right on this chip. The two coolers I use are very, very good.... BUT I'd suggest you go a notch or two higher is you really want 4Ghz....
OR, go to water.... and NO Corsair H50 and H70 Won't work any better than a good air to air cooler..... You need a real water block and a BIG radiator....
It's too bad when I was building these rigs in Dec. of 2009 that the newer coolers were not around or mentioned. Actually have an old post when I was building these rigs. Yea... Reality is that you might push the temps around 75% of Prime95. I heard some peeps have pushed it to 4.2GHz, but I'm not trying to push the limits. But I do want it stable for games, photo and video editing, etc.
I would not have any problems with going to water cooler, but I did some reading and read if you like tinkering and Lincoln blocks then water cooling is for you. I don't mind building my rigs, but I really don't want to tinker with them. Time is limited with me and I rather actually be using it. Just the time I was already playing with overclocking, I started to get pretty bored. At least I know some settings that the two rigs will take if heat is not a factor.
Since you have been the only response so far and I have read up on the Noctua and Venomous X already, I am starting to lean towards those two. Basically the cooling page on overclock.net seems to sum it up. If I can use air cooling then I'll just upgrade to one of the ones being mentioned. If someone can suggest a water cooling system that is not going to be a project like owning fish then I would not be against it.
Thanks for some of the information... I am really leaning towards the Noctua or Venomous X. True always comes up and so does Megahalem, but Noctua and Venomous X seem to outperform those. I just don't want to waste my time scraping off the Arctic Silver and installing new coolers to only find it's still too hot for the 3.6 to 4.0GHz range.
Yeah, I don't have time to be a "plumber" so, I've not tired any water cooling. (many others on the board have tired & failed using H50 & H70 turn key coolers) And, just the thought of running water inside a computer seems like a bad idea to me... couple of drops leak and up in smoke you go....
I've also heard Megahalem is the top or real close to the top along with the newest Noctua
I keep reading conflicting posts on the Dark Knight's performance. Here is someone who had the same problem with almost the same setup: Cooling problem with Xigmatech Dark Knight and Core i7 920 . I wish I saw this when I was building the rig, but I don't believe the later coolers were out yet.
Ambient temp: Yeah... I am keeping this in consideration since the room is one of the hottest in the house because of electronics.
Fan setup: Standard and seems to be the norm.
TIM: This does pop up to mind, but I actually applied them different ways on both rigs. One way was what was recommended by AS5 and another was by reading up from different users. Since temps for both rigs seem to be pretty close, I'm not sure how I will apply it next time.
In the end the Dark Knight seems to run around at least 10C hotter on load (Prime95) than the newer coolers. Since I do believe the ambient temp can get a little hotter, I really need a top performer cooler to compensate. I just need to finish research on coolers since I know the top five coolers, but haven't find one or two that seems to be always on top in reviews and forums.
OK... I am pretty sold on the Noctua NH-D14. I've been researching to see how clearance is going to be above the Corsair TR3X6G1600C7D chips. These Dominator chips have some exaggerated fin action going on. I've read somewhere that some users have had to shave off some of the fins. Hopefully it does not come to this, but this Noctua NH-D14 get's some outstanding reviews and benchmark tests. And for $80 it seems to good to not try it out.
jb6684 - Both of your rigs are pretty close to mine and it seems you are using Corsair for RAM. Find any problems with clearance with your fans? Thanks for the replies.