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Safe to use a Phenom II X3 720 stock cooler w/ an Athlon II X3 440?

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July 29, 2011 2:20:07 AM

Hello again TH members! :) 

Exactly as the title suggests, I'm wondering if this will work and operate at safe temps. My concern is that the Phenom II X3 720 is a 2.8 GHz CPU and the Athlon II X3 440 is 3GHz. The TDP is exactly the same between them (95W), but I don't know if AMD rates their coolers in a certain way according to clock speeds and cores available, or whatever. I can't fit this Hyper 212 Plus cooler I bought into my mATX case, so I'm looking for a cheap alternative that will do the job well enough, at least for stock speeds and no core unlocking. I was going to unlock and overclock the Athlon II X3 with the Hyper 212+, but now it seems I'll be stuck with stock cooling. I bought the Athlon II second-hand, so it didn't come with its own stock heatsink/fan. Anyone ever try to mix and match parts like these? If it won't work, would anyone be able to recommend a reliable, but inexpensive (<$30 USD) aftermarket cooler that measure less than 6.5 inches tall from the mobo to the side panel? Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I'm thinking about this one: Scythe Big Shuriken -

http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/cpu/048/scbsk1000_det...

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=242...

What's the skinny on this thing? Good? Bad? Better than stock? Same as stock? Worse than stock? Something low-profile like this would be great for my mATX case. Will it allow any overclocking or unlocking to take place? Thanks again!

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a c 291 K Overclocking
July 29, 2011 2:54:59 AM

That's a good cooler, you also can go with this: http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=3263
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July 29, 2011 3:11:06 AM

Thanks for the super-quick response, Saint :) 

The only thing that concerns me about the Scythe is whether it'll work for my mATX motherboard. It's got a 120mm fan and I'm worried it'll block the DIMM slots or something like that. This person reported they had to "squish the heatsinks on one of the DIMMS" a bit to get this cooler to work in his mATX case: http://www.scythe-eu.com/forum/mainboard-compatibility/... . The Corsair Dominator's I have also have those "fins" on them, so I'm wondering if I would be forced to do the same. Also, should I be able to unlock the 4th core (if it's good) and do some mild OC'ing (from 3GHz to at least 3.4GHz) with that fan; or is it best suited for keeping things under stock speeds and such? I'll be able to get the Scythe for about $15 USD shipped.

What about the Phenom II X3 720 stock heatsink/fan? I can actually pick that one up right now for under $10 USD shipped.

The Geminii S looks really nice, too. But the cheapest I've found it is for a little bit over $30 USD shipped.

I'm hoping to do some mid-level gaming on this setup, so I'd like a decent enough cooler that can keeps temps as low as possible given the budget limitations. Thanks again!
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a c 291 K Overclocking
July 29, 2011 3:21:24 AM

Move on to the aftermarket coolers, the stock cooler isn't the best, even if this is from another CPU that is better than yours.
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a b K Overclocking
July 29, 2011 3:27:56 AM

If you can get the Shythe for $15 shipped....scoop that up.....thats a deal
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July 29, 2011 3:37:40 AM

Thanks Saint and LowJack :)  Alright, so I believe I'm 99.9% decided on the Scythe. It really is a shame the Hyper 212+ just wouldn't fit in there to begin with. I'm just worried about space issues in my case now with the Scythe; particularly the cooler interfering with the DIMMS on an mATX mobo. Also still curious if the Scythe will be suitable enough for mild OC'ing and core unlocking (or just one or the other).

If anyone out there has successfully pulled off pairing this cooler with an mATX board and didn't have to "squish the DIMMS", I'd appreciate any insights you may be willing to share. Even if did have to "squish" one of the DIMM heatsink "fins" by a little bit, I'm sure this won't cause any instability issues with operation (crossing my fingers). Thanks for your help, folks!
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a b K Overclocking
July 29, 2011 3:40:46 AM

Gonna be really really close with that Dominator RAM..the sink on them is a bit tall
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July 29, 2011 3:48:12 AM

Yeah, I believe you are right :(  Here's a stock pic of the mobo I'm using: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3Plus/M5A78LM_LX... Those DIMM slots sit awfully close to the processor bed. Finding a good cooler for this mobo and case has been such a pain! :lol: 

Looks like I'm probably back to square one...
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a b K Overclocking
July 29, 2011 4:06:41 AM

I believe you will have to go with saint's suggestion and get the CM Gemini its made to clear the DIMMs...To answer your original question...YES...You can use the 720 cooler with NP's and get you a small OC its just gonna be loud and inefficient....Make sure to get your case air flow correct i.e. all fans blowing in the same direction...more exhaust and less intake is better...BTW...all AM3,AM2+, and AM2 CPU coolers are all interchangable...AMD has been using the same retention plate design forever now...It really makes them budget friendly ...say like if you had the CM Hyper 212+ on an AM2+ and you wanted to switch platforms to AM3 you would have np just installing the 212+ the same as on the AM2+ board


That looks like a good little board...
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July 29, 2011 5:21:07 AM

Looks as though you're right, once again, LowJack. I'm grateful that ALL is not completely lost and I can get a decent aftermarket cooler for this setup after all. I'm going to stick with the Geminii S. So far, I like what I hear about it in reviews. And it measures perfectly for my 6.5" deep mATX case at under 4" total height (3.45" to be more precise), while still managing to clear taller RAM like the one's I've got.

Thanks for the awesome suggestion, btw, Saint... couldn't have done this without ya! :)  I was really starting to worry there for a moment that I wasn't going to be able to find anything other than a stock AMD cooler for this thing.

Thanks LowJack, also, for providing some further insight into the interchangeability of AMD's OEM and other aftermarket heatsink/fans; as well as furnishing more support for Saint's suggestion. You guys are both awesome and definitely saved the day! Many, many thanks to you both... :) 
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a b K Overclocking
July 29, 2011 5:33:09 AM

NP...I like helping when I can
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a c 291 K Overclocking
July 29, 2011 1:06:17 PM

This topic has been closed by Saint19
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