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C2 Q9550 - Factors to determine a new heat sink + fan

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  • Heat
  • Fan
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Last response: in CPUs
February 19, 2010 10:57:50 PM

I really need a straight honest answer for this question. My Intel Core 2 Quad 9550 (q9550) came with a Heat Sink + Fan (HSF).

I'm well aware that many people has the opinion that the fan that came with the Intel CPU is crap. But this is a head sink + Fan we are talking about.

I'm also aware that most people consider the heat that CPU will generate when they overclocked it, thus the reason why a better fan is needed.

With this in mind, considering what I have as my setup, do I really NEED a new method of cooling my CPU?

Consider the follow information:

The case I'm using Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case

Thinking of going with a positive air flow to minimize dust. The dust level in my home is not low, but not high. Dust does collect after a week or two everywhere.

I'm not going to overclock my CPU.

Going with 4 Gbs of ram and running a crossfireX video set up with two Radeon HD 4770 cards.

I'm still waiting on my case to arrive, once it has, I'm going to check to see what fans I need to buy so that way I'll have enough cooling from the fans and I really don't care about noise levels.

So, should I worry about getting new CPU cooling or I'm I okay for now with the current head sink fan that came with the q9550?

More about : q9550 factors determine heat sink fan

a c 83 à CPUs
February 20, 2010 1:04:16 AM

You are okay with the stock fan. :) 

Once you get your build together, monitor your temps with a program like HWMonitor (free download) to make sure you are running cool and not hot. If you start running on the hot side, an aftermarket cooler (CM Hyper 212 Plus) should be purchased.
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February 20, 2010 1:52:33 AM

Thanks, I do have another question. Just as one is able to determine the outcome of a Ram by it's memory size, how can you tell if a aftermarket cooler is good or not?
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a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 3:58:45 AM

renbail said:
Thanks, I do have another question. Just as one is able to determine the outcome of a Ram by it's memory size, how can you tell if a aftermarket cooler is good or not?


You would have to read up on reviews to do that, the current go-to HSF would be the Cooler Master 212 Plus unless you want extreme overclock, then you would want to go for the expensive HSF $60+.

Frostytech, benchmark reviews and Hardwarecanucks are just some sites to check.

As for fans for your new Antec 300, I know you said noise is not a concern, even so, I would look for 2 fans with ~1000 RPMs for the front, to get decent air flow and noise level.
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February 20, 2010 4:04:38 AM

Thanks, I'll have to look into that if my CPU happens to overheat often. This is well after I buy those two 120mm fans for my case of course.
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February 20, 2010 6:18:33 AM

I have the same case and cpu with:

1 120mm front fan(intake)
1 120mm side fan(intake)
1 120mm rear fan(exhaust)
1 140mm top fan(exhaust)

(I don't know the exact speed for all of them, but those fans are all pretty low rpm)

My psu at the bottom has a 120mm intake fan also.

I have a 4850 x2 inside too, I guess that produces some heat.

I used to have the intel stock cooler, but am now using a Scythe Zipang to reduce noise.

I don't overclock and I never had any temperature issues.(AI suite says: cpu 20°C | system: 34°C)

So if you don't care about noise or overclocking, you really don't need aftermarket cooling with this case and cpu. It never hurts ofcourse to check your temps just to be on the safe side.
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February 20, 2010 1:57:33 PM

I agree

+ another vote for the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus
is a great cooler for the money.

I run the older CoolerMaster Hyper 212, which does not perform as well as the new "Plus" version, on my Q6600 with OC's up to 3.6GHz and have been very happy with it :) 
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a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 3:02:51 PM

You've already invested huge in a fairly expensive CPU and case. Why not throw in another $30 for a good cooler. Even a $20 cooler like the Hyper TX3 is better than the stock HSF.

What wiil determine whether you need or don't need an aftermarket will be your temps as you burn test your CPU. You dont have to overclock to see your core temps hit the 80's (and they will) after 15 minutes of Prime95.
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February 20, 2010 4:10:58 PM

an aftermarket cooler will give you nicer temps for sure.

But there are very few apps the avg user plays with that will stress a CPU as much as Prime95

If you are short on cash or have something better to spend it on - give it a wirl with the default cooler and see - worst case is you have to get one in afterall and fit it...

Only main apps I can think of that will stress that CPU are:

video encoding
3D rendering
a distributed computing project like folding@home Toms has its own team too (see sticky at top of this forum) ;) 

Maybe some game that are multi-threaded, maybe??

I have never yet seen any game max out all cores on my Q6600 @ 3GHz yet... or even come close

am sure there are others people can name, but how likely are you to be doing them?


Personally I always buy a custom cooler, but try and see I say ;) 
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February 20, 2010 7:07:05 PM

@Hundredislandsboy: Yea, I pretty much max out my budget of $900 on this thing. The only problem is that I'm also considering my other non-pc expensive related to life. I'm on that point that I might need to sacrifice the cooler to be able to pay next month's bills. But that is just something that might not happen, but it's there.

@Pailin: I consider myself a moderate gamer. I still see myself playing mostly FPS games, namely TF2, L4D series, and might make that jump into the next gen games like Fallout or Bad Company 2, but we'll see what my income holds after this PC is set up right after the cooling of course.

I'll see into newegg.com if they have any specials on the Hyper TX3. If I'm getting that , I'll be getting some thermal.
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a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 7:51:20 PM

renbail said:
@Hundredislandsboy: Yea, I pretty much max out my budget of $900 on this thing. The only problem is that I'm also considering my other non-pc expensive related to life. I'm on that point that I might need to sacrifice the cooler to be able to pay next month's bills. But that is just something that might not happen, but it's there.

@Pailin: I consider myself a moderate gamer. I still see myself playing mostly FPS games, namely TF2, L4D series, and might make that jump into the next gen games like Fallout or Bad Company 2, but we'll see what my income holds after this PC is set up right after the cooling of course.

I'll see into newegg.com if they have any specials on the Hyper TX3. If I'm getting that , I'll be getting some thermal.


If you are not going to overclock, there is no reason for you to get an aftermarket cooler, other than possibly getting one to reduce noise.
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a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 6:08:45 AM

lothdk said:
If you are not going to overclock, there is no reason for you to get an aftermarket cooler, other than possibly getting one to reduce noise.


I agree that the Intel stock HSF will suffice and that there is no need or no reason to go with an aftermarket cooler. After all, Intel gives a 3 year warranty with its stock HSF.

It's just the hardware enthusiast in me speaking, going "no CPU should be left un-overclcoked."
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February 21, 2010 12:04:44 PM

Cool, good luck which ever way you go :D 
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a c 165 à CPUs
February 21, 2010 1:03:08 PM

renbail said:
I'm not going to overclock my CPU.


Then you do not need an after market cooling solution for anything in your computer, Period.
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a c 173 à CPUs
February 21, 2010 2:02:38 PM

ryan is pretty much correct. The one exception might be if you live somewhere where it gets pretty hot during the summer and you do not have air conditioning.
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a c 165 à CPUs
February 21, 2010 2:14:53 PM

jsc said:
ryan is pretty much correct. The one exception might be if you live somewhere where it gets pretty hot during the summer and you do not have air conditioning.


OOPS :o  Busted :whistle:  You are 100% correct!


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a c 173 à CPUs
February 21, 2010 3:24:25 PM

Hey, I live and work in Saudi Arabia. :)  My house here has A/C. OTOH, my mother's house in Maine does not. When summer temps hit 90 F, it gets pretty bad.
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a c 165 à CPUs
February 21, 2010 4:31:33 PM

What are your environment temperatures like through the year in Saudi Arabia?
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