I'm looking for a noticeable upgrade from my 212 evo. I'm not looking to spend more than ~$80 after shipping. I don't mind water-cooling kits, but I don't want any dual 120/140 rads, it will have to be a single 120mm? rad for my nzxt phantom.
Going past a Hyper 212 to a Noctua D14 is like stepping up to a 101 horsepower from a 100 horse engine. Not much of a point if you already have a 212 you know? And if you're going for water cooling; expect to have a budget of about $150-$300 before you'll step up to the plate with a decent "increase" in cooling performance and you'd have to go do a custom loop like a Raystorm RS240 before you did. I can't suggest the Noctua as it's price to performance is just ridiculous when compared to other coolers out there for half the price.
Yeah, the Noctua is what? $80 or so? And the performance compared to a 212 with high flow fans is nearly the same if not a tad better? I don't see it being worth it. I paired a set of FM121 silverstones to my 212 and at 4.4Ghz I don't go over 63C at 1.216v on my 2600k and that's with IntelBurnTest which is known to get stock coolers on my processor to nearly throttling temperatures.
The h80i may actually be a downgrade. I'm not really sure; but I know the closed loop coolers aren't worth the price considering the air coolers out that that do just as well if not better with no risk of leaks.
With those fans as well; I doubt the H80i would even be an upgrade; probably more of a side grade.