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Help Me Choose a Heatsink/Fan for Q6600 in HTPC

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July 2, 2010 12:35:51 PM

Hey there folks!

I recently replaced the system hard drives in my living room's HTPC with an Intel SSD. After upgrading to Windows 7 things seem to be working fine, with one exception...the CPU.

I needed to unseat the stock heatsink/fan in order to get the old system disks (velociraptors in RAID 0), and I don't think that it has been reseated properly. The temps seem to be very high, and the system has reduced the CPU multiplier from 9 to 6 so that the CPU is now running at 1.6 Ghz instead of the stock 2.4 Ghz. Now, I don't really need much speed from the CPU as I'm primarily using it for playing media (instead of editing or encrypting it), but I have concerns about whether the system will become unstable or even blow out the Q6600 CPU once I close up the case and stick it back in my living room's shelving.

To fix this I'm considering getting a new heatsink/fan. I don't need to overclock but I wouldn't mind ramping the speed back to stock. Which heatsink should I get?

The case is the ]SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum Crown Series CW02B-MXR ATX Media Center / HTPC Case[/urlExt] . Newegg reports that the height of the case is 8.9" but of course that is not all available for the HS/F as the spacers, motherboard, and CPU grab some real estate.

What would y'all recommend? Ideally I'd like to spend under $50 but if for $75 I can get safe, quiet overclocking goodness I'll go for it.

Thanks in advance,
Jeroly
July 2, 2010 1:20:54 PM

What's the temperature of the CPU? Dropping down to a multiplier of 6 means you have Intel SpeedStep enabled, which automatically downclocks the CPU during periods of low stress to save on power and heat - completely normal.
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July 2, 2010 1:42:15 PM

That's a fairly deep case you should be able to get a lot of aftermarket coolers in there. I like noctuas because they're quiet and most of them promise a 6 year guarantee and 150,000 hours
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There's also Zalman
http://www.zalman.co.kr/ENG/product/Product_Read.asp?id...

Any of them will do. Most sites have a measurement on them of the height and anything below 140mm should easily do ya.

But you could always remove the stock cooler remove the termal paste and reapply some, that should seat it properly and make sure it's making good contact. The stock cooler really isn't all that bad!
July 2, 2010 2:56:42 PM

I think that the problem with the stock HSF is that one of the posts isn't locking in properly. I did remove and reapply thermal paste, using Antec Formula 5. It's running reported temps around 58C after being underclocked.
July 2, 2010 4:12:40 PM

Yeah I think 58c is around normal. The stock ones do have a crappy lock on them. I've an old P4 that I changed mobos on and the little plastic lock went on it and never really seated correctly. It ran ok but I know what you mean. Better off getting a diff cooler but there are plenty of low ones, even medium sized ones will probably fit in ok once the fan is side mounted, once it's not a tower sized cooler I'd say you'll be ok.
July 3, 2010 12:14:51 PM

The problem with the Noctua HSF linked to above, as I see it, is that it requires a backplate. I would much, much, much, MUCH prefer to not have to use a backplate as it would require the complete disassembly of the HTPC. I could understand not fretting about using a backplate if somebody were building the thing for the first time, but to have to remove the motherboard as well as everything on top of it in the case would be a major PITA.
July 4, 2010 6:18:18 PM

Folks,
I would like to add one thing to the request list...
I have already installed the MB in the case and removing it to put in a backplate for a new cooler is more than enough aggravation to just keep the cpu underclocked let alone trying to overclock it lol.
Can anybody suggest a good HSF that doesn't require a backplate for the LGA 775 socket type which will fit into my case?
!