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Cooling, Cooling, Cooling

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July 10, 2010 3:20:42 AM

Ok, bear with me - here it goes.

I have not "home built" in about 12 years, back in the days when the CPU had a modest little heatsink and teeny tiny little fan and airflow and cooling were really an afterthought.

Then I went through a couple of dells, not thinking about anything on the inside really, until my last dell died about a month ago.

Heat/Cooling has changed quite a bit in 12 years!

Times being tough, I had to piece together something on the cheap, so I decided to salvage what I could from the dell and self build.

I saved the CPU, the drives, and the memory.

So here is the pertinent info about my new system, so you know what I am working with

Cooler Master Elite 330 case
Asus P5N-D motherboard
Pentium D 840 3.2ghz Extreme Edition (salvaged from the old dell until I can afford a replacement)
2GB DDR2 Ram
Evga GeForce GTS 250 1GB video card
Running Windows 7 64 bit


Machine went together easily and is running fine, no real issues in the day or so since installing the OS and firing 'er up.

However, my CPU temp is HOTTTTT!!! Researching various sites say that these particular Pent. D chips ran fairly hot, but I really don't think I am at safe levels here.

SpeedFan shows it idle between 58 - 63c, but it routinely spikes, reaching low 70s at some points, and I have yet to put it through anything of any intensity - no games or heavy processing at all.

My heatsink/fan is a cheap Masscool 8W501B1M3G, I was pinching pennies all around, so this was about all I could budget for CPU cooling. It was a pain to install as the auto-handy-dandy-rooty-tooty-twisty-locky-plastic push pins didn't want to fit real easily...at times I thought I was going to break the board trying to lock them it, but I eventually got it. The fan on this thing whines, not like normal loud fans, it almost has a "pitch" and it is driving me nuts. This thing is just not doing the job.

I am going to replace, but I need to keep the cost pretty low, I can only do ~$25 or less on a solution for this right now.

Right now, I do not have intake fan on the front of the case, I plan to get that tomorrow, but I don't know if that is going to help the CPU much, or just the overall airflow in the case. I already have a side intake fan blowing across the notoriously hot P5N-D northbridge, and so far that seems to keep my MB temps in an "ok" range. I expect that the front intake will help that even more.


The Elite 330 case does have this cheapo plastic cone thingy that I suppose is to direct the output airflow of the CPU fan, but it is flimsy, moves around a lot, and I don't even know if I have it on right. There was an additional plactic collar piece that came with the case that I can't for the life of me figure out where it is supposed to go. I am just not used to all of this airflow stuff.

I do still have my old dell heatsink, which is pretty large...but it has no fan attached. The dell used a propritary heatsink hood , with 2 fans mounted in the hood. (and even all of my dell fans are some weird 5 (yes 5) pin configuration...I am so done with dell and their proprietary junk - I just want to reuse some stupid fans without having to either cut wires or find 5 pin to 3 pin adapters and stuff...but NO dell has to make everything a pain!)

I am rambling....but all I need to know is -

Can I use my dell heatsink (model yc558) and add fans to it?
If so - how do I attach them?

Should I just get something else and not try to fool with it?

If I were to get something else - any INEXPENSIVE recommendations that have a quiet fan, will fit in my case, and adequately cool my ancient Pentium D 840 EE CPU?

Oh, and so no one has to ask, yes I did use thermal compound and put it on nice and all that stuff when I installed the junky Masscool in my new build


Thanks all for listening.
July 10, 2010 4:12:09 AM

A review of the Xigmatek HDT-S983 cooler here.
It's not an ultra quiet cooler but its variable speed - running slower and quieter unless the CPU is under load. The review has details on the sound profile.
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July 10, 2010 4:15:37 AM

I can go that route, little higher on the CPU...I was just under the impression that the front intake was pretty important these days. But you are right, for the time being the CPU cooling seems most important. That XIGMATEK heatsink looks almost exactly the same as my old dell heatsink...How does that included fan attach???
If I can use my old dell heatsink and just slap a fan on it, that would even be better. I am actually locating in one of the parts of the country that still has CompUSA, (3 of them infact) and they carry an array of fans, case parts and such. We don't have fry's or microcenter, so I make do with Comp. I love newegg, but if I can just run to the store tomorrow and pick up a fan to put on the heatsink I already have...then well...bonus for me!
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July 10, 2010 4:18:08 AM

ahhh...clearer photo on the review site shows that it is not *exactly* like my dell heatsink, so maybe I don't have an option to mount a fan.
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July 10, 2010 4:21:02 AM

I don't think there is any way to hang a fan on that Dell heatsink. Didn't it use some kind of shroud and use the case exhaust fan?
It would probably work better than that Masscool HSF if you could find a way to attach a case fan that wouldn't fall or vibrate off.
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July 10, 2010 4:23:49 AM

I think your Dell cooler should look like this:

It wouldn't hurt to take the cooler into CompUSA and see if can find something to match a mate new fan with the heatsink.

Also be sure you have the necessary mounting parts for that Dell heatsink.
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July 10, 2010 4:24:23 AM

yeah, the shroud thing is what it had...but if there is no way to safely attach a fan, I will just have to go with another option...like maybe that xigmatek
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July 10, 2010 4:25:10 AM

yup that is my dell - I have it in my hand right now. I will do exactly that...take it in and see what they can do
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July 10, 2010 4:25:45 AM

Does CompUSA have a website and if so does it show any coolers they carry?
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July 10, 2010 12:53:05 PM

they have a website, and have ton of coolers, the only issue is that they do not have a way to check in store stock. I have to call them up with a list of what I am looking for. It's not to far away, I prefer to go and look around.

Compusa as a true brand went out of business a few years ago, they are now a storefront for Tiger Direct, who picked up a handful of the stores that Compusa (the company) was still running at the time and kept them open.

The "old" Compusa store was more like a circuit city or best buy - but just focused on computers. Not a ton of "parts".

The new tiger-direct Compusa stores are much different, and are more on par with a parts stores like Microcenter.

Anyway - whatever tiger direct has, compusa has - just not all of it in the actual store. When it comes to placing an order online, I usually stick with Newegg. I just sometimes like the immediacy of walking into a store and coming home with product when I can.
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July 10, 2010 1:00:48 PM

TigerDirect has the CM Hyper TX3 @ $20 which is a decent CPU cooler. If you see it at CompuUSA it's not a bad choice.
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July 10, 2010 1:10:01 PM

That was on my short list, even though it has the push pins, and I had a rough experience with my masscool push pin installation, I still think I prefer that to taking out my board and installing a bracket.

Hopefully they have it in-store, I will try to get up there today
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