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Need a quieter CPU Cooler, looking for input

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October 14, 2010 4:21:35 PM

My CPU fan is obnoxiously loud when it ramps up to cool the CPU under full load. I don't need for it to be super quiet, just not annoying, so I'm considering replacing the stock AMD cooler it came with.

I was looking into this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181010&Tpk=corsair%20h50

It's not expensive and uses a 120mm fan. My case has provision to mount an additional 120mm fan to my side panel, so I think it will fit. My case is a Rosewill Blackbone, with ASRock 870Extreme mobo and AMD Phenom II x4 CPU.

As it is now, under Prime95 my CPU peaks at about 68C which is when the CPU fan kicks in. It will then stabilize the CPU at 61-62 C and stay there, but the noise is a real pest.

Are there any other solutions I should consider?
October 14, 2010 4:26:10 PM

I use air, zalman 9700. It's quiet and keeps my cpu cool. oc'd from 3.0 to 3.8ghz highest temp reached 60c under load.
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October 14, 2010 4:54:18 PM

ahumphers91 said:
I use air, zalman 9700. It's quiet and keeps my cpu cool. oc'd from 3.0 to 3.8ghz highest temp reached 60c under load.


What kind of case?

I admit, my case is a bit on the crowded side. It's an ATX mid tower, however it has 3 120mm fans. One intake fan in the front, one exhaust fan in the back, and one attached to the side panel blowing inward.

Does your Zalman spin up to max RPM under load?

Edit: I just looked at the 9700 on Newegg. Not compatible with AM3 sockets, unfortunately :( 

Edit: I am curious about something. Going from a high end air solution to the Corsair H50 is only about $15. It seems like an extra $15 is worth it for liquid cooling, is it not? Or are there other disadvantage I don't know about.
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October 14, 2010 6:37:46 PM

Yeah, its comatible. I have a AM3 :)  I bought the black one. Anyway the bigger fans aren't necessarily the better. I have 3 80mm and 1 120mm for exhaust. Also 110mm is on my zalman. Yes is max rpm under load. I'm not sure about liquid cooling, just seems more maintenance the necessary. Your choice. Buy yeah, my Zalman 9700 fits my AM3 board.
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October 14, 2010 6:41:58 PM

Here's the specs from New Egg: Intel 775 Celeron D Pentium 4 Pentium D Core 2 Duo Core 2 Quad Core 2 Extreme
AM3 Phenom II
AM2+ Sempron Athlon 64 Athlon 64 X2 Athlon 64 FX Phenom Phenom II
AM2 Sempron Athlon 64 Athlon 64 X2 Athlon 64 FX
754 Sempron Athlon 64
939 Athlon 64 Athlon 64 X2 Athlon 64 FX Opteron Dual-Core Opteron
940 Athlon 64 FX Opteron Dual-Core Opteron

You can see at the top of the list AM3 Phenom II
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October 14, 2010 7:22:42 PM

You know, I seriously wonder if my problem might be cables everywhere. My PSU isn't modular, so it's a loose cable apocalypse in there, can't be good for airflow. Mid tower cases are none too large anyway.

I just don't know what I should do. I'd hate to spend a bunch of money on a high end air cooler if the liquid cooler, for the same money, is quieter.
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October 14, 2010 7:31:23 PM

I have a full tower, all of my wires are either routed out of the way of aiflow or zip tied up out of the way. I don't have a modular psu either. It's really up to you whether or not you want liquid cooling. If it was me I would buy a Full Tower, and a Zalman 9700. I use Zero Therm thermal Paste and it dropped my temps 35c! Maybe try some different thermal paste before deciding to switch to liquid. Like I said before I think liquid cooling is kinda high maintenance, what if for some dumb reason there is a leak? I just wouldn't trust it, but thats me. I have never used liquid cooling.
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October 14, 2010 8:09:15 PM

Cpu cooler noise comes from the fan that it uses. The stock fan is small and spins up to high rpm's under load.
The liquid cooler you linked to still has a 120mm fan on the radiator. The noise that it generates will just come from a different place.
Most large tower type coolers will be effective coolers. Get one with a large 120 or 140mm slow turning fan and you should be quiet. I suggest you read some at www.silentpcreview.com, particularly this article on recommended heatsinks:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
Look at the prolimatech megahalems review in particular.
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