I have a system I have just built up for myself see specs below, but what I want to know is what would be the best cpu cooler for under £40-50, I had a thermalright tower cooler on my previous Q6600 system (which I have donated to the better half) that was awesome but I dont know if a tower cooler would be most appropriate for my case. layout
CPU - I7 2600k currently with intel stock - would like to take to around 4.4ghz though
mobo- asus P67 sabertooth b3
RAM - 4 x corsair XMS 3 classic @ 1600mhz xmp
psu - 600watt CM
GPU - asus 6950 2gb
case - Antec 900 (v1)
drives- 2x samsung 2tb 5400rpm (raid 0 for data) 2 x OCZ vertex 2 40gig (raid 0 system) both on intel array
sound - x-fi extreme music PCI
if it is a sideways blowing cooler I will need to get a small fan to fit on the thermal armour (no biggy) for component cooling, but preferably I would like a downward blowing cooler.
any suggestions, they need to allow me enough clearance to get to ram etc too.
Downward blowing coolers blow air directly onto your motherboard and into the case - remember that. It's actually very bad when you look at circulation. A sideways blowing cooler overcomes this problem with ease, as most are large enough to cover the exhaust fan directly behind the cooler itself, creating great circulation as hot air is instantly removed from the case. The Cooler Master Hyper 212+ is an epic sideways blowing cooler, and fits on all CPU sockets from all manufacturers. It also aligns almost 100% with most 120mm rear exhaust fans on cases, so it works wonders. Trust me, I have one, and it works better than you'd think. My case remains cool inside - always, even at overclocked levels. Sideways blowing is the way to go, really.
I have kind of had my eye on either of these Noctua's, or the thermalright archon (with an extra fan) though the are slightly over my budget, they would probably last a considerable amount of time, what I'm concerned about is clearance, at the moment i'm err-ing toward the archon ...I guess i'm concerned about ram clearance, but one benefit of my ram is that it doesnt have the tall heat spreaders, just the side plating, so height is at a minimum.
No clearance issues even on larger RAM module heat spreaders and easy to fit, and it will fit into your Antec 900 case, will easily deal with you 2600 heat, and will be good for any future CPU upgrades.