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Good CPU Cooler?

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September 14, 2011 10:53:39 PM

I have a Phenom II x4 965 @ 3.8 ghz idling around 40^C on the stock cooler. I want to be able to at least overclock to 4.2 ghz stable and around 4.5-4.6 for benchmarking (if possible). I've been looking at options and I'm not looking to spend more than around $120 on a cooler but it's come down to the h100, nh-d14, thermalright silver arrow, or a xspc rasa 750 rs240. I'm looking to spend as little as possible and still be able to get the performance I want. Any advice or if you have any experience with these coolers, I'd love to hear about it. TIA!

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September 14, 2011 11:05:10 PM

ras49 said:
I have a Phenom II x4 965 @ 3.8 ghz idling around 40^C on the stock cooler. I want to be able to at least overclock to 4.2 ghz stable and around 4.5-4.6 for benchmarking (if possible). I've been looking at options and I'm not looking to spend more than around $120 on a cooler but it's come down to the h100, nh-d14, thermalright silver arrow, or a xspc rasa 750 rs240. I'm looking to spend as little as possible and still be able to get the performance I want. Any advice or if you have any experience with these coolers, I'd love to hear about it. TIA!


Even the C3 Phenoms II X4s have trouble past 4 GHz due to stability issues, you might be able to push it to 4.2GHz which a descent voltage increase (1.5 -1.55v), but past this its hit and miss no matter what cooler you use.

If your case has good ventilation, a CM 212+ with a single fan should be able to push a 965 to 4GHz no problem, and a second fan should cap you out. If you case has bad ventilation, than a close loop water cooler like a Antec Khuler 620 will again push your 965 to just about the limit.

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September 14, 2011 11:14:32 PM

I also want to have a good cooler for future processors. *Cough cough* Bulldozer *cough cough*
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September 15, 2011 2:10:08 AM

I just thought it over and I can't fit an h100 in my case. My ram slots and cpu power connector are in the way. So it's between the nh-d14, silver arrow, or rasa 750. Any suggestions?
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September 15, 2011 2:43:44 AM

The H series coolers are not that great based on objective testing. Good H2O cooler systems start at several hundred dollars...

The link below shows the popular high-end HSFs for AMD CPUs. I'd suggest the new tech Xigmatek Aegir SD128264 as a top cooler at a decent price ~ $68. @ Newegg. I have one waiting for a Bulldozer...

As far as OC'ing your 965 BE, (I got one of those too...), I agree that ~4.0 Gig. is what most folks get for a truely stable PC. Some folks get higher but their PC are rarely capable of running Prime 95 for 24 hours without errors.

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=257...
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September 15, 2011 3:02:37 AM

Investing in a air cooler....its not a good ivnestment....Save save save and get a water cooling system when possible. That will run for LIFE, and extremely lower your CPU temps and overall system noise
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September 15, 2011 3:27:56 AM

leandrodafontoura said:
Investing in a air cooler....its not a good ivnestment....Save save save and get a water cooling system when possible. That will run for LIFE, and extremely lower your CPU temps and overall system noise


Obviously many folks would respectfully disagree with your opinion on CPU coolers. While good quality H2O coolers may lower the CPU temps a few more degrees than a top quality air-cooled HSF, the price of the H2O system makes it less attractive. In addition open H2O systems require maintenance and are more for those looking to tweak their PC all the time vs. people looking to just build it and use it.

H2O cooling does not provide extreme cooling. If you use ice water which is impractical for everyday use, you can get colder than ambient temp. but unless you're trying to OC beyond what most CPUs will run, it's just entertainment. Fan noise for an H2O radiator can be as loud or louder than a traditional HSF as radiators don't cool well without high fan speed where as good heatpipe HSFs will radiate to air quite well and some use no fan at all. Extreme cooling is liquid nitrogen, not H2O cooling.

$68 vs. $200+ isn't a difficult decision for most people who just want a quality CPU cooler.
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September 15, 2011 3:52:35 AM

Uh, I have been building computers for 20 years and always used high end air hsf coolers.
Then, after they started getting ridiculously huge, like covering the whole motherboard!, I
made my current build with the Corsair H50. I would never go back to air hsf, I can reach anything on my mobo without uninstalling the cooler. I also find no need to get an expensive, and maintance needing
custom loop. Here is why. I have been running an Intel 2500k at 4.7GHZ 24/7 for 6 months! My temps idle in the high 30's and prime or intel burn test only bring it to 70 c when I am trying to hammer it! A custom loop might lower the temps a tiny bit, but the overclock won't get significantly higher, and crazy voltage will eventually degrade your cpu. Did I mention that it runs at 4.7Ghz between 38 and 70 degrees C? My new i7 laptop runs at 2-2.5ghz turbo, idles at 55 degrees and prime or intel burn tests at 96 degrees! And those temps are perfectly acceptable (<100 C) according to Intel and HP! Get the cooler that makes your life easiest and cools to acceptable temperatures.
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September 15, 2011 4:07:15 AM

Unfortunately the Corsair H2O coolers are very inefficient water cooling systems and typically are inferior to quality air-cooled HSFs. You can see the performance of the better air-cooled HSFs at the link below and compare them to the H50, which is pretty bad.

While you can get away with poor H2O cooling on an Intel CPU that can run OK up to about 90C, AMD CPUs do not like to be above 55C. So the delta between ambient temp water and 60C on an AMD CPU is much lower than 90C for an Intel CPU.

Folks are free to buy whatever cooler makes them happy but the Corsair H-series H2O coolers are a poor choice for cooling and if you go to their forum you'll find folks reporting constant leaks with the H50 coolers. The Xigmatek Aegir 128264 HSF costs less than the Corsair H50 and the Aegir cools better and has no risks of water leakage destroying the mobo, CPU, RAM, PSU, etc.

http://www.frostytech.com/
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September 15, 2011 4:23:33 AM

First off, the Corsair H50 is always within 1 to 5 degrees from even the top air coolers, and that is assuming you have a monster case with many loud fans. The beauty of the Corsair H50 and similiar coolers is that you only need a few low noise case fans and the cooler is also lower noise. The convienience, access to mobo, quieter, and not making your case into a 6 fan jet engine is well worth the 1 to 5 degree performance difference. Frostytech is not testing these in hot cramped cases like most people have. Sure testing in an open environment without case heat build up will make an air cooler look better.
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September 15, 2011 2:29:24 PM

If you got the money and the space in your case, go for the nh-d14. Its a great cooler that very effective while being super quite (mainly due to the noctua fans). Just remember nearly half the budget on that cooler is for the expensive noctua fans.

Now the Prolimatech Megahalems is probably the best air cooler I can think of. You can slap a pair of noctua 120mm fans and get a cooler better than the nh-d14, for more money :p 
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September 15, 2011 2:39:11 PM

Got my Phenom II X6 1090t OCd to 4.0Ghz on one of these-
Be Quiet! Dark Rock PRO BK016 CPU Cooler Socket LGA775/1155 /1156/ 1366 /AM2/ AM2+/ AM3/ 754/ 940



Extremely efficient
• The seven three-dimensional moulded heat pipes work rapidly to transport the heat with the help of an oxygen-free copper layer (OFC) to the optimum point within the cooling lamellas.
• The double-tower layout with seven heat pipes enables the best heat dissipation from every single cooling lamella.

Nice and quiet
• Two 120-mm SilentWings PWM fans guarantee the best ratio of cooling efficiency to noise level.
• The wave-shaped contour of the cooling lamellas prevents noises and optimises the airflow.

High-quality materials
• The fan surfaces are coated in dark nickel.
• The brushed, fully aluminium cover connects the fan to a closed unit.
• The stable backplate ensures a shockproof attachment, even when transporting the computer.

Manufacturer: Be Quiet Material: Aluminium/ Copper
Socket Compatibility:
1155
1156
1366
754
775
940
AM2
AM2+
AM3
Adjustable Fan Speed Controller:
Approx Fan Speed: 1700 rpm Fan Dimensions: 120 x 120 mm
Fan Airflow: 93.3 CFM Heatsink Dimensions: 150 x 166 x 133 mm (WxHxD)
Sound Level: 25.9 dB


http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2011/04/02/be-quiet-da...
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/be_qui...

My CPU never goes above 50C with an ambient room temp of 21C, My PC case is a Silverstone Fortress FT02
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September 15, 2011 7:45:00 PM

I think I'm gonna go with the NH-D14. My case is a monster and it can keep a 965 at 16^C @ 3.8 ghz.. so I want it. I just hope my motherboard doesn't snap in half XD
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