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Real information regarding CPU coolers

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Last response: in Components
a b à CPUs
November 29, 2011 2:10:19 PM

All... I'm looking for advice regarding how to better cool my i7-960. Full specs are in my signature. I have an H50 that performs a tad better than stock. This is even after buying good aftermarket fans and using them in a push/pull blowing into the case across the fins at the top rear fan position (per Corsair). My case is a Thermaltake Spedo and is basically an open-air design. Current fan config:

- 120mm exhaust at the lower rear fan position (2nd from the top)
- H50 rad with the two 120mm push/pull fans in the top rear fan position
- 140mm top exhaust fan
- 120 exhaust behind the CPU backplate
- Internal 120mm that is mounted behind a gap in my drive bays that blows across my video cards and cpu section
- Side 120mm intake
- 140mm intake mounted in the front of the case
8 fans in all.

To summarize, I have a lot of airflow going on in the case. Each fan is rated at least 60cfm. I have two GTX580s running in SLI.

I don't have anything OC'd and the room temp is a well-controlled 21C.

My temps started OK pre-BF3 by which I might hit 65C with full-load on prime95. When gaming, including BFBC2, I would rarely hit the 63C mark. When playing BF3 now, my #0 core temp regularly reaches 69C max (as measured with HWmonitor). BF3 has both my 580s and my CPU running at high utilization and, in turn, is increasing the overall temps higher than when running prime95. I'm guessing my CPU is working harder than ever as prior to this game, my video cards regularly reached near the 100% utilization mark as logged in GPU-Z, but my CPU temps were never this high.

The H50 basically sucks, but when it first came out, every review under the sun said it was the best thing since sliced bread. A couple of years later after actual usage in the market, we find most people don't get great results with it at all.

I'm not having problems with things running properly, though I want the peace of mind that comes from running a cooler system. I'm also wondering how people are OC'ing their systems and getting better temps on air than my stock-speed system.

So I'm looking for advice from people who are not being paid to pimp a product, but actually get good results on the machine at their house. If possible, I'd like to find a non-liquid solution to consistently keeping my CPU under the 60C mark if possible.

Can this really be achieved with an air cooler or newer Corsair LCLC solution?
Which air cooler is the best?
What would you recommend for a themal compound?

Or should I expect 60s as the best I can do with air or Corsair "liquid" at stock speeds and this CPU?

Is it my particular motherboard that's absorbing a lot of the heat and keeping it around the CPU?

More about : real information cpu coolers

a b à CPUs
November 29, 2011 2:33:14 PM

You can go to frostytech.com and read their research and tests on various coolers.

I built some i5-750's, overclocked to around 3.8-3.9GHz, with Xigmatek coolers, and got similar temps to what you are seeing.

You might remove your cooler, clean everything, and reinstall with the best heatsink compound you can get. The good heatsink compounds seem to be good for a couple of degrees difference.
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a b à CPUs
November 29, 2011 3:24:09 PM

I removed the stock compound after I originally installed the H50 using the Arctic Silver cleaning kit (solutions 1 and 2). I also these to clean the previously applied thermal compound from the CPU. I applied Arctic Silver 5 to the bottom of the H50. It seemed to make 1C difference.

My concern is the max temp for these processors is supposed to be tCase 67.9C. How does one go about determining the tCase temp? Is it different than the core temp? If the tCase Max for my processor is rated at 67.9C, does my core indicate I've already exceeded this?
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a b à CPUs
November 29, 2011 3:28:10 PM

Also, after going to the frostytech site, I would choose the Noctua NH-D14 due to the balance of noise to temp. But again, this is not a person actually using the product in their house and I question what motivates the results especially considering my experience with the H50.

Is anyone out there using the NH-D14 with a 1366 processor? What are your results?
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a c 122 à CPUs
November 29, 2011 5:25:56 PM

Higher end air coolers such as the D-14 were designed specifically for i7 900 series cpu.
Frostytech is tit useless for evaluating heatsinks,their testbed method doesn't include anything remotely close to an actually pc.
And nothing to evaluate the 1366 platform.
Personally i'd look at Thermalright coolers for the best balance of noise/cooling performance and price.
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a b à CPUs
November 29, 2011 6:29:14 PM

davcon said:
Higher end air coolers such as the D-14 were designed specifically for i7 900 series cpu.
Frostytech is tit useless for evaluating heatsinks,their testbed method doesn't include anything remotely close to an actually pc.
And nothing to evaluate the 1366 platform.
Personally i'd look at Thermalright coolers for the best balance of noise/cooling performance and price.

Hey thanks. I thought the same thing about their methodology. On one hand it makes sense, but what I'm looking for is the practical implementation of the cooler on my i7. I was considering the Silver Arrow as this one seems to get good reviews and puts it up there with the D14. Again though, I don't know of anyone using one outside of the reviews or what their real temps are under prime95 or a game like BF3.
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