Good CPU fan/cooler

With Newegg offering discounts on CPU coolers, I'm wondering what the best CPU cooler is for no more than about $30 ($40 max). This maximum is based on no rebates and includes shipping. I have LGA 1155 for the socket type and this motherboard, the GA-Z68P-DS3. I don't know exactly what case I have, but I have plenty of room available.

My biggest priority is that it is quiet. A close second is the effectiveness - the cooler, the better. This is because I intend on overclocking (to about 4 GHz instead of the current 3.4, maybe 4.5 GHz with turbo boost) in the future. I don't have any thermal grease on hand so I'll either need to have the heatsink/fan combo to come with it, or the tube itself is cheap enough to get (and last for 10 to even 20+ years). Do note that I don't know the brands very well.
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  2. Thanks for the suggestion. However, I'm not liking the reviews of that fan. To install that means I'd have to take out everything as you'd have to have access to the back of the motherboard. It doesn't seem like it would be easy to install, as in, I can't just disconnect my current fan and put the new one in without having to take out everything.

    I can't tell if this fan is any better on that front. I don't see how it gets mounted to the motherboard though.

    Question: what exactly is the basis of dBA? That is, when something is marked as being 13 dBA, is it 13 dB from 1 meter away, or is it something else? Basically, a little over 4 meters away means the fan is imperceptible (0 dB). Wikipedia doesn't help much with this. I'm typically about 0.9 to 1 meter away from my case.
  3. If you want a decent aftermarket cooler, you're going to have to remove the motherboard (unless you have a removable panel behind the motherboard for accessing the CPU). This is mainly due to aftermarket coolers being heavier, therefore requiring a backplate to be installed to support the increased weight.

    However, the Hyper-212 is good. You can put two fans on it in a push-pull config and get decent temps for that kind of OC (circa 65 deg C on load at 4.4GHz ish).
  4. CM212+ also comes with heat sink compound. There are better HSF's out there but they cost $50 more.
  5. Ah, I forgot that both sides are removable on my case so yes, I will have access to the back of the motherboard. This case, except for being silver on the outside instead of blue, is exactly identical to the one I have in every respect (and color has no effect on function outside very slight temperature differences). I've noticed the 580-gram weight (that's slightly less than 20 1/2 ounces). Thus, I've reconsidered it.

    My other, much-lesser-important question is still unanswered though - the one involving dBA, the noise level indicator. Does 13 dBA mean it's 13 dB from 1 meter away?
  6. +1 for the hyper 212. I use it, it's awesome, huge, and quiet. Install is not that difficult. I just swapped my mobo for a new one last week and moved it. People complain because they rush and don't read directions. It's really not hard.
  7. ... And if the directions are too vague (considering that's what the reviews are hinting at), I can also use basic science and studying the designs of things to get more clues and see how it goes together.

    What about the dBA question though?
  8. ulillillia said:
    My other, much-lesser-important question is still unanswered though - the one involving dBA, the noise level indicator. Does 13 dBA mean it's 13 dB from 1 meter away?

    It means that it is 13dB from 1 meter away using A weighting. Of course, I wouldn't really believe any manufacturer dB ratings myself (at least for consumer PC components), but the I do have the Hyper 212+ and it is fairly quite.
  9. Thanks for the info. Wikipedia, as far as I could tell, doesn't indicate the distance basis. 13 dB isn't very audible and if 0 dB is the limit of human perception, I'd need to be at least 4.47 meters from the source for it to be imperceptible. My music is often at about 50 dB so it should otherwise drown out the hum of the fans. I can still hear the fans in my case now, though barely. With a coupon I have, I could get the 212 at a fair discount making the already low price even lower. This means only the RAM remains for upgrading (I'm waiting for the 460 to come).
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