Due to high profile ram chips blocking the CPU cooler I have to decide between a ZALMAN CNPS5X with a pushing orientation, a Hyper 212Plus with a pulling orientation and a Vortex Plus (pushing with fan on top).
Given that quiet operation is my primary objective, which one would you recommend?
I'd go with the EVO version of the Hyper 212+. Pulling isn't as effective, but you shouldn't see a significant performance drop...maybe a few degrees. That should leave you more quiet and still cooler than the other two choices.
One thing that you could try without a problem with the Hyper 212 Plus (not the EVO) is to place the pushing fan a little bit higher than the normal place to avoid it to touch the memory, then use the pulling fan to compensate any loss in the air flow.