CPU Heatsink for limited space

Hi guys!

I've been upgrading my PC bit by bit for a while, starting from an aging CTO HP Pavilion. I now have it in a shiny new CM Storm Scout case, and the GPU and PSU are new, but the motherboard is still the OEM Asus IPIBL-LB aka Benicia. Specifications and image here:


The next thing I really want to do is replace the CPU heat sink, as it could stand to run a bit cooler and frankly the stock heat sink has sucked in a lot of hard-to-clean crud over the years. I don't have a lot to spend -- $40 to $45 is probably my top end, and I'd rather spend less. I need something that will work with my current LGA775 mobo, and I would like to be able to transplant it when I upgrade to a modern cpu/mobo sometime in the future.

What concerns me a bit is size, however. You can see on the specification that my CPU slot is quite near the top of the MB, and my case configuration gives me absolutely no room above the MB. I don't want to buy something and then find that it's too horizontally big to fit in that space. In addition the micro-atx setup is a bit crowded, and the presence of side fans means tall heatsinks are difficult. I should be able to fit something the size of a Hyper 212, but there would be only a few millimeters between the heatsink and the side intake fan -- maybe that's fine, but it seems weird to me.

So, what's a good option for me? I'm looking at the Xigmatek Loki and the Freezer 7 as smaller options -- can I feel confident that something like that will work? I wouldn't mind something bigger if I can fit it -- if a Hyper 212 or something horizontal like the GeminII will work and I'm just worrying too much, please let me know. Thanks!
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More about heatsink limited space
  1. The Hyper 212 EVO/+ can fit perfectly fine in a Storm Scout!

    Here's some pictures of my own 212 EVO in my storm scout.

  2. As the Storm has a depth of 19.5in or 495.5mm with a clearence of 19.2in or 489mm, you should be able to fit a Hyper 212 Evo with ease.

    If you Google "CM Storm Scout Case Hyper 212 Evo", plenty of posts with people using these on SB/IV builds.
  3. I know that the 212 will fit in depth-wise, and if it's not a big deal to have the heat sink right up against the side fan that's cool. I don't know whether it will fit in terms of its footprint on the motherboard, though -- amuffin, in your pics it looks like your motherboard has the CPU more or less centered vertically between the top of the MB and the PCIs, whereas if you look at the IPIBL-LB the CPU is really high up on the board. Is that not actually an issue?
  4. This is the board I have in that system.
    Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3
    It's much larger than your board height wise, especially with the mossfet coolers.
  5. Your board also has the CPU positioned differently from mine -- the IPIBL has it positioned horizontally, which makes me think my heat sink should be horizontal as well, presumably with the fan on the bottom drawing air upward. I've been playing around with same-size images of the parts in Photoshop, and it looks like in that position I have no problem with hitting RAM or the top case fan, but it looks like the fan on the 212 overlaps just slightly with the heat spreaders located below my socket area. :( It's so close that I think it might actually work, but probably not.

    The Xigmatek Loki is a little bit thinner so I think it would work in this spot, but it feels like a shame going down to a 92mm fan when the size in that direction isn't actually a problem. I wonder if there are any good 120mm heatsinks that are thinner?
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