Best fan for 120mm Liquid Cooler? Or go with 212 evo?

I've been trying to decide on a CPU cooler for a long time now. I've gotten really close to buying the Antec Kuhler 920, but have since realized I just don't want a push/pull config as it will take up too much room. So I'm looking at the:
Kuhler 620,
NZXT x40,
H60.................OR........the CM Hyper 212 Evo.

Now, I know it's pretty much hands down people will say go with the Evo, but I honestly like the look of a AIO liquid cooler with 1 fan (so it doesn't stick out too far in the case), so that's ideally the route I want to go.

I would really appreciate any advice you guys can give, here's the things I want to keep in consideration:

-Noise! It doesn't have to be whisper quiet as my case isn't optimized completely (and obviously your rig is only as quiet as the loudest component), but right now I can hear my stock intel cooler humming along, and I'd like to reduce that a bit if possible.

-Obviously performance is a consideration (otherwise I'd stick with the stock intel cooler lol), but really they all perform similarly. I'm not looking at top of the line, and really they all offer an improvement over the stock cooler.

-I'll do mild overclocking on my i5 3570k (probably like 4-4.2GHz).

with these coolers, I'm open to getting a new fan for them if they noise reduction and/or performance gains would be worth it, and with that, does anyone have any suggestions for a replacement fan?

Also, I'm using a Zalman Z9 Plus for a case.
13 answers Last reply
More about fan 120mm liquid cooler 212 evo
  1. If you want to go to a H100 or better, than you might outdo a Hyper 212 EVO, operative word (might), I use a lot of the EVOs and head to head with the 100 it's generally a toss or the Hyper does better
  2. Ya, see I'm well aware of the fact that the Evo just hands down offers the best value (price/performance), however as I mentioned, I really would like my rig to look a little cleaner with a small AIO LC'ing solution. And in that respect I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on a fan to replace the stock fan on any of the coolers I mentioned above.

    Or, if it's REALLY not worth it (I don't mind spending a little bit extra for the look of a LC'er and to take the stress of an air cooler off my mobo), I'll go with the Evo, but that's kinda why I want to get some feedback here.

    Thanks :)
  3. No problem :) a H80 will do a decent job too, was just trying to offer the best cooling solution and suggest to do better than the EVO would want a min of the H100
  4. Hm, ok so are you basically saying that the other coolers I suggested just simply aren't worth it? So ultimately it's go with an EVO, or go for a high end LC'er?

    Also, I just saw a thread on about a guy modding his Z9 Plus case (the same case I have) and he put his Antec Kuhler 620 at the front of his case, and I can't believe I didn't think of that! That's the reason I didn't want to go with the Kuhler 920 (I can currently get it for $69.99 CAD), was because I didn't want it sticking over the mobo so much, but if I move it to the front of the case, then it'll keep my mobo much cleaner and visible :D

    So would the Antec Kuhler 920 be an acceptable alternative?
    Also, thanks for replying :)
  5. lol ya, I know in terms of performance, air coolers are the way to go, but I previously said I'm not a fan of having a hunk of metal stressing my mobo, plus I like how the mobo looks with just the cooling block on the CPU, rather than virtually the whole top end of the mobo being covered by an air cooler. Overall, I'd prefer a LC'd solution just because I like the look of it (and I'm willing to pay a little more for it), but if you guys truly believe I'd be stupid for spending extra money on it when an air cooler is better in almost every way (price, performance, and noise), then I'll reconsider.

    But, this discussion feels a little one-sided lol, I'd appreciate some advice on if I DID go with a liquid cooler, would an Antec Kuhler 920 be sufficient? Based on the reviews I've read, I'll either go with that or an H60 (if I go with a LC'er).
    AND, if I do go with a LC'er would it be advisable to replace the stock fans on either the 920 or the H60? If so, what fan(s) would be a good replacement?

    Oh, and an H100 or any dual rads really are out of the question cuz I don't think they'll fit my case.
  6. Just to hammer the point home, stick with air unless your spending enough to get the higher end CLC coolers. The value just isn't there, even at the top end its iffy.

    However, you already acknowledge this and think its aesthetic value will make up for it. Ultimately its your decision, and were here to help with whatever you decide to do.

    The Antec Kuhler 920 performs about the same as a H70, which performs just better than a H60 which is equal to a 212 EVO. As long as your overclocking aspirations on that 3570k dont go above ~4.5Ghz, I think you should be fine to go with it.
    Replacing the fans on CLC coolers does help a bit, some of the fans that come on them are pretty horrible. For radiator usage, Static Pressure rather than CFM optimized fans are best to use. Something like a Corsair SP120 would do nicely. There are better fans out there, but considering your going to be strapping it onto a CLC dont spend too much here. More Static Pressure makes the most difference when your using it on a thicker, higher FPI radiator, which CLC's are not.
  7. The Kuhler is a good one, also like the Corsair Hydro H1000i (which is a favorite of a couple of the builders I network with and like like to go liquid
  8. Thanks for the info manofchalk!

    Firstly, I definitely won't be going above 4.5GHz, I'm aiming for 4-4.2GHz as I don't want to have to increase the voltage too much (if at all).
    Secondly, I was considering swapping the stock fan(s) (depending on the cooler I go with) with a SP 120, but I couldn't really find any reviews on its effect.
    Finally, alright then so I'm definitely deciding between the Antec Kuhler 920 (for $69.99 CAD w/ $4.99 shipping) or the 212 EVO (for $28.99 CAD w/ $7.99 shipping).
    I feel like the 920 will offer me greater flexibility in the long run, but the EVO 212 is certainly the best in terms of price/performance and that's pretty much what my entire build has been thus far (maximizing performance on a budget) so maybe I should just go with it, even though I really would like a LC'er for the aesthetics. However, I have once last thing to consider...will the 212 evo clear my Corsair Vengeance memory?

    Also, tradesman, I already mentioned that an h100 won't fit in my case, so that's simply out of the question.
  9. Sorry, I saw where you said you didn't Think the 100 or duals would fit, and the 100i is just a hair smaller than the 100 (think it's 2-4 mm, not much) but it's a favorite that I know of, might be worth measuring (or not ;))
  10. Tradesman1 said:
    The Kuhler is a good one, also like the Corsair Hydro H1000i(which is a favorite of a couple of the builders I network with and like like to go liquid

    We have a soothsayer in our midst.

    Anonymous said:
    However, I have once last thing to consider...will the 212 evo clear my Corsair Vengeance memory?

    If you were to stick the memory right up to the 212 EVO, then no. However if you use slots further away from the heatsink you should be fine. If you ever need to fill out all the RAM slots, you can always move the fan to the other side of the heatsink.
  11. The EVO fan height is adjustable, I've got it sitting a little higher than norm, to fit my Tridents underneath, and at 4.7 24/7 still keeps idle to mid 30s and load temps low/reasonable
  12. Hm, ok so the 920 is now out of stock at the price, so it's out of the question, and so I was just about to get the evo, when I realized I truly want a liquid cooler. I've never had one, and I just really would like the look of it in my rig. So, with that being said, I'm now deciding between the Antec 620 and the Corsair H60. The new 2013 edition of the H60 seems to have impressed pretty much all the reviewers I've looked at, so I'm thinking that's what I'm going with.

    Also, that's pretty cool that the evo's fan height can be adjusted!
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