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i7 4770K - upgrade CPU cooler assistance

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  • Python
  • Cooling
  • Intel i7
  • CPUs
Last response: in CPUs
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July 18, 2014 6:37:28 PM

I have a new PowerSpec G412 from Microcenter, Midsize tower. 7 1/4" wide. http://

Everything is stock and I am running python scripts 24 hrs a day and I would like the temps down so I could increase my python parameters. It's running mostly in the mid 60's but I get spikes up around 85 C and into the 90's if I try to run it the way I wanted.

How do I figure out how big of a cpu cooler I can fit? Not worried about left & right, or clearing RAM, I've get that. I'm pretty much sold on the Noctua's from a lot of research here. NH-D14 is compatible with the the i7 but short of taking off the current cooler I have no idea how to measure it. The height is 160mm, From the motherboard itself i have at least 165mm clear, but I know the chipset is above that. thanks...

More about : 4770k upgrade cpu cooler assistance

a b à CPUs
July 19, 2014 1:17:23 AM

The cooler sits on top of your CPU cover, so it'll be a close call. You could look at the Hyper 212 EVO, which is 159 mm. Not as good as the D14, but it'll fit and it's quite a bit cheaper. If you're not going to be overclocking, the 212 will do just fine. You could even look at the Hyper TX3 - it's another step down and is a little louder but only costs @ $20 and is only 139mm.
July 19, 2014 4:18:54 AM

Would the safe bet be to presume the chipset etc is about 10mm high?

What is the best at only 155mm?
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a b à CPUs
July 19, 2014 12:14:45 PM

What's your budget?
July 19, 2014 12:51:44 PM

volcanoscout said:
What's your budget?


I would like to keep it around $100, but am open to suggestions.

Been researching more and more... seems like I have 3 options.

1. Install Noctua and hack the case.
2. Install watercooler outside and possibly have to hack the case. Not found of the water though, seen horrible things happen before and increased maintenance ever few years and decreased lifespan.
3. Buy a bigger case and the Noctua and just swap it out.

Thoughts/suggestions.
July 19, 2014 3:38:48 PM

Could I put a water cooled one out the back?

Check out view of PC from link in first post. Next to the last picture, but what water-cooled options allow me to remove hoses etc.?

a b à CPUs
July 19, 2014 3:46:36 PM

I just mated a new chip and mobo and I measure the height above the board at 7mm.

You could look at the Noctua NH-U12S. It's $63 at mWave: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/noctua-cpu-cooler-nhu12s
It's 158mm, so a little over your target, but right at the estimated clearance. I'd be willing to bet that we're being conservative by at least a few mm on available clearance.

I have the U12S in one of my builds and like it very much. In fact it's on a 4770K also. It'll have a hard time keeping the chip cool if you up the base clock past about 3.9GHz even with two fans, but handles anything below that handily. No problems at stock clock speed, even during Prime95 small FFT testing. Like the D14, it's expensive but very high quality and very quiet. It comes with a single NF-F12A PWM fan as a push fan, but you can add another on the other side as a pull fan to increase it's performance.

Another alternative is the NH-C14. It's bigger, better and more expensive than the U12S, but it's also alot shorter: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/noctua-cpu-cooler-nhc14

In it's tallest configuration, it's only 130mm tall. This one comes with two NF-P14s, which are not as quiet as the A14s but as quiet as the A12s, and because they're 140mm fans you won't have to run them as fast as 120mm fans to match performance. The main consideration with this one is that it blows directly away from the mobo towards the side panel, rather than towards your rear exhaust fan, so your case fans will need to be able to overcome that. I don't know what size and brand the stock fans are, but from what I read in reviews you're probably better off replacing them anyway.

I'm admittedly biased toward Noctua products though, so you'll want to check around more and compare them to other brand alternatives like Xigmatek, Cooler Master, Phanteks, etc.
July 19, 2014 7:55:11 PM

Interesting suggestion volcanoscout. Not sure why I skimmed over the NH-C14. Size is certainly not an issue. Also as Powerspec case has a vented side, I'm thinking this should not be an issue as a fair amount of air would make it out directly. Likewise the case is vented on the top. If needed the vented side has mounts for 2 fans. Thought about upgrading the case fans to Noctua NF-S12A FLX 120mm that would give me two extra 120's that I could mount on the side if needed (though not quietly).

I'll ponder some more, but this is sounding like a reasonable solution. If I were planning serious overclocking etc... I'd do something else. But this is a very viable option.
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July 19, 2014 8:04:51 PM

Depending on what the stock fans are, I imagine you could mount them as side exhaust and set them to a low speed. Even crappy fans can be quiet if they're going slow enough. They might make a decent supplement, even if they're not up to doing the heavy lifting.

You'll be able to overclock with the C14, as long as you can exhaust the heat from the rest of the case. I'm guessing from your statement that the stock fans are 120s. Will any of the mounts support 140mm fans? Good 120s can probably do the job, but 140s would be better.
July 19, 2014 8:25:58 PM

Side of the case has mounts for the small one's, 120 & 140. I'll try this setup with the stock 120's on the side, swapping all existing fans with the Noctua's. That will be a dramatic improvement and via Amazon, this can all happen for $116 delivered.
a b à CPUs
July 20, 2014 6:31:40 AM

Not to confuse the issue, but you could also look at Noctua's IndustrialPPC models. On a per-fan basis, they'd be more expensive and per-spec slightly louder (but still well under 40 decibels) but would make the side fans irrelevant. They're new so not many reviews. I haven't tried them myself, yet, but I imagine that one of these on the front and back would pretty much turn your case into a wind tunnel at max - http://pcpartpicker.com/part/noctua-case-fan-nfa14indus....

August 1, 2014 8:14:23 PM

The Noctua C14 is installed with the case fans replaced with NF-S12A FLX. Temps are now down 20 degrees Celcius, much more stable temps and max now is 62 vs 82. Well pleased, install took some time, but taking time is what I was supposed to do. Double fan blows down on cpu and improves airflow over RAM.

Once installed it could have taken 160mm with a few mm to spare, hence it would have fit a D14.
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2014 9:09:28 PM

Score! Those temps are awesome. How's the noise level?
August 2, 2014 3:31:23 AM

Should have mentioned the noise is much lower now. Gentle purr in the background. Not bad considering that is 2 case fans, 2 CPU fans, power supply fan and 2 on the GPU, with room for more... but no need for that now.

Thanks!
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