Enermax's ETD-T60-VD has the best cooling performance at idle, but only when its fan is spinning as fast as it'll go. The downside of this quickly becomes apparent in the face of a 48.2 dB(A) noise level, which is the loudest in our round-up. Scythe's SCKC-2100 performs slightly worse with its fan going all-out, but it generates a much less obnoxious 39.2 dB(A). You can further slow the fan speed down to 1000 RPM without losing much cooling performance and get to a nice 32 dB(A).
The finishing order looks the same under full load. Enermax and Scythe lead, as Noctua's NH-L12 can’t quite compete with them. As we pointed out before, it's interesting that the Noctua NH-L12 cooler performs similarly with a fan speed of 1000 and 1460 RPM.
Noise and Weight
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My h100 is horrible compared to this :(Reply
WOW! Sound levels are way above advertised levels.Reply
Scythe coolers are the best overall, but 1000+ RPM is just too high.Reply
I used to have a Thermaltake Dualorb, and it was really nice because both fans would also blow over the ram and and chipset heatsink. I am currently using a 2500k running at 5GHz with a CM Hyper 212+, and my ambient on the cores is around 28-30, and peak is on average about 67-68c. At any rate, interesting article.Reply
JohnnyLuckyWOW! Sound levels are way above advertised levels.Reply
Don't forget to account for ambient noise, which is already often higher than the rated loudness of many coolers.
with the enermax and noctua both @ $68 the scythe is a steal @ $40 on amazon.Reply
coolermaster didn't send in their vortex (which is what i have)Reply
It has been my life-long dream to pair a Cooler Master GeminII S524: bit.ly/PiVHxwReply
with the greatest 140mm desktop PC fan in existence, the Sanyo Denki 9LB1412M501: bit.ly/QOHXJA
Specs: 140x140 51mm 138CFM 2000rpm 39dBA 12V 0.5A
Essentially the most perfect balance of airflow to noise I have ever seen.
I can only imagine how well this fan can cool not only the CPU but virtually the entire upper half of the motherboard as well. Alas, my dream will remain a dream since although I know where to buy the fan, the min. order quantity is 10, pushing the total price to at least $500; way out of my reach.
But speaking of which, Tom's, why not compare motherboard voltage regulator and RAM module temps with these top-down coolers vs tower coolers? Myself and many overclockers will be extremely interested in these temps.
You could just get an Ivy Bridge CPU and sleep tight.Reply
Top->Down coolers are my favourite choice for building normal non-oc rigs since they cool so much more than just the cpu, as for overclocking "real water" cooling with extra spot on fan for the voltage regulators + ram is my favourite. Seem some forget that with water/air tower designs the MB don't get much often needed airflow around the upper part of the MB.Reply