Best budget cpu air cooler?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Retsam, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Looking to build a new computer here. Just doing some research. I have been rocking an older i5-2500k oc'd with a hyper 212+ evo on it and decided its time to ugprade. I have not decided on cpu yet as I know intel is about to release some new stuff, but my direction is either a i5-8400, i5-8600k or i7-8700k atm(without knowing the new releases). I may hold off to buy anything because of newer chips coming out. Not decided yet.

    Just in general, what are some opinions on the best air coolers these days?

    I value good performance but low noise levels as well. Perhaps even, quiet first and foremost. I am kind of over my hyper 212+ evo because the fan is not the quietest in the world. I have not decided if I am ocing or not yet since I dont know what I am building yet....

    My picks so far:
    be quiet! Pure rock, or pure rock slim
    Cryorig H7 or maybe H5
    Deepcool gammaxx 400
    Noctua NH-U12s or U14s (Really the one I want, but I also dont want to pay ~$70 for a damn air cooler)


    Thanks.
     
  2. Budwise

    Budwise [H]ard|Gawd

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    Best? Noctua. Best for the money? Cryorig imo.
     
  3. Neoshi

    Neoshi n00bie

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    So I'm still using my NH-D14 (similar to your U12/U14) and one thing that comes to mind is that although it is pretty darn quiet for air, ultimately things like the GPU fan will probably get you all riled up again when doing things like playing games. So maybe consider doing both CPU and GPU cooling solutions at the same time. Also, if you're sticking with the OC, you're likely running the fans on full throttle, no temp based variable fan controller, so ultimately it's going to some combo of case fans and component fans that will determine the fan noise levels overall.
     
  4. Engr62

    Engr62 Limp Gawd

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    I've really liked my Cryorig H5 Universal. I had it on my i7-4770K for quite a while, and it ran at 57C under Prime95. I've since upgraded to an i7-8700K and moved the H5 to it. It runs at 64C under Prime95. The H5 is about the best air cooler I could get that would fit in my S340 Elite case.
     
  5. PliotronX

    PliotronX [H]ard|Gawd

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    I agree on the Evo, noticed that about mine. I went all GI Joe on my 4670k after the evo and fell overboard with a D15. I helped a friend put together an i5 8400 system with a Scythe Ninja 4 and it looks great, fairly easy to mount and very quiet! For 40 bucks it was a good choice I feel but ultimately we need a budget to work with as you will find different bang for the buck masters under $30, $40, $50 etc..
     
  6. pitingres

    pitingres n00bie

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    For quiet with decent cooling performance? Scythe Mugen 5 PCGH edition. Hard to find but dead quiet, cools very well.

    And yeah, what Neoshi said. My system has a semi passive gpu and it drives me nuts when the gpu fan comes on; it’s barely audible but I can hear it. I may have to look into a passive gpu cooler.
     
  7. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Alright. Thanks for the input. I have been doing research the past week or so.

    After reading many reviews, It seems that the best cooler options with the top price/cooling/sound ratio seems to be:

    Cryorig H7 or H5(H5 being better of course)
    be quiet! Pure rock. I was considering the $25 slim but seems to be the very budget option which I kind of want to stay away from if I end up ocing.
    Noctua NH-U12s or U14s


    Its difficult because Ive read some review sites that show conflicting information that will contradict other reviews I previously read. Its hard to figure out. I saw a few reviews showing the be quiet Pure rock trading blows with the Noctua. I am kind of leaning towards that, but the cryorig H5 is a very common recommendation as well. H7 seems like its good, but closer to hyper 212 evo performance. I think the cooler I want is the Noctua for sure, but I refuse to pay $70 for an air cooler.

    I was considering just keeping my hyper 212 evo and just upgrading the fan, but I think I want a new cooler just because. If I just upgrading the fan, that would be like perhaps $20-30 right now if I went with a Noctua fan....id rather just go a little further and upgrade cooler as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  8. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    If you want a justifiable step-up from the 212 Evo, get the U14s or go home.
     
  9. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Yeah. I am considering it but, $70 is a lot for an air cooler. Not sure what I want to do.
     
  10. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    I know it doesn't matter, but I'm currently using a 212+ and fully intend to use a U14s in my upcoming build.
     
  11. Wyodiver

    Wyodiver [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hey, there. If you upgrade your air cooler and want to sell your hyper 212+, please let me know!
     
  12. Dermen

    Dermen Limp Gawd

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    Noctua is great but you can get 90% of the performance for half the price from other fans from Corsair, Phanteks, etc.

    In case you didn't have enough to think about have you considered delidding? OCed it should drop 15-20C off your temps.
     
  13. vick1000

    vick1000 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Do not attempt to delid a 2500K, or any SB, they are soldered.
     
  14. Dermen

    Dermen Limp Gawd

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    He said he is building a new PC, I assumed he wasn't looking to upgrade his cooler until then. But yeah just in case don't try to delid a 2500/2600/2700.
     
  15. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Delidding probably wont interested me. I would rather not mess with voiding warranties and taking risks etc.

    It is for a new coffee lake or similar new gen build. However one of the main reasons I am looking for a new heatsink is just because of sound levels which of course could be fixed by a fan update, but I do plan to oc the new cpu in which case the hyper 212 isnt going to cut it anymore anyways. The heatink purchase will probably end up on my current i5-2500k temporarily just because I am tried of hearing the current fan on it.

    I am very conflicted on what heatsink to get lol. I keep going back and forth. Do I splurge and go for the Noctua U12s/U14s, or something that is close in performance for like half the price. I suppose its partly difficult because I dont have the CPU or MB yet. I am thinking about ram and pcie slots as well.

    Theres a Thermalright True Spirit 140 BW rev.a thats supposed to be pretty good for the money. I was checking that out recently, as well as this MSI Core Frozr L. Of course I have had my eye on the Cryorig H7 and H5 universal. I was looking at the be quiet pure rock as well, because I definitely want something quiet. I was definitely looking hard at the pure rock. My problem is figuring out good review sites to read with comparisons of the ones im looking at. Some sites I have been checking out seem like they use poor techniques for testing leading to seemingly inaccurate benchmark results. I want to make sure I dont end up being dumb and buying another budget heatsink which performs the same as the hyper 212.

    I have been trying to find some benchmarks that are "correctly" and professional done which showcase all my heatsinks I have been looking at.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  16. vick1000

    vick1000 [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you are going to OC a 6 core Coffee Lake, better save up and get a D15 or 240/280mm AIO, especially if you are not going to delid.
     
  17. Dermen

    Dermen Limp Gawd

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    Thermalright is good about releasing new mounting kits for new sockets. I'm using a 10+ year old Thermalright sink, it has seen many systems and I think I have 4 different mounting kits for it (939, 775, AM3, current Intel).

    A good heatsink can last you a really long time if the manufacturer supports it. I would think Noctua would, I know they released AM4 brackets. Not sure about the others. Intel hasn't changed its mounting points in forever though, so not sure how much it will matter in the future.

    If you spend the money it should last you for multiple systems. Yeah newer sinks will come out but most the time there is only 2C difference every few years, it will take a lot of years before it is really worth upgrading again.
     
  18. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit n00bie

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    i couldnt agree more Dermen. thermalright has some of the best performing/budget hsf you can get and they back what they make.
    https://www.amazon.com/Thermalright-True-Spirit-140-Power/dp/B00IYEEOMO
    the true spirit 140 hangs tough with even the best noctua monsters. i couldnt make myself buy a $70 or $80 hsf. there are just to many other badass options available for significantly less.
    theres also the macho rev b. for $50 on amazon. another top notch performer.
     
  19. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Funny you mention that I was just looking at that earlier today. Seems like that Macho rev b. up close to the same performance as the noctuas.

    That is kind of my problem. $70 is a lot for an air cooler. And theres so many good options at like half that price.

    And then I start getting into that logic, where I see reviews showing the Be Quiet Pure Rock which is only like $37 or the Cryorig H5 which is like $50 within a few degrees difference of like the Macho rev.b and same or lower noise levels, then its like why even spend the $50. Heh.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  20. Skillz

    Skillz [H]ard DCOTY 2017

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    Honestly if you aren't doing much overclocking then just replace the fan on that 212+ with a better version and contact Coolermaster if you need a new mount for a new socket, but I am pretty sure Intel has been using the same size mounting points on it's CPUs for a while now. Either way, CM will send you a mounting kit for free (might have to pay shipping)
     
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  21. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    If you want the best value high performance cooler the TRUE Spirit 140 Power is it. $50 for a cooler rated 360w TDP is impossible to beat. But it is 171mm tall and 155mm wide so make sure your case has at least 171mm CPU clearance and your motherboard has at least 78mm center CPU to near side of nearest used PCIe socket because TS140P fins reach 77.5mm toward PCIe sockets.

    Macho Rev. B is good too. It cools very well and is very quiet as well. Both use TY-147A fan that idles down to 300rpm and rarely need to run faster than about 1000rpm and that is like when stress testing CPU.

    Also pay attention to case fan setup so your CPU and GPU are getting air at or near room ambient. Many cases come with fans that are pretty much worthless.
     
  22. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Yeah thanks for the input. I actually was just looking into the Thermalright True Spirit 140 BW Rev. A as of yesterday so its funny you mention that. It seems to perform amazing and be fairly quiet as well. I dont get it, its hard to find legit reviews with comparisons to other popular coolers but this True Spirit BW Rev.A seems to be a unicorn. Benchmarks have it close to Noctuas and other beastly coolers and still maintains among the lowest noise levels.

    Last night and today I stumbled upon the Scyth Mugen 5 Rev. B and Scyth Fuma Rev. B. From everything I have found thus far these seem to be actually be pretty much the best bang 4 buck coolers available. Every benchmark I have seen so far shows them at the top with the big Noctuas and Cryorigs for performance and still one of the quietest. I think my shortlist is now the Noctua U14s, Thermalright True Spirit 140 BW Rev.A and the two scythes. I even saw some review suggesting running the Scythe Fuma in passive mode, but that seems like it would be dangerous. I would love to do that though. If passive mode is possible with that, I would love to do that.
     
  23. vick1000

    vick1000 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Having a 500rpm fan will give you a ton more cooling than passive, and you won't even notice it unless you have no other mechancal devices in the build (fans, HDDs). If you are still thinking of OC, you should forget passive anything.
     
  24. KazeoHin

    KazeoHin [H]ardness Supreme

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    Hyper 212



    /thread
     
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  25. CAD4466HK

    CAD4466HK Gawd

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    I value and enjoy [H]OCP's cooler reviews, but when I need a few more data points, I always check out the good folks @ FrostyTech.
     
  26. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Thanks for the input and help. I ended up going with the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B. It seems to perform very well and actually better than even the Noctua NH-U14s and at similar noise levels for less money. It seems to beat even other high-end $80+ air coolers. Hopefully will be good for now and future cpu builds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  27. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    That is a good shortlist. All are good coolers. You might want to add Macho Rev. B to your list.
     
  28. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Well, as I stated above, I just purchased the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B. Seems to be one of the best for the price. I was looking at the Macho though. It seems good too, but I saw a few benchmarks with Mugen performing better for the price and quieter. Anyways. Theres many good coolers out there in the same price range so it was a hard choice. I will have my Mugen tomorrow at some point.
     
  29. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Why in blazes would you spend $70 on an air cooler?

    Look at these deals first.
    https://slickdeals.net/newsearch.php?q=Cpu+cooler

    If your cpu runs 65* vs 70* it doesn’t matter one iota.

    My vote is keep the 212 and upgrade the fan or go to a inexpensive, but well reviewed AIO water cooler.
     
  30. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Well, I didnt. I spent $50. :) Kind of strange logic though, AIO coolers from what ive read are more expensive with slightly better temps and usually louder. Top end air coolers are quieter which is what I want most. And of course dont want to spend $80+ for slightly lower temps and more noise.

    Yeah I have had multiple people say to keep the 212 and replace the fan. This would of course be the most practical and least expensive route. I was planning on doing that actually but because I decided to upgrade soon, I am worried a hyper 212 would not be sufficient for newer 6 core cpus with overclocking. I kind of just wanted something different in my computer that I know is at least going to be a little better and quieter.
     
  31. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?

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    I think I paid $42 shipped for my Scythe Fuma...been using it ever since.
     
  32. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Yeah. I hope I feel the same way about the Mugen after I get it. I almost went with the Fuma, but its really big and saw some people say it has install issues, which is why its discontinued.
     
  33. vick1000

    vick1000 [H]ard|Gawd

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    You will be satisfied with the Mugen. I used a Mugen 4 for many years before getting my Mugen Max, they are quality sinks and fans, and top performers for the money, acoustics are excellent as well.
     
  34. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?

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    Even the Rev. B version? I have the first version and it's not super complicated to install. I had to get an AM4 mounting kit for it though.
     
  35. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    Rev. B versions are supposed to solve the supposed mounting problems. Considering how many peeps have these with original 'problem' mounts who have no issues it seems the problem is user error and Scythe changed their mount to make it more idiot proof .. an impossible task. Idiots always manage to screw things up regardless of how well designed they are made.
     
  36. vick1000

    vick1000 [H]ard|Gawd

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    They can be a little tricky to install, especially inside a case. I chosq to put a little two sided tape on the retention bar, to keep it from cming off the sink, then preload the screws into it, that way you don't have to be so delicate when trying to start the screws. The rev B of the Mugen is offset yo alllow for more RAM clearance.
     
  37. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    Mugen 4 and Mugen Max are both offset for RAM clearance. Pretty sure the Mugen 5 and Mugen 5 Rev. B are same cooler with rev. B being mount change.
     
  38. Retsam

    Retsam 2[H]4U

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    Yeah. The Rev.B I believe from looking into it is just the Mugen 5 but with AM4 mounting support. Anyways. I got my cooler in the mail yesterday. I probably dont have time to take off the 212 and install it until next week sometime. Just for shits I want to do some benchmarks with the 212 first so I can compare.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  39. vick1000

    vick1000 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Mugen 5 revB is offset as well.