Cooler for mild overclocking

_HU_

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
125
I currently have a Phenom II 955 and I'd like to push it moderately, let's say 3.6-3.7GHz.

My system has the following components:
- AMD Phenom II X4 955 Rev. C3 (max 95W TDP) at stock speed (3.2GHz).
- MSI 870A-G54 AM3 motherboard (not FX version).
- Kingston 4GB DDR3-1333 RAM (2 DIMMs on Dual Channel mode)
- Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 Pro Rev.2 heatsink (supports up to 90W TDP only) with a 92mm diameter fan.

Now, during summer, my temps are 39ºC at idle and 60-61ºC with Prime 95; during winter, 29ºC at idle and 57-58ºC with Prime 95. So environmental heat it's a problem with this cooler.

I'm looking for an affordable cooler with good performance and restrained size, with a 92mm fan if possible, mainly for aesthetic reasons and easy DIMM handling. I wonder if a cooler with those features exists on the market. I've considered the following:

Thermalright True Spirit 90M
Scythe Katana 4
Zalman CNPS5X Performa
Raijintek Aidos
Xigmatek Loki II

I've read over thirty reviews and still I'm not clear about anything, because most of reviews are for Intel CPUs and coolers with 120mm fans.

What do you recommend? Does a cooler with a 120mm fan but with compact size exist? It must have a height lower than 150-155mm and enough RAM clearance for easy handling as I've said. Note I cannot remove the module located at slot 1, because my mobo does not support it, so RAM clearance is a MUST.

Thank you in advance.
 

MrCaffeineX

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
1,450
Cooler Master makes the Hyper TX3, which they rate at 130W of dissipation. It is approximately 136mm high according to their specifications and uses a 92mm fan. In reviews it wasn't the greatest, but with the constraints you are providing, it could at least be an option. There is also the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro which they rate at 150W dissipation. It is 127mm tall according to their specifications and also uses a 92mm fan.

I agree with UMASS though. If you have the budget and room in your case for the radiator/fan, a $50 CLC is the way to go.
 

flopticalcube

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
319
If you are space limited, CLC is the answer. Maximum cooling will most certainly depend on radiator placement. Noise is handled by fan choice.

As long as the cooler supports your socket and the TDP matches, it doesn't matter if the review is for Intel or AMD.
 

_HU_

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
125
Thank you very much, guys, for your replies! :)

Well, regarding liquid cooling, I'm on a budget and I'd like to have an easy to maintain system. I have ZERO experience with this cooling. Also, I've heard water cooling coolers are very noisy.

On a side note, I'm a bit worried about VRMs. In another forum, they told me that my motherboard VRMs are very poor and it's unlikely they can support a stable overclock. I don't understand, because my user's manual states that my mobo supports OC, even my mobo has a physical dial for that!
But I wonder if those 2 additional fans could cool the VRMs and the northbridge... what do you think?

Keep in mind my CPU is 95W TDP and my mobo supports up to 140W CPUs. Yes, I know wattage here is not real consumption, but heat dissipation. However, there should be a slight advantage with the 125W revision, right?

And finally, what do you think about the Raijintek Aidos (92mm)? It has a very favourable review at TechPowerUp. It looks like the Aidos has a performance pretty similar to the bigger Hyper 212 Evo, but I don't know if that result can be extrapolated to my CPU.

Thank you a lot for your help, much appreciated :)
 

flopticalcube

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
319
Thank you very much, guys, for your replies! :)

Well, regarding liquid cooling, I'm on a budget and I'd like to have an easy to maintain system. I have ZERO experience with this cooling. Also, I've heard water cooling coolers are very noisy.
CLC = Closed loop cooler. Zero maintenance. They are about as noisy as a big air cooler and certainly quieter than any 92mm or smaller one. Think of it as relocating the 120/140mm fan to a more convenient location. Some pumps have been noisy in the past but this has been taken care of for the most part in the latest generation. I have two running on GPUs for two years (held on with zip ties!) and its running fine. The one thing they do add is another point of failure. If the pump gives up, you need to shut down fast.

On a side note, I'm a bit worried about VRMs. In another forum, they told me that my motherboard VRMs are very poor and it's unlikely they can support a stable overclock. I don't understand, because my user's manual states that my mobo supports OC, even my mobo has a physical dial for that!
But I wonder if those 2 additional fans could cool the VRMs and the northbridge... what do you think?
You will still need adequate case flow for both air and CLC. If your air cooler is not a downdrafting unit, the VRMs may not be getting any airflow from it anyhow. As an owner of a low-end MSI board (Z77), I concur that their power delivery is not the best. A low speed fan mounted nearby should be sufficient for air flow.

Keep in mind my CPU is 95W TDP and my mobo supports up to 140W CPUs. Yes, I know wattage here is not real consumption, but heat dissipation. However, there should be a slight advantage with the 125W revision, right?
In the absence of light being produced, where else is the power going to go but in heat?

And finally, what do you think about the Raijintek Aidos (92mm)? It has a very favourable review at TechPowerUp. It looks like the Aidos has a performance pretty similar to the bigger Hyper 212 Evo, but I don't know if that result can be extrapolated to my CPU.

Thank you a lot for your help, much appreciated :)
Can't comment on the Rajintek but anything that compares to a 212 Evo cannot be considered bad. Its the gold standard for budget air in my book.
 

irishtea

n00b
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
50
You know, I'm still using one of these, and I've never had any problems with it, and it was really, really, really easy to set up. I know a lot of people have had problems with the corsair coolers, but I haven't, and I've used it to overclock my cpu quite a bit.
 

_HU_

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
125
Thanks, but I don't want to go with a closed loop cooler, specially for this:
The one thing they do add is another point of failure. If the pump gives up, you need to shut down fast.
A last question please, how can I compare the heat created by i5-2500K and i7-4770K with my CPU? I'm asking this because most reviews test these CPUs and very very few test Phenom IIs. Those CPUs can reach up to 80-90º Celsius, whereas my 955 C3 cannot go beyond 62-65º before a premature shutdown is performed (AFAIK).

Thank you again
 

geok1ng

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
2,132
I currently have a Phenom II 955 and I'd like to push it moderately, let's say 3.6-3.7GHz.

Now, during summer, my temps are 39ºC at idle and 60-61ºC with Prime 95; during winter, 29ºC at idle and 57-58ºC with Prime 95. So environmental heat it's a problem with this cooler.
I would say your cooler is doing an admirable job of handling high ambient temps. Giving the extremely diminished returns that OC would have on your processor and that your usage scenario rarely if ever could make the processor throttle on daily usage sinking more money in air cooler is not wise. you would probably gain more OC headroom cooling the VRMs than by changing the CPU coolers. Consider something like these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ASUS-VRM-Passive-Water-Heatpipe-CPU-Chipset-Optional-Fan-NIB-/200886336069

AMd backplate can be gueto modded as well


you will find a realm of alternatives on this forum: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/amd-fx-ocers-club.153443/page-139

i second the notion that low end AiO water coolers are better value than small air coolers for you. go big or go broke
 

ramonrdz86

n00b
Joined
Jul 19, 2014
Messages
18
I recommended a h100 for first time closed loop. The issue at hand might be AMD they will run hot, but provide good PC.
 
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