CPU Cooling Query


Dec 4, 2012
I'm having an Intel i7 3770k 3.5 8MB Quad-Core shipped to my house tomorrow, along with an Asus Sabertooth Z77 LGA 1155. I'm curious as to what my best options are for non-liquid cooling, (I don't want the extra weight on my rig, as I take it with me to work for long tours.) I've looked at a few CM's, but then while perusing a random forum, I came across a thread about the Noctua NH-D14 HSF. Everything I have found on this product implies that it may be the "Best CPU cooler ever." When checking their website for compatibility, the Sabertooth is completely compatible with the cooler. Are there better coolers around for the same price range? Or have I actually found the best for my money. I'm also looking for advice on the clearance of the coolers in a mid-tower. Really looking for input on this, because I'm hoping to OC my i7 to around 4.5-4.6 ghz.
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Zalman's CNPS9900MAX coolers have been bouncing between $15 and $45 after rebate on newegg. Reviews I've read place it pretty close to your Noctua in performance.
I would go with the Noctua just because of the 6 year warranty. All the big air coolers perform similar with different tests sometimes rating the Noctua being better or the Phantek PH-TC14PE depending on which review you read.
I think Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme is best stock with Phanteks PH-TC14PE and Thermaright Silver Arrow SB-E next, than Noctua NH-D14, DeepCool Assassin, BeQuiet, Silverstone, etc. All but SA SB-E Extreme are within a couple degrees. Only reason SA SB-E Extreme is better is it's running much more powerful fans. Put same fans on TC14PE, NH-D14, Assassin, etc. and all will be within a couple degrees of each other again. ;)

As Leitoku said, the CNPS9900MAX is very good for the money.