GUIDE: Air-cooling for CPUs, GPUs, and just about everyone of you

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by _Korruption_, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    These days, a lot of people are posting up topics looking for a good thermal solution for their new high-performance CPU. These people all have different needs, some are looking for something dirt-cheap, some look for low-noise, some look for good overall performance at a good price, some look for ease of installation, and others look for maximum performance with no boundaries (just keep it within air cooling :p). Everybody's got different needs.

    I usually cater to lower-noise setups, so you may substitute the Vantec Tornado in if you'd like. I'd like to keep my ears.

    Air cooling doesn't have to be as complicated as it appears. It's a hell of a lot simpler than water cooling, and is usually a lot cheaper. The sheer selection you can find online is what usually scares people away. I decided to put together a quickie air-cooling guide, hopefully it'll be turned into a sticky where people can refer to it and perhaps add to it if I've missed anything. Constructive criticism, folks!

    I'll lay it out in terms of Socket type (Socket A, Socket 478, Socket 754/939/940, LGA775). Lowest price in the respected socket type comes first. I'll re-use some of the descriptions because they may be the same across the different socket types. Saves me quite a bit of time too. Honourable mentions go in their respected sections.


    Starting with the CPU cooling

    Socket A (Athlon, Duron, AthlonXP, Sempr0n)
    MASSCOOL 5F394B1L3G 80mm Copper HSF -- cheap at less than $14! The 80mm fan allows more airflow and less noise (the AMD retail thermal solution for Socket A comes with a small 60x60x10 fan which can be quite noisy), the all-copper heatsink body offers a good amount of surface area. Kinda reminds me of a cheaper (and perhaps noisier) Thermaltake Silent Boost. Even the three-pin lead is sleeved and shrinked! You really can't find another all-copper solution for this price.

    Thermalright SI-97A Heatsink -- Please do note, this heatsink does not come with a fan! Moving slightly upmarket here at $34.95, but relative to what you can get out there, this is still very affordable. This is the new A revision, which adds compatibility to the new Athlon64 CPUs. Yes, you read that right, you can use this Socket A heatsink on your Athlon64 CPU when you upgrade down the road. Very cost effective. One of the best choices you can make for Socket A. It utilizes heatpipes to move heat from the heatsink base into the heatsink body above. You can have a very silent solution, or a very high-performance one, depending on the fan you choose. I'd recommend a low to medium speed 92mm Panaflo for all applications, even overclocking.

    Honourable Mentions:
    Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu LED
    Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu LED (non-LED models also available)



    Socket 478 (Pentium 4)
    ARCTIC COOLING Super Silencer4 Ultra 90mm HSF -- Dirt cheap P4 cooling for under $13. The Prescotts are known to run hot, so Arctic Cooling ups the fan size to 90mm for more airflow. The Intel retail thermal solutions really aren't that bad, they're just noisy. This one should definitely be significantly quieter than the box solution. Again, you get the patented AC fan design, and the three-pin lead is sleeved and shrinked for cosmetics. Do remember that this thermal solution is designed for minimal noise, not maximum performance...

    ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 4 ACFZ4 HSF -- More expensive at $29, but offers a lot more performance and still maintains the low-noise output. SilentPCReview gives it a favourable review. It uses heatpipes to transfer heat from the heatsink base to the heatsink body, and the fan blows air across the aluminum fins. If possible, mount the Freezer 4 so that the fan points towards the back of the case, the rear exhaust fan will help out and further reduce temperatures. Low-weight, low-price, low-noise, and high-performance.

    Thermalright XP-90 -- Fantastic performance for $25 (again, this is a heatsink alone, no fan included). Paired up with a low to medium speed Panaflo, you can enjoy low-noise performance. The XP-90 is widely regarded as one of the best values in the enthusiast community, and SilentPCReview agrees. Easy installation too. If you don't want to deal with buying a separate fan, the XP-90 Retail Package is for you. A few bucks more and you get a decent mid-speed 92mm fan included.

    Thermalright XP-90C -- The more-expensive ($48), all-copper brother to the XP-90. While the XP-90 features a copper base and aluminum heatsink fins, the XP-90C is an all-copper affair. One of the better performers on the market today, it offers much better compability than it's bigger brother (the XP-120, which will be covered later). Paired up with low to medium speed 92mm Panaflo, you'll be golden. Please be advised that the XP-90C is a very heavy heatsink -- exercise care when moving your computer! Many will argue that the SI-120 is a better choice, and I agree with them -- the SI-120 will allow for more airflow with less noise and less weight, and compatibility is pretty much guaranteed!

    Thermalright SI-120 -- The updated brother of the XP-120. Costs about the same too. When that heatsink was introduced, the notion of using 120mm fans was a great idea. The main issue that gave many people problems was that it's size would interfere with other components on the motherboard. Thermalright, responding to customer concerns, went back to the drawing board and came up with the SI-120. Think of it as a larger version of the SI-97A. The heatsink body itself is raised high enough so that it clears just about everything on the motherboard. If you think you are going to have problems with the XP-120's clearance, do consider the SI-120. Pair this heatsink up with the Nexus Real Silent 120mm fan or the Yate Loon D12SL-12 (the same fan, but cheaper), you can have an almost inaudible thermal solution.

    Thermalright XP-120 -- This is about as big as it gets! Priced around the same as the XP-90C ($48), you have to make a decision. If your motherboard fits this behemoth, you can get away with a very low-noise solution, or a maximum performance solution. Pair this heatsink up with the Nexus Real Silent 120mm fan or the Yate Loon D12SL-12 (the same fan, but cheaper), you can have an almost inaudible thermal solution. SilentPCReview gives it a good review. Or you can pair it up with a Delta high-speed 120mm fan. Your call. Just make sure it fits! You can check P4 motherboard compatibility here.

    Scythe Ninja -- A giant heatsink originally meant for passive operation, but can accomodate a 120mm fan, which makes it a very potent choice for low-noise, low-temperature cooling. It features a whopping 12 heatpipes moving heat from the copper base up to the thin aluminum fins. Pair this up with a low-speed 120mm fan (Jab-Tech gives you the option of a 120mm Yate Loon, a fantastic choice), and you'll have fantastic cooling, perhaps even better than the Thermalright offerings. This heatsink seems to work well in the P180 case, with some people using the top vent as an intake and the rear vent as an exhaust. Only downside is that the whole assembly is pretty big.

    Thermaltake CL-P0114 BIG TYPHOON 4 IN 1 Heatpipe CPU Cooler -- Well what do you know? I'm recommending a TT product! The main reason for that is because TT got the performance right this time, this thing really does offer a lot of cooling potential. Downsides are the blatant 16dBA marketing (though it is still decently quiet), the size (it is very tall), and the weight.

    Zalman CNPS9500-LED -- Zalman's newest entry into the high-performance cooling market. At around $70, it definitely is pricey, even compared to the Thermalrights. What I like about the 9500 is the fact that you can point the CPU cooler exhaust at a rear case fan, so any heat produced will be taken out of the case quickly. Even with an all-copper design with more surface area than the previous Zalman flower heatsinks, weight is kept to a relative minimum. A FanMate2 is included so you can run the fan as slowly as you want. If you want the full 12V, disconnect the FanMate2 and plug the 9500 directly into the motherboard. As mentioned earlier, the orientation of the 9500 does matter, so do check out the fantastic instructions that Zalman has up.

    Honourable Mentions:
    Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu LED (non-LED models also available)
    Coolermaster Hyper48
     
  2. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Socket 754/939/940 (Athlon64, Athlon64FX, Opteron)
    ARCTIC COOLING Silencer64 Ultra TCL Blue LED HSF -- Cheap A64 cooling for under $20. The newer A64s are known to run very cool, so Arctic Cooling ups the fan size to a 90mm thermally controlled fan for less noise. Depending on your internal case temperature, the fan equipped with this heatsink may never need to ramp up, ensuring minimal noise. Again, you get the patented AC fan design, and the three-pin lead is sleeved and shrinked for cosmetics. Easy to install, lightweight, and it's cheap.

    Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro -- The newer version of the old Freezer 64, it still maintains the quietness, cooling potential, and competitive price of around $30. This new version adds a second thick heatpipe, and changes the orientation of the fan so that heat gets blown towards a rear case fan with many standard AMD motherboards (the old Freezer64 often blew it's heat towards the PSU, which can make it ramp up in fan speed and increase noise). Also, thermal compound is pre-applied to the smooth copper base, and I hear it is pretty decent stuff too. You decide whether to change it out or not.

    Thermalright XP-90 -- Fantastic performance for $25 (again, this is a heatsink alone, no fan included). Paired up with a low to medium speed Panaflo, you can enjoy low-noise performance. The XP-90 is widely regarded as one of the best values in the enthusiast community, and SilentPCReview agrees. Easy installation too. If you don't want to deal with buying a separate fan, the XP-90 Retail Package is for you. A few bucks more and you get a decent mid-speed 92mm fan included.

    Thermalright XP-90C -- The more-expensive ($48), all-copper brother to the XP-90. While the XP-90 features a copper base and aluminum heatsink fins, the XP-90C is an all-copper affair. One of the best performers on the market today, it offers much better compability than it's bigger brother (the XP-120, which will be covered later). Paired up with low to medium speed 92mm Panaflo, you'll be golden. Please be advised that the XP-90C is a very heavy heatsink -- exercise care when moving your computer! Many will argue that the SI-120 is a better choice, and I agree with them -- the SI-120 will allow for more airflow with less noise and less weight, and compatibility is pretty much guaranteed!

    Thermalright SI-120 -- The updated brother of the XP-120. Costs about the same too. When that heatsink was introduced, the notion of using 120mm fans was a great idea. The main issue that gave many people problems was that it's size would interfere with other components on the motherboard. Thermalright, responding to customer concerns, went back to the drawing board and came up with the SI-120. Think of it as a larger version of the SI-97A. The heatsink body itself is raised high enough so that it clears just about everything on the motherboard. If you think you are going to have problems with the XP-120's clearance, do consider the SI-120. Pair this heatsink up with the Nexus Real Silent 120mm fan or the Yate Loon D12SL-12 (the same fan, but cheaper), you can have an almost inaudible thermal solution.

    Thermalright XP-120 -- This is about as big as it gets! Priced around the same as the XP-90C ($48), you have to make a decision. If your motherboard fits this behemoth, you can get away with a very low-noise solution, or a maximum performance solution. Pair this heatsink up with the Nexus Real Silent 120mm fan or the Yate Loon D12SL-12 (the same fan, but cheaper), you can have an almost inaudible thermal solution. SilentPCReview gives it a good review. Or you can pair it up with a Delta high-speed 120mm fan. Your call. Just make sure it fits! You can check A64 motherboard compatibility here.

    Scythe Ninja -- A giant heatsink originally meant for passive operation, but can accomodate a 120mm fan, which makes it a very potent choice for low-noise, low-temperature cooling. It features a whopping 12 heatpipes moving heat from the copper base up to the thin aluminum fins. Pair this up with a low-speed 120mm fan, and you'll have fantastic cooling, perhaps even better than the Thermalright offerings. This heatsink seems to work well in the P180 case, with some people using the top vent as an intake and the rear vent as an exhaust. Only downside is that the whole assembly is pretty big.

    Thermaltake CL-P0114 BIG TYPHOON 4 IN 1 Heatpipe CPU Cooler -- Well what do you know? I'm recommending a TT product! The main reason for that is because TT got the performance right this time, this thing really does offer a lot of cooling potential. Downsides are the blatant 16dBA marketing (though it is still decently quiet), the size (it is very tall), and the weight.

    Zalman CNPS9500-LED -- Zalman's newest entry into the high-performance cooling market. At around $60, it definitely is pricey, even compared to the Thermalrights. What I like about the 9500 is the fact that you can point the CPU cooler exhaust at a rear case fan, so any heat produced will be taken out of the case quickly. Even with an all-copper design with more surface area than the previous Zalman flower heatsinks, weight is kept to a relative minimum. A FanMate2 is included so you can run the fan as slowly as you want. If you want the full 12V, disconnect the FanMate2 and plug the 9500 directly into the motherboard. As mentioned earlier, the orientation of the 9500 does matter, so do check out the fantastic instructions that Zalman has up.

    Honourable mentions:
    Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu LED (non-LED models also available)
    Swiftech MCX6400-V + low speed 92mm Panaflo
    Coolermaster Hyper48



    LGA775 (Pentium 4)
    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 PRO -- $35. The updated version of the venerable Freezer 7. It adds more heatpipes for more heatsink power, and a larger fan to flow more air while producing less noise. Note the bent fins at the bottom of the heatsink body, those fins direct air to the hot-running voltage regulators found on many LGA775 boards nowadays. Arctic Cooling has decided to apply their own thermal compound (not bad stuff from what I know)... you decide if you want to use something else. Again, orient the Freezer 7 Pro so that it blows towards a rear case fan.

    Thermalright XP-90 -- Fantastic performance for $25 (again, this is a heatsink alone, no fan included). Paired up with a low to medium speed Panaflo, you can enjoy low-noise performance. The XP-90 is widely regarded as one of the best values in the enthusiast community, and SilentPCReview agrees. Easy installation too. If you don't want to deal with buying a separate fan, the XP-90 Retail Package is for you. A few bucks more and you get a decent mid-speed 92mm fan included. You will need the LGA775 bracket from Thermalright.

    Thermalright XP-90C -- The more-expensive ($48), all-copper brother to the XP-90. While the XP-90 features a copper base and aluminum heatsink fins, the XP-90C is an all-copper affair. One of the best performers on the market today, it offers much better compability than it's bigger brother (the XP-120, which will be covered later). Paired up with low to medium speed 92mm Panaflo, you'll be golden. Please be advised that the XP-90C is a very heavy heatsink -- exercise care when moving your computer! You will need the LGA775 bracket from Thermalright.

    Thermalright SI-120 -- The updated brother of the XP-120. Costs about the same too. When that heatsink was introduced, the notion of using 120mm fans was a great idea. The main issue that gave many people problems was that it's size would interfere with other components on the motherboard. Thermalright, responding to customer concerns, went back to the drawing board and came up with the SI-120. Think of it as a larger version of the SI-97A. The heatsink body itself is raised high enough so that it clears just about everything on the motherboard. If you think you are going to have problems with the XP-120's clearance, do consider the SI-120. Pair this heatsink up with the Nexus Real Silent 120mm fan or the Yate Loon D12SL-12 (the same fan, but cheaper), you can have an almost inaudible thermal solution. You will need the LGA775 bracket from Thermalright.

    Thermalright XP-120 -- This is about as big as it gets! Priced around the same as the XP-90C ($48), you have to make a decision. If your motherboard fits this behemoth, you can get away with a very low-noise solution, or a maximum performance solution. Pair this heatsink up with the Nexus Real Silent 120mm fan, or the Yate Loon D12SL-12 (the same fan, but cheaper), you can have an almost inaudible thermal solution. SilentPCReview gives it a good review. Or you can pair it up with a Delta high-speed 120mm fan. Your call. Just make sure it fits! You will need the LGA775 bracket from Thermalright.

    Scythe Ninja -- A giant heatsink originally meant for passive operation, but can accomodate a 120mm fan, which makes it a very potent choice for low-noise, low-temperature cooling. It features a whopping 12 heatpipes moving heat from the copper base up to the thin aluminum fins. Pair this up with a low-speed 120mm fan, and you'll have fantastic cooling, perhaps even better than the Thermalright offerings. This heatsink seems to work well in the P180 case, with some people using the top vent as an intake and the rear vent as an exhaust. Only downside is that the whole assembly is pretty big.

    Thermaltake CL-P0114 BIG TYPHOON 4 IN 1 Heatpipe CPU Cooler -- Well what do you know? I'm recommending a TT product! The main reason for that is because TT got the performance right this time, this thing really does offer a lot of cooling potential. Downsides are the blatant 16dBA marketing (though it is still decently quiet), the size (it is very tall), and the weight.

    Zalman CNPS9500-LED -- Zalman's newest entry into the high-performance cooling market. At around $60, it definitely is pricey, even compared to the Thermalrights. What I like about the 9500 is the fact that you can point the CPU cooler exhaust at a rear case fan, so any heat produced will be taken out of the case quickly. Even with an all-copper design with more surface area than the previous Zalman flower heatsinks, weight is kept to a relative minimum. A FanMate2 is included so you can run the fan as slowly as you want. If you want the full 12V, disconnect the FanMate2 and plug the 9500 directly into the motherboard. As mentioned earlier, the orientation of the 9500 does matter, so do check out the fantastic instructions that Zalman has up.

    Honourable mentions:
    Coolermaster Hyper48





    As always, using a good thermal compound matters! Invest a few dollars in either Arctic Silver 5 or Ceramique. Arctic Silver 5 is a little more expensive, and is known to perform one or two degrees (maximum) better than Ceramique. But Ceramique is non-conductive (AS5 is capacitive to a small degree), easier to apply, easier to clean up, and is safe for use on RAM chips. I prefer Ceramique, being the more versatile compound. Be sure to follow the instructions!
     
  3. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Fans (80mm, 92mm, 120mm)

    80mm Panaflo L1A (low-speed) -- one of the quietest 80mm fans you can buy (without sacrificing airflow). They are good for case fan duty or on a CPU heatsink if you're looking for overall quiet. This particular one comes in a 3-pin configuration, and no RPM monitoring. They're great workhorses.

    80mm Nexus Real Silent -- Favoured in the silent computing community, these fans respond very well to undervolting (running the fan at less than the default 12V).

    80mm Panaflo M1BX (medium-speed) -- Slightly faster (and slightly noisier) than the low-speed model, a better choice for CPU cooling where only 80mm fans will fit. This model supports RPM monitoring.

    80mm Panaflo H1A (high-speed) -- Even more airflow but more noise than the medium speed. No RPM monitoring. This is where it starts getting noisy for my personal tastes.

    80mm Enermax thermally-controlled fan -- If you need something that can be controlled by ambient temperature, consider something like this. 1700rpm at minimum speed is pretty slow, and should be quiet. Even at 2700rpm, it shouldn't be putting out over 30dBA of noise. I wonder if there's a way to override the temperature-control...

    92mm Panaflo L1BX low-speed -- Very good fan overall for any CPU heatsink that can accomodate a 92mm fan. Supports RPM monitoring.

    92mm Nexus Real Silent -- One of the quietest 92mm fans you can find, again, they respond well to undervolting. Supports RPM monitoring.

    92mm Panaflo M1A medium-speed -- More airflow with slightly more noise. No RPM monitoring support.

    92mm Panaflo H1BX high-speed -- Lots of airflow at a tolerable 35dBA. Supports RPM monitoring.

    92mm Enermax adjustable fan -- The bigger brother of the 80mm adjustable model. Supports RPM monitoring.

    120mm Yate Loon D12SL-12 -- Perfect for case fan duty or low-noise CPU cooling on an XP-120. The cheaper (but identical) version of the 120mm Nexus Real Silent. Famous in the silent computing industry, this fan responds well to undervolting. Supports RPM monitoring. (thanks Tiny)

    120mm Coolermaster blue LED fan -- Offers a nice touch while still maintaining low noise levels. Lots of colours available! Supports RPM monitoring, as far as I know.

    120mm x 38mm Panaflo L1A low-speed -- Please note, this fan is 38mm thick! Good airflow and low-noise where it fits. I'm pretty sure you can use this on the XP-120 to good effect. No RPM monitoring.

    120mm x 38mm Panaflo M1A medium-speed -- Please note, this fan is 38mm thick! More airflow at a tolerable 35dBA. No RPM monitoring.

    120mm Enermax adjustable fan -- The biggest version of the Enermax user-adjustable models, supports RPM monitoring.


    Check out dtess17's thread on 120mm fans for some more insight!

    A very valuable resource when shopping for fan is Sidewinder Computer's Listening Room. They don't have any Panaflo fans listed, but if you look for a fan with similar dimensions and RPM, you can get a rough idea as to how it will sound in reality.
     
  4. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    VGA Cooling

    Zalman VF700-ALCU Aluminum-Copper VGA Cooler -- This thing is capable of cooling the hottest video cards out there (on 12V, at least). For $26, you really cannot beat the power offered by the VF700. It isn't for true silent-PC enthusiasts, but for those looking to reduce noise and temperatures offered by the stock VGA thermal solution, the VF700 is something you should seriously consider. Often has problems clearing the nF4 chipset if you've got a larger passive thermal solution installed. Check the compatibility list!

    Zalman VF700-CU Copper VGA Cooler -- The all-copper brother of the VF700Al-Cu. Offers more performance (as copper is able to remove more heat from the GPU), but also comes with more weight. The AlCu is for those who want to keep the weight hanging off their GPU to a minimum (the retention mechanism is very secure). I personally like the copper version better... as it looks better and I won't be moving my machine around. $4 more than the aluminum-copper hybrid. Often has problems clearing the nF4 chipset if you've got a larger passive thermal solution installed. Check the compatibility list!

    Zalman VF900Cu -- The successor to the VF700, it incorporates two heatpipes to better distribute heat from the heatsink base into the copper fins. While it looks like it has more surface area than the VF700, it's weight is actually reduced. Again, it comes with a Fanmate2 for you to select fan speeds based on your tastes, and continues the tradition of being able to cool high-powered graphics cards (like the power hungry X1900XTX for example) quietly.

    Zalman ZM80D-HP Aluminum, Copper Dual Heatpipe Noiseless VGA Cooler -- For those who have lower-powered VGA cards and wish for silent operation. A lower-powered card means nothing from the super-high-end range today, like the 7800 series or the X800 series cards. Those cards run quite hot and would function better with the VF700 series thermal solutions. Be warned, the installation process is fairly complex. Be sure to check if your video card needs the optional Zalman ZM-OP1 80mm fan if you have a more powerful VGA card.

    Thermalright V-1 Ultra Aluminum heatpipe VGA cooler -- Newer revision of the original V-1, which had one less heatpipe. It also adds compatibility to the new nVidia 7800 series graphics cards. An alternative to the Zalmans, seems to alleviate the problem of nF4 chipset clearance. An advantage of the V-1 Ultra is that you can use just about any 80mm fan on the main heatsink body, given that you have enough clearance from items above the video card. Another advantage if you're looking for maximum performance (I'm not), is that apparently you can mount another 80mm fan on the bottom side of the heatsink, basically the side that sits on the GPU core. Be sure to check the compatibility list and the instructions on the Thermalright site.

    Arctic Cooling Silencers -- What these guys have that the others don't is that they can take air that is in the case, use it to remove heat from the heatsink body, and expel it out the case. This can dramatically reduce case temperatures depending on your setup. The other products from Zalman and Thermalright just expel the heat into the case, and depend on the rear exhaust fan to get rid of the heat. What you need to do here is figure out what ATI or nVidia card you have, go to this Arctic Cooling page and find which product you need (using the application section which outlines which solution is for which card). Then you can go to the retailer link above and make your selection. Arctic Cooling has lots of different models, it can be confusing. I've got a VGA Silencer Rev3 (the older model for the 9700). Great performing cooler, inaudible on low, and keeps the temperature down with it's vast surface area. Only gripe is that installation was a little tricky with my 9700's shim problem. I've done some installations with the NV Silencer 1, and that was very easy.
     
  5. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Chipset Cooling

    ZALMAN ZM-NB32J NORTHBRIDGE HEATSINK -- Basic heatsink for $4. If you've got an nForce2 chipset, for example, with a failing chipset fan, like on the Abit NF7 boards, then something like this will work well. It is completely passive, so it'll never fail, and the surface area offered should provide better performance than the actively cooled heatsinks that Abit likes to put on their boards. If you don't have mounting holes around your chipset, then you can use the included thermal epoxy to mount the heatsink to whatever you want. Be warned, thermal epoxy is very permanent. I mounted this heatsink to my 8500LE for passive operation with good success (read more).

    ZALMAN ZM-NB47J NORTHBRIDGE HEATSINK -- More surface area than the NB32J for a few cents more. People have mounted this heatsink to their hot-running nForce4 chipsets with good success, but you must make sure you have airflow moving around the heatsink, as it gets very hot. You'll need the mounting holes for this heatsink, as it doesn't come with epoxy. I've got one of these on my nForce2 chipset. Since it is a taller heatsink, it may get in the way of some nForce4 setups. You may need to do some bending of the soft aluminum fins to get everything to fit.

    VANTEC CCB-A1C ICEBERQ SOLID COPPER VGA AND CHIPSET COOLER COMBO -- If you want active cooling, or are limited to the size of the heatsink you can install (with the nF4 boards, for example), try the Iceberq. It comes in a small footprint, so it should be able to clear most video cards, even in SLI mode, and will keep the chipset cooler than with the Zalman passive heatsinks. The all-copper design allows for a good amount of heat to be absorbed, and the fan is said to be decently quiet. You even get some extra aluminum heatsinks to mount on other components on your motherboard. There is an aluminum version of this heatsink floating around the market, but that comes with a sleeve bearing fan -- not good for hot chipsets.

    Evercool EC-VC-RE Chipset Cooler -- The new specification from DFI, meaning these coolers are pretty much guaranteed to work on the DFI nF4 and RDX200 boards. It not only reduces noise, but brings temperatures down compared to the aluminum cooler that originally came on the LanParty boards. Cheap too!

    SWIFTECH MCX159-CU EXTREME DUTY ALL-COPPER HEATSINK W/ 40MM FAN -- This heatsink-fan combo is about the best you can get for the money, but is a very tall solution and may not fit all motherboards and CPU heatsinks. The all-copper design removes a lot of heat, but may require a faster fan to dissipate all that heat. Luckily, Swiftech includes a Sunon VAPO bearing fan, which are said to be quieter and last longer than regular ball-bearing units.
     
  6. Mujuro

    Mujuro n00b

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Nice guide, but one question, what HSF (heatsink AND fan) combo would you recommend for a 3200+ Venice?
     
  7. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Read the guide and come to your own conclusion! :p

    You need to figure out your own needs and how much you're willing to spend on a good thermal solution.

    <edit> I may put write up a VGA and chipset thermal solution guide too if I get time.
     
  8. kamxam

    kamxam [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    The scythe shogun HSF (thread on it in the forums) is supposed to cool even better than the xp90's if you want to add that eventually. Probably be better to let it go more mainstream i'd imagine ..Great guide tho.
     
  9. Scarceas

    Scarceas n00b

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    I remember a few years back a fan that was virtually silent... It had a "special" fan impeller design...

    Anyone know what I'm talking about?

    Also, YS Tech made those cool fans with the magnetic tips... supposedly very quiet and decent airflow...
     
  10. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    That's only because the Scythe Shogun is friggin' huge. If you find something smaller (comparable to the XP-90) that can perform just as well, you let me know if I already don't have it up on the list. Link to Scythe Shogun
     
  11. silentnswift

    silentnswift Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    262
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    The ARCTIC COOLING Copper Silent 2TC 80mm HSF for Athlon XP Socket A has disappeared of newegg : ( I was going to get it too, but I think a new version has been released somewhere
     
  12. floodo1

    floodo1 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
  13. L0s7_4_Lyf3

    L0s7_4_Lyf3 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    86
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Do you mean TMD(Tip Magnetic Drive)? If so, BULLSHIT. That thing is the loudest fan i have. It only moves like 40CFM too.
     
  14. swatX

    swatX [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,086
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    very nice guide. although i bought a thermaltake tr2 m6 then temps hover around 50C right now. i dont know if its bad airflow or bad case fan positioning. would a xp-90 decrease temps even if the case has a bad airflow. would you recommend a exhuast near the xp-90 and also the i believe the reveiw recommended a panaflo 92mm with air going downwards would be ideal.
     
  15. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    I'll have to update the links sometime...

    TMD fans aren't known for maximum airflow and minimum noise, but they do offer focused airflow, which is the whole point really.

    You should always have at least one rear exhaust fan in the case, as this will remove heat produced by the CPU. Most CPU heatsinks have their fans pointing down.
     
  16. Nakamori

    Nakamori Gawd

    Messages:
    530
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    What hsf fan is good for socket A overclocking besides the zalmans? (i dont have the necessary mounting holes, just the standard brackets.)
     
  17. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Read the sticky. :p

    I would recommend the SI-97A.
     
  18. dtess17

    dtess17 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,235
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    very nice thread.
    This is even better than the HSF round up in this months MaximumPC
     
  19. CCUABIDExORxDIE

    CCUABIDExORxDIE 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,957
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    what about the SI-120? i liek this review alot, keep up the good work!
     
  20. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    It just looks like an XP-120 with the bottom section removed...

    Thanks for the feedback :)
     
  21. CCUABIDExORxDIE

    CCUABIDExORxDIE 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,957
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    well, yea, but also, it has ZERO Compatability issues from what Thermalright can tell. and the downfall, i guess, or the xp120 was its lack of compatability, which the SI-120 fixes.
     
  22. mentok1982

    mentok1982 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,359
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Good stuff so far.

    I would like to know your picks on those tiltable fans that you can install under your graphics card.
    They are on a card that fits in an expansion slot. I think there are two fans usually on the card.
    I am too skiddish to install a silencer right now.
     
  23. Yoshiyuki Blade

    Yoshiyuki Blade 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,878
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Yea, it looks like they cut off the fins that usually touches the base on the XP-120s, but it also looks kind of raised up, giving more clearance and therefore much better compatability. From some reviews I read, it performs almost as good as the XP-120, which is pretty awesome. Since its lighter, better performing, and costs as much as the XP-90c (@ sidewindercomputers), it looks like another winner from Thermalright!

    By the way, excellent info on air cooling solutions! I refer to it often.
     
  24. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    I don't really like those because all they're doing is recycling warm air that's already in your case. If you really think you need one of those fan cards, then I think you may need to rethink your case ventilation strategy.

    Guide updated: Added Thermalright SI-120
     
  25. Karaya1

    Karaya1 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    I use the freezer 64 for socket 939. Love it. It blows the air right into my Seasonic s12's 120mm fan which takes it immediately out of the case. Great unit.
     
  26. knaSen

    knaSen Gawd

    Messages:
    631
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Sounds like the german Verax-fan perhaps?

    There's always these new Arctic Cooling Fan 3 or whatever... And the AcoustiFan DustProof! ADDA with the HydroBearings are silent aswell... :)
     
  27. t-stretch

    t-stretch n00b

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    how does the CNPS9500 LED rank up there with the rest of them beasts...?
     
  28. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    I'll add it soon... it's just that the prices are a little high now due to the hype this thermal solution has been getting. It will be added in due time.
     
  29. mtx

    mtx Gawd

    Messages:
    717
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Is it possible to OC a Venice 3200+ to 2.8GHz and still run "silent"? I run 3x120mm fans in my case, 1 exhaust 1 intake and 1 CPU HSF. I was thinking of putting 3 Coolermaster LEDs.
     
  30. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Those Coolermaster LED fans move around 40cfm each... so that's pretty good airflow if you've got an intake and an exhaust. If you've got another unit sitting on say, an XP-120 for example, I think you can hit good speeds. Just remember that with low-noise, you'll get slightly higher temps.
     
  31. Newbify2

    Newbify2 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    380
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Looking at this page : http://www.arctic-cooling.com/vga1.php

    So is there no Silencer for the AGP version of the 6600 GT?
    I have eVGA's card and I'm looking for something to prolong the life of the card, I wont be overclocking. Reason why I'd like to get a decent gpu hsf is because my older gf4 ti4600 recently passed away after the fan on the heatsink stopped ran for a half a year without a fan then died :)
     
  32. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    The 6600GT AGP is physically different than it's PCI-E brother. The core is shifted up physically to make room for the PCI-E -> AGP bridge chip. There currently is no solution available from Arctic Cooling that will accomodate for this. However, you still have the Zalman VF700-Cu.

    If you plan on getting the VF700 for your AGP 6600GT, do read this link.
     
  33. English Neo

    English Neo Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    297
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    What about the new Akasa EVo 120?
     
  34. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    No widespread distribution.

    Besides, I have a feeling that the 15dBA rating is optimistic, a-la Thermaltake style. It even looks like a Tt design.
     
  35. English Neo

    English Neo Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    297
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Well, i'll be getting my one tomorrow so i'll let you know if it's rating is true. I already have a 460w paxPower (Rated @ 18DB) and I can only hear it's on if i put my ear up to the back of the PSU. 1 Website even said that the Akasa 120mm Amber fans (used on the evo and Paxpower) are quieter than the Nexus 120mm's and provide more air flow.

    neo out
     
  36. KoolDrew

    KoolDrew [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,646
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    I would recommend mentioning the Delta Tri-Blade fans. The high speed performs just as good as the high speed Panaflo and is a bit quiter. After looking at tons of other fans this seems to be the overall best.
     
  37. EnzoFX

    EnzoFX [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,276
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    i had difficulty finding the Yate Loon 120mm quiet fan that's just like the nexus real silent fan but cheaper.....
    i found one
    but it was rated at a much higher db noise..
    though it was the same model number....
    and the link in the guide is broken..
    can someone provide another linK?
     
  38. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Jab-Tech seems to be removing lots of links... thereby keeping me busy! They only seem to carry the Nexus D12SL-12 at the moment.
     
  39. Frosty_the_dopeman

    Frosty_the_dopeman [H]Lite

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Well I would use the Zalman CNPS7000B. It has really good reviews, and they say it is pretty quiet. BTW, CNPS stands for computer-noise-prevention-system.
    Hope this helps :D
     
  40. _Korruption_

    _Korruption_ [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Added the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 PRO to the LGA775 section.

    I'm working on a chipset cooling section... damn midterms. Keep this topic alive, folks!