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Best Price/Performance High-End CPU Cooler?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm planning on building a new rig once AMD's Bulldozer processors are released, and I want to overclock quite a bit. I need some advice on choosing a CPU cooler (I'm planning ahead). The air coolers I'm interested in are the Prolimatech Megahalems with two Scythe Gentle Typhoons in push/pull and the Noctua NH-D14, but I'm also wondering if the extra cost for the Antec Kuhler H2O 920 is worth it. I'm not interested in the Corsair H50/60/70 as the Antecs have been proven to be better. However, I've heard some pretty bad things about these AIO kits and their price/performance ratio so I'm leaning towards air cooling (which pretty much is the reason I'm posting this in the 'Air Cooling' section). Or is the cost and hassle of "true" water cooling justifiable if I have intentions to heavily overclock either a hexacore or octocore (I'll decide once prices are announced) and two Radeon 6850s? I don't want to pay for a minimal temp drop so a difference of 3 C or less in most tests means nothing to me if the price is better. I don't care about the size or weight of the cooler. Overall looks mean a bit, but not much -- I won't put form over function.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 23
I personally highly recommend the Noctua NH-D14! Upon installation I noticed a drop of 10-15c in load temperatures, and of course the aesthetics are phenomenal. Currently running stock fans in push/pull config. I feel that you could break 4Ghz with the cooler and not experience issues.

However, my evaluation is biased since I have no experience with water cooling (complete and/or single unit)
Edited by TylerJFisher - 5/8/11 at 7:18pm
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post #3 of 23
None of those are good price/performance coolers. lol

The best price/performance cpu coolers are either the hyper 212+ or the scythe mugen 2.

Now, if you want the best performance at the lowest cost, I would suggest either the silver arrow or nh-d14, whichever is cheaper. Don't go for a h70 or kuhler, gigantic waste of money.
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post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Behemoth777 View Post
None of those are good price/performance coolers. lol

The best price/performance cpu coolers are either the hyper 212+ or the scythe mugen 2.

Now, if you want the best performance at the lowest cost, I would suggest the either the silver arrow or nh-d14, whichever is cheaper. Don't go for a h70 or kuhler, gigantic waste of money.

Each to their own , h70 is better than any of those coolers imo and is definatly not a waste of money i talk from experience , not from reading reviews ..

stop hating on the h70 , hyper 212+ is a cheap piece of rubbish .. thats a waste of money . The base isnt even flat on those things , makes me wonder how anyone gets good temps at all with such an uneven surface ? may look cool , thats about it .



Lap the base of the h70 until its smooth , use some mx2 or ic diamond paste and it will blow any of those coolers to smitherines .



i guarentee it .

I get 62c 100% load @ 4.2ghz / 1.408v / HT and turbo enabled .. on my i7 870 using a lapped h50 .



I would never downgrade to an aircooler , all it takes is abit of effort to unleash the beast within those hydro coolers .. they are crap out of the box i admit , corsair never went to those extra lengths to lap the base for us , or supply us with semi decent thermal paste instead of that horrid shin etsu pad it comes with .. rubbish .

and yes that run was done in cool ambients , but still impressive for a lightly modified h50 ..
Edited by Xristo - 5/8/11 at 7:43pm
    
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post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Xristo! What fans do you use with your H50? Also, just curious, how much time did you spend lapping it? I've never lapped anything before but I know how it's done; it seems like it consumes an awful lot of time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Behemoth777 View Post
None of those are good price/performance coolers. lol

The best price/performance cpu coolers are either the hyper 212+ or the scythe mugen 2.
Those are cheap, but from temp comparisons I'm seeing certainly not top-tier.
Edited by Usario - 5/8/11 at 7:59pm
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post #6 of 23
Honestly, i have a hard time NOT reccomending an XSPC kit.... price is high, but performance is great.
my RX360 Kit was 180, and i get 41C load with my 6950 and i get 48 Load with my 1090T.
thats pretty darn good.
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post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepahl318 View Post
Honestly, i have a hard time NOT reccomending an XSPC kit.... price is high, but performance is great.
my RX360 Kit was 180, and i get 41C load with my 6950 and i get 48 Load with my 1090T.
thats pretty darn good.
$180 is a bit out of my price range... I'd have a hard time justifying that. I've definitely looked into XSPC kits before though and they seem much better price/performance wise than a custom water cooling setup... maybe something to consider if I save up a bit more money before buying or cut back on some unnecessary stuff I'm planning on putting into this build.
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Usario View Post
Thanks Xristo! What fans do you use with your H50? Also, just curious, how much time did you spend lapping it? I've never lapped anything before but I know how it's done; it seems like it consumes an awful lot of time.
I am using an antec tri cool fan in pull ( from my antec 1200 case ) set on high 2000rpm , push fan is the original corsair fan but overvolted to 17v so i assume roughly 2500+rpm .

It is loud , though i dont mind .. You could use gentle typhoon fans , they are quiet and flow good air .

Lapping the base only took me half an hour , just use 4 different grits of sand paper starting with the roughest and finishing with the finest for the mirror smooth finish . Pretty simple , can drop 10c off your temps .. and even more if you lap your cpu , but i dont recommend you do unless you know what your doing .

Anyhow i say get a h50/70 and lightly sand the base , grab some as5 thermal paste , 2 good fans for push pull setup and 2 x 25mm shrouds .. n u will be laughing .

goodluck mate , this might inspire you to get a full custom loop one day .. its a fun learning experience playing around with these hydro coolers to get them to their peak performance .
Edited by Xristo - 5/8/11 at 8:08pm
    
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post #9 of 23
i really like my zalman.


i heard the new max is pretty good too, about 80? nice and quiet and keeps temps down! a lot better than your 212+

quite honestly, if the AIO were cheaper, i'd be all over that like the Seals on bin laden, but they arent. so i wont.
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rebirth
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Western Digital 500Gb LG 22x Antec Kuhler 620 Win 7 64bit 
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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xristo View Post
Each to their own , h70 is better than any of those coolers imo and is definatly not a waste of money i talk from experience , not from reading reviews ..

stop hating on the h70 , hyper 212+ is a cheap piece of rubbish .. thats a waste of money . The base isnt even flat on those things , makes me wonder how anyone gets good temps at all with such an uneven surface ? may look cool , thats about it .



Lap the base of the h70 until its smooth , use some mx2 or ic diamond paste and it will blow any of those coolers to smitherines .



i guarentee it .

I get 62c 100% load @ 4.2ghz / 1.408v / HT and turbo enabled .. on my i7 870 using a lapped h50 .



I would never downgrade to an aircooler , all it takes is abit of effort to unleash the beast within those hydro coolers .. they are crap out of the box i admit , corsair never went to those extra lengths to lap the base for us , or supply us with semi decent thermal paste instead of that horrid shin etsu pad it comes with .. rubbish .

and yes that run was done in cool ambients , but still impressive for a lightly modified h50 ..

I get 52degs under load with my 212+, stock tim and stock single push fan @ 4ghz...paid 25aud shipped...ujelly bro?
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Serenity
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WD Caviar Black-1tb | Kingston Vseries SSD-64... LG Dual Layer DVD Windows 7 Professional 64 22' Samsung syncmaster lcd 
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Filco Majestouch cherry brown Antec CP-850w Antec p183 Steelseries Kinzu 
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