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CPU Cooling upgrade...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi All!

So here's the deal:

I upgraded my PSU to an HX850 from an Antec Truepower Trio 550 and... WOW!
It has given me alot more capability when trying to OC my Q9550 C1. Prior, I could not get 100% stable past 3400 @ 1.2375. Now I am 100% stable @3700 w/1.3025, and I haven't even began fine tuning. Excited! Never the less:

My cooler is a CM Hyper N520... At the new clocks, it maxed out on LinX @ 80c.
That is borderline fail for me. Even though it is too much for extended use, I will never see those temps during heavy gaming or encoding.

I know the heavy hitters like the D14, and the Silver Arrow are king right now, but they are just way too big. I am willing to trade off some performance for a smaller footprint, but it still has to be better than the Hyper n520 which is not too shabby.

I was thinking something like Megahalems, but it is pretty pricey with two good fans.

Can anyone recommend something with a similar size, that would still have a significant increase in performance over the N520, and comes complete with quality fans (don't mind buying 1 if the price is good). Personal exp. and reputable benchies are appreciated.

Thank in advance!
post #2 of 16

Thermaltake Frio fits your request & is popular for overclockers.

    
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post #3 of 16
Any H-series cooler from Corsair or an Antec Kuhler can give similar performance compared to the big dogs (big air does win tho) with a (relatively) smaller footprint on the motherboard (you still have to look for a 120mm hole to place it).

There are close to no worries to have these premade water loops, they're almost leak-proof, and if they do, and it's proven it was not any modding or abuse on your side, they can even replace the parts that got damaged. I have a H50 and H70, bought both used, and up until now they have not given me the slightest issue.

There are other air coolers, like the Thermaltake Frio, or the mighty CM 212+ tho. Just look around.
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post #4 of 16
+1 to both Eerazer and Starbombas suggestions.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your quick replies!

I was thinking about the H-series coolers, but I read so many mixed reviews. They are noisy (as long as it doesn't sound like a jet, its fine), they do not cool as well as high end Air, etc... I do like the fact they they are mounted at a case fan port, makes it look nice and clean. One site has them beating out high end air, and another has them keeping up with mid-range air... Good to hear a good experience from a user!

The Frio looks pretty formidable for the price.

I know I am in Air cooling but what do you guys recommend: H50, H60, H70, H80? H100 is too big for me lol!
post #6 of 16
I have tried H50 and H70, but they seem to have been EOL'd by Corsair in favor of the H60/H80/H100. You can find them used on the Marketplace for pretty decent prices (my H50 was $45 and H70 was $65 with all accessories minus TIM). Both are pretty decent coolers actually, My H50 kept my ol' i3 OC at a frosty 65c at full load, and my H70 kept it at 60c. With a bit more of speed on the CPU, my H70 keeps my CPU at 71c on full load. This is with 28-32c ambient temps.

The H80 looks decent enough, and is almost the same as the H70, cooling-wise. H60 has too thin a rad (you could compare it to the H50) and considering your quad would emit more heat than my i3, they're out of the equation unless you have under 28c ambient temps.

My H50 and H70 aren't so noisy and the included fans are pretty nice, but of course you can get better fans. Unless you have a huge budget to afford a couple AP-15's, my vote for best fan would go to the Yate Loon medium speed, better performance than the Corsair fans with roughly the same noise profile. Plus you can get 4 for the cost of a single AP-15.

If you wish to go air but you do not want the big dogs, there are alternatives. With a couple of good fans, and some googling, you could get a Thermalright Ultima 90. Small but hella good cooler with pretty nice reviews, with 2 120mm fans ghetto modded to it i could keep my i3 on 75c.

One of the old-school but still good air coolers is the Thermalright CoGage True Spirit, with some pretty nice reviews and a saner price tag, and the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, which was even benched with a C2Q and came out hella good. Plus it's one of the best bang-for-buck air coolers.
Edited by Starbomba - 10/7/11 at 9:12pm
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks again Starbomba!

And thanks all! this is plenty of info to make a good decision. Funny the Hyper 212+ temps were actually higher than the N520

I doubt I will ever hear my CPU cooler over my GPU and 4 case fans so its no biggie.

Thanks again!
post #8 of 16
The "big dogs" are no taller than the Frio, etc. To go where you're going, you want a top cooler. Since you are - like me - using an As.s motherboard, I'd recommend a solution with PWM fans. That leaves you with the Silver Arrow.

Another option is the HR-02 Macho. It uses the same fans.

Thermalright is making changes to the Archon. It has introduced the TY-150 fan. It may be doing the same thing with the Silver Arrow, so inventories may be tight ATM.
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post #9 of 16
Just as a tip, if you install a Silver Arrow - I find it is easier to install if you do not use those god awful screws with springs on them, instead use the ones you removed out of the board. They are just the right length to fit the cooler properly and will not hinder the install nearly as much as those spring screws will.
    
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks again All!

I ran into a few snags...

I have an Antec 902 V2 case. The more I try to update my rig, the more I regret that purchase.

I was partial to the TR Archon; top notch air cooling in a more slender design. Unfortunately, it is 170.25mm tall!! I was even considering cutting holes in the side window to accommodate the heat pipe tips, but the fan might reach just as tall.

I also have Mushkin Ascent ram that is 41mm tall, meaning I would have to raise the front fan a bit (Silver arrow), but I could also mount the 2 fans at mid and rear... From what I read, the best way to mount the SA in a 902 is front and rear fan, because the mid fan is too tall due to the bolt in the middle.

I am just unsure as to any purchases other than top-of-the-line air, because of the potentially minimal performance increases over the N520.

I really want to consider closed loop water, but I have read so many experiences of pump failure, leaks, fluid degradation, etc...

Thanks soooo much for your input. Keep it coming!!! Eventually the light bulb will come on!
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