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Recommended CPU Coolers for mATX, LGA 1155? UPDATED 3/22

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
THREAD UPDATED 3/22

I'm looking to replace my stock Intel LGA 1155 HSF for my i5-2500K just because it's noisy and load temps can get quite toasty!
If you have any additional HSF recommendations, please post!

Q1: Is it better to have a tower-style cooler mounted horizontally to exhaust air upwards out of my case? Or is it better to use a low-profile-style cooler like the Geminii S (http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=3263)?

I don't have a rear exhaust fan, but I do have two 120mm exhaust fans at the top of my case (see the pictures below)

Current Recommendations:
Noctua NH-U9B SE2 - very nice, the heatsink size is ideal but the fans don't match my color scheme; replacing the fans would defeat the purpose
Thermolabs BADA - very nice, but the heatsink is just a tad bit too tall for my build
Havik 140 - the 140 and the 120 are a bit too big for my build
Hyper 212/TX3/Corsair A70 - nice but fairly plain looking.. I'd like eye candy in addition to functionality

Components for HSF Clearance Consideration:
1. mATX Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 motherboard - http://www.gigabyte.us/fileupload/product/2/3855/4283_big.jpg
2. mATX NZXT Vulcan - http://common.ziffdavisinternet.com/util_get_image/22/0,1425,sz=1&i=225944,00.jpg

HSF Preferences :
1. No closed-loop liquid coolers, e.g. Corsair H60, etc.
2. PWM fan(s), need something quiet yet powerful
3. If tower-style, cooler should be able to mount horizontally (airflow moving upwards)
4. Black/blue/white fan-blade color preferred; blue LED or no LED at all

Sorry for being so picky but this build is my baby!

If it helps any, here's inside shots of my case showing the space I have to work with. The SSD is definitely move-able, but I kind of like where it's situated.

450
700
Edited by mingqi53 - 3/22/12 at 7:10pm
post #2 of 13
My Thermolabs BADA let me get to 4.6ghz with no problem in my Vulcan. I've since upgraded to a Antec 920 for more overclocking headroom, but it was a great cooler for the money.

Buy at: http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=26272

Review at: http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2467

Edit: If you plan on running the side 200mm fan from NZXT the BADA is just a few millimeters too tall for it to fit without modifying the fan.
Edited by Thrall - 3/2/12 at 9:23pm
post #3 of 13

As you wish to keep the 35mm thick 200mm side panel fan, this limits the height of a cooler to 130mm which basically excludes many popular tower type cooler with 120mm fans.

So, a smaller tower with 92mm fan(s) should be sought as you already know.

 

For example, I recommend Noctua NH-U9B SE2 is 125mm tall. It can accommodate 2 fans for push-pull. This will allow you the option of using one or two fans.  The 2 fans, coupled with four 6mm heatpipes, should cool your i5 2500K effectively and fairly quietly.

 

See my simulation below showing how it fits on your Gigabyte Z68MA-D2H-B3 in your NZXT Vulcan.

 

The only drawback of this cooler is that the two included fans are not black/white/blue but beige.  But it does seem to match the colour of the RAM slots of the mobo.  So, it is not too bad.

 

NZXT-Vulcan-l-8.jpg

 

 

Product link

http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=32&lng=en&set=1

 

It sells at US$60.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608016

 


Edited by windfire - 3/3/12 at 3:50am
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
The Noctua you listed is nice, but I'm surprised it isn't a PWM fan like most others, but I'll definitely consider that as well
post #5 of 13
Are you looking to overclock the machine? If so, how far are you thinking about going? If you're not thinking about pushing it too far, this mini version of the hyper212+ might work:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103075
post #6 of 13
if not worries about height nzxt havik 140 is the way to go NZXT FTW.
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seagate 7200 rpm 320gb none nzxt havik 140 H60 with dwood bracket 
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrall View Post

Are you looking to overclock the machine? If so, how far are you thinking about going? If you're not thinking about pushing it too far, this mini version of the hyper212+ might work:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103075

Not really looking to OC in the immediate future, I'd just like to get my load temps down from the mid/upper 70C range
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrall View Post

Are you looking to overclock the machine? If so, how far are you thinking about going? If you're not thinking about pushing it too far, this mini version of the hyper212+ might work:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103075
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREG MISO View Post

if not worries about height nzxt havik 140 is the way to go NZXT FTW.

Having the 140 would be a tad bit large for my case, the 120 though may be able to fit. However at that price point there are plenty of other competitors that offer similar cooling results for a lower price. Thanks for the recommendation though!
post #8 of 13
hyper 212+ push pull or corsair a70
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
THREAD UPDATED 3/22

I'm looking to replace my stock Intel LGA 1155 HSF for my i5-2500K just because it's noisy and load temps can get quite toasty!

I purchased the Zalman CNPS5X Performa (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118128) but it won't fit my motherboard in a horizontal orientation because of the position of one of the chipset heatsinks that prevents one of the screw-locking mechanisms from working.

I'm tempted to get the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 recommended by windfire, but if I did I would replace the fans with PWM ones, and I'd also try to match my case's color scheme. I think that would defeat the purpose of spending top dollar for the Noctua if I didn't use the Noctua fans.

The only reason I haven't settled on the CM TX3 or Hyper 212+, etc., is because they are fairly plain looking.. I'd like some eye candy in addition to cooling power and low noise.

Are there any additional recommendations?
Edited by mingqi53 - 3/22/12 at 2:38pm
post #10 of 13
Possibly the Noctua NH-L12, though it hasn't been released (though patience doesn't seem to be an issue here). Low profile and pwm. A very nice pwm fan, at that.Probably in the $60-ish range if I had to guess. Edit: going by previous Noctua pre-listings on Amazon, I reckon it's gonna be out within a couple weeks.
Edited by Otterclock - 3/22/12 at 6:11pm
    
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