Originally Posted by AlphaC
Zalman CNPS12X has fans that can't be swapped though ; Frio is supposedly very loud
,as is the Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme
Another reason to go with Phanteks or Noctua is the compatibility charts for motherboards
Seems the Logisys Deepcool Assassin/ Alpenfohn K2 tops the Silver Arrow and NH-D14
Makes you wonder if a Phanteks with Be Quiet Silent Wings would be the best overall (thermals, noise) and not look terrible doing so.
I've also heard the Frio is loud
But the Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme at the same temps as Silver Arrow SB-E is the same volume. If you want another 7c of cooler than it get louder as you go above 1300rpm.
That's the thing most reviews don't show. That the top cooling coolers only loose a few unneeded degrees of cooling to become quiet. I've ran Silver Arrow, Silver Arrow SB-E SE, Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme, Phanteks PH-TC14PE and Noctua NH-D14. on my 920 @ 3.55GHz and under full load 50c the fans run 1300rpm ish. If I let the heat go to low 60's they cool at about 1000rpm... not loud at all. I'm rendering right now and it's and fans are running 1050rpm.. just loud enough to hear under desk.
I can't decide what my favorite combo is SA SB-E Extreme or TC14PE with TY-143 fans.
Compatibility can be an issue with SA SB-E on occasion. But I've heard of people having problems with many of the big coolers and the top PCI slot. Even TC14PE fan clips on occasion.