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Ryzen 1800x with Nofan's CR-95C passive cpu cooler

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
UPDATE: This did not work well for me, certainly not for controlling high temps during stress testing(!)

I thought I'd create a thread for this particular combo, using Nofan's now years old CR-95C cpu cooler, to try passively cool my Ryzen 1800x cpu.

My main motivation is getting to have a completely silent case, so ideally I want to keep the number of fans to a minimum. I have some parts still on its way so I can't complete a build today.

A bonus, is that I get to have an 8 core cpu, and with a new mobo, I get to have some RGB LED lighting going on inside the case, visible through the case window.

The setup:
(✔) Case: Fractal Design Refine S w. window
(✔) Mobo: Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero (AM4/ semi-AM3)
(✔) Psu: Seasonic 520FL (520W, fanless)
(✔) Ram: G.Skill Flare X, 2x8GB, 3200MHz, CL14 (F4-3200C14D-16GFX)
(✔) SSD: Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD (250 GB)
(✔) Gfx card: ASUS Radeon RX 480 8GB ROG Strix Gaming (OC)
(✔) Cablemod's sleeved wires in white (basic cable kit, for Seasonic)
(✔) OS: M$' Win10 Pro (usb) (for gaming only, as Microsoft can't be trusted)

The main idea, is to have the heat from inside the cabinet, to vent up top, and I guess some might vent out at the top back side through the grills. Depending on how this ends up working, I might consider adding some kind of lid on top, that offer partial ventilation for convection, so as to not have it completely open. Alternatively, have a custom dust filter on top, though that might hinder the airflow a little bit.

What I have learned so far 1:
The older CR-95C passive cooler from Nofan, fits with an AM3 bracket. So I bought an AM3 backplate + AM3 bracket in one package off eBay. However, the AM3 bracket in plastic, DOES NOT fit the Crosshair VI Hero board by default. So I cut away the offending plastic on one of the sides on the bracket, with about 1.5 mm space left, around some capacitors close to the AM4 cpu socket. Because of how the plastic bracket have four holes that align with the sturdy metal backplate (came with insulating sheet of platic), in hindsight I might as well have chosen to cut off the sides of the bracket to make it really easy for myself.

What I have learned so far 2:
At this point in time, I have yet to find out for certain, if the CR-95C cooler fits snugly against the heatspreader of the 1800x cpu. It sort of looks like the cooler might be bumping against the fancy plastic on the motherboard, though that fancy plastic do flex by about 2mm when I push on it with my finger, so I will simply assume that the cooler will go on without any trouble. I do want to do a test fitting, by applying TIM and then seat the cooler properly onto the heatspreader and tighten the four screws properly. Then, I'll disassemble the cooler and look at how the past has spread out.

What I have learned so far 3:
Although I did not intend to have a bunch of RGB LED effects, I luckily ended up with a combo of items that make for some nice lighting effects. I am thinking that I might not want an RGB LED light strip in addition to the rest, if the existing LED's offer enough lighting.

• The Crosshair VI Hero board, has RGB lighting on the left side with text saying "Crosshair VI" and a strip of light that seem to shine down onto the mobo. There is also LED lighting on the right side, and somehow, what looks like maybe is a reflective sticker, seem to reflect the LED lighting, and show this colorful ROG logo.

• The Asus ROG Rx480 card, seem to have a nice looking backplate, with LED lighting on the backplate, for showing up a large lit ROG logo. The card also has LED lighting facing downwards, and probably a little bit here and there as well on the sides. Unsure.

What I have learned so far 4:
The Psu I chose, is 160mm deep, which seem to be the maximum allowed, for having any space left at all, for adding a 140mm fan at the bottom. In my case, I have to first plug the cables into the Psu, THEN, mount the 140mm fan at the bottom, else, there isn't space to insert or remove power cables at all.

What I have learned so far 5:
Removal of the AM4 backplate was easy. Apparently, there is a mild adhesive on the entire AM4 backplate that came with the mobo. Simply placing a small flat screwdriver in turn at each corner, giving it a gentle bend and holding it, I could hear the adhesive come un-glue after a few seconds. I could then remove the backplate by hand.

What I have learned so far 6:
After inserting the 1800x cpu into the AM4 socket, I measured the height from mobo surface to top of heatspreader, to be about 8mm.

The manufacturer of the CR-95C cooler on their website, says that there is 40mm space between the mobo surface and the cooler. I measured that distance to be about 39mm, though maybe I did something wrong. Given that the Flare X sticks is said to be 40mm tall, I expect some trouble, and I guess I might have to shorten the top of the heatsink on the new ramsticks.

The Asus ROG Rx480 gfx card came today, and having heard the TIM was so bad, I decided to apply some new thermal paste. After unscrewing 4+2 screws the cooler part could be lifted off, with some wiring left at the one end. Looking at the heatpreader, they had apparently globbed on a lot of TIM, and lots of TIM spilled out around the contact surface of the GPU core. I applied some heh old Zalman ZM-STG1, and I can only hope that stuff doesn't go out of date. I wanted to apply a rice grain, but the zalman came with a bottle and a brush. My older Noctua paste syringes, seemed hard to work with, so I decided against applying my old Noctua paste. What had me puzzled, was the way the whole thing screwed back on. There did not seem to be that much pressure, and I can only hope my thermal paste is sufficiently squeezed between the cooler and the cpu core surface.

What I have learned so far 7:
I have attached the ROG Rx480 card onto the mobo, and I see now that the gfx card covers up the M.2 slot entirely, such that the M.2 SSD I plan to put there won't be visible at all through the window. I will have to take the card off again, to insert the Samsung 960 Evo M.2 device. Presumably, the GPU fans will cool down the M.2 device, hopefully having those two components so close together will solve any issue with heat coming from the M.2 device there.

What I have learned so far 8:
At night, if I leave the PSU powered on, the RGB LED lights on the mobo still works, and the LED lights apparently cast a "pulsating" pattern up in my ceiling. smile.gif I guess, if I add a RGB LED light strip, that effect will be enhanced I am thinking. So when I look up in the ceiling at night, I see a strip of light, with some kind of honey comb pattern stretching from one side of the ceiling to the other.

What I have learned so far 9:
So, I plugged in the new Asus ROG Rx480 card into the mobo yesterday, in that SECOND PCI-E slot, though the RGB LED's on the card doesn't light up. Only one white light on the card is lit. I hope this is not indicative of the card not working in slot #2. Note, I have yet to boot up the mobo, because I still haven't gotten the rest of the stuff for the build. Hopefully, once the machine boots up, the gfx card, will light up its RGB LED's when the PSU is powered on, just like the mobo does. :| UPDATE: I moved the card to the x16 PCI-E slot, and the LED lights still don't turn on. Which is good I guess, hopefully the LED's will light up once the machine get to boot up once or twice later on.

What I have learned so far 10:
Using "Flashback" to flash my 0902 bios to 1002 bios, took three minutes.

What I have learned so far 11:
Installing the 250 GB large M.2 SSD was undramatic. However, when I installed it the first time, I did not use the standoff screw. Seeing how the M.2 SSD drive ended up being bent downwards a little, I reseated the SSD drive and used the offset screw that came with the Crosshair VI Hero board (small anonymous bag). With the standoff screw used, the M.2 SSD drive is aligned with the mobo and presumably offer "optimal" airflow around the device (as opposed to when being somewhat bent downwards).

What I have learned so far 12:
My Cablemods sleeved cables finally shipped and arrived shortly after. smile.gif

Edit: I bought some acrylic wire holders on eBay, but that was a waste of money! Seems like they sold me stuff not meant for sale, because the dimension were so off, they were basically useless. Also, buyer/eBay removed the listing, so I can't complain on eBay either, and I don't want to return the items.
Edited by Decoman - 5/12/17 at 2:35am
post #2 of 56
I like your sketchy AM4 bracket idea
subbed!
Looking forward to the pics those coolers are beautiful! thumb.gif
im being lazy is this the brass (gold) or the aluminum (silver) model?
i think the RGB strip is a great idea if you can get it low enough to spread light over the HUGE cooler.
Good luck man hopefully this is the first fully passive heatsync on ryzen!
possible sticky? biggrin.gif
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post #3 of 56
Thread Starter 
Here's a photo of the AM3 bracket I cut some platic off from. Fairly simple. Only afterwards did I realize I probably don't need the thing to say in a rectangular shape, as the bracket aligns with the backplate anyway;







Below is the mightly large CR-95C cooler. It wasn't screwed on when I took the photo.The plastic on that heatsink, is colored much darker, but appear white in this photo.
(Notice how the cooler is covering the x16 PCI-E slot.)





As for the CR-95C cooler, I have the so called "black" variant. The "brass" color one is no longer being made I read on Nofan's website recently. That cooler has a plastic piece, and that plastic piece it is colored sort of dark gray.
Edited by Decoman - 3/31/17 at 7:47am
post #4 of 56
Hi Decoman !
Thanks for this thread !
I am planning to do soon something similar - a fanless desktop with ryzen.
So :
1. Please keep keep us updated with your advance and photos.
2. Can you please make some tests to see at what temperatures is Ryzen 1800X and CR-95C reaching ?
3. What do you think about Streacom DB4 ?
4. My first completly fanless desktop (from 2014) -which I still use- is a A10-7850k with
- Scythe Orochi ~ 59 $
- picoPSU-160-XT (for me Seasonic 520FL or 400FL were too expensive at least at that time ) this was 46 $ - which I got as a giftcard from AMD (I did some reviews some years ago for them)
- 12 v 20 A power supply 20 $
- G1.Sniper A88X
- 16 Gb DDR3 (4x4Gb)
- 128 Gb SSD (Samsung 830)







Good luck ! biggrin.gif
post #5 of 56
Thread Starter 
That "Streacom DB4" case costs about $350 where I live. Never heard of it before, looks interesting. smile.gif A reviewer points out that one would be wise to use the gpu built into the cpu, for such a cabinet, mobo being mini-ITX, which I guess is the smallest mobo possible afaik (I am no expert though). I might get this cabinet the next time I do a build. smile.gif

Btw, the Seasonic 520 FL (fanless) PSU, must be positioned horizontally, so according to the manual, one shouldn't/musn't position that PSU vertically, as the heat is supposed to rise one way, upwards, which isn't possible when that psu is in a non horizontal position.

Edit: Btw, looking for filter mesh, I accidentally found this article that has a photo of some mesh like case (2012):
https://www.cnet.com/news/green-mesh-open-air-pc-case-is-magically-dust-free/

Edit2: Oh, wow. According to this video review, the cpu in the Streacom DB4 case is connected to one of the aluminium walls of the cabinet, for cooling. smile.gif
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxHPdoHNRDM
Edited by Decoman - 3/29/17 at 2:37am
post #6 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasj90 View Post

I like your sketchy AM4 bracket idea
subbed!

The ROG Crosshair VI Hero board does have holes for both AM4 and AM3. It is just that the AM3 plastic bracket won't fit by default. The AM3 backplate does fit ofc.
post #7 of 56
Thread Starter 
Apparently, the CR-95C screwed on nicely. Could be that there is no fitting issue at all. I have put on a new syringe of Noctua NT-H1 TIM, and I liked how nicer this new syringe of TIM was to use, than my 4-5 y.o. old syringe which I tried to use earlier but had to toss in the bin a few days ago when I reseated the fan/cooler on my Asus ROG Rx480 gfx card.



I will let this rest, tighten the screws a little, and then remove the cooler and look at the spreading of the TIM. I applied the TIM in a long strip vertically, along the two thingies (two clusters of cores?) that I know are found underneath the heatspreader. The two clusters are from I've seen of a photo showing a delidding, to be aligned with the "Ryzen" text on the cpu.

Looking closely at the image, you should be able to see the Samsung 960 Evo M.2 device attatched to the board. This M.2 SSD will be fully concealed by the graphics card later on. Don't forget to first screw on the stand off screw, to make the M.2 device align properly with the motherboard.

Heh, Goshdarnit, I should have taken a photo of the amount of TIM I applied, to make this a little more interesting to you.

Hrm. Cablemods have a 3-4 week delay on their orders. frown.gif I guess it is no big deal having to wait, as the cables are easy to change without much fuss, though I wish I could have it all ready once the ram sticks that I ordered arrive.

Edit: Wow. A local online store appear to get the Flare X sticks in stock, but not until May 8th?!? Lol, ***? I seriously hope that isn't indicative of a real product launch or something. I ordered my Flare X sticks from this other local online store, but they don't have it in stock, with no good clue as to when they will ship.
Edited by Decoman - 4/4/17 at 3:12am
post #8 of 56
Thread Starter 
Mistakes were made! When I unscrewed the cooler, what happened was that a couple of the bottom screws for the backplate were unscrewed. I guess I should try tighten the bottom screws more.

After removing the four top screws, I had to rotate the cooler in order to loosen the cooler from the heatspreader (to avoid simply try "ripping" the cooler it off):


(Open this image in a new tab, to look at a larger version)

Not sure what to think of this. It does look like the TIM was spread out good. Though, maybe I could try use a little bit less TIM, the next time when I re-seat the CR-95C cooler for good after installing the ram sticks.

Hmm, I fiddled a little at the start when screwing on the four top screws, and I wonder if maybe that could explain why the blob of thin TIM is somewhat off center in relation to the heatspreader on the cpu.

I should also be more careful the next time to make sure I screw on the four top screws, equally, to apply more equal pressure.

It should be pointed out here, that in this test, I did not screw the four top screws as hard as I could. I am not sure how hard I should tighten the top screws. Normally, I would tighten the screws until I could no longer tighten them more, but I did not do this here.
Edited by Decoman - 4/4/17 at 3:48am
post #9 of 56
Thread Starter 
I reapplied the TIM onto the Asus ROG R480 card, because I feared the old TIM I had used previously had become too hard. The newly purchased TIM seem more fluid than my 4-5 year old TIM I had in storage. I wish the syringe was better, because I have a little difficulty putting down the lol ideal blob of thermal paste.



This Rx480 card had existing thermal pads in place, and I hope repeated re-seatings of the cooler won't lessen the effect of the thermal pads. Unsure.

As I hold this Rx480 in my hand, I think I can see the offset screws for the four screws around the GPU core, though, it looks like the four screws aren't as tight against the PCB as they maybe should be. The four screws does not seem to stop against the stand off's which the screws go into. The screws won't go further in though. Either this is all very delicate, or maybe a washer on each screw would help the cooler fit more tightly against the GPU core. *shrugs* This isn't something I know much about.
Edited by Decoman - 4/4/17 at 4:21am
post #10 of 56
this thing is...... BIG eek.gif
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