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Case, Heatsink, and Fan/s

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
First, the case.
I am looking at both mid and full ATX cases. I have heard good things about the stacker and cosmos, but I don't know which is best and I don't know why. I have also been looking at this Lian Li, which is a decent price as well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811112141
I'm really liking this one, with the mobo tray, a nice setup with the fans(6 120mm fans, pulling air across the board front to back).
Or maybe there is a Mid ATX equivalent that would save me some money.

Second, the heatsink.
Noctua NH-U12P or Thermalright Ultra Extreme. Both compare very closely. Very closely. TRUE is out of stock on newegg. How loud is the TRUE? Or is that simply dependent on the fan that it is used with? I've heard the Noctua is extremely quiet.

And last, the fans.
What is the best fan? I want the highest cfm with the lowest db. The Noctua NF-P12 (on the Noctua heatsink) runs about 20$. Any other good ones around? Depending which case and heatsink I select, will determine whether or not I will need more fans, etc.

Thanks!
    
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post #2 of 6
I'd go with Yate Loon or Scythe for the fans. The TRUE would be your best bet for cooler, and you can find it other places besides Newegg. You can't go wrong with that Lian Li, but the Cosmos is nice, cheaper, and has more fan placements, depending on how loud you want your rig to be. The Cosmos is supposedly still fairly quiet though with it's sound insulation.
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post #3 of 6
If you ask me, the case is more dependent on looks than anything else once you get to a certain point. You really can't go wrong with Lian-Li though, but I'd also throw the Silverstone Temjin TJ07 and TJ09 into the mix, since they're around the same price as that Lian-Li you picked out.

Regarding the heatsink, the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme is silent. Because it doesn't come with a fan. The noise is entirely dependent on what kind of fan you use. The NF-P12 that comes with the NH-U12P is a great fan, but I've found that the 1600RPM Scythe S-Flex fans are slightly better, since they're barely louder outside the case, but offer superior cooling (~2c), similar MTBF, and are cheaper. The Noctua is extremely quiet though, but me being a downdraft-cooling kind of guy I'd probably get the NH-C12P instead of the NH-U12P. Especially given the way my case is designed, since there's a vent right above a downdraft cooler for it to get cool air directly from.

And I sort of already covered the fan. The S-Flex SFF21F (1600RPM) are some of the best fans I've used. If you have a fan controller though, I strongly recommend the Panaflo H1, which is an exceptional fan that undervolts to very quiet speeds well, but also offers very impressive cooling at high speeds. Its noise profile is aggressive, but not high-pitched and annoying, so even at full speed it's not too bad.
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
How do fan controllers work exactly, I don't have any experience with them.
Any other recommendations, suggestions? Thanks for the comments so far.
    
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post #5 of 6
Hardware fan controllers are basically voltage regulators. They control how much voltage goes into the fan. The more voltage input, the more power goes into the fan, and the higher the RPMs (and therefore the more CFMs are generated).
    
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post #6 of 6
Cases are largely a matter of taste... of course there's build construction, material, price, cooling performance, etc. that I could comment on - but if you know how to assess those things, then all you're left with is looks and that's completely subjective

Considering that, I'll answer your other questions:

HSF

The TRUE, once lapped, pressure modded and paired with a good 120x38mm fan is easily the best air cooler out right now surpassing the Noctua by a decent bit, regardless what you've read from reviews

The issue that I personally have with the TRUE is what it takes to achieve such amazing cooling performance (and this isn't where I start talking about child labor, fair trade or implementation of orphan souls)... that is: dense fin structure and reasonably large width - the combination of the two makes a high CFM/high static pressure fan necessary to achieve the best performance... unless you're using a 120x38 pushing 90+CFM, the TRUE will only perform on par with much cheaper coolers... obviously, these sort of fans would not only be expensive but quite loud so the TRUE is not exactly the best choice if you're wanting quiet performance

This is sort of the reason I picked the IFX-14... the sparser fin structure as well as the dual tower setup allows for a large surface area without being so wide as to necessitate high CFM, high dBA, and expensive 120x38s... If you want cooling equivalent to the all mighty TRUE with a fraction of the noise, you'll want to look into the IFX-14

The fans

Neither the TRUE nor the IFX-14 comes with their own fan(s)... you'll have to purchase them yourself... For the TRUE, a 120x38 will be necessary as I've previously mentioned... look into Panaflows and Scythes with 90+CFM... as for the IFX-14, any 120x25(s) with 70+CFM will suffice...

The fan controller
They essentially work by using a PCB (of varying complexity) with the main component being potentiometers to regulate the voltage... it inputs 12V from a molex connector and distributes this to several outputs... the fans attach to these outputs and you use the potentiometers (knobs) to vary the voltage from 0-12V... less voltage to the fan = slower RPM = quieter

Personally, I believe the best balance of price to performance for a fan controller is the Sunbeam rheobus... they have 4 individual channels that support 20W (ie you can have 2-3 fans on each channel) and only cost about $15+shipping - very affordable
Edited by killa_concept - 6/27/08 at 4:23pm
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