Overclock.net › Forums › Cooling › Air Cooling › [Guide] Temperatures, Heatsinks, Fans, Monitoring, and More!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

[Guide] Temperatures, Heatsinks, Fans, Monitoring, and More!

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
The amount of new threads daily about Air Cooling is reaching an incredible level in the Intel section. The goal of this guide is to answer a lot of the common questions people have about high temperatures, good heatsinks, what programs to use, and many others. This is an ongoing guide. If you have any suggestions on how to make this guide better, PM me or post here and I will add it.

Topic 1: The Basics

A cool processor is a happy processor. This is especially important when overclocking to avoid pushing your chip too far which can lead to throttling. When overclocking you want to use your common sense. If you're chip is at 85c, you are too hot. As a general rule, try to keep it under 75c, although generally speaking you shouldn't have a problem until you start throttling.

Processor temperatures depend a lot on ambient temperatures. The definition of an ambient temperature is the temperature of your surroundings. For example, the room your computer is in. This may sound like common sense, but many people have asked about this before. The lower the temperature in your room, the cooler the air being sucked through your heatsink fins and the cooler your processor stays. Always try to keep your room cool, and try to avoid putting your computer by a window or a heating vent where warm air could come through. During the summer when the Air condition is on, you might want to consider putting your computer right by your AC vent in order to feed the case with cool air. One thing people do during the winter is put their case next to a window, and either leave it open (Yes, your room would be very cold), or use a big AC hose found at Home Depot to lead cool air into their intake on their case. If you think this is extreme, you probably haven’t explored the Overclock.net forums enough.

Topic 2: Case layout and fan positioning - How do I feed cool air into my case efficiently?

A lot of this has to do with the kind of case you use. Most cases now a day come with an exhaust fan in the back of the case and one or more intake fans in the front of the case. Older cases featured the side panel fan, which was mostly only effective when you used a heatsink that sat flat on the motherboard, such as the Intel C2D stock heatsink. Some people also use this to keep their video cards cooler. Most well known cases now come with intake fans on the front. One popular example is the Antec Nine Hundred. It has two 120mm intake fans in the front of the case. These fans are very effective when using a heatsink that hangs off the motherboard, because it creates a constant flow through the case and the air is expelled out the back.

Something that has gotten very popular in recent years is the front facing heatsink. It hangs off the motherboard and is parallel to the front and back of your case. Some popular heatsinks that use this concept are the ThermalRight Ultra 120 and the Tuniq Tower. The most effective heatsinks use this concept. An older concept is a heatsink that sits flat on the motherboard. This is seen on the Intel C2D stock cooler and many older P4 coolers. This is much less effective because the air that is sucked in has no where to escape. It basically hits a “wall” and is forced out sideways creating inefficient airflow.




One thing a user can do is purchase a case that features good airflow with no modification. As stated before, the Antec Nine Hundred is a great option as well as the CoolerMaster 690, both featuring strong intake fans. Another option is to switch out the stock fans for something a bit stronger. Take to mind though that the higher the airflow, the louder the fan. One popular fan is the Scythe SlipStream series, or the Yate Loons. Both have high airflow ratings (CFM) with relatively low noise ratings(DBA). The posted ratings can not always be trusted, however. One such example are the SilenX fans, which are in fact WAY louder than their posted DBA ratings. Be sure to read reviews.


There is one thing about case airflow that many people forget about. The amount of air taken in to the case should more or less equal the amount taken out. Don’t use high powered fans for intake and low powered fans for exhaust. That is inefficient.

Topic 3: Which Heatsink is right for me?

This is mostly based on price. If the user has a good amount of money to spend, one can never go wrong purchasing a ThermalRight Ultra 120 Extreme. Pair it with a good fan and it can beat out cheap watercooling. Another option is the Tuniq Tower or Xigmatek HDT-S1283. All 3 heatsinks are of relatively equal performance, with the TRUE on top, followed by the Xigmatek and then the Tuniq, also this may be argued based on individual experience.

A user has to take to mind that these coolers are HUGE. They are made to fit in Mid-Tower cases, but some of the smaller Mid-Tower cases may have trouble fittnig these coolers.. Have a look at the manufacturer websites or the Newegg specifications page to find the height of your case and the height of the cooler. Be sure to calculate in the height of the motherboard + motherboard standoffs + processor. That is about 3-5 centimeters.

For those in the market for cheaper heatsinks, some great alternatives are the Arctic Cooler Freezer 7 Pro, or the OCZ Vanquisher. Both are essentially of the same build, and both are in the lower price range.

There is one more thing to consider when buying a heatsink. Do you really need a TRUE or a Tuniq? There are 3 things to think about when you ask yourself that question. What kind of processor are you going to be using? Quad Cores produce substantially more heat than a dual core C2D or single core Celeron. The next question is: Will I be overclocking? If yes, then a better cooler is definitely needed. The third: 65nm or 45nm? With the 45nm chips producing much less heat than the 65nm, many users have no need for a humongous heatsink like the TRUE. An Arctic Cooler 7 would be fine in this situation for a moderate overclock.

Topic 4: I keep reading the term “lapped”. What does this mean and how do I do it?

Lapping is a concept many people use to make the base of their heatsink and processors extremely flat. Many times the bases out of the factory come very rough and uneven, many times completely concave. Lapping is essentially rubbing the base of the heatsink onto sandpaper and sanding away all of the uneven metal. It is a long a tedious process, but it can lead to a pretty substantial temperature decrease if done correctly.

To begin lapping you first have to buy a lapping kit. A lapping kit usually comes with glass which is used for the flat surface to rub against, and about 6-8 sheets of sandpaper of different grit. Cheap kits can be found at easypckits, with or without glass.
The most popular way of lapping is drawing patterns on the heatsink base with a sharpie marker which is later used to determine how far you have sanded down and if you are doing it evenly. A great explanation of this method is found in this thread. Push and pull the base of the heatsink along the sandpaper, rotating it 90 degrees every 2 minutes or so. When you see that the first stage has removed a good bit of metal, move on to the next grit. More is explained in the thread link posted above.

Topic 5: Thermal compound

I see this question many times and the answer is always different. The temperature difference between stock cooling compound and after market can be pretty big (~5c), but the difference between two different aftermarket compounds is minimal. (~2c at best). The most popular compound is Arctic Silver 5, known as AS5. It is relatively cheap and works great. Some other alternatives that are also fantastic and are slightly better than AS5 are the Shin Etsu compounds and OCZ Freeze, thought this is arguable also. Another popular alternative is Arctic MX-2.

Extension of Topic 5: Which thermal paste should I use, and how do I apply it?

There are many methods of doing this. When applying thermal paste, remember one main thing. The smaller the amount, the better. If using Arctic Silver 5, it is best to follow the manufacturer instructions seen here. Overloading thermal compound is something you don’t want to do.

These are well known methods of applying thermal paste:

  • The line method. It was first introduced by Arctic Silver for dual and quad cores. This method is very hard to apply because producing a line that thin is tricky. See image here.
  • The dot method. You put a half a BB sized ball in the center of the cpu and let the heatsink squish it down. See image here.
  • The spread method. Put a small dot in the center of the cpu, as mentioned above, but spread it around with your finger. It is suggested that you put some clear kitchen wrap on your finger first. See image here.

Topic 6: What program should I use to monitor my temperature. Are these programs accurate?

The most popular programs for monitoring your temperatures are CoreTemp, RealTemp, Everest, and SpeedFan. The most used are RealTemp and CoreTemp. It is suggested that you use RealTemp for 45nm chips such as the E8400 and E7200, and also the 45nm quads. CoreTemp should be used for 65nm chips.

The accuracy of temperature monitoring programs has been questioned ever since they were released. The temperatures the program reads are based on a set number called the TjMax. Intel never released official numbers of TjMax values for C2D and Quad Core Cpu's, so the developers of the programs had to use TjMax values from mobile processors to assume values for desktop processors. Although values are never going to be exactly correct, they come pretty close. If you notice variation between programs, stick to what I said above. RealTemp for 45nm, CoreTemp for 65nm.

Topic 7: My temperatures are high, what could be causing this and how do I fix it?

The answer to this question is pretty much in the previous 4 topics of this guide.

  • Your ambient temperatures are high. Warm air is being fed into your case which is in turn not doing much in terms of cooling the fins on the heatsink. Turn the AC on.
  • Your airflow is inefficient. Review fan placement in your case and see if everything is where it should be. Refer to step 2 of the guide for more information.
  • You are using the stock heatsink or a very bad aftermarket heatsink. Buy something better or live with your high temperatures.
  • You mounted your heatsink incorrectly. Many times using push pin heatsinks, one of the pins may not go in causing bad contact between the base of the heatsink and the processor. Re mount.
  • You used too much or too little thermal paste. My guess it too much. Review the application methods and see if you did it correctly.

Topic 8: My fans are loud, how do I quiet them down?


There are 2 things one can do to lower the noise a fan makes, one method costs money, the other doesn't if you have the correct tools.

Method 1: Cut away fan grills, or remove any parts of the case in front of a fan that would cause air resistance. Example: The exhaust fan grill, or the 5 inch bay mesh in the front of the case. Air resistance is what makes most of the noise you hear coming from your case. This method is the free method, given that you have the correct tools. (Dremel or Tin Snips)

Method 2: Buy a fan controller. This device works by limiting the amount of power that goes to the fan by either a dial or switch. One very popular fan controller is the Sunbeam Rheobus.

Topic 9: Recommended list of hardware

Heatsinks:


Expensive:
ThermalRight Ultra 120 Extreme
ThermalRight IFX-14
Tuniq Tower
OCZ Vendetta 2
Xigmatek HDT-S1283

Lower End/Less expensive:
Arctic Cooler Freezer 7 Pro
OCZ Vanquisher

Fans:

High CFM:
Scythe UltraKaze -133 CFM - 46 DBA
High Powered Scythe SlipStream - 88 CFM - 33 DBA
Sunon High Performance - 90 CFM - 44.5 DBA
ThermalTake A2368 - 78 CFM - 21 DBA(Check reviews. DBA looks to be low.)
YateLoon D12SH-12 High Power - 88 CFM - 40 DBA

Lower CFM:
Low Powered Scythe SlipStream - 40 CFM - 11 DBA
Medium Powered Scythe SlipStream - 68 CFM - 24 DBA
YateLoon D12SH-12 Low Power - 47 CFM - 28 DBA

Cases for Good Airflow:
Antec Nine Hundred - 2 120mm front intake, 1 120mm back exhaust, 1 200mm top exhaust
CoolerMaster 690 - 1 120mm front intake, 1 120mm back exhaust, 1 120mm side intake


That’s it for now. I will hopefully add more later but for now this should help a lot of people.


PM me or post here for suggestions please!

Edited by Retrospekt - 12/26/08 at 6:56pm
FX Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8320e Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P Sapphire R9 380 4GB 2x8GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 240GB SSD HGST 4TB Storage DVD-RW Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 x64 AOC 27" 1080p Corsair CX750m Corsair 200R 
Audio
Asus Xonar DS 
  hide details  
Reply
FX Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8320e Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P Sapphire R9 380 4GB 2x8GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 240GB SSD HGST 4TB Storage DVD-RW Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 x64 AOC 27" 1080p Corsair CX750m Corsair 200R 
Audio
Asus Xonar DS 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 45
Thread Starter 
This is still pretty rough. I'm going to be adding lists of reccomended heatsinks, fans, and thermal compounds to make it a little more organized. Suggestions always welcome.
FX Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8320e Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P Sapphire R9 380 4GB 2x8GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 240GB SSD HGST 4TB Storage DVD-RW Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 x64 AOC 27" 1080p Corsair CX750m Corsair 200R 
Audio
Asus Xonar DS 
  hide details  
Reply
FX Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8320e Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P Sapphire R9 380 4GB 2x8GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 240GB SSD HGST 4TB Storage DVD-RW Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 x64 AOC 27" 1080p Corsair CX750m Corsair 200R 
Audio
Asus Xonar DS 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 45
You should mention lapping. Otherwise, it looks good so far.

Time Sink
(21 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k ASUS Sabertooth Z77 EVGA GTX 670 FTW G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung F3 1TB Crucial C300 128GB Corsair Force GT 60GB Noctua NH-U12P 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Windows 8.1 Professional x64 Apple OS X Mavericks HP ZR24w LG IPS226V 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow Seasonic X750 Lian-Li PC-A05B Logitech M500 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Mionix Propus 380 Zero USB DAC (2009 Version) Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 Beyerdynamic DT990 600ohm 
Audio
Shure SRH-840 
  hide details  
Reply
Time Sink
(21 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k ASUS Sabertooth Z77 EVGA GTX 670 FTW G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung F3 1TB Crucial C300 128GB Corsair Force GT 60GB Noctua NH-U12P 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Windows 8.1 Professional x64 Apple OS X Mavericks HP ZR24w LG IPS226V 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow Seasonic X750 Lian-Li PC-A05B Logitech M500 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Mionix Propus 380 Zero USB DAC (2009 Version) Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 Beyerdynamic DT990 600ohm 
Audio
Shure SRH-840 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalKenny View Post
You should mention lapping. Otherwise, it looks good so far.

Great idea, I completely forgot about that.
FX Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8320e Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P Sapphire R9 380 4GB 2x8GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 240GB SSD HGST 4TB Storage DVD-RW Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 x64 AOC 27" 1080p Corsair CX750m Corsair 200R 
Audio
Asus Xonar DS 
  hide details  
Reply
FX Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8320e Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P Sapphire R9 380 4GB 2x8GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 240GB SSD HGST 4TB Storage DVD-RW Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 x64 AOC 27" 1080p Corsair CX750m Corsair 200R 
Audio
Asus Xonar DS 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 45
Maybe what fans are good with what coolers too...
Time Sink
(21 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k ASUS Sabertooth Z77 EVGA GTX 670 FTW G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung F3 1TB Crucial C300 128GB Corsair Force GT 60GB Noctua NH-U12P 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Windows 8.1 Professional x64 Apple OS X Mavericks HP ZR24w LG IPS226V 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow Seasonic X750 Lian-Li PC-A05B Logitech M500 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Mionix Propus 380 Zero USB DAC (2009 Version) Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 Beyerdynamic DT990 600ohm 
Audio
Shure SRH-840 
  hide details  
Reply
Time Sink
(21 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k ASUS Sabertooth Z77 EVGA GTX 670 FTW G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung F3 1TB Crucial C300 128GB Corsair Force GT 60GB Noctua NH-U12P 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Windows 8.1 Professional x64 Apple OS X Mavericks HP ZR24w LG IPS226V 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow Seasonic X750 Lian-Li PC-A05B Logitech M500 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Mionix Propus 380 Zero USB DAC (2009 Version) Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 Beyerdynamic DT990 600ohm 
Audio
Shure SRH-840 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 45
Maybe some talk about how a heatpipes work, and the concept behind the heatpipe touch coolers (thats commonly misunderstood i've found), and maybe also give some basic cooler design info (like closely spaced fins usually indicate that it performs better with a fan that has higher static pressure, while wider spacing usually indicates that it is optimized for lower airflow). Lots of talk goes on about those little details in this forum.

this looks great, this should help out alot of people.
post #7 of 45
You forgot to mention the IFX-14... on par with TRUE but needs less CFM and static pressure to achieve good results due to sparser fin density

Also the OCZ Vendetta 2 and Sunbeamtech core contact freezer are in the same boat as the tuniq and xigmatek
post #8 of 45
Great thread, very informative! This is going to answer a lot of questions.

Personally, I think you, adrienspawn, and wierdo 124 should work together to get one huge everything guide for this section of OCN.

Adrienspawn's thread, http://www.overclock.net/air-cooling...r-warning.html, and wierdo124's thread, http://www.overclock.net/air-cooling...right-you.html, and your thread together would make a great FAQ/guide.

These three threads need to get stickied or at least make one super thread! They're all very good!
Edited by Rpg2 - 6/28/08 at 2:43am
Sinking Box
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 2500k 4.8Ghz 1.37v ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 ASUS HD5850 955/1250 8GB G.Skill Snipers 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
2x Western Digital 640GB Caviar Blacks RAID 0 XSPC Rasa + RX360 Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit Sharp 32" 1080p LCD HDTV 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Illuminated Keyboard Corsair HX620 Corsair Obsidian 700D Logitech G3 Mouse 
  hide details  
Reply
Sinking Box
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 2500k 4.8Ghz 1.37v ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 ASUS HD5850 955/1250 8GB G.Skill Snipers 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
2x Western Digital 640GB Caviar Blacks RAID 0 XSPC Rasa + RX360 Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit Sharp 32" 1080p LCD HDTV 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Illuminated Keyboard Corsair HX620 Corsair Obsidian 700D Logitech G3 Mouse 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 45
Nice job! Lays out the essentials quite nicely.

Worthy of being stickied IMO.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 G0 @ 3.6GHz (lapped) EVGA 780i SLI FTW @ 1600MHz FSB 2 x EVGA 8800GTX 768MB (SLI) @ 625/1500/2000MHz 2x2GB G.Skill PC2-8000 PQ @ 800MHz (linked to FSB) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x160GB WD RAID 0, 750GB Samsung Spinpoint F1 LITE-ON 20X SATA DVD/CD RW Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Viewsonic VA2702w 27" LCD 1920x1080 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Value 100 (beer magnet) Corsair TX 750W Cooler Master ATCS 840 Logitech SBF-90 (cheapest one on Newegg) 
Mouse Pad
Some kinda rubber thing (beer magnet) 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Q6600 G0 @ 3.6GHz (lapped) EVGA 780i SLI FTW @ 1600MHz FSB 2 x EVGA 8800GTX 768MB (SLI) @ 625/1500/2000MHz 2x2GB G.Skill PC2-8000 PQ @ 800MHz (linked to FSB) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x160GB WD RAID 0, 750GB Samsung Spinpoint F1 LITE-ON 20X SATA DVD/CD RW Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Viewsonic VA2702w 27" LCD 1920x1080 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Value 100 (beer magnet) Corsair TX 750W Cooler Master ATCS 840 Logitech SBF-90 (cheapest one on Newegg) 
Mouse Pad
Some kinda rubber thing (beer magnet) 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 45
Thread Starter 
Added a lapping and a "Reccomended Hardware" section. I need some help compiling hardware for that one. I just got the basic well known ones so far.
FX Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8320e Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P Sapphire R9 380 4GB 2x8GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 240GB SSD HGST 4TB Storage DVD-RW Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 x64 AOC 27" 1080p Corsair CX750m Corsair 200R 
Audio
Asus Xonar DS 
  hide details  
Reply
FX Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8320e Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P Sapphire R9 380 4GB 2x8GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 240GB SSD HGST 4TB Storage DVD-RW Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 x64 AOC 27" 1080p Corsair CX750m Corsair 200R 
Audio
Asus Xonar DS 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Air Cooling
Overclock.net › Forums › Cooling › Air Cooling › [Guide] Temperatures, Heatsinks, Fans, Monitoring, and More!