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What helped you decide?

post #1 of 17
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I'm getting ready to make some cooling changes to my setup as the hot summer approaches. I have been doing a lot of reading and searching and have gone back and forth on my ideas a few times. At first I was convinced I was going to go with water cooling. It was something I wanted to try, but never really got around to it. But the more and more I kept reading about top end air coolers, the more it grabbed my interest. I have this hang up with my hobbies that I like to see a method I use to the end so that I can know I gave it my all before changing to a new way. So here I am, looking to squeeze the most out of air cooling.

Since I fold@home and have my equipment running at 100% a majority of the time, I have filled my case with fans to keep everything nice and cool. Since I was still undecided as to what I was going to do and Microcenter had a good sale I picked up a bunch of Coolermaster R4's for $5 a piece. While they have been doing a good job, as you may have guessed the noise is a bit much for the times I'm not hammering the system. I have ordered a Lamptron FC-5- V2 to see how much that will help. I'm also tossing around the idea of picking up some higher end case fans, but want to see how the controller does first since the performance of the CM's is not really a problem at the moment.

Which leads me to the question after all that setup...haha. I'm looking to upgrade my CPU cooler as well. Now I love the Hyper 212 and it does an amazing job. So much so that the one in my rig now will just be moved to my girlfriends PC (i5 2500K) when I pull it out. But when I set up to fold bigadv's I want to able to lower the other fans and have a heatsink that can remain as quiet as possible while still keeping the temps low on my OC'd Sandy. I also have the computer hooked to the TV in my office so when I pop a Blu Ray or stream Netflix I want the PC white noise to disappear. While I have been happy with the cooling of the Hyper 212, the fans are kicking up a little too much noise for my liking. So I've narrowed it down to the "major" 3 if you will: Noctua NH-D14, Thermalright Silver Arrow, and Prolimatech Super Mega with some YL, Noctua, or Prolimatech fans.

So for those out there have decided one of these (or one I have have left out), what helped you make the final decision? They all seem to test relatively close from what I have seen and people seem to love them. I'm just wondering what made you pick one over the other. I mean I know there have been times in the past I have bought one thing over the other because of brand preference, warranty, the fact that I could go pick one up locally, or even price. I just want to see what criteria others have used when picking a high end CPU heatsink to get some better insight from the OC community.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 17
While I don't own a Silver Arrow, I think it is the best of the ones you listed because it comes with 2 excellent fans which are also very quiet, even quieter than the Noctua. Also, several places have had them on sale recently in the $75 range.
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post #3 of 17
SA or D14....

I owned a Noctua for a while before switching to h2o

although idle temps are fairly close, load temps don't even come close between D14 and h2o
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheyster View Post
While I don't own a Silver Arrow, I think it is the best of the ones you listed because it comes with 2 excellent fans which are also very quiet, even quieter than the Noctua. Also, several places have had them on sale recently in the $75 range.
Yeah, I've seen some good prices on them as I have been poking around. While price is not a huge factor, I'd like to keep things as cost effective as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepahl318 View Post
SA or D14....

I owned a Noctua for a while before switching to h2o

although idle temps are fairly close, load temps don't even come close between D14 and h2o
I never really look at idle temps to be honest. The times my computer sits idle are few and far between. Added to that fact that I think pretty much any cooler with a fan can do a job of keeping a non loaded CPU under control.

Yeah, I know in the long run water cooling with provide better load temps. But I'd always wonder how far I could have taken air cooling if I don't try. It's crazy, but it's just the way I am. Plus in order to do the WC setup I want right now, I'd have to swap out my PSU and spend a little more than I'm interested in dishing out at the moment. Maybe down the road, but not right now.

Thanks guys.
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post #5 of 17
The SA is the better cooler out of the three, but you really can't go wrong with the D14 either. The Super Mega, I'm sorry to say, is not all it's cracked up to be. I can't recall where, but a test I saw a while back showed the Mega Shadow to be the best between the Megahalem/Super Mega/Mega Shadow. All of Prolimatech's offerings lose out to the SA & D14 though.

Personally, I've changed directions. I was going to get the SA. After extensive consideration, I'll be investing in a W/C setup instead.
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post #6 of 17
Obviously space isn't an issue. I vote Silver Arrow. Slap on a third fan and enjoy

Of course, a RASA kit would be more ideal if your budget stretched to allow it.
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post #7 of 17
a Rasa kit is only marginally more expensive than an SA or D14.... no need to fork out big bucks for custom loop IMO

- also, make sure to use a very high end TIM, maybe try lapping? and add an SA or D14 and you can expect nice temps.
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh believe me, I've been eying those RASA kits like no other. But a few things are stopping me from pulling the trigger on that right now. First of all I'd want the RX kit, not the RS. Unfortunately my PSU is 2cm too long to allow me to mount the rad on the bottom of my 690II case. If I had gone with the AX and not the HX it wouldn't be a problem...but such is life.

Secondly, if I'm going to redo everything for water I want to get a block for my GPU as well and get rid of all the air cooling. Now I know that's not apples to apples, but I know I wouldn't be happy everything I fired up the 570 and heard the fans ripping...haha. If and when I move to water, I'm doing a full setup. That means I want at least 2 240 rads inside my case to sufficiently cool my GPU and CPU. I have a 650HX sitting in my closet, but I don't know if I want to swap to lesser powered PSU just to add water cooling.
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Dark Moon (Ryzen)
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kody7839 View Post
Oh believe me, I've been eying those RASA kits like no other. But a few things are stopping me from pulling the trigger on that right now. First of all I'd want the RX kit, not the RS. Unfortunately my PSU is 2cm too long to allow me to mount the rad on the bottom of my 690II case. If I had gone with the AX and not the HX it wouldn't be a problem...but such is life.

Secondly, if I'm going to redo everything for water I want to get a block for my GPU as well and get rid of all the air cooling. Now I know that's not apples to apples, but I know I wouldn't be happy everything I fired up the 570 and heard the fans ripping...haha. If and when I move to water, I'm doing a full setup. That means I want at least 2 240 rads inside my case to sufficiently cool my GPU and CPU. I have a 650HX sitting in my closet, but I don't know if I want to swap to lesser powered PSU just to add water cooling.

I hear you, it's the same reasons that have held me back for so long also. As for the problem of fitment, the Rasa kits do come with brackets for mounting externally on the back of the case.

I'm still waiting on my tax return, but after that arrives. The RX240 is mine, along with a Bitspower acrylic block for my 5870, and some Fesser hose to replace that junk that comes with the Rasa kits.
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post #10 of 17
I'm in the same boat, summumer is going to be hot! So to work around this I replaced my crappy Antec 902 case with a much better CM690IIAD, Next step was to order 2 San Ace 1011's. Next up. tomorrow morning(or in a few hours) im going to go get a Silver Arrow from the local Microcenter. I'm soooo in love with the San Ace 1011's I'm going to try to stick ONE in the center and see how it fair's as I dont give a damn about having silent PC...just nice and cool!!!
CM R4's are OK fans if you like LED fans, but if you can live without LED's there are TONS of 120mm fans that ware just plain rediculas. I also paired my san ace fans with a Rheosmart. I dont mind the wind tunnel effect my PC now has, and I think it will be fun to have a Self-Controlled Wind Tunnel for a case...I plan on testing the aerodynamics of hot wheels and other small household objects in my down time

Once all my 120mm fans are swaped for 1011's I want to get a clear side pannel, and do This fan mod. I want to make it so that the LED's are not on the same power channel as the fans...So when i turn down the fans though the controler the LED's stay at full power. There is even a button set up on the case. Just take some custom wireing
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