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post #1 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Advice needed on cooling setup

Hi guys,

An upgrade is looming on the horizon, so I decided to ask for opinions on the (air) cooling setup.

I'll try to be as brief as possible.

The case will be the Fractal Designe Meshify C, the Phanteks P400A, or the Corsair 275R Airflow. More likely one of the first two if Gamers Nexus does not review the third one, or if the results aren't as good.
The processor will be either an AMD R5 3600 or R7 3700X. Graphics card is a GTX 1060, no upgrade is planned for it in the foreseeable future.

The system will operate 24/7. I value performance and silence (with emphasis on the latter) above price, so I'm willing to spend more if it would be worth it.

First I need recommendations for a CPU cooler, and more specifically a single-tower one, as I think it should be optimal for my needs. Unfortunately variety isn't particularly good here (Bulgaria).
So far the be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim seems to stand out as having the best price/performance/noise ratio for my usage scenario, but I'm open to other suggestions. I'm also open to the idea of getting a cheaper cooler for the heatsink, and replacing the fan.

Next I need advice on the intake fans. So far I've selected Noctua but -- again -- I'm open to other suggestions:
- 2 x NF-A14
- 3 x NF-S12A
- 3 x NF-A12

EDIT
Or maybe:
- 2 x 140 mm Silent Wings 3 (High Speed)
- 3 x 120 mm Silent Wings 3 (High Speed)
/EDIT

I know the S12A do not have great static pressure but as intake case fans for the cases above perhaps that would not be a problem. Could be wrong, though.

Instead of listing available brands, I am including a couple of websites so you can get some idea what is available (if necessary). Hopefully the language barrier won't be too high:
https://www.pazaruvaj.com/ventilatori-c3094/
https://www.vario.bg/aksesoari-ohlajdane

Sadly, SilverStone and Thermalright are unavailable. Maybe I could order them from Amazon or some other online shop so they would need to be worth the extra hassle and price increase.

One last thing: I prefer coolers/fans without RGB. I'm building a PC, not a nightclub.

Any input will be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by AliveNoMore; 01-13-2020 at 10:43 AM.
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post #2 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 11:32 AM
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Meshify C (not because it´s a better case, but because it limits the cooling options).
Thermalright aro-m14 / noctua nh d15 (running only with the central fan)
3x120mm sw3 pwm , non high speed for the front of the case. (they´re not better than nf a12x25, but they´re 50% cheaper and at bellow 1000rpm it won´t make any difference anyway).

Optional for GPU modding: 2 x nf a12x25/sw3 pwm OR 1 x sw3 high speed+arctic p9/f9 pwm (you dont need fans so expensive, but if you decide to mod it, you should see it as a future investition, since this mod is applicable to any GPU that´s not a blower style. The second loadout it has a cheap p9/f9 because for the next GPU you should be able to fit 2x120mm. Also there´s no problema having different speeds, since the big one should be place above the die)

Setup:
Clean the PSU shroud area the best you can, removing the drive cage and tucking the cables behind the motherboard. Don´t mount SSDs at the back of the board, they get hot. Mount the storage on the floor or on the top of the case, since you won´t be placing fans there. Also try not to use HDDs. If you have to do it, don´t use them as main drive. If you can´t fit all the storage on the bottom of the case, place the SSD on top. You can mount storage with screws, since both the bottom on the top are perforated, or you can use zip ties, velcro straps or sticky velcros, or whatver. Just make sure HDDs have a cushioning material, so they don´t make the whole case vibrate.
Remove the top of the PSU shroud, the brackets bellow the GPU and all the fans. Mount the 3 x sw3 on the front.

Set manual frecuency and voltage for the CPU. If you let it on auto, it will spike temps like crazy, and the CPU cooler/case fans RPM aswell, and while at first glance that´s the logical thing and is good to do that, it´s useless, because ryzen 3000 are not high power consumption, but high density, so dealing with the heat output it´s not the problem, but rather extracting it fast enough. Set starting temperature for fans and custom curve.
With the GPU mod if you wanna do it, you can run the fans based on CPU temps (it takes a bit of tweaking because GPU temps don´t scale always at the same time, but it´s not imposible, since im doing it), or buy an adapter for the GPU (if your gpu doesnt use a propietary port like mine does). Use zip ties to atach the fans to the radiator. Your results may vary but you should see at very least 5ºC temps improvement and at very least 2 times better noise (for me it was 8-10ºC and 3 times less noise, and it can still go higher......GPU fans suck)
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post #3 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 12:17 PM
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Silent Wings 3 are solid fans and so are the NB eLoops, the Corsair ML 120/140 fans are good too but they're not priced competitively in the site you linked in your OP.

The Arctic P12/P14 fans are good too but the F12/F14 are not and I only see the F fans on the site you gave. I've only owned the F and they were junk but according to other people the P are better. Here in the US you can get a 5 pack of P14s for the price of a single AF-14.

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post #4 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by The Pook View Post
Silent Wings 3 are solid fans and so are the NB eLoops, the Corsair ML 120/140 fans are good too but they're not priced competitively in the site you linked in your OP.
So both the Silent Wings 3 and the Noisblocker eLoops are overall better choices than the Noctua fans?

Quote: Originally Posted by The Pook View Post
The Arctic P12/P14 fans are good too but the F12/F14 are not and I only see the F fans on the site you gave. I've only owned the F and they were junk but according to other people the P are better. Here in the US you can get a 5 pack of P14s for the price of a single AF-14.
In my limited experience the F Pro-series is useless, the regular F-series is kinda "meh", but not as bad.
The P-series is available, however, I find Arctic to be the poor man's cooling company -- they are pretty decent for the money, but if the budget allows, there are definitely better options, and I am willing to pay more than Arctic prices.
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post #5 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 01:09 PM
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The only Noctua fans I've used was the NF A12 a while ago and the 4 Industrial F14+F12 iPPC 3000 I have in my rig now.

I'd take the NB eLoops over the SW3 and the Noctua fans you mentioned in your OP for sure. Silent Wings 3 are good fans but they don't move as much air @ 100%, and I rather get "performance fans" and spin them lower via a fan curve than buy a quiet fan. Either are solid though.

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post #6 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 02:08 PM
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If your looking for the best single tower air cooler, the noctua nh-u12a is pretty good. 7 heat pipes in a single tower cools almost as well as a D-15.

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post #7 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by The Pook View Post
I'd take the NB eLoops over the SW3 and the Noctua fans you mentioned in your OP for sure. Silent Wings 3 are good fans but they don't move as much air @ 100%, and I rather get "performance fans" and spin them lower via a fan curve than buy a quiet fan. Either are solid though.
I am most likely not going to run the fans at 100%. That said, is it really certain that a fan moves more air at maximum, will also move more air when its RPM is reduced. Unless I'm mistaken, that is kind of the case with the Noctua NF-A12, i.e. at 100% they are not the best, but their efficiency is very high when not at maximum.

Let me be clear that I'm not arguing, I'm just trying to get a better understanding.

Quote: Originally Posted by Notbn View Post
If your looking for the best single tower air cooler, the noctua nh-u12a is pretty good. 7 heat pipes in a single tower cools almost as well as a D-15.
I never said I was looking for the best single tower air cooler. I'm aware that it is a fantastic cooler, and while I am prepared to not buy cheap components, I also do not intend to spend that much money (that thing is freaking expensive) on a cooler that is an overkill for the CPU I'm planning to buy.
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post #8 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 03:03 PM
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I got the Noctua NH-D15 and I have it in an open air bench half a meter next to me on the desk and at idle you hear nothing with both fans spinning via PWN Bios control. On load, you will hear the card never mind any good fans.

I remember turning on the computer for the first time and thinking the fans were broken since I could not hear anything and I had to inspect them visually to make sure. What I do hear is my reference 5700XT's low fan hum on idle right now (it's very faint). The fans on the Noctua and the fan on the PSU are silent. The Corsair Air Series SP120 PWM are as silent running as the Noctuas on idle and I can't tell how loud they get on load since all I hear is the card. I guess with the latest Bios, even the fan on the chipset does not spin. I've only seen it spin on boot. Does not even spin while gaming.

There is no reason to over think it. Any of the recommended fans will serve you well and you won't hear them on idle and even on load since other things will be more audible over and above these fans in the case.

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post #9 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 05:20 PM
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Max cooler height of 160mm on the P400A is somewhat short.

I have a Meshify C, it is ok. With a 1060, you can probably get away with 2x140mm good intake fans. I have a 2060 currently and 2x140mm SW3 HS work pretty well for it. Will be testing a P12 below them (or in between) when it shows up I guess. The stock Fractal GP12s are pretty low speed (~1200RPM) and sort of mediocre through the intake filter IMO. I was too cheap to buy a 120mm SW3 to go with the 140s. But if the P12 bombs, I might grab one.

As far as the Arctic F discussion above goes, some recent reviews claim the newer batches may have worse QC. Don't know if that is true or FUD. I have one laying around that was bought last May it was about what I expected. Probably obsolete with the P series. It was blowing on an EVGA 1060SC in this case before I got the 2060, where the weak link was probably the single fan on the SC.

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post #10 of 79 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 09:17 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by The Pook View Post
The only Noctua fans I've used was the NF A12 a while ago and the 4 Industrial F12 iPPC 3000 I have in my rig now.



I'd take the NB eLoops over the SW3 and the Noctua fans you mentioned in your OP for sure. Silent Wings 3 are good fans but they don't move as much air @ 100%, and I rather get "performance fans" and spin them lower via a fan curve than buy a quiet fan. Either are solid though.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but i think you guys bought into the naming scheme of be quiet.
Noctua is just as good as them, and in some ocasions like with nf a12x25 vs sw3 or nh d15 vs drp3/4 they're simply better, or their crappy silent cases against good mesh ones.....

They have very good performance/noise volume/sound profile. It doesn't happen always, as i stated above, but it does happen with the fans.
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