First, I feel a little dirty posting about a Corsair Hydro series in a water cooling forum.
Second, I want to replace my air cooling setup for something that can maintain good temps @ 3.6Ghz and is QUIET. My current Zalman 9700NT is just too loud when it comes to cooling a Q6600.
My current temps are 50C idle and 60-65C max. During CPU intensive applications such as BFBC2 I have seen for brief moments core 0 hit 70-73C.
I heard about the H50 being $40 at Bestbuy which is a terribly good value to me. My original budget was no more than $50 so this seemed like a good match. After doing some initial reading I came across a HardOCP review of the H60.
The review claimed virtually identical temps under idle/max loads on the H50 vs H60. The biggest difference according to the reviewer were the noise levels. The H50 sounded in at 50db while the H60 sounded in at 41.5db.
The difference in noise levels is enough to peak my interest in the H60. Is that 9.5db improvement related to a better pump, redesigned stock fan, or a combination of both? If it is related solely to the fan then I would still consider purchasing the H50 and getting a better after-market fan anyways.
I should mention that compact size is also important to me. I plan on using this Q6600 in an HTPC/Hyperspin box once I upgrade my PC in 2013. That means I will most certainly be using this heat sink in a smaller case in the future.
With all these factors in mind what member of the Hydro Series family do you think matches my needs best?
Compact size, silent operation, and maintaining best performance per dollar.