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Bitter

60MM or under air coolers, what's good these days?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have an ITX system (http://www.coolermaster.com/case/mini-itx-elite-series/elite130/) with a max cooler height of 65MM, I'd like to maintain some clearance between the PSU and heat sink fan for airflow purposes (unless there's a good side blower that's 65MM tall?). Noise is also a concern as this is a HTPC. Ideally I'd like a cooler I can install without total motherboard removal, tilting the board up and slipping the back plate under is OK.

 

Right now I'm looking at this Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet for $25 on Amazon, but the reviews of it are pretty dated as it came out almost 5 years ago so the other units it's being compared to are also of that same age. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0077POH8M/ which was based on this olde FT review http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2657&page=5 which speaks about the 'extreme' version of this cooler design, looks the same to me just a black fan? I shot an email to Zalman and will update when I hear back.

I also looked at the C7 Cu, but it looks more tedious to install, looks like it doesn't perform as well as the Zalman unit, and it's double the price. I'm also considering a 120MM water cooler but price is a bit prohibitive at the moment as well as the fact that 120MM units aren't very good performers for the price paid. However there is a Zalman LQ320 on eBay for about $45 shipped but it's used so who knows if it's any good, but that is one of the beefier looking 120MM units around.

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I'd get a noctua L9x65, as the maximum isn't actually 65mm, its more like 70-75, the 65 is to make sure noone sees 70 and think a 71mm will fit.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/GdkD4D/scythe-cpu-cooler-scbsk2100

 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

 

22 minutes ago, Firewrath9 said:

I'd get a noctua L9x65, as the maximum isn't actually 65mm, its more like 70-75, the 65 is to make sure noone sees 70 and think a 71mm will fit.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/GdkD4D/scythe-cpu-cooler-scbsk2100

 

I'll try to measure the actual clearance, where did you come up with that figure?

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2796&page=5

Narrowing the field of 360 Intel heatsinks to sub-65mm tall coolers only, positions the Noctua NH-L9x65 about ~10°C warmer than the 60x120mm Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme. If we further narrow the list to sub-110mm wide coolers, the NH-L9x65 ranks third, behind the Evercool HPL-815 and Noctua NH-L9i heatsinks.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 minutes ago, thinwalrus said:

Scythe big shuriken 2

The Zalman is hard to beat in reviews, check this out vs the Scythe.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/low-profile-heat-sink-mini-itx,3639-19.html

It's only 1 degree warmer but 10db quieter and runs an overall lower fan speed. Vs the stock Intel cooler it's 84% less noisy where as the Scythe is only 26% less noisy.

It's looking like almost 5 years later the Zalman is still coming out on top. I'll probably roll with that one unless the used LQ320 seems like a better deal? I'm just not 100% on fitment in the case since CM has only validated CM coolers to fit, but if the similarly sized Cooler Master Seidon 120XL fits then there's a good chance the Zalman LQ320 would also fit. I'd prefer to buy on Amazon because I have points saved up there.

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I guess that Zalman is the best one then. I actually owned one of those copper zalmans back in AM2 times :D It was dead silent in an Antec p180.

 

Are you sure you need an expensive cooler? On low workloads even stock coolers are reasonably quiet. On that test he ran an avx-load on a 4770K. These get crazy hot on avx. I have mine under a Thermalright HR02 and it goes to 82C with 1,17V on avx prime and I have delidded mine. Of course that voltage gets 0,1V jump up with avx because Intel was smart back then...

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I like to prepare for worst case and know the computer will perform perfectly under unrealistic loads, plus that Zalman is $25 now which seems like a good deal. I'm going to be hopefully running my 'ghetto i7 from China' soon when it comes in, a 4980HQ and may be overclocking it. When I'm not using the HTPC it does Prime95 work for GIMPS, which while not as intense as the torture test, does generate some load and heat. So I anticipate things to be worse than my undervolted i3 4130 or my i5 low power S processors.

 

Good to know that Zalman is quiet, thank you.

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