The Big Air Cooling Sticky!

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by Lardman, Aug 26, 2008.

Tags:
  1. Lardman

    Lardman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,277
    Location:
    ACT 2607
    Why? Because there really isn't a "proper" place / thread for people to ask their questions about air cooling.
    What fan / HSF to buy, what case, etc.

    If you find anything of interest, or you feel should be included, post it up and I'll add it :)

    For specific Intel coolers please refer to this thread.

    Useful Sites & Links


    CPU HS/F Reviews
    Quiet Computing
    GPU HSF Reviews
    Fans, Misc Coolers
    Where to Buy
    • CoolPC - There are some reviews here as well.
    • PC Case Gear - I (And many others) get our stuff from here.

    Guides, How-To, And innovative tricks

    The Basics:
    Ok, now that you see all the links... We'll start off with the simple stuff here.




    Get Off my case, man!
    What case should I get?/What am I looking for in a case?

    First of all, what do you want to do with it? Quiet? Home Theatre? Server? Ultimate gaming beast that makes all your 16yo High school buddies drool and be like "Woah, sick rig, dude!

    Aesthetic is up to you. But as for the basics:

    A case generally want to do this for you:
    • Hold your computer-y bits, in a way that specific cases are designed for. For example, test benches are designed to sturdily hold your kit and let you swap it out easily.
    • Provide shielding from noise, dust, and magnetic interference. Also grounds all your computer bits. (to a degree)
    • Allowances for airflow to cool your precious components
    • Offers connectivity/convenience - This is subjective, for the most part. I use the USB on my keyboard more, arguably.
    • Good quality fans, components and connectors. The extras - The Fractal R4 comes with a very nice rudimentary fan controller that fits in a little slot at the back, for instance.

    From different perspectives, the focus of what you want it to do will change. Want 12 hard drives? Get a case that takes lots of hard drives and still has space to comfortably insert cooling fans.

    Gaming rig for LANs? It will be smaller, or have a window. They will also have vents all over the place, generally, and use a mesh front or have very clearly visible intakes and lots of free airflow. Nowadays, it's not too difficult to make things quiet with a gaming rig, but you still do need to pay a little attention to your cooling setup in order to do this well.

    HTPC? Will often be small, quieter and not designed for more grunty components.

    As a general rule though, what you want is the following:
    1. Minimal restriction on your airflow vents
    2. Indirect paths for airflow - things like a case door can heavily reduce noise. Up to you though.
    3. Sturdy construction. Rattles annoy everyone, everything, and may be responsible for bodily harm.
    4. Airflow 'paths' within the case - Generally, you want to be able to visualise where the air will go
    5. Good quality fans - if you don't want to buy extras, anyway.
    6. Dust filters. They're not a necessary thing, but they're awesome and make things much less messy.
    What case should I look at buying for best airflow / least noise?
    This is mainly a popular list at this stage.
    Airflow
    • CoolerMaster CM690
    • CoolerMaster CM590
    • Coolermaster Cosmos S
    • Coolermaster Haf932
    • Lian Li PC-60 ArmourSuit
    • NZXT Khaos
    • NZXT Tempest
    • Antec 300
    • Antec 900
    • Antec 1200
    • ThermalTake Armour
    • Coolermaster Cosmos series
    • SilverStone TJ07
    • Corsair Obsidian

    Silence
    • Antec Sonata III, II
    • Antec P182B & SE & P183
    • Antec P280
    • Fractal Design R2/R3/R4
    • CoolerMaster Cosmos S
    • Silverstone FT/RV series

    Coolers:
    What cooler should I get?
    If all the above reviews don't help, basically my reccomendation would be to go with whatever suits you for how you want your build - the difference in reality isn't gigantic, and generally your case will also be an equally important factor.

    Good example (albeit abit strange), I picked up a Zalman CPNS9700NT because it receives additional airflow from a side case fan due to it's fin design. My results is the side fan lowers temps a few degrees further under load too. Note the situational use of the design.

    People may pick the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme because of it's raw cooling performance and capability to use a push-pull fan configuration (A fan in front pushing air in, and one in the rear pulling out).

    In the end, it's up to you if you want it for looks, performance, or airflow redirection, it's entirely up to you. Pick wisely, and you can't go wrong.

    Important things to take into consideration:

    1. Height releative to the width of your case
    2. Obstructions - If you have a small formfactor case, you may want a low cooler as some of the power supplies sit over the CPU area
    3. Size - Some coolers are obstructed by the RAM slots on some motherboards
    4. Airflow/Cooling solution - Do you want to use an all-in-one water cooling solution? In which case that makes it easier, but also consider your RAM heatsinks, etc that may need airflow and live off the secondary airflow of your CPU cooler. In most cases you don't suffer any extreme temperatures, but if in a hot climate it may be food for thought. Overall airflow 'pathing' through your case solves this somewhat as well.

    Don't forget, you may want to pick up a Third party Thermal Interface Material (TIM) - Arctic Silver 5 and ICD7 seem to be the popular ones around the place.


    A list of some popular coolers: [Note: In no particular order]
    • Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme
    • Arctic Cooling Freezer Extreme
    • Noctua NH-C12
    • Noctua NH-U12
    • OCZ Vendetta 2
    • Scythe Ninja 2
    • Scythe Ninja Mini
    • Xigmatek Achilles S1284
    • Xigmatek HDT-S1283
    • Zalman CPNS9700NT
    • Prolimatech Megahalems

    All-in-one Watercooling solutions

    As the title says - Corsair, Coolermaster and a few other brands now are coming up with some very nice All-in-one solutions that are essentially a pump/waterblock combo piped into a 120 or 240mm rad, packaged with fans.

    Some of these are designed to work with the fans they came with and have slightly different connections, but for the most part you can use whatever fan may suit your needs - be it grabbing expensive Noctua units to getting those blingy LED things because you like your room to look slightly irradiated.

    Either way, they're a good thing and from experience, quite reliable. Some also have software you can play with from your PC to monitor things.


    Fans:

    Noise Reduction: Sleeve Vs Ball Bearing
    Ball-Bearing fans are generally more reliable, and as such more commonplace (albeit more expensive.) They don't have any positional requirements either.

    Sleeve bearing fans are quieter when they're Vertical (IE, fan blowing across a table, as opposed to up or down.) The Zalman F3 120mm is a nice cheapie ($10) that does really well for the price, fantastically quiet. Apart from this, there isn't too much difference between the two types.


    Specific Topics of Interest:
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  2. Bold Eagle

    Bold Eagle Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,333
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  3. Glock

    Glock Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,252
    I like this idea - it mightn't be exactly what you're looking for but here's a few:

    - http://www.heatsink-guide.com/ - kinda old, and doesn't appear to be updated anymore, but handy for general theory stuff.

    - http://www.cpemma.co.uk/index.html - Even more esoteric, but some good practical (and even quite advanced) stuff.
     
  4. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Messages:
    126,640
    Location:
    Canadia
    I think this will be very handy when referring people to (aftermarket) air cooling solutions, in both cpu and gpu.
     
  5. Smakked

    Smakked Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    Goldcoast
  6. Lardman

    Lardman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,277
    Location:
    ACT 2607
    wow awesome, people actually noticed it :)

    I'll update these when I get home :D

    EDIT: Bang, updated! :) thanks for te support guys.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  7. Supersize

    Supersize Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,417
    Location:
    Gold Coast QLD
    Ah theres nothing like the sound of a jet engine comming from your PC in the morning :weirdo:

    I find the humming sound from the fans relaxing. But I have Tinnitus (Constant ringing in the ears)..lol..

    Its more of a store, but they know their cooling, and do have reviews:
    http://www.coolpc.com.au/

    But like Smakked said "Aircooling is for real men only pussys use watercooling"

    Go one try an get you CPU's that far overclocked on cooling, I dare you..:lol:
     
  8. JamalH

    JamalH Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,202
    Awesome thread man, alot of good reading here
     
  9. breech

    breech Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,783
    Location:
    Syd
    Nice work. How about adding fan controllers?
     
  10. Lardman

    Lardman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,277
    Location:
    ACT 2607
    Thanks :)
    @ Breech: Theres not too many things about fan controllers. The most I can do is say that http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=408&products_id=5442 is one of the most powerful ones out of the 2/3 I've had... It's powering 4x 140mm and 2x 120m in my PC at the moment, without any issues.

    I'll look around for more reviews and add as I go along :)
     
  11. Bold Eagle

    Bold Eagle Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,333
    Location:
    Brisbane
  12. Lem0n

    Lem0n Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    Sydney
    There's a lot of good info on xtremesystems.org air cooling forums, have a look.
     
  13. /\/\usE+

    /\/\usE+ Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Messages:
    2,174
    Location:
    in the matrix
    iirc chainbolt had a couple of those things, or maybe one was raucous enough for his needs. got levitation? :lol::thumbup:
     
  14. Lardman

    Lardman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,277
    Location:
    ACT 2607
    I'll post a photo of my setup for an example in abit, I suggest people do the same. Lets get some air cooled setups displayed for us more simple-minded ocers... :p
     
  15. Bold Eagle

    Bold Eagle Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,333
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Here's mine. I was only using 1 of 5 5.25" bays and my front panel is foam lined (filter) so I ghetto strapped an extra 120mm inlet fan in the empty bays to give me 2 x 120mm inlets:

    [​IMG]

    Any air cooling thread has to have this link:

    HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN MEMORY COOLER

    So I made that for increased cooling and to add to my internal flow dynamics. The CPU has the old CNPS9500:

    [​IMG]

    I have the PSU and rear case fan as the exhaust:

    [​IMG]

    I went on an Air cooling mod run not long ago and dropped load temps by 10C:

    http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...oling-project-101-lowered-cpu-load-9-10c.html

    Another very good link is a no-nonsense, non-girly lapping guide that actually discusses the "theory" and method of lapping and actual desired outcomes (shiny aint what it is all about!):

    http://www.thetechrepository.com/showthread.php?t=71
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  16. Lardman

    Lardman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,277
    Location:
    ACT 2607
    Cheers Eagle!
    I'm drafting up a "Basic tips and tricks section, help me out with suggestions here. :)

    Also... would it hurt to get this stickied once it's more complete?
     
  17. Bold Eagle

    Bold Eagle Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,333
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hasn't it been stickied yet? We definitely need something like this?

    Obviously don't ask me about cable management.

    Will think on more input.

    Once a year wash your HS in "hot soapy water" and remove all the dust and gunk build up and then dry with a hair dryer, ensuring you wipe the base with Metho to displace any H20 before a re-seat. Make sure it is bone dry before using please.

    Just noted my link for the Air mod run doesn't work in post 1 but it does still in my post 17?!?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  18. Lardman

    Lardman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,277
    Location:
    ACT 2607
    While we do, Not too sure what the stance of the mods are on this. I'll put it up in site discussion anyhow...

    Fixed that link in the OP as well :)

    EDIT: Hurrah Stickied! Will keep it updated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  19. Lardman

    Lardman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,277
    Location:
    ACT 2607
    Just updated OP with some more GPU Reviews

    (Who put the giant red text in?)


    Also, should have some basic q&a done during the week for people.. (I procrastinate too much, lol.)

    Put a specific topic section in, and the first of some useful info (Or at least what I think is useful)
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  20. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Messages:
    126,640
    Location:
    Canadia
    Probably Ma Baker as per the SD thread.
     

Share This Page