Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Roundup of Eight Horizontal CPU Coolers 92

Posted by Zonk
from the welding-is-bad dept.
ThinSkin writes "ExtremeTech has done a roundup of eight sideways-gusting CPU coolers under fifty bucks to see if they can keep an overclocked Athlon FX-60 from welding itself to the motherboard. In addition to temperature testing, much emphasis was placed on noise reduction, which with some coolers can be improved by adjusting fan speed or even removing the fan from the cooler."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Roundup of Eight Horizontal CPU Coolers

Comments Filter:
  • yeah, um... (Score:2, Funny)

    by iogan (943605)
    .. I have a problem with my 700 mhz webserver that lives under my bed. How do I shut that up? It's driving me nuts. I'm not trying to be funny here, I'm really starting to loose it over this thing.
    • Re:yeah, um... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by og_sh0x (520297) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @04:55PM (#15168839) Homepage
      Silicone gaskets over hard disk mounting screws, speed variable fan power supplies like the newer Antec SmartPower 2.0s, 120 MM fans in place of 60 or 80 MM fans which can do more CFMs at slower RPMs. For starts.
      • oops, I forgot the "...how do I shut that up, without spending money". My bad.
        • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:02PM (#15168888)
          Well there is no money and no money...

          If you mean "very little money" then you can get a lot of quiet out of those gaskets and some inexpensive ($12) fans.

          If you mean "no money", then there is this little switch on the back. You flip it into "quiet" mode and your webserver will stop making any noise and will not generate any heat. Even better, it consumes no electricity in quiet mode.
        • Well since you don't want to spend money to buy additional parts or replacement parts...then your only option and simplest option...would be to move it....
        • Re:yeah, um... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by winse (39597)
          dude you reduce power to the cpu, underclock and pull out the fans...
          • I use an AMD64 2800+ as a server, underclocked to 800MHz. It still makes noise, but I'm not sure if it's the fan. I just might be the harddisk in it. Do you think I can run such a CPU fanless? I don't dare to do it: the temperature right now is around 38.00 degC / 100.40 degF (pasted from "sysctl hw") Still sounds like quite a lot.

        • oops, I forgot the "...how do I shut that up, without spending money". My bad.


          how about just switching it off ?

          ok, without money you don't make it cool'n'work. but what you can do is buy an Arctic cooler for the thing, costs around 15$, not much. a nice big big fan that won't spin even at 1000rpm on that cpu, therefor is practically noiseless.

          for the case ... oh well, i use a psu with a 120mm vent (the psu costed me around 30$), it's quiet.

          investment of 50$ (thermal paste, quiet fan, quiet psu) is worth it.
        • you could turn it off. Or put it in your kitchen. I used to keep my server under my bed too :p didnt even bother to put the case back together properly after my brother cannibalised it. You should get new fans though if it's buzzing, since that does get annoying.
        • I used a Fireplace fan [solosoft.org]

          I got it for free and put a 120v dimmer switch on it (to control the speed of the fan). That kept my Dual Pentium Pro 200Mhz (oc 233MHz) running cool. (by cool I mean ~ 70c). I could for some reason NEVER get that CPU under 60c no matter what I put on it.

          Since then ive upgraded to a Dual 450MHz [solosoft.org] and the heat issues have dissapeared. Don't be afraid to hack up your case a little for cooling. You can put big 120mm fans all over the place on there and not rack up the noise (it's the
    • Re:yeah, um... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tktk (540564)
      I can't tell if this is supposed to be joke. But I have no mod points in any case.

      Find another place to put it, or find a bigger place to live. Why exactly is it under your bed? Why not put it the furthest spot from your bed?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...loose it over this thing.

      Um, crapping on it probably won't help.
    • Re:yeah, um... (Score:2, Informative)

      by ClamIAm (926466)

      There's really a lot of variables going on with computer noise. You can have noisy fans and noisy components (like hard drives). Also, both of these two things can rub up against the other parts (usually the case) causing vibration noise.

      I think a good way to start is to try and isolate the noisiest part, or the perhaps the part that drives you nuts the most. Then, you can replace or adjust that part. But be careful: it's important to watch out for heat. If you clock down your fans, they will move les

      • Re:yeah, um... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Prune (557140)
        I found that the rubber gaskets used to mount hard drives in some cases are woefully inadequate in insulating the case from hard drive vibration. I took my Raptor out of the bay and simply glued it to an inch-thick piece of high density foam on the floor of the case. Now head movement is virtually inaudible with the case closed.

        In the end, watercooling everything including the powersupply has been my only fully successful solution in silencing a PC overclocked about 20%. Removing all fans, trading for a
      • Also, both of these two things can rub up against the other parts (usually the case) causing vibration noise.

        And there was I thinking that you were talking about what goes on atop the bed, not underneath it....

    • I have a problem with my 700 mhz webserver that lives under my bed. How do I shut that up? It's driving me nuts. I'm not trying to be funny here, I'm really starting to loose it over this thing.
      that's not the fan... it's a monster... don't go near it!!!
    • You could do what they did with the server room at my old job: buy the noisiest airconditioning system you can find to cool the room down. I could barely hear the servers beeping at me to tell me I messed up the raid configuration.
    • Put it somewhere else.

      It is the simplest way to get a PC to queit down. Put it 2 doors away (old fashioned thick doors not the modern crap) and enjoy the total silence. Oh and the healthy walks to change the cd.

      Cooling a PC requires a couple of things. Getting cool air in and getting the hot air out while keeping dust down. The easiest way of doing this is to just turn your PC into a windtunnel. That is never going to happen with a nice looking tiny case. My solution? Rip of the sidewalls and replace them

    • My web server runs a 266Mhz PII and has one very quiet (I can hear it in the middle of the night if I press my ear to the side of the case) 80mm fan, blowing through the PSU. The machine (an old IBM desktop) cost GBP 15 on ebay. The fan cost about the same. I used to use a CF card, connected via an IDE adaptor, for storage, but needed more space and larger CF cards were too expensive at the time, so it has a hard drive now. That's the bit I can hear, but thankfully my web site isn't too popular so it's not
  • I really like the look of the Thermaltake Sonic Tower.

    I downgraded my CPU fan a while ago, it was just to noisy to (now) have in my bedroom.
    Plus, if my old XP2800+ kicks the bucket then it's the perfect excuse to upgrade.
  • What Noise? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by frosty_tsm (933163)
    I used to have an Athlon 800 mhz. Between the cpu, case, and graphics card fans there were 7 fans keeping that sucker cool. My roommate would say that it sounded like a Jet starting up when I turned it on.
  • by lakeland (218447) <lakeland@acm.org> on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:03PM (#15168904) Homepage
    The testers decided to set every fan to maximum. Unsurprisingly then, the biggest, gruntiest fan had the best cooling while being 'too loud'. The winning fans were basically the ones with a lower maximum.

    I have a suggestion for the testers: Next time you're trying to compromise between noise and temperature, don't turn every fan on to maximum. Instead, decide a set temperature and measure noise levels when the CPU reaches that temperature.

    • Or if they would test the fans seperate from the heatsinks. Heatsinks don't make any noise. A good HSF review would be if they chose 3 different fans (noisy, quiet, silent) and tested each heatsink with each fan.
    • No kidding (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @06:35PM (#15169433)
      For example I noticed they didn't like the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro. That supprised me, since I have the Pentium D version of the same thing and I think it's great. Why didn't they like it? Well it didn't cool as well as others... Right, see it's designed to be silent, but cool well enough. On my board, the BIOS decided that 50 degrees is the temperature at which the processor ought to operate (can alter that but I haven't). If the processor gets hotter than that, it speeds up the fan, if it drops much below that, it slows it down.

      Well the net effect is I can't hear my CPU fan. When my cores are mostly idle like web surfing, it runs at like 800RPM and is totally inaudible over other noise. During intense work it spins up to like 1500RPM and you can hear it, but just barely. When told to run to maximum (something like 300RPM, don't remember) it gets to be moderatly noisy, though not annoying.

      The point is that no, it doens't keep my processor ultra cool, but I've seen no reason as to why I should care. CPUs can run quite hot with no problems. What it does do is maintian my processor at a safe temperature with a minimum amount of noise. To me, that is golden.

      Also something to note is that often the biggest, baddest heatsinks aren't safe. They are too heavy and can crack the motherboard. Won't happen right away, but there's maximum stresses you are supposed to put on them. It's like 500g in Intel's case. So if you buy some massive copper job that weighs a kilogram, don't be supprised if your board cracks a few months down the road.
      • I agree here. I've got a Freezer 4 (the older-ish version for s478 CPU's). It's sitting on my 3GHz P4 OC'ed to 3.4GHz. Idle is ~28c, load isn't any more than 48c.

        I've got friends who have the 64 Pro, and they also agree, load/idle temps are *far* lower than anything they've tried. Only water cooling gets lower.

        Better than that, Custom PC, a UK mag for 'peformance hardware & customisation' agrees, rating both the Arctic Cooling 64 Pro & the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro in their CPC Elite. Have a read
        • I've got friends who have the 64 Pro, and they also agree, load/idle temps are *far* lower than anything they've tried. Only water cooling gets lower.

          At what voltage? My Freezer 64 Pro cools the system very well at 12 V, but gets a little noisy. When I set the RPM to a half of the maximum value (so I suppose the voltage is about 6 V), it cools a little worse and is a lot quieter. It pays to have a fan regulator.

          Freezer is a great cooler for the money, but I don't think that "only water cooling gets lower".
    • That would be a better methodology, huh? You would think they might have considered that.
    • When I made power amplifiers in the previous century, the heatsinks for the output transistors were choosen for their primary characteristic, XX degrees Celcius temperature rise per Watt they dissipated. This number has almost disappeared in comparations like this, but was very useful comparing different heatsinks. Most profiles presented a number pr. 10 cm or so, so you could calculate how big your sink should be, knowing the environment temperature, the max. temperature and the power to dissipate. Is this
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The main thing to worry about with these "extended" coolers is the strain that it puts on the motherboard.
  • by Castaa (458419) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:08PM (#15168935) Homepage Journal
    I switched from the my AMD supplied Sempron 2800+ (socket 754) cooler to the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro reviewed in the article. I found that Arctic cooler made an over 10 Celsius cooling difference compared to the stock AMD cooler. I guess AMD includes much beefier coolers with their higher end CPUs?
    • the AMD stock coolers are really respectable. about the only drawback is the fact that the grills are made out of aluminum, not copper, like the heatpipes. too bad that most of the uber high end coolers are overweight by like 300 grams or more (the cpu bracket thing has a weight limit for each socket type).
    • I guess AMD includes much beefier coolers with their higher end CPUs?

      Well i personally have a 3000 Venice and my brother has a 3200 Venice. I must say, i was highly impressed with the stock cooler. between it and some AS5, stock temps were around 28-30C. I have since picked up a Thermalright XP-120 and a low-speed 120MM red LED fan. more for the looks than anything, the stock cooler really wasnt all that loud. Now it runs a flat 25C. But to answer your question, yes. the stock coolers on the higher end

      • Interesting that you tested a cooler without a fan. I often wonder how much real-world benefit a fan gives. Particularly if you consider the build up of dust that can accumulate over a relatively short period (6 months). I have a Zalman CNPS7000Cu (the fan/flower one) on my Athlon64 3500. I have removed it and cleaned it twice already (in 12 months), and each time it was caked with dust. And no, the case isn't parked on a carpeted floor.

        If you didn't pull so much air past the fins, I'd say that the d
        • Honestly, testing without a fan was just curiousity. I saw how cool it ran compared to my XP and wondered wf the fan was really useful anymore. You do raise a good point about the necessity of fans. I think on lower wattage CPUs, they really aren't necessery. I think all you need is a well designed cooler. You also mention the large fins. i think you are correct in your thinking. it would be interesting to take a cooler then cut down the fins to see the effect.
    • It just doesnt matter...
      A cpu will work at 50C exactly the same as at 40C. It just shouldnt cross the maximum temperature allowed.

      Just notice that those coolers alone cost near as much as an amd stock cooler WITH the sempron together, so you might get an idea why the stock fans arent that fancy.
  • Flaw in Article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OctoberSky (888619) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:08PM (#15168939)
    I know they talk about the weight of some of these behemoths, and they touch on how they are backed well (backing plates) but these things are huge, and put alot of stress on the Mainboard.
    I have the Hyper 6, if I were to ever travel with my box I would take it off. Right now it is sitting comfortabley but driving, moving this thing might crack the mainboard around the CPU.

    They should institute a "wiggle test" to see how much wiggling it takes to break the mainboard when one of these monsters is connected.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:14PM (#15168970) Homepage Journal
    I do have a few Xeon-based workstations that are "side cooling" or whatever, their ages are something like 4-5 years now, the systems were designed to work with chips running up to 2.8GHz. It's ducted too, so the air goes straight out the case, and the entire system is surprisingly quiet. It doesn't have fancy liquid cooling, heat pipes or anything special other than an ordinary aluminum heat sink and a fan.

    Come to think of it, I have an old Alpha that uses side cooling, draws in fresh air from the front, that was made in 1997. I guess the "enthusiast" market is just behind the times.
    • There's no room to have a vertical cooling system in a 1U case. The cooling always has horizontal airflow, whether its from a fan mounted on the side of the heatsink, or external fans and ducting.

      Whether or not this is better depends on the specifics of the airflow in your case.
      • Some 1U server mfgs have "zoned cooling". The Sun AMD servers (X4100/X4200) have seperate airflow channels for the disk drives and the CPU/Memory so each gets lots of cooler air w/o air passing over one, getting hot and then having less cooling for the other parts downstream. They also have hot-swap fans something else the home PC market should consider.
        Those servers can be packed with 3GHz CPUs, 64GB memory and 4 disk drives and still run cool.
    • by bigtrike (904535) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:43PM (#15169164)
      Your alpha probably didn't draw nearly as much power as a newer pentium based system. I'm guessing your Alpha used 50-100W, while a current dual xeon server requires about 300W+ while active. Other than that, I mostly agree with you.

      The cheapo Dell desktops are much quieter than most comparable DIY systems. This is because they use several temp controlled 120mm fans spinning slowly and have gigantic heat sinks sitting near the fans (the CPU heat sink is a heat pipe cube about 4" on each side). Most of the DIY cases I've seen only come with mounting holes for noisier 80mm fans, and it's expensive to buy quiet cpu fans and gpu coolers.
      • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @06:14PM (#15169316)
        The cheapo Dell desktops are much quieter than most comparable DIY systems. This is because they use several temp controlled 120mm fans spinning slowly and have gigantic heat sinks sitting near the fans (the CPU heat sink is a heat pipe cube about 4" on each side). Most of the DIY cases I've seen only come with mounting holes for noisier 80mm fans, and it's expensive to buy quiet cpu fans and gpu coolers.

        Many newer DIY cases are coming standard with 120mm fans and/or mounting holes for them. For me, this was a big requirement in buying my last case, and led me to getting Gigabyte's new case, which has two 120mm fans in the back, and one in the front. Combined with a Thermaltake Super Tornado, which also has a 120mm fan, and my Seasonic 600W power supply which also has a 120mm fan, my system is pretty quiet, even with a power-guzzling 3.6GHz P4.

        The main problem with DIY cases with regard to systems like Dell's is that the DIY cases have to adhere to the ATX standard, and can't do anything special which might cause some motherboards to not fit properly. So places like Dell can come up with more efficient cooling solutions using plastic ductwork, while we're stuck with crazy (and expensive) CPU cooler designs. For Dells and many servers I've looked in, they don't even have CPU fans at all, just heatsinks. These heatsinks are then covered with ducts which lead to or from fans which force air through the heatsinks and then out the back of case. This gives you a big benefit not just in having well-directed airflow, but also you get better use out of fewer fans: instead of a case like mine with fans in the front, fans in the back, a fan on the CPU, and yet another one in the power supply, you just have one or two fans in the front, and that's it.

        DIY cases just don't have this kind of thing because it wouldn't be compatible with much, and DIYers of course love to mix-n-match their components.
        • DIY cases just don't have this kind of thing because it wouldn't be compatible with much, and DIYers of course love to mix-n-match their components.

          Bah! I have a standard ATX single-fan system myself.

          Start with a dual-fan PSU. Open it, block all other air-intakes, and remove the second fan. Attach ducting [bestbyteinc.com] where the second fan is supposed-to go. Now attach the other end to your CPU heatsink, and you're done.

          That won't work too well for your high-powered monster P4 systems, but it's fine otherwise.

          Besides

      • apple=!orange.

        Why compare a singly alphy cpu with the total power required by a whole dual cpu server?

        And FYI, the alpha 21264 peaked at about 150W, and this is still not beaten even by dual cpu xeons (although they really try to).

        Thats one reason alpha beat everybody in performance back then... they just burned 4 times a much power as a p3 back then
  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by b0wl0fud0n (887462) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:15PM (#15168972)
    Looking at the temperature graphs, I think the bigger message from the testing is that it isn't necessary to spend the extra cash on buying non-stock cooling. You can even get away with non-stock cooling if you're overclocking.

    Rather than spending cash on changing the stock cooling, consumers would be better off spending that $50 on getting better ventilation for their case since recently, the biggest producer of heat /noise in the computer is the video card, not the processor. Currently my AMD 3500+ (overclocked from 2.2->2.6ghz on stock cooling) is running at 37C while my gpu at non 3d is running at 57C and will approach 87C when using graphically intensive applications. Typically gpu coolers are built thinly...so in order to make up for the smaller room to work with cooling wise, the fans are run at very high rpm. This also makes the video card the noisiest thing in the machine.

    By the way, if you're looking for a good place for help on building a computer, I find that the steam hardware forums are the best place to get help.
    Steam Hardware Forums [steampowered.com]
    • Looking at the temperature graphs, I think the bigger message from the testing is that it isn't necessary to spend the extra cash on buying non-stock cooling.

      The tempurature chart shows you how hot the CPU is, but it doesn't say anything about ear-piercing decible level, which is the real reason most people buy these products.

      recently, the biggest producer of heat /noise in the computer is the video card, not the processor.

      I guess only gamers buy computers, then...

      No, for most people, the CPU is, by-far, th

  • by obender (546976) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @05:22PM (#15169020)
    In TFA they say: the Sonic Tower shouldn't block access to anything on your motherboard. It's not always true, on a Tyan Tomcat mobo it will push against the VGA card, I had to bend it a bit so that it does not touch any contacts.
  • How about the fans on video cards? I'd rather replace them -- they're a lot louder than most cpu fans are. (the high end ones at least, mine's a 6800 gt) And with the card being right next to my cpu heatsink (I have a huge HSF.. the Thermaltake Big Typhoon), I'm gonna probably need a pretty good video card HSF replacement.. can anyone suggest one?
    • Re:GPU Fans... (Score:2, Informative)

      by mkw87 (860289)
      The Zalman vf700 and vf900 series I believe will both fit your card and are GREAT coolers. I've got a 700 on my 7600GT at the moment, works great (over 10C drop in load temp) and its so quiet I don't even know its in there.
    • The fan on gfx cards is always set to "FULL ON" most of the time. I have an Antel TruePower 2.0 (great investment in a Power Supply) that has a "FAN" line of power (yellow-ish line) and I got a mod so that I can connect that line to my gfx card. The card fan runs relative to the overall heat of the computer and I have NEVER had a problem with the card overheating.

      As long as you keep all of your fans on that "Fan" power line everything just purrs... I have 4 standard fans, the standard Gigabyte northbridge f
    • You might be in luck (Score:3, Informative)

      by springbox (853816)
      I know that some GeForce cards have hidden driver settings that let you adjust the speed of the fan if your hardware supports it. RivaTuner [guru3d.com] is such a tool that, among other things, will let you set the speed of your card's fan when apps are using 3D features and not. My "fancy" eVGA GeForce 6600GT can't set its own fan speed apparently, which is disappointing since it's the noisiest thing in my case.
    • Well, years ago I used a Zalman VGA cooler to replace the tiny shrieking fansink on my ATI 9700 Pro...

      ASUS and Gigabyte both make video cards with big heatsinks/heatpipes instead of fansinks. The fastest such card I'm aware of is the ASUS 7800GT TOP Silent [asus.com]

  • From the article:

    The metal brackets don't have much flex, so locking down the thumb latches requires some effort and finger strength. But once they're in place, the cooler is very secure. You can do it all with your bare hands, but having a set of pliers handy will keep your fingers pristine for more important things like typing and clicking.

    Typing and clicking? As I was reading that last sentence expecting something like, "inner thighs," or, "breasts."

    Remember, chicks dig guys with soft hands. ;
  • No Zalman?? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @06:50PM (#15169528)
    How can they have real review of CPU coolers without a Zalman?

    http://www.zalman.co.kr/usa/product/view.asp?idx=1 93&code= [zalman.co.kr]

    I haven't used this exact model, but I put their "CNPS7000" CPU cooler and their "VF700" Gfx card cooler in my PC. Combined with an Antec Phantom power supply and AcoustiPack case dampening material, acoustically it went from "this is really annoying" to "is this thing turned on?" (and is running a lot cooler, too)
    • I have this HSF too...makes my old watercooled rig sound loud. Definitely suprized it wasn't in this roundup.
    • How can they have real review of CPU coolers without a Zalman?
      Easy, the Zalmans don't meet the criteria of being under $50. I have a CNPS9500 LED on my 3.4ghz P4 478 (hotplate that also does a little computation). I get 10C cooling under load over stock. And no discernible noise (coupled with an Antec Sonata and a Seagate drive).

      And the blue LEDs are really cool! At least my SATA cables think so, being that they're only ones ever to see them...
  • I'm a little curious why they limited the roundup to horizontals under $50, while using the FX chip as a testbed. Being a FX-60 owner, I couldn't possibly justify purchasing a cooler because it is "under xxx price". Why cheap out on the cooling once you've spent a small fortune on the processor?
  • Scythe Ninja (Score:2, Informative)

    I was looking for a good heatsink/fan for my dad's Intel P4 560 (he does some gaming) and I settled on the Scythe Ninja and a Nexus 120mm fan. The fan itself is extremely quiet (you can hardly hear it at all) and it keeps the CPU very cool; if I remember correctly, it was hovering around 50C during the stress tests.

    A great site to check out, which I based my purchase on the reviews from, is SilentPC Review [silentpcreview.com]. It has a lot of in depth reviews and what not on cooling devices.
  • Roundup of Eight Horizontal CPU Coolers

    I read this and thought "You round up eight, you still get eight. What, are we working in a math system where eight is considered a fraction? How does this earn an /. posting?!"
  • Not silent options (Score:3, Informative)

    by Michael Woodhams (112247) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @08:36PM (#15169992) Journal
    I'm a regular visitor to Silent PC Review (SPCR) [silentpcreview.com] where they talk about CPU heatsinks at great length. Only one of the ones in this article (Thermaltake Sonic Tower) do I ever recall seeing mention of at SPCR. The noise levels they're talking about (~45 dBA) are just way over the top from my point of view - I'd be reluctant to consider anything over about 25 dBA, which is about 50-100 times quieter.

    If you're a mad overclocker who plays FPS games with sound through your stereo system with volume on 11, this is a useful review. If you want quiet, go to SPCR.

    I use a Scythe Ninja passive (fanless) heatsink. Until about 10 days ago, I had a nearly inaudible, single fan system. (I upgraded my video card to be able to play Oblivion, and I'm waiting a few months for it to fail before I void warantee by replacing the active heatsink it came with.)
    • The noise levels they're talking about (~45 dBA) are just way over the top from my point of view - I'd be reluctant to consider anything over about 25 dBA, which is about 50-100 times quieter.

      Are you comparing measurements from the "roundup" cited here directly with the SPCR measurements? It may be misleading, maybe they put the dBA meter so close that 45 dBA is in reality not so much noise as you think?

      (I upgraded my video card to be able to play Oblivion, and I'm waiting a few months for it to fail before
  • I just built myself a new computer yesterday and I want this baby to run nice and cool (I don't plan on overclocking, it's fast enough as it is, I just want to make sure the CPU isn't running too hot).

    Here's my new setup:

    Antec Sonata II (1x120mm fan, thinking about adding a second 120mm for good measure)
    MSI K8N Neo4F Motherboard
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
    2gig Kingston
    250gig Western Digital SATA-II
    Sapphire Radeon X800 GTO2 (so far I love! this card, haven't tried to unlock the extra 4 pipelines to make it 16 pipe
  • ...for the day when the CPU has about 1000 processor cores on it that each run at a few megahertz, at extremely low voltage, and with so much time between cycles that they run cool naturally... but with a performance gain over the fastest processors available today. And then we can say goodbye to this cooling nonsense.
    • Won't work. Here's why.

      You have a target number of computations to do in a given period of time. That would the measure of "performance". No matter HOW you slice the computations, they need to flip bits. Each high to low bit flip requires dumping energy. That energy HAS to somewhere, and ends up as heat.

      Also, as gates get smaller (which we want, because that allows us to increase speed), leakage increases.

      But, if we decouple the computations, and use larger gates (in order to try to decrease the leakage, wh
      • Oh well, I'm waiting for when the standard PC case will contain a water cooling unit, and the CPU will contain cooling channels for guiding water through it, so you could finally make big 3D chips (not a 1cm square some fraction of milimeter thick, but say a block of 5x5x5cm of silicon logic, with cooling channels through it).

        Standarized safe joints, approved standard cooling units, CPUs designed to be watercooled like that etc. And, say, whole side of the PC case for a radiator.
  • Silence is my #1 requirement, followed by ridiculously high clock speeds and large storage/ram. I've been making my life simple for the past 7 years by going with Antec every time.

    The cheap solution is the Sonata case with its modified SmartPower 450w supply, a bit labor-intensive to assemble but very quiet and just the power supply alone is worth the price of the whole kit. The downside is that apparently, some poor schmucks don't like the shiny black finish. It's around 130-140$ here in Canada, so prob
    • A lot of people (incl. me) are scared by installation issues in P180. The front door have some quality problems, too (plastic warping). I considered buying it but decided for Antec's P150 and I'm enthusiastic about it. My PC is almost silent now. A truly great case.
      • That's unfortunate about the QC issues, I hadn't heard of it until now. The upside is that Antec offers unparalleled warranty service so if you were unfortunate enough to get a warped case, they will exchange it immediately.

        Hell, just having the 3 year warranty on a power supply is a godsend.
  • It isn't a horizontal cooler but I do have to say that it's the most impressive cooler I've ever used. I built a dual-Opteron a few months ago and used two of these coolers. Wow. Each CPU runs between 21 and 24 C. That's it. They are also silent. I can not hear them even with the side of my server's case off. I'm thoroughly impressed by these things. They are very large so they won't fit in every case. They did however fit in my Lian-Li 2000 series case. Very nice coolers.

    http://www.thermaltakeu [thermaltakeusa.com]

Your own mileage may vary.

Working...